Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup with Tortellini is the easiest throw-it-all-in-a-pot, cozy fall soup. It’s packed with tender chicken, sweet corn, tortellini, the most delicious enchilada-like flavor, and plenty of sharp cheddar cheese. Comforting and so delicious.
Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup with Tortellini
Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup with Tortellini checks all of the required boxes when it comes to cozy fall soups. It’s hearty, packed with veggies and tender chicken, a little spicy, and has the most intoxicating enchilada-like broth that warms you from the inside out.
Oh, and also intertwined in the broth? Lots of cheesy goodness from ricotta tortellini and plenty of sharp cheddar cheese.
If that doesn’t make your heart go pitter patter, you’re pretty much a lost cause to me.
I can’t get enough of the flavor profile of our favorite enchilada sauce from these epic Chicken Enchiladas, and because it’s soup season, it makes perfect sense to turn classic, cheesy chicken enchiladas into cheesy chicken enchilada soup. All you have to do, is add a little broth, some veggies, and a carb (because why not?).
Ingredients in Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup with Tortellini
Aromatics. Onion and garlic. Always an essential in soups, especially tex-mex soups.
Tomato Paste. The base of all enchilada sauces is tomato paste. Not only does it add a concentrated tomato flavor without adding diced or whole tomatoes, but it also helps to thicken the soup. You only need a few tablespoons. Save the rest for a small batch of spaghetti and meatballs, or these Mozzarella Stick Chicken Burgers.
Flour. Another thickening agent. While I wanted this soup to be slightly brothy, I also wanted it to have a sturdiness to it – flour does the trick.
Chicken broth. Low-sodium chicken broth or stock works here. The reason you want to use low-sodium broth is so you can control the amount of salt that goes into the soup.
Spices. Plenty of chili powder and cumin. I also like to add in a teaspoon or so of oregano when my kids aren’t eating it, because unfortunately Teddy detects the “pieces” and then refuses to eat.
Apple cider vinegar. Ok this seems like kind of an odd ingredient, but what I love about enchilada sauce is it has this tangy acidic bite to it. A little bit of apple cider vinegar adds the acid you need in the soup for it to mimic a classic chicken enchilada sauce. Don’t leave it out!
Chicken. In soup, I almost always like to use chicken tenderloins. They’re more tender, hence the name, and cook quickly. I actually like to keep a big batch in the freezer. I throw it into the soup frozen, no need to defrost.
Corn. Any veggies will do, but I love the sweetness corn adds here.
Tortellini. You could really use any type of pasta here, but I love cheese-filled tortellini. It’s a big hit with the kids, and it adds another element of cheesiness I love.
Sharp cheddar cheese. The sharper, the better!
How to make Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup.
Sweat the veggies. Toss the veggies with just a touch of olive oil. Sweat them over a medium heat until they’re fragrant and slightly softened, about two minutes.
Stir in tomato paste and flour. Toss the onions in the tomato paste until they’re evenly coated. Cook for one minute and then add the flour. Toss again until coated.
Dump everything else in except the cheese and corn. This is just about as easy as gets. Throw in the chicken broth, chili powder, cumin, salt, apple cider, chicken, and tortellini. Bring the soup to a boil, and let it simmer until the chicken is cooked through.
Shred the chicken. Once the chicken is cooked through, remove it from the soup and use two forks to shred. Add it back to the soup along with the corn and the cheese. Simmer another few minutes until the cheese has melted into the soup and the corn is defrosted.
Serve! Honestly, because there’s so much going on in Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup, you really don’t need any toppings. I promise. Just be sure to season with plenty of salt and pepper.
Can I make this in advance?
Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup can absolutely be made in advance. Make it the day before, cool completely and then store in the pot you made it in. (Make sure there’s a lid.) When you’re ready to reheat, put it back on the stove and heat over a medium-low heat. Stir occasionally.
Does Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup freeze?
Yes! Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup would be the PERFECT soup to freezer. Cool completely and then place in a large freezer ziplock bag. Lay flat in the freezer and freeze until solid. Store for up to three months. To thaw: Place the soup in the fridge the day before and let it defrost overnight.
Substitutions and Tips and Tricks for Recipe Success
- Feel free to add in any of your favorite veggies. Sautéed bell peppers or even sweet potato would be great additions.
- Black beans would also work great in Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup.
- Use any kind of pasta in place of the cheese tortellini.
- If you want the soup on the spicy side, add a little bit of cayenne pepper or ground chipotle powder.
- Ground chicken or turkey can replace chicken tenders. You could even use ground sirloin if you want to go with beef.
If you love this recipe, be sure to check out these other similar dishes.
- This One Pot Turkey Mexican Pasta is SO easy to throw together and just as comforting as today’s soup. It’s packed with ground turkey, black beans, tomatoes, and plenty of gooey cheese.
- If you’re feeling soup, we LOVE this Chicken and Corn Chicken Chili. Saute some veggies, throw everything into the pot and let it simmer for 15 minutes or so, and dinner is done.
- Speaking of tex-me AND easy-to-throw-together dishes, let me introduce you to this Chicken Enchilada Baked Ravioli. This is basically a hybrid between cheesy lasagna, ravioli, and chicken enchiladas. Layers of cheese ravioli, covered in tangy enchilada sauce, and covered in cheese – what more could you want?
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
- 2 tbsp + 1 tsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 32 oz low-sodium chicken stock
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 lb chicken tenders
- 2 cups tortellini
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- stock pot
- Add olive oil to a large stock pot. Heat to medium. Add onion, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Sweat veggies until slightly softened, about 2-3 minutes. Cook 1 more minute. Add tomato paste, stir. Cook 1 more minute. Add flour. Stir to combine. Cook another minute.
- Stir in chicken broth, chili powder, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, cumin, and apple cider vinegar. Stir. Add chicken tenders and tortellini. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 10-12 minutes.
- Remove chicken and shred with two forks. Add chicken, corn, and cheese to the soup. Stir. Simmer until 5-6 minutes until corn is warmed through and cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper.