Chicken Enchilada Soup

$11.52 recipe / $1.92 serving
by Marsha - Budget Bytes
5 from 9 votes
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We are still in the middle of soup season and if you’re looking for a new soup recipe to make this month, then friend you’re in luck! Today we’re making Chicken Enchilada Soup! It’s made with tender chicken breast and lots of bold flavors. Dare I say, it might just be your new favorite soup this year! This soup can easily feed a family for under $12, and if there’s leftovers it’s great for meal prep during the week. And there’s one secret ingredient…our homemade enchilada sauce! Keep on reading to find out just how easy it is to make this hearty and satisfying, chicken enchilada soup!

Overhead view of Chicken Enchilada Soup in a white bowl with a black spoon on the side.

What Is Chicken Enchilada Soup?

Chicken Enchilada Soup is everything you love about regular chicken enchiladas, but it’s conveniently made in one pot! It reminds me of chicken tortilla soup, with tender chicken meat and bold flavors, except it’s made with an easy homemade enchilada sauce. The enchilada sauce is cooked directly in the soup pot with the rest of the ingredients and gives this soup TONS of flavor!

Ingredients For Chicken Enchilada Soup

Here is everything you need to make this chicken enchilada soup recipe:

  • Chicken Breasts: Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are used for this recipe, but you could also substitute with boneless, skinless chicken thighs to bring the price down even more. The cook time may vary slightly when using chicken thighs.
  • Onion, Garlic, and Jalapeño: Sautéed onion, garlic, and jalapeño sets the base foundation and adds great flavor to the soup.
  • Enchilada Sauce: You can certainly use store-bought enchilada sauce, but we used a batch of our Easy Enchilada Sauce recipe for this soup. Instead of making the sauce separately in a different pot, it’s made directly in the same pot that the soup cooks in. The homemade enchilada sauce makes it easy to control the spices and the heat level of this soup and it tastes SO much better than store-bought sauce!
  • Beans & Corn: Beans and corn add more color, flavor, and texture to the soup!
  • Tomatoes: A combination of fire-roasted tomatoes, diced tomatoes with green chiles, and tomato paste adds even more flavor and texture to the soup. The tomato paste is used to make the enchilada sauce and it helps thicken the soup, so I wouldn’t skip it.
  • Chicken Broth: Using a good quality chicken broth will give the soup extra flavor. We use Better than Bouillon to make our broth.

How Spicy Is This SOup?

This chicken enchilada soup definitely has a kick to it. It has jalapeño, chili powder, and cayenne pepper added to it. The brand of chili powder we use is completely mild, but other brands can sometimes carry some heat. If you are using a spicy chili powder, simply reduce or eliminate the cayenne powder from this recipe to compensate. I would say the heat level of this soup is medium spicy, like a medium salsa.

What To Serve WIth Chicken Enchilada Soup

The same day we made this soup at the studio, Beth just happened to also be making some Homestyle Cornbread. So we drizzled a little bit of honey on top of the cornbread to eat with the soup, and OMG…a match made in heaven! The combination of the sweetness from the honey with the spicy and smoky flavors of the enchilada soup were perfect and absolutely delicious. In addition to cornbread, you can also pair this soup with Cilantro Lime Rice or even our Sweet Corn Salsa. And don’t forget the toppings! Some cheddar cheese, a little bit of cilantro, sliced avocado, a dollop of sour cream, or a few more sliced jalapeños (if you like the extra heat) would all be great!

Storing Leftovers

This soup stores very well in the fridge and the freezer. We always suggest dividing the soup into single portions just after cooking so it cools down more quickly in the refrigerator, which will give you more longevity with the leftovers. You can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 4-5 days, or you can freeze it for longer storage (about 3 months).

Overhead view of chicken enchilada soup in a dutch oven with a ladle scooping some soup out.
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Chicken Enchilada Soup

5 from 9 votes
This super flavorful Chicken Enchilada Soup is made with tender chicken breast, lots of spices, and a tangy homemade enchilada sauce.
Overhead view of Chicken Enchilada Soup in a white bowl with a black spoon on the side.
Servings 6 (about 1.5 cups each)
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 1 hour
Total 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp cooking oil, divided ($0.12)
  • 1 yellow onion, diced ($0.32)
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded & diced ($0.25)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced ($0.16)
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour ($0.04)
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder ($0.60)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin ($0.05)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder ($0.05)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper ($0.02)
  • 3/4 tsp salt ($0.05)
  • 3 oz. tomato paste ($0.50)
  • 1 15oz. can black beans, drained ($0.89)
  • 1 15oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes ($1.33)
  • 1 10oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles ($1.00)
  • 1 cup frozen corn ($0.47)
  • 4 cups chicken broth ($0.42)
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1.5 lb. total) ($5.25)

Instructions 

  • Add 1 Tbsp of cooking oil along with the diced onion, finely diced jalapeño and minced garlic cloves to a large dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Sauté for 2-3 minutes or until onions are soft and translucent.
  • Next add the all-purpose flour, chili powder, ground cumin, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and the remaining 2 Tbsp of cooking oil to the pot. Stir well and cook the flour and spices with the vegetables for 2 minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste, drained black beans, fire roasted tomatoes, diced tomatoes with green chiles, frozen corn, and chicken broth to the pot. Stir all the ingredients together making sure to dissolve the tomato paste and scrape up any spices that may be stuck at the bottom of the pot.
  • Now add the chicken breasts to the pot. Place a lid on the pot and bring the soup up to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and allow the soup to simmer for 45 minutes. Make sure the soup is just at a steady simmer at this point, as this will help to create tender chicken breast meat.
  • After the soup has simmered for 45 minutes, remove the chicken breasts and place them on a clean cutting board. Once cool enough to touch, shred the chicken breasts with a fork.
  • Add the shredded chicken meat back to the soup pot and stir until the chicken is evenly distributed throughout the soup.
  • Serve this soup with your favorite toppings like shredded cheese, cilantro, sliced avocado, a dollop of sour cream, or even some more sliced jalapeño. Enjoy!

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Equipment

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 181kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 12gFat: 9gSodium: 1075mgFiber: 3g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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Side view of two bowls of chicken enchilada soup with a black spoon inside the soup.

How to Make Chicken Enchilada Soup – Step by Step Photos

Diced onion, jalapeno, and garlic in a dutch oven.

Add 1 Tbsp of cooking oil, one diced onion, one finely diced jalapeño and two minced garlic cloves to a dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Sauté for 2-3 minutes or until onions are soft and translucent.

Spices added to sautéed vegetables in a dutch oven.

Next add 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour, 2 Tbsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, 3/4 tsp salt, and the remaining 2 Tbsp of cooking oil to the pot.

Spices mixed and sautéed in dutch oven.

Stir well and cook the flour and spices with the vegetables for 2 minutes.

Tomatoes, black beans, corn, tomato paste, and chicken broth added to the dutch oven.

Add 3oz. of tomato paste, one 15oz. can of black beans (drained), one 15oz. can of fire roasted tomatoes (with juices), one 10oz. can of diced tomatoes with green chiles (with juices), one cup of frozen corn, and 4 cups of chicken broth to the pot. Stir all the ingredients together making sure to dissolve the tomato paste and scrape up any spices that may be stuck at the bottom of the pot.

Two chicken breasts being placed in the dutch oven on top of the soup ingredients.

Now add two chicken breasts to the pot. Place a lid on the pot and bring the soup up to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and allow the soup to simmer for 45 minutes. Make sure the soup is just at a steady simmer at this point, as this will help to create tender chicken breast meat.

Cooked chicken breasts being shredded on a clean cutting board.

After the soup has simmered for 45 minutes, remove the chicken breasts and place them on a clean cutting board. Once cool enough to touch, shred the chicken breasts with a fork.

Overhead view of finished Chicken Enchilada Soup with a large silicone spoon inside the soup pot.

Add the shredded chicken meat back to the soup pot and stir until the chicken is evenly distributed throughout the soup.

Overhead view of chicken enchilada soup in a dutch oven with a ladle scooping some soup out.

Serve this soup with your favorite toppings like shredded cheese, cilantro, sliced avocado, sour cream, or even some more sliced jalapeño and enjoy!

Overhead view of two bowls of chicken enchilada soup with jalapeno and shredded cheese on top.
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  1. This soup is insanely delicious! The prep is fairly easy and the soup has become a staple for me.

  2. Absolutely fantastic. Such a quick, easy recipe and so delicious! I had a bunch of pre-cooked shredded chicken, so I just used about 1.25lb of that. Followed the recipe except I let everything but the chicken simmer for about 15 minutes, then added my chicken for another 5. This will absolutely be a weekly recipe for us!

  3. I loved this! It takes a while to make in terms of waiting for it to cook over 45 minutes, but the actual amount of effort that it takes to make is pretty low (not tons of cutting vegetables or measuring out ingredients). I had to leave out the tomato paste, as I was making it at night in kind of a rush and realized I’d forgotten to put tomato paste on the grocery list. I added a tiny bit of ketchup in but otherwise didn’t really attempt to make any substitution for the tomato paste, and the soup tasted great regardless. Highly recommend!

  4. Thank you, Marsha!

    I cook for someone who can’t have gluten; do you think cornstarch would suffice here? I’ve found gluten free flours to be an okay replacement in baking but not for making a roux or as a thickener.

    Thanks for the reply!

    1. That would be fine! I’d use only 1 tbsp cornstarch and mix it with a touch of hot water before adding.

      1. I didn’t see your reply before I made it – since it was at the ‘roux’ stage I replaced the flour with corn starch in a 1:1 ratio and it came out great. I can’t compare to the flour version since I didn’t make it yet but all raved over the recipe.

        Thanks for the response!

  5. Very good! I was running low on chili powder and made up the difference with Budget Bytes’ taco seasoning mix. I also used jarred jalapeños.

  6. I’ve tried various soups similar to this, but this one just blows the others out of the water. So good!!!

  7. Delicious! I also made it just as written. Only condiment was Mexican cheese from Trader Joe’s.

  8. This soup is delicious. It might be too spicy for some but I made it exactly as written and it was perfect. So nutritious & a complete meal.

  9. I make a lot of Budget Bytes recipes and this one might be my favorite one yet!

  10. Hi Marsha,

    This looks so good! Think I could make it in my crockpot instead of on the stove top?