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Chicken Tortilla Soup

This easy chicken tortilla soup is a healthy soul-warming meal bursting with Mexican flavors.

Shredded chicken, black beans, and corn kernels swim in a spicy tomato broth.

It’s topped off with crispy homemade tortilla strips for the perfect crunch!

Chicken tortilla soup in a white bowl topped with sour cream.
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It’s an easy, delicious meal the family will love.

Plus, you can make it in one pot, which makes cleanup a breeze!

Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken tortilla soup is a family favorite. It’s packed with big Mexican flavors and wholesome ingredients.

Cumin and chili powder perfectly season the bold tomato broth. And it’s packed with good-for-you ingredients like juicy chicken, corn kernels, black beans, and garlic.

Fresh jalapeno and diced chilies give it a spicy kick. But it wouldn’t be complete without the crispy tortilla strips and extra toppings!

Fresh, hearty, bold, and cozy, it hits the spot. So ditch the takeout menus and bring a taste of Mexico to your home.

Chicken tortilla soup cooked in a white pot.

Ingredients

This Mexican-inspired meal tastes like tacos in soup form. You get many of the same fillings in an irresistible broth. Plus, it’s loaded with fresh toppings!

Here’s what you need to make this soup complete:

  • Corn Tortillas – For the signature crunchy tortilla strips topping! I prefer to make them, but you can also use store-bought strips.
  • Olive Oil – You use it for making the tortilla strips and sauteing the veggies.
  • Onion and Garlic – These aromatics add flavor and depth.
  • Jalapeno – Fresh jalapenos add a delightful spicy kick. Be sure to remove the membranes and seeds. Otherwise, the soup may be too fiery.
  • Tomato Paste and Fire-Roasted Tomatoes – For the robust broth! Be sure to use the liquid from the canned fire-roasted tomatoes too.
  • Spices – Cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper are what I use for seasoning.
  • Green Chilies – Canned green chilies are inexpensive and add a ton of flavor.
  • Chicken Broth – For the base of the soup. You can also use veggie broth.
  • Chicken – Shredded chicken breasts add protein and sustenance. For a vegetarian version, skip the meat.
  • Black Beans – Black beans complement the other ingredients well. Be sure to rinse and drain them.
  • Corn Kernels – Canned or frozen corn both work.
  • Lime Juice – The acidic juices balance the soup and taste delightful. Use fresh lime juice for the best flavor.
  • Cilantro – For a burst of freshness and pop of color.
  • Toppings – Shredded cheese, avocado, sour cream, and lime wedges are my favorite toppings. But add whatever you like!
Top view of a pot with chicken tortilla soup.

How to Make Chicken Tortilla Soup

In less than 1 hour, you can have this soup hot on the table! Just gather your ingredients and follow these steps:

1. Make the tortilla strips. Fry the tortilla strips in 1/4 cup oil for about 30-60 seconds, working in batches. Let them cool on a paper towel-lined plate. Season with salt. Set aside.

2. Saute the veggies. In a large pot, warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender. Add the garlic and jalapeño. Cook until fragrant.

3. Add the spices and tomato paste. Add the cumin and chili powder. Cook for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes.

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4. Add the tomatoes, chilies, broth, and chicken. Stir in the fire-roasted tomatoes and green chilies. Add the chicken broth and bring to a low simmer. Add the chicken breasts and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for 20-30 minutes.

5. Shred the chicken. Remove the chicken and shred it. Add it back to the pot.

6. Add the beans, corn, and seasonings. Stir and cook for 5-7 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and lime juice.

7. Serve. Serve with the crispy tortilla strips and your toppings of choice. Enjoy!

Tips for the Best Soup

This chicken tortilla soup recipe is easy enough for a weeknight. That said, I have a few tips to ensure it turns out great!

  • Go easy on yourself. You can easily make this entire soup recipe in one pot. Just fry the tortilla strips in a heavy-duty pot or Dutch oven, then make the soup in it.
  • Take a shortcut. For quicker prep, replace the raw chicken with 2 cups of leftover rotisserie chicken. Add it near the end with the beans and corn.
  • Make it dreamy and creamy. Want a creamier broth? Add 1/3 cup soft cream cheese just before serving. Stir until smooth and melted.
  • Turn up the heat. If you love spicy foods, add more heat! For extra spicy soup, add 1-2 whole chipotle peppers in adobo. You can also top it with your favorite hot sauce.
  • Switch up your seasonings. Tailor the soup to your liking by adjusting the seasoning. Use more or less cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper. You can also add more or less lime.
Chicken tortilla soup in a white bowl topped with sour cream.

Toppings for Chicken Tortilla Soup

One of the best parts about this soup is the toppings. The tortilla strips are an obvious must. I also love adding fresh fixings.

Here are some ideas that go beyond the optional toppings listed:

  • Fresh Jalapenos
  • Cotija or Queso Fresco
  • Guacamole
  • Hot Sauce
  • Diced Red Onion
  • Pico de Gallo

How to Store & Freeze

This soup yields about six to eight servings, so you’ll probably have some leftovers!

That means your soup meal prep is done, too! Just be sure to leave off the fresh toppings, then add after you reheat.

To Store: Place the cooled leftover soup in an air-tight container. Refrigerate for up to 5 days.

To Freeze: Transfer the cooled soup (without the toppings) to a freezer-friendly, air-tight container. Frozen soup will last up to 3 months.

To Reheat: Reheat on the stove or in the microwave until warm. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight if frozen.

White bowl with chicken tortilla soup topped with shredded cheddar cheese.

Serving Suggestions

Need a little something to go with your chicken tortilla soup? Here are some tasty options you’ll love!

More Chicken Soup Recipes

Grandma’s Chicken Noodle Soup
Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup
Easy Green Chili Chicken Soup
Trisha Yearwood Chicken Tortilla Soup
Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Course: SoupCuisine: American, Mexican
Servings

6-8

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

40

minutes

This easy chicken tortilla soup is full of flavor and spice. In less than an hour, you can whip up this hearty, delicious recipe.

Ingredients

  • For the Tortilla Strips
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 8 corn tortillas, cut into thin strips

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • For the Soup
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, diced

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1 (14 ounce) can fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained

  • 1 (4 ounce) can green chilies, diced

  • 4 cups chicken broth

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 large breasts)

  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

  • 1 cup corn kernels, canned or frozen

  • salt and pepper, to taste

  • 1 lime, juiced

  • fresh cilantro, chopped (for garnish)

  • Optional Toppings
  • Shredded cheese

  • Diced avocado

  • Sour cream

  • Fresh lime wedges

Instructions

  • In a small skillet, warm 1/4 cup of olive oil over medium heat. Add the tortilla strips in batches and fry until golden, about 30-60 seconds. Transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate. Season with salt while hot. Set aside.
  • In a large pot or Dutch oven, warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook until tender, stirring constantly. Add the garlic and diced jalapeño, and cook until fragrant.
  • Add the cumin and chili powder, and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes.
  • Stir in the undrained fire-roasted tomatoes and the green chilies. Mix well. Pour the chicken broth into the pot, and bring the mixture to a low simmer. Add the chicken breasts, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for 20-30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and tender.
  • Remove the chicken from the pot and shred it with two forks. Return to the pot and add the black beans and corn. Stir and cook the soup for another 5-7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the lime juice.
  • Serve the soup hot with the crispy tortilla strips and any desired toppings. Enjoy!
Chicken tortilla soup.

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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