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5 Cinco de Mayo Recipes for Your Slow Cooker

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The festivities of May 5 just aren't complete without these zesty and spicy slow-cooked Mexican dishes. To impress all of your guests or fellow party-goers, give one – or all – of these Cinco de Mayo recipes a try this year.

1. Black Bean Enchiladas
Soft, cheesy and filled with spice, these slow-cooked enchiladas are easy to prepare in your Crock-Pot® 3.5-Quart Casserole Crock Slow Cooker.


  • 1/2 small yellow onion, diced small
  • 1/2 cup leftover meat or veggies (optional)
  • 1/2 sweet bell pepper, diced small
  • 1/2 (16-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup Monterey jack, Colby, or other melting cheese, shredded and divided
  • 1 (16-ounce) jar salsa, any kind
  • 6 to 8 medium (6-inch) flour tortillas
  • Sliced avocado, for topping
  • Fresh cilantro, for topping
  • Sour cream, for topping


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine onion, pepper, black beans, corn, spices and leftover meat or veggies if using. Add ½ cup of cheese and mix.
  2. Spread about ½ cup of salsa across bottom of slow cooker to coat evenly.
  3. In each tortilla, pour about ¼ cup of the enchilada filling and tightly roll up each.
  4. Lay them, opening down, in the sauce.
  5. Once Crock-Pot® 3.5-Quart Casserole Crock Slow Cooker is filled with rolled up tortillas, cover with remaining sauce and ½ cup of cheese.
  6. Cover and cook on HIGH for 2 to 4 hours.
  7. With 10 to 15 minutes left of cook time, sprinkle with leftover ½ cup of cheese and cover to finish.
  8. Garnish with toppings of your choice and enjoy warm.
Enchiladas are a must-have on Cinco de Mayo.Enchiladas are a must-have on Cinco de Mayo.

2. Tamales
The best way to enjoy tamales is by making them the traditional Mesoamerican way, by steaming the dough in banana leaves or corn husks. Thanks to the Crock-Pot® 5-in-1 Multi-Cooker, you can steam your tamales and create the pork filling in the same appliance! This new innovation from the Crock-Pot® brand enables you to brown & sauté, slow cook, roast, bake and steam so that no matter what you want to cook, you can do it all in this Multi-Cooker. For recipes such as this one, seamlessly switch from one function to the next with just the touch of a button.

Tamale Filling Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • Cold water, to cover pork
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 12 black peppercorns

Tamale Dough Ingredients:

  • 2 cups masa harina
  • 1 (10 1/2 ounce) can beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup lard
  • 1 (8 ounce) package dried corn husks
  • 1 cup sour cream


  1. Select the brown/sauté function and set the temperature to HIGH.
  2. Let Crock-Pot® 5-in-1 Multi-Cooker preheat.
  3. Add pork and cover with cold water.
  4. Top with 2 teaspoons salt, the onion, thyme, oregano, bay leaves and peppercorns.
  5. Cover and bring to simmer.
  6. Turn temperature to LOW and cook until pork is tender, about 1 ½ to 2 hours.
  7. While pork is cooking, soak corn husks in a bowl of hot water for 1 hour, ensuring they stay submerged.
  8. When pork is done, transfer to plate and shred. Reserve cooking liquid.
  9. Change function to steam setting.
  10. In a large bowl, beat the lard with a tablespoon of the broth until fluffy.
  11. Add the masa harina, baking powder and salt and stir into the lard mixture.
  12. If necessary, add more broth until a spongy-like dough forms.
  13. Spread the dough out over the corn husks to ¼- to ½-inch thickness.
  14. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the meat filling into the center of each.
  15. Fold the sides of the husks in toward the center and place in Crock-Pot® 5-in-1 Multi-Cooker.
  16. Steam for 1 hour.
  17. Let cool.
  18. Remove tamales from husks, drizzle with reserved cooking liquid and top with sour cream.

3. Spanish Rice
For Cinco de Mayo dishes you're bringing to a friend or neighbor's, slow cook in your Crock-Pot® Single Hand Cook & Carry® 6-Quart Oval Slow Cooker. Easily lock, grab and go without the worry of mess or spillage during transport. This slow cooker tightly seals and provides a convenient single-hand carry option so you have a free hand for everything else! Try this zesty recipe for Spanish rice:


  • 1 cup white or brown rice
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • ½ cup canned diced tomatoes
  • 4 ounce can diced green chilies
  • ½ jalapeno de-seeded and diced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • Fresh cilantro, to garnish
  • Sliced limes, to garnish


  1. Combine all ingredients except for cilantro and limes in the bottom of your slow cooker.
  2. Cover and cook on HIGH for 2 ½ hours or on LOW for 5 hours.
  3. Top with fresh cilantro and lime wedges for serving.

4.Chicken Fajita Chili
Another great recipe for your Crock-Pot® Single Hand Cook & Carry® 6-Quart Oval Slow Cooker is this hearty and spiced chicken fajita chili.


  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon fajita seasoning
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (16 ounce) package frozen yellow, green, and red peppers and onions
  • 1 (19 ounce) can white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 tablespoons shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons light sour cream (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons guacamole (optional)


  1. In a bowl, combine chili powder, fajita seasoning, garlic and cumin.
  2. Add chicken to bowl and coat to season.
  3. In a large skillet coated with cooking spray, heat seasoned chicken over medium-high heat, until browned on both sides.
  4. Transfer chicken to slow cooker.
  5. Top with diced tomatoes, peppers and kidney beans.
  6. Cover and cook on HIGH for 2 ½ to 3 hours or on LOW for 4 to 5 hours.
  7. Garnish with shredded cheese, sour cream and guacamole.
Meatballs offer a unique twist on Cinco de Mayo recipes.Meatballs offer a unique twist on Cinco de Mayo recipes.

5. Mexican Meatball Stew
For a slow-cooked Mexican recipe that combines tradition and culinary innovation, prepare this meatball stew this Cinco de Mayo – you'll be glad you did.


  • 2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans Mexican-style stewed tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 (12 ounce) packages frozen cooked Italian-style turkey meatballs, thawed (24 total)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14 ounce) can seasoned chicken broth with roasted garlic
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
  • Fresh oregano (optional)


  1. Combine tomatoes, meatballs, black beans, chicken broth and corn in your slow cooker.
  2. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 to 3 ½ hours or on LOW for 6 to 7 hours, until meatballs are cooked through.
  3. Top with fresh oregano for serving.
Due to the slow ramp up, and even heating of a slow cooker, recipes featured on this site can be cooked in a range of slow cooker sizes. Recipes can be increased or decreased by one quart size per the cooking instructions. For smaller sauces and dips that call for 3 quarts or less, it is not recommended to alter the unit size. Crock-Pot® is a registered trademark and should not be used generically when referring to a 'slow cooker' within the recipes.
Sunbeam Products, Inc. d/b/a Jarden Consumer Solutions has not tested these recipes and is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe. You may not achieve the results desired due to variations in ingredients, cooking temperatures, cooking times, typos, errors, omissions, or individual cooking abilities. Please always use your best judgment when cooking with raw ingredients such as eggs, chicken or fish.


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