This chicken enchilada soup recipe is total comfort food. It's extra hearty with masa harina added and full of flavor with the use of red enchilada sauce. This soup keeps well so it's perfect for meal prepping and it's freezable too! 🙂 Enjoy!
🎥 Recipe Video
Why You'll ❤️ This Enchilada Soup Recipe
If you are a soup lover, I KNOW you will also love these 3 Mexican-inspired chicken soups - creamy and delicious Green Enchiladas Chicken Soup is SUPER popular and Chicken Fajita Soup has all your favorite chicken fajita flavors all snug in a bowl of tasty goodness! If you're going for EASY then you gotta try 7 Can Taco Soup.
Cozy up to a hearty and tasty bowl of soup. This recipe combines the best of all flavors into one fantastic dish! It is simply delicious with all the spices, cheesy goodness, and an extra crunch on top with each bite. It's so delicious everyone will be asking for more!
It's always fun to try and replicate your favorite restaurant recipes. Chili's Chicken Enchilada Soup has always been a favorite of mine! In an effort to make this at home, I came up with this tasty "copycat" interpretation - with a few tweaks of course.
Make-Ahead and Freezable
This is a wonderful soup to meal prep! Make it several days in advance and reheat when ready - or freeze it for up to 3 months! So convenient.
🥘 What You Will Need
Here are the ingredients and tools you will need to make chicken enchilada soup:
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts - I like chicken breasts in this recipe but for a richer taste you could also use chicken thighs.
Onion - use yellow or white.
Masa Harina - masa harina is flour made from dried corn kernels. It is used for making corn tortillas, hominy, tamale dough, etc. In this soup, it is used as a thickener. Keto followers, omit this. Use xanthan gum as a thickener.
Chicken Stock - use broth or chicken stock. Vegetable broth can also be used.
Red Enchilada Sauce - use my homemade enchilada sauce recipe or purchase pre-made from the store.
Cheddar Cheese - use freshly grated cheddar cheese. It melts better than pre-shredded. Monterey jack cheese can also be used.
Kosher Salt - to taste
Ground Black Pepper - to taste
Optional Garnishes - crispy tortilla strips, sour cream, and fresh sliced green onion, and shredded cheese such as cheddar or monterey jack cheese.
For exact ingredient quantities, please see the recipe card below!
🔪 How To Make
Here are the step-by-step instructions for making chicken enchilada soup:
Preheat a stockpot with olive oil on medium-high heat.
Add onion and garlic. Cook the onions until tender, about 7 to 8 minutes.
Add your boneless skinless chicken breasts (or chicken thighs), chicken broth, enchilada sauce, 1 cup water, salt, pepper, chili powder, and cumin to your stockpot.
Bring to a boil and cover. Reduce your heat to a simmer.
Simmer and Shred
Simmer until the chicken breasts are done and shred easily, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the stockpot and shred.
In a separate bowl, whisk the masa harina cold water together until well combined. Add this to the stockpot and stir together.
Add the shredded chicken back to the pot, and then add your cheese.
Bring the soup back to a simmer and cook until the soup thickens slightly about 5 to 8 minutes.
Salt and pepper to taste.
🥗 How To Serve
Here are a few ways to serve enchilada soup:
Garnishes are the way to go with this soup! I highly suggest tortilla strips, green onion, sour cream, fresh avocado, and shredded cheese. Yum!
Meal idea! Serve your chicken soup with a side salad and avocado dressing, tortilla chips, toasted tortillas, or even a cheese quesadilla.
Here are a few ways you can vary or make substitutions to this recipe:
- Spice it up by adding sriracha, hot sauce, red pepper flakes, chipotle, or fresh diced hot peppers.
- A can of diced tomatoes such as fire-roasted or with garlic and onion adds nice flavor.
- Add corn or black beans to the soup, it's quite good!
- Make it creamy by adding softened cream cheese. Cream cheese is a great addition to the soup!
- Make it keto chicken enchilada soup by omitting the masa harina and 2 cups of water, and adding 4 ounces of very soft cream cheese, 2 cups cheddar cheese, and 1 cup half and half or heavy whipping cream. Use xanthan gum dissolved in 2 teaspoons of olive oil to thicken if needed. Adjust seasoning if needed.
- Make it vegetarian: replace the chicken with black beans and vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
- Make it a slow cooker chicken enchilada soup: place all ingredients except the masa harina, water, and cheese in the slow cooker. Slow cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Shred the chicken and add the cheese when done. About 30 minutes prior to serving, mix the masa harina and water together in a small bowl. Add the mixture and the cheese to the crockpot and stir well. Cover and heat until thick and warm.
💭 Top Tips
- Time-saving tip: use rotisserie chicken in place of chicken breasts.
- If adding spice, remember to start by adding slowly to your desired heat level. It isn't easy to reduce heat once it is too much.
- Spice level and seasoning vary amongst the canned enchilada sauce brands.
How To Store
Store leftovers in an air-tight container in your fridge for up to 5 days after.
How To Reheat
From the fridge reheat in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave until the desired temperature. You can also reheat in a saucepan on the stovetop if preferred.
Pull your container from the freezer the night before and place it in the fridge to thaw. Once thawed, heat the same as if from the fridge.
How To Freeze
Freeze in an air-tight container in your freezer for up to 3 months for the best freshness.
You will need to use a thickening agent such as a cornstarch slurry, a masa mixture, or any flour mixed with water. You can also use other ingredients such as fresh cheese, cream cheese, and tomato paste.
✔️ More Soup Recipes
Here are a few delicious soup recipes I think you'll enjoy:
- Green Enchiladas Chicken Soup - make our homemade green enchilada sauce. It's delish!
- Instant Pot Taco Soup
- Roasted Cherry Tomato Soup
- Vegan Broccoli Soup
- Crockpot Cream of Chicken and Mushroom Soup
- Instant Pot Chicken Soup
- Keto Broccoli Cheese Soup with Beer & Brats (Instant Pot + Stovetop)
Copycat Chili's Chicken Enchilada Soup Recipe
- 1 pound chicken breast, boneless and skinless
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup onion (chopped)
- 2 teaspoons garlic (minced)
- 1 cup masa harina
- 32 ounces chicken broth
- 3 cups water
- 32 ounces enchiladas sauce recipe (or, store-bought
- 2 cups cheddar cheese (grated)
- 1 teaspooon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- optional garnish: crispy tortilla strips, green onions
- Preheat a stockpot with olive oil or medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until tender, about 7 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and saute 1 minute.
- Add chicken, chicken broth, enchilada sauce, 1 cup water, salt, pepper, chili powder, and cumin. Bring to a boil, cover and then reduce heat to simmer.
- Simmer until chicken is done and shreds easily, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove chicken and shred.
- In a bowl whisk masa harina and 2 cups cold water. Add to the pot and stir in.
- Add chicken back to pot, then cheese. Bring soup to a simmer and cook until it thickens slightly about 5 to 8 minutes.
- Don't miss all of our helpful hints, substitution ideas, cooking tips, and other delicious recipes that can be found in our post. Check it out!
- SERVING SUGGESTIONS: garnish with tortilla strips, sour cream, green onion, or avocado.
- VARIATIONS: add black beans and corn if desired.
- SLOW COOKER INSTRUCTIONS: place all ingredients except the masa harina, water, and cheese in the slow cooker. Slow cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Shred the chicken and add the cheese when done. About 30 minutes prior to serving, mix the masa harina and water together in a small bowl. Add the mixture and the cheese to the crockpot and stir well. Cover and heat until thick and warm.
- MAKE IT KETO: omit the masa harina and 2 cups of water, and adding 4 ounces of very soft cream cheese, 2 cups cheddar cheese, and 1 cup half and half or heavy whipping cream. Use xanthan gum dissolved in 2 teaspoons of olive oil to thicken if needed. Adjust seasoning if needed.
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