This spicy, hearty, and EASY Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup is a low-fuss, easy soup recipe that’s ready to be loaded with toppings! With a smoky enchilada base, juicy chicken, and beans, it’s here to spice up your evenings all fall and winter long.
Why You’ll Love This Easy Chicken Enchilada Soup Recipe
- It’s Nourishing, Not Boring. If you think wholesome, nutritious soup tastes bland, this recipe is here to change your mind. This delightful crockpot enchilada soup is healthy yet totally comforting with tender chicken, creamy beans, tasty veggies, robust spices, and a little kick to clear your sinuses (it’s not too spicy though).
- It’s a Delicious, Low-Fuss Dinner. Like my Chicken Tortilla Soup and White Chicken Chili, this soup is incredibly flavorful, scrumptious, and simple. It’s a “dump-and-go” crockpot recipe—with minimal precooking required (this Crockpot Lasagna Soup is another great low-fuss option).
- It’s Great for a Crowd. Whether you’re prepping for a large group of people (like a game day party or potluck) or simply hoping to get ahead on meal prep, this slow cooker chicken enchilada soup is a fabulous place to start (as is my Healthy Turkey Chili). This recipe makes a hearty six servings, freezes like a dream, and can be doubled. Everyone will love it!
5 Star Review
“This soup is so yummy! I just had a bowl and had to let you know how great it is. Thank you for sharing this.”— MIchelle —
How to Make Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup
- Chicken. Plump, lean chicken breasts become ultra-tender as they slow cook in the crockpot and pack this soup with hearty, healthy protein.
- Onion + Garlic. For a little zip and zing.
- Cumin + Chipotle Chili Powder. Add depth and lend a robust smoky flavor to the enchilada soup.
- Enchilada Sauce. Either make your own Enchilada Sauce or go with your favorite store-bought variety (I love this same shortcut in my Chile Verde Pork).
- Chicken Stock. The primary cooking liquid for this crockpot chicken enchilada soup.
- Cornmeal. Helps thicken the soup slightly while adding a mild masa (corn) flavor.
- Black Beans. Provides texture and an extra dose of plant-based protein.
- Corn. A can of Mexican corn is my go-to for this soup because it provides extra spice and flavor.
- Fire-Roasted Tomatoes and Green Chiles. These two convenient canned options give instant complexity.
- Sugar. Balances out the acidity of the tomatoes and the heat of the spices.
- Add the Chicken. Top with salt and pepper.
- Sauté the Onions. Add the garlic and spices.
- Combine. Add the onion mixture, chicken stock, and cornmeal to the slow cooker.
- Stir. Add the enchilada sauce and remaining ingredients.
- Cook. Cover and cook on LOW for 2 to 3 hours.
- Shred the Chicken. Two forks work well for this.
- Stir. Add the shredded chicken and sugar to the slow cooker.
- Serve. Add desired toppings. ENJOY!
Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup Toppings
I love to smother the soup in all manners of tasty toppings, which I insist you do, as it really makes the dish. Here are the best toppings for enchilada soup:
- Sliced avocado or Guacamole
- Shredded Mexican cheese
- Plain Greek yogurt (my swap for sour cream)
- Crushed tortilla chips (or try my homemade baked tortilla chips from this Crock Pot Healthy Nachos recipe)
- Diced jalapeños or Pickled Jalapeños
- Fresh cilantro
- Chopped green onions or Pickled Red Onions
- To Store. Leftover crockpot chicken enchilada soup may be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days in a covered container.
- To Reheat. Soup may be warmed on the stovetop or in the microwave until steaming.
- To Freeze. Crockpot chicken enchilada soup may be kept frozen in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Skillet. A high-quality skillet, like this one with anodized aluminum, is essential for any kitchen.
- Slow Cooker. I’ve owned this one for years and love that once the timer is up, it automatically switches to “keep warm,” so my food stays hot without overcooking and is ready for me when I get home.
- Ladle. The best way to transfer soups and stews (like this Spanish Chicken Stew) to storage containers and bowls.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- For the Thick Soup Lovers. If you enjoy a thicker soup consistency (us too!), follow these steps: After removing the chicken, transfer 2 big ladlefuls (about 2 cups) of the soup to a blender and puree until smooth (or use an immersion blender). Stir it back into the slow cooker. This added step makes the soup richer with a more complex flavor too.
- Use Low Sodium Broth. The sodium content of homemade and store-bought enchilada sauces can vary. Choosing a reduced-sodium broth ensures your soup will not become too salty when combined with the enchilada sauce.
- Don’t Overcook the Chicken. Like my Crock Pot Shredded Chicken, the chicken in this recipe is fully cooked when it registers 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Don’t let it cook too long, or it may become tough and dry.
Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup
- 1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or thighs)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus additional to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle chili powder (increase to 1/2 teaspoon if you prefer more of a kick)
- 3 cloves garlic minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can reduced sodium chicken broth or stock
- 3 tablespoons cornmeal
- 1 1/4 cups red enchilada sauce homemade or store-bought (about 10 ounces)
- 1 (15-ounce) can reduced sodium black beans rinsed and drained
- 2 (15-ounce) can fire-roasted tomatoes in their juices
- 1 (15-ounce) can Mexican-style corn drained or 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
- 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles drained
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- For serving: tortilla chips and/or nonfat plain Greek yogurt or sour cream, diced avocado, chopped cilantro, shredded cheese
- Place the chicken in the bottom of a 6-quart or large slow cooker. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium. Add the onion and cook until softened and beginning to turn translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the cumin, chipotle chile powder, and garlic. Let cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, then transfer to the slow cooker with the chicken.
- In a mixing bowl or large liquid measure cup, whisk together the chicken broth and the cornmeal. Add to the slow cooker. The cornmeal will likely sink to the bottom of the bowl—simply scrape it out and into the slow cooker.
- To the slow cooker, add the enchilada sauce, beans, diced tomatoes, corn, and green chiles. Stir (don't disturb the chicken—just do your best to combine the ingredients around it), then cover the slow cooker. Cook on LOW for 2 to 3 hours, until the chicken is fully cooked through and registers 165°F on an instant-read thermometer.
- Remove the chicken to a cutting board and shred using two forks. (See notes section below for tips on thickening the soup, if desired.)
- Stir in the sugar, then return the chicken to the slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover and let rest 5 minutes. Taste and add additional salt as desired (some enchilada sauces may be saltier than others). Enjoy hot, with toppings of choice.
- FOR A THICKER SOUP: After removing the chicken, transfer 2 big ladlefuls (about 2 cups) of the soup to a blender are puree until smooth (or use an immersion blender to puree it slightly). Stir the blended soup back into the slow cooker. This added step makes the soup richer with a more complex flavor.
- TO STORE: Leftover crockpot chicken enchilada soup may be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days in a covered container.
- TO REHEAT: Soup may be warmed on the stovetop or in the microwave until steaming.
- TO FREEZE: Crockpot chicken enchilada soup may be kept frozen in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
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Frequently Asked Questions
I have not made this soup with beef before so it would be an experiment. If you try it, I suggest browning ground beef with the onions and garlic before adding to the crockpot. You could also try swapping the chicken for browned pieces of beef stew meat. Note that the cooking time will likely need to be adjusted.
I have not made this recipe in an Instant Pot before so it would be an experiment. If you’re looking for a spicy, Instant Pot soup, try this Instant Pot Chili.
The overall spice level of this soup will largely depend on the enchilada sauce you use and the brand of chipotle chili powder you select. If you prefer a more mild soup, you can reduce the amount of chipotle chili powder and use mild enchilada sauce.