This delicious chicken enchilada soup makes you feel like you’re diving into a bowl of warmth. It’s a simple yet super hearty mix of tender chicken and the classic, zesty flavors of a good enchilada, and it couldn’t be easier to make.
There’s nothing quite like a bowl of hearty soup on a chilly day, and this chicken enchilada soup truly delivers.
It’s one of the favorite chicken soups in our home, not just because it packs a flavorful punch but also because it’s so easy to make.
This is a very forgiving recipe, which means I can switch it up easily depending on what ingredients I have at hand. I like to make it with fresh chicken breast but if I’m short on time, leftover rotisserie chicken works wonders.
Why you’ll love this creamy chicken enchilada soup
- Deliciously creamy yet super nutritious
- Filling, comforting and very easy to make
- Suitable for stovetop and slow cooker
What goes into chicken enchilada soup
Onion, carrot and celery — Dice these evenly and saute them until they are soft and fragrant to form a flavorful base for your soup. You can use leeks or shallots instead of onions.
Garlic and jalapeño — Fresh garlic and jalapeño are best for this soup but you can use minced garlic from a jar and green chilies too.
Spices — I used a mix of ground cumin, paprika and dried oregano to infuse warm flavors into the soup. You can also use chili powder, your favorite taco seasoning mix or some enchilada sauce if you like.
Beans — I like to make this enchilada soup with a mix of cannellini and black beans but feel free to use whatever mix you like. Pinto beans and red kidney beans are both good options.
Sweetcorn — You can use fresh, frozen or canned corn in this soup.
Chicken stock — Low-sodium chicken stock is best in this soup because you can easily control the sodium content.
Chicken breasts — Chicken thighs are another option if you want a richer flavor. If you want to use leftover rotisserie chicken, simply add it to the pot towards the end and simmer until heated through before adding the cheese.
Cream cheese — I used Philadelphia cream cheese in this soup but you can also use heavy cream or Greek yogurt for creaminess.
Cheddar cheese — Monterey Jack or a Mexican blend of shredded cheese works well here. You can also stir in some Gouda for a slightly smokey flavor.
How to make enchilada soup
In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion, carrot and celery. Sauté for about 5-7 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and translucent. Stir in the garlic and jalapeño and continue to cook for another minute.
Pour in the chicken broth, then add the chicken breast. Make sure it’s fully submerged — add more broth as needed.
Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. let the soup simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.
Remove the cooked chicken from the pot and place it on a cutting board. Use two forks to shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Return the shredded chicken to the pot.
Add the cream cheese to the pot and stir until it's fully melted. Next, stir in the grated cheddar cheese until melted.
Stir in the fresh cilantro and season to taste. Serve the soup with extra chopped cilantro and your favorite toppings such as tortilla chips, avocado slices, jalapeño slices or sour cream.
Make it in the slow cooker
- In a pan, heat the olive oil and sauté onions, carrots, and celery until soft. Add garlic, jalapeño, cumin, paprika, and oregano, cooking until fragrant.
- Move the sautéed mixture to the slow cooker. Add tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, cannellini beans, black beans, and sweetcorn. Stir to combine.
- Place chicken breasts into the mix and pour in chicken stock to cover the ingredients.
- Cover and set the slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. The chicken should be tender and easy to shred.
- Remove the chicken, shred it, and then return it to the slow cooker. Stir in cream cheese and cheddar, letting it melt into the soup, then add cilantro.
Leftovers and storage
- To store the soup, allow it to cool to room temperature, then transfer it to airtight containers and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
- Warm the soup over medium heat on the stovetop, stirring occasionally, until it’s heated through. Alternatively, use a microwave-safe container and heat in intervals, stirring between each, until warm.
- This cheesy chicken enchilada soup freezes well for up to 2-3 months. Cool the soup completely before transferring it to freezer-safe bags or containers, and thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Recipe notes and tips
- This soup pairs wonderfully with a variety of toppings, such as avocado slices, extra cilantro, a dollop of sour cream, or tortilla strips for added texture and flavor.
- Adjust the amount of jalapeño or add a dash of hot sauce if you prefer your soup with an extra kick of spice.
- Feel free to add or substitute other vegetables like bell pepper or zucchini.
- For a lighter version, you can substitute cream cheese with Greek yogurt or low-fat cream cheese.
If you liked this chicken enchilada soup recipe, you might also like some of my other easy chicken soup recipes:
- Avgolemono — Greek Lemon Chicken Soup
- Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Soup
- Chicken Lentil Soup
- Green Chili Chicken Soup
- Healthy Chicken Pot Pie Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 2-3 celery stalks, diced
- 2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon jalapeño, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 can (14 oz /400g) crushed tomatoes
- 1 can (14 oz /400g) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can (14 oz /400g) black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup (150 g) sweetcorn
- 6 cups (1.5 liters) chicken stock
- 2 medium chicken breasts (1 lb /450 g)
- 1 cup (180 g) cream cheese
- ½ cup (125 g) cheddar cheese, grated
- A handful of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion, carrot and celery. Sauté for about 5-7 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and translucent. Stir in the garlic and jalapeño and continue to cook for another minute.
- Stir in the ground cumin, paprika, and dried oregano. Cook for another 1-2 minutes until the spices are fragrant.
- Add the tomato paste to the pot and stir well, allowing it to cook for another minute. Pour in the crushed tomatoes and mix until combined.
- Add the cannellini beans, black beans, and sweetcorn to the pot. Stir to combine.
- Pour in the stock, then add the chicken breast. Make sure it’s fully submerged — add more stock as needed.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. let the soup simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.
- Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pot and place it on a cutting board. Use two forks to shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Return the shredded chicken to the pot.
- Add the cream cheese to the pot and stir until it's fully melted. Next, stir in the grated cheddar cheese until melted.
- Stir in the fresh cilantro and season to taste. Serve the soup with extra chopped cilantro and your favorite toppings such as avocado slices, jalapeño slices or sour cream.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 349Total Fat: 21.5gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 90mgSodium: 877mgCarbohydrates: 29.6gFiber: 8gSugar: 14gProtein: 35.9g
Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.