I could eat Mexican food nearly every day of the week. Sure, it’s a part of my heritage but honestly, I love the variety and diversity of options available within Mexican cuisine as well as the flexibility to turn authentic dishes into healthy, modern alternatives.
One of my go-to favorites in Mexican cuisine is enchiladas. As a busy mom, I tend to focus on meals that are quick, easy and able to prepare in advance. Traditional enchiladas are delicious, but they definitely take some time and attention to make!
Chicken Enchilada Soup, however, is not only healthier and more convenient but is also one of my family’s favorite soups. Bonus: it satisfies any craving for enchiladas without having to roll or fry one single tortilla!
Chicken Enchilada Soup
Hands On Time: 30 min
Total Cook Time: 45 min
Serves: 4-6* (see notes)
- 1 TBSP EVOO
- 1 large yellow or white onion, diced
- ½ green bell pepper, tiny diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 1 15oz can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 4oz can diced green chiles
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp paprika
- 2 cups shredded cooked chicken**
- 4oz cream cheese, softened***
- ¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese****
- 1 ½ tsp cornstarch
- 1 cup frozen fire-roasted corn kernels
- Handful of chopped fresh cilantro
Optional toppings: raw or pickled jalapeños, red or green onion, pico de gallo, crushed tortilla chips, squeeze of lime juice, hot sauce, sour cream, guacamole or diced avocado seasoned with salt and pepper
Let’s do this!
- Heat EVOO in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add in the diced bell pepper and cook for another 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute or two or until fragrant.
- Add the broth, tomatoes, chiles, chili powder, cumin and paprika. Bring to a boil, stir occasionally. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook covered for about 20 minutes.
- Add the chicken and cream cheese, stirring until the cream cheese is melted.
- Combine the shredded cheese and the cornstarch in a small bowl, making sure the cheese is well covered with cornstarch. Gradually add to the soup, stirring until all of the cheese is melted.
- Add in corn and cilantro. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Divide into individual bowls and top with any optional toppings.
*I usually double this recipe to feed my family which includes using 2 cans of green chiles, 1½ – 2 large onions, a full bell pepper, and a full block of cream cheese. The only ingredient I do not double is the can of fire-roasted tomatoes.
**I either use rotisserie chicken or full chicken breasts. If using chicken breasts, add the chicken to the pot along with the chicken broth, spices, tomatoes and chiles. Shred the chicken before adding in the cream cheese.
***Cream cheese melts the easiest when it’s room temperature. Leave it out on the counter for a few hours prior to making this soup and it will prevent it from clumping together or curdling inside the soup. The texture you are going for is velvety smooth not oddly chunky.
****Shredding cheese directly from a block of cheddar is always better than using pre-shredded cheese from a bag. Because it isn’t filled with preservatives like pre-shredded cheese, it will naturally thicken up the soup better while providing a stronger, cheesier taste.