This bean and rice enchilada soup is hearty, warm, and comforting! Loaded with two kinds of beans, filling brown rice, veggies, all in an enchilada-style broth. It’s easy, and you can make it on the stovetop or instant pot!

lime being squeezed on a bowl of cheesy bean and rice enchilada soup

Bean and rice enchilada soup is a combination of all of my favorite things. 

You can use all black beans or all pinto beans for this recipe. There’s brown rice already in the mix and cheese, veggies, and basically, everything else you love to find in a good cheese enchilada – minus the meat.

Bean and rice enchilada soup is completely meatless, and if you think you won’t like it, let me tell you, my meat-loving husband wasn’t expecting to either. But with all those flavors, corn, beans, rice, and cheese, you really don’t even end up needing the meat at all. It’s warm, it’s filling, and it’s perfect for the fall season.

spoon filled with soup being lifted from bowl

What do you need to make bean and rice enchiladas soup:

  • Onions: we’ll saute the onions in a few glugs of oil as the base of this soup.
  • Peppers: we’re using two kinds of peppers for this recipe: poblano pepper and jalapeño. If you can’t find poblano peppers at the store, feel free to replace it with a green bell pepper instead.
  • Broth: you can use vegetable broth if you follow a vegetarian diet, or use chicken broth here if you don’t
  • Enchilada sauce: I prefer to use homemade enchilada sauce if time permits. If you don’t have any on hand, feel free to use a can of store-bought enchilada sauce.
  • Diced tomatoes: diced tomatoes add another bunch of veggies to bulk up this soup.
  • Beans: you can use just about any kind of beans you like. I like to do a 50:50 split of black beans and pinto beans.
  • Brown rice: you’ll need dry brown rice for this recipe. The rice is used to make this soup heartier and more filling. I’ve only tested the recipe with brown rice, and timings will be different if you decide to use white rice instead.
  • Corn: I used frozen corn for this recipe, but you could also toss in canned corn once it’s drained
  • Seasonings: the seasonings are what make this soup, in my opinion! You’ll need smoked paprika, garlic powder, ground cumin, and a hint of cayenne. Cayenne pepper is optional, and you can leave it out if you’d like to make this milder.
  • Shredded cheese: for the cheese, I suggest using pepper jack or cheddar cheese. If you can shred the cheese yourself, it works best as it melts into the soup much easier. Pre shredded cheese from the store is coated in starches used to keep the cheese from caking. These starches make it difficult for the cheese to melt into a broth base properly.
chopped peppers and onions in metal bowl
ladle full of soup being lifted from the instant pot

How to make bean and rice enchilada soup in the instant pot:

  1. Saute. Hit the saute button in the instant pot and saute the onions, poblanos, and jalapeños for a few minutes until the peppers soften and the onions are translucent. 
  2. Pressure cook. Add all the remaining ingredients (except the cheese) to the instant pot and cover and cook on manual high pressure for 15 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes, then do a quick release. Remove the cover and stir to combine.
  3. Stir in the cheese. Let stand for 5 minutes, covered, so the cheese melts. Stir to combine. Serve in bowls topped with chopped cilantro, and with tortilla chips, sour cream, and lime wedges on the side.

How to make the soup on the stovetop:

  1. Saute. Heat the oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add the peppers and onions and cook for a few minutes until the peppers soften. 
  2. Simmer. Add all the remaining ingredients except the cheese. Stir and bring the soup to a simmer. When simmering, lower the heat to low and allow the rice to cook all the way through. This will take anywhere from 25-30 minutes.) Test for doneness, you might need to let the rice for an additional 5 minutes or so if it’s not done. You may also need more broth to add in later if the soup gets too thick. Turn the stove off and add in the cheese.
  3. Stir in the cheese. Let stand for 5 minutes, covered, so the cheese melts. Stir to combine. Serve in bowls topped with chopped cilantro, and with tortilla chips, sour cream, and lime wedges on the side.
bowls of prepared soup topped with cilantro, cheese, and corn chips on white marble

FAQs for bean and rice enchilada soup:

  1. Can I add meat to the soup, if so what do you suggest? Yes, you can add in cooked and crumbled ground meat if you’d like. If you decide to do so, I suggest cooking the ground beef in the pot first, then cooking the onions and peppers in the same pot. Depending on the fat content of your ground beef, you may not need to add any oil at all. Or you can drain the grease, add oil and cook the peppers and onions then.
  2. Do I have to add the cheese? No! You don’t. You can serve the soup straight out of the pot without adding cheese to the soup. It can also be served topped with cheese if you’d like instead of stirring it in!

Other vegetarian soups to try:

spoon resting in bowl of prepared enchilada soup
Yield: serves 5-6

Easy Cheesy Bean and Rice Enchilada Soup

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

This bean and rice enchilada soup is hearty, warm and comforting! Loaded with two kinds of beans, filling brown rice, veggies, all in an enchilada-style broth. It’s easy and you can make it on the stovetop or instant pot!

Easy Cheesy Bean and Rice Enchilada Soup

Ingredients

  • 1¼ cups yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 poblano pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed and chopped
  • 3 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 2 cups homemade enchilada sauce (see notes)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can EACH: diced tomatoes, black beans, AND pinto beans (beans should be rinsed and drained)
  • ⅓ cup dry brown rice
  • 1 ¼ cup frozen corn, defrosted
  • 1 teaspoon EACH: smoked paprika, garlic powder, AND ground cumin
  • ¼-½ teaspoon cayenne (as desired)
  • 1½ cups shredded cheese (such as pepper jack or cheddar cheese!)
  • Cilantro + sour cream + lime wedges + tortilla chips, for serving

Instructions

    1. PRESSURE COOK: Hit the saute button on the instant pot and saute the onions, poblano pepper, and jalapeno in oil for 5-6 minutes or until the peppers soften and onions are translucent. Add the chicken broth, enchilada sauce, diced tomatoes, black beans, pinto beans, brown rice, corn, and seasonings into the instant pot—cover and cook on manual high pressure for 15 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes, then do a quick release. Remove cover and stir to combine. Stir in the cheese. Let stand 5 minutes for the cheese to melt.
    2. STOVETOP: Heat the oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onions, poblano peppers, and jalapeno and saute for 5-6 minutes or until the peppers soften and the onions are translucent. Add all the ingredients except the cheese. Stir and bring the soup to a simmer. When simmering, lower the heat to low and allow the rice to cook all the way through (roughly 25 minutes.) Test for doneness; you might need to let the rice cook for another 5-7 minutes. If the soup becomes too thick at any point, add additional broth to thin it to your liking. Turn the stove off, stir in the cheese so that it melts. Serve warm!
    3. FINISH (BOTH IP + STOVE): Serve in bowls topped with chopped cilantro and with tortilla chips, sour cream, and lime wedges on the side.

Notes

1. If you don't have homemade enchilada sauce on hand, you can add in 1-15 ounce can of store-bought enchilada sauce.

Have you made this recipe?

I’d LOVE it if you could take a second to rate this recipe and leave a comment below. You can also share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #LITTLESPICEJAR 🙂

We are a participant in both the RewardStyle and Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, which are affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com and through RewardStyle.