You can make this creamy and cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup on the stove top or in the Crock Pot. It’s a quick and easy recipe that makes the perfect bowl of comforting soup.
Chicken Enchilada Soup
There’s nothing more comforting and satisfying than a warm bowl of creamy chicken enchilada soup on a chilly day. This easy-to-make recipe is packed with all the flavors of your favorite enchiladas, but in a thick, rich, and creamy soup that the whole family will love.
It’s perfect for busy weeknights or when you’re craving a taste of home-cooked Southwest cuisine. Made with simple ingredients like shredded chicken, cream cheese, and homemade seasoning, this soup is sure to become a go-to favorite in your kitchen.
It’s creamy, hearty, cheesy, and packed with tender and juicy chicken. The blend of chili powder, cumin, and a hint of heat from the cayenne pepper and RO-TEL perfectly complements the sautéed onions and peppers. To elevate this dish, don’t skip out on the cilantro, avocado, and a dollop of sour cream on top – they definitely complete the experience.
I also love serving a bowl of this with a quesadilla made with my copycat Taco Bell quesadilla sauce! The crispy tortillas, gooey melted cheese, and delicious sauce (seriously, it has hundreds of 5 star reviews) is a match made in heaven with this soup.
What Is Enchilada Soup Made Of?
Enchilada soup is made of a flavorful combination of shredded chicken, beans, corn, tomatoes, and a blend of Southwest spices, all simmered together in a deliciously creamy and cheesy broth. It’s a comforting and satisfying dish that captures the essence of your favorite enchiladas in a warm, hearty soup.
Chicken: I prefer using boneless, skinless chicken breasts in this recipe because they are lean, tender, and cook quickly. However, you can also use rotisserie chicken or even chicken thighs for a richer flavor.
Butter: Adding butter to the soup not only provides a rich and creamy base but also enhances the flavors of the other ingredients. If you prefer a lighter version, you can use olive oil instead.
Onion: Diced onions add a subtle sweetness and depth of flavor to the soup.
Red Bell Pepper: Red bell peppers provide a pop of color and a slightly sweet taste.
Garlic: Minced garlic adds a kick of flavor and aroma to the dish.
Black Beans: These protein-packed beans add texture and heartiness to the soup.
Corn: Corn brings a touch of sweetness and a nice contrast in texture to the dish.
RO-TEL and Tomato Paste: RO-TEL’s signature combination of diced tomatoes and diced green chilies adds so much flavor to this recipe. You can also substitute the RO-TEL with salsa or fire roasted tomatoes if you prefer.
Chicken Broth: Chicken broth provides the liquid base for the soup and enhances the flavors of the other ingredients.
Cream Cheese: Cream cheese adds a luxurious creaminess to the soup and balances out the spiciness of the dish.
Cheddar Cheese: Freshly grated cheddar cheese adds a deliciously cheesy flavor and helps to thicken the soup.
Homemade Taco Seasoning Blend: A blend of spices like chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder gives the soup its signature Southwest flavor. You can also use a store-bought taco seasoning packet if you prefer.
Toppings: I really recommend adding a squeeze of fresh lime juice to your bowl before you eat. The acidity helps cut through the fat and really brightens up the soup. You can customize your bowl of soup with your favorite toppings like chopped cilantro, sour cream, avocado slices, and tortilla strips.
- Substitute cooked ground turkey or beef for the shredded chicken.
- Use white beans or pinto beans instead of black beans.
- Add diced green chilies for an extra kick.
- Swap out the cheddar cheese for Monterey Jack cheese or Pepper Jack cheese for a different flavor profile.
- Add some chopped spinach or kale for a boost of greens.
How To Make Chicken Enchilada Soup
Prepare the Dutch oven: Start by melting the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. (See the recipe card below for the full printable instructions.)
Cook the vegetables: Add the onions and bell peppers, and cook until they are soft and fragrant.
Add the seasoning: Reduce the heat to medium, add the garlic and seasoning blend, and cook until the onions are translucent and the spices are aromatic.
Add the remaining ingredients: Stir in the black beans, corn, RO-TEL, tomato paste,
Add the chicken breasts, and chicken broth. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer until the chicken is cooked through.
Shred the chicken: Remove the cooked chicken from the pot and shred it using two forks.
Add the cheese: Stir in the cream cheese and cheddar cheese until they are fully melted and incorporated into the soup.
Combine everything: Add the shredded chicken back to the pot and stir until everything is well mixed.
Serve and enjoy: Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with your favorite toppings. See the recipe card below for the full written instructions, including ingredient amounts, cooking times, and helpful tips, etc.
- Use freshly grated cheese for the best melting and creaminess.
- Be sure to dice your onions and bell peppers evenly for a consistent texture throughout the soup.
- If using store-bought taco seasoning, opt for a low-sodium version to control the saltiness of the soup.
- Taste the soup before serving and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Slow Cooker Instructions
To make this soup in a slow cooker, simply add all the ingredients (except for the cream cheese and cheddar cheese) to the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. During the last 30 minutes of cooking, add the cream cheese and cheddar cheese, and stir until they are fully melted and incorporated. Shred the chicken, add it back to the slow cooker, and serve with your favorite toppings.
Can I Use Frozen Chicken Breasts?
Yes, you can use frozen chicken breasts in this recipe if you make it on the stovetop. Just be sure to increase the cooking time accordingly, and use a thermometer to ensure the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
Can I Make This Soup Vegetarian?
Absolutely! For a vegetarian version, simply omit the chicken and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. You can also add extra beans or vegetables for added heartiness.
How Do You Thicken Enchilada Soup?
If you find that your chicken enchilada soup is not as thick as you’d like, don’t worry! You can easily thicken it by using either flour or cornstarch. Simply mix two tablespoons of flour or one tablespoon of cornstarch with an equal amount of cold water to create a slurry. Gradually stir the slurry into the simmering soup until it reaches your desired thickness. Give it a few minutes to cook and thicken, and repeat if you’d still like it thicker. Then you’ll have a perfectly thick and creamy enchilada soup.
Is It Better To Thicken Soup With Flour Or Cornstarch?
Both flour and cornstarch work well for thickening soup, but cornstarch is a gluten-free option and provides a slightly smoother texture. Flour, on the other hand, may result in a slightly grainier texture but still works well for most recipes.
How Do You Make Enchilada Soup Less Spicy?
If you’re sensitive to heat or have family members who prefer milder flavors, you can easily adjust the spiciness of this chicken enchilada soup. Try reducing the amount of chili powder and cayenne pepper in the homemade seasoning blend, or opt for a mild store-bought taco seasoning packet. You can also add more cream cheese or sour cream to the soup to help balance out the spiciness. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find the perfect level of heat for your family’s taste buds!
This chicken enchilada soup makes a great freezer meal. Simply let the soup cool completely, transfer it to an airtight container, and freeze it for up to 3 months. To reheat, let the soup thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then warm it on the stove over low heat until heated through.
Keep In Touch
I’d love to hear what you thought of this recipe in the comments or on Instagram! @KeyToMyLime #KeyToMyLime
If you like this recipe, be sure to check out all of our other soup and stew recipes. Some reader favorites are:
- Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Chicken Chili
- Pozole Verde
- Instant Pot Tomato Soup
- Cowboy Stew
- Bisquick Chicken and Dumplings
- Sweet Chili
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder*
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1 medium onion, diced (1 cup)
- 1/2 medium red bell pepper, diced (1/2 cup)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (19.75-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (8.75-ounce) can corn, drained
- 1 (10-ounce) can mild RO-TEL, undrained
- 1/2 cup tomato paste
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2 large breasts)
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 8 ounces cream cheese, cubed (1 brick)
- 2 cups freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese**
- Chopped cilantro
- Sour cream
- Avocado slices
- Lime juice
- Tortilla strips
- Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat and melt the butter. Add the onions and bell peppers, and cook for 4 minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium, add garlic and seasoning, and cook until aromatic and onions are translucent, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in black beans, corn, RO-TEL, and tomato paste. Place chicken breasts into the pot and pour in the chicken broth. Increase heat to bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and let simmer for 15 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F on an instant-read thermometer.
- Remove the cooked chicken from the pot and set aside. Add the cubed cream cheese and shredded cheddar to the pot, stirring to combine.
- While the cheese is melting, shred the chicken using two forks until it reaches your desired size.
- Add the shredded chicken back to the pot and stir until the cheese is fully melted and incorporated.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with your favorite optional toppings. Enjoy!
Slow Cooker Instructions: To make this soup in a Crockpot, simply add all the ingredients (except for the cream cheese and cheddar cheese) to the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. During the last 30 minutes of cooking, add the cream cheese and cheddar cheese, and stir until they are fully melted and incorporated. Shred the chicken, add it back to the slow cooker, and serve with your favorite toppings.
*This chili powder is a spice blend sold in the US and Canada that's a relatively mild seasoning blend. It's much milder than the pure chili powder sold in the UK and other parts of the world.
**I recommend using freshly grated cheese because it melts more smoothly. Pre-grated cheeses are coated in an anti-caking agent that creates a gritty texture when melted.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 494Total Fat: 25.9gCarbohydrates: 38.5gFiber: 10.8gSugar: 8.4gProtein: 29.4g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.
This creamy chicken enchilada soup is the perfect way to enjoy the flavors of Southwest cuisine in a comforting and easy-to-make dish. With its rich texture and customizable toppings, it’s sure to become a family favorite!