Chicken Enchilada Soup
The most delicious chicken enchilada soup EVER (and it’s secretly loaded with vegetables)! Bonus: the recipe includes instructions for making it on the stovetop, slow cooker OR Instant Pot!
Here it is, the best chicken enchilada soup I’ve ever laid lips on.
If you’ve never made this recipe, I think you’ll be surprised at how flavorful and wonderful it is!
Thick and creamy (without any added flour, thickeners, or cream), the soup is made by cooking a heap of vegetables (potatoes, butternut squash, red pepper) until tender.
Those hearty ingredients are blended to a silky smooth consistency right before adding tender chicken and white beans.
I don’t necessarily try to hide vegetables from my kids, but I wasn’t exactly forthcoming about the veggie-loaded nature of this soup the first time we ate it. Bless their little stinkin’ hearts, they had no idea they were gobbling up veggie after veggie after veggie when they inhaled this soup.
And they loved it so much, they didn’t even bat an eye when I told them afterwards. Now, many years later, this soup is still a family favorite!
It doesn’t hurt that we all pile on as many toppings as our bowls will allow. That’s what makes it fun (and also extra tasty!).
Over the years, I’ve made some small adaptations to this recipe based on questions and comments I’ve received and also because of my own sanity-saving needs (i.e. throw it all in the slow cooker to cook on a busy day). I’ve included slow cooker and Instant Pot directions in the recipe below. My friend, Marci, also has some awesome freezer meal directions on her blog.
This easy and healthy chicken enchilada soup is a cool month staple for us! I can’t imagine life without it, really.
One Year Ago: Classic Blueberry Cobbler
Two Years Ago: The Best Chicken Fajitas
Three Years Ago: Chicken with Green Curry Sauce
The Best Chicken Enchilada Soup
- 8 cups chicken broth, I use low-sodium
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 3-4 chicken breasts
- 1 (3.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and quartered
- 4 medium russet potatoes, peeled and quartered (see note for substitutions)
- 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into large chunks
- 3-4 cups butternut squash cubes, from about 1/2 of a medium butternut squash, peeled and cut
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons cumin
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning (see note)
- 1 cup sour cream, light or regular
- 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 2 cans white beans, like Great Northern, rinsed and drained
- STOVETOP: In a large pot, add the chicken broth, chicken breasts, green chiles, onion, potatoes, pepper, butternut squash, garlic, salt, cumin, and taco seasoning. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer, covered or partially covered, until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. If there doesn’t seem to be enough liquid for the vegetables/chicken to boil in, add water or broth but take care not to add too much extra liquid or the flavor and consistency will be affected. Go to step #4.
- SLOW COOKER: Add the chicken broth, chicken breasts, green chiles, onion, potatoes, pepper, butternut squash, garlic, salt, cumin, and taco seasoning to the insert of a 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 3-4 hours until the vegetables are tender. Go to step #4.
- INSTANT POT: Decrease the broth amount to SIX cups and add the chicken broth, chicken breasts, green chiles, onion, potatoes, pepper, butternut squash, garlic, salt, cumin, and taco seasoning to the insert of a 6-quart or larger Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker. Secure the lid and cook on high pressure for 17 minutes. Let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes before releasing the remaining pressure (if liquid spurts through the valve, close the valve and wait a few minutes before releasing pressure again).
- Remove the chicken from the pot/slow cooker/Instant Pot to a cutting board. Let it cool slightly before shredding or dicing. Use an immersion blender or ladle the remaining vegetables and broth into a blender (in several batches, if needed), and puree the broth and vegetables until smooth. Take care not to overfill the blender since the mixture will be hot and will expand as it blends! Pour the pureed soup mixture back into the pot/slow cooker/Instant Pot. Whisk in the sour cream and tomato sauce. Stir in the beans and chopped chicken. Heat through.
- Serve the soup with additional toppings: tortilla chips, sour cream, shredded cheese, avocado, pico de gallo or salsa, etc. The options are endless!
Recipe Source: adapted from my cousin-in-law Susie E.
Recipe updated 12/2018 with new photos, recipe notes.
103 Comments on “Chicken Enchilada Soup”
This is a family favorite. I’m sure I’ve commented before but it’s been years now and I’m still making it all the time! I now make it vegetarian (veggie broth, no chicken, and 3 cans of beans, usually black, white, and pink), and save the sour cream to use as a topping only. This is phenomenal with tortilla chips and pico! It freezes so well although there’s always a few minutes where it looks gross while it’s heating up before it smoothes out.
This was fantastic, and my family of picky eaters loved it! I made it in the crock pot following the slow cooker instructions, only change was I left out the sour cream. It was very thick and a good consistency even without that. Topped with avocado slices and pico, so good and flavorful!
So very good. That pico de gallo really took it over the top. I will be dreaming about that soup!
A new family favorite! You could not taste the veggies. Even my pickiest eaters gobbled this up! Delicious!!!
Hi! This looks great, I was wondering how strong is the taste of the butternut squash?
This soup is phenomenal! I got a butternut squash in my produce box this month & wasn’t sure what to do with it. This was the perfect use! I followed the Instant Pot instructions pretty closely, only using a little chicken Better Than Bouillon and a little chili flavored Better Than Bouillon. I’m out of green chiles so the chili BTB gave it some spice. I used frozen chicken and cooked 20 minutes. It makes a huge pot so I’ll be freezing lots of it but leftovers will be greatly enjoyed! Thanks for a fantastic recipe.
This is seriously the best chicken enchilada soup ever! And I don’t say that lightly. And you changed the picture! I always look for the old picture, the one that’s on the bottom now. The old one looks thicker! Thanks for being the best!
Thanks, Katie! (Every so often I update old recipes with new photos but I try to keep at least one old photo in the post so people aren’t confused),
Next time I’m going to try it with 6 cups on the stove top. I like it thick! But it was super good!
This was in something you posted recently, and I thought “That looks amazing!” and made it tonight. It is SO delicious! It was so creamy we didn’t even add cheese. Thanks for sharing it!
This is a family favorite! My kids always ask for leftovers in their lunches. I thought I’d report that I’ve made it with frozen butternut squash, and we don’t notice a difference from when I buy a fresh one (in case anyone else bought the big bag at Costco). Also I double the tomato sauce and love the result!
Thank-you for mentioning the frozen butternut squash! I have some in the freezer and struggle to know how to use it. We’ve tried it roasted, but it got mushy. This is a perfect idea!
Do you have an immersion blender brand you recommend? I’ve bought one before and was very unsatisfied. I’d love to have the convenience of one for this soup but don’t want to sacrifice the quality of the end product. I’m hoping that I just picked a bad one…
I have this one: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ARQVM5O/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I don’t know if it is the best one out there but I’ve really liked it.
Do you think you could sub something for the sour cream to make it dairy free?
I have left the sour cream out many times and it is still delicious! Someone on instagram also said they’ve subbed in coconut cream (unsweetened).
I throw in cauliflower at the beginning (so it gets cooked and blended with the other veggies) and it does an awesome job replacing the sour cream.
Just wondering why you don’t put the tomato sauce in with the rest of the ingredients when you cook it. Is that bad?
You could add it at the beginning – just make sure it doesn’t burn (it has a tendency to scorch).
This was SO delicious!
My husband and I have been keto/low carb since January so I just subbed a whole head of cauliflower in for the potatoes to keep the carbs lower and it is so flavorful and creamy! My kids devoured it and kept saying how good it is and how much they liked it over regular enchiladas because it didn’t have all the vegetables in it! I decided not to tell them just how many were in it, let them just keep thinking it’s low on the veggie scale, haha!
This is BIG batch cooking! I’m thinking it’s at least 10 servings. Taste delicious. It really evokes that velveeta-rotel dip but with vegetables! I didn’t stir the sour cream in but served it on the side instead.
This looks fabulous! Do you think I could blend the beans up as well? If I did that, should I cut back on the potatoes? We are just starting the Keto diet and potatoes are a no go…. I’m sad.
Yes, I think you could blend up the beans, too.
Did you ever end up trying this in the instant pot? I would love the instructions for it!
Yes, I did actually! I tossed everything in there (except the sour cream and beans) and did 15 minutes high pressure (manual setting). I let it naturally release for 20 minutes because I was busy and then quick released the rest of the pressure. I pureed it right in the pot with my immersion blender. Another time I made it in the IP, left out the chicken, added the beans in the 1st step…and then pureed everything after cooking; I didn’t add the sour cream (I was making it for someone with a dairy allergy) and stirred in chopped rotisserie chicken to heat through. Hope that helps!
Oh my goodness! DELICIOUS! The pico completely pushes it over the top. This will be happening again and again this winter. Thank you!
Can you cook this soup in the pressure cooker?
I haven’t tried it, but I think it stands a good chance of working!
I made this soup this week, and I thought I ruined it because I couldn’t find butternut squash, so I subbed sweet potato, which probably made it sweeter than it should be. However, my kids loved it, and 3 out of 4 requested it in their lunch! This is a huge compliment as they almost never take leftovers even though their schools have microwaves. I can’t wait to try it again the right way! Just wanted to say thanks!
Hey, I know this is an old post, but it’s one of my favorite soup recipes. I tell my kids that it’s my magic soup because despite all the “yucky” vegetables they see me cutting up, it turns into the splendidly wonderful soup. They all love it!! I don’t think I could normally get them to eat so many vegetables in one sitting! Thanks!
Thank you so much for this recipe! After eyeing it for over a year I finally made it and it far surpassed my expectations. And the fact that it’s filled with veggies is just a great bonus because it tastes much more decadent than it actually is. I actually made it with an immersion blender and then kept it warm in the crock pot and served with a bunch of toppings family style – shredded cheese, pico de gallo, guacamole, jalapenos, sriarcha sauce, sour cream, tortilla chips – it was a big hit. And i sent the recipe to two friends who made it for their families who also loved it.
with the immersion blender i didn’t have to do it in batches – worth the investment.
Does anyone know the nutritional facts for this soup? Looks great! 🙂
Does anyone know the nutritional information for the soup? Looks great! 🙂
And the ‘soup’ setting for the blendtec is perfect…do it in batches but it works great. Really smooth and creamy.
This is my favorite soup ever. I have a few versions of this and this one is my fave. Often I sub 2 sweet potatoes in for the regular potatoes (no more or it is too sweet). Side note…random side note…all that gets cooked in the first step makes a great baby food puree (yes chiles and onions too…). Just remove the chicken and puree like instructed. Then just keep some of that out for baby and add the rest in for the fam. Hooray…Dinner for everyone.
Made this tonight for the fiance (who “hates” butternut squash) and he absolutely loved it!!! In fact he ate three bowls! Just wondering if anyone knows how many Weight Watchers points it is or the nutritional breakdown?
This was great! My kids all ate it, which is a small miracle. i am going to have to freeze some because it made so much. FYI, I also found frozen butternut squash at my local grocery. Yay for shortcuts!
I have a chicken enchilada soup that I have made and LOVED for years. It uses a ton of velveeta cheese though. I was surprised how much this recipe tasted like it. In fact, my kids didn’t even know I had used a different recipe. They were super excited that I made one of their favorite soups and they gobbled it right up!
Hi Mel! I love this soup! I do want to share my adaptations, in case anyone cares. 🙂 I use about 2 cups of homemade red enchilada sauce in place of the same volume of broth. So I just omit the green chilies and other spices since the enchilada sauce has so much spice in it. I also blend in a few tablespoons of cream cheese at the end for some extra richness. Thank you for sharing your beautiful recipes with the world!
This reminds me of Chili’s Enchilada soup except better- and far healthier! I used black beans instead of northern and added corn. Everyone loved it. Definitely a keeper! Thank you for sharing!
YES!!! That’s exactly what i was thinking! I’m sure that soup, while delicious, was so packed with fat and sodium and very unhealthy. As soon as I tasted it I thought that and emailed the recipe to friends.
Has anyone tried freezing this?
Hi Marci – I freeze this all the time and it works great!
oh my goodness. I made this last night and ate three bowls – then three more tonight! I LOVE THIS!!! THANK YOU!!
This was very delicious!!! Instead of camouflaging veggies into a meal, in this soup the veggies are what make it taste delicious. It will definitely be a regular in our menu! Thank you for sharing!
I remember when you first posted this soup, and I have to admit that it seemed unappealing for some reason so I never made it. But last night I was looking for a quick dinner and needed to use up a butternut squash, so I did a search on your site and this fit the bill. I didn’t have red pepper, and I threw in a sweet potato that I also needed to use. And I prefer black beans in soup like this so I used those. I’ll definitely make it again because it’s full of veggies my family doesn’t normally eat and my 5-year-old, who is somewhat of a stubborn (and slow) eater, kept saying how delicious it was and “can you make this again?” and asked for seconds. That’s a miracle, right there. Thanks!
My first time to comment on your amazing recipes….love them all! This soup was a real hit, and so perfect on a cold winter day….9 degrees cold!! Love trying your recipes and feeling confident they will be winners!
I do LOVE this soup. When I came back to send the link to my sister, I could not find the it listed under “soups” in the index. Reason why?
I made this for two different families and they all went crazy over it. I added some black beans and corn, which went over well. Thanks for all your awesome recipes!
Kim – you might try a little extra chili powder or cayenne to give it an extra kick. The homemade taco seasoning will probably make a difference in flavor but even then, you might need to play around with the spices (even adding a little extra salt maybe??).
We made this and liked it. I leave out the onions (not a family favorite!). Anyhow, we felt it needed a kick. What spice would you to give it that kick? I did use regular taco seasoning. Would the homemade one be better and give it the kick I’m looking for?
I can’t WAIT to try this…drooling, ha ha!
Jennifer – you could leave them out. The soup would be less creamy and thick but should taste great anyway.
Any suggestions for a substitution for the potatoes? I need less carbs while I try to lose baby weight?
Sooo been dying to make this darn soup! Butternut squash has been super duper hard to find ’round these parts as of late. Finally hit the jackpot at Trader Joe’s today…even came peeled and cut up! Woo Hoo! Soups on for tonight! Can’t wait….
Karen – I haven’t subbed the sweet potatoes but it’s worth a try! Just make sure to taste test to adjust for the sweetness.
I have to say, I was skeptical about this recipe, even as I was dishing it into bowls tonight – but your recipes are always good, so I tried it. The soup turned out pretty dang good! Hubby and I both had seconds, which NEVER happens with soup. My butternut squash went bad before I could get around to making it, so I ended up substituting with some canned pumpkin. My picky 5 yr old threw a huge fit for three bites, then he dug in and actually said he liked it, after we crushed a ton of tortilla chips and cheese on the top. Score! I hope it freezes well, because it made one HUGE pot for a family of three. Thanks again!
Any thoughts on subbing sweet potatoes for russet? I have butternut squash and sweet potatoes and want to try this tonight!
Laura – I’m glad you liked this! What’s funny is that the original recipe DOES call for canned red enchilada sauce but I just knew there had to be a way to get the flavor without using it. Happy it was a hit!
This was so yummy – I’ve made all sorts of taco soup before and was surprised how this one really had more of an enchilada flavor (and thrilled that it was nothing like a yucky enchilada soup recipe I tried that called for canned red enchilada sauce – yuck, yuck). I had never cooked with butternut squash, nor pureed soup in my blender before. I used black beans – worked great.
Alisa – I’ve never used the soup setting on my Blendtec so I can’t really tell you – sorry! It’s worth a try, though! Let me know how it works if you try it.
I bookmarked this knowing I wanted to make it first chance I got which was this afternoon. I ended up making the homemade taco seasoning as well and am amazed at how much more intense the flavor is. The soup is very good, I think it will just get better as it simmers. The one thing I did was use my immersion blender so I never had to take it out of the pot; so much easier, it worked great and less dishes.
I read the comment about the blendtec “soup” setting…would that work with this recipe if I cooked the chicken separately? And maybe I’d need to microwave the squash a little too? I just bought a blendtec but haven’t tried “soup” in it yet so your input would be great! Thx!
This recipe is wonderful! I made it last night and we loved it, I can’t wait to have leftovers for lunch. Thanks SO much for sharing this recipe.
I love how healthy this is and how yummy. It was so good today a at later cuz the flavored melded more. My two-year-old live it too. Also Made it in the slow cooker on low for a couple hours, so easy so good. As always thanks.
This looks amazing!!!! I will try it next week and let you know how it turned out!
A trick for cutting those winter squashes. . .use pumpkin carving tools. It was an “aha” moment when I figured this out! It is so much easier than a kitchen knife.
I made this tonight and it was a big hit at the potluck I went to. I added 2 cans of corn and I doubled the amount of tomato sauce and I thought it was perfect.
We made it tonight and it was fantastic! We used some pumpkin puree that we had on hand (thanks for the idea, previous comments! saved me a trip to the store), plain yogurt instead of sour cream, and leftover chicken. Worked great. I used to make a copycat Chili’s enchilada soup recipe that used a ton of Velveeta — tasted great, but always felt so guilty knowing what was in it. But this — wow! Just as delicious, absolutely no guilt! It makes a HUGE batch too. Thanks Mel!
Looks fantastic! Yours and my families eat very similarly, which is why I love so many of your recipes!
Mel, I made this tonight for dinner. It was fabulous! I echo the earlier commenter who said to microwave the squash first. I did that and had no problem cutting through it and just used my plain old vegetable peeler to remove the skin.
I put the sour cream on the table to let people add as much or as little as they wanted. It’s yummy both with and without. I will definitely make this again!
I made this soup last night and you weren’t kidding: it is the best chicken enchilada soup (ever.) I was a little nervous about the butternut squash but I followed the recipe and it turned out SO GOOD. (Not squashy at all.) Thanks Mel for another delicious recipe.
(And the tip on microwaving the squash was very helpful.)
Missy – I only have Sam’s Club here and it is right next to the romaine lettuce/broccoli/carrots. My cousin-in-law, Susie, who gave me the recipe found hers at Costco and I can only assume it’s in the same section – somewhere in produce?
Kim – you could always leave it out – unfortunately I’m not super familiar with lactose-substitutions! You might try googling a few options but if nothing sounds great, I’d just omit it.
What section in Costco did you find the squash? Definitely my way to go!
i don’t mind your sour cream specks–i like the contrast they add, and the fact that it lets you know there’s some creamy goodness present. 🙂
I am making this for dinner tonight! Can’t wait! Is there a way to substitute the sour cream for something suitable for someone who is lactose intolerant? I was thinking I would share the recipe with my sister-in-law but someone in her family can’t have the sour cream. Any thoughts?!? Thanks so much!
Kristin – you could probably use just about any type of bean you want here. It’s a pretty versatile soup!
Jessica – I haven’t frozen it but if I had a lot of leftovers, I would definitely try it. Because the amount of dairy is minimal, I think it should freeze ok. You might get a bit of a change in texture upon reheating but it shouldn’t be too noticeable. Good luck if you try it!
Rachel – canned beans are already precooked so you don’t need to cook them long in this soup recipe – heating them through is sufficient. If you are using dry beans – well, that’s a whole separate issue. They need to be soaked overnight in cool water and then cooked in water for about 45 minutes before draining and adding them to a recipe that calls for canned beans. As for the wheat flour question – it really is a matter of taste but in yeast doughs, I definitely recommend adding flour by feel (to obtain a soft dough) rather than holding fast to the measurements given in a recipe. If I am using freshly ground whole wheat flour, I always have to add more than the recipe states because it is full of air from being ground but if it has settled than I usually just use 1:1 in cookie recipes and things like that. Keep in mind that most whole wheat flours (red wheat or white wheat) will produce a darker, denser consistency so in cookies and cakes, I’d recommend starting with smaller amounts of whole wheat and working up so that the baked goods don’t turn out too heavy and dense. Hope that helps!
Absolutely delicious! My kids both loved it and asked for it to be put in the rotation. Thanks for yet another keeper!
i’m tempted to try this with sweet potatoes! yum!
I was wondering about the beans… do you precook them or just throw them in hard? If so, how long does it take to cook the beans til they are soft? I am still new at cooking and just learning about, well, everything! Also, this is off topic, but I try to use as much whole wheat flour (in everything) instead of all purpose flour (to my husbands dismay) but sometimes I don’t know how much to use, is there a rule of thumb for switching white flour to wheat? Love your site!
Mel, that is another option I thought could work. It’s probably the better option. Thanks!
This soup sounds crazy good! I love all the powerful veggies hidden within!
Made this for dinner tonight. I love all the veggies hidden in it. Absolutely delicious. Extremely easy with precooking squash in microwave and using an immersion blender.
Made this tonight and it was great!!! We have a lot of left overs; how do you think it will freeze?
This looks so good! My husband will not eat a single vegetable so I’m excited to try this and secretly get some veggies in him. If I’m not very partial to white beans, is there another type of bean that would work well too? LOVE your blog!
Hey, just thought I’d mention also for those who have a hard time chopping up butternut or any other hard squashes/vegetables…if you just zap them in the microwave for 5-7 min. (depending on the size), it cooks it a little first and makes it soft enough to cut–and is then much easier to peel the skin off too, you can almost do it with a spoon! (It also helps cut down on the simmer time for soups etc, and makes it easier on the Blender if you are skipping the boil/simmer time and going straight to the soup button on that Blendtec! (Sometimes cooking first lets the flavors blend a little more too though, it just depends on what type of soup/dish you’re making!)
Juli – I’ll look into the issue. In the meantime, if you click on the recipe post title (in this case, click on “The Best Chicken Enchilada Soup”, it will pull up the post in a unique URL (permalink) and it should save fine to Ziplist then. I’ll get working on the issue!
Mel…having a little trouble saving your recipes to ZipList as of late. Tried to save the taco seasoning on Friday and it saved as Classic Macaroni and Cheese?? Today I tried to save the Chicken Enchilada Soup Recipe and again, it saved as Classic Macaroni and Cheese?? I just wanted to let you know there was an issue, just in case you weren’t aware. Thanks!
This is my kind of soup. I will make this as much as i make the taco salad dippers you posted a while back.
This sounds amazing! I am definitely adding this to menu line up in the near future!
Looks like a great recipe to try out my new immersion blender! Think pumpkin would sub okay for squash? I’ve got lots.
Erin – sure, I’d say go ahead and use the pumpkin!
Your timing is perfect! I put chicken tortilla soup on my menu for next week and needed to find a better recipe than the one I last used. AND I’m still itching to try another soup in my new Blendtec. You’re a gift, Mel! (I might bump it up to this week it looks so good!)
I just wanted to thank you for sending me your recipes. I have been receiving them for a few months, and I think you and your blog are great. Thank you.
Hope this is not a duplicate offer. I have a Word document I’ve written that contains 100 soups with no more than 5 ingredients. Not to worry, it’s only 18 pages. Want a copy? Write to me at email@example.com and I’ll send it to you. It’s free!!!
I am putting this on my menu plan for the week!
Looks delicious! I think I will make this for a potluck I’m going to at someone’s house. Do you have any hints for me? I would easily be able to heat it up on the stove there, so should I finish it up at my house and then just set it on a burner at really low so it will stay hot for everyone?
Ashley – could you make the soup start to finish at your house and then pour it in a crockpot to stay warm until you serve it at your friend’s house? As long as it doesn’t cook too long in the crockpot, I think it should do well staying warm there for a bit. Otherwise, you could definitely make it at your house, take the pot of soup with you and keep it warm on a low stovetop burner until ready to serve.
This looks like such a healthy, delicious soup! I love that vegetables are the base of the soup, and it looks so thick and creamy! I know my children will love this, and I’m not going to tell them how many vegetables are in it! 🙂