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Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup

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Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings 1x


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 to 3 cups (about 1 pound) shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) enchilada sauce, homemade or store-bought
  • 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 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup masa harina
  • 8 ounces freshly-grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • fine sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • optional toppings: tortilla chips/strips, diced avocado, extra shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped fresh cilantro, or pico de gallo


  1. Sauté the veggies. Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  2. Simmer. Add the chicken stock, cooked chicken, enchilada sauce, black beans, tomatoes, green chiles, cumin and stir to combine. Continue cooking the soup until it reaches a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low to maintain the simmer.
  3. Mix in the masa harina. Ladle out 2 cups of the hot broth into a heatproof bowl or measuring cup. Add the masa harina and whisk until combined. Add the mixture back to the hot soup and stir until combined.
  4. Add the cheeses. Add the cheeses and stir until melted and evenly combined. Taste and season the soup with salt and pepper as needed.
  5. Serve. Serve warm, garnished with lots of your favorite toppings.


Source: Recipe inspired by the amazing chicken enchilada soup from Chili’s.

Update: Recipe updated slightly in 2022.

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321 comments on “Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup”

  1. 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! 

  2. 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!!

  3. 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.

  4. 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! 

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

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

  8. 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!

  9. Hi!

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

  10. 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!

  11. 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.

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

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

  14. 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! 

  15. Would it be possible to do this without chicken?

    • Sure! You could easily make this vegetarian (using vegetable stock, and maybe adding more beans). Or, if you wanted to use another meat, some tender, shredded pork shoulder would be yummy in this. Hope you enjoy!

  16. Thank you, so much for this recipe and the Enchilada sauce. I, too, love to eat Chili’s.

  17. With a cool Ohio summer day, I wanted to make something warm, and use up leftover rotisserie chicken. The colorful brightness of your soup drew me in immediately;  the spectacular taste will keep me coming back to this recipe!  My family loved it. Thank you!

    • Thank you Linda, we’re so happy to hear that! Thanks for giving the recipe a try. : )

  18. This was really good! But just to clarify its called Harina de Maiz, or Corn Flour. Masa and Harina both mean flour in Spanish. I was a bit confused when looking for it at the grocery store and turns out I was just looking for the wrong thing. 

    • Thank you Nairobi, that is good to know, we’re sorry for the confusion!

    • Ah, I’m referring to corn flour. In the United States, it is labeled “Masa Harina” in most grocery stores, but yes it’s definitely corn flour. Enjoy!

  19. im wondering if the fantastic looking soup is SPICY  can’t eat spicy at all ?

    • Hey Jennifer! If you can’t tolerate spicy at all, you probably won’t care for this recipe. Between the green chiles and the enchilada sauce, it definitely has some kick to it.

  20. So delish!  Made this for dinner Sunday night and we barely had enough for leftovers!!

  21. I’m so excited to try this! I didn’t see corn flour at the grocery store today…could I use corn starch instead? 

    • If you can’t find masa harina, cornmeal is the best substitute. We hope you enjoy this Lindsey!

  22. This looks like an awesome thing to make for my roommates- is it spicy? One of my roommates has approximately zero tolerance for spicy food so if it is, I’ll have to figure out what to do to make it milder. Thanks!

    • Thanks Maggie! If your roommate likes no spice at all, we’d suggest buying a mild enchilada sauce, because the homemade recipe is easy to scale back on the heat, but difficult to take it out completely since the chili powder is the central ingredient. We think the canned green chillies should be fine though, as they don’t pack much heat, but if you want to play it really safe, you could leave them out. We hope this helps!

  23. Can you substitute for the corn flour if you don’t have any or do you really need that type of flour? All I have is all-purpose and whole wheat flour. Also, would it change the consistency if I blended up the diced tomatoes? My bf doesn’t like tomato chunks haha.

    • Hi Jennifer! If you can’t find masa harina, cornmeal is the closest substitute. And we don’t think the consistency would change if you blended the tomatoes. :) Enjoy!

  24. I rarely comment on blogs or recipes for that matter but this one was sooo good I had to! Everyone just loved it! 

    I got the corn flour at Whole Foods, it was labeled corn flour on the bag and only $2.99. I also got the black beans at Whole Foods and got the “Spicy Black Beans” which were ready to serve, not super liquidy but I drained a bit of the liquid that was excess anyway. I also cut the cheese to 5 oz. to save on fat and calories, not much I know but any bit helps, right?! I did make the shredded chicken ahead of time and used this method: – super easy and chicken came out great! I reserved the rest in a bag for another dinner later in the week.

    This recipe is amazing and will now be in regular rotation at my house! Thank you!

  25. Just made this soup.  I made the homemade enchilada sauce which was easy and delicious.  This recipe is a keeper.  Just wonderful.  If there are any vegetarians that may want something like this, I tasted it before adding the chicken and it was really delicious.  I also thought it was delicious before adding the cheese, if dairy is a problem for you.  I can never make a recipe without adding my tweaks.  I added a bit of tomato paste to the enchilada sauce and upped the spices a bit. I also threw in a can of corn because I love corn in mexican red saucy foods.   I will probably add a bit of cayenne because I like it spicy.  
    Make this soup!   Your family will love it and so will you.

    • Thanks so much for your sweet words Renee! We’re thrilled that you love this soup! Also, thanks for sharing your tweaks. :)

  26. Just made this tonight and it was amazing!!!! I was on the fence about buying the corn flour because I don’t have anything else to use it for however it is a real necessity. When it cooks in it gives you this great aroma from the corn flour, if I had used all purpose flour I don’t think I would have liked this soup nearly as much.

  27. This was scrumptious…a keeper…a definite make again!  I used boneless chicken thighs (cause that’s what I had on hand), and cut them cut into strips for quick cooking.  I did have homemade enchilada sauce in the freezer and think that added a lot in terms of flavor.  Soup was topped the soup with blue tortilla chips and avocado. 

  28. I plan on making this for a potluck tomorrow. Will it keep well in a crockpot, or will it burn? I saw your crockpot version, but I like the masa harina and cheese in this one.

    • Yeah, the Crock Pot might be difficult with this one with the masa and cheese. I would wait to add the cheese and masa until the very end. And for the masa, I would whisk it together in a separate bowl with equal parts chicken broth until it is dissolved, and THEN add it to the hot soup. Hope that helps!

  29. I guess this is a fusion of some type and more Tex-Mex than Mexican.  The black beans are a Caribbean addition.   
    I really object to using canned enchilada sauce especially when it is so easy to make it at home.  Traditional enchilada sauce does not have tomato in it.   It is just chile, spices & herbs, broth, a bit of flour and onion.   We make a roux then add the broth,  The recipe for homemade on this site is pretty good though.  I am so happy tomatoes were not used.  That stuff in the can is super Tex-Mex and the Mexicans in my town in Texas would not even use it.  In our Mexican family we make our own although I do enjoy Tex-Mex sometimes because it means I don’t have to cook!  :  )

  30. Trying to make this recipe for dinner tonight but I cannot find the corn flour anywhere,  what can i use in place of it?

    • Hey Penny, you can use cornmeal, as that’s the closest substitute, and it will work really well!

  31. Just wanted to say thanks, your soup recipie just won me first place in a little competition.  The local Audubon supports a fall raptor watch and each year has a soup cook off.  Today was the day and it was cold and spitting snow on the mountain top, a great day for a “stick to your ribs” soup.  Lots of great soup, but this took the prize.

    I smoked the chicken with some hickory wood chips before shredding it.  I did use your enchilada sauce recipie as well.  Made some bacon jalapeño cornbread to go with it.  Nothing was left by the end of the competition.

    So thanks for a great recipie!

    • That’s so wonderful to hear, thanks for sharing with us! Those hickory chips, and that bacon jalapeño cornbread sounds RIDICULOUS! :D

  32. I made this chicken enchilada soup and it was awesome!! It was leaving them for more! I will make it often! Thank you.

  33. Do you know if masa harina is gluten free?

    • Hi Karin, good question! Masa Harina is naturally gluten-free, however some brands that make it aren’t produced in a gluten-free facility, so there could be traces of gluten in certain products. If you want to be absolutely sure the masa harina is gluten-free, you do best to buy either of these brands:

  34. REALLY want to try this, but Hubs has a bad allergy to onions and reacts similarly to garlic… (such a bummer because all my fave soups need onion!) is there a way to include the Masa without sautéing in the onions and garlic? Can it be mixed in with the stock and enchilada sauce? 

    Thanks! Looking forward to this for “soup season!” 

    • Sure thing, I would just heat the oil and stir the masa in with that for 2-3 minutes to form a roux. Then continue on with the recipe as directed. Hope you enjoy the soup! :)

  35. This soup is so amazing, that I am half embarrassed to say we’ve made it twice this week!  Not a joke…it’s amazing.  Thanks so much for the awesome recipe and I look forward to trying more!

    • Don’t be embarrassed, we think that’s awesome you love it that much Patty! And thanks for your sweet words! :)

  36. Hi I love this soup I make it a lot but want to add corn next time I make it without having to cut the black beans in half or anything like that as me and my boyfriend love black beans. Should I add more chicken stock so it won’t be too thick? Thanks!

    • Hey Leslie, we’re glad you like the soup! Corn would be a yummy addition, and adding a little more chicken stock as well definitely wouldn’t hurt! :)

  37. Just made this for dinner tonight! We haven’t ate it just yet, but I had to taste it! I didn’t have cornmeal, so instead I made a roux and added to the soup before I put in the cheese and it thickened up perfectl! I also added a little bit of taco seasoning to it and it tastes great! 

  38. Made this soup tonight, and my picky husband and I loved it.  My only question is how can I make it a little spicier?  It’s wonderful for those who like it mild, but to us, we would like a little more spice.  Thanks.

    • Thanks for sharing Mi, we’re glad you guys enjoyed this! To make this spicier, you could do a number of things: You could try adding some minced jalapeño, Mexican hot sauce, some cayenne pepper or chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (or just spoon some of the adobo sauce in there) – this is a great way to get more heat, and it will add a nice smoky flavor! Whatever you try, just start with a small amount, since you can always add more heat. We hope this helps! :)

  39. I made this for dinner last night and it was awesome! I didn’t have cornmeal, so instead I made a roux and added it to the soup, before I put in the cheese. It thickened it up to perfection! I also put in a little bit of taco seasoning to flavor it up a bit! It was yummy and even my kids are it! Thanks for the recipe!

  40. Any clue on calories per serving? 

    • Hi Alisse! We’re sorry but we are unsure of the nutrition facts/amount of calories in this recipe. We currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site, as the nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. However, a lot of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. We hope that helps!

  41. Made this last night. OMGSH!!! I thought Chili’s made the best chicken enchilada soup. This is our winter time soup of the year. Honestly this is SUPER YUMMY. Thank you for posting it. This family LOVES IT!!!

  42. This was perfect for a cold and windy day in Oklahoma! I made it to direction without adding as much cheese, as I used an ultra sharp cheddar block, and it was perfectly thick with about 2/3-3/4 of the cheese the recipe called for (I used some of the rest for garnish). I also added corn for an extra veggie. For anyone saying this looks good, it tastes even better! Be sure to make the tortillas for the added crunch (if you don’t soak them)! I added one more garnish, a small amount of sour cream on top, YUM! By the way, Ali, thank you for letting me know about Masa Harina (I used the yellow corn version), as this worked great and I am positive it tastes better than flour or corn meal as a thickener.

    • We’re so happy to hear that Josh, thanks for sharing with us! We’re glad you liked using the Masa Harina too! :)

  43. Made this Tonight myself and hubby loved it. Taking some for my lunch tomorrow. Was an easy recipe to follow and the ingredients are so easy to find. Did not have a problem finding the mass flour and I live in the deep south .I did add some fresh corn and it took it to a new level of freshness. Thank you for the recipe. Looking forward to trying more.

  44. Does this reheat well in the microwave? I’d love to bring for my work lunch.

  45. I made the 20-minute Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup for dinner last night. It was so delicious! Hubby said, “Keep that recipe. It was good!” as he dug into a second bowl. I loved it, too!

  46. Made this today but used shredded pork roast left over from dinner yesterday. I was delicious.

  47. Just made this for dinner. Wow!! Added some fire roasted corn from Trader Joes. Thank you for the recipe, it’s a new family favorite.

  48. Can the green chiles be omitted without messing the taste? I’m concerned about it getting too spicy. I’m hoping my toddlers will br able to eat it too.

    • Hi Dariela! The green chiles can be omitted, they’re really more for spice, but you can always use a can of mild green chiles – they will deliver good flavor without too much heat. You could also just use half a can of the mild ones if you wanted. Make sure if you make the homemade red enchilada sauce as well, that you don’t do the full amount of chili powder (just add gradually to taste); or if you use the store-bought kind, just make sure it isn’t advertised as spicy. We hope this helps and that you and your family enjoy the soup!

  49. Amazing the best soup I have ever tasted. 10/10 stars. It’s way easier and less messy to make this then it is to make enchiladas. Amazing recipe 

    • Wow, what a wonderful compliment Mary, thanks for sharing with us! We’re so happy you’re a fan! :D

  50. Made a double batch of this to feed 12 for a game night. I actually did not put in any meat, and added southwest style corn. I omitted the green chiles since I didn’t know if everyone would tolerate the heat level (used them in my test run earlier in the week – they do add a bit of spice). I used the homemade enchilada sauce linked here. I also did not put in the cheese because of some dairy restrictions, but grated a big bowl of it and let the everyone add it on their own. I just made sure the soup was kept hot to ensure it would melt well in the bowls. I actually even made the soup a day early and simply reheated about 30 minutes before the group arrived. It allows for all the flavors to really come together. 

    It was a hit! I had homemade tortilla chips, cheese, pico de gallo, guacamole and cornbread as a variety of additions and all of those things taste wonderful added into this soup. Perfect match for the cold weather.