Creamy Chicken Enchilada Soup

This easy, crowd-pleasing creamy chicken enchilada soup recipes is full of Mexican-inspired flavors. Ancho chili powder gives it an instant kick and it’s loaded with hearty chicken, corn, and beans.

Two Bowls of Creamy Chicken Enchilada Soup Garnished with Cilantro, Crema, and Jalapenos at a Table Setting with Two Spoons on a Table Napkin, Bowls of Toppings (Jalapenos, Lime Wedges, Cotija, and Crema), and Tortillas

Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

This creamy chicken enchilada soup is inspired by bold Mexican flavors. The soup reminds me of my favorite red enchilada sauce with a spicy tomato and ancho chili base. Chicken, corn, and beans add substance while cream and cheese give it a dreamy texture. 

Serve the soup with all the fixings laid out on the table and let folks pick and choose their garnishes. Now that’s festive and fun!

The Enchilada Sauce

The soup base is inspired by a traditional red enchilada sauce, with deep red ancho chilis as the hallmark. Ancho chilis are dried green poblanos. It has a smoky flavor and a little heat, but it’s not hair-on-fire spicy.

For this recipe I use ground ancho chili powder as a shortcut. Add the ancho chili powder with some oregano to the sautéed onions and garlic and cook for a minute to let the spices bloom. Start with 1 tablespoon (mild with a little kick) and add more if you like heat.

Dutch Oven of Creamy Chicken Enchilada Soup with a Ladle

Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

Cream and Cheese

The inspiration for this soup comes from enchiladas Suizas (Spanish for Swiss, so named for the addition of dairy). Enchiladas Suizas swim in a green sauce made with tomatillos and a hefty amount of crema. For this recipe, I’m using a red sauce with heavy cream. 

It’s important to use heavy cream, not milk or half-and-half. The extra fat in heavy cream keeps the soup from curdling when added to the acidic tomatoes.

For a subtle taste of cheese, I add Monterey jack to the soup. 

I also use dairy as a pretty and tasty garnish to drizzle over the soup. Crema is another Mexican treat akin to crème fraîche. It is naturally sour and has the consistency of thick cream. You can make a substitute by thinning sour cream with a little milk or heavy cream. 

For garnish, you could use crumbled cotija cheese. It is a cow’s milk cheese with a salty punch. 


  • Look for fire-roasted canned tomatoes for the base, but don’t worry if you can’t find them. Even with regular canned whole tomatoes, your soup will still have plenty of flavor. 
  • If you can’t find cotija cheese for garnish, you could substitute feta or ricotta salata.
  • You could bump up the cheese factor by using sharp cheddar instead of the Monterey jack.
Dutch Oven of Creamy Chicken Enchilada Soup with Some Poured into the Pot from a Ladle

Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

The Garnishes (Where the Fun Is)

You can go crazy with garnishes! Place them out for each person to garnish their own soup. I usually start with cilantro, lime wedges (for squeezing into each bowl), homemade crema (for additional creaminess), and sliced fresh jalapeños (for my fire-loving friends.) 

There’s always more: chopped white onion, more shredded cheese, cotija, sliced avocado, tortilla chips, or warm tortillas. 

How to Store and Reheat Enchilada Soup

Cool the soup to room temperature (it’s okay if it is a little warm) and refrigerate it for up to three days. Although many creamy soups don’t freeze well, I found this one to be freezer friendly. Freeze for up to three months in an airtight container, and defrost, stirring often, over low heat in a soup pot over the stove. 

Bowl of Creamy Chicken Enchilada Soup Garnished with Cilantro, Crema, and Jalapenos Surrounded by Little Bowls with Toppings (Jalapenos, Lime Wedges, Cotija, and Crema)

Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

More Chicken Soups to Try

Creamy Chicken Enchilada Soup

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Servings 6 to 8 servings


For the soup

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 medium white onion, halved and sliced

  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced

  • 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole, peeled tomatoes with juice, preferably fire roasted 

  • 4 ounces (about 1 heaping cup) Monterey jack cheese, shredded

  • 1 cup chicken stock

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

  • 3 cups cooked chicken, shredded

  • 3 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen (no need to defrost)

  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

For the crema

  • 1/4 cup sour cream

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

For garnishing

  • Cilantro leaves

  • Thinly sliced jalapenos

  • Lime wedges

  • Crumbled cotija cheese (or feta)

  • Diced avocado

  • Warm corn tortillas

  • Diced white onion

  • Shredded Monterey jack cheese


  1. Cook the onions and spices: 

    In a large pot over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring often, until soft and golden. Stir in the garlic, chili powder, oregano, brown sugar, and salt. Cook, stirring often, for 1 minute.

    Pot of Cooked Onions for Creamy Chicken Enchilada Soup Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

    Spices Added to Cooked Onions for Creamy Chicken Enchilada Soup Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

  2. Add the tomatoes and the cheese:

    Stir in the tomatoes and bring the mixture to a simmer. Break up the tomatoes—I use a potato masher, but you could do it with a wooden spoon—and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Stir in the shredded cheese.

    Canned Tomatoes Added to the Pot for Chicken Enchilada Soup Recipe

    Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

  3. Blend the soup until smooth:

    Carefully, ladle the soup into a blender. Cover the blender with a lid and cover the lid with a folded dish towel. Starting on low speed, purée the soup for about 30 seconds. Gradually increase the speed to medium-high and blend for another minute, until the soup is smooth. You may need to blend the soup in batches or you could use an immersion blender to blend the soup directly in the pot.

    Soup Ingredients Blended Together until Smooth for Chicken Enchilada Soup

    Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

  4. Add the stock and the cream:

    Return the soup to the pot and set it over medium heat. Stir in the stock, cream, chicken, corn, and beans. Bring to a gentle simmer, stirring often. Taste and adjust seasoning with more salt if you’d like.

  5. Make the crema: 

    In a small bowl, stir the sour cream and milk or cream together until smooth. The consistency should be pourable, like thick cream.

  6. Garnish and serve:

    Ladle the soup into bowls and spoon some homemade crema over each. Lay out the garnishes on the table in small individual bowls and let everyone top their soup to their liking.

    Chicken, Beans, and Corn Mixed into Pot with Blended Soup for Creamy Chicken Enchilada Soup

    Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

    Bowls of Creamy Chicken Enchilada Soup at a Table Setting with Spoons on a Table Napkin, Tortillas in the Corner, and a Small Bowl of Cotija

    Simply Recipes / Sally Vargas

    Refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days. Freeze for up to 3 months in an airtight container. 

    Love the recipe? Leave us stars below!

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
508 Calories
32g Fat
34g Carbs
25g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 508
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 32g 41%
Saturated Fat 13g 64%
Cholesterol 94mg 31%
Sodium 568mg 25%
Total Carbohydrate 34g 12%
Dietary Fiber 10g 35%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 25g
Vitamin C 19mg 94%
Calcium 215mg 17%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 809mg 17%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.