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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. One of our favorite creamy tex-mex soups! Easy and delicious!

  2. I made this as per the recipe, including using fire-roasted (Hunts) tomatoes. I used a canned enchilada sauce that I’ve found to be quite good (A La Orden) and Ortega green chilies. For toppings, I used avocado slices, some of the grated cheese, cilantro leaves, and seasoned tortilla strips.

    This recipe is very simple and it’s delicious. This one goes into my “keeper” cookbook. Thanks for this.

  3. I have made this soup about 10x now and its our favorite dish yet! Holy Crap is this soup good, and it holds its heat for a loooooong time. I feel I could survive on this for the rest of winter uuuughhh love it!

  4. Thank you for this recipe! I am not a cook by any means, and this was SO easy to make. I have made it twice now, once with chicken and once with leftover Thanksgiving turkey. We couldn’t tell the difference and it was a great way to get rid of leftovers. Maybe I’ll try it with steak sometime! My husband loves the chicken enchilada soup at Chili’s, and he approves!

  5. I’ve made this in the slow cooker before! It can work! Just cook the onions and masa marina at the end and then put the cheese in. I’ve done several times without any issues in the consistency.

  6. I have been making this for 3 years, it is delicious! I do agree with some reviewers that it doesn’t need the cheese, but whatever floats your boat. For a couple years, I have been making it with leftover chicken from this recipe:
    It is a flavor explosion! I also use leftover broth from that chicken. Also, my enchilada sauce makes 16 oz, I add 1/2 a cup of water, then freeze half so I only have to make it every other time. This is my favorite soup recipe ever!

  7. This was a very good recipe. I added a little lime juice to mine and roasted chicken thighs with cumin, chili powder, salt pepper and garlic before shredding it and adding it to the soup. I will make this recipe again.

  8. I have made this soup many times and everyone loves it! I add chili cheese Fritos and sour cream as a garnish for each bowl of soup.

  9. Would make again. first time make enchilada soup. My husband loved it too! Great recipe.

  10. I made this recipe twice now and I loved it! love love love love! I am a 25 year old whose working multiple jobs while trying to finish school and this was an easy make, I made it in the crockpot. I cooked my meat first(subbed in ground turkey) and added everything to the crock-pot. I omitted some of the juices from the Chiles and Fire roasted tomatoes just to test it out and that worked out perfectly for me. I’d say from Walmart( which I rarely shop) I made this for about 15$ ( buying name brand things and some Great Value) and that yielded me about 3-4 meals ( and I’m a guy who can eat). I love love love loved this recipe.

    * I accindetally added in 1/2 tsp of Chili powder ( I thought it was Cumin) and let me tell you, what a WONDERFUL surprise. It added a bit of heat and it worked out perfectly. Thank you for this wonderful recipe. I let it sit in the crockpot for about an hour on high, then went to the gym, walked the dog and came home to a glass of wine, some Scandal and this lovely warm soup.

  11. The recipe was really easy and the soup was delicious. I did add chili powder and a little lemon pepper for extra seasoning.

  12. This soup is VERY good! Followed recipe exactly EXCEPT I did not buy the BIG bag of Masa Harina (what else would I use it for?) I discovered that you can put 2 torn up CORN tortillas into a food processor and grind until fine! I measured out 1/2 cup and added that instead of the Hasa Marina. Very good! Served it with quesadillas and a Mexican Caesar Salad. YUM for a cold night :)

    • I bought Masa Harina a year or more ago, just freeze it.

    • I also have used the torn up corn tortillas in a pinch when I didn’t have any masa on hand but if you ever do decide to go for the big bag of masa, homemade corn tortillas are super easy and a great way to use it. :) Plus it does keep in the freezer like other reviewer mentioned.

  13. Loved this! The masa is perfect for thickening – I have passed the reviews around, everyone who has made it -loves it! And who, I ask you, doesn’t luuurve a 20 minute dinner? ?

  14. I’ve been making soup on Sundays off and on for the past three years. This soup been on my list for a while, but I never pulled the trigger because I have a killer tortilla soup recipe that I would always opt to make instead. That said, tonight was the night I finally made this recipe (with the homemade enchilada sauce) and man, this is the first soup in a long time that I can say with certainty I will make again, and again and again. Wish I had tried it sooner! Subbed the chicken for corn since I live with a vegetarian. So yummy!!!

  15. Very tasty. I think the masa harina gives it a great flavor. I will make this again.

  16. This is delicious! I used canned enchilada sauce. I can’t imagine it being any better! We loved it!

  17. This recipe is DYNAMITE! I’ve made it a few times and it is one of my go to dinners! Super delicious!! And the homemade enchilada sauce is a MUST!

  18. Love love love this soup!! We make it all the time ?

  19. This was the easiest soup i’ve ever made and to top it off, it was one of the best i’ve ever tasted!

  20. I made this and followed the recipe but also added corn. It was absolutely wonderful.

  21. love this recipe, super easy to follow and i’ve made it twice now! Passed it along to several friends and family members!

  22. This was a great quick dinner. I used the enchilada sauce recipe, about 2/3 of a rotisserie chicken, a drained can of corn, a couple shakes of cayenne (because I found the flavors maybe just a tiny bit mild for my taste) and served it with a couple of spoonfuls of rice on top, like an enchilada gumbo. Perfect!

  23. I made this tonight and followed the recipe exactly. My family loved it! Perfect for a cold, snowy evening!

  24. This soup is soooo good! It tastes so much like Chili’s Chicken Enchilada Soup (which is a favorite of mine) only I think this one is so much better and obviously better for you because it uses real ingredients (no preservatives) and made at home. I made it today for lunch (along with the homemade enchilada sauce — which was also super easy, quick, and delicious) and I couldn’t be happier. It literally couldn’t be easier and was the perfect lunch for a cold day. The only change I made was to withhold the cheese from the actual pot of soup and just have it shredded on the side so that people could put as much or as little as they wanted into their soup…helps it be a little more calorie-friendly for those who are watching how much they eat. I will definitely be making this again and throwing away all of my other chicken enchilada soup recipes because this one is perfect! Thanks so much for sharing it!

  25. I made this for my whole family and they even got seconds! It was super easy and it tasted amazing! We might have to double the batch next time for more leftovers. I put my chicken in the food processor to make things faster and it still tasted good. I also added lime juice. Thanks for an easy recipe!

  26. I’ve made this twice and it was excellent both times. I have to admit that the homemade enchilada sauce makes it even better!

  27. AMAZING!! Made this for the first time for my first in-laws Christmas Eve soup cook off. Based off the reviews, I took the chance (as I have never cooked for the ENTIRE in-law family) and made this soup. There were 6 soups brought in all and I won people’s choice award for the evening! So glad this risk paid off! It was the only soup that the entire stock pot was cleaned out on. The only additions I did was half a can of corn and some chili powder to add a little heat for a family that loves heat! I did use your suggestion of roasted diced tomatoes, and on a short notice opted for store bought enchilada sauce, as I already had it in the pantry, but can’t wait to try out your homemade recipe for that. It will definitely be a staple for me from now on! Thank you for such a wonderful and delightful recipe!

  28. Colorful, delicious & EASY!

  29. made this recipe but with a few changes. first of all i have to watch salt intake so i didn’t add salt. instead i added a container of salsa for extra flavor. also i added only about half the cheese called for. it was awesome!

  30. This is a great recipe, especially if you make your own enchilada sauce. This first time I made it, I was in the store feeling rushed, and bought 110 oz of enchilada sauce instead of 1 10 oz can. When I got home I started dumping in and thought, this a ridiculous amount on sauce! I ended up only putting in maybe 20 oz. I felt pretty dumb when I looked at the recipe again to make it, so don’t make my mistake!

  31. I made this recipe probably 10 plus times the past few years and it is amazing. I even made for a pot luck and people went crazy for it. This last time I made it I just cut up raw chicken breasts and cooked it in the soup also added a can of corn since I had it. It’s great for those cold zero below nights we’ve been having in the Northeast. Next time I’ll make the enchilada sauce. That’s the only thing I haven’t done yet.

  32. Fantastic! Have made this soup several times and always get rave reviews.

  33. Delicious! I used crumbled corn tortillas instead of the corn meal and put in a can of black beans with a scoop of frozen corn. It turned out great.

  34. I made this over the weekend for my family. It was gone, we LOVED it. My husband’s mother has been making red chili enchiladas his entire life and he was hesitant about the red sauce, but he said it tasted wonderful!

  35. This was a great recipe

  36. I loved this recipe the ingredients mixed greatly

  37. Does this recipe store well? Will it still be good served the next day heated in a microwave oven?

  38. This was really good! I used 2 really large and thick chicken breasts (skinless) in mine and it came out more like a thick stew texture, but what great flavor! I substituted 1 jalapeno (fresh) for the canned green chiles (which I didn’t have on hand). I also used 1/2 sharp cheddar and 1/2 Mexican cheese blend plus 2 slices of American cheese that I cut up. it was perfect.

  39. Very good. We don’t like heat so didn’t use the chilies, husband doesn’t like beans so didn’t use those. still very good.

  40. Delicious! Cannot recommend using fresh grated cheese enough. In fact, that powder is called cellulose. It’s actually saw dust that prevents the cheese from caking. It’s some nasty cheese.

  41. Absolutely delicious! Your enchilada sauce is the best, too. Thank you!

  42. Delicious! I’m on a low carb diet so I didn’t use the masa flour or the beans. It still turned out great! I especially loved how fast and easy it was to make and almost no dishes. Yay!

  43. Love this soup. I needed something to do with my leftover homemade enchilada sauce! I was able to use what I had on hand – pepper jack cheese (half the amount called for), and fire-roasted tomatoes. Served with wheat tortillas I had in the freezer. Very flexible and yummy!

  44. It was a solid soup but after trying the slow cooker enchilada soup recipe first, I found myself craving the slow cooker version more! I will continue cooking the slow cooker version :) Something about the long stewing breaks down the ingredients and melts it together wonderfully!

  45. I found this recipe earlier this week and finally made it tonight and boy am I glad I did!! This soup was so wonderful!! I tried Chili’s version a couple of months ago and it was pretty good, but it doesn’t even compare to this recipe. I was amazed at how fast it came together too. It was very affordable, super easy and ready in no time at all. I will absolutely be making this one again. Definitely a keeper!!

  46. I found this recipe earlier this week and finally made it tonight and boy am I glad I did!! This soup was so wonderful!! I tried Chili’s version a couple of months ago and it was pretty good, but it doesn’t even compare to this recipe. I was amazed at how fast it came together too. It was very affordable, super easy and ready in no time at all. I will absolutely be making this one again. Definitely a keeper!!

  47. WOW! Highly impressed with the way this turned out. It is soooooo good. My husband wants me to make it again already. Thank you for the suggestion. I can’t wait to try even more of your recipes!

  48. This soup is so good, thank you for the recipe!

    I added two cups of cooked brown rice because I love rice in soup lol and made the enchilada sauce from scratch per your other recipe. This is my third time making it; definitely one of my favorites. ❤️

  49. When possible could you mention size of slow cooker

  50. I accidentally bought green enchilada sauce instead of red, will that work as a substitute?