Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup

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So far, January cooking is going well. I tried out my mom’s meatball recipe (would you believe I haven’t made plain meatballs before?) and it turned out well.

For my second Cook90 dinner, I made this Chicken Enchilada Soup in the slow cooker. It’s super-cold in New Jersey – we’ve been stuck at a high of 20 degrees since I got back from traveling for Christmas. I should be baking or braising or otherwise using my oven (I did that today, so it’s warm inside), but I’ve looked forward to making this soup since I saw the recipe. I knew I would make it as soon as I started cooking new recipes again.

I can’t resist such a simple slow cooker recipe.

It’s one of my favorite kinds, where you just toss all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook until done – just like my chicken chili. I don’t have enough recipes like that. For this one, I just cut up an onion, tossed it into a slow cooker with spices, chicken, enchilada sauce (which I’ve never before bought, honestly), broth, and cornmeal. Once it was done, I shredded up the chicken, stirred the soup, and topped it with crushed tortilla chips and cilantro. The original recipe topped it mango, cheese, and avocado, which I’m sure would be good too.


chicken enchilada soup

The soup was originally called a Chipotle Chicken Tamale Chili. When I made it, though, the taste of the enchilada sauce really stood out. The original recipe says that the soup is like a cross between tamales and a tortilla soup, and I think that’s about right. It’s a delicious light soup on its own, but thickened with cornmeal. I think the tamale-like flavor depends on the quality of your cornmeal. I’ve had mine for a little while, and it’s finely ground and inexpensive – so maybe not too flavorful. I think a masa-like cornmeal would work well here.

This soup was only a little spicy – just the right level for us. If you like spicier, try a chipotle chile powder instead of ancho, or add more chipotles.  If I wanted to bulk up the soup without just adding lots of tortilla chips, I would probably add corn, or perhaps some beans. Topping this with avocado would be a nice contrast.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with the soup, and look forward to making it again.

Like this recipe? Leave me a comment below!

You may also like Slow Cooker Chicken Chili, Slow Cooker Southwestern Bean and Barley Soup, or Black Bean Soup.

In the past:

One Year Ago: Smoky Cashew Dip (still an all-time favorite!)

Four Years Ago: Fresh Cranberry and Lemon Scones, Whole Wheat Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Five Years Ago: Panettone

Six Years Ago: Hot Chocolate Mix, Chocolate Almond Graham Bar Mix, Triple Cinnamon Scones

Seven Years Ago: Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

Eight Years Ago: Cinnamon Chocolate Meringues

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
8 hrs
Total Time
8 hrs 10 mins

An easy, delicious slow cooker chicken enchilada soup recipe, flavored with enchilada sauce and thickened with cornmeal.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 4
Author: Leona Konkel
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic (minced) (4 cloves)
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder (if you use chipotle chile, it will be spicier; if you use a chili powder blend that includes salt, your soup may be a little salty)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 - 2 1/4 cups enchilada sauce (2 cans)
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth (can use up to 6 cups; it will be salty if you use regular, not low sodium, broth)
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1-2 chipotles in adobo sauce (whole is fine; just don't eat them at the end)
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal (I haven't tried it, but I assume masa would be fine here too)
  • cilantro (chopped) (for serving)
  • tortilla chips (for serving)
  • other toppings (cheese, avocado) as desired
  1. Combine onion, garlic, chicken, chile powder, cumin, oregano, enchilada sauce, broth, vinegar, chipotle chiles, and cornmeal in a 4 or 6 quart slow cooker. (Mine was 6 quart, but I had plenty of extra room.)

  2. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or high for 4-5 hours. Shred chicken with 2 forks. Stir soup and add salt and pepper if desired. 

  3. Serve in bowls and top with cilantro, tortilla chips, and other toppings as desired. 

Recipe Notes

You can make this vegetarian by omitting the chicken and using 8 ounces dried black beans and 3 1/2 cups water in the slow cooker. 

Adapted from Half-Baked Harvest

2 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup”

    • I’d been thinking about this myself. I think you could, but it taste more like a tortilla soup than like enchiladas. The cornmeal would still thicken the soup a little, but enchilada sauce is thickened while salsa isn’t, so the soup wouldn’t be as thick. I still think it would be delicious.

      If you don’t get the soup started first thing in the morning like I did, you could cook it in the slow cooker on high for 4-5 hours. I know I wrote 3-4 originally, but I think a little longer would actually be better.

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