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


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

  1. Pingback: 50 + Soup Recipes to Warm You Up | Saved By Grace

  2. This is a very easy and yummy soup. I’ll definitely make it again. And I would recommend to anyone making this soup to do the homemade enchilada sauce. It is much better than any other homemade enchilada sauce I have tried and has much more flavor than canned. Thank you for sharing this recipe. My 19 month old even ate this soup and any time that happens it feels like a big win for me.

  3. Oh my soo good!  I used regular flour and added some corn.  I also just grabbed a cold rotisserie chicken to shred.  I am so glad I made a double batch otherwise there probably wouldn’t be any leftovers.  This also went perfectly in our bread bowls!

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  5. Yum, yum, and YUM! I used a rotisserie chicken to save cooking time. When shopping, though, I was a bit confused about the masa Harina since masa is the word for dough. What I found was Harina de maïz, basically very finely ground cornmeal. 

  6. Good morning! I made this soup along with the homemade red sauce and it was absolutely fabulous! Thank you.
    I was wondering how I could make this recipe into a crock pot freezer meal? I saw the slow-cooker chicken soup, but I would love this one!
    Thank you for your time, enthusiasm and dedication to food and friends.

  7. Hi! Made this and loved it!! Can you crock pot it? Thanks

  8. I made this tonight and it was great! I used flour for a thickener, but followed everything else. Very satisfying and much better than Chili’s! 

  9. I made this yesterday and it was absolutely amazing. Made the home enchilada sauce first and used it also (will never buy canned again). Best part were toppings…put little dollop sour cream, fresh avocado, parsley (out of cilantro) and strips of tacos..yummy divine. Thanks :)

  10. So I’ve made both (using the homemade enchilada sauce)  and those I served to loved them. I like the slow cooker version better but everyone else seemed pretty pleased with both. Theses recipes yield great tasting results with little effort. Thank you for posting them!  

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  12. Made this for lunch today, I only used half a can of black beans, and I also added half a can of corn (for true Chili’s style!), it was so good. We are big eaters and I’m pretty sure we will 6 or even 8 bowls out of this. Thank you for the recipe! 

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  14. What a perfect recipe for a night in Feb. NE Ohio — about 10 degrees here.

    Really was good and easy – everyone had seconds!

    I used fresh jalapenos instead of canned, and added a touch of chipotle en adobo for a little extra kick.

    Would definitely make again – thanks!!

  15. Can you substitute the fire roasted tomatoes and can of chiles for a can of mild rotel? I believe that is comparable?

    • Sure. They’re slightly different, but similar. If you can’t find fire-roasted, you can also just use a can of regular diced tomatoes.

  16. we made a huge batch of this only doubling the chicken, tomatoes, cheese and broth. We elected to add a can of corn instead of doubling the beans. It was sooo good! Double the enchilada sauce seems like it would be killer. We tasted after only adding what the original recipe called for and decided to not add double. Everyone licked their bowls clean and this is on our official menu rotation now! We served 9 people and have enough left for a few lunches. Even our 1 year old loves it (he had seconds…and thirds.) the corn flour and cheese make this like a giant pot of cheese dip! So so so good! thanks for sharing this recipe! 

  17. SO excited to try this recipe. I think you are my soulmate – I too am teased relentlessly for my love of Chilis, despite also loving a good, homecooked meal, and I have to visit every single Chilis To Go I pass in an airport – or on a road trip, since the nearest one is 5 hours away now!

  18. anything I can substitue for the thickner you have listed here? Kids napping! Flour?

    • Hey Brooke! You could certainly try flour, cornstarch, or cornmeal (all of them should thicken), but the flavor won’t be the same. Try to get masa marina if you can. Good luck!

  19. Sooooo good!!! Made last week. Added a can of white beans too!  Made some KILLER leftovers. Thanks!  

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  22. Hello! Love the recipe idea– thank you! I don’t see a serving count on here, though– how many people will this serve? Should I double the recipe if I’m having friends over for a movie night or something and want to make an easy dinner?

    Thanks so much!

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  36. Hi!

    Any suggestions for substituting something for the tomatoes?  My family would love this, sans them. :)  

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  39. Made this tonight, but only used half the cheese.  It was AMAZING!  Was wondering if you have ever had any luck freezing this?  Unfortunately I live with a very picky eater and don’t want the leftovers to go to waste.

    • Unfortunately I don’t think this will freeze that well, especially with all of the cheese and masa. But you can give it a try!

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  41. Is it white or yellow corn meal??

    • Masa is different than corn meal; it’s actually a corn flour. It’s available (usually) in the flour section of most grocery stores.

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  47. can I use flour instead of the masa harina? 

  48. Never mind! Saw the comments above and found the answer :)! Thanks!

  49. Pingback: 20-Minute Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup - Mimi Delicioso

  50. Made this tonight and I really enjoyed it. I do have to say, personally, I’d love more tomatoes. Next time I’ll add more, but that’s just my preference. Definitely a nice alternative to tortilla soup!