Green Chicken Sopa = Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Righte-o. Today we have a dish that will make your arteries slam shut. Listen: you can hear them now, in anticipation of eating this paean to pulchritudinous poultry provender. Or put another way, this awesome comfort food. Do not think about your waistline when you eat this, for it will not be thinking about you. I am sure there are ways to make this healthier–for example, you could use fat-free cheese (an obvious oxymoron), or reduced fat cream of chicken soup. You could make your own white sauce using chicken broth as a base instead of the soup. If you are trying to avoid gluten, go for gluten-free chips and a white sauce with rice flour and arrowroot. But why? WHY? It's so perfectly wonderful without wrenching it all to pieces like that.


Now I'm stressed out. Please. Read on. I'll be okay in a moment.

Green Chicken Sopa (A recipe from when we were living on Biggs Air Force Base, in El Paso, Texas, where I was born. Which means this is authentic. No idea what kind of authentic; it just is.)


4 cans cream of chicken soup (or make 5 cups white sauce using chicken broth in place of milk)

1-2 cans chopped green chillies, drained (I use 2 big cans. I love me my green chillies.  Chilies. Chile's. You know what I mean)

1-2 cans chicken broth (depends on how thick you like your sauce. With soup, I use 2 cans. With sauce, one. Or maybe none. You could just make more sauce.)

Cooked chicken or turkey meat, shredded or cubed (depends on whether or not you like to fight your meat before you eat it. I cube the stuff. Also, I put in however much I feel like having in there.)

Grated Mozzarella, Monterey Jack, and/or Cheddar cheeses (again, to taste. Go ahead. Whomp on those arteries! You only live once. Unless you're Dick Clark or Zsa Zsa Gabor. Then you live forever in a sort of freakishly preserved state.)



-Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

-Heat soup, chilies, and broth in a saucepan. I'm exhausted. This is complicated.

-Add cooked chicken or turkey.

-Place layer of tortilla chips in bottom of large casserole pan. Crush slightly with hand. Or dinner glass. Or the forehead of your most annoying child.

-Pour half of the sauce over the chips, and sprinkle with half of the cheese (whatever that is, because remember, I've left it up to YOU to decide how unhealthy you want this to be.)

-Cover with another layer of tortilla chips, followed by remainder of the green chili sauce and then the cheese.

-Bake at 350 for 45 minutes, or until liquid is boiling and cheese is melted and all goldy-brown. I'd put a large cookie sheet under this to catch all the artery-slamming goodness before it melts all over your heating element.

(*By the way, I've also made this with cream of mushroom soup and left over roast beef, and it is fabu.)


Skinny Pictures:


Chips in pan. Stay with me here. It gets more complex.


Chilies, soup, and broth heating together. See? Told you. Difficulty-level off the charts.  AND I HAVEN'T EVEN ADDED THE CHICKEN YET. You probably thought I forgot.

Hah! It's not even chicken! It's turkey. Got you again. We always had Sopa after Thanksgiving. That and turkey soup are what mom did with the leftovers. And just so you know, I did not cut up this turkey. As I believe I have stated, I cube mine.

NOW the turkey is in there. Looking good, yeah?–if a bit large. And a bit yellow. Which I'm sure has to do with the fact that I forgot my camera when we went to visit my mother-in-law, and I had to use my iPhone. Has nothing to do with the ACTUAL soup color. 

Sauce Slathered Chips. It's so good that all of those words got their own capital letters.

Cheese Chunked Sauce.

Second layer of chips and sauce goes over the first. Still with me? Of course you are. You want this dish as much as I do.

*Bing!* Out of the oven.

Ahhhhhh. I am so eating this. Toasty cheese. AND IT'S DIETETIC! Except for the part where it's not.


Do enjoy. And don't blame me if you don't lose weight because I've included this little disclaimer:

*WARNING* The Surgeon General of the United States has not determined anything about this recipe as she has never eaten our Green Chicken Sopa, insofar as we know. But if the Vice Admiral ever had, we're pretty sure she would tell you that it is mighty fine and mighty delicious and you will never lose weight if you stick to a strict diet of Sopa and Ice cream. You have been warned.

(And remember: an über boring printable version of this recipe follows.)

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7 Responses to Green Chicken Sopa = Chicken Enchilada Casserole

  1. Kris says:

    I’ve always loved that dish and still make it, it does bring comfort and happiness. Well, one time when we lived in New Mexico I got sick after eating it and I wouldn’t touch it for years, but I gradually overcame that mental issue

  2. Janiel says:

    So glad you overcame your mentality. Because life without Sopa is . . . healthier. But boringer.

  3. Sandy Speed says:

    I first tried Chicken Sopa while living on Biggs Army Air Field in El Paso, Texas! I’m so glad to have the recipe for a lovely childhood memory!

  4. Janiel says:

    Sandy – NO WAY! I was born on Biggs Air Force Base (which is what it was called a thousand years ago when we lived there and my dad was with SAC)! And I believe that is where my mother got this recipe. What a small world! And yeah, it’s a definite childhood memory comfort food.

    Thanks for commenting!

  5. Crafty-Ste says:

    I use half cream of chicken and half cream of mushroom

  6. Summer says:

    I have a “chicken sopa” recipe from my grandma, who has lived in El Paso all her life…(that’s where I was born, too) Her recipe is very similar, instead of using tortilla chips, she uses corn tortillas, folded in 4ths. We haven’t had our normal chicken sopa recipe for awhile, so I made yours tonight, with just a few minor changes! It was yummy and made me want to call my grandma to say Hi!! Thanks!!

  7. Janiel says:

    Hi Summer! Woot! Another El Paso-ite! I like the idea of using corn tortillas–it would cut back on the salt content. Any other tweaks you made? I’d be interested. 🙂 Also, I have taken lately to making a cream sauce based on chicken broth instead of cream of chicken/mushroom soup. I think it’s healthier and it tastes just as great. The mile-long ingredients list on the sides of the cans makes me nervous.

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