20-Minute Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup

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20-Minute Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup | gimmesomeoven.com

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 | gimmesomeoven.com

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 | gimmesomeoven.com

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 | gimmesomeoven.com

You can either serve it plain…

20-Minute Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup | gimmesomeoven.com

…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 | gimmesomeoven.com

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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 | gimmesomeoven.com

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

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  1. Holy cow that looks incredible! So cheesy and rich. I bet it would be great with seitan if I made a few tweaks, to vegetarianize it a bit.

  2. Haha, we ALWAYS eat the Mini Chili’s at airports, as we secretly love it too! This soup looks ah-may-zing Ali! I can’t wait to dive into it on a cold winter night! Pinned!

  3. Wow! You have outdone yourself with this one. It looks incredible. This is on my list to try for an easy weeknight dinner. Thanks. :)

  4. We ate at chili’s so much growing up. This soup looks amazing! Thanks for providing two recipes both the slow cooker and this version. Are you swimming in enchilada soup :)?

  5. This soup looks delicious. I’ve never ordered this soup from Chili’s before. I haven’t been there in a very long time and the last thing I probably ordered from there were the chicken crispers…which are good! :)

  6. My favorite!!! We have enchilada soup often, such a great weeknight meal :)

  7. So funny because Chili’s is one of my favorites! My family thinks it’s hilarious, but it’s easy, they have good food, and good margaritas. I’m so excited to try this soup!!

  8. This recipe looks AMAZING. I’ll be making that in the next week pending the weather is out of the 90s here in Savannah. It’s too hot for soup here yet I’m ready for fall as a northern girl!

    xo Rachel

  9. This looks AMAZING! Love how super cheesy this looks, and anything that’s ready in 20 minutes is always a win!

  10. I love all your soups and I’m so excited that cooler weather is coming! And no judgement here for your Chili’s habit :0)

  11. This soup looks delicious and I normally hate soup with any kind of meat in it! I live in the UK and definitely can’t get masa harina here easily. Would regular flour or cornflour (cornstarch) work to thicken up the soup?

    • Could you get regular cornmeal? You could use that and grind it a bit finer and that might work.

    • This is now one of my go to recipes! Delicious! I could not find corn flour. but had cornmeal on hand and ground it to a “flour” and it worked great. When it came time to add the enchilada sauce I notice you have “110 oz can”, so I measured out the 1 1/4 cups from a 28 oz can and it was about half so I assume you meant a “14 oz can” but other than that……love it!

  12. Oooh, I love this kind of enchilada soup, thank you for making a version with no canned sauce or processed cheese. I can’t wait to try it. And no judges here… I’m still a sucker for the soup and salad combo at Olive Garden. Sorry I’m not sorry. ;)

  13. It may be a 20 min version, but it doesn’t chinz on the right ingredients. Well done! Perfect for most of harried people.

  14. Looks really delic!


  15. Chips, salsa, QUESO! So many good memories at Chilis! Now I need to make memories with this soup because it looks like the kind of soup I want to stuff my face with! Great recipe, Ali. :)

  16. I have to admit, I’m also a fan of the Chili’s chicken enchilada soup, it stems from my college days in Manhattan, KS where there were only so many restaurants to choose from. Chicken enchilada soup, chips, salsa and honey lime dressing were weekly indulgences! I’m going to have to try your version!

  17. Thank you for doing a non-slow-cooker version of the soup for those of us who do not possess a slow-cooker. I find the idea of masa for thickener intriguing as well as fitting for a Mexican-style dish. Looking forward to trying this – with homemade enchilada sauce. I’ve never been able to bring myself to even consider buying the canned stuff.

  18. Isn’t it funny how places you know you “shouldn’t” like keep on being favorites, probably more for the sake of nostalgia (at least that’s what I tell myself to feel better)?

    I have put your enchilada sauce on my must make list. We make our own salsa verde ’round here, but haven’t ventured to the homemade red-sauce side yet… soon!

  19. I need to make this now! Totally my kind of comfort food!

  20. Two enchilada soup recipes to choose from; which one to make first? I’ve always loved the flavors in this soup and both recipes look perfect. Thanks for sharing both, Ali!

  21. This version looks so good, too! I’m all about the cheese, so the cheesier, the better!

  22. I use masa in my chili and my mother in laws recipe for tacos. I love how it thickens with flavor. Yes to cheese and college memories. And more cheese!

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  24. I am definitely craving a bowlful of this enchilada soup right now. It looks so hearty, delicious and flavoursome.. perfect comfort food for this weather! Great recipe Ali!

  25. Love how thick and cheesy this enchilada soup is! Pure comfort! Pinned!

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  27. Masa harina! What a great idea! I’ve been sautéing chopped up corn tortillas in my tortilla soup to get the effect but it always falls a little short on flavor. Can’t wait to to try this!

  28. You can crush up tortilla chips to substitute for the masa harina.

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  30. This was very good. Thick, cheesy and yummy. Thank you for the recipe.

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  33. Is there any reason why this couldn’t be cooked in a slow cooker?? Waiting to add the cheese right before serving.

  34. Want to make the stove top version of this recipe, however, I don’t see a link to do so. Funny thing is, the link was available earlier this week because I wrote down the ingredients I needed to buy. Please help. 

    • Hi Felicia,

      So sorry, we have had a bunch of technical difficulties today migrating the site to a new design. The recipe is back up now!


  35. This looks seriously good! Could you post the measurements you used for the recipe? I would love to make this!

    • Hey Ashley! They should be up now. Sorry, this post got caught in the transition into our new web design today, but the recipe is there now. Enjoy! :)

  36. just made this. The cheddar did not melt in nicely like your picture looks. It stayed in little granule like chunks and I’m not sure I could really taste it.  my husband really liked this soup but we both thought it was a lot like the tortilla soup I make and we’ll probably stick with that one. Thanks for giving us something new to try! 

  37. I accidently bought flour instead of the corn..will it still work?

  38. Can this be made in a crockpot?

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  40. Just made this and it is absolutely delicious!  Thank you! Wondering if you think I could freeze some of the leftovers? We are planning a trip out of town and we will not be able to eat it all, as much as I would like to :-)

  41. My mom and I made this tonight while she was visiting. . Delicious doesnt begin to describe this soup!  Cheesy, a little kick, and the perfect rainy day meal.  Will definitely be making this for the hubby soon!!! 

  42. GURLLLLL – totally making this tonight.  Love the homemade red sauce too.  Nothing better!   xoxo Heather

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  44. This is probably my new favorite soup! It is super easy to make and the homemade enchilada sauce is really good! Who knew? The mesa is what really makes this recipe sooo good!

  45. Holy moly…this could not have come at a better time. We’re having an epic Nor’easter storm on the coast of Maine, so soup is definitely called for. And this soup? Be still my heart!

  46. How do you cook your chicken?

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  48. Holy cow just made this tonight and it is SO GOOD. I bought a rotisserie chicken on the way home to shred up so it would be even quicker…..I’m supposed to be writing a paper for school right now but I’m writing here instead haha! Next time I’m definitely going to make your red enchilada sauce, i think that would make this recipe even better, but even with the canned sauce it’s still awesome. Thank you for a quick delicious recipe, great for my busy week nights!

  49. Made this last night with a couple changes and it was SO amazingly good! This is, with a doubt, going on my regular menu list. Posting my own version tonight on my site! 

  50. Whipped this up tonight, was super easy and turned out delicious! I did use chicken broth instead of stock and siftted regular flour instead of the masa harina and soup is a perfect consistency, I also added Mexican squash that I purchased at Sprouts.