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Perfect Chicken Enchilada Soup recipe

Perfect Chicken Enchilada Soup recipe

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  • Quick chicken

This soup is Mexican-inspired. Serve with grated cheese and crumbled tortilla chips, if desired.

423 people made this

IngredientsServes: 8

  • 450g skinless, boneless chicken breast fillets
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 80g onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 115g masa harina
  • 750ml water, divided
  • 250g enchilada sauce
  • 225g Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:50min ›Ready in:1hr

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, cook chicken breasts in oil until well browned on all sides. Remove and set aside.
  2. Cook onion and garlic in remaining oil until onions are translucent. Pour in chicken stock.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together masa harina and 500ml water until well blended. Pour into pot with remaining 250ml water, enchilada sauce, Cheddar, salt, chilli powder and cumin. Bring to the boil.
  4. Shred cooked chicken and add it to the pot. Reduce heat and simmer 30 to 40 minutes, until thickened.


Masa harina can be purchased online.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(495)

Reviews in English (402)

by Megan Melton Bilek

If you like the chicken enchilada soup form Chili's, then you will love this! For those of you who are unclear, masa harina is just a corn flour (similar to corn meal but ground much finer) and you can find it at your local grocery store. If you can find the masa, then definitely make this soup! You will not be disappointed.-12 May 2003

by cookie

This is everything you look for in a recipe; easy, quick, delicious and reheatable. It tastes exactly like an enchilada.I added chipotle pepper, halved the cheese, and used barbecue chicken breast I already had cooked from last night, which saved on the time.FOR THE MASA HARINA HATERS:When mixing the masa with the water, whisk a little at a time into your water (about a tablespoon at a time) very quickly, until it is all dissolved. This gives it a much smoother consistency and alleviates the grittiness.-02 Jan 2008

by catzinaz

Karen, I want to thank you so much for this recipe. It's been a while since a new recipe wowwed me like this one did & my beau just raved about it. Awesome stuff, he said. As usual, I made some adjustments & additions but the recipe, as written, proved to be a great foundation.I took a chance & found a more than adequate substitute for the 'gritty' masa to thicken the soup. Other recipes mentioned using torn up unfried corn tortillas (I used about 5 small tortillas-probably few more next time). I don't have a need for any extra masa so the tortillas worked beautifully. They practically dissolve, giving a lovely texture. Be sure to add additional cup or so of liquid. It can be stock, water, V-8 or beer, of course. I may try tequila...I encourage all of you non-gritties to please give this recipe another chance nixing the masa for tortillas. Trust me & Karen.According to our tastes, I added sauteed onions, chopped fresh jalapenos, black beans, corn & I added some red cayenne pepper, about 1/3 tsp. Be careful-cayenne is hot so add sparingly. It really wakes up the flavor & it makes your tummy warm & happy. Souper Recipe (ha)! 5 Yums Up!-07 Dec 2007

Recipe Summary

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup masa harina
  • 3 cups water, divided
  • 1 cup enchilada sauce
  • 1 pound processed cheese, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Brown chicken breasts for 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Shred and set aside.

To the pot add onions and garlic saute for 2 minutes, or until onions are translucent. Pour in chicken broth.

In a medium bowl combine masa harina with 2 cups of water and whisk until well blended.

To the onions and garlic add the masa harina mixture, remaining water, enchilada sauce, cheese, salt, chili powder and cumin. Bring to a boil add shredded chicken. Reduce heat to low and simmer 30 to 40 minutes, or until thickened.

Creamy Chicken Enchilada Soup

You guy are going to love how absolutely irresistibly delicious this slow cooker chicken enchilada soup tastes. And not only is it packed full of flavor, but it&rsquos also healthy and, thanks to the Ninja® Cooking System with Auto-iQ&trade, it takes hardly any work. The slow cooker function includes worry-free ACCUTEMP temperature control. This capability operates behind the scenes to ensure your meals aren&rsquot overcooked and that they cook evenly, so you get it right every time. This is a meal the whole family will love!

It takes a little while in Texas, but it&rsquos finally starting to cool down. In fact, this week we went from high temperatures in the 70s and then all the way down to the 40s. That means I&rsquom ready to bundle up in all my new winter wear, I splurged on during the Black Friday sales. Whoops! And that also means, I&rsquoll be enjoying my fair share of cozy bowls of soup for dinner. Especially, easy and yummy soup recipes like this clean eating creamy enchilada soup!

This enchilada soup is my kind of recipe. Basically you just throw a few simple ingredients in your slow cooker and let it do its thing for a few hours. Every ingredient is probably something you already have in your pantry. You can use fresh or frozen chicken breast or canned or rotisserie. You&rsquoll also need canned black beans, corn, diced tomatoes (I used fire roasted to add some flavor), diced green chiles, chicken broth, and enchilada sauce. Add in an onion and some seasonings for extra flavor and there you have it. The perfect easy weeknight meal!

I&rsquom having so much fun experimenting with the Ninja Cooking System with Auto-iQ. With four appliances built into one, there&rsquos so much it can do. I used the slow cooker function for this recipe, but it also can act as a stove top for searing and sautéing, a steamer and an oven for baking. This would make an awesome appliance for someone living the dorm life.

Throw everything in the Ninja Cooking System with Auto-iQ in the morning (or afternoon) and in the evening you have a comforting meal ready for you to eat! I love that the slow cooker function includes Triple Fusion Heat®, which brings bottom, side, and steam heat together for easy one-pot meals. And the capability it has to continue to keep the food warm even after it has cooked was fabulous.

I enjoyed this soup topped with a little shredded cheese, avocado slices, tortilla chips and fresh cilantro. But it&rsquos also so tasty with a handful of tortilla chips on the side that I can dip into the soup as I eat it. There&rsquos really no wrong way to chow down on this deliciousness!

To make soup thicker:

I personally think the consistency of this enchilada soup is perfect. It’s creamy and has just the right amount of thickness.

But if you prefer an even thicker soup, try adding in some additional cream cheese about 30 minutes prior to serving. The melted cream cheese acts as a great thickening agent and gives it a super creamy and delicious texture.

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This chicken enchilada soup recipe is made on the stovetop. We will also be showing you further on how to make it on your crockpot, slow cooker, and instant pot.

Note: Recipe calls for cooked shredded chicken. Either get a storebought rotisserie chicken and use that or cook your own at home using chicken breast (scroll down to learn how to cook the chicken for your enchilada soup).

To make enchilada soup on your stovetop:

  • Prepare vegetables and ingredients: Set up all the ingredients and get your shredded chicken ready.
  • Cook vegetables: Add butter or oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. First, add the onions, celery, carrots, bell pepper, garlic and cook until softens, about 5-6 minutes. Then, stir in seasonings, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and chicken broth and bring to a boil.
  • Cook and prep soup: Lower the heat and simmer for about 10-15 minutes, or until veggies are very tender.
  • Blend: remove from heat and using a hand blender, blend the soup until smooth and creamy. (This is optional if you don&rsquot want to blend you can skip this step).
  • Add beans and chicken: Place the soup back over medium heat and add in beans, corn and shredded cooked chicken. Stir to combine and boil for a couple of minutes, just to heat it all up.
  • Serve: Pour into bowls and top with your favorite toppings. Enjoy!


Some optional toppings you can add to your creamy chicken enchilada soup are

  1. Chopped avocado
  2. Sliced jalapeño
  3. Fresh chopped cilantro
  4. Green onions
  5. Lime wedges
  6. Sour cream or yogurt etc.

How to cook chicken for enchilada soup

Cooking the chicken is quite simple. It would be easiest to use a rotisserie chicken but you can certainly cook your own. We recommend using skinless and boneless chicken breasts.

  • Add chicken into a pot full of water
  • We like adding some sort of herbs to give the chicken some flavor. Use half an onion and a bay leaf. sometimes we use a cinnamon stick but not for this particular recipe.
  • Allow boiling for about 15-20 minutes until you easily insert a knife or a fork through the chicken.
  • Then, drain in a colander and let it cool off
  • Finally, using your hands or forks, shred chicken.

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (4 ounce) can diced green chiles
  • 6 corn tortillas, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
  • 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • ¾ cup shredded white Cheddar cheese
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
  • Fresh cilantro, sour cream and/or guacamole for garnish

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add broth, tomatoes, chiles, tortillas, chili powder and cumin. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.

Add chicken and cream cheese, stirring until the cream cheese is melted. Remove from heat. Combine shredded cheese and cornstarch in a small bowl and gradually add to the soup, stirring until melted. Return the pot to medium heat and cook until hot, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve the soup with cilantro, sour cream and/or guacamole, if desired.

How to make this recipe

Ingredients and substitutions

  • Olive oil – use any neutral oil such as avocado oil, sunflower oil or vegetable oil for this recipe.
  • Chicken breasts – boneless, skinless chicken thighs can be used in place of chicken breasts.
  • Yellow onion – red onion, shallots or white onions can be used in place of yellow onion.
  • Garlic – fresh garlic cloves minced or jarred minced garlic can be used for this recipe.
  • Chili powder – add more paprika and cumin to compensate for chili powder if you don’t have any on hand.
  • Cumin – curry powder, garam masala or taco seasoning can be used in place of cumin.
  • Paprika – cayenne pepper, chili powder or ground chili flakes can be used in place of paprika
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Crushed tomatoes – canned diced tomatoes or tomato sauce would work if you’re in a pinch.
  • Green chilies – use canned green chilies for less spice or pickled jalapenos for a tangy kick.
  • Brown sugar – the brown sugar is to help cut the acidity of the canned tomatoes.
  • Chicken broth – another broth like vegetable broth or beef broth could work in place of chicken broth.
  • Masa harina (corn flour) – regular flour or cornstarch won’t have the same added taste as the masa harina but will still thicken the soup.
  • Water – add more chicken broth in place of the water if you’d like.
  • Cheddar cheese – any grated cheese of your liking will work but I recommend grated cheddar cheese or a grated Tex Mex cheese blend

Topping ideas (optional)

  • Pico de gallo – homemade or jarred pico de gallo, salsa can also be used.
  • Avocado – use sliced avocado or a fresh guacamole in place of avocado.
  • Cilantro – if you’re not a fan of cilantro, parsley is also a great option.
  • Sour cream – use greek yogurt in place of sour cream for a healthier option.

Topping ideas

My favourite part about soups and chilis are the toppings! By adding toppings of your choice to your dish you're creating a complex flavour palette while adding texture to every bite. Overall, you're taking the whole dish to the next level with toppings. If you're in need of some inspiration here are some of the toppings you can add to this chicken enchilada soup:

  • Avocado sliced
  • Sour cream (plain greek yogurt as a lower fat substitute)
  • Jalapeno slices
  • Cilantro or parsley
  • Lime wedges
  • Tortilla strips
  • Queso or shredded cheese
  • Beans
  • Pico de gallo
  • Hot sauce

How many calories in this recipe vs Chili's

My version of Chili's chicken enchilada soup only has 324 calories while the Chili's chicken enchilada soup has 440 calories per serving. Besides the calorie differences, this chicken enchilada soup is filled with delicious, whole ingredients that you will love!

Storing and reheating

This dish is a great meal prep option for your week. To store your leftovers, wait for the chicken enchilada soup to cool down then store the leftovers in individual servings in airtight containers in the fridge. These leftovers will last in the fridge for up to four days. If you're someone who is on the go, store this enchilada soup in mason jars for easy travel.

When storing the leftovers, you will want to make sure that they're being stored without any toppings on them. Keep the toppings stored separately and then top the chicken enchilada soup after it is warmed up and ready to enjoy. To reheat the soup, put it in the microwave for 2-3 minutes mixing halfway through or pour it into a pot and warm it up on the stovetop.

Freezing the soup

This chicken enchilada soup works great as a freezer meal as well. The soup will last for three months in an airtight container or mason jar in the freezer. As mentioned above, make sure to store the soup in the freezer without any of the toppings. The toppings should be added to the soup once it is warmed up and ready to enjoy.

When you're ready to enjoy the dish, thaw the soup in the refrigerator overnight. Then following the instructions in the section above, you can reheat the dish using the microwave or stovetop. If you've frozen the chicken enchilada soup in individual portions, you can also reheat it directly from frozen. Microwave for 6-8 minutes on high, stirring halfway through.

More Chili's copycat recipes

Meal prep tools for this recipe

  • Grab some glass meal prep bowls if you plan on turning this soup into leftovers
  • I get all my free-range chicken from Butcher Box, conveniently delivered to me frozen.
  • Get a meat thermometer to make sure your chicken is cooked through
  • Freeze this recipe in glass microwave-safe bowls up to 3 months

Gain access to my FREE 5-day meal prep challenge + bonus resources when you sign up.

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Chicken Enchilada Soup

Growing up, my friends and I frequented Chili’s. One of my go-to orders was their Enchilada soup. Holy YUMMO. Gosh that soup is freaking good which is why I had to create my own Chicken Enchilada Soup.

Well, I had a craving for it and thought I’d do a little Paleo/Whole30 spin and make a creamy, cheeseless, gluten and grain-free version of that soup in my own kitchen for a wholesome weeknight meal that the whole family will just gobble up. This soup not only tastes like heaven, but it comes together quickly and with very few steps.

If you are a love hearty, bold flavors in your soups– you’ll absolutely just love this Chicken Enchilada Soup! Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup

Create the unexpected next time you entertain. Slow Cooker Beer Glazed Brisket is perfect for feeding a crowd.

I generally try to make and post recipes here on the blog that are a little different and haven't been done a million times. But then again, I think it's good to post recipes from time to time that do tend to be the staples to a lot of us. I mean, we've all seen plenty of Slow Cooker Enchilada Soup recipes and a lot of you have probably made at least of few of them. Maybe you even have a favorite. But I still want to share with you my way of making it in case it gives you any new inspiration for how to make yours!

If you've seen some of my other recipes, then you've probably guessed that I'm quite a fan of fire-roasted diced tomatoes. I love the little extra smokiness and richness they give in recipes like this.

I also used some fresh tomatoes to have that juicy bite in every spoonful and to up the nutrition even more. Check out my thoughts on using canned vs. fresh in #4 in this post.

Use some whipped cream cheese to make it just a little richer and creamier without making it heavy. This soup is perfect whether you want to warm up on a cold day or have a light meal on a warm day.

Suggestions for this IP Soup Recipe

  • If you don’t have an actual “Instant Pot”, don’t fret. This simple recipe can be made EXACTLY the same in a pressure cooker. If your pressure cooker doesn’t have a “sauté” function you can just sauté the vegetables in a pan on the stove before adding everything to the pressure cooker.
  • You can really use any kind of beans that you like for this recipe. I like black beans and chili beans but you can use pinto beans, red beans, Northern beans, or kidney beans.
  • There’s literally no end to the toppings you can use for this yummy soup. Pile the soup high with avocado or guacamole, fresh diced tomatoes, tortilla crisps, cilantro or salsa. Be creative and make it however your family will like it best!
  • To make this recipe gluten-free, you need to keep your eye on a couple things. First, the taco seasoning. Most taco seasonings contain gluten so make SURE that you are using GF taco seasoning. Also, you need to check your enchilada sauces. Many enchilada sauces have gluten in them so check your labels. Keep an eye on those two things and you are good to go!