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Recipe: Chicken Enchilada Soup (a Chili’s copycat)


My sister Robin…..ahhhh, she makes me and my belly so happy!  She is such a creative genius in the kitchen and figures out the trickiest of flavor combinations.  And once you get her going, her busy little hands begin throwing together a pinch of this and a handful of that….and makes the most delicious things! 

A few months ago while she was here, I said, “let’s have something easy for dinner, like omelets.”  She agreed but while she was helping put them together, I kinda of stepped aside and watched her stuff them with spinach, a variety of cheeses, and some other chopped veggies.  She then created a creamy mushroom sauce to pour over the top.  I’m not even kidding when I say that they were the best omelets I’ve ever had. Of course, there was no recipe for it… I’ve been asking her to actually start writing things down and figuring out exact measurements and such.  (More on that later…..but there’s a bit of a yummy addition coming to my blog really soon!  And Robin’s hands are ALL OVER IT!)


But something that we made several times while she was living here for a few months, was something she used to eat all the time in college.  However, it wasn’t something she made.  She would run to the local Chile’s (restaurant) with her roommates and they would order large bowls of the creamy Chicken Enchilada Soup.  And, of course, they would order the chips/salsa between them and use that to scoop up the soup as well!


While living here, she decided to figure out the perfect recipe for this soup, that she used to eat so often while in college. Hot and creamy, a nice cheesy enchilada flavor, chunks of tender chicken, and plenty of yummy toppings.  And she did it.  This soup is CRAZY delicious!!!



 So, while the weather is still a little chilly (but even if it’s not, you’ll still crave this all year long)……..whip up a batch.  Because there’s something really tasty about this soup.  Robin is set on the idea that it’s like liquefied enchiladas.  Ha….sounds strange, but she’s kinda right… a non-baby-food kind of way. ;)




It’s also a really fun and quick dinner to make for company too.  Throw everything in the pot and let it simmer while you fill little bowls with fun and colorful toppings that your company can pick and choose from.  Yum!




Want to make some soup for dinner?


Okay, add a few things to your shopping list….if you don’t have everything on the list below.


Shopping List

2 TBS butter

1 small onion or 1/2 large onion

1 clove of garlic 

1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper (optional)

3-4 boneless chicken breasts  or 1.5 lb skinless boneless chicken thighs

4 cups of chicken broth

1 cup of masa harina (this is a really fine corn flour…….usually found in the Latin aisle)

3 cups of water

16 oz of Velveeta cheese (the block)

1 cup Red Enchilada Sauce

1 tsp salt

1 tsp chili powder

½ tsp cumin

 1 -4oz can chopped green chiles (optional)


corn tortilla strips

sour cream





Here are the basic ingredients, except the red enchilada sauce is missing. Yikes….forgot that for the picture!  For soups and other recipes where you have to cook chicken for a while, boneless chicken thighs are best.  They don’t get tough and will stay tender and delicious.  Robin swears they are the secret ingredient for the tender chicken in this soup.  (However, I have chopped up a rotisserie chicken and thrown it in at the last minute…..and that works well too.)  Chicken thighs stay tender and has a better mouth feel because it has a slightly higher fat content.  Chicken breasts, because they are lower in fat, tend to become more tough. 




First, saute the onion and garlic in 2 TBS of butter in a stock pot.  (Optional: you can add ½ cup chopped bell peppers to add more vegetables here as well.)  Saute until the onions become a little browned and translucent like this.



Add 4 cups of chicken broth and 1.5 pounds of skinless chicken thighs (bone included) to the pot.  Let this cook over medium heat until the chicken is cooked all the way through.  Remove from heat and place the whole chicken pieces on a cutting board and allow to cool for a few minutes.  (Save the broth in the pot.  You’ll need it again in a few steps.)


While the chicken is cooling, combine two cups of water with 1 cup of Masa Harina in a mixing bowl.  You will want to use a whisk to make sure there are no lumps. Set aside. (You can do this step while the chicken is cooking as well.)




Now, back to the chicken.  Once it’s cool enough to handle, inspect the chicken for any fat and gristle and remove. Chop or shred the chicken into bite size pieces.



Place the pot back onto the stove at medium heat and slowly add the Masa mixture to the chicken broth and onions.  Use a whisk to make sure you don’t form any lumps. Cut the Velveeta up into cubes, to help it melt faster and then add to the pot.  Then add the remaining 1 cup of water, the enchilada sauce and all spices to the pot and mix well.  (optional: Robin sometimes likes to amp it up with a can at green chili’s at this point as well.)


You will want to keep an eye on this and stir frequently.  When it comes to a boil and the cheese is melted, add the chicken and turn down the heat to low and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes, until it thickens.



 Hands down, the yummiest chips to place on top, are frying your own corn tortilla strips.  Just slice fresh corn tortillas into thin strips and place in hot oil in a frying pan.  Let brown and remove immediately.  Let cool on a paper towel.  Yum!  All you need are a few atop your soup…..but they are so delicious!


In addition, add some sour cream, tomatoes, a bit of cilantro, a squeeze of fresh lime……and whatever else your mouth is craving!  Your crowd (or just your little family at home) will LOVE this!!!





Chicken Enchilada Soup – Recipe Card 

Makes 6-8 servings

  • 2 TBS Butter
  • 1 small onion or 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 3-4 boneless chicken breast or 1.5 lb skinless boneless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper (optional)
  • 4 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 cup of Masa Harina (this is a really fine corn flour…….usually found in the Latin aisle)
  • 3 cups of water
  • 16 oz of Velveeta cheese (the block)
  • 1 cup Red Enchilada Sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 -4oz can chopped green chiles (optional)


  • fresh corn tortillas, cut into strips
  • sour cream
  • tomatoes, chopped
  • cilantro, chopped
  • limes, cut into wedges


Saute the onions, garlic, and optional bell pepper in a large soup pot.  Add chicken and chicken broth to the pot and cook over medium heat, until chicken is cooked thoroughly.  Remove from heat and place the chicken on cutting board and set aside.  In a separate bowl, combine Masa Harina and two cups of water and whisk until smooth.  Set aside.  Remove bones and gristle from chicken and chop the chicken into bite size pieces.  Place the pot back onto the stove (medium heat) and slowly add the Masa mixture to the pot of broth with a whisk.  Add remaining water, enchilada sauce, cheese (chopped into cubes), spices, and optional green chiles.  Bring mixture to a boil.  Add the chicken to the pot and reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until thick.  Fry tortilla strips in hot oil and let cool on paper towel.  Serve soup in individual bowls with sour cream, tomatoes, tortilla strips, a spritz of lime, and cilantro on top.





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  1. Sharlynn says:

    As a cheese connoisseur, I can not bring myself to buy Velveeta. Those of you that used cheddar– how did that work for you? Any tips regarding that substitution?

  2. Jennifer says:

    I made this tonight. O.M.G. IT WAS AWESOME!

  3. Viviana says:

    I just finished making this soup! It is our all time favorite. I wish I could post a picture! Came out delicious, I altered the recipe by adding some carrots too

  4. Rose S. says:

    I made this for my family tonight and it was DELICIOUS!!! My y husband and daughter could not stop eating it. I made the tortilla chips also and that topped it off perfectly. Super easy and so good! A new family favorite!

  5. Kayla says:

    What do you think the total cook time for this is?

  6. Lety Prado says:

    That soup looks amazing! My favorite soup at Chili’s. I live in Mexico and they don’t sell Velveeta here. What kind of cheese can I use as a substitute and how much? Thanks!

  7. Lori Jones says:

    wondering if you have tried the mixer to shred the chicken?? If not what you do is to cook your chicken and then while it is still hot
    put it in the mixer and turn it on, it only takes a few seconds. Don’t do it for to long cause you’ll end up with mush.!! been there done that! not a good result.
    I’ll have to remember this one,sounds really good .
    Love the new look and lay out of the blog!

  8. Amy says:

    Will this be ok if refrigerated overnight?

    1. Robin says:

      Oh yes definitely. I have thrown it in the freezer even and it was great.

    2. Amy says:

      Thanks! Made it for a soup & salad fundraiser at church tomorrow. It is AMAZING!!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    I also get the message about a virus and having to download a removal tool from Google play…..

  10. Kristie says:

    Wonder if you could use a can of cream of cheese soup instead of Velveeta? I recently got a mac and cheese recipe that uses the cream of cheese soup instead of Velveeta. Worth trying! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  11. Hope says:

    Oh. My. Word. I cannot WAIT to try this recipe!! Child’s soup is phenomenal and that gives me high hopes for this recipe… Get in my MOUTH!!

  12. sarah says:

    this looks delicious! I’m excited to try it. I love this soup at chills. Thanks so much for the post

    1. Ashley says:

      Ooooh, if you already love that soup, you’ll love this. Yum!!!

  13. HW says:

    Every time I go to your website on my tablet I get this weird message that my phone has a virus and I need todownload somethong to fix it from google play. I am thinking this is a hoax and wanted to let you know.

    1. Ashley says:

      Hmmmm, let me check into that. I have been running scans and making sure everything is secure and cleaned out and protected. Did it just start……or has this been going on a while? I wonder if it’s something funky from when that guy hacked my facebook and I had to shut my site down. If so, it may be a warning that has been cache’d onto your phone. Just thinking out loud….but let me know if you have any more info. thanks!


    2. HW says:

      It has been just recently; I only noticed it since you posted about having those problems with your site. If it happened before that, it was only one time. But I think I’ve had it every time I’ve used my tablet to check your site since then.

    3. Kristina Noall says:

      I have, too. :/

  14. Kristin S says:

    This looks great! I wonder how I can use regular cheese instead of velveeta– I’ll figure it out. Funny timing, I was just now emailing myself a list of links to chicken enchilada casseroles when your email notification for this popped up.

    1. Ashley says:

      Ha…..perfect! It really is so yummy, you’ll love it! :)

    2. Amber says:

      Kristin – I make something similar, but add tomatoes to the soup itself and then add the cheese when serving. I use regular cheddar cheese and it still looks and tastes awesome!

  15. Jan says:

    Yum! This looks amazing.

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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