There’s no question that I put a few smiles on the faces of my family with this super tasty chili inspired by one of my favorite soups at Cafe Zupas. We love the smooth, creamy full-flavored broth loaded with vegetables, beans and spices. And it’s pretty quick to pull together especially if you use pre-cooked shredded chicken available at most grocery stores in the deli sections. I’ve explored a few of the other enchilada soup recipes floating around, but I love the simplicity of this version.
It’s a delicious blend of red and green enchilada sauces with fresh or bottled salsa, corn, black beans and a southwestern spice combination that warms and soothes the soul. I add more than twice the amount of chicken that Zupas offers, but I’m a stickler about turning soups into main dishes with substantial protein content. Then I finish it off with reduced-fat cream cheese for that smooth silky texture.
The chili can be cooked in a slow cooker if you want to get a jump start on dinner which is super smart this busy time of year or it can be prepared stove top for a quicker preparation time. You may want to double the recipe and freeze a portion (don’t add the cream cheese if you’re going to freeze it; see Note below) or eat leftovers on Day 2 since the flavors meld with time.
Pile it high with whatever toppings you choose: chopped avocado, shredded cheese, scallions, sour cream, cilantro, tortilla strips. All these colorful add-ons turn your ordinary dinner meal into a Fun Fiesta night.
- Chicken Enchilada Chili
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups chicken broth (I use Better Than Bouillon)
- 1 (10-ounce) can mild red enchilada sauce
- 1 (10-ounce) can mild green enchilada sauce
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 1/2 cups fresh or bottled mild tomato salsa
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 cups diced cooked chicken (I use rotisserie chicken)
- 1 (4-ounce) package reduced-fat cream cheese
- Toppings: diced avocado, sliced scallions, light sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped fresh cilantro, thin tortilla strips
- Heat oil in a large soup pot placed over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes to soften. Add chicken broth, enchilada sauces, black beans, corn and salsa to the soup. Season with the chili powder and cumin and then add the chicken. Stir well; bring to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer for 10-15 minutes to allow flavors to blend. When ready to serve, stir in cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- When ready to serve, ladle into soup bowls and sprinkle with fresh toppings.
If you want to freeze: Prepare the chili but do not add the cream cheese. Chili will store up to 3 to 6 months. When ready to serve, thaw chili, heat and stir in the cream cheese.
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