Slow Cooker Green Enchilada Soup takes everything you love about salsa verde chicken enchiladas, including a creamy green enchilada soup base with plenty of seasoning, and puts it in soup form. It’s especially easy because it’s a crock pot recipe!

overhead shot of bowl of green enchilada soup topped with tortilla strips & cilantro.

Chicken Enchilada Soup

In my annual reader survey, the most requested recipe type was slow cooker meals and many of you asked for more soup recipes, so I’m killing two birds with one stone with this Slow Cooker Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Soup!

This is the kind of soup recipe that won’t heat your kitchen, so it’s perfect year-round. Toss everything into the slow cooker before the kids wake up and let it cook throughout the day. By the time dinner time rolls around, it’s ready!

Add some cilantro lime rice to turn it into a Mexican gumbo!

And then finish it off with a “better than box mix” brownie because every meal should end with a brownie.

Why you’ll love Slow Cooker Green Enchilada Soup

So much flavor – If you’ve never had a chicken enchilada soup, you’re in for a treat! The savory, zesty, tangy, and slightly spicy flavors come together in a rich and creamy broth that has a taste that is out of this world.

Minimal prep time – Most of the prep work is done in 15 minutes. Once it has cooked low and slow for hours, it’s a matter of shredding the chicken, thickening the soup, and melting in the cheese. It’s so easy!

High in protein – It’s also low carb which makes this one of those delicious soup recipes that is hearty, but not heavy.

ladle lifting green enchilada soup from a crockpot.
  • Slow Cooker – My slow cooker of choice switches itself to “warm” after the initial cooking time is up which is really handy when you’re going to be gone all day.
  • Blender – You’ll need to blend some corn tortillas with some enchilada sauce to add to the soup.
  • Ladle – For scooping out all the goodness. I’ve had this Rachael Ray set for years & love it.

Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe, why you need them, and possible substitutions. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card with measurements.

  • Olive OilPick a good quality EVOO. There are many types – I like to use an extra virgin for low acidity & good flavor.
  • Aromatics – Yellow onions and minced garlic. Use either 4 cloves of fresh garlic or 2 teaspoons of store-bought minced garlic. Fun fact – it’s the high sulfur content in yellow onions that makes your eyes water!
  • Chicken Breasts – Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of any fat. Boneless skinless chicken thighs can also be used.
  • Seasoning – Chili powder, cumin, and oregano. Cumin has an earthy, nutty somewhat spicy flavor that pairs well with Mexican oregano if you can find it in your grocery store.
  • Chicken StockYou can use low sodium, but I like to use regular. If you have a homemade chicken broth recipe you want to use, that would be great.
  • Green Enchilada Sauce – Generally a blend of onion, broth, cumin, chiles, and spices.
  • Green ChilesCanned green chiles are often Anaheim chiles, which are mild, unlike the jalapeno. There are chiles in the enchilada sauce, but we need more!
  • Corn TortillasYou’ll blend corn tortillas with enchilada sauce to thicken the soup. You can also add some tortilla strips or broken tortilla chips as crunchy garnish – so good!
  • Cream Cheese – Cream cheese gives just the right amount of creaminess to the soup. Use room temperature cream cheese, cubed, so it melts evenly.
  • Mexican Blend or Monterey Jack Shredded Cheese – I used a Mexican blend of shredded Monterey Jack, Cheddar, Asadero, & Queso Quesadilla cheeses.
overhead shot of labeled ingredients laid out to make chicken enchilada soup.

Every slow cooker runs differently. Times given are a general recommendation and should be tested in your own slow cooker and adjusted as needed.

This section shows you how to make this recipe, with process photos showing the steps to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.

  1. Step One: To the basin of the slow cooker, add the olive oil, chopped chicken, minced garlic, and all of the seasonings.
overhead shot of chicken breasts and seasonings in a crockpot.
  1. Step Two: Pour in the chicken stock, green chiles, and half of the enchilada sauce. Cover with the lid.
sauce pouring into a slow cooker.
  1. Step Three: Cook on LOW for 6 hours or HIGH for 3.5 hours.
  2. Step Four: While the soup is cooking, tear 4 corn tortillas into pieces and add them to a blender with the other half of the enchilada sauce and 2 cups of water. Blend until completely puréed. Set that aside for later.
  1. Step Five: Once the cooking is done, shred the chicken breast and mix in the blended tortilla mixture. Add the cream cheese and half of the Monterey Jack cheese. Stir and cover to cook on HIGH for another 30 minutes.

Before serving, stir to make sure the cheeses are fully blended, then ladle it into bowls and top with your favorite toppings.

overhead shot of green enchilada soup in a crockpot.

Every slow cooker runs differently. Times given are a general recommendation and should be tested in your own slow cooker and adjusted as needed.

Making crunchy tortilla strips to top your soup is really easy & worth the effort!

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Next, line a baking sheet with foil and spray with a non-stick spray (I like to use olive oil spray). Then, cut corn tortillas into skinny strips (use a pizza cutter to make it easy!) and lay them in a single layer on the baking sheet. Gently spray with more non-stick spray then sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake for 10 minutes or until crisp and you’re done!

Gather all your favorite toppings like extra shredded cheese, cilantro, sour cream, sliced avocado, lime wedges, diced tomatoes, and tortilla strips. Have everyone pick and choose their own!

Since it’s a full meal on its own, you won’t need much on the side except a scoop of green chile corn casserole, homemade honey cornbread, or fluffy one hour dinner rolls.

If you’d like to pair it with a salad, I recommend something like an easy chopped veggie salad.

  • Shredding the chicken. Remove the chicken from the crockpot and place it in a bowl. Use two forks to pull away at the meat. It should fall apart easily. You can also use an electric hand mixer to shred the chicken. This way is fun and super fast, but you do have to watch out for chicken splatter!
  • Short on time? Take a convenient shortcut and cook it on the stove using store-bought rotisserie chicken. Add everything to the pot except the cheese. Cook and simmer for about 20-30 minutes and then stir in the cheese and tortilla mixture until melted.
  • Prepping the cheese. It’s best to use room-temperature, softened cream cheese so that it melts easily and faster. If it’s too cold, you may leave clumps of cream cheese in your soup! I also recommend shredding your cheese from a block, when possible.
bowl of green enchilada soup topped with tortilla strips, cheese, and cilantro.

How to store leftovers

Keep leftover enchilada soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Can I freeze it?

You can! Keep this easy soup recipe in the freezer for up to 3 months. It may separate once thawed, so you may want to add a splash of cream to it while it’s reheating.

How to reheat leftover soup

Portion out a single serving into a bowl and use the microwave to reheat it. If you’ve got more than a single serving, feel free to dump it back into a large soup pot and heat it on the stovetop.

Can I increase the spice level?

This soup has a slight kick to it, but nothing crazy. If you want a bit more, I suggest adding some cayenne pepper to your spice mix, or keeping the soup mild but adding sliced jalapenos to your soup as a topping.

What else can I add to the soup to bulk it up?

This enchilada soup is great with the addition of corn and black beans. White beans, zucchini, and bell pepper are also great options.

Click here to view my entire collection of soup recipes.

ladle lifting a scoop of green enchilada soup from a slow cooker.
overhead shot of bowl of green enchilada soup topped with tortilla strips & cilantro.
4.60 from 10 votes

Slow Cooker Green Enchilada Soup with Chicken

Servings: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
Slow Cooker Green Enchilada Soup takes everything you love about salsa verde chicken enchiladas and puts it in soup form. It's especially easy because it's a crock pot recipe!

Equipment

Ingredients
 

For the soup

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 2 teaspoons garlic minced
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons oregano or Mexican oregano
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 8 ounces green enchilada sauce divided
  • ½ cup diced green chiles
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 small corn tortillas
  • 4 ounces cream cheese softened to room temperature and cubed
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese shredded

For the tortilla strips

  • 4 small corn tortillas
  • cooking spray
  • salt

Instructions

To make the soup

  • Add the olive oil to the basin of a 6 quart slow cooker then add the chopped onion, chicken breasts, minced garlic, and all the seasonings (salt, chili powder, cumin, oregano). 
    2 Tablespoons olive oil, 1 medium yellow onion, 2 teaspoons garlic, 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, 1.5 teaspoons salt, 2 teaspoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin, 2 teaspoons oregano
  • Next, pour in the chicken stock, green chiles, and half of the enchilada sauce.
    4 cups chicken stock, 8 ounces green enchilada sauce, ½ cup diced green chiles
  • Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours or HIGH for 3.5. hours.
  • While the soup is cooking, tear 4 torn corn tortillas into small pieces and add them to a blender with the remaining enchilada sauce and 2 cups of water. Blend until completely mixed. Set aside for later.
    4 small corn tortillas, 2 cups water
  • After the cook time is up, remove the chicken breasts and use two forks to shred it. It should shred very easily. Return the shredded chicken to the crockpot.
  • Pour the blended tortilla mixture to the slow cooker and mix well.
  • Add in the cream cheese and half of the Monterey Jack cheese. Stir and cover. Turn the slow cooker to HIGH and cook for another 30 minutes (or 1 hour on LOW).
    4 ounces cream cheese, 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese
  • Once done, give a good stir to distribute the cheeses.
  • Ladle into bowls and top with any/all of the following: tortilla strips, more shredded cheese, cilantro, diced tomatoes, sour cream.

To make the tortilla strips

  • While your soup is cooking, preheat your oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Spray with non-stick spray.
  • Cut the remaining 4 corn tortillas into strips and arrange into a single layer onto your prepared baking sheet. Gently spray the tops with non-stick spray and sprinkle with salt.
    4 small corn tortillas, cooking spray, salt
  • Bake for 10 minutes until lightly brown and crisp.

Notes

Every slow cooker runs differently. Times given are a general recommendation and should be tested in your own slow cooker and adjusted as needed.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 354kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 1445mg | Potassium: 542mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 880IU | Vitamin C: 5.1mg | Calcium: 192mg | Iron: 1.7mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag me on Instagram @melissa_pplates so I can see!

Originally published January 16, 2019

white bowl of slow cooker green chile chicken enchilada soup topped with cheese & tortilla strips


4.60 from 10 votes (8 ratings without comment)

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8 Comments

    1. It is an easy one! This one should pretty easily convert to being made on the stove top. I’d bring the stock to a boil in the first step to cook the chicken, then probably an hour to an hour & a half on medium low to let the flavors come together after you shred the chicken. Let me know if you try!

  1. 5 stars
    I followed your stovetop directions you posted in reply to someone’s comments and it was great. Wouldn’t change a thing (and I always tweak recipes). I’ve passed it along to my daughter and new daughter-in-law!

  2. This is some seriously good soup. I made this in my instant pot. I put the chicken broth in and added the frozen chicken… cooked that first. Then took the chicken out and cut it up..added back to the pot along with the rest of the ingredients….with the exception of the cream cheese and Monterey Jack cheese. Then I cooked it for about 2 minutes. Then added the cheeses and stirred till melted. So so good. Thank you for sharing.

  3. 3 stars
    I’m giving this a 4 so far. It smells amazing but I’m worried it is going to be too watery and not very thick. I’ll add cornstarch once it’s almost done.