The Cozy Cook

Chicken Enchilada Soup

This Chicken Enchilada Soup can be made on the Stove Top or the Crock Pot and is easy to make with chicken breast, thighs, or leftover chicken! It’s creamy, it’s cheesy, and it’s made with simple ingredients. Perfect for cozy soup weather.

A soup pot full of Chicken Enchilada Soup with a spoon in it and cilantro in the background.

Chicken Enchilada Soup

This is definitely one of my favorite cozy soups to make in the Fall and Winter months. It’s fun to play around with different ingredients. I like to UP the spice factor with some spicy cheese and an extra pinch of cayenne, but you can steer clear of spicy ingredients if preferred and just keep it mild.

This is a great recipe to make with chicken breast, chicken thighs, or even leftover chicken. Check out how to make it below and don’t miss my PRO tips below!

How to Make It

See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

Sauté onions, peppers, and garlic in olive oil/butter until softened. Add seasonings, enchilada sauce, diced tomatoes, black beans, corn, hot sauce, chicken broth, and chicken. 

A soup pot with with ingredients being added to make chicken enchilada soup.

Boil gently for 15-20 minutes. Remove chicken and use 2 forks to shred. Return to soup. Add softened cream cheese and stir to combine.

Shredded chicken on a plate next to a bowl of chicken enchilada soup with cream cheese being added.

Stir in the shredded cheese and serve!

Adding cheese and combining with broth to make chicken enchilada soup.

Crock Pot Method

  • Soften onions, peppers, and garlic in butter on the stovetop. Transfer to Slow Cooker along with all remaining ingredients except for the shredded cheese, cream cheese, and garnishes.
  • Cook on low for 6 hours. (I recommend low heat to keep the chicken juicy and tender. Cooking it over higher heat makes it tougher. If necessary, it can be cooked for 4 hours on high.)
  • Turn off heat. Gradually mix in the softened cream cheese and shredded cheese and stir to incorporate.

Pro Tips

Cheese:

  • To soften the cream cheese quickly: Heat 2 cups of water in the microwave. Place cubed cream cheese in the microwave and close the door. Let it soften for 5 minutes.
  • Feel free to spice it up with 1/2 cup Cabot Hot Habanero Cheese or another kind of spicy cheese if you like heat. (This would be in place of the Monterey jack.)
  • Shred the cheese from a block, it will melt and taste much better than packaged shredded cheese.
  • Make sure the base isn’t too hot when the cheese is added or the dairy will separate and the consistency will be grainy.

Chicken:

  • Cooking the chicken: You can let the chicken simmer over very low heat for a longer period of time. This makes the chicken extra juicy and the broth extra flavorful. Bone-in chicken thighs may also be used and create a very flavorful broth. If you plan on simmering for an extended period of time, add the black beans and corn when you remove the chicken from the soup to shred it.
  • Using rotisserie or leftover chicken: 2 cups cooked chicken can also be used. You can add it at the same point as the chicken breast is added in the recipe and simmer for 15 minutes to let the flavors blend, but no need to bring it to a boil.

Enchilada Sauce:

  • An 8 oz. can of tomato sauce may be used as an alternative to enchilada sauce but I prefer the depth of flavor that enchilada sauce adds. My homemade enchilada sauce tastes great in this soup.
  • You can also try my Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe which is similar to this and doesn’t require any enchilada sauce.

Storage

  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. (This soup freezes well!)

A soup pot with Chicken Enchilada Soup and a spoon in it with cilantro on the side.

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A green soup pot filled with creamy Chicken Enchilada Soup.

Chicken Enchilada Soup

4.95 from 17 ratings
This EASY Chicken Enchilada Soup recipe can be made on the stove top or in the Crock Pot! Use chicken breast, chicken thighs, or leftover chicken along with simple pantry ingredients.

Ingredients

Seasonings

  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon mustard powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 1 pinch cayenne, optional

Soup

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced with seeds removed
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 10 oz. red enchilada sauce
  • 10 oz. diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
  • 15 oz. black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15 oz. canned whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce, optional
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 large boneless skinless chicken breast (or 2 small.), see notes if using cooked chicken
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, cubed and softened
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ½ cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded. (Can also use more cheddar.)

Instructions

  • Prep Work: Combine the seasonings and set aside. Take out the cream cheese and allow it to soften. (See notes for a quick way to do that.) Shred cheddar and Monterey jack cheese from a block and set aside.
  • Heat butter and olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and the peppers. Soften for 4 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
  • Add all remaining ingredients except for the cream cheese and shredded cheese.
  • Bring the soup to a gentle boil and allow the chicken to slowly cook through (a rapid boil will make it tough). About 15-20 minutes. Remove the chicken and use two forks to shred. Return it to the soup.
  • Reduce heat to low. Stir in the softened cream cheese until combined, then stir in the shredded cheese until melted.
  • Taste and add any additional seasonings as needed, then serve!

Notes

Cheese:
  • To soften the cream cheese quickly: Heat 2 cups of water in the microwave. Place cubed cream cheese in the microwave and close the door. Let it soften for 5 minutes.
  • Feel free to spice it up with 1/2 cup Cabot Hot Habanero Cheese or another kind of spicy cheese if you like heat. (This would be in place of the Monterey jack.)
  • Shred the cheese from a block, it will melt and taste much better than packaged shredded cheese.
  • Make sure the base isn't too hot when the cheese is added or the dairy will separate and the consistency will be grainy.

Chicken:
  • Cooking the chicken: You can let the chicken simmer over very low heat for a longer period of time. This makes the chicken extra juicy and the broth extra flavorful. Bone-in chicken thighs may also be used. Any variety of bone-in chicken creates a very flavorful broth as well. If you plan on simmering for an extended period of time, add the black beans and corn when you remove the chicken from the soup to shred it.
  • Using rotisserie or leftover chicken: 2 cups cooked chicken can also be used. You can add it at the same point as the chicken breast is added in the recipe and simmer for 15 minutes to let the flavors blend, but no need to bring it to a boil.

Enchilada Sauce:
  • An 8 oz. can of tomato sauce may be used as an alternative to enchilada sauce but I prefer the depth of flavor that enchilada sauce adds. My homemade enchilada sauce tastes great in this soup.
  • You can also try my Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe which is similar to this and doesn’t require any enchilada sauce.

Crock Pot Method
  • Soften onions, peppers, and garlic in butter on the stovetop. Transfer to Slow Cooker along with all remaining ingredients except for the shredded cheese, cream cheese, and garnishes.
  • Cook on low for 6 hours. (I recommend low heat to keep the chicken juicy and tender. Cooking it over higher heat makes it tougher. If necessary, it can be cooked for 4 hours on high.)
  • Turn off heat. Gradually mix in the softened cream cheese and shredded cheese and stir to incorporate.

Storage
  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. (This soup freezes well!)

Nutrition

Calories: 242kcal, Carbohydrates: 23g, Protein: 13g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 36mg, Sodium: 697mg, Potassium: 433mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 670IU, Vitamin C: 14mg, Calcium: 154mg, Iron: 2mg

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42 comments on “Chicken Enchilada Soup”

  1. I tried this last night. Out of this world ~ one of my favorites!!!

    • That’s so great to hear Barb! This is my husband’s new favorite soup. He’s been obsessed with it ever since I made it for him the first time a couple of weeks ago!💖

  2. Very tasty!! Will be making this again!! Thanks for sharing. 

  3. Could this be made vegetarian by leaving chicken out completely?

  4. We made it in the crockpot with chicken thighs. I’ve had to stop myself from eating this for breakfast. My husband and I loved it and as a bonus, our picky kids liked it too. 

    • I’m so happy everyone love it Noelle, especially the picky kids!💖 I’m pretty sure my husband actually had a little bit for breakfast 😂. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!

  5. Is there a specific reason it calls for bone-in chicken thighs, or would boneless chicken thighs be ok too? Making this tonight-can’t wait! 

    • Hi Marcy!! Boneless thighs work very well! I mentioned bone-in because that would add more flavor from the bone but I should be a little bit more clear in saying that either one works nicely! Enjoy the soup, and have a great weekend! -Stephanie

  6. Really tasty! So happy with this recipe! I did not put in the jalepeno, though because I’m not able to take the heat at all but I did use a can of zesty diced tomatoes. Loved it!

  7. HUGE hit with my family!! Another Cozy Cook recipe staple in our house!

  8. I made this Chicken Enchilada Soup recipe tonight since it was a chilly day. All the spices and flavors came together wonderfully. The cream cheese really made this recipe out-of-this-world CREAMY!!!! It was so colorful too. My whole family gobbled it up and I already have requests for it again next week. It’s truly a keeper!!!!

    • I’m so happy to hear the whole family liked the soup Laticia! Definitely a cozy choice for a chilly day. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review!💖

  9. This soup is absolutely delicious! I live in Hawaii where it is 85° year round, however when I saw this I just HAD to make it and it did not disappoint. I followed the recipe exactly except I didn’t use as much chicken stock. It made enough for my husband and I to have dinner for 2 nights.  It was the perfect amount of spice, as I enjoy a kick but nothing too hot. Also, it really does come together in about 30-40 minutes. I’ll definitely be making this again. 

    • Hi Emily!! I am soooo happy that you loved the soup, YAY!! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave this review, I really appreciate it and love that you found the amount of heat to be on point. Thank you again! -Stephanie

  10. This just became my favorite soup ever! I love how it had just enough heat to it. I didn’t think it would be filling enough to served for dinner but the family was plenty full and everyone loved it. I’ll make a bigger batch next time so I can experience leftovers. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Hi Emily! I am so happy to hear that the soup was a success, excellent! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave this review, I so appreciate it!! -Stephanie

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