Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup is the ultimate thick and hearty soup full of cozy, comforting flavors. Make use of leftover shredded chicken with this soup recipe that can be made on the stovetop or in a slow cooker or instant pot. A quick and easy weeknight dinner idea that only needs one pot!


Reasons we love this chicken enchilada soup recipe…

  • Easy to make: this soup comes together with mostly pantry ingredients and can use up leftover chicken if you have some! Plus there’s instructions on how to make this a one pot recipe on the stovetop, slow cooker or instant pot!
  • Thick and Hearty: this soup is loaded up with juicy bites of tender chicken, tomatoes, black beans, corn and chiles.
  • Flavorful: thanks to using enchilada sauce in the broth this soup is bold and full of flavor. If you want more heat feel free to use a jalapeño or serrano pepper.


  • Chicken: to save time this recipe can be made with pre-cooked and shredded chicken.
  • Enchilada Sauce: homemade enchilada sauce can be used or you can use your favorite brand from the market.
  • Corn: use fresh, frozen or canned corn. If using frozen you don’t need to thaw it first, it will cook completely in the soup.
  • Green Chiles: these are very mild, if you would prefer more heat you can use a jalapeño or even add a serrano. If dicing up a fresh pepper, sauté the pepper with the onion.
  • Broth: use an unsalted broth to allow control over the salt level of your soup, if you only have salted, then leave out the salt in the recipe and add to taste as needed.
  • Diced tomato: if you or your children are not fans of diced tomato in soup, I find that crushed tomatoes are a great option since you get all the flavorings and there are no large pieces, the crushed tomatoes blend into the soup broth.

How To Make:

  1. Sear the chicken, once seared remove the chicken and sauté the onion and garlic.
  2. Add in the remaining ingredients for creating the broth: broth, spices and add ins. Add the chicken back in. Bring this to a simmer, cover and cook for 20-25 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and can be easily shredded.
  3. After shredding the chicken, add it back into the soup, then add the cheese and stir together until the cheese is completely melted.
  4. Serve the soup warm with all your favorite toppings.

Slow Cooker and Instant Pot Instructions:

Slow Cooker Instructions:

  • Add all ingredients to the crockpot except for the shredded cheese.
  • Cook on LOW heat for 6-8 hours or HIGH heat 4-5 hours.
  • Remove the chicken from the crockpot and shred, then return to the soup. 
  • Add in the cheese, stir, and allow the cheese to melt for about 5 minutes

Instant Pot Instructions:

  • Set the IP to sauté and sear the chicken in a small amount of oil, once seared on both sides remove. Add the onion and sauté until softened. Add in the garlic.
  • Pour some of the broth into the pot and scrape the bottom with a wooden spoon.
  • Add all the ingredients minus the cheese into the pot. Close the lid. Set to Pressure Cook for 15 minutes.
  • Allow to natural release for 10 minutes, then quick release the remaining pressure.
  • Remove the chicken to shred, add back to the soup. Stir in the cheese while it melts.


  • Shredded Cheese: use cheese shredded from a block, pre-packaged shredded cheese has additives and doesn’t melt as nicely.
  • Chicken Thighs: if you would prefer dark meat, thighs cook up tender and juicy in this recipe.

Chicken Enchilada Soup: FAQs

How do you thicken enchilada soup?

You have several options when it comes to thickening soup: flour, cornstarch, masa, arrowroot powder, or xanthan gum. Your dietary preferences will determine which is best for you. Simply mix some of the thickener you choose with a portion of the broth to make a smooth slurry, then add to the soup, stir together and let simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened.

How do I cook chicken for enchilada soup?

To save time you can always have precooked and shredded chicken on hand. If you are starting this recipe with raw chicken, simply sear the chicken in some oil in the pot you will use to make the soup, once seared, remove and continue with the recipe. Add the chicken back into the broth, the chicken will cook the rest of the way in the broth until it can be shredded.

How do I serve Chicken Enchilada Soup?

Chicken Enchilada Soup is a wonderful soup to add toppings to! Just as you would with your regular enchiladas. Some options include: sour cream, salsa, diced avocado, shredded cheese, diced tomato, fresh cilantro, and tortilla chips.


More Chicken Soup Recipes:


If you tried this recipe please leave a comment and a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating below! Thank you so much!

Recipe first published February 7, 2018. Updated December 20, 2022 with new images and information. Recipe is unchanged.

Photography by the talented