Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup


Back when I was a server at Chili’s I would constantly serve people their Chicken Enchilada Soup and enjoy a bowl for myself at the end of my shift. I loved squeezing the sour cream on top of each bowl, it made me feel pretty cool.

It’s by far one of my favorite bowls of soup. It’s creamy, just a tad spicy, and full of robust flavors.

Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup

I only ever worked the night shifts, so I was never in the kitchen when they were making the soup, and I kick myself for not asking for a recipe. I’m sure they’re not allowed to give them away, but I knew the cooks pretty well and I probably could have snagged the secret recipe, had I thought of it.

Well, the weather has taken a dramatic shift towards winter where I am. The days have gone from warmth and sunshine, to dreary and rain filled with a bitter chill. Yup, it’s Fall. Or maybe we just skipped Fall and went straight into winter? Either way, I was craving soup, and I came across this recipe from Just a Pinch for Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup.

It had to happen.

Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup

I couldn’t have been more happy with this soup.

With just a few small tweaks, it’s EXACTLY like the Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup from Chili’s.

The recipe makes A LOT. We ate soup for days, and we loved every last slurp of this delicious, hearty, and cheesy soup.

My husband brought it in his lunch to work, and his work buddies were jealous. {that’s a win for me}

Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup

The recipe calls for enchilada sauce, and since my garden was filled with an abundance of tomatoes this year, I made my enchilada sauce from scratch. Definitely not necessary for this soup, but I had to mention that so you would think I am totally awesome. :)

Anyways, this soup- make it. You’ll love it.


Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup
recipe slightly adapted from Just a Pinch
Serves: makes 10-12 large servings
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1½ cups onion, diced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup Masa Harina (found in the Mexican isle of your grocery store)
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup of canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (15oz) can RED enchilada sauce
  • 8oz Velveeta cheese, cubed
  • 3 cups chicken, shredded (I buy a rotisserie chicken from the deli and pull the chicken off the bones)
  • Tortilla strips
  • Sour cream
  1. Heat a LARGE (12 quart preferably) pot over medium high heat and add the vegetable oil. Once hot, add the onions and spices and saute until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. In a separate bowl combine the Masa harina with 4 cups of chicken broth and whisk until combined. Pour mixture into the large pot, and stir constantly, cooking, for 2-3 minutes. Mixture will become thick.
  3. Pour in the remaining chicken broth, enchilada sauce and crushed tomatoes, stir and bring to a boil.
  4. Add the cubed Velveeta cheese, and stir until melted. Stir in the shredded chicken.
  5. Serve topped with sour cream and tortilla strips. Enjoy!


  1. This looks sooo amazing! Totally making it!

  2. Love! I’m a huge fan of enchiladas but never thought to put their flavors in a soup! So good!

  3. I’m obsessed with this soup without even tasting it. Love the photos and it looks soooo fantastic!

  4. One of my FAVORITE types of soup! Slurp!

  5. This is my fav soup from Chili’s too!!! I could eat it every day!!!

  6. If anyone is scared of hesitant of Velveeta, this recipe works.

  7. I’ve been craving chicken enchiladas but not in actual enchilada form (think pasta and this soup!) Love how you made the sauce from scratch, which is something I’d do too. I never had Chili’s soup, so I bet this one is even better.

  8. I made this in a 8qt pot and it worked fine. My masa harina was corn so I used more cumin and cayenne and just tasted til it was right. Also used 12oz of velvetta. And I added real garlic, we are a garlic family(: and it is really close! I’m quite surprised. This is my fave thing at my fave restaurant. Thank you!

  9. Michelle Hamby says:

    I made this tonight and it was delicious! It really does taste just like the soup at Chili’s. Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

  10. Glenda ottenheim vinck says:

    what exactly is masa harina. The same as corn mail used for polenta or for arepitas?

    • Masa Harina is more of a corn flour than a corn meal. You can find it in the Mexican isle of your grocery store. If you can’t find the masa, corn meal might work as well.

  11. I’ve had this recipe for years & love the soup! But, the consistency of mine always ends up a little grainy? Thoughts?

    • Hi Lori! The Masa could make the soup grainy if you do not cook it smooth. Just make sure to whisk whisk whisk until it’s smooth, and you should be golden! :)

  12. Hi, I live in England, but I’m an American, and love Mexican food! I can’t get masa harina, enchilada sauce, or velveeta over here. Any suggestions?

    • I totally feel your pain. I’m an American living in Canada and the Mexican food selection at the grocery stores are slim to none. Masa harina is basically ground corn flour, so you might want to check the baking isle for something similar. As for velveeta substitute… I would just look for a processed cheese, or you could possibly try some American cheese? I can’t promise results with these substitutions though. Hopefully you’ll find a way to make it work! :)

      • Thanks Shawn, I feel your pain, too. I think I’ll just hold on to this recipe until they become a bit more enlightened over here! :)

  13. PS Would you share your enchilada sauce recipe? I have lots of tomatoes in my garden, too!

  14. This was awesome! My entire family (even the picky eaters) loved it! We made enough to freeze, too!

  15. Looks good, except I will skip the velveeta and use real cheese instead. :)

  16. We just had our first taste of COLD winter weather so I’m going through all of my “winter” recipes. Just found your recipe and can hardly wait to give it a try. Looks yummy! Need to pick up a couple of the ingredients then it’s soup time for us. Thanks for posting.

  17. I found this recipe last week. .so when I went grocery shopping.. I bought the needed ingredients. Omg! This is exactly like Chilis. I love Chilus so much I have gone to the takeout…order 4 bowls to take home….costing me $20.00…..for soup!
    I promise ….it is soooooo good! Thank you for recipe!
    I used the masa with no problems.

  18. I love the soup, but only had ground beef and salsa last night, so I made this variation which turned out very well too:
    Cheesy Taco soup
    Use 1 pound ground beef, brown with onion (or 1 Tbsp minced onion), no need for the oil. Mix in spices and let it become fragrant. Continue with step 2 using vegetable broth. For step 3, use half to a full jar of mild salsa for enchilada sauce and crushed tomatoes. For step 4, omit the chicken.

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