Festive Chicken Enchilada Soup is a slow cooker recipe with shredded chicken, black beans, yellow corn, diced tomatoes, and enchilada sauce. The ingredients require minimal chopping and can be prepped in about 15 minutes.
This recipe also uses masa harina to thicken the soup and provide authentic flavor. If masa harina is not available, you can simply tear some corn tortillas into small pieces and add them to the slow cooker as a substitute. The tortillas will thicken the soup as they cook and dissolve. They won't impart exactly the same flavor and texture as the masa harina, but the result still be delicious.
Ancho chile powder contains just dry-roasted ancho chile peppers which are gluten-free. Ancho (or pablano) peppers are the most popular of the dried chiles. Their heat is mild, and they have a sweet fruity flavor.
Chili powder, on the other hand, is a blend of seasonings which can differ by manufacturer. Typically ground chiles are mixed with a variety of herbs and spices. For this reason, you must check the label to be certain your chili powder is gluten-free.
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, excess fat removed
1 medium-size onion, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups frozen yellow corn
14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, fire-roasted
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder (found in spice aisle) [or use 1-1/2 tablespoons chili powder labeled gluten-free]
*1-1/2 cup masa harina (found in ethnic food aisle)
*4 cups water
28 ounce can red enchilada sauce
4 cups chicken broth
shredded pepper jack cheese
gluten-free sour cream
fresh cilantro, rinsed and chopped
crispy tortilla strips
1. Add: Place the chicken breasts, chopped onion, and minced garlic in a 6-quart slow cooker.
2. Rinse: Pour the can of black beans in a colander or strainer to drain away the packing liquid then rinse with running water. This process removes excess starch, sodium, and potential metallic flavor. Better tasting beans means a more flavorful soup.
3. Add: Next, add the beans, frozen yellow corn, and can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes.
4. Add seasonings: Add the ground cumin, salt, and ancho powder. (Ancho powder is gluten-free and adds mild heat and earthy, smoky sweetness. If it's not available, you can use regular chili powder labeled gluten-free.)
5. Combine and add: In a large bowl, combine the masa harina and 4 cups of water. Stir to combine then add to the slow cooker. This mixture helps thicken the soup and adds wonderful authentic flavor. *[If masa harina is not available, you can thicken the soup by adding 6 corn tortillas and omitting the 4 cups of water. Tear the tortillas into several pieces before adding to them to the slow cooker. As they cook, they will dissolve.
6. Add: Add the red enchilada sauce and chicken broth. Stir to combine the ingredients, but make sure the chicken breasts remain near the bottom so they become tender.
7. Cook: With the lid on, cook on LOW for 7-9 hours or on HIGH for 4-5 hours.
8. Shred chicken: When the chicken breasts are tender and tear apart easily, lift them out and place on a plate. Using two forks, shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces then add them back to the soup.
9. Add toppings: Ladle soup into bowls and top with all or none of these optional toppings: shredded pepper jack cheese, sour cream, slices of fresh lime, chopped cilantro leaves, and/or crispy tortilla strips.