Chicken Enchilada Soup

How much pumpkin have you consumed already? Tis the season. I made pumpkin smoothies all last week, and I was really underwhelmed. I don’t know if it’s because I might just be tired of smoothies for once or the pumpkin just wasn’t doing anything for me. Pumpkin cookies from Cougar Mountain Baking Company and a Big Black Jack Imperial Chocolate Pumpkin Porter from Oakshire Brewing were had last week, too. It could be that I still don’t feel adequately prepped for fall. I feel like I missed the transition while I was in Thailand. How’s that for rationale? 

While it wasn’t pumpkin, I did have a heavenly parsnip squash puree at A Cena last week with three giant scallops, roasted delicata squash, and brussels sprouts. That was much more fall in my mouth than any pumpkin thing I’ll have in the next month or so.

More than pumpkin season, it’s soup season. I use season loosely because I’m game for a bowl of piping hot soup any time of the year. I’ve probably eaten at least six bowls of soup in the last few weeks [you try going to Southpaw Deli and not eating their soup]. This little number came from a little slow cooker action.

Okay, timeout. Am I the only one who bounces between the term slow cooker and crock pot because I can never settle on one? I swear it just depends on my mood.

Regardless, the result was a deliciously thick soup, especially after a day camping out in the fridge. Leftover soup is the best. Since fresh corn has disappeared from the markets, I switched over to frozen. I prefer the texture 100x more than canned. Instead of getting some sour cream for garnish, I opted on a high quality white cheddar cheese. I couldn’t bring myself to splurge on the avocado, but it would have been dang delicious. Try out the bone-in chicken thighs if you can. It’s cheaper and the bones will impart even more flavor. The chicken will be so tender when all is said and done that you really won’t be doing much more than fishing them out. It’s easy. 

Inspiration: The Kitchn


  • Canola oil, optional [or whatever neutral oil you have on hand]
  • 1 medium sized onion, chopped [someday I’ll weigh these things]
  • 1 large jalapeño, diced [keep the seeds if you want to spice things up]
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced [I’ve been storing peeled cloves in the freezer]
  • 2 tablespoons Mexican-style chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 can fire roasted tomatoes, liquids drained
  • 15oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 10oz bag frozen corn
  • 15oz can black beans, drained
  • 3lbs bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed
  • salt, pepper


If you want more flavor, sauté the onion and jalapeño in the canola oil until it’s soft. It should take 5-7 minutes depending on how crowded your pan is. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sugar. Stir until all the veggies are coated with the seasoning paste. Your house will smell delicious, and the flavor later will be leaps and bounds better. I did this the night before so I didn’t have to worry about it in the morning.

Pour the veggies into the bottom of your slow cooker and top with the tomatoes, tomato sauce, and chicken stock. Add the corn, black beans, and healthy pinch of salt and pepper and thoroughly mix before nestling the chicken thighs into the tomato mixture. Cover and set on low for for 6 to 7 hours minimum. Mine cooked for nearly 10, and was so fall off the bone tender. Shred the chicken and remove the bones before serving.

Topping options: shredded cheese, avocado slices, cilantro, sour cream, yogurt, tortilla chips, etc.

12 thoughts on “Chicken Enchilada Soup”

  • It’s hilarious that you asked if you’re the only one who switches between slow cooker and crock pot. I am exactly the same. Sometimes I feel weird saying crock pot! Like I’m a granny or something. But other times it just comes out. Do you do a lot of slow cooking/crock potting? (can those be verbs?)
    I got one a few months ago and love it. I make chili in there mostly, but I’ve also made curries and a chicken tagine once. All great!

    • I feel like crock pot is kind of reserved for those little old ladies who make those cocktail meatballs in some weird gel-like sauce served with toothpicks. Or perhaps some cocktail sausages. I think they’ve been at every baby shower I’ve been to in the last year. So odd.

      I feel like my crock potting is at a minimum. Just enough so it doesn’t collect dust. Every time I use it, I’m like OH MAN LETS USE IT EVERY DAY, and then I don’t. It just hangs out in the cabinet.

      Now you’ve got me craving a chicken tagine.

      • Hahaha same thing happens with me. I sometimes consider it, and even though it’s so easy I think, eh, I can’t be bothered getting it out of the cupboard. I’ll have a cheese quesadilla instead! I’ve become such a lazy eater these days! I think I might post a blog about my lazy eating 😉

  • There’s a spot in the city called Jamber. They make a great pumpkin jam which they serve with meatballs… Or maybe it’s a meatball dish that they serve on pumpkin jam. It’s hard to say who the star of that show is. 😉

  • I’m always game for a new tasty crockpot recipe, it’s definitely the season to bring out that appliance. I’m not a year-round soup fan, but I’m definitely a fall and winter soup person. I’ve already been making crocks of chili, this sounds like a delicious slightly-different alternative.

  • I have a bunch of frozen chicken breasts that I need to use up — how many breasts = 3lbs? And do you think I need to adjust the time on the slow cooker (longer/shorter for breasts?) Wish I had dark meat for some extra flavor, but alas… 🙂 thanks for any input you may have!

    • Hi Elaine — the size of the breasts totally vary by chicken. At the store nearest to me, I can usually get about 2 per pound, but to be safe I usually go to the butcher in the meat department for specific amounts. I’m weird and don’t like to keep frozen meat.

      I don’t think you’ll need to adjust your time on your slow cooker. I’ve found that when this much liquid is involved, you won’t dry things out. It’ll be just fine!

      • Thank you so much, Michelle! I’ll guess and put in about 5-6? I usually don’t like to keep meat in the freezer either. I don’t like the whole thawing it and making sure I’m doing it safely. Too many risks! I will be trying this recipe in a couple days. Yum, I love a thick soup.

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