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Rich, cheesy chicken queso soup made with three types of cheeses, tender chicken, green chiles, and spices—all the flavors of cheese queso but in a soup! The creamiest, most flavorful Chicken Cheese Soup.
I love making soups. I can’t even count how many conversations I’ve had over the phone with my Mom about different soup combinations we’ve tried. She always has soup in her refrigerator, so she’s constantly mixing things up with various flavor combos. We’re obsessed!
Recently, I visited the Oregon coast with some girlfriends. We stayed in a home right on the beach, and the weather was crisp and cool, with moody clouds overhanging the large rocks perched over the water. It felt like something out of a Taylor Swift music video.
One night, we wanted to eat dinner in our sweats as we watched the sunset, so we drove to the grocery store to pick up the fresh ingredients. Since there was a chill in the air, I whipped up my creamy chicken gnocchi soup and paired it with some fresh garlic cheese bread and an heirloom tomato and fresh mozzarella caprese salad as an appetizer. It was such a simple meal but a reminder that meals don’t have to be extravagant to feel comforting. It was just what we needed.
So I came home determined to create a ridiculously flavorful soup with layers of flavor. I created this Green Chile Chicken Queso Soup that is so perfectly creamy with the right amount of spice and layer upon layer of flavor. It’s my new favorite soup of Fall.
- Salted Butter — saute the onion and carrots in the salted butter to soften and infuse flavor.
- Onion + Carrot + Garlic — a trifecta of flavor builders.
- Chicken Broth — also can be referred to as chicken stock. This is the base of the soup.
- Shredded Chicken — I suggest picking up a rotisserie chicken to make this soup extra easy.
- Pepper Jack Cheese — jack cheese with jalapenos gives this soup a slight spicy kick
- Cheddar Cheese — may also use colby jack which is a mix of cheddar and jack cheese.
- Cream Cheese — this helps to make it extra creamy.
- Green Chilies — these mild peppers give the soup that fresh flavor without a lot of heat.
- Chili Powder — gives warmth and depth to the soup.
How to make Homemade Chicken Queso Soup:
- Start by sauteeing the onion and carrot in butter until softened. This should take about 10 minutes but helps to soften and brings out the sweetness of the onion. Add in the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer.
- Pour in the chicken broth. Slowly add the cheese, a little at a time to allow the cheese to fully melt. I suggest using softened cream cheese cut into small pieces. Add the shredded cheese 1/2 cup at a time.
- Add in spices, green chilies, and shredded cooked chicken and heat for five minutes. Taste for seasoning and add more as needed.
- Top with fresh cilantro and grated cheese. If you want extra spice, drizzle with hot sauce. You may top it with freshly made tortilla strips and fresh avocado.
Substitutions and Variations:
You may change up the types of cheeses you use in this chicken cheese soup. Here are some cheese options:
Pepper Jack Cheese, Colby Jack Cheese, Medium, Mild, or Sharp Cheddar Cheese. I like to use a combination of two types of cheeses (plus the cream cheese).
Soup does thicken as it is chilled so I suggest adding 1/4 – 1/2 cup of chicken broth as you reheat it on the stove. You may add more depending on desired thickness. You can also add heavy cream for extra creamy soup.
There are so many soup toppings that can elevate the flavors of your soup. I suggest using freshly grated cheese, fresh herbs such as cilantro, green onions, fresh tortilla strips, avocado or guacamole, sour cream or Mexican crema.
Tip for making soup:
Season along the way! Create layers of flavor and taste for seasonings to ensure there is enough salt and pepper.
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Chicken Queso Soup
- 2 Tablespoons Salted Butter
- 1 medium Onion (finely diced)
- 1 Carrot (finely diced)
- 2 cloves Garlic (finely diced)
- 3 to 4 cups Chicken Broth
- 2 cups Pepper Jack Cheese (shredded)
- 2 cups Cheddar Cheese (shredded)
- 8 ounce pkg Cream Cheese (softened)
- 4 ounces Green Chiles (diced)
- 2 to 3 cups Cooked Shredded Chicken *
- 1/2 Tablespoon Chili Powder
- 1 teaspoon Pepper
- Fresh Cilantro, Grated Cheese, Tortilla Strips
- Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add butter, diced onion, and diced carrot. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring often until softened. Add in garlic and cook for only 1 minute longer.
- Add chicken broth. Cut cream cheese into cubes and add 1 at a time. Stir in cheese 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. This allows the cheese to melt and not clump together. Let the cheese fully melt.
- Stir in green chiles, cooked chicken, chili powder, and pepper. Allow to cook for 5 minutes. Check for seasonings and add salt and pepper as needed.
- If you desire a thinner soup, add more chicken broth. If you want a thicker, creamier soup, add 1/2 cup of heavy cream.
- Serve topped with fresh cilantro and grated cheese.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.