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20-Minute Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup

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20-Minute Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup |

As promised, here is your second chicken enchilada soup recipe in one week!

For those of you who missed Monday’s post on Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup, I mentioned that our Gimme Some Oven Facebook seemed split down the middle when I asked whether they would like a slow cooker or 20-minute version of this soup. So I decided to make both! Although to “cheese” things up a bit, I based the 20-minute version off of the chicken enchilada soup I happen to adore at Chili’s.

Yes, I admit it, I love Chili’s. When I was in high school, Chili’s was the first restaurant “hangout” my friends chose once we got our drivers licenses and realized we could eat bottomless chips and salsa for (back then) just $2. Then in my early twenties, Chili’s happened to be right around the corner from the Sunday night church I attended, and all of the hipsters piled in the booths and hung around until midnight to close out the week. And now — my friends all totally judge me for loving Chili’s, so I have made it a tradition to very happily eat at one of those mini-Chili’s whenever I see one in an airport, where I order chicken enchilada soup and a margarita (a must before long flights) and eat chips and salsa to my heart’s content.

Some things never change…

…including this soup. I learned how to make a copycat version of it back in college, and still enjoy cooking it to this day. Although I admit I have made a few tweaks to the recipe over the years, such as replacing Velveeta with real cheese. Here’s how I make it!

20-Minute Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup |

The two things about the Chili’s version of chicken enchilada soup that separates it from all others is that it is thick and it is cheesy.

The thickness is due to using masa harina, a corn flour that is available in any grocery store. (Just look for it in the flour section.)  It’s the same flour that is used to make corn tortillas, and it gives the soup a velvety thickness as well as some nice corn flavor.

As I mentioned above, I’m pretty sure (although not positive) that the Chili’s version of this soup uses some sort of processed cheese like Velveeta. But I much prefer to use regular sharp (or extra sharp) cheddar. As with anytime you melt cheese in a soup, be sure to buy the block of cheese and then grate it yourself just before using it, because the pre-shredded stuff has a coating on it that doesn’t melt as well.

Red Enchilada Sauce 4

If you have the time, I also highly recommend making my homemade red enchilada sauce for this soup. It’s also quick and easy to make, and it is packed with my favorite enchilada seasonings. But if you’re in a hurry, the canned stuff will also work. (You may just want to add in an extra 1/2 or 1 teaspoon of chili powder if you use the canned sauce, as its flavor isn’t quite as strong.)

I also enjoy adding in some black beans, fire-roasted diced tomatoes and chopped green chiles to my chicken enchilada soup for substance. But if you want to go the chili’s route, they pretty much just have the thick broth + chicken, which also works.

20-Minute Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup |

Once you mix up your soup base, just stir in the shredded cheese one handful at a time. And then this thick and cheesy soup is ready to serve!

20-Minute Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup |

You can either serve it plain…

20-Minute Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup |

…or load it up with all kinds of toppings. Whatever sounds good.

And for old time’s sake, I have to also recommend serving it with some good chips and salsa. Because…just because. :)


20-Minute Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup |

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20-Minute Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 -6 servings 1x


This delicious chicken enchilada soup is thick, cheesy, and ready to go (once your ingredients are prepped!) in just 20 minutes!


  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup masa harina
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • 1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) enchilada sauce
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, with their juices
  • 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, freshly-grated
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or more/less to taste
  • optional toppings: tortilla chips/strips, diced avocado, extra shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped fresh cilantro, and/or pico de gallo


  1. Heat the oil in a large stock over medium-high heat. (To save time, peel and dice the onion for the minute or so that the oil heats.) Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes, or until cooked and translucent. Add the garilc and saute for an additional minute until fragrant. Stir in the masa harina and cook for an additional minute.
  2. Pour in half of the chicken stock, and stir until completely combined. Add in the remainder of the chicken stock, and stir to combine. Immediately add in the chicken, enchilada sauce, black beans, tomatoes, green chiles, salt and cumin, and stir until combined. Continue stirring occasionally until the mixture reaches a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and let it simmer for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally so that the soup does not stick to the bottom of the pan. Then stir in the cheese, one handful at a time, until combined. Taste, and season the soup to taste with salt.
  3. Serve the soup warm with desired toppings.

20-Minute Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup |

Check out these other related recipes too!

Restaurant-Style Salsa |

Restaurant-Style Salsa

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup |

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup

5-Ingredient Green Chicken Chili |

5-Ingredient White Chicken Chili

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Recipe rating

309 comments on “20-Minute Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup”

1 3 4 5
  1. Fantastic!! Deep flavor and creaminess are its best selling points. Made no changes except I had no beans. I can expect the result would have only been yummier! I’ll make again…and again!❤️

  2. Love more recipes

  3. It turned out great and we loved it.

  4. This has easily become one of my favorite soups to make. It’s so fast and easy and everyone that’s tried it has loved it. Thank you for a great recipe!

  5. I made this using my homemade enchilada sauce and leftover turkey from thanksgiving. The soup was delicious! We both loved it!

  6. So good! And quick! I subbed left over chicken from taco night for the shredded chicken and my boys really enjoyed it!

  7. do you add too much salt first then remove some of it?? having trouble with the salt directions

  8. Absolutely killer quick recipe and dinner.
    I used a full 32oz of chicken stock just so I didn’t have the left over cup.
    I also added a 1lbs of frozen corn
    Instead of chicken I got 1lbs of carnitas from Northgate (Mexican market here in California)

    Was one of the best under 30 min meals

  9. I have made this several times. We love it!

  10. This was lights out. I didn’t have masa harina on hand, so subbed with cornstarch until I got the thickness I wanted. Also didn’t have fire-roasted diced tomatoes, but had regular tomatoes and a fire-roasted salsa, so combined those two and threw them in! It was SO GOOD on this cold winter night, especially with the little hit of cayenne I added. Amazing soup.

  11. Super yummy! I added green pepper and frozen corn. Also added half a pack of taco seasoning ( I double the recipe). One of my families favorites.!!???

  12. I grabbed the ingredients from the list and then headed home. I followed the directions starting from step one, but there was no step about the shredded chicken. I simply sliced raw chicken into strips and carried on. Unfortunately I didn’t realize the chicken should have been cooked and shredded before hand? The chicken turned out kind of gummy. Not sure if it was fully cooked after all

  13. Best soup ever. I have also made without chicken, with rice. Yummy

  14. Can this be freezed? I have to cook things ahead of time.