This spicy, hearty, and HEALTHY Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup is a low-fuss, easy soup recipe that’s ready to be loaded with toppings! It’s here to spice up your evenings all fall and winter long.
One of the unpleasant truths of adulthood is that, when you come down with a cold or the flu, the person who most often stays home to feed you your favorite soup (like this comforting Chicken Tortilla Soup), rub your back, and make sure you take your medicine on time is….you.
Gone are the good ol’ days when you could curl up on the couch, watch Nickelodeon, and your mom would serve you endless bowls of Campbell’s tomato soup (or, if you were lucky, homemade Crockpot Tomato Soup).
“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?”
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 —
Effortless, easy soup recipes, like today’s crockpot chicken enchilada soup, were made for “adult” sick days…or really any time you need a low-fuss weeknight dinner!
- It’s a “dump-and-go” crockpot recipe—with minimal precooking required (this Crockpot Lasagna Soup is another great low-fuss option).
- Healthy yet totally comforting with tender chicken, robust spices, and a little kick to clear your sinuses.
- Slow cooker chicken enchilada soup reheats like a dream making it the BEST soup for leftovers. (Why does one grown-up sick day somehow equal 4 days of being behind at work?!)
How to Make Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup
Slow cooker chicken enchilada soup is an easy, warming meal that’s ideal for any time you are feeling under the weather, or for when the weather itself is too chilly for your liking.
Simply toss everything into your slow cooker, walk away, and you’ll have a nourishing dinner waiting for you when you return.
(For a more traditional sick day soup, try this Healthy Creamy Chicken Noodle 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 short cut in my Chile Verde Pork).
- Chicken Stock. The primary cooking liquid for this crockpot chicken enchilada soup that adds flavor and richness.
I recommend choosing a low-sodium chicken broth.
- The sodium content of homemade and storebought enchilada sauces can greatly vary.
- Choosing a reduced-sodium broth ensures your soup will not become too salty when combined with the enchilada sauce.
- Before serving, taste the soup and then feel free to add additional salt, to taste.
- 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.
The BEST Toppings for Chicken 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 ideas:
- Sliced avocado
- 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
- Add the chicken to the crockpot.
- In a skillet, sauté the onions, and add the garlic and spices.
- Transfer to the slow cooker along with the chicken stock and cornmeal.
- Add the enchilada sauce and remaining ingredients.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 2 to 3 hours.
- Remove the chicken to a cutting board and shred.
For a Thicker Soup: 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 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.
- Return the chicken to the crockpot, add the sugar, and stir to combine.
- Serve with desired toppings. ENJOY!
- 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.
Portion leftover soup into individual microwave-safe containers for an easy grab-and-go lunch option. This chicken enchilada soup is also delicious when served over a mound of cooked brown rice, quinoa, or farro.
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.
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.
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 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 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 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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