Chicken Enchilada Soup

Here it is – the recipe I was telling you about on Friday. The best chicken enchilada soup I’ve ever laid lips on. Do you want to know the ultimately dreamy part about this soup? It is wonderfully healthy because the base of the soup is made up of veggies (potatoes, butternut squash, red pepper) and then blended to a silky smooth consistency before adding in the tender chicken, beans and various other ingredients, including the taco seasoning. My kids, bless their little stinkin’ hearts, didn’t even know they were gobbling up veggie after veggie after veggie when they inhaled this soup. And of course I didn’t bother mentioning it until after dinner was over.

The soup has a creamy, thick consistency and your heart (literally) can rest easy knowing it isn’t thick and creamy because of heavy cream and other high-calorie ingredients (not that I’m opposed to using heavy cream or anything, as you probably know, but it is January after all, so I’m giving up heavy cream for at least a week in honor of new year resolutions). I first had this soup when my cousin-in-law, Susie E., made it for us when we were visiting them a few weeks ago and I probably embarrassed myself by going back for thirds (er, fourths), but in the end consoled myself knowing I was eating a large portion of veggies.

What To ServeWhat honestly made this soup so heavenly was Ernesto’s (Susie’s hubby) homemade pico de gallo. The warm, hearty soup, topped with the fresh, zesty tomato concoction was completely out of this world. Of course it didn’t hurt that I threw a bunch of shredded cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips on top, too.

So what are you waiting for? Make this soup today and rest assured that not only are you getting one of the most delicious soups around but you are also getting in a heaping dose of veggies, too. Can’t complain about that.

P.S. Don’t mind the fact that I didn’t whisk quickly enough and ended up with tiny specks of sour cream in my soup (see pictures for a visual). It was delicious, regardless. I know you’ll be more attentive than I and whisk more quickly. Right? Right?

P.P.S. Blendtec winner posted HERE. Your response was overwhelming and I can’t wait to get started making all the smoothies (and other blending possibilities) you shared. You all are truly the best. Love your guts!

Chicken Enchilada Soup

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

Yield: Serves 8

The Best Chicken Enchilada Soup

Note: this soup is absolutely unreal with homemade pico de gallo. Here's how I whip it up: 3-4 chopped ripe tomatoes, juice of one lime, handful of chopped cilantro, medium minced yellow onion, seeded and diced jalapeno and salt to taste. Let it chill out in the fridge for an hour or so, if desired, or use right away. Also, I've found that Sam's Club (and I know Costco does, too) sells butternut squash already peeled and cut up. It's a wonderful thing and saves me from severing my hand at the wrist trying to cut through the thick skin of the almighty butternut squash; however when I feel like a real woman (and want to save myself a trip to Sam's and a dollar or two), I cut into it myself...just take care and wield the knife carefully.


  • 2 quarts (8 cups) low-sodium chicken broth
  • 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
  • 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
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 cup sour cream, light or regular
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 cans white beans, like Great Northern, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning (homemade version here)


  1. In a large pot, add the chicken broth, chicken breasts, green chiles, onion, potatoes, pepper, butternut squash, garlic, salt and cumin. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer, 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, try adding in 1-2 cups water but don't add too much extra liquid or the soup won't be as thick as it should.
  2. Remove the chicken from the pot to a cutting board. Let it cool slightly before shredding or dicing. 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 large pot. Whisk in the sour cream and tomato sauce. Stir in the taco seasoning, beans and cooked chicken. Cook until heated through.
  3. 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.

80 Responses to Chicken Enchilada Soup

  1. […] you look at the ingredients for this soup on Mel’s site. Almost every single ingredients could be Thrive. Does this mean […]

  2. Laura says:

    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!

  3. Amanda says:

    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!

  4. Jaime Lee says:

    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.

  5. Stacy says:

    Does anyone know the nutritional facts for this soup? Looks great! 🙂

  6. Danielle says:

    And the ‘soup’ setting for the blendtec is perfect…do it in batches but it works great. Really smooth and creamy.

  7. Danielle says:

    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.

  8. Katie says:

    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?

  9. Jamie says:

    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!

  10. Jackie says:

    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!

  11. Tessa says:

    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!

    • Jaime Lee says:

      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.

  12. Marci says:

    Has anyone tried freezing this?

  13. Shelby says:

    oh my goodness. I made this last night and ate three bowls – then three more tonight! I LOVE THIS!!! THANK YOU!!

  14. tabetha says:

    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!

  15. […] I first read this recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe, I was skeptical.  I guess, I shouldn’t say skeptical.  I was afraid.  You see, I’m […]

  16. Vicky says:

    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!

  17. […] recipe comes from Mels Kitchen Cafe. She has a lot of awesome […]

  18. Mary says:

    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!

  19. […] Chicken Enchilada Soup- […]

  20. […] tonight was her  Chicken Enchilada Soup (I halved the recipe for my family and still had a ton) and man was it awesome. I added a bit more […]

  21. Davis says:

    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?

  22. Kristin says:

    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!

  23. Mel says:

    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??).

  24. Kim says:

    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?

  25. I can’t WAIT to try this…drooling, ha ha!

  26. Mel says:

    Jennifer – you could leave them out. The soup would be less creamy and thick but should taste great anyway.

  27. Jennifer says:

    Any suggestions for a substitution for the potatoes? I need less carbs while I try to lose baby weight?

  28. Juli in VA says:

    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….

  29. Mel says:

    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.

  30. Kelley says:

    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!

  31. Karen says:

    Any thoughts on subbing sweet potatoes for russet? I have butternut squash and sweet potatoes and want to try this tonight!

  32. Mel says:

    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!

  33. Laura D says:

    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.

  34. The Best Chicken Enchilada Soup | Run Like a Girl Retreat The Best Chicken Enchilada Soup | Relax, Rejuvenate, RUN HARD! says:

    […] Alright ladies, I made this soup last night and it was fabulous!  It was really quite easy to make and it is chock full of awesome veggies, you would never know!  It tastes great and is healthy so I thought I’d share it with you.  It is a recipe from the blog Mel’s Kitchen Cafe.  Get the recipe here! […]

  35. Mel says:

    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.

  36. Donna B says:

    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.

  37. Alisa says:

    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!

  38. Anna says:

    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.

  39. Heather says:

    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.

  40. This looks amazing!!!! I will try it next week and let you know how it turned out!

  41. Karen says:

    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.

  42. Kim says:

    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.

  43. Angela says:

    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!

  44. Looks fantastic! Yours and my families eat very similarly, which is why I love so many of your recipes!

  45. 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!

  46. carie says:

    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.)

  47. Mel says:

    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?

  48. Mel says:

    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.

  49. Missy says:

    What section in Costco did you find the squash? Definitely my way to go!

  50. grace says:

    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. 🙂

  51. Kim says:

    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!

  52. Mel says:

    Kristin – you could probably use just about any type of bean you want here. It’s a pretty versatile soup!

  53. Mel says:

    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!

  54. Mel says:

    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!

  55. Carrie says:

    Absolutely delicious! My kids both loved it and asked for it to be put in the rotation. Thanks for yet another keeper!

  56. i’m tempted to try this with sweet potatoes! yum!

  57. Rachel says:

    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!

  58. Ashley says:

    Mel, that is another option I thought could work. It’s probably the better option. Thanks!

  59. This soup sounds crazy good! I love all the powerful veggies hidden within!

  60. Mary in Cincinnati says:

    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.

  61. Jessica says:

    Made this tonight and it was great!!! We have a lot of left overs; how do you think it will freeze?

  62. Kristin says:

    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!

  63. Kimberly says:

    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!)

  64. Mel says:

    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!

  65. Juli in VA says:

    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!

  66. amy says:

    This is my kind of soup. I will make this as much as i make the taco salad dippers you posted a while back.

  67. Kristina says:

    This sounds amazing! I am definitely adding this to menu line up in the near future!

  68. Erin says:

    Looks like a great recipe to try out my new immersion blender! Think pumpkin would sub okay for squash? I’ve got lots.

  69. Michelle says:

    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!)

  70. Brenda says:

    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.

  71. I am putting this on my menu plan for the week!

  72. Ashley says:

    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?

    • Mel says:

      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.

  73. Kim in MD says:

    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! 🙂

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