My husband always claims "I don't like soup" and yet he LOVES this one! In fact, he claims it tastes just like the Panera Bread version. (I didn't even know they had one!) Needless to say, this version tastes delicious and is so easy to make! You can't go wrong with one-pot meals that are not only tasty, but comforting too. When you add the cilantro and lime juice, it freshens up the flavors enough to make it a great warm weather meal too. To be clear, this is great for winter, but is also a great summer soup too!
Basically I took everything fabulous about classic chicken enchiladas and threw them all in a big bowl of soup! Soups are great because you can double batch them and eat for lunches during the week (like I do!), or freeze them in advance for make-ahead meals. This particular one is family-friendly and as I mentioned before, husband friendly too haha.
What You'll Need to Make This Healthy Chicken Enchilada Soup
It may seem like a lot of ingredients but it comes together very quickly. I thought about leaving some out to shorten the list... but what would an enchilada soup be without cumin, black beans... or corn? Even the celery serves its purpose and it just wouldn't have quite the right flavor without it. So here you go! I promise it's worth adding in each and every one.
Butter: The butter starts the whole process for the homemade enchilada sauce and adds a nice healthy fat. Although, I definitely recommend adding some avocado at the end to get enough healthy fats for a meal.
Cassava flour: Move over almond flour, I've found a new favorite! Cassava flour is from a root very similar to the potato. It has a great flavor and can be easier on your digestive system than almond flour.
Chili powder, oregano, cumin, and garlic: As always, spices are what really boost the flavor of any dish. I called for fresh garlic in this but you could easily swap out the fresh for a teaspoon of dried garlic and I think the flavor would turn out just as good.
Tomato paste: I think the tomato paste makes for a more authentic enchilada sauce over a can of diced tomatoes. It helps add a richness and creaminess to the dish.
Bone broth: Talk about a mega boost of nutrients! Bone broth is packed with them and not to mention, flavor. You could definitely swap it out for water or a veggie broth if you need to just know that it'll change the flavor some. I often do half and half myself.
Chicken: I love good high-quality chicken. It's more nutrient dense and more flavorful. We get ours from a local farm and from Butcher Box as well. Butchers Box always has great specials so check them out! We love having our meat delivered right to our front door.
Celery and onion: Both of these veggies are responsible for a ton of flavor, hence why I grouped them together. As I mentioned above about the celery, it just wouldn't be as good of a soup if either of these ingredients were left out.
Bell peppers: Definitely my veggie of choice in most Mexican style dishes! These were easily my sons favorite food for his first few months of eating. I like to leave them cut into strips big enough for him to grasp easily.
Black beans: I prefer to make mine from scratch but for some reason, when I'm batching for lunch, I often find myself reaching for a can so I make sure to have some on hand at all times. I like the Eden Organics brand since the lining is BPA free.
Corn: Always choose organic when buying corn if possible since it's inevitably going to be GMO otherwise. Trader Joe's and Whole Foods has a great tasting frozen organic sweet corn we love.
Spinach: Spinach is a great way to add some leafy greens in that doesn't alter the flavor. You could swap it out for kale but I think spinach is more appropriate for this recipe. And yes, you can easily leave this out if you prefer!
Lime juice: The lime juice really enhances and brightens the flavor. It turns it into a winter only soup to an all-season soup... as does cilantro if you choose to add it!
Parmegiano Reggiano: This is totally optional but I highly recommend it! It really piles on the "enchilada" flavor if you know what I mean. Plus as long as you choose a parmesan cheese with "Reggiano" in the name, you know it's a raw cheese and packed with bio-available nutrients.
Some Tips on How to Make this Homemade Enchilada One-Pot Soup
1. Make your chicken in advance for an even faster meal. This means, you can make it earlier on in the week for a variety of meals (see this post for more info!), the night before, or even the morning of. I often make the chicken before I head out for the gym in the morning so it'll be ready for me to add to the soup when I get home.
2. Prior to starting, make sure you prep your ingredients in advance. This means, go ahead and chop your veggies and measure out your ingredients PRIOR to starting. (I know I almost always wait until I'm already following the recipe to start chopping and measuring). I'd recommend having your spices, tomato paste, and bone broth sitting right next to the instant pot. Since the "sauté " feature on the Instant Pot only has one temperature, there's no way to control it, so you'll want to move fast once you get started.
3. Add your spices in as soon as the butter and flour are combined. You could wait and add them later but I love the way toasted spices bring out their own flavor, so I like to sauté them early on.
4. Stir the bone broth (or water) slowly. This will allow you to mash it all together and get it combined faster in the long run. Granted, I've definitely dumped it all in at once before and still achieved the same result in the end... it just may cause for more frustration when you're trying to get it to combine smoothly.
5. Pile on the optional ingredients. There's nothing like personalizing a dish to make it just the way you like it. I often add more spices, salt, and almost always an additional healthy fat like avocado or grass-fed butter. Plus it means an extra boost of nutrients too!