This simple Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Soup takes just a few minutes to assemble (no veggie chopping!) and the slow cooker does all the work. Be rewarded with hearty, creamy, flavor-packed goodness at the end of the day. Add your favorite enchilada-inspired toppings, such as cheese, sour cream, freshly squeezed lime–and enjoy!
Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Soup
This soup is based on this crazy-popular chicken chili. That chili was such a hit with my family and with so many readers that I had the idea to give it a makeover — green-chile-chicken style! These Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas are one of my family’s favorite meals, so why not make it into soup form?!
And luckily, the family loves this chili just as much as the other version. If you love Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas, you are in for a treat with this recipe! While I have referred to this meal as a soup (it’s a bit redundant to call it a green chile chili!) a few times, it’s more of a chili consistency than a soup.
Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Soup is packed with protein and is thick, hearty, and very creamy.
Homemade Green Enchilada Sauce
Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Soup is very straight forward and simple to throw together. It’s a dump-it-all-in-the-slow-cooker-and-forget-about-it kind of meal!
The one catch to that is if you want to make your own enchilada sauce, that step does add a bit of prep time to this meal. If you aren’t able to eat store-bought enchilada sauce or don’t have access to it, it’s very simple to make your own and takes about half an hour. That said, if you choose to make the homemade enchilada sauce, the recipe I’m sharing below makes a massive batch; and that’s great because it can be used in several meals.
- 1 pound (9-10) small tomatillos, husked, scrubbed and left whole
- 2 poblano peppers, stemmed, seeded, and coarsely chopped into 1/4 to 1-inch pieces (~2 cups)
- 2 medium jalapeño peppers, seeds and membranes removed and chopped into 1/4 to 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped into 1/4-1/2-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
- 4 cloves garlic, peels on and left whole
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 cup water
- Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 400-degrees F. For easy cleanup, line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the tomatillos, poblanos, jalapeños, onion and garlic in the center of the baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat and then spread the veggies into an even layer. Bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping and tossing halfway through the cooking time. The peppers and onion should be golden brown and soft, and tomatillos should be breaking down.
- Peel the garlic and discard the skins. Working in batches (if needed), transfer the roasted vegetables to a blender. Add in the cilantro and puree until smooth. Then add the cumin and water and blend again until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings as desired. If you’d like a thinner sauce, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency.
P.S. If you don’t plan on making homemade enchilada sauce, be sure to check out this article for the best store-bought sauces!
Note that you’ll only need 10 ounces (286 grams or 1 and 1/4 cup) of green enchilada sauce in this Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Soup. Use the leftovers in enchiladas, drizzled over scrambled eggs or rice and beans, in a breakfast casserole, etc.
Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Soup Notes
- Spice levels: You can make this soup very mild or fairly spicy, depending on the ingredients used. For a less spicy dish, use a mild green enchilada sauce (such as Old El Paso® brand) and a mild chili powder (such as McCormick®). For a spicier chili, use medium or hot green enchilada sauce and 1-2 tablespoons of diced jalapeños. You can also add 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper to boost the heat.
- Chicken: While chicken breasts will work, I highly recommend boneless skinless chicken thighs. The thigh meat becomes exceptionally tender in the slow cooker and shreds quickly and easily. It’s also more forgiving if it is cooked for longer since chicken breasts tend to dry out if they’re cooked too long.
- Cream cheese: You need a little patience when melting the cream cheese into Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Soup. I recommend thoroughly softening the cream cheese in the microwave before adding it to the slow cooker, and then briskly whisking it into the soup. Add the shredded chicken back into the soup after the cream cheese has melted into the soup so the chicken isn’t getting briskly whisked– that makes it a bit stringy.
While Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Soup is great as is, the toppings truly seal the deal, delivering an unforgettable meal. Below are our “must-have” toppings.
- Cheese: We like to freshly grate the cheese right on top of each bowl and let it melt for a minute before stirring it throughout the chili. Our favorite is pepper-jack cheese, but Monterey jack cheese is another great topping. Even sharp Cheddar works here.
- Sour cream: My personal favorite in this soup is lite sour cream.
- Fresh lime juice: A few squeezes of fresh lime heighten all the flavors in this soup and add a burst of brightness.
- Chips: Crushed tortilla strips (seasoned or plain) add a nice contrasting crunch to the creaminess of the soup.
- Fresh cilantro: If you’re a cilantro fan, you’ll love what this herb does to the soup with its freshness and citrusy flavor. And if you’re in the anti-cilantro crowd, substitute a bit of chopped fresh parsley or oregano.
- Ripe avocado or guacamole: For an additional element of creaminess, we love a ripe avocado sliced on top.
If I could only pick three toppings for this Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Soup, they would be the cheese, sour cream and lime juice. I highly recommend at least those three additions.
More delicious soup recipes
- Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup with spaghetti
- Potato Soup with bacon and sharp Cheddar cheese
- Sausage Tortellini Soup with spinach
- Crockpot Chili winner of dozens of chili cook-offs!
- Lentil Soup the best lentil soup I’ve ever had!
Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Soup
Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Soup
- 1 can (15.5 oz; 439g) white kidney (cannellini) beans drained and rinsed
- 2 cans (15.25 oz; 432g EACH) black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 pound (468g) boneless skinless chicken thighs (~5 thighs) (or breasts)
- 2 cans (4 oz,; 113g EACH) fire-roasted diced green chiles
- 1 can (14.5 oz.; 411g) fire-roasted diced tomatoes optional
- 1 can (10 oz; 286g) green enchilada sauce
- 4 teaspoons ground chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 3/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh cilantro optional
- 1 cup (228g) chicken broth or stock (2 cups for thinner soup)
- 1 package (8 oz.; 226g) full-fat cream cheese softened (reduced fat doesn't melt well into the soup)
- Toppings: sour cream (lite or fat-free), freshly grated sharp pepper-jack or Monterey jack cheese, diced ripe avocado, fresh lime, and fresh cilantro (See Note 1)
- ADD TO SLOW COOKER: Add the drained and rinsed white and black beans, fat-trimmed boneless skinless chicken thighs (or breasts; if using breasts cut each breast into 4 pieces), both cans of diced green chiles, fire-roasted diced tomatoes (undrained), and green enchilada sauce. Add all the seasonings: chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper. If desired, add in the fresh cilantro. Pour in the chicken stock or broth (1 cup for a thicker chili and use 2 cups for a thinner soup-like consistency)
- COOK: Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 5-7 hours or high for 3-5 hours or until the chicken is cooked through (165 degrees F or easily shreds).
- CREAM CHEESE: Remove the chicken from the crockpot and set aside in another bowl. Add softened cream cheese (partially melt in the microwave first) into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for another 30 minutes or until the cream cheese melts and is easily stirred into the soup. Briskly whisk to get the cheese completely incorporated.
- CHICKEN: Meanwhile, shred the chicken with 2 forks. Once the cream cheese is incorporated, add the chicken into the soup and stir.
- SERVE: Ladle chili into bowls and serve with desired toppings. We love adding a big handful of pepper-jack cheese, fat-free sour cream, a wedge of lime and some cilantro!
- STORAGE: This soup stores well in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat over medium-low heat on the stovetop. Because of the dairy (cream cheese) in the soup, it's not a great candidate for freezing and thawing.
We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.