For those nights when you’re craving enchiladas but don’t have the energy for all that rolling, I present to you Chicken Enchilada Soup. Black beans, chicken, and corn make it hearty and satisfying, while a smoky, spicy broth gives it Tex-Mex flair. Add your favorite toppings and grab a spoon!
Why You’ll Love This Easy Chicken Enchilada Soup Recipe
- Based on a Reader Favorite. Love my Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup but don’t want to wait around for the slow cooker? Problem solved: make this creamy chicken enchilada soup recipe! You’ll get the same bold flavors, minus the wait.
- Big Tex-Mex Flavor. Taking its inspiration from Chicken Tortilla Soup and my Chicken Enchilada Skillet, this enchilada soup recipe is smoky, spicy, earthy, and zesty—pretty much everything you want in a Tex-Mex dinner.
- Unbelievably Fast. Some soup recipes need to simmer away for hours to reach perfection, but not this chicken enchilada soup! We’re talking 10 meager minutes of prep time, 15 minutes of cooking time, and dinner’s ready to go.
- Healthy and Satisfying. We’ve got lean protein thanks to the chicken and beans, along with plenty of vegetables. This adds up to a soup that’s good for you and that will leave you (comfortably) full—it’s a soup that’s worthy of a meal!
How to Make Chicken Enchilada Soup
- Unsalted Butter. Sautéing the vegetables in butter rather than oil adds a richness to the soup.
- Vegetables. Yellow onion, red bell pepper, celery stalks. Basically, a mirepoix plus red bell pepper.
- Garlic. You can’t do soup or Tex-Mex without garlic.
- Chipotle Pepper. You’ll need some peppers and some of the smoky sauce they’re packed in.
- Seasonings. Ground cumin, smoked paprika, ground oregano, chili powder, and kosher salt.
- Low-Sodium Chicken Broth. Using low-sodium broth gives you more control over the flavor of the finished dish.
- Tomato Sauce. Thickens and flavors the broth.
- Black Beans. Drain and rinse them well.
- Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts or Thighs. Whichever option you prefer. Thighs will be a little juicer.
- Frozen Corn. No need to shuck fresh; canned will work also.
- Fresh Lime Juice. Brightens things up, adding tangy flavor to our chicken enchilada soup.
- Toppings. Cilantro, avocado, tortilla strips, shredded Mexican blend cheese, queso fresco—go to town!
- Cook the Vegetables. Until softened.
- Add the Seasonings. Cook until fragrant.
- Bring to a Simmer. Add 3 cups of chicken broth and tomato sauce; bring to a simmer.
- Cook the Chicken. Add the chicken, return to a simmer, reduce the heat to low and cook partially covered until the chicken reaches 165 degrees F.
- Shred. Use two forks to shred the chicken, or you can dice it.
- Simmer Again. Stir in the remaining ingredients, and let them get cozy.
- Finish. Stir in the lime juice, then season to taste. Ladle into bowls, add your desired toppings, and ENJOY!
- Make It Creamy. After removing the soup from heat, stir in plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream) to make an extra creamy chicken enchilada soup.
- Use Cooked Chicken. You can substitute the uncooked chicken for rotisserie chicken or leftover Baked Chicken Breast. Skip the step of cooking the chicken in the broth and simply add the pre-cooked chicken with the beans and corn.
- Make It Meatless. Swap the chicken with extra beans and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth to make this a meatless enchilada soup.
- To Store. Refrigerate chicken enchilada soup in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
- To Reheat. Heat up leftovers on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave.
- To Freeze. Freeze this soup in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating according to the instructions above.
Meal Prep Tip
Get a head start on this recipe by dicing the vegetables a day or two beforehand. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook.
What to Serve with Chicken Enchilada Soup
- Salad. Pair your chicken enchilada soup with a Mexican-inspired salad like Black Bean Corn Salad or Taco Salad.
- Cornbread. Serve Sweet Potato Cornbread, Mexican Cornbread, or Jalapeno Cornbread on the side with your soup.
- Tex-Mex Favorites. Make a family-style dinner and pass around other restaurant-style faves like guacamole and chips.
- Margaritas. You just made a delicious dinner, so treat yourself to a Spicy Margarita or Peach Margarita!
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Dutch Oven. A kitchen multitasker perfect for making this chicken enchilada soup.
- Ladle. An essential for serving soup.
- Garlic Press. I love this garlic press because it’s easy to pop out the garlic remnants after you’re done using it.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Thaw the Corn Fast. Forget to thaw the corn? It happens to the best of us! Just place it in a colander and run warm water over it until it’s no longer frozen.
- Use an Instant-Read Thermometer for the Chicken. Whether it’s Cowboy Chicken and Baked BBQ Chicken, or this chicken enchilada soup, an instant-read thermometer is the best way to know when your chicken is done—and keep it from over-cooking.
- Make the Soup Thicker. If you’d like, you can remove a cup or two of the soup from the pot, puree it in a blender, and then add it back to the pot.
- Adjust the Spice Level as Needed. This isn’t a spicy soup, but it does have a little zip to it. To make it milder, dial back (or omit) the chili powder and chipotle pepper.
Chicken Enchilada Soup
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 medium yellow onion diced (about 2 cups)
- 1 red bell pepper diced (a scant 2 cups)
- 3 celery stalks chopped (about 1 cup)
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon minced chipotle peppers in adobo plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt plus additional to taste
- 3 to 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth divided
- 1 15- ounce can tomato sauce
- 2 15- ounce cans black beans rinsed and drained
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
- 2 cups frozen corn thawed
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice from about 1 lime
- Toppings: cilantro, avocado, tortilla strips, shredded Mexican blend cheese, queso fresco
- In a Dutch oven or similar large pot, heat the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and celery. Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 7 minutes.
- Add the garlic, chipotle pepper in adobo plus the sauce, cumin, paprika, oregano, chili powder, and salt. Cook for about 1 minute, until fragrant.
- Add 3 cups of the chicken broth and tomato sauce and bring to a simmer. Add the chicken, return to a simmer, then partially cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and let simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through (it should reach 165°F on an instant read thermometer). Transfer the chicken to a bowl or a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, shred it with two forks or dice into bite-sized pieces.
- To the pot, add the beans, corn, and chicken. If you’d like the soup a bit thinner, add the remaining 1 cup chicken broth. Let simmer 10 minutes minutes to warm everything through and allow the flavors to marry. Stir in the lime juice. Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot, loaded up with your toppings of choice.
- Feel free to use any kind of beans you like—kidney, Great Northern…or a mix!
- This recipe is not overly spicy as written, but if members of your household are sensitive to spice, you can omit the chili powder and some or all of the chipotle pepper in adobo for less/no spice.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate chicken enchilada soup in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
- TO REHEAT: Heat up leftovers on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze this soup in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating according to the instructions above.
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