Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Quinoa Soup


So I guess it’s time to get back to real food instead of sharing desserts all week. December was nice with the cookies nearly every day and the sweets galore but I guess it’s a good thing it only happens one month out of the year. Now to get back to easy, healthy dinners. Lately I’m loving this Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Quinoa Soup! I’ve made it probably 6 times already (mostly in December to help balance out all the cookies I was eating, plus I didn’t have a lot of time to make dinner since I was baking so much). The first few times I made it with chicken thighs and corn tortillas then I decided I didn’t love the texture of the chicken thighs so I switched to chicken breasts and I wanted to make it even healthier so I swapped the corn tortillas for quinoa. I also added in some avocados because avocados always go well in Mexican soup.

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Quinoa Soup | Cooking Classy

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Quinoa Soup | Cooking Classy

This is one of the easiest soups ever! It requires minimal prep it’s mostly a dump and cook kind of recipe. You don’t even need to chop the onion (and I actually recommend that you don’t because not only does it save time to just split it in half but after only 6 hours of cooking the onions didn’t seem to be fully softened yet when I did chop them up. So by halving it you still get all the nice depth of flavor from the onion without the extra effort or added crunch). If you’ve already got cooked quinoa on hand you can use that instead of using dry, I’d add 2 cups and also I’d reduce the broth by 1 cup. Do note that even by using a mild enchilada sauce some of you may still find it a little spicy, some are more sensitive to chili powders than others. My family still loves it, even my kids it’s not to spicy for them but I thought I better note just in case.


Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Quinoa Soup | Cooking Classy

I hope you love this soup and maybe it will even become a regular in your rotation. I kind of forgot about quinoa for like a year but I’m totally back on a quinoa kick again. I’m wanting to add more of a variety of grains into my diet too like eating more farro, barley, bulgur, millet etc. Baby steps to a healthier diet :). I don’t think I’d ever be fully considered one whose on a healthy diet though as I’m eating dessert every day. Oh well. It’s just one of those things I enjoy in life and don’t want to give up. I can go down to like one snack size candy bar for dessert but I draw the line there. I’m glad though that this healthy soup is full of so much goodness that I feel okay about a little dessert afterwards.

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Quinoa Soup | Cooking Classy


Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Quinoa Soup

5 from 3 votes

Yield: About 5 servings


  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups canned mild red enchilada sauce*
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 tsp ancho chili powder**
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/4 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 medium onion , halved from root to tip and peeled (also barely chop root off so onion stays intact)
  • 2 cloves garlic , pressed through a garlic crusher
  • 2/3 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn***
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 avocado , diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Toppings:
  • Shredded Mexican blend cheese , sour cream and tortilla chips


  1. To a 6-quart slow cooker add chicken broth, enchilada sauce, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add in chicken, onion and garlic. Cover and cook on low heat until chicken has cooked through and is tender, about 6 hours, while adding in quinoa during the last 30 minutes of cooking (so at about 5 1/2 hours add quinoa). Remove onion and discard. Remove chicken and dice or shred.
  2. Add corn and black beans to soup and heat through. Return chicken to soup and stir in avocado and cilantro. Serve warm with cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips.
  3. *I've tested La Victoria and Las Palmas since they were chili based sauces. I liked La Victoria but not Las Palmas it tasted almost bitter. Next I'd like to try Old El Paso, if you do try it please let me know how you like it. I think it may need more chili powder though as it is tomato based.
  4. **Adjust this to taste. You may want a little more depending on the brand of enchilada sauce used some are more chili pepper based than others.
  5. ***You can warm this in the microwave in water first then drain if you don't wait to wait for it to warm in the soup.
  6. Recipe source: Cooking Classy


  • Sara @ Last Night’s Feast: Perfect winter dinner! January 4, 2017 at 2:18pm Reply

  • Coco: This looks awesome!! Do you know how long I would need to cook it if I didn’t add chicken? We only eat fish. Thanks so much!! January 4, 2017 at 8:32pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’d still cook it for maybe 3 hours to allow the flavors to meld – and I’d finely mince the garlic. Then also I’d up the quinoa and maybe even the tomatoes. January 4, 2017 at 9:40pm Reply

  • Jessica: This looks so good! And I totally hear ya on not being able to cut out dessert, ha! Do you think this could be made on the stovetop? I don’t have a slow cooker. January 5, 2017 at 8:14am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Glad I’m not alone on that :). And yes you could definitely make this on the stove top as well. January 6, 2017 at 12:29am Reply

  • michele: I have this in the crock pot now. I cannot wait to see how it turns out. I am going to let my husband indulge in chips, cheese, and sour cream since he has been such a trouper about our diet. I am going to sub plain greek yogurt for sour cream on mine. January 6, 2017 at 3:16pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I hope you both love it Michele! January 6, 2017 at 9:55pm Reply

  • Irene garcia: This recipe look so yummy I must make this ASAP….it’s almost like tortilla soup but better for you because of the more vegy in it… January 6, 2017 at 5:01pm Reply

  • Katie: This looks delicious! Why do you add the 1/2 onion whole without dicing it? Is it just for flavor? January 8, 2017 at 8:49am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes just for flavor. The onions don’t become fully softened by 6 hours so I prefer to leave it whole. January 8, 2017 at 8:23pm Reply

  • Stacey Carr: Do you eventually chop the onion and return it to the pot? Mine’s cooking right now! January 8, 2017 at 11:45am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Sorry, I forgot to mention, just discard it at the end. I hope you love this soup Stacey! January 8, 2017 at 8:21pm Reply

  • DeeCee: WINNER< WINNER, chicken dinner…fixed this last night and it was delish. My husband couldn't get enough. He said it reminded him of the soup at Qdoba but mine was better. **I didn't have the avocado…oh well next time. January 9, 2017 at 1:54pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m glad it was enjoyed DeeCee! January 13, 2017 at 3:14pm Reply

  • Lindsay: Another wonderful recipe! Thank you! Is this soup freezeable to have laterr? January 9, 2017 at 6:27pm Reply

  • Lindsay: Another wonderful recipe!! It’s wonderful! Is this soup freezeable to enjoy later? Thank you! January 9, 2017 at 6:29pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I haven’t tried yet but it should breeze just fine without the avocado. January 9, 2017 at 9:53pm Reply

  • Nancy: I used old El Paso enchilada sauce and it was fabulous! I tried the ones you mentioned and have never liked them. Old El Paso is the best! Wonderful soup!!! January 10, 2017 at 2:49pm Reply

  • santvani: Had last night! One of our faves! January 10, 2017 at 7:31pm Reply

  • carol: Made this a couple of days ago – delish! The soup thickened up a bit after the 1st day so it is more stew-like now …. So good! January 15, 2017 at 5:46am Reply

  • Paula: Is this real spicy? My husband and I don’t like spice. What could you recommend to leave out to make it less spicy. January 31, 2017 at 2:51pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: The spiciness mostly just depends on the enchilada sauce so find a really mild one that you like. I hope you try it and love it! February 1, 2017 at 12:59pm Reply

  • Jacquie: Hi Jaclyn…we had this for dinner tonight and it’s absolutely delicious. I would love to share it on my blog…
    Love your blog and recipes, I’m anxious to try so many of them. Thanks for sharing. March 2, 2017 at 3:06pm Reply

  • Cindy: I’ve made this several times, and we love it! It freezes very well too. I’ve started Weight Watchers and am trying to figure points. Do you know how many servings and/ or serving size? Thanks so much! June 26, 2017 at 8:03pm Reply

  • Ann: This looks delicious! Our problem over here is that because of acid reflux, we can’t do anything spicy. How could I make this without the enchilada sauce? October 8, 2017 at 5:43pm Reply

    • Ann: Any ideas for me? October 30, 2017 at 10:46am Reply

  • Leo: Tried this today and it was the best soup I have ever made! Thank you for sharing! October 27, 2017 at 1:35am Reply

    • Jaclyn: What a compliment! Thanks Leo!! October 27, 2017 at 1:43pm Reply

  • Debbie: Made it last night and we loved it! October 30, 2017 at 6:22am Reply

    • Jaclyn: So happy to hear it! Thanks for your review Debbie! October 30, 2017 at 10:29am Reply

  • Maxine: How long do you think it would take to make on a stove top? Any other tips? I don’t have a slow cooker but this is making my mouth water December 30, 2017 at 2:32pm Reply

  • Kim: This was in a restaurant/Cali – nurses made. No meat chicken but blk beans. Was so so good! Fresh ingredients not fussy. But a cool change and a must! Lime chips toasteeee! In oven for a few seconds. Pops the flavor even more…Chicken Avocado Soup too! Get in the fresh Food move! (Nse parents owned restaurant) Was a cute owned food chain? March 2, 2018 at 1:06pm Reply

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