I just had to share my Sister’s Easy Green Enchilada Soup recipe with you today. Why? Well coz I’m in Georgia and we got hit with some snow last weekend – it literally snowed from early Sunday (about 3 am) and all day long. There’s nothing better than cozying up inside with a bowl of soup when it’s a snow day!
And if that soup is this Easy Green Enchilada Soup, it will warm you up from the inside out. Just one quick note: this soup is just as good if it’s not snowing! And just so you know, it’s a mostly pantry quick-cooking (like under 30 minutes start to finish) soup. Kudos for that!
About Easy Green Enchilada Soup:
I love it when my baby Sis (we all call her Auntie Liz) gives me her tried and true recipes. She has a knack for finding the off-beat down-home recipes that will just blow you away. My very popular post on Classic Cornbread Salad is one of hers. So is Ridiculously Delish Bacon Stuffing. Another soup comes to mind, My Sister’s Ham & Potato Chowder. And we can’t forget My Sister’s Spiedies. What’s a Spiedie? Well, you’ll just hafta click over and see for yourself! And there are many more of her recipes here.
Now there are times that she’s had to say “trust me” and this was one of those recipes. When you hear about the ingredients that make up this soup, you might wonder a bit, just as I did. See, the base of this soup is jarred (or canned) green enchilada sauce and just about as much green Salsa Verde as you dare!
You’ll also use a lot of ingredients you might find in a chicken enchilada with a green sauce, especially these American standards, Enchilada con Pollo. The soup is insanely delish, creamy comfort, and guess what? It’s also low carb and Keto, too; the last if you don’t garnish with tortilla chips or serve with tortillas but do check the contents of the ingredients you use. This soup, by the way, would be marvelous with what I call my tortilla tangles – I’m going to post them next so I don’t have to keep describing the method!
Making Easy Green Enchilada Soup:
One of the best things about this soup is that it’s basically a barely cook recipe and really just a matter of dumping things in (in order, of course) and letting it heat up! Now you could get all fancy and tinker away to your heart’s content with sauteing your onion and so on, but in the spirit of the soup, I’m keeping it souper (sorry!) simple!
The first thing you’ll need for this soup will be the chicken to go in it. I do prefer white meat (breast) but you do you. You can come up with this in several different ways. Either start out with cooked chicken (Rotisserie, leftover, or the chicken strips you can buy already cooked at the store) or just simply cook up your own.
I prefer to cook up my own (with sale-priced chicken breast) by simply poaching them with the chicken stock I’ll be using in the soup. If the breasts are very thick, I’ll slice them in half horizontally so they cook a little quicker.
After the chicken is finished, take it out and shred it into bite-sized pieces and set aside, then just dump in the onion (if using), enchilada sauce, salsa verde to taste, the green chiles, and a little cumin. Bring to a good simmer and once it is nice and hot, take the soup off the heat and add in the cream cheese (preferably in small bits so it melts easily, then the cheese in small handfuls, stirring after each until it’s nice and melted, then the cream. Toss the chicken in and you’re ready to serve. Do not simmer or boil the soup after adding in the dairy. If it needs to be a bit hotter to melt the cheese, just carefully heat on low.
Just an additional note on the simmering: If you simmer until just hot, depending on the salsa you are using and if you add in onion or not, there will be little bits in the soup that aren’t squishy tender. If that is a textural thing that might bother you, just simmer a little longer until all is perfectly tender, maybe about 15 minutes, before adding in the additional ingredients. Me? I can’t wait that long, lol!
And of course, garnish as you wish! I always think the garnish is the best part, don’t you? Lots of cilantro (I always use parsley), green onion, sour cream, and avocado. And if you lean that way, some tortilla tangles or just crunched up tortilla chips!
Adjusting the Flavor & Seasoning and Notes on Ingredients:
First of all, know that the amounts of the ingredients for this recipe do not have to be exact. Close enough is good enough. I’ve used ounces for the ingredients so you can add together different sized products to get to the desired amount, but a couple of ounces fewer or extra won’t make a lot of difference in the finished product.
The flavor of this recipe is dependent on the enchilada sauce and the salsa verde you use. Make sure to use products you like, and you may wish to taste the soup as you add the salsa and cumin. Some sauces and salsas are already heavy on the cumin.
As far as the salsa, I recommend a mild one and adding to taste. You may want more than a quarter of a cup, but there are two things to keep in mind. The cheeses and the cream will mellow out the heat, but if you have leftovers, the heat seems to intensify as it’s stored. Just keep in mind, you can always add more but you can’t really take away any hot ingredients. Your best save if you overdo it is to just add more broth, more cream cheese, more cream, and so on.
How to Store Easy Green Enchilada Soup:
Store your soup for four to five days, covered in the fridge. Reheat very gently or the soup could “break” and become thinner. It’s still just as good, it just won’t be as thick.
Do not attempt to freeze your Green Enchilada Soup. The end result will not be pretty.
I do want to mention this isn’t the cheapest soup in the world to make, but for how simple it is, and how tasty, it’s so worth it! Maybe someday, I’ll tinker with it using a simple homemade enchilada sauce and see how much difference that makes in the price. In the meantime, I’ll keep scarfing this down: I already have everything for another batch!
You can use either white or dark meat in this recipe; we just prefer breast. Breast is a little pricier, but either way, make sure to buy your chicken at a rock bottom price (it will normally drop to a low about once a quarter) and freeze until needed.
It’s easy to find sales on cream cheese and cream around any holiday, and since both keep for weeks, why not pick up extra when they’re on a deep sale? I also pick up cheese when it’s at a low, and packaged cheese keeps well, too, for several weeks. Of course, chicken stock (and any stock or broth) will be at a low before almost any holiday. It’s a great stock up on the cheap item. If you’d like to see what’s on sale around any holiday, check out my post “Win at the Grocers.” It has links for each major holiday.
Your best pricing for Mexican leaning pantry items like the enchilada sauce, the salsa verde, and the canned green chilis are going to be at a Mexican or Latino market, but if you don’t have one nearby, do watch for sale pricing at the grocery. If you use these things regularly, you might just find great pricing around Christmas and before Cinco de Mayo and the sales are often unadvertised. Stock up when they’re on sale.
After growing up in the Midwest and living the last few decades in Colorado and more recently Minnesota, I gotta tell ya, I feel I’m in an alternate universe whenever it snows in Georgia! It’s a mess and we had “snow days!!” Luckily, I had all the ingredients for this soup and stayed home and stayed warm (with the exception of a snowball fight with a six-year-old!) so I had no worries.
So what are your fave pantry soups when the weather hits hard and you don’t want to mess with driving in sleet, snow, or rain, not to mention the grocery store crowds that happen with every bad forecast?
Easy Green Enchilada Soup
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 4 to 6 servings 1x
- Category: Soup
- Cuisine: Mexican or Southwestern
No need to be exact with ingredient amounts; just aim to get as close as you can.
- 2 to 3 cups cooked & shredded chicken
- 1 box of chicken broth or stock
- 1/2 finely diced onion (about 1/3 cup) optional (may be sauteed in butter 1st if you prefer)
- 28 ounces, total, of green enchilada sauce
- 4 ounces of green salsa (red will work, too)
- 4 ounce can of chopped green chiles
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 4 ounces of cream cheese, in small bits, at room temperature
- 2 cups (8 ounces) of shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
- 1 cup of cream (1/2 & 1/2 is fine, too)
- Garnishes of choice: Suggest cilantro, avocado, green onion, sour cream & tortilla strips or chips
To a large pot, add the chicken stock or broth, the onion, the green enchilada sauce, the green salsa, green chiles, and cumin. Bring to a good simmer.
Turn off heat and add in the cream cheese, then the Monterrey Jack cheese in small handfuls, stirring after each to incorporate, then the cream. Add the cooked chicken and allow to warm through. If necessary, turn on the heat and warm very gently. Do not boil after the dairy has been added.
Serve warm and garnish as desired, with cilantro, avocado, green onion, sour cream & tortilla strips or chips.
Note: Depending on the salsa, and if using onion, you may find some crunchier bits in the soup if it is just brought to a simmer. If you wish, you may simmer for about 15 minutes or so, or until all ingredients are softened, before proceeding with the dairy.
Keywords: Avocado, Cheese, Chicken, Chicken Breast, Chicken Stock, Cream, Cream Cheese, enchiladas, Green Chili, Green Onion, Hot Peppers, Mexican or Southwestern, Monterey Jack, Salsa, Soup, Sour cream, tortilla chips