World’s Easiest Enchilada Soup

The Tiny Kitchen Assistant said it was spicy (it wasn't), but he had no problem eating the chicken pieces.

I had planned to make enchiladas for dinner, but as I looked at the day’s calendar, it hit me: we were going to be overbooked for the afternoon, and dinner had to be ready as we rolled in the door. It was going to have to be a Crock Pot kind of night, but what was I going to cook?

I looked in the pantry and had a “what if?” moment. It was a gamble, but it worked.

Behold: enchilada soup.


  • 4-5 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 1 bottle enchilada sauce
  • 1 large can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • Chopped fresh cilantro or cilantro puree
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (mine were still frozen)
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can corn, rinsed and drained

Mix the enchilada sauce, tomatoes, water, garlic and cilantro in the slow cooker. Add raw chicken. Set on low and ignore all day.

With 15-30 minutes until serving, remove the chicken and shred with forks. Return to the slow cooker.

Add black beans and corn and heat through.

Garnish with shredded cheese, avocado, sour cream, cilantro, tortilla chips… whatever you have on hand to make it look fancy. I also whipped up a couple of quesadillas to serve on the side, a vaguely Mexican version of the traditional tomato soup and grilled cheese.


The Tiny Kitchen Assistant claimed that it was “too spicy,” but I think that was his general aversion to soup talking (we have an ongoing debate about the difference between “flavor” and “spicy”). I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it tasted fairly similar to the soup that I order at a favorite local restaurant.

An independent, non-family reviewer said, “Yum!! The soup was great. Light and tasty and perfect for a winter night.” Excellent!

Express Meatless or Leftover Chicken Option

You could easily make this with any chicken you have on hand. I could easily imagine an express version, cooked on the stovetop, using shredded leftover rotisserie chicken, or a meatless version that omits the chicken entirely. Just mix all of the ingredients together and heat through.

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2 Responses

  1. Lisa Y says:

    This sounds really good! What enchilada sauce do you use? I have bought a couple of different kinds but didn’t find one I really liked and haven’t attempted in a long time.

  2. Alisa says:

    I used Trader Joe’s brand for this. With the added tomatoes and veggies, I think that there’s enough going on in the soup that it doesn’t have to be as good as it would with a standalone enchilada. I used to use La Victoria, but the last time I bought that it was downright awful. I’d be open to suggestions from any of my readers if they have a favorite brand!

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