Enchilada Soup

How to Make Your Enchilada Soup Milder and More Delicious

Do you love the rich, savory flavor of enchilada soup but find it too spicy for your taste? Don’t worry – with a few simple tricks, you can easily turn up the mild factor in your enchilada soup and make it more palatable.

In this guide, you’ll discover easy ways to temper the heat in enchilada soup using ingredients you likely already have in your pantry and fridge. We’ll also provide recipe tweaks and serving suggestions to help balance out the spices. Soon, you’ll be enjoying all the delightful taste of enchilada soup without the eye-watering burn. Let’s get started!

Use Milder Chilies and Reduce the Amount

Pasilla Pepper

The spiciness in enchilada soup comes primarily from the chili peppers used to flavor it. To instantly make your soup milder:

  • Choose milder chile varieties. Switch from hot chilies like jalapeños and serranos to milder anaheim, poblano, or pasilla peppers.
  • Reduce the amount of chili powder. Cut back to 1-2 tablespoons of mild or medium chili powder instead of the typical 3-4 tablespoons in a recipe.
  • Omit other spicy ingredients. Leave out hot sauces and peppers like cayenne, habanero, and chipotle that amp up the heat.

With just a few small tweaks to the chilies, you’ll notice a significant decrease in spiciness. You can always add a pinch more chili powder or a dash of hot sauce later if you want to turn up the heat.

Add Acidic and Creamy Ingredients

Acidic ingredients like lime juice and tomato products can help mellow out spicy heat. Creamy dairy products have a soothing effect. Adding just a splash of these to your enchilada soup can balance the flavors. Try stirring in:

  • A squeeze of fresh lime or lemon juice
  • A spoonful of sour cream or Mexican crema
  • A splash of milk or half and half
  • Canned tomatoes or a few big spoonfuls of tomato sauce
  • Canned tomato paste – just a tablespoon can reduce spice

The acidity and creaminess contrast with the chili peppers to round out the edges of the heat. For an extra cooling effect, add diced avocado or a dollop of cold sour cream as a topping when serving.

Use Vegetable or Chicken Broth

Skip vegetable or beef broths when making your enchilada soup, as these can accentuate heat and spice. Chicken broth has an inherently mellower flavor. Alternatively, use water and season it yourself with a little salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika. This allows you to control the intensity of the seasoning.

Load Up On Beans and Vegetables

Adding extra veggies like corn, zucchini, and bell peppers can add bulk to dilute the spiciness. Beans are another great way to do this – try pinto, black, or white beans. The fiber and starch in beans and veggies temper the chili peppers. Just one 15-ounce can of beans or extra cup of mixed veggies makes a difference.

Choose Cooling, Starchy Side Dishes

Eating starchy sides along with your spicy enchilada soup is an easy way to counterbalance the heat. Good options include:

  • Rice – White or cilantro-lime rice works well. The starch absorbs capsaicin (the chemical that creates spice).
  • Bread – Corn bread, rolls, or tortillas help temper the burn.
  • Guacamole – The creaminess of avocado balances chili peppers perfectly.
  • Cheese quesadillas – Melty cheese soothes spiciness.
  • Corn on the cob – Naturally sweet corn counters heat.

Adjust Seasonings for More Flavor Depth

Don’t just remove spices – enhance and adjust them to create more flavor complexity. Try adding a dash of:

  • Ground cumin
  • Smoked paprika
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Dried oregano
  • Ground coriander

A little brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup will also round out spicy edges. You want the seasoning to be robust, just less dependent on chili powder for flavor.

Cool It Down With Lime Wedges and Toppings

Garnishing your enchilada soup bowls with cooling toppings gives you a break from the spice between spoonfuls.Provide lime wedges for squeezing over soup. Set out:

  • Sour cream
  • Shredded cheese
  • Chopped onions
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Diced avocado
  • Tortilla strips

Let people customize their toppings to find the right spice level for their personal tastes. The zing of lime juice and the cooling effect of toppings like avocado make the soup more palatable.

Recipe for Mild Chicken Enchilada Soup

Enchilada Soup

Now that you have lots of easy tips for toning down spice, let’s put them into practice with a recipe for deliciously mild chicken enchilada soup:


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons mild chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded or chopped
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Lime wedges, for serving
  • Tortilla strips, shredded cheese, avocado, sour cream, for topping


  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 3-5 minutes until soft.
  2. Stir in the mild chili powder, cumin, and oregano. Cook for 1 minute more.
  3. Add the black beans, fire-roasted tomatoes, chicken broth, cooked chicken, and corn. Bring to a boil.
  4. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro.
  6. Serve hot with desired toppings. Squeeze lime juice over the soup to taste.

This simple recipe uses mild seasonings, chicken broth, beans, and veggies to create an enchilada soup with all the delicious Tex-Mex flavor but without overpowering spice. Customize it to your taste by adjusting the amount of chili powder or adding a splash of milk/cream if needed.

Serve it with cooling acidic and starchy sides and let guests tweak their own bowls. Now you can enjoy enchilada soup without the burn!

Cooling Sides to Balance Enchilada Soup Heat

Enchilada soup packs some zesty spice. But the burn doesn’t have to ruin your meal – the right side dishes can help tame the heat. Here are some delicious options to serve alongside spicy enchilada soup:

Crispy Corn Bread

This southern staple is perfect for sopping up enchilada soup. The cornmeal gives it a sweetness that counters chili pepper spice. Dunk chunks of corn bread in your bowl for some relief.

Creamy Guacamole

Cool, smooth avocados are a great complement to fiery Tex-Mex flavors. The richness calms the burn. Make it fresh or grab store-bought guac for an instant cooling dip.

Rice Bowl

Some steamy white rice or Spanish-style cilantro lime rice gives your tastebuds a break between spoonfuls of spicy soup. The starch helps absorb the heat.

Cheese Quesadilla

Ooey, melty quesadillas are the ultimate spicy food sidekick. The dairy soothes the flames and gives you something solid to bite into between slurps of soup.

Hummus and Carrots

This combo offers a healthy way to cleanse your palate. The chickpea creaminess of hummus combined with sweet, crunchy carrots is perfect for combatting mouth-scorching spice.

FAQs About Making Enchilada Soup Mild

Still have questions about turning down the heat in enchilada soup? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions.

What is the mildest enchilada sauce I can buy?

For a ready-made enchilada sauce with very little spice, look for brands like Las Palmas, Hatch, or El Pato. They use more tomatoes and milder peppers.

Can I just leave out the chilies entirely?

It’s fine to omit dried chilies, chili powder, and peppers completely if you really want zero spice. But for the best flavor, use just a bit of mild chili powder or mild canned green chilies.

What’s a good meat substitute for a vegetarian version?

Try mushrooms, extra beans, sweet potatoes, or plant-based crumbles. Smoked paprika adds nice flavor. For creaminess, use avocado.

Is there a difference between red and green enchilada sauce heat?

Green enchilada sauce is generally spicier since it uses more fresh green chilies like jalapeños and serranos. Red enchilada sauce tends to use more mild dried red peppers.

Why are enchiladas spicy in the first place?

The cuisine of Mexico commonly uses chili peppers for their flavor and heat. So traditional enchilada recipes call for hot chilies to give an authentic taste.

What drinks pair well with spicy enchilada soup?

Cooling dairy drinks like horchata (cinnamon rice milk) or cold beer help extinguish spicy heat. Citrus margaritas also complement the flavors nicely.

Tips for Serving Enchilada Soup

To help everyone enjoy enchilada soup while avoiding unwanted spice, keep these serving tips in mind:

  • Allow guests to add their own desired toppings like cheese, onions, cilantro, lime juice. This lets people customize spice level.
  • Offer mild dipping sauces like guacamole, salsa verde, and sour cream.
  • Provide every person with corn bread, tortilla chips, or rolls to help absorb heat.
  • Have a pitcher of horchata, lemonade, margaritas, or light beer to wash down spiciness.
  • Set out extra components like shredded chicken, beans, or veggies so people can bulk up their bowls.
  • Encourage letting the soup sit for 5-10 minutes before eating so flavors blend and chilies relax.
  • Remind guests they can add a splash of stock, milk, or cream to their own bowl to mellow it.

With the right techniques and serving suggestions, you can help guests of all palates enjoy flavorful enchilada soup without burning taste buds!

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Bill Kalkumnerd
Bill Kalkumnerd

I am Bill, I am the Owner of HappySpicyHour, a website devoted to spicy food lovers like me. Ramen and Som-tum (Papaya Salad) are two of my favorite spicy dishes. Spicy food is more than a passion for me - it's my life! For more information about this site Click

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