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

  1. Pingback: Here Are 20 Meals You Can Make In 20 Minutes – Slugline.io

  2. Pingback: 20-Minute Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup - Recipes | Women's Day

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. Pingback: Chili’s Copycat Chicken Enchilada Soup

  7. 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

  8. 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. 

  9. Made this tonight and enjoyed it very much!  Needed a bit more kick for me so added a bit of ground up chipotles to my bowl!  Definitely a great meal to warm you up during colder times!

  10. I ADORE Tex-Mex foods, so I am LOVING (and drooling!) looking at all these recipes! Thanks! I’m quite a ways north, we don’t have a huge Mexican population here, therefore not much for authentic ingredients (99% of people here just use Old El Paso mixes & whatnot, lol). I’m going to try making your Enchilada Sauce (I bet it would be delicious seasoning for ground beef tacos!), and a few of the other recipes here …. I have made a Mexican-style Chicken soup, I hated to call it Chicken Fajita soup, because I didn’t like it with the strips of tortillas as the recipe called for. I’ve made it the totally from-scratch way, then I did it SUPER-lazy once too — I bought precut & precooked chicken breast from Coscto, threw in a drained can of black beans, 2 drained cans of peaches & cream corn, the chicken, 3 cans chicken broth, a can of diced tomatoes & 2-3 cups mild salsa, a can of diced green chilis,diced onions, then some cumin, chili powder & salt & pepper & let it cook for 3-4 hours on high… OMG to die for just like that! To serve, though I placed some chopped sweet bell peppers in the bowl first then topped with the soup, (to keep the peppers nice & crisp, I hate soggy peppers) topped that with shredded cheddar, then a dollop of sour cream & salsa. Served with rainbow-corn taco chips, to scoop out melty bits of cheese, salsa & sour cream along with some of the soup… no polite way to eat it, LOL. I made an assembly line on my counter with tupperware bowls to freeze it in individual portions. It is SO yummy! I’m not a fan of cilantro, so I just omit it.
    I’m going to go drool over more of your pictures now hahaha GREAT BLOG!

    • Thanks for your sweet words Erin, we’re so happy you’re digging the blog! And your chicken fajita soup sounds SO yummy!! :D

  11. Thank you for this AMAZING recipe! This is such a great copycat recipe! I used store bought enchilada sauce, I added the chili powder (1/2 tsp) as suggested, was missing that “zing” for us, so I also added roughly a 1/2 tsp of tacos seasoning. Worked like a charm! Appreciate all of your delicious recipes. Happy 2016…. keep the greatness coming! 

    • You’re so welcome Kendall, we’re happy you enjoyed this! Happy 2016 to you as well! :D

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  14. Hello, I appreciate this might not be a normal question, but do you know how long this keeps in the fridge? I know that flavours usually deepen and get richer over time, so I assume it won’t be a bad thing to have left over? In my house we are likely to hev leftovers however, so how do you reccomend storing this? And for how long?

    • Hey Ellie! We think this should keep best in the fridge, in some tupperware (cheesy things don’t fare as well in the freezer). We think it’ll probably be good for 5-7 days. We hope you enjoy!

  15. Pingback: Day 12: Cheesy Enchilada Soup – 365daysinacookbook

  16. I made this last week, using your enchilada sauce recipe.  I used 2 T Simply Organic brand chili powder, and the enchilada sauce was dark brown which in turn made the soup look like brown sludge, to be honest.  Nothing like the appetizing orangey-red in your photo.  Fortunately, it tasted better than it looked   If I I made this again, I think I’d leave out the cheese and just top each individual bowl with either that, or a generous spoonful of sour cream.  I might add some frozen corn, too.

    I used unsalted chicken broth, and added 1/2 tsp of salt and it was almost too salty for my taste so I would encourage everyone to watch how much they add.  I probably won’t be making this again because of the unappetizing color, but I would not discourage anyone else from trying it themselves.   

    • Thanks for taking the time to share this with us Mari. The sauce tends to turn out that color for us most of the time too (it’s more red in the photos because of the lighting and the way it was shot). Also, some chili powders are more red and some are more brown. If you still like the taste but are just off the color, some people like to add tomato sauce and/or paste to this, and have had great results (taste and color-wise). We hope you’ll find this helpful!

  17. Hilary, can I use corn flour instead of masa harina?

  18. Awesome soup!! Followed exactly, with homemade enchilada sauce, tasted amazing!

  19. Do you have any other gluten free flour suggestions for this recipe.  It looks wonderful!

    • Hi Kathy! If you use pure masa marina, it’s gluten-free. If you’re using another type of corn flour, just make sure it’s gf, same with your stock. Otherwise, you should be good! We hope this helps and that you enjoy!

  20. Tried this out yesterday with leftover rotisserie chicken. Glad you had the enchilada sauce recipe linked because I forgot to grab some from the store. Used Rotel tomatoes with green chiles and added a small can of corn that the roommate had laying around. The flavor wasn’t quite what I was looking for until I added a small can of tomato sauce – then it was perfect. Thanks for the recipe!

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  25. I LOVE this soup!  The homemade enchilada sauce is so good.  MUCH better than store-bought.  This soup has great flavor and textures.  Thanks so much for sharing it.  It’s definitely one I make again and again.  

  26. Made this today with mild green Chiles and my family loved it. My 10 year old helped mix and prep everything and my 4 year old and 3 year old helped too. And they all ate it! Including my picky husband. Thank you for the recipe it is a keeper!! Will add it to my collection. 
    Do you know if it freezes well? 

    • We’re so glad to hear you and your family enjoyed this Cala! We think you could try and freeze this soup, but it’s not ideal because of the cheese.

  27. Can I sub anything for the corn flour? We have an allergy in my family?

  28. Pingback: 20-Minute Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup | Gimme Some Oven – YummySum

  29. This soup is SOO good!!  My kids and I loved it!  Only thing I added to original  recipe is a can of drained Mexican corn. Thank you for a great recipe :)

  30. If using arrowroot as a substitute, as mentioned earlier due to an allergy, should I use the same amount of recommended for Masa Harina, 1/2 C?

  31. This looks so amazing! My husband and I absolutely love Chili’s and we always get bottomless chips and salsa and queso and their chicken enchilada soup is my absolute favorite. I can’t wait to try this out!

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  33. Is there some alternative for Masa Harina?

    • You could try chickpea flour or cornmeal (both will thicken, but the flavor won’t be quite the same).

  34. Can I use chickpea flour instead?

    • Hi Muzna! We haven’t tried chickpea flour in this, but we think you could give it a try!

  35. This soup is DELICIOUS!! ?.  I’ve made this many times!  I often make a double recipe of Oven Baked Fajitas for dinner one night then a few days later use the leftovers to make this soup!  Today I ran out of enchilada sauce so… I’ve got your homemade  Enchilada Sauce simmering on the stove!  Can’t wait to try it!  Thanks for great recipes!

    • Thanks Lisa — we’re so glad to hear you love it! We hope you enjoy the enchilada sauce as well! :)

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  38. This looks delicious! I have some leftover home-made enchilada sauce, so I was looking for ways to use it up. I have a mainly vegetarian diet. Any suggestions for veggie alternatives to the chicken?

    • Thank you Fin — we hope you enjoy it! And hmmm, we would suggest adding more beans (maybe another can of black beans, or a can of pinto beans), and/or you could add some roasted sweet potato. We hope that helps!

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  40. I have looked at countless stores in my city, but I cannot find masa harina. What would you recommend I substitute it for?

    • Hi Jennifer! You could try chickpea flour or cornmeal (both will thicken, but the flavor won’t be quite the same). We hope that helps!

  41. Boy this looks good!!!!!!will have to try it before I pin it .thanks

  42. HI Ali,

    Thank you so much for this delicious recipe!  I made it tonight and it was out of this world.  I’m pregnant and this hit all the right notes for me and my hubby loved it too.  I made the homemade enchilada sauce and it was so easy and wonderful.  

    Thank you!

    • We’re so happy you and your husband enjoyed this Betsy! Thanks for your sweet comment, and congrats on your pregnancy! :)

  43. OH MY GOD I literally just got done eating this soup not 10 minutes ago it is amazing ! I left out the onions, beans, tomatoes, chilies to make it more like the classic chilies soup ( and I used your enchilada sauce recipe I don’t think the soup would taste right with out it to be honest I also used your sauce to make enchiladas the other day and it’s the first time my mom has actually like my enchiladas since she hate the sauce I usually use lol ) mine didn’t come out the same color as yours but it was still as far as I can remember since they don’t have chilies in Oregon exactly like the soup. I was so afraid it would be another one of those copycats that wasn’t really the same but you seriously nailed it ! I might use a little bit more masa harina since mine didn’t come out as thick as I like it but wow A++ recipe !! Thank you so much for sharing !

    • Thanks for your sweet comment Sierra — we’re happy you loved this and we’re glad you enjoyed the enchilada sauce as well! All chili powders are a bit different, and the lighting we used when we shot that recipe made it look more red than it was, so as long as it tasted good, we wouldn’t worry! :)

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  46. I just tried this recipe for the first time and it was SO delicious!  I used a rotisserie chicken and it made the prep time a whole lot quicker too. This is definitely going to be one of my favorite Fall/Winter go-to recipes!! Thanks so much, Gimme Some Oven! 

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  49. If I left out the cheese (to add later), do you think I could freeze this soup? Love the recipe and looking for foods to freeze in preparation of our new baby’s arrival. 

    • Hi Sarah! Since you left out the cheese, we think this should be fine to freeze — we hope you enjoy, and congrats on your new baby! :)

  50. Made this tonight and it was delicious and very filling. It’s just me and my husband and we had enough leftovers for another meal. Also, I added corn to mine. I used regular diced tomatoes and mild green chilies and there was barely any spice. My husband can’t do spicy but I love it so next time I might up the spiciness!