The BEST Chicken Tortilla Soup I Ever Made

For years I’ve been making every chicken tortilla soup recipe out there and not really getting excited about any. Until now. Here’s the Best Chicken Tortilla Soup I Ever Made.

 

An aerial photo of a white bowl of chicken tortilla soup topped with sour cream, a lime wedge, and tortilla strips.

 

I know, you’re probably thinking that once you’ve had one chicken tortilla soup, you’ve had them all.  There’s not much to them, right?  I guarantee you that train of thought ends here! This soup is phenomenal!

It all starts with a flavorful base of all kinds of veggies that is smooth and oh so tasty. Then we add all your favorite chunky tortilla soup essentials and top it with crunchy tortilla strips, slices of avocado, and more cheese!

 

All About that Base!

Let’s get into the details of what makes the base of this soup. We start by sautéing the vegetables:

  • onions
  • carrots
  • celery
  • bell pepper

 

Once the veggies are tender, we add some garlic powder and taco seasoning along with fresh roma tomatoes, canned fire roasted tomatoes, and fire roasted green chiles. As those simmer together, the flavors meld and become glorious. Avocado and cheese are added, and everything is put in the blender and pureed to creamy perfection. That avocado in the base just puts it over the top! Black beans and tortilla chips are added and pulsed with the blender leaving a few chunks.

 

A photo of the base for chicken tortilla soup including sauteed onions, carrots, bell peppers, and celery as well as roma tomatoes.

 

Back to the Pot

Everything in the blender is added back to the pot, and the rest of the chunky goodness is added:

  • black beans
  • corn
  • chicken (see section below on how to cook it)

Some water and chicken broth is added and everything simmers for a half hour. The chicken soaks in all the yummy flavor, and you have the best tortilla soup ever!

 

A photo of a white bowl of chicken tortilla soup topped with sour cream, a lime wedge, and tortilla strips.

 

Top It Off

I love the creamy soup base, and the chunks of chicken, corn and beans, but if I’m going to be totally honest, it’s the toppings that totally do it for me! They add texture and flavor and can be totally personalized depending on what you like. Here are just a few ideas:

  • fresh chopped cilantro
  • chips (Fritos, tortilla chips, multigrain chips)
  • sour cream
  • tomatoes
  • olives
  • jalapeños (fresh or pickled)
  • avocados
  • roasted red peppers
  • pico de gallo
  • salsa
  • radishes
  • cheese and more cheese

Once you’ve topped it, you are ready to dig in and go to tortilla soup heaven.

 

A photo of a white bowl of chicken tortilla soup topped with sour cream, a lime wedge, and tortilla strips with a spoon laying next to the bowl.

 

Side Dishes

I am all about a chunk of bread when I’m eating chicken tortilla soup! You could do something healthier like a fruit salad, but I’m all about the carbs! I need bread to dip! Here are a few of our favorites:

How to Cook the Chicken

Ok, before I get 100 emails about how we cook the chicken for this soup, let me explain now. I just put a little olive oil on the chicken and some salt and paper and bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes at 375 degrees. Then I shred it and add it to the soup. You could also just grab a rotisserie chicken and use that too. Did you know you can buy rotisserie chicken at Costco that has already been cleaned off the bones? Game changer right there!

 

An aerial photo of a white bowl of chicken tortilla soup topped with sour cream, a lime wedge, and tortilla strips.

 

Can You Freeze Chicken Tortilla Soup?

This soup freezes wonderfully! Let the soup cool to room temperature or even in the refrigerator. Store in a freezer bag or airtight container. It will be good for 3-4 months. To reheat it, let it thaw in the refrigerator and then warm it up in a pot on the stove.

 

Can Chicken Tortilla Soup be Made in a Slow Cooker or Instant Pot?

The Best Chicken Tortilla Soup can be made in both the slow cooker or Instant Pot. You can go slow cooker if you want low and slow or Instant Pot if you want dinner in a hurry.

  • Slow Cooker – complete step 1-5 as written and then pour everything into the slow cooker and cook on low for 2-3 hours
  • Instant Pot – cook the chicken for 6 minutes, then sauté the vegetables in the IP and blend in a blender. Pour everything back into the IP and cook on “manual” for 6 minutes with a quick release

 

A photo of a white bowl of chicken tortilla soup topped with sour cream, a lime wedge, and tortilla strips.

 

Tweaking for Specific Diets

This recipe is super easy to alter to accommodate all sorts of dietary needs.  Let me run through just a few of the changes you could make:

  • gluten free – make sure you are using  gluten free tortilla chips and you are good to go!
  • dairy free – eliminate the cheese and don’t top with sour cream
  • keto – eliminate the beans and tortilla chips, use chicken thighs
  • vegetarian – eliminate the chicken and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth

When you make this Best Ever Chicken Tortilla Soup, or make any of the alterations for a specific diet, take a picture and tag us! We would love to hear how it goes!

Yield: 8-10

The BEST Chicken Tortilla Soup I Ever Made

The BEST Chicken Tortilla Soup I Ever Made
A flavorful chicken tortilla soup loaded with shredded chicken, corn, black beans and a few secrets that make it the best chicken tortilla soup I ever made!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 2 minutes
Total Time 42 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Large Carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 Onion, chopped
  • 1 Celery Stalk, chopped
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, Chopped
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
  • 3 Teaspoons Taco Seasoning
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 15 ounce Can Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes, Drained
  • 1 Can Fire Roasted Diced Green Chiles, drained
  • 2 Ounces Monterey Jack Cheese, or 1/3 Cup Mexican Shredded Cheese
  • 1 Can Black Beans, drained and divided
  • 1/2 Avocado
  • 10 Tortilla Chips (We use Food Should Taste Good Multigrain chips from Costco as they have more flavor)
  • 2 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 3 Chicken Breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 1 1/2-2 Cups Corn
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Cilantro

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and bell pepper, then turn the heat down to medium low. Allow the veggies to cook until tender for about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic powder and taco seasoning as well as the tomatoes, canned tomatoes and green chiles, stirring to combine and allowing to cook for up to 10 minutes.
  4. Place the veggies in a blender and the avocado and cheese, running the blender for a minute or until completely smooth.
  5. Add 1/2 the can of black beans, reserving the rest and the tortilla chips. Pulse a few times leaving chunks in the soup.
  6. Pour the mixture back in the pot and turn it to medium heat. Add the chicken, remaining black beans, corn, broth, water and salt. Cook for 30 minutes turning it back to medium low if it starts to boil.
  7. Stir in the cilantro and serve with fresh avocado, chips and cheese!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1 bowl

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 253 Total Fat: 9g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 40mg Sodium: 882mg Carbohydrates: 26g Fiber: 6g Sugar: 5g Protein: 19g
An aerial photo of a white bowl of chicken tortilla soup topped with sour cream, a lime wedge, and tortilla strips.

Soup RECIPES

Looking for a few different soup recipes other than this Best Ever Chicken Tortilla Soup? Here are just a few to get you started:  One Pot Cauliflower Chowder, Cheesy Southwestern Chicken Tortilla SoupRoasted Tomato Soup, Lasagna Soup, Chicken Soup, Best Clam Chowder, Creamy Tortellini Butternut Squash Soup, or Instant Pot Taco Soup!

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Carrian Cheney

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

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5 comments on “The BEST Chicken Tortilla Soup I Ever Made”

  1. We made this tonight for dinner and it was awesome!  The flavor was delicious and I love that is thicker than most tortilla soups that I have tried.  Thank you for the great recipe! 

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  3. I can’t wait to try this recipe! I just wanted to verify that the 10 tortilla chips called for are in the recipe are for a garnish or are they to be used as an ingredient in the soup? Thank you!🙂

    • They actually go into the soup. Those actually become part of the base. You add them into the blender when you are pureeing all the vegetables. It gives a thickness to the base that is so yummy! Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!