This Chicken Enchilada Soup is a copycat version of Chili’s famous soup. All the classic flavors of chicken enchiladas is a warm, hearty, cheesy, creamy soup.
**Update: post and photos updated since original date in 2013.
There are so many things to love about fall but one of my favorites is the soup. I’m down with broccoli cheese, chicken noodle, clam chowder, potato soup but this chicken enchilada soup has to be my favorite of them all.
This literally tastes like an enchilada in a bowl and I’m completely here for it forever and always.
Chicken enchilada soup couldn’t get easier either. It cooks away in the slow cooker and is a simple dump, stir and cook recipe.
This soup uses a lot of store-bought shortcuts which is what makes this soup so easy and perfect for busy fall nights.
Let’s get down to what makes this soup so incredible. First, what gives it the corn tortilla taste? A little ingredient called masa harina. It’s a flour made from ground corn that is usually used to make corn tortillas and tamales. In this recipe, it not only lends that traditional enchilada taste to the soup but it also acts as a thickening agent.
Masa harina is usually found in the baking aisle by the flour or in the Mexican/ethnic food aisle. I’ve never had any trouble finding it in any supermarket in town. You can also use it to make this delicious corn cake too so don’t worry about buying it and only using it for one recipe.
If you aren’t able to find it or don’t want to purchase it, you can also chop up some corn tortillas into small pieces and stir them into the soup. They will dissolve and provide great flavor and a similar texture to that of the masa harina. I prefer the texture with the masa but it’s still good this way too.
The second element of the enchilada is the sauce. I use store-bought enchilada sauce in this soup but you could definitely make it homemade if you had the desire.
Now I have something controversial to discuss with you. The cheesy part of this soup is orange and creamy and perhaps processed cheese food. Do you know where I’m going with this one?
Velveeta dun dun dunnnn. I’m sorry if you hate it and you’re judging me right now but it just makes it so good. Trust me. If you only use this block of cheese in one recipe in life, this should be the one.
Chicken, black beans and frozen corn bulk up the soup and add even more flavor and texture. Black beans and corn aren’t always traditional in an enchilada soup but I like what they add to it. If you like them, add them if not, leave them out. You do you.
This one is my go-to soup when I’m going to a soup potluck. Do those things happen outside the Midwest? If they don’t, they should. It’s always a hit and there is never any left to take home with me. The mark of a successful recipe.
Chicken Enchilada Soup - Chili's Copycat
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 1 Tbsp. chicken soup base
- 2 tsp. cumin
- 2 tsp. chili powder
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1 8 oz. can tomato paste
- 20 oz. red enchilada sauce
- 1 cup masa harina (found in the Mexican food aisle)
- 16 oz. Velveeta, cubed
- 1 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese
- 1 22 oz. bag precooked, diced chicken
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- Garnish: sour cream, tortilla strips/chips, shredded cheese, pico de gallo,
- Add oil to a medium sized skillet over medium-low heat. Once hot, add onion and saute for 2 to 3 minutes, until translucent and soft. Add garlic and cook another minute. Add to your slow cooker.
- Add all remaining ingredients except for the chicken, corn, black beans and garnishes. Stir until combined. You may need a whisk to incorporate the masa harina. Cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4 hours. Stir occasionally.
- During the last 45 minutes add the chicken, corn and black beans. Top with desired garnishes.
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