Chicken Enchilada Soup

Okay, guys. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I have documented in (painful detail) the descent into madness that comes from 4 snow days. The snow was pretty, the snow was fun, we like snow. The first snow day was fun. And then we all got a little The Shining on each other (sans the axe or the creepy twins). I have probably gone soft during my years in Louisiana.

Because I have gone soft and because my house is 80 years old (but feels like 52 million years old right now), we were reallyreallyreally cold a lot of time, which resulted in us eating a lot of soup. Lasagna Soup. Corn Chowder. Chicken & Sausage Gumbo. And this one.

On the Mexican soup spectrum, this is kind of the polar opposite of our Chicken Tortilla Soup. While that one is spicy and lime-y and thin and broth-y and kind of relies on the add-ins, this one is hearty and filling and taste just like chicken enchiladas. Except soup. So either that’s really weird for you or it sounds amazing (or a little bit of both, in which case, I totally think you need to just take a walk on the wild side. You won’t regret it, I promise.)

To get started, you’re going to need a whole bunch of vegetables (that your kids and husband are never gonna see–score.) You’ll need a chopped onion, garlic, carrots, celery, a red bell pepper, and a jalapeño pepper.

veggies for chicken enchilada soup

In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, bell pepper, and saute until fragrant and the vegetables are tender.

While the vegetables are cooking, combine the chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, and smoked paprika.

spices for chicken enchilada soup

When the vegetables are tender, add the spices and stir to combine. add the chicken broth, 1/2 cup diced tomatoes,

tortillas broth and tomatoes

and water and then blend until smooth using an immersion blender (you can also it in batches in a regular blender). Bring to a boil and tear the tortillas and add them to the soup (6 will be pretty thick, it just depends on personal preference). Cover and turn the heat down to low and simmer 30-45 minutes or until the tortillas are breaking apart. Remove from heat. Whip out your immersion blender again and blend until smooth. Add the remaining tomatoes, the shredded chicken breast meat from a rotisserie chicken

rotisserie chicken for enchilada soup

and the cream and stir until combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with green onions, shredded cheese, and fried tortilla strips. Makes 8 servings.

Chicken Enchilada Soup from Our Best Bites

 

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Chicken Enchilada Soup


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5 from 1 review

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Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 56 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (remove the seeds and membranes to cut down on the heat)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 heaping teaspoon cumin
  • 1 heaping teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, divided
  • 1 cup water
  • 56 6″ yellow corn tortillas
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Shredded breast meat from 1 medium rotisserie chicken
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • chopped green onions
  • sour cream
  • shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheese

Instructions

  1. In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, bell pepper, and saute until fragrant and the vegetables are tender.
  2. While the vegetables are cooking, combine the chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, and smoked paprika. When the vegetables are tender, add the spices and stir to combine. add the chicken broth, 1/2 cup diced tomatoes, and water and then blend until smooth using an immersion blender (you can also it in batches in a regular blender). Bring to a boil and tear the tortillas and add them to the soup (6 will be pretty thick, it just depends on personal preference). Cover and turn the heat down to low and simmer 30-45 minutes or until the tortillas are breaking apart. Remove from heat. Whip out your immersion blender again and blend until smooth. Add the remaining tomatoes, the shredded chicken breast meat and the cream and stir until combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with green onions, shredded cheese, and fried tortilla strips.

Notes

Slow Cooker Instructions

  • After sautéing the vegetables, add them to your slow cooker and add the spices. Stir to combine. Blend with the chicken broth and 1/2 cup of tomatoes until smooth, either with an immersion blender or in a traditional blender. Add water and torn tortillas and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. If necessary, blend again. Add the remaining diced tomatoes, shredded chicken breast and cream, stir to combine, and serve immediately.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 8

 

Sara Wells
Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. Making this tonight and I am so excited. My kids will have no idea they are eating veggies! I actually had all the ingredients on hand and using some leftover chicken breast

  2. I made the chicken enchilada soup it was awsome i also made it with spanish rice on the side. My 16yr old son gave my 2 thumbs up thanks a million!!!

  3. I am dying to try this recipe. I’m looking for one that is as good or better than the chicken enchilada soup at Zupas. Plus, I couldn’t help but share it on my blog today 🙂 Hope you have a great weekend!

  4. Why don’t you boil the chicken, and use fresh chicken broth to make the soup??

    It makes no sense. You are using artificial chicken broth + shredded rotisserie chicken. I’m sure the soup doesn’t taste as good as it could.

  5. Ok, I made a lot of changes to this recipe based on what I had. It still turned out delicious! I’m going to list what I did so that if you are thinking of making the same changes, you can learn from my mistakes.
    Left out bell pepper and celery – broth was probably thinner and less healthy but still tasted divine.
    Left out coriander – was still delicious.
    Subbed pickled jalapeno for fresh – still had flavor.
    Subbed flour tortillas for corn – DO NOT DO THIS. Flour tortillas turn into little slimy things, even after slow cooking and blending. If you have no corn tortillas, just leave it out or throw in a can of drained corn to replicate the corn flavor. I served it over corn chips and should’ve just done that and skipped the flour tortillas.
    OK. I hope that helps some other doofus like me. I know I didn’t really make “this soup” but it was great anyway ;).

    1. OH! And I used chicken bouillon/boiling water in place of chicken broth. Still good. 🙂

  6. So..I live in Japan so I can’t really find corn tortillas. BUT! I do have some jiffy corn bread mix. Would it work if I made it with crumbled corn bread in it? Too sweet?

  7. I thickened it with a mixture of masa harina and water. Worked great..and I love to put it on top of rice and then top the soup with Pico do Gallo and sweet corn. Addicting!!

  8. I’m thinking of making this, but I live in a country where you can’t get corn tortillas. The closest I can get is a “corn” tortilla that is about 20% corn and the rest wheat. This is what we normally use for enchiladas. Do you think it would work in this soup?

  9. Ok, I never comment but I had to because we love this recipe! I love how many veggies my kids are eating and they don’t even know it. Even my picky 18 month old loved it. A few notes for people like me who read all the comments before they make things. I have made this twice– the first time I didn’t have smoked paprika and the second time I did. It was good both ways the smoked paprika is a really strong flavor and it could kind of overpower the other flavors. I also subbed half and half for cream both times because that’s what I had and it was still really yummy. Also, I ended up using more like 8 corn tortillas but we like it really thick. Oh, and I didn’t use all the breast meat from a chicken, only about half which was plenty, even the time I doubled it. I think this soup could even stand alone without the chicken for a meatless monday (if you don’t count chicken broth, haha). Anyway, thanks for this we love it and it is already in the rotation plus it is great as leftovers.

  10. This looks delicious! I am making this for a soup swap and I’m so excited to share this recipe with them! How many quarts of soup does the recipe make? I am not sure whether to double, triple, or quadruple it!

  11. This was totally delicious and everyone in my family (husband and my 9 year old twins) loved it! My only substitution was using a handful of tortilla chips instead of soft tortillas, because I have a heck of a time finding fresh corn tortillas in my neck of the woods. On that note, I also use hard taco shells instead of corn tortillas when I make enchiladas. When they bake in the sauce they get nice and soft and you would be hard pressed to notice the difference in the end product.

  12. Made this last night as I somehow had every ingredient except the bell pepper (which I did have, but it was no longer fresh). This was actually quite easy despite all the perceived chopping! Since I knew I was going to be blending the soup anyway, I just did a rough chop on all the veggies. And to be honest, I forgot to blend it the first time when it was just the veggies and broth, so I really only blended it the once and it turned out great!! Thanks again for another hit!

  13. I am making the slow cooker taco chicken tonight, and am sure to have leftovers, which I think could go nicely in this soup! About how many cups of shredded chicken do you put in this recipe? Thanks!

  14. Looks great! But I have Masa Harina (spelling?) in my cupboard… could I substitute that for the tortillas? How much? Just needs more recipes that use it up. Thanks.

    1. I know there are similar recipes out there that use masa harina, but I have had better luck with the corn tortillas and I also don’t have any idea how much you would need. I’m so sorry I’m not of more help!

  15. I made this tonight and it was delicious – I’ll definitely make it again! Thanks for the recipe!

  16. I can’t see in the directions where to add the jalapeno pepper? I assuming it is when I saute the other vegetables.

  17. Made this last night, and it was a hit with the entire family. Sooo delicious, and I love that there are all of those veggies in there. Definitely way different than Chicken Tortilla soup, everyone make this! (P.S. I wasn’t in the mood for the tomatoes-in-my-soup fight last night, so I blended the whole can instead of dividing, and it was great, so it’s an option.)

  18. This looks incredible I love chicken enchilada soup and no one seems to have a very healthy and yummy version, but yours seems fabulous and I will be making it tonight for dinner!

  19. Oh my goodness!! I just made this soup, and…wow! I have tried other enchilada soup recipes and this one is by far the best ever! My family loves it! This isn’t what I would call an easy recipe, but all that chopping is sure worth it. Thanks for a great new soup recipe!

  20. Can I use flour tortillas in place of the corn ones? I have a bunch of them in my fridge 🙂

  21. Loved it!!! Made it last night and it was a hit!! I’m just glad there are leftovers!! Yum!! thanks for your wonderful recipes!!!

  22. Made this and LOVED it! What a great way to use up some of the older tortillas in my fridge. I definitely should have doubled this we ate every last drop!

  23. Heaven! Both my kids ate this and my husband and I added pickled jalapenos on top as well. My mouth is watering at thought of eating it again! Another win for OBB 🙂

  24. This tastes just like enchiladas in a bowl. Such a great easy recipe … thank you! minimal preparation and dinner was ready when we walked in the door:-)

  25. Made this soup last night. My kids ate it. That is the highest compliment I can give a recipe. Thank you!

  26. I don’t love the flavor of corn tortillas. Could I just leave them out or would that be total chicken enchilada soup blasphemy?

    1. I think in this recipe, it just wouldn’t work because they thicken it up and also add a lot of flavor.

  27. This looks very similar to the Chicken Enchilada Chili from Zupas, which is my hands down favorite. I’m excited to try this and see how it compares. Looks delicious! Do you think it would freeze very well? I haven’t experimented with freezing milk-based soups or soups with cream.

    1. There isn’t too much cream in here, so you’d probably be okay. You might need to thin it out with a little broth, but that’s no big deal. 🙂

  28. I feel your pain on the snow days. We’ve had so many this year I have lost count. It’s around 10, including all of last week. I found a great way to deal with them, though. My husband and I went to Puerto Rico, where it was 85 and gorgeous, and my parents stayed with our kiddos. The kids were on better behavior because Grandma and Grandpa were here so there was way less fighting, Grandma and Grandpa loved the bonding time with the kids, and I got to be completely devoid of responsibility somewhere sunny and warm. Win, win, win!

    And the soup looks delicious! I have leftover chicken tortilla soup in the fridge, but as soon as we finish that one I’m going to try this one. Thanks!