One of the unpleasant secrets of adulthood is that, when you are sick, the person who most often stays home to feed you Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup, refill your water glass, and make sure you take your medicine on time is….you.
It might sound silly, but I miss grade-school sick days. I’d curl up on the couch to watch Nickelodeon, and my mom would fix my favorite meal: grilled cheese and Campbell’s tomato soup.
Sure, I’d have to complete my homework eventually, but being sick when I was younger felt more like a day off…especially that one time I held the thermometer up to the light bulb to heat it above 98.6, and it worked. (Sorry, mom.)
Being sick as an adult feels more like a major inconvenience. “Dear Body, Don’t you know I have a [work deadline, important presentation, 40-million things to do besides lay around pathetically and blow my nose]?”
Healing and Comforting Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup
Currently, I’m battling a wicked cold, which if you follow me on Instagram stories, you’ve likely heard via my super stuffed-up, frog-like voice.
Whenever I’m sick, the only foods that sound appealing to me are carbs in some form, usually breakfast cereal, and vanilla ice cream.
I know, however, that those two along cannot give my body what it needs to fight away the illness.
Effortless recipes like today’s soup are perfect for when you’re:
- feeling sick
- are pressed for time
- need dinner waiting for you when you arrive home after a long day
Beyond chopping the onions and garlic, this is a “dump and go” crockpot recipe —no precooking of any ingredients required.
It takes a few minutes to measure the spices, but they are absolutely worth it. Toss everything into your slow cooker, walk away, and you’ll have a nourishing dinner waiting for you when you return.
I was torn as to whether to name this recipe “Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup” or “Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup,” but I opted for the latter, because the spices and adobo chilis remind me of the smoky flavors of red enchilada sauce.
No matter what you call it, slow cooker chicken enchilada soup is an easy, warming meal that’s ideal for anytime you are feeling under the weather, or for when the weather itself is too chilly for your liking.
(If you are looking for a more classic chicken noodle soup, check out the recipe I posted at almost this exact same time last year, Healthy Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup. Why? Because, ironically, I was sick then too.)
What Do You Eat with Enchilada Soup?
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 a few of my favorite toppings and sides:
- Toppings. My favorites are sliced avocado, cheese, and plain Greek yogurt (my swap for sour cream), though crushed homemade baked tortilla chips or even diced jalapenos wouldn’t be remiss.
- Cornbread. What could be better than a side of Cheesy Jalapeno Cornbread or Mexican Cornbread?
- Margarita. Pour yourself a Skinny Margarita, and call it complete!
Tools Used to Make This Soup
- 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 over cooking 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.
I think my body dislikes the first week of January, and I should head to the tropics at this time next year.
The crockpot chicken enchilada soup can join. Nasty cold, please stay at home.
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 stock divided
- 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 cans 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 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 2 cups of 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 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.
- Remove the chicken to a cutting board and shred using two forks. (See notes section 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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