Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Soup

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This Green Enchilada Chicken Soup has all the flavors of our favorite enchiladas, no rolling required! Topped with tortilla strips, sour cream and cilantro, it’s an easy soup recipe to whip up on a busy weeknight.

We love soup in the fall and winter, especially this Green Chicken Enchilada Soup! Some of our other favorites are Tortellini Soup and Bacon and Bean Soup.

An overhead shot of a bowl of chicken enchilada soup

Why You’ll Love This Green Enchilada Chicken Soup

As long as I can remember, my cousin’s Green Chicken Enchilada Casserole has been one of my favorite things to make, and to enjoy. I shared my recipe a few months back, and it’s been popular here on the blog, too. The casserole is so easy to make, and this soup is even easier!

This is basically that favorite enchilada casserole recipe in soup form, and here are 3 reasons to love it:

  • You control the heat – spice it or up or turn it down to make it more family friendly.
  • Kids love to customize with their favorite toppings (so do grown-ups!)
  • It’s super simple, using basic ingredients and pre-cooked, shredded chicken.

Ingredients

  • Garlic and Onion – Sauteed in olive oil to bring out their flavor.
  • Green Chiles – One small can for added flavor and low level heat.
  • Shredded Chicken – Chicken breast or thigh meat. Cook some fresh in the broth, or do yourself a favor and pull the meat off a rotisserie chicken to save time.
  • Salsa – I always have salsa on hand, and I love the flavor and subtle heat it adds. I used a chunky green salsa, but red will also work.
  • Green enchilada sauce – You can use a favorite recipe if you have one, or use one small can.
  • Chicken Broth – I always get low sodium broth so I can better control the salt content.
  • Cheddar Cheese – Freshly grated off the block. Pre-shredded cheese doesn’t melt as well.
  • Monterey Jack Cheese – Also freshly grated.
  • Cream Cheese – Full fat, brick style. Set the cream cheese out on the counter, unwrapped, while you make the soup. It’s best to add when it’s room temperature.
  • Corn tortillas – This is optional, but I love to bake some fresh corn tortillas into strips to add as a garnish for my soup.
  • Additional garnishes include sliced avocado, cilantro, lime wedges or sour cream.
A big pot of chicken enchilada soup topped with limes and tortilla strips

How to Make Green Chicken Enchilada Soup

  1. Saute onions and garlic, then add cooked, shredded chicken, chicken broth, salsa, green enchilada sauce, and green chiles.
  2. Combine all of that yumminess and simmer it for about 20 minutes and then comes the cheese.
  3. Cream cheese, Cheddar Cheese, and Monterey Jack Cheese make this enchilada soup rich and creamy. Stir in the cheeses until their good and melted.

FAQs

What kind of chicken is best for soup?

I have plenty of options for cooking chicken breasts that you can shred and use in your soup, like Poached Chicken, Instant Pot Shredded Chicken and Baked Chicken Breasts. But truly the easiest way to get shredded chicken is to pick up a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store – Costco is the cheapest and the best tasting. Just pluck off the meat and add it to your soup!

Can I make this in the Slow Cooker?

If you’re using pre-shredded chicken, you can toss it into the slow cooker with sauteed onion and garlic, green chiles, broth and enchilada sauce. Heat on low for 2-3 hours or high for about 2 hours. Once it’s nice and hot you can stir in the cream cheese and shredded cheese.

How do you store leftovers?

Store leftover soup in the fridge, covered, for 4-5 days. If you want to freeze it, pour the soup into a plastic freezer bag or airtight container before adding the cheese. Reheat in a soup pot on the stove and add cheese once the soup is hot.

Can you freeze this soup?

Yes! I love freezing soup so I always have a warm meal at the ready. Pour leftovers into a resealable plastic bag or container (Souper Cubes are great for portioning). Freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, microwave at 50% power or heat in a saucepan over medium-low heat. The dairy may separate; add a little cream or milk as needed.

Variations + Serving Suggestions

  • Add a cup of cooked white rice, or my favorite Mexican Rice.
  • Top it with some pretty garnishes like sour cream, shredded cheese, tortilla strips and cilantro. Serve it up and watch it disappear!
  • Add some canned corn, black beans or pinto beans.
  • Instead of cream cheese, use a half cup or up to a full cup of heavy cream.

Helpful Tips

Pre-Grated Cheese – Always grate from the block if you can. Pre-packaged, pre-shredded cheese is coated with a starch to prevent clumping in the bag. Unfortunately, it also prevents it from melting properly.

Cream Cheese – Soften your cream cheese by unwrapping it and placing it in a dish while you prepare the soup. If you need to soften it quickly, you can microwave it, but only for 5-10 seconds.

A side view of a ladle lifting out a serving of chicken enchilada soup
An overhead shot with a bowl of enchilada soup, and the pot of soup is also visible.

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Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Soup

4.78 from 18 votes
Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Soup has all the enchilada flavor, no rolling required! An easy weeknight soup topped with tortillas, sour cream and cheese.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Soup
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 servings
Calories 455kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 8 ounces fire roasted green chiles
  • 3 cups shredded chicken
  • 1 cup green salsa
  • 10 ounces green chile enchilada sauce
  • 32 ounces low-sodium chicken stock
  • 8 ounces cheddar and/or jack cheeses grated
  • 4 ounces cream cheese room temp, cut into chunks
  • 2-3 corn tortillas

Garnish (optional):

  • Cilantro
  • Limes
  • Sour cream
  • Tortilla chips
  • Extra shredded cheese

Instructions
 

  • Heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, 4-5 minutes or until soft. Stir in garlic and cook for 30-45 seconds.
  • Add green chiles, chicken, salsa, chicken stock and enchilada sauce. Bring to a boil, then cover and turn heat to low. Simmer for 20-30 minutes.
  • Stir in cheeses until completely melted and combined.
  • Cut tortillas into ½ inch strips and place several strips in the bottom of each bowl. Ladle soup over the tortilla strips and serve with optional garnishes (sour cream, shredded cheese, cilantro) and a squeeze of lime.

Notes

  • Store leftover soup in the fridge, covered, for 4-5 days. Reheat in a soup pot on the stove.
  • To Freeze: Pour leftovers into a resealable plastic bag or container (Souper Cubes are great for portioning). Freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, microwave at 50% power or heat in a saucepan over medium-low heat. The dairy may separate; add a little cream or milk as needed.

Nutrition

Calories: 455kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 34gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 113mgSodium: 1265mgPotassium: 571mgFiber: 3gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 1232IUVitamin C: 16mgCalcium: 349mgIron: 3mg

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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Comments

  1. I LOVE this soup!! So yummy I have made it so many times now!! Does anyone else run into the problem of the cream cheese not melting when you add it? I’ve tried leaving it out for room temperature before adding & also softening it before adding it but yet it always clumps & never fully mixes in! Is that how it’s suppose to be? Either way- Thank you so much for sharing this!!

    1. I’ve never had that problem with the cream cheese. Try cutting into small pieces rather than putting in a big chunk, and letting it sitting out for 15-20 minutes. If the soup is simmering, it should melt the cream cheese.

  2. A friend gave me a bowl and it was so yummy! I asked for the recipe and tried it myself with 3 cans of Kirkland canned chicken breast… it was really wonderful! I am sad it won’t freeze well with the cheese… I love having meals stashed away in my freezer! Now I have a perfect recipe to use those cans up.. and it is an excellent pantry soup!