December 2, 2022

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Cooking Is My World

Creamy Chicken Enchilada Soup | Ambitious Kitchen

As you may know by now, lots of my recipe inspiration comes from my amazing mom and grandma who cook the most delicious, comforting food filled with Puerto Rican influence. If you haven’t had my mom’s Puerto Rican Rice & Beans yet, it’s an absolute must.

Last winter I posted an incredible soup recipe that was inspired by my mama who makes a FABULOUS similar soup. In fact, she sent me the cutest video of her dancing around and cooking soup (yes, I get many of these and love them) and knew I wanted to make whatever she was having.

This creamy chicken enchilada soup is flavorful, nourishing, packed with protein, and easy to make. Seriously, what’s not to love?! After making it I immediately sent photos to my team and knew it had to go up on the blog ASAP. I’ve included tons of ideas for toppings to serve with the soup, how to make it in your slow cooker, and more!

healthy chicken enchilada soup in a bowl with toppings

What’s the difference between enchilada soup and tortilla soup?

Although very similar, enchilada soup and tortilla soup often use slightly different spices and ingredients to make up the broth. Traditional chicken tortilla soup often has a thinner broth with fresh tomatoes, different types of fresh or dried chiles (like chiles pasillas), and fried tortilla strips, while enchilada soup has a thicker broth made with enchilada sauce and often a thickening agent like masa harina (corn flour).

Both are so delicious, especially when you add all of your fav garnishes!

cooking vegetables in a pot to make enchilada soup

Ingredients in this chicken enchilada soup

This easy enchilada soup recipe is filled with aaalll of the goods. Veggies, beans, tender chicken, delicious spices — pretty much everything you need in an amazing soup. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

  • Veggies: you’ll start by cooking up some onion, a jalapeño, green bell pepper, cilantro and garlic in olive oil.
  • Spices: the warming spices truly make the soup. You’ll need cumin, coriander, ground turmeric, garlic powder and oregano. Don’t forget salt and pepper, too!
  • Enchilada sauce: because this is an enchilada soup, we’re adding enchilada sauce right into it! I like Siete or Hatch brands.
  • Broth: you’ll also need some low sodium chicken broth.
  • Protein: this soup packs over 30g of protein per serving thanks to chicken thighs and two cans of cannellini white beans! You could also use chicken breast if you’d like.
  • Mix-ins: I love adding frozen corn, fresh lime juice and some extra cilantro to the soup.
  • To garnish: add anything you like! I always add extra cilantro and lime wedges, jalapeño and avocado slices, and some tortilla strips or chips. Feel free to top with shredded cheese or sour cream, too, if you’re not dairy free!

pouring white beans into a pot of chicken enchilada soup

The key to creamy chicken enchilada soup

Instead of adding any cream, cream cheese or sour cream to this enchilada soup recipe (like many recipes call for), you’ll actually create a creamy texture by blending a can of white cannellini beans with broth or water and simmering it right into the soup! This also adds another amazing source of protein to the soup. Wins all around.

creamy enchilada soup in a pot

Easy ingredients swaps

If you’re out of any of these white bean enchilada soup ingredients, here’s what I can recommend substituting:

  • For the enchilada sauce: if you don’t have any enchilada sauce, you can also use 1 cup of tomato sauce. I also recommend adding 1/2 teaspoon chili powder to the recipe as well.
  • For the chicken: feel free to stir in 2 cups of leftover cooked shredded chicken, or even rotisserie chicken, instead of cooking the chicken in the pot! Simply add the chicken to the pot with the chicken broth, etc. and simmer for 20 minutes. Learn our fav ways to easily shred chicken here!
  • For the cannellini beans: you can also use two cans of chickpeas instead of cannellini beans if that’s what you have on hand. You’ll use them the same way as written in the recipe!

white bean enchilada soup in three bowls topped with avocado and jalapeño slices

Make it in your slow cooker

I originally made this enchilada soup recipe on the stovetop, but you can easily make it in your slow cooker!

  1. Cook the veggies. Follow the first step and sauté the veggies on the stovetop. Add those to your slow cooker.
  2. Combine the soup. Add the rest of the ingredients except the final lime juice and cilantro to your slow cooker. Note that you’ll also want to reduce the chicken broth by 1 cup.
  3. Cook & shred. Cook the enchilada soup on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-7 hours. Remove the chicken, shred it, then add it back to your crockpot with the lime juice and cilantro.
  4. Season & serve. Season the soup to taste then serve with your fav toppings!

easy enchilada soup in a bowl topped with tortilla strips

Storing & freezing tips

  • To store: this healthy chicken enchilada soup will stay good in your fridge for about 5 days. Once the soup is completely cooled, just place it in an airtight container (or multiple, if you’d like to meal prep it) without the additional toppings and place it in the fridge. To reheat it, simply do so in the microwave with a microwave safe bowl, or feel free to reheat it on the stovetop. Add your toppings once you’re ready to serve!
  • To freeze: yes, you can freeze this enchilada soup! Follow the instructions above, but instead of placing the soup in the refrigerator just put it in your freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, simply thaw the soup overnight and reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave when you’re ready to eat.

healthy enchilada soup in two bowls

More cozy soup recipes

Get all of our delicious soup recipes here!

I hope you love this creamy chicken enchilada soup recipe! If you make it be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked it. Enjoy, xo!

Creamy White Bean Chicken Enchilada Soup

healthy chicken enchilada soup in a bowl topped with garnishes

Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Cozy and delicious chicken enchilada soup made extra creamy thanks to blended white beans! There’s no cream or dairy in this flavorful enchilada soup recipe, just wonderful veggies, lots of protein and warming spices. Serve with your favorite garnishes for the perfect lunch or dinner!

Ingredients

  • 1
    tablespoon
    olive oil
  • 1
    medium white onion, chopped
  • 1
    jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 1
    small green bell pepper, very finely diced (about ½ cup diced green bell pepper)
  • ½
    cup
    finely diced cilantro
  • 3
    cloves
    garlic, minced
  • 1
    teaspoon
    cumin
  • 1
    teaspoon
    ground coriander
  • 1/2
    teaspoon
    ground turmeric
  • 1/2
    teaspoon
    garlic powder
  • 1/2
    teaspoon
    oregano
  • 1
    cup
    red enchilada sauce (I like Siete or Hatch brands!)
  • 4
    cups
    low sodium chicken broth
  • 1
    (15 ounce) can of cannellini white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1
    pound
    boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2
    teaspoon
    salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • For the creamy white bean base:
  • 1
    (15 ounce) can of cannellini white beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½
    cup
    water or chicken broth
  • For the mix-ins:
  • 3/4
    cup
    frozen corn
  • 1
    medium lime, juiced
  • 1/4
    cup
    fresh, chopped cilantro
  • For garnish:
  • Tortilla strips or chips
  • Extra cilantro
  • Avocado slices
  • Jalapeno slices
  • Extra lime wedges

Instructions

  1. Add olive oil to a large dutch oven or large pot and place over medium high heat. Add onion, jalapeno, green bell pepper, cilantro and garlic; saute until onions are translucent and begin to soften, about 2-4 minutes.

  2. Next bring the heat to low and stir in all of the spices: cumin, coriander, turmeric, garlic powder, oregano and salt and pepper. Cook for 20 seconds, then stir in the enchilada sauce, chicken broth, 1 can of rinsed and drained white beans (about 1 ½ cups white beans), uncooked chicken thighs and salt and pepper.

  3. Bring soup to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 25-30 minutes. Do not cover. After 25 minutes or so, remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and shred with two forks then add back to the pot.

  4. Finally, add the remaining can of rinsed and drained white beans (1 1/2 cups white beans) and ½ cup water (or broth) to a blender or food processor. Blend until somewhat smooth, adding a little more water if necessary. Add blended white beans into the soup pot and then stir in the corn, lime juice and cilantro. Taste and add more salt and pepper, as necessary. Allow soup to cook and simmer uncovered for 10 more minutes to thicken and bring flavors together. Serve with tortilla chips, shredded cheese if you’d like, an extra lime wedge, jalapeno slices and avocado. Serves 4-6.

Recipe Notes

Use leftover chicken instead: Feel free to use 2 cups leftover cooked shredded chicken instead! You can add it to the pot when you add the chicken broth, etc and simply simmer for 20 minutes to bring the flavors together.

If you don’t have enchilada sauce: 1 cup of tomato sauce will work well. I simply recommend adding about ½ teaspoon chili powder to the recipe.

To make this in your slow cooker: follow step 1 and soften the onions, bell pepper, cilantro and jalapeno on the stovetop, then add all ingredients except the final lime juice and cilantro to your slow cooker. I also recommend reducing the chicken broth in the recipe by 1 cup as your slow cooker will create condensation and additional liquid as the soup cooks. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-7 hours. Remove chicken and shred, then add back to the slow cooker and stir in lime juice and cilantro. Season to taste. That’s it!

Nutrition

Servings: 4 servings

Serving size: 1 serving (based on 4)

Calories: 391kcal

Fat: 11g

Saturated fat: 2.4g

Carbohydrates: 38.5g

Fiber: 7.2g

Sugar: 3.9g

Protein: 36.8g

Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats

This post was originally published on January 26th, 2022, and republished on October 6th, 2022.