Spicy Chicken Enchilada Soup

Close-up top view of soup garnished with cheese and coriander in a bowl.

5 from 1 review

Spicy Chicken Enchilada Soup is quick and easy to make in one pot, hearty and filling, chock-full of veggies and chicken, and loaded with spicy and smoky hot Mexican flavors!


  • 1 medium Red Onion (or yellow or white onion) – diced
  • 67 Garlic cloves – minced
  • 23 Green Chilies (or 1 small Jalapeño pepper), to taste – deseeded if less heat is desired, finely chopped
  • 612 Red Chilies, to taste – deseeded if less heat is desired, finely chopped
  • 8 ounces Bell Pepper (any color – I used half of a yellow and red bell pepper) – deseeded and diced
  • 2 Chipotle Peppers + 2–3 TBLS Adobo Sauce – deseeded if less heat is desired, chopped (use less peppers and adobo sauce for a milder soup)
  • 2 TBLS Coriander (Cilantro) – finely chopped
  • ¾ cup Masa Harina
  • 1.5 cups Water
  • 2 TBLS Olive Oil (or any other cooking oil you prefer)
  • 4 cups / 32 ounces Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1 & ¼ cups / 10-ounce can Red Enchilada Sauce (I used Frontera)
  • 1 (411 grams / 14.5-ounce) can Fire Roasted Crushed Tomatoes (I used Muir Glen)
  • 1 (400 grams /14-ounce) can Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 (425 grams / 15-ounce) can Black Beans – drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup Sweet Corn Kernels (frozen or fresh)
  • 400 grams / 14 ounces (about 2.5 cups) leftover cooked Shredded Chicken
  • 2 TBLS Tomato Paste
  • 2 TSP Kosher Salt, to taste (use half the amount if using iodized table salt)
  • 1.5 TSP freshly cracked Black Pepper, to taste
  • ½ TSP Garlic Powder
  • 1 TSP ground Cayenne, to taste
  • 1 TSP Chili Powder, to taste
  • 1.5 TSP Smoked Paprika (I used a hot one, but you can use a sweet one if you prefer)
  • 1 TSP ground Cumin
  • 1 TSP dried Oregano Flakes
  • 1 cup freshly grated Smoked Cheddar Cheese (or use sharp cheddar)
  • 2 TBLS freshly squeezed Lime Juice (juice of 12 small limes), to taste
  • To Serve (optional toppings): Chopped coriander, freshly grated smoked or sharp cheddar cheese (or Monterey Jack cheese), diced or sliced avocado, corn tortilla chips or strips (store-bought or homemade), sour cream, pico de gallo, lime wedges for squeezing, etc.



  1. Prepare the ingredients: Chop the red onion, garlic, green chilies, red chilies, bell pepper(s), chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, and coriander as indicated in the ‘ingredients’ section.
  2. Combine masa harina with water: Whisk together the masa harina and water in a measuring cup until evenly combined.

For the Spicy Chicken Enchilada Soup:

  1. Sauté veggies and aromatics: Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven (or stockpot) over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the red onion and bell pepper(s) and sauté for 4-5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic, green chilies, and red chilies and sauté for another minute until fragrant.
  2. Stir in masa harina: Stir in the masa harina and water mixture until evenly combined.
  3. Build the soup: Pour in the low sodium chicken broth, red enchilada sauce, canned crushed fire roasted tomatoes, and canned chopped tomatoes. Add the black beans, sweet corn kernels, cooked leftover shredded chicken, tomato paste, chopped chipotle peppers and adobo sauce, kosher salt, freshly cracked black pepper, garlic powder, ground cayenne, chili powder, smoked paprika, ground cumin, and dried oregano flakes. Reduce the heat to medium and give everything a good stir. Simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent anything from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
  4. Stir in the cheese, coriander, and lime juice: Stir in the smoked cheddar cheese until fully melted and integrated in the soup. Then stir in the chopped fresh coriander and lime juice, and switch off the heat.
  5. To Serve: Ladle the soup evenly into bowls, and top with chopped coriander, freshly grated smoked or sharp cheddar cheese (or Monterey Jack cheese), diced avocado, corn tortilla chips/strips, sour cream, pico de gallo, lime wedges for squeezing, or any of your other favorite toppings. Serve immediately and enjoy!



  1. Chicken. I used some leftover baked kosher salt (1 TSP for 2 breasts) and pepper (1/2 TSP) seasoned chicken breasts that I made using the method for this Juicy Baked Chicken Breasts recipe. However, you can use any leftover shredded or cubed chicken you have on hand, or shredded rotisserie or roasted chicken from the store.
  2. Storing. Store in sealed airtight containers in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  3. Freezing. Once cool, transfer to freezer friendly containers and freeze for up to 3 months. To thaw, place in the fridge overnight (it won’t thaw completely, but that’s okay). Reheat in a pot on the stove over medium-high heat until hot throughout.
  4. See ‘Variations’ section in post above if you’d like to customize this spicy chicken enchilada soup.


Keywords: chicken enchilada soup, Mexican chicken enchilada soup, spicy chicken enchilada soup