Chicken Enchilada Chili (Cafe Zupas Copycat Recipe)

4.97 from 27 votes
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You have got to try our crock pot version of Cafe Zupas Chicken Enchilada Chili! It’s loaded with seasoned chicken, beans, and corn in a creamy, slightly spicy, soup.

Single bowl of Cafe Zupas Chicken Enchilada Chili garnished with avocado, sour cream, cheese and cilantro.
Featured with this recipe
  1. Ingredients in Chicken Enchilada Soup
  2. The Secret’s in the Sauce
  3. Tips for Making Chicken Enchilada Chili
  4. Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot Instructions
  5. What Readers are Saying About our Chicken Enchilada Chili
  6. Frequently Asked Questions
  7. More Slow Cooker Soups to Try
  8. How to Make Cafe Zupas Chicken Enchilada Chili
  9. Chicken Enchilada Chili (Easy Cafe Zupas Copycat Recipe) Recipe

Cafe Zupas is famous for its delicious soups and for good reason. All of the soups at Cafe Zupas are amazing, but this one is my very favorite. It is so convenient to make in the crock pot. I have been working on a replica for Chicken Enchilada Chili for a while now and I feel like I finally have it. My husband actually prefers this version to all other chili recipes now. I am so excited to share this chili with you — and just in time for Cinco de Mayo. This chili is great because you can serve it as a side or as the main dish. It makes a great lunch or dinner and your kids will love it.

Ingredients in Chicken Enchilada Soup

It may seem like there are a ton of ingredients in this chili, but trust me, it comes together in a snap. Here’s all you need:

  • Chicken breasts – they’ll boil right in the enchilada sauce. Chicken thighs work great too!
  • Green AND Red Enchilada Sauce – It is especially good with our Homemade Enchilada Sauce
  • Cream of chicken soup – if you don’t want to use a can of soup, we have a delicious homemade Cream of Chicken substitute recipe.
  • Milk – adds extra creaminess to the soup. It’ll also help thin out the soup if it seems to thick. You can also add a bit of chicken broth.
  • Rotel tomatoes – or a can of tomatoes with green chilis added
  • Some chili powder and paprika – for flavor and color. You can add more or less of these ingredients depending on how spicy you like your soup.
  • Black beans -I love the black beans in his chili but if you don’t have any on hand, kidney beans are a great substitute.
  • Corn – I stir in a can of fire roasted corn niblets but you can use frozen or fresh corn in this recipe.
  • Cheddar cheese – use a block and shred it yourself. It’s so much better than the pre-shredded stuff.
  • Sour cream – use a little in the souprecipe and some as a garnish on top.
  • Top this white chicken chili with tortilla chips, green onion, diced avocado, cilantro, salsa verde, more cheese and sour cream.
Ingredients for Cafe Zupas Chicken Enchilada Chili


The Secret’s in the Sauce

What makes this chili taste so amazing is that it is made with red and green enchilada sauces. If you don’t like using canned enchilada sauce, we have a great homemade red enchilada sauce. It is so easy to make and you will love the taste. I bet you have most of the ingredients to make it in your pantry right now. For the green sauce, just type “homemade green enchilada sauce” into Google and you will be swimming in DIY options.

The broth of the chili is a little cheesy, a little creamy, a little spicy, and a lot of yummy. It is loaded with shredded chicken, tomatoes, chilies, black beans, and corn. Then top it off with crunchy tortilla strips, shredded cheddar cheese, and some sour cream and you have the most incredible soup! To add even more of a homemade touch, you can make our Homemade Tortilla Strips for a topping.

Corn, black beans, rotel, cream of chicken in slow cooker

Tips for Making Chicken Enchilada Chili

  • Sear the Chicken: Before adding it to the chili, try searing the chicken in a hot pan with a bit of oil. This step adds flavor and helps lock in the juices.
  • Spices and Seasonings: The key to great chili is the seasoning. Use a blend of chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, and oregano to add to the Mexican flavor. Adjust the heat level with cayenne pepper or diced jalapeños.
  • Simmer Slowly: Allow your chili to cook for an extended period in the Crockpot, ideally 2-3 hours on high heat or 4-6 hours on low. This allows the flavors to meld and develop depth.
  • Beans: Use a combination of black beans, pinto beans, chili beans and/or kidney beans for added texture and flavor. Rinse and drain canned beans before adding them to the chili.
  • Cream Cheese: Want to make your chili even creamier? Try adding 8 oz. of cream cheese to the mix. You can add it at the beginning or melt it in the microwave and add it at the end.
  • Garnish Well: Top your chicken enchilada chili with a variety of garnishes for extra flavor and texture. Consider shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped cilantro, diced onions, sliced jalapeños, and a squeeze of lime juice.
  • Serve with Tortilla Chips or Rice: Offer tortilla chips or cooked rice on the side. These make great accompaniments for scooping up the chili.
  • Adjust Seasoning: Taste your chili before serving and adjust the seasoning as needed. You might want to add more salt, spice, or acidity, depending on your preference.
  • Leftovers: Chicken enchilada chili often tastes even better the next day, as the flavors continue to meld. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator and reheat gently on the stove or in the microwave.
Side view of Cafe Zupas Chicken Enchilada Chili in bowls. Avocado, limes, tortilla strips, cheese and sour cream on top.

Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot Instructions

To make this recipe in an Instant Pot or pressure cooker. Simply add 1 cup of chicken broth to the bottom of the Instant Pot, then add the chicken, and then top with the the remaining Crockpot ingredients. Cook on high pressure for 40 minutes, then slow release for 20 minutes before doing a full release.

What Readers are Saying About our Chicken Enchilada Chili

“5+ stars for this recipe! The flavor is amazing 🤩 soooo good especially if you love anything Mexican! You can taste the richness and calories but so worth it! Great for colder weather!” – Denise

“We love this recipe! I’ve made it several times. I’ve never actually had Cafe Zupa’s anything but this is close to Chili’s chicken enchilada soup. It’s one of those recipes that you can make your own- add more or less of the ingredients, add in extra stuff if you want and it’ll still turn out fine. I made it for work and for a baby shower and both times it was a big hit.” – Lisa S. 

“I made a double batch and it was so large I didn’t think my boyfriend and I could finish it before it went bad. We ate it in 3 days for lunch and dinner because it was absolutely PHENOMENAL. I’m actually making a double batch again today, just week later haha! This is the best recipe I have found online. Thank you thank you thank you!!” – Sarah C.

Cooked cafe zupas in crock pot with sour cream on side

Frequently Asked Questions

What is chicken enchilada chili?

It is a chili that incorporates the flavors of enchiladas. The protein in the soup is shredded chicken, instead of beef. In addition, red and green enchilada sauce are used in the base of the chili.

Is this chili gluten free?

It’s very easy to make this gluten free! Just look for a gluten free cream of chicken soup and make sure your red enchilada sauce is gluten free.

Can this chili be frozen?

Sure! Make sure to store in an airtight container and freeze for up to two months. To reheat, simmer in a saucepan on the stovetop.

Can I make this enchilada chili in an instant pot?

Yes absolutely! Cook your chicken in the enchilada sauce in the instant pot and then add all the other ingredients. It will turn out great!

More Slow Cooker Soups to Try

If you like the ease and convenience of making soup in the slow cooker, you have to try more of these delicious slow cooker recipes.

If you love Mexican-inspired soups be sure to try our Copycat Cafe Rio Tortilla SoupEmily’s Southwest Taco Soup, or our Black Bean Soup. Any one of these are sure to warm you up on a cold day and fill that comfort food craving.

How to Make Cafe Zupas Chicken Enchilada Chili

Top view of two bowls of Cafe Zupas Chicken Enchilada Chili. Limes, cilantro and tortilla chips for garnish.

Chicken Enchilada Chili (Easy Cafe Zupas Copycat Recipe)

4.97 from 27 votes
You have got to try our crock pot version of Cafe Zupas Chicken Enchilada Chili! It's loaded with seasoned chicken, beans, and corn in a creamy, slightly spicy, soup.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine Mexican/Spanish
Servings 6 servings

Video

Equipment

  • Crock Pot (Slow Cooker)

Ingredients

Optional Toppings

Instructions

  • In a large slow cooker, add the chicken breasts and both kinds of enchilada sauce.
    Chicken with two different enchilada sauce in crock post
  • Cook for approximately 3 hours on high until the chicken is cooked and will shred into the sauce.
    Shredded chicken in crockpot
  • Add all the remaining soup ingredients, except the sour cream and cook for 1 more hour.
    Spices in slow cooker
  • Whisk in the sour cream and turn off the heat.
    Cooked cafe zupas in crock pot with sour cream on side
  • Serve in individual bowls and top with tortilla strips, sour cream, and cheddar cheese.
    Cafe Zupas Chicken Enchilada Chili in bowl with lime, cheese, avocado, cilantro and sour cream on side.

Notes

Recipe tips:

  • Additional topping ideas: Fresh lime juice, cilantro, sliced avocado.
  • Check the expiration date on dry spices and seasonings. Make sure they are fresh and will give flavor to the chili.
  • If you don’t have time for the crockpot, you can make this recipe on the stovetop with an easy shortcut. Buy a rotisserie chicken at your local grocery store, and shred the meat. Add it to a large pot on the stovetop along with the enchilada sauces bring to a boil. Add remaining ingredients and simmer (covered) for 30 minutes. Stir in sour cream and serve.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 281kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 25gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 82mgSodium: 1710mgPotassium: 439mgFiber: 3gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 2175IUVitamin C: 3.5mgCalcium: 215mgIron: 1.7mg

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About the author

Emily Walker

Emily lives in Meridian, Idaho, with her husband, Beau, a physician assistant, and her three incredible children: a son and two daughters. Travel is one of her favorite ways to experience new cultures and cuisines, and she has a love for all things Disney.

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Comments

    1. Sure! Make sure to store in an airtight container and freeze for up to two months. To reheat, simmer in a saucepan on the stovetop.

  1. Is one batch of your homemade condensed cream of chicken soup enough for this recipe? Thanks! Can’t wait to make this.

  2. 5 stars
    I had a taste of this soup from my sister the one time I’ve been to Cafe Zupas and I remember it being so delicious so I decided I need to make my own. I made this for my family last night and it was seriously so good. My crockpot broke so I made this on the stove top and it worked great! So yummy, exactly what I was craving! Thanks for a great recipe.

  3. 5 stars
    Second time making this recipe it’s good as long as you make it the way the directions say to make it. I couldn’t find green sauce so I used Herdez Taqueria street sauce it added more flavor and chili fixin’s Rotel. Simple Easy and Great

  4. Can you please share a gluten free version of this soup?

    I actually contacted Cafe Zupas and asked them about their gluten free options and they said that a few soups do not contain, but they are all been made in the same pots and stuff, so I was looking for a recipe that is gluten free for some of their soups to make myself and my daughter.

    Thanks

    1. It’s very easy to make this gluten free, you just have to use a gluten free cream of chicken soup and make sure your red enchilada sauce is gf. I can usually find gf cream of chicken soup at Wal-Mart.

    2. 5 stars
      I’ve made this recipe many times and always gluten free. Turns out amazing. The only ingredients you’ll need to swap out for gluten free are the enchilada sauce and the cream of mushroom soup, as traditionally those ingredients both contain gluten. For specific brands, I usually use Old El Paso enchilada sauce (red and green). And Pacific Foods cream of chicken soup. Otherwise the recipe is naturally gluten free!

  5. 5 stars
    So I used the condensed Campbell’s cream of chicken. The can itself says add water, and I did since the recipe called for only 1 can, but 23 oz. Was I supposed to add water or not? 😫 My chili is a little runny so I added the second can of cream of chicken I bought to hopefully thicken it.

    1. Oh Kendra, I am sorry! We don’t add the water in this recipe – just the condensed soup! I hope your chili still turns out well!

    1. Hi Samantha! Unfortunately, I haven’t cooked with a ninja foodi before, so I am not sure! Let us know how it comes out if you do try it!

      1. I made a double batch and it was so large I didn’t think my boyfriend and I could finish it before it went bad. We ate it in 3 days for lunch and dinner because it was absolutely PHENOMENAL. I’m actually making a double batch again today, just week later haha! This is the best recipe I have found online. Thank you thank you thank you!!

          1. Do you mean a 23oz can of cream of chicken soup? I thought maybe you meant a 12oz can. Just want to make sure-I can hardly wait to make it 😊

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