Chicken Enchilada Soup in the Instant Pot – Rich and Creamy

Chicken Enchilada Soup in the Instant Pot - TheWildWaynes
ThewildWaynes' Chicken Enchilada Soup

Chicken enchilada soup contains the unmistakable flavor of delicious cheesy chicken enchiladas in a creamy irresistible soup. We pressure cook our soup in the Instant Pot to produce a euphoric taste bud experience with every spoonful. Three chicken breasts make this soup hearty enough to fill even the biggest apatite.

Chicken Enchiladas

A fork full of chicken enchiladas is likely to have shredded chicken, corn tortilla, and cheese all covered in a rich enchilada sauce. Many people like to top their chicken enchiladas with green onion, chopped tomatoes, cilantro, and even crispy corn tortilla chips. In other words, an explosion of terrific flavors with every bite.

Chicken Enchilada Soup

ThewildWaynes' Chicken Enchilada Soup

We use plenty of chicken breasts pressure cooked in 28 ounces my favorite enchilada sauce (El Pato), one chopped yellow onion, plenty of fresh sliced or diced garlic, a bunch of cilantro, and just the right amount of seasoning.

Two cups of cheddar and a pound of Velveeta cheese is used to give the soup a smooth and creamy feel. The warm corn tortilla flavor comes from a healthy helping of masa harina cooked into the chicken enchilada soup.

Brown the Chicken Breasts for the Chicken Enchilada Soup

We start the whole thing out by browning medium large chicken breasts for 3 per side.

8 quart Instant Pot is used to pressure cook our chicken enchilada soup.

We do this by pressing the sauté button on the instant pot and after it displays HOT, add 2 Tbsp of olive oil.

olive oil added to a hot pot

Swirl the pot around to get the bottom covered in olive oil. Use long kitchen tongs to place the chicken breasts into the instant pot.

Place the chicken breasts into the instant pot

The chicken breasts will stick to the hot pot where they touch. Make sure you place them near the edge to leave room for the others. Brown for 3 minutes on sauté.

Brown the chicken breasts

Use a wooden spatula to scrape the chicken breast free from the instant pot before flipping or moving the chicken breasts. Flip the chicken breasts and brown on sauté for another 3 minutes. Use the flat wooden spatula to free the chicken breasts and use long kitchen tongs to move them to a plate.

Cancel Sauté on the Instant Pot. We want the pot to slowly cool as we sweat our chopped onions.

Vegetables to Spike the Enchilada Soup

Chop one onion
Yellow Onion Chopped

A whole yellow onion is a must ingredient in any chicken enchilada soup. We are cooking our onion with the other ingredients meaning we want an onion that does well being cooked. The yellow onion flavor transforms from a pungent onion flavor to a sweet addition to our sauce.

Add the chopped onion to the instant pot as soon as the chicken has finished browning and moved to a plate. The sauté function has been canceled so the onions will warm up and turn translucent without burning while you slice the garlic and chop the cilantro.

At least 6 large garlic cloves sliced thin

Garlic is such a versatile ingredient that adds a significant amount of flavor to any dish. Six to ten large garlic cloves contribute a warm nutty flavor to the chicken enchilada soup. Adding more will intensify this magnificent flavor and is always welcome. Use a sharp knife to slice or dice the garlic cloves and add the sliced garlic to the onions. The onions should have edges that are translucent.

1 bunch of cilantro chopped

Cilantro is one of my favorite ingredients to add to my Mexican recipes. Cilantro provides our soup with a distinctive robust tangy flavor. This changes the whole direction of our chicken enchilada soup.

Chop a whole bunch of cilantro chopping down to the large group of stems at the center. This is much easier with a large cutting board to hold all of the chopped ingredients. Add the chopped cilantro to the onions and garlic in the instant pot.


Pepper, chili powder, cumin, chicken bouillon, and salt

Of course we will be adding extra seasoning to our soup. Chili powder and cumin are common flavors added to Mexican dishes and this recipe is no exception. We add chicken bouillon as well to make sure the three cups of water we add do not wash out any flavor.

Do not forget the salt. Salt is a very important part of recipes. Salt spikes all of the other ingredients waking them up so you do not miss out on what they have to offer.

We add a little fresh ground black pepper. I now use rainbow peppercorns in my grinder that I recommend, and is a must add ingredient in our chicken enchilada soup. Use a nice grinder for an even grind.

Cleaning the Brown Off the Instant Pot Bottom

Add 1/4 cup of water to the instant pot and browned onions, garlic, cilantro and seasoning.

Use a flat wooden spatula to easily scrape the bottom clean. The flat spatula has a large surface area to easily scrape the pot bottom clean much faster than a wooden spoon.

Enchilada Sauce

Add the rest of the 3 cups of water to the instant pot.

One of the key ingredients is chicken enchilada soup is enchilada sauce. I used to mix red and green enchilada sauces together to produce a different enchilada sauce flavor. Over the years, I’ve grown to appreciate the sauces on their own and prefer red enchilada sauce for this recipe.

El Pato makes my favorite store bought red enchilada sauce for this recipe. It melds so well with the other ingredients in this soup producing a rich flavor.

The Chicken

chicken going into the chicken enchilada soup
Submerge browned chicken breasts into the enchilada soup

For this recipe, I like to use chicken breast because they absorb the flavors in the instant pot so well. I do not cook the chicken breasts to the point of shredding because at that point, they are overcooked. That means tough meat.

Release pressure immediately after 8 minutes of pressure cooking

Pressure cook medium large chicken breasts in the enchilada soup for 8 minutes releasing the pressure immediately will produce perfectly cooked chicken breasts. If you have some impressively large chicken breast, pressure cook for 9 minutes releasing the pressure immediately after.

Chicken enchilada soup cooking
Remove the chicken form the enchilada soup

Use long kitchen tongs to move the chicken breasts to a plate letting the enchilada soup run back into the instant pot for a few seconds first. Use a large piece of aluminum foil to cover the chicken breasts on the plate. Leave the chicken breasts under an aluminum foil tent for 8 minutes to rest.

Aluminum foil tent for 8 minutes

This step allows the temperature to come down and will give the chicken time to absorb the juices into the muscle tissue. The chicken will be moist, flavorful and tender. Juices will flow out of the chicken breasts if cut into right away.


1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Adding a lot of cheddar and Velveeta cheese adds a ton of sharp flavor often found in enchiladas. We not only use it to fill that specific flavor element, but we use it to give the soup a velvety texture.

Shred 1.5 cups of cheddar cheese.

1 lb Velveeta

Do not be afraid of using Velveeta cheese. When melted into our chicken enchilada soup, it brings a level of magical flavor that is salty and delicious. Chop 1 pound of Velveeta to help a quick melt in the enchilada soup.

Velveeta chopped

Add the shredded cheddar and chopped Velveeta cheese to the enchilada sauce to melt. Put the instant pot lid on just to keep everything warm while we make the masa harina.

cheese goes into our chicken enchilada soup

Masa Harina

Masa for that great corn tortilla flavor makes our chicken enchilada soup taste amazing.
1/2 cup masa + 1 cup water

Chicken enchiladas use corn tortillas contributing quite a bit of flavor that would be missed if left out. To get that corn tortilla flavor, we use a half a cup of masa mixed very well with 1 cup of water to make masa harina. Corn tortillas are made from masa harina so why not add it to our chicken enchilada soup? It also acts as a thickener so we get a two for one!

If you have never used masa before, you probably haven’t seen it at the grocery store. I have only bought one bag and still have the same bag. I bought a brand called Maseca instant yellow corn masa flour and I have zero complaints.

chicken enchilada soup with the masa harina
Stir masa harina into the enchilada soup

Stir the masa harina slowly into the enchilada soup in the instant pot.

chicken enchilada soup

If you missed a clump of masa when stirring and it gets in your enchilada soup, use a whisk to break it down so it is all mixed evenly.

Let the Enchilada Soup Rest

Put the Instant Pot lid on with the Keep Warm function still on. The keep warm function comes on automatically after the pressure cook time has finished. Let all of the ingredients meld into one another for 20 minutes. I use a kitchen timer so I don’t forget.

Slice the Chicken Breasts

slice our perfect pressure cooked chicken breast for chicken enchilada soup
Thin slice the chicken breast

When there are about 5 minutes left on the enchilada soup, use a sharp knife to slice the chicken breasts thin and chop into 1 – 1.5 inch bite size strips. This gives the soup an incredible texture that’s fun to eat. I recommend cutting on a nice end grain wood cutting board when using a sharp knife.

Chop the sliced chicken into bite size strips

Add the chicken breast slices to the enchilada soup. Stir the chicken slices into the enchilada soup using a flat wooden spatula scraping the bottom of the instant pot clean.

chicken enchilada soup
chicken enchilada soup

Chicken Enchilada Soup Toppings

toppings for our chicken enchilada soup

This is your chance to put your favorite additions to the chicken enchilada soup to not only add fun flavors but also fun textures. A handful of grape tomatoes cut into quarters add a sweet tomato flavor and a sharp snap of texture with each bite.

sweet onion for our chicken enchilada soup

Diced sweet onion scattered across the top adds crunch and sweet onion flavor enchiladas love so much. A sprinkle of chopped cilantro is a must when adding onion to any Mexican dish.

sliced jalapeno for our chicken enchilada soup

If you want to brighten the bowl of chicken enchilada soup even more, top with thin slices of jalapeno. Don’t forget the tortilla chips! They go great with this chicken enchilada soup.

chicken enchilada soup in the instant pot

Tools and Appliances we use in Our 32 Foot 5th Wheel Trailer Kitchen

Instant Pot 8 Quart Duo Plus

Slow cooker lid for 8qt Instant Pot

Kitchen Torch

Air Fryer 5.7 Quart

EVO Olive Oil Sprayer

Steamer Basket for the Instant Pot

The Mac Chef’s knife I use

Cookie Spatula that works the Best in the Air Fryer

Wooden Spatula I use for Scraping and Stirring

End Grain Wood Cutting Board

Boo’s Mystery Oil for the Wood Cutting Board

Boo’s Board Cream for Wood Cutting Boards

Measuring Cups and Spoons

Pyrex Measuring Cups

Kitchen Tongs

Gravy Whisk

Hard Boiled Egg Holder for the Instant Pot

Egg Bite Mold for the Instant Pot

Minion Steam Diverter

Lemon Zester

Glass Mixing Bowls

Basket Replacement for Cosori 5.7 quart Air Fryer

Salt and Pepper Grinders

Professional Cheese Grater

Cast Iron Reversible Grill/Griddle


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Chicken Enchilada Soup Recipe

Mouth Watering Chicken Enchilada Soup in the Instant Pot

An incredibly delicious soup based on the irresistible flavors of the very best authentic chicken enchiladas. Tender bite size strips of chicken breast pressure cooked in a rich enchilada sauce spiked with chopped onion, sliced garlic, fresh cilantro, and Mexican seasoning. A thick and creamy red enchilada sauce thickened with buttery cheddar cheese and Velveeta. An unmistakable corn tortilla flavor from masa harina cooked into the soup.
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Course: Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Chicken, Enchiladas, Soup
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 28 minutes
Total Time: 43 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 349kcal
Author: David Wayne
Cost: $22


  • Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot)
  • Sharp Knife
  • Cutting Board



  • 1 cup Grape Tomatoes chopped in 1/4ths
  • 1 Large Jalapeno sliced thin seeds left in
  • 1/4 cup Cheddar Cheese fine shredded
  • 1/2 bunch Cilantro chopped
  • 1/4 Sweet Onion diced


  • Chop onion, garlic, and cilantro

Brown Chicken Breasts

  • Press Sauté on the Instant Pot and when the pot is HOT, add 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Use long kitchen tongs to drop chicken breasts into the instant pot and brown for 3 minutes
  • Use a flat wooden spatula to scrape the chicken breast free from the instant pot
  • Use long kitchen tongs and flip the chicken breasts over to brown for another 3 minutes
  • Cancel Sauté, use a flat wooden spatula to free the chicken breasts from the instant pot and use long kitchen tongs to transfer chicken to a plate

Pressure Cooking

  • Add chopped onions to the instant pot which is still HOT
  • Stir onions occasionally for 3 minutes just until onions are translucent
  • Add chopped garlic, chicken bouillon, chili powder, cumin, salt, black pepper, and chopped cilantro last
  • Add 1/4 of the water and use a flat wooden spatula to scrape the instant pot clean of chicken browning
  • Stir in 3 cups of water, 28 oz of red enchilada sauce and stir well
  • submerge browned chicken breasts into the sauce, put the instant pot lid on, seal the pressure release valve, and pressure cook for 8 minutes
  • *9 minutes for LARGE chicken breasts
  • *The Instant Pot will take about 12 minutes to build pressure
  • As soon as the 8 minutes of pressure cooking are finished, the instant pot will beep at you, open the pressure release valve
  • Remove the lid, use long kitchen tongs to move the chicken breasts to a plate, and tent with aluminum foil

Cheese and Masa Harina

  • Shred 2 cups of cheddar cheese
  • Chop 1 lb (16 oz) of Velveeta into chunks
  • Add the shredded cheddar cheese and Velveeta to the enchilada sauce in the instant pot to melt
  • In a medium bowl, stir 1 cup of water and 1/2 cup of masa until well mixed to make masa harina
  • Stir the masa harina into the enchilada sauce and cheese, stir very well
  • Put the Instant Pot lid on and let sit for 20 minutes
  • *The Keep Warm function will be on to melt the cheese and warm the masa

The Chicken

  • Five minutes before the 20 minutes are finished, slice the chicken breasts into thin strips and chop into 1 – 1.5 inch bite size strips
  • When 20 minutes are finished, stir the chicken into the soup
  • Use a ladle to fill soup bowls full of delicious chicken enchilada soup
  • Top with chopped grape tomatoes, sweet onions, sliced jalapenos, chopped fresh cilantro, more cheddar cheese and broken tortilla chips
  • Enjoy your Chicken Enchilada Soup!



We made cheese quesadillas the next day to dip in our leftovers. The flavors are inspirational.


Serving: 16oz | Calories: 349kcal

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