This creamy chicken enchilada soup is cheesy, comfort food made on the stovetop or in your slow cooker or instant pot for an easy, family-friendly meal the whole crew will love!
Why This Recipe Works
Simple ingredients — The ingredients in this enchilada soup recipe couldn’t be any simpler. Chicken, a few spices, some cream cheese, canned beans and corn, enchilada sauce, tomato sauce, and chicken broth — that’s about it and you probably have most of the ingredients on hand right now!
Kid-approved — My kids can be picky but this is not a soup they’ll turn away. In fact, sometimes I get a bit miffed when they eat more than one serving because that just means less for me tomorrow!
Customizable — I mentioned my kids love this dish, and that’s mostly because it’s tasty but not spicy. That’s where the customization comes in. I keep it mild for them but then add crushed red pepper flakes and hot sauce to mine. Sliced jalapenos work well too. You can also change up the kind of beans you put in, skip the corn, use a can of chili-ready tomatoes, try out some chipotles — really, anything you like to make it yours.
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts — You can also stir in leftover shredded chicken or rotisserie chicken if you prefer.
- Chicken Broth — I think low-sodium chicken broth is the way to go, then just add salt later to taste.
- Cumin and Cayenne Pepper — For flavor!
- Cream Cheese — I use light cream cheese to lighten the fat content of this dish a bit but you could also use full-fat cream cheese too.
- Black Beans — Any kind of canned beans is great in this chicken enchilada soup recipe. You’ll want to pour them out and rinse them off first before adding to the slow cooker.
- Yellow Corn — I use a low-salt version of canned corn kernels. Again, rinse and drain before adding to the soup.
- Enchilada Sauce — You can use one large can of enchilada sauce or you can use two of one kind and one of another, or just use one 30-ounce can.
- Tomato Sauce — Any kind of name brand tomato sauce is great in this recipe.
- Chicken Broth — Chicken broth will be more flavorful in this recipe but you can also substitute water if you don’t have any broth on hand.
- Optional Toppings: And now for the best part of any soup: the toppings! My favorites to add to this cream enchilada soup include tomatoes, shredded cheese, tortilla chip strips, avocados, and cilantro.
Here’s How You Make It
- Heat the oil in a large lidded saucepan or Dutch oven set over a medium high heat. Fry the onions until soft but not yet starting to color with a pinch of salt. Stir in the minced garlic. Cook for a further minute, then add the cumin. Cook for a minute more. (photo 1)
- Add the remaining ingredients (chicken broth, enchilada sauce, tomato sauce, black beans, corn and the cayenne pepper). Stir, then add the chicken breasts. Bring the soup to a simmer, then cook on medium with the lid on for 20 minutes. (photo 2/3)
- Remove the chicken breasts and shred the meat with two forks. (photo 4)
- Whisk in the cream cheese until melted into the soup and return the shredded chicken. Cook for a further 5 minutes until the chicken is heated through. (photo 4)
- Season to taste with fresh lime juice and salt before serving with your choice of toppings. (unpictured)
Expert Tips and Tricks
- As I mentioned above, when it comes to adding the enchilada sauce, I like to use 2 10-ounce cans of mild and 1 10-ounce medium instead of one large can. You can also make your own homemade enchilada sauce.
- This creamy enchilada soup will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Shredding chicken tip: Use a hand mixer! If you find shredding with two forks too tedious, then you can take the chicken out of the slow cooker, put it in a deep bowl and use a hand mixer to shred it, then place it back into the slow cooker. Just be careful though — the chicken is hot!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can freeze chicken enchilada soup. But, any cheese you add to the soup when cooking tends to separate in the freezer. For this reason, I suggest you make the enchilada soup recipe as directed but omit the cream cheese. Freeze. Then, when you’re ready to eat the soup, simply thaw and add the cream cheese to the soup when you reheat it, making sure to stir it in thoroughly.
More Delicious Soup Recipes
Did you make this recipe? AMAZING! Be sure to snap a photo and tag me on social, then come back here to rate the recipe!
Creamy Chicken Enchilada Soup Recipe
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion - diced
- 1-2 teaspoons salt - to taste
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 15-ounce can mild enchilada sauce
- 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 15-ounce can black beans - drained and lightly rinsed
- 1 15-ounce can corn - drained and lightly rinsed
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 8 ounces cream cheese - softened
- juice of 1 lime
- tortilla strips, sliced avocado, cilantro, shredded cheese or crumbled queso fresco, sliced jalapeno - optional toppings
- Heat the oil in a large lidded saucepan or Dutch oven set over a medium high heat. Fry the onions until soft but not yet starting to color with a pinch of salt. Stir in the minced garlic. Cook for a further minute, then add the cumin. Cook for a minute more.
- Add the chicken broth, enchilada sauce, tomato sauce, black beans, corn and the cayenne pepper. Stir, then add the chicken breasts. Bring the soup to a simmer, then cook on medium with the lid on for 20 minutes.
- Remove the chicken breasts and shred the meat with two forks.
- Whisk in the cream cheese until melted into the soup and return the shredded chicken. Cook for a further 5 minutes until the chicken is heated through.
- Season to taste with fresh lime juice and salt before serving with your choice of toppings.