Hearty chicken enchilada soup with quinoa – just a few minutes of prep to make in the instant pot or slower cooker then sit back and enjoy!
This chicken enchilada soup is everything I didn’t realize that I needed.
Spicy. Hearty. Filling. WARM.
We’ve finally reached that point in the year where hot drinks and bowls of soup are just as much a strategic means for warming my cold hands as it is for eating. You understand?
Mike always laughs at how slowly I drink my coffee in the morning because most of the time is spent holding a hot cup and smelling the coffee as opposed to just drinking it. I know I’m not alone in that.
But back to the soup!
As far as soups go this one is quite hearty – almost chili like. It’s loaded with quinoa, beans, corn etc that absorb a lot of the liquid. If you prefer a more broth-y soup, feel free to add another cup or so of stock at the end.
I say spicy up above, but that party really just depends on the type of enchilada sauce you use. Chose a mild, medium, or spicy sauce depending on your preference and make this however you’d like.
Since I’m not really crazy about the enchilada sauce that is available where I usually shop I decided to make my own. I’ll include the recipe for that as well in case you want to make your own. It takes about 10 minutes extra work, but it’s so worth it! You can also adjust the amount of spice in the sauce as well to suit your needs.
Chicken Enchilada Soup: Instant Pot or Crock Pot
I’ve had my instant pot for a few months now and I continue to be impressed each and every time I use it. I’ve made whole chickens, pork carnitas, and dried beans from scratch in less than an hour with essentially no effort on my part. It takes the ease of using a crock pot without the wait time. Granted, sometimes it’s nice to have things slowly cooking away on your counter top all day if you’ve got things to do. Fortunately for me the one I own has me covered with its slow cooker option.
If you don’t own an instant pot yet – no worries! I’ve included instructions for how to make this in the slow cooker – basically the same method, just different cook times. Whichever way you choose to do it you’ll love it.
Of course with any soup/chili the toppings make all the difference. I’m always a fan of adding avocado to spicy soups to tone down the heat, but I realize adding avocado to soup might be weird. I’ve also got a dairy free/egg free skillet corn bread coming up a little later this week that I ate along with this that I think you’ll really love too! Stay tuned!
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 1 pound
- 3 cups chicken stock or broth
- 1 1/4 cup red enchilada sauce, or 1 10-ounce can, see recipe below, homemade or store-bought
- 1 can diced tomatoes, 14-ounce, with juice
- 2 cans black beans, 14-ounce, rinsed and drained
- 1 can whole-kernel corn* drained, 15-ounce
- 1 can diced green chiles, 4-ounce
- 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, 93 grams
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium white onion, or 1 cup, peeled and diced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
- chopped fresh cilantro, diced avocado, diced red onion, shredded cheese, sour cream, tortilla strips/chips, squeeze of lime juice
Homemade Enchilada Sauce
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoons gluten free all purpose flour, can sub with arrowroot or tapioca starch for grain free version
- 2 tablespoons chili powder, mild, medium, or hot
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
- salt to taste
- Add all of the ingredients to your instant pot and stir gently to combine. Lock on the lid, close the vent and use the manual settings to set the time for 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes are up, let the air vent naturally before opening the pressure cooker (total time in the pressure cooker will be about 25-30 minutes). After the you've opened the pressure cooker use a slotted spoon to remove the chicken. Transfer to a plate and shred before returning it back to the pot.
- Serve still warm with your toppings and enjoy!
- For the crockpot cook 3-4 hours on a high heat or 6-8 hours on a low heat. Remove the chicken from the pot and place on a chopping board. Use two forks to shred the chicken breasts and then return the chicken to the soup.
- Serve warm and top with your garnishes of choice.
Homemade enchilada sauce
- In a small sauce pot warm the olive oil. Add the flour, paste and seasonings to the oil and stir together to form a roux. Add the stock and whisk it all together to remove any lumps in the sauce. Let the sauce simmer on the stove for 7-10 minutes. Remove from the heat until you're ready to add it to your soup or store it in an air tight container in the fridge. Use it within 3 days.
Store in the fridge for up to a week or freeze for up to 3 months makes 5-6 servings