Cheesy Southwestern Chicken Tortilla Soup


We never say, Cheesy Southwestern Chicken Tortilla Soup. It’s too long, so we say, The Soup. It needs nothing else as it is The soup recipe of your dreams.


Southwestern Chicken Tortilla Soup in a blue bowl on a white table.


We originally posted a recipe for this soup that’s an organic, mostly from scratch option. It’s a wonderful soup but I told Cade, I kept having this nagging feeling that I should post the original recipe. And we all know you should never ignore those feelings. So let’s dive into a quick and easy cheesy southwestern chicken tortilla soup recipe.


Southwestern Chicken Tortilla Soup in a bowl with a silver spoon.


I learned this Southwestern Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe in college and though I’ve occasionally felt a little guilty for how ridiculously unhealthy it is thanks to that salsa con queso, cream of potato soup AND sour cream I still love it.


I know, your arteries are literally closing themselves up just at the thought. But it’s worth it, so get out your fat pants, and let’s settle in to a big bowl together.


There are a lot of chicken taco, chicken tortilla, and cheesy tortilla soup recipes out there but this is the one that everyone obsesses over. I actually don’t have the original recipe from the Gillespie family, and I’m not sure how to reach out to them to get it, so this is just the one in my head. I’m sure it’s close, and it’s definitely our favorite as I’ve just changed things to fit my tastes.


Scooping Southwestern Chicken Tortilla Soup out a blue bowl.


In fact, I’ll make little notes for you in the recipe on how we alter things in case you’re wondering.


What to Serve with Tortilla Soup

Yes, the Tostitos Scoops chips are an essential part of the recipe. You can do it two ways, but no other chip works and we’ve tried. This one just tastes the best with it and no, this isn’t a sponsored post, haha. Our kids love to use the chips like spoons and scoop the soup, one of their only opportunities to be allowed to eat soup without a spoon.


Or if you’re too hungry classy like I am, I crumble the chips on top and eat it with a spoon.


Two blue bowls full of Southwestern Chicken Tortilla Soup on a white table.


What is Salsa Con Queso

Salsa con queso is a mixture of queso cheese dip and salsa.


Cheesy Southwestern Chicken Tortilla Soup

The Tostitos Salsa Con Queso gets dumped in the pot followed by a simple list of ingredients, chicken broth, sour cream, cream of potato soup, diced green chiles (apparently I’m a whimp as a full can is too much for me so I do half.), cilantro, which can be skipped if you’re one of those cilantro haters (I still love you, even if you are wrong…xoxo), taco seasoning and of course, chicken and corn.


How to Make Shredded Chicken

The best shredded chicken, in my humble opinion, is made by baking, not boiling the chicken.

Place in a dish, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cover with foil. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, no more, no less. Shred using two forks to pull apart the meat or plop it in a KitchenAid.


Southwestern Chicken Tortilla Soup in a blue bowl.


Can You Freeze Cheesy Southwestern Chicken Tortilla Soup

I love that this soup can be heated and eaten right away or simmered on the stove. And it tastes perfect for up to a week after. I don’t love it frozen. Anything with cream isn’t awesome frozen. But that’s ok, you wont have a drop left to save.


Even better, Cheesy Southwestern Chicken Tortilla soup to double, triple, heck you can even go lunch lady style and quadruple this sucker. Make it, love it and report back to me. 🙂


 Want to see what others are saying about this soup after they’ve tried it? Check out our PIN and all of the great reviews!


photo collage - Southwestern Chicken Tortilla Soup


Cheesy Ground Beef Enchilada Chili 

Take our cheesy tortilla soup, use beans and ground beef instead of chicken and you’ve got the best cheesy chili ever!

Cheesy Ground Beef Enchilada Chili  in a silver bowl next to a silver spoon.

 Cheesy Southwestern Chicken Tortilla Soup

Cheesy Southwestern Chicken Tortilla Soup

We never say, Cheesy Southwestern Chicken Tortilla Soup. It’s too long, so we say, The Soup. It needs nothing else as it is The soup recipe of your dreams.


  • 3 Chicken Breasts
  • 15 Ounce Jar Tostitos Salsa Con Queso
  • 1 Can Cream of Potato Soup
  • 1 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1 3/4 Cups Chicken Broth (or 1 14.5 ounce can) *see note
  • 1/2 Can Fire Roasted Diced Green Chiles * see note
  • 2 Cups Frozen Corn *see note
  • 1 Packet Taco Seasoning *see note
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Cilantro, fresh *see note, plus more for garnish
  • Tostitos Scoops Chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Sprinkle salt and pepper on each side of the chicken and place in a baking dish.
  3. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven, and using two forks, shred the meat and set aside.
  5. In a large pot over medium heat, add the salsa con queso, cream of potato soup, sour cream and chicken broth.
  6. Whisk to combine.
  7. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir in the chiles, corn, taco seasoning, cilantro and chicken.
  8. Bring to a simmer and serve or keep on low for an hour or two.
  9. Serve with Tostitos Scoops chips.

Store in a plastic container, sealed in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Do not freeze.

One whole can of diced green chiles is normally used.
We like a thick soup so sometimes we add a little less broth.
We generally do a little less than one taco seasoning packet so it’s not too spicy for everyone.
I often throw in more corn because the kids love it
My mom actually uses about 1 -2 Teaspoons of dried cilantro but I don’t enjoy it with dry cilantro.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 6, Serving Size: 1

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 408 Calories
  • Total Fat: 22g
  • Cholesterol: 90.1mg
  • Carbohydrates: 29.5g
  • Fiber: 3.7g
  • Sugar: 5.4g
  • Protein: 25.1g
All images and text ©Carrian Cheney for Oh Sweet Basil.



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Carrian Cheney

Lover of all things beautiful, good and delicious. Wife, mother, friend, foodie.