I’ve made seemingly every Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe, but this is the first one I’ve been really excited about! Ready in under 1 hour and SO EASY!

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

Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

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 tortilla 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!

Tip: This recipe requires a blender. Don’t have a blender or have one that’s not awesome? You guys, you HAVE TO get our favorite blender, the Blendtec! It’s in our Shop and you get 25% off with code ohsweetbasil at checkout!

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

What’s Needed for Homemade Chicken Tortilla Soup?

Here’s what you’ll need to make this Mexican chicken tortilla soup recipe:

  • Olive oil
  • Carrot
  • Onion
  • Celery
  • Bell pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Taco seasoning
  • Roma tomatoes
  • Canned fire roasted tomatoes
  • Monterey Jack cheese
  • Black beans
  • Avocado
  • Tortilla chips
  • Chicken broth
  • Water
  • Cooked chicken breasts
  • Corn
  • Fresh cilantro
A photo of a white bowl of chicken tortilla soup topped with sour cream, a lime wedge, and tortilla strips.

How to Make Chicken Tortilla Soup

Let’s get into the details of what makes the base of this soup.

  1. We start by sautéing the vegetables.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Everything in the blender is added back to the pot, and the rest of the chunky goodness is added.
  5. Some water and chicken broth is added and everything simmers for 30 minutes. The chicken soaks in all the yummy flavor, and you have the best tortilla soup ever!

How to Cook and Shred 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 F. 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!

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.

Chicken Tortilla Soup Toppings

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.

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

FAQ

What to Serve with Chicken Tortilla Soup

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:

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?

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 steps 1-5 as written, then pour everything into the slow cooker and cook on low for 2-3 hours.

Can Chicken Tortilla Soup Be Made in an Instant Pot?

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.

How to Tweak 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

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

Tips for the BEST Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • We prefer making this easy tortilla soup with shredded chicken breasts, but I bet ground chicken would work too.
  • For a spicier soup, use spicy canned green chiles and / or spicy taco seasoning.
  • You can use canned, fresh, or frozen corn in this recipe. If using canned, drain and rinse before adding to the soup.

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!

More Easy 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:  

 

The BEST Chicken Tortilla Soup I Ever Made

4.18 from 267 votes
Servings: 10
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 42 minutes

Description

I've made seemingly every Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe, but this is the first one I've been really excited about! Ready in under 1 hour and SO EASY!

Ingredients 

  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Carrot, Large, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 Onion, chopped
  • 1 Rib Celery , chopped
  • 1 Bell Pepper, Red, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Garlic Powder
  • 3 teaspoons Taco Seasoning
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes, quartered
  • 15 Ounces Tomatoes, Fire Roasted Diced, drained
  • 4 Ounces Green Chiles, Fire Roasted Diced, 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 Cilantro, Chopped Fresh

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.
    1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • Add the onion, carrot, celery, and bell pepper, then turn the heat down to medium low. Allow the veggies to cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
    1 Carrot, 1/2 Onion, 1 Rib Celery, 1 Bell Pepper
  • 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.
    1 1/2 teaspoons Garlic Powder, 3 teaspoons Taco Seasoning, 2 Roma Tomatoes, 15 Ounces Tomatoes, 4 Ounces Green Chiles
  • Place the veggies in a blender with the avocado and cheese, running the blender for a minute or until completely smooth.
    1/2 Avocado, 2 Ounces Monterey Jack Cheese
  • Add 1/2 the can of black beans (reserving the rest) and the tortilla chips. Pulse a few times leaving chunks in the soup.
    1 Can Black Beans, 10 Tortilla Chips
  • 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.
    1 Can Black Beans, 2 Cups Chicken Broth, 2 Cups Water, 3 Chicken Breasts, 1 1/2-2 Cups Corn, 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • Stir in the cilantro and serve with fresh avocado, chips and cheese!
    1/4 Cup Cilantro

Notes

This soup can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 1CupCalories: 222kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 20gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 701mgPotassium: 658mgFiber: 5gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 2039IUVitamin C: 28mgCalcium: 73mgIron: 1mg
Author: Sweet Basil
Course: 50 of the Best Easy Soup Recipes for Families
Cuisine: Mexican

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

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