Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup

September 28, 2019

Enchilada Soup – all the flavors of an enchilada with a deliciously spiced red sauce in comforting and hearty soup form! It’s loaded with lean shredded chicken, creamy black beans, tender corn, sweet tomatoes and it’s all bathing in a creamy, cheesy broth. What’s not to love?

Single serving of cheesy chicken enchilada soup in a bowl.

Enchilada Soup

With the freezing cold season not too far around the corner this most definitely a recipe your going to want to add to your list to try! It’s just like the kind you get at restaurants and it’s perfectly easy to make (especially if you take the shortcut and just add leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken).

You can’t go wrong with these enchilada flavors. Delicious and robust chili spices and tangy, rich cheese were a match meant to be. There’s just something so perfect about that combination.

Enchiladas are one of the all time best foods if you ask me, so why not transform those flavors it into a soul warming soup to enjoy on chilly days? It only makes sense right?

This is just one of those soups everyone can agree on and after first bite you will be craving it time and time again, it’s addictive!

Start out soup season on a great note with this perfectly delicious Cheesy Enchilada Soup!

chicken enchilada soup in a white pot

Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup Ingredients:

  • Olive oil – Used for sauting. Vegetable oil will work great too.
  • Yellow onion and garlic – These start the soup out with lots of fresh flavor.
  • Low sodium chicken broth – If you want to make the soup even better try it with a homemade broth.
  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts – A great substitute here, which I like to use, is to replace chicken breasts with shredded rotisserie chicken (2 cups), add it at the end of cooking soup so it doesn’t end up overcooked.
  • Canned diced tomatoes with green chilies – Be sure to get “mild” unless you want a really spicy soup. The soup is already a little spicy as is.
  • Tomato sauce – In a pinch 1/3 cup tomato paste mixed with 2/3 cup water can be substituted.
  • Chili powder, ancho chili powder, cumin, and coriander – These spices give the soup that classic enchilada flavor. If you don’t have ancho chili powder just use more regular chili powder.
  • Masa harina – This is a finely ground corn flour commonly used in latin cooking. Here it gives the soup that corn tortilla flavor you get from enchiladas.
  • Frozen corn – In my opinion frozen corn tastes so much better than canned but if you don’t mind canned that will work here too.
  • Black beans – Be sure to rinse to remove excess sodium before adding to soup.
  • Shredded sharp cheddar cheese – Use freshly grated as it will melt into soup better than the powder coated pre-shredded.

Topping Ideas for Enchilada Soup:

I know we’ve already got a pretty lengthy list of ingredients above so I will say toppings are totally optional. If you pick just one I recommend tortilla chips or tortilla strips. They add some textural contrast and a delicious flavor. Other good toppings here are chopped cilantro, fresh diced tomatoes, cheese, and diced avocado.

close up image of cheesy chicken enchilada soup

Is There a Substitute for Masa Harina?

Unfortunately no. While you could thicken the soup with flour you’ll be lacking the corn flour flavor you get from the masa harina (which is traditional to enchiladas from the corn tortillas they are made with, which are mostly made up of masa harina).

You can usually find it in the latin food section of grocery stores. If not it’s available online.

How to Make Enchilada Soup:

  • Saute onion and garlic in a large pot.
  • Add 2 cans chicken broth and chicken and simmer to cook through. Set chicken aside, rest briefly then shred.
  • While chicken is resting, pour canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder, ancho chili powder, cumin and coriander into soup.
  • In a mixing bowl whisk together remaining 1 can broth with masa harina until well blended and no lumps remain. Pour into soup and stir.
  • Simmer until soup has thickened. Stir in black beans and corn and heat through.
  • Mix in cheddar cheese off heat. Stir in up to 1 cup water to thin slightly if desired.
  • Serve warm with desired toppings.

Ladle full of chicken enchilada soup with toppings.

More Delicious Mexican Inspired Soups to Try:

Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup

5 from 3 votes

A must try soup recipe! This soup is filled with hearty chicken, tender black beans, flavorful spices, sweet corn and tomatoes, and a cheesy delicious broth.

Servings: 6
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped (1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic minced (1 tbsp)
  • 3 (14.5 oz) cans low-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts*, pounded to an even thickness
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 2 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 1/2 tsp ancho chili powder**
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 cup masa harina
  • 1 1/4 cups frozen corn
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 1 3/4 cup (7 oz) shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Optional Topping Ideas

  • Shredded cheddar or monterey jack cheese , tortilla strips or crushed tortilla chips, diced Roma tomatoes, diced avocado, chopped cilantro, sour cream

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and saute 2 minutes then add garlic and saute 1 minute longer.

  2. Pour in 2 cans of the chicken broth, add chicken and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until chicken has cooked through (165 in center of each piece), about 10 - 15 minutes.

  3. Remove chicken to a cutting board and rest 5 minutes then shred or chop.

  4. While chicken is resting, pour canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder, ancho chili powder, cumin and coriander into soup.

  5. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together remaining 1 can chicken broth with masa harina until well blended and no lumps remain. Pour into soup and stir.

  6. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook stirring occasionally until soup has thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in black beans and corn and heat through.

  7. Off heat stir in cheddar cheese, mixing until melted. Stir in up to 1 cup water to thin slightly if desired. Serve warm with desired toppings.

Recipe Notes

  • *2 1/2 cups cooked rotisserie chicken or leftover cooked chicken works great here too, just wait until the end to add it.
  • **2 1/2 tsp more regular chili powder can be substituted for ancho chili powder. Note that it can be a little spicy.
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Tex-Mex
Keyword: Chicken Enchilada Soup
Author: Jaclyn
Recipe originally shared August 2015.