Chicken | main dish | Quick and Easy | Recipes | Soup Recipes | tex-mex

Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

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Today, I’m sharing one of my all-time favorite soup recipes: Quick and Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup. Spice-filled broth, yummy chicken, and veggies come together perfectly in this amazing 30-Minute Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup. So perfect for busy weeknights!

easy chicken tortilla soup

Quick And Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

I love almost all types of soups, and one of my favorites is this Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup! When we go out to a Mexican Restaurant (or even Jason’s Deli), sometimes the Chicken Tortilla Soup is all I’ll order. 

A big hearty bowl of Chicken Tortilla Soup always fills me up, and I definitely don’t feel guilty because I know it’s semi-healthy.

While I love the idea of making soup in the crockpot, many times when I have a crockpot dish on the menu, I forget to defrost the chicken, soak the beans, or just didn’t get the meal started in time. Luckily this soup is super easy and can come together in under 30 minutes. (Of course, if you are able to let it simmer a bit longer, it tastes even better!)

With this soup, you can use canned/frozen ingredients (which I sometimes do,) or you can use your own homemade chicken broth, beans, and leftover chicken. Whatever you have on hand… (For today’s version, I used leftover chicken fajita meat, store-bought chicken broth, one can of beans, and the last baggie of black beans I had in my freezer. But in the video, I used raw, diced chicken.)

This recipe runs on the mild side, (as all my recipes do); however, that is easily changed with the addition of a minced jalapeno or a pinch or two of cayenne. (Keep in mind, cayenne can be deceptively spicy, as I learned in my early 20’s the first time I used it to try and make backend fish, lol. So be sure to start with no more than 1/8th of a teaspoon, taste, and add more as needed.)

I hope your family enjoys this recipe as much as we do!

Why you should make this Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

  • Tastes So Good! – This chicken tortilla soup recipe has amazing flavor! The combination of Mexican spices like cumin and chili powder balanced out with diced tomatoes, corn, and beans. For those who want an extra kick of flavor, they can top their bowl with diced jalapenos, crunchy tortilla chips, or avocado slices. 
  • Fast to make. – This easy Chicken Tortilla soup Recipe takes less than 30 minutes to make, so it is a great option for busy nights when time is limited. 
  • Easy – Much of this recipe is made with pantry ingredients, so the best part is you probably have most of the items on hand, and there is no need to buy a bunch of expensive specialty items. The only item that requires dicing is the onion (and of course, you can purchase prechopped frozen or fresh onion if you hate chopping onions.)
  • Good for you. – It’s also a reasonably healthy recipe since the soup contains lean protein from chicken, fiber-rich beans and vegetables, and complex carbohydrates from the corn and tortillas. Plus, the soup is so comforting and filling without being overly heavy.
  • Makes Great leftovers. – This is a great recipe for meal prepping. This easy chicken tortilla soup is just as tasty eaten cold or reheated the next day. The flavors blend even better after sitting overnight, so it is perfect if you are planning for leftovers. 
easy chicken tortilla soup

Ingredients + Tips

(Ingredients at a glance, you will find the full recipe with ingredient amounts in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.)

  • Olive oil
  • Garlic | Minced. The recipe calls for 6 cloves of garlic, minced, but if you want to use minced garlic from the jar, that is about 2 teaspoons. 
  • Onion | Yellow or white works fine for this recipe.
  • Chicken | You need about 2 cups of chopped-up. You can use cooked or precooked chicken. It can be rotisserie chicken, chicken thighs, chicken breast, or even canned chicken. (I recommend rinsing your canned chicken first for better flavor.) If using uncooked chicken, it will just increase your cooking time by a few minutes.
  • Spices | chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. If using a store-bought all-in-one taco seasoning, start with 3 tablespoons. You can give the soup a taste at the end of the cooking time and add another tablespoon if needed.
  • Diced tomatoes | You’ll need two cans of diced tomatoes, undrained. I like to use petite diced tomatoes.
  • Diced green chiles | Canned or fresh.
  • Beans | you will need 2 15 oz cans, rinsed and drained. I used black beans today, but pinto beans are great too.
  • Chicken broth | Chicken broth or homemade chicken stock. If you use low sodium, you may need to increase the amount of salt you add for taste.
  • Corn | 10 oz. I usually use frozen, but canned works too.
  • Lime juice | Fresh or bottled.
  • Corn tortillas | Make sure you are using corn tortillas, not flour tortillas. Yellow is best as the tortillas help thicken the soup and give it flavor.

Overview: How to make this for Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

  1. Saute the onions, garlic, and chicken: In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Saute onions for about 3 minutes. Add chicken, garlic, chili powder, and cumin. If using raw chicken, saute, till chicken is cooked through; if using precooked chicken, cook another minute so the chicken can absorb the spices. (I love my dutch oven for this.)
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients: Add tomatoes (with juice), beans, broth, corn, diced chilies, lime juice, and 1 cup water to the pan; season with salt and pepper. 
  3. Simmer. Bring soup to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Add broken-up tortillas and cook until tortillas have dissolved (5 to 10 minutes). You can serve the soup now or simmer it over low heat for up to 30 minutes to allow the flavors to merge a bit more. The soup will thicken more as it cools.
  4. Garnish and Serve. Serve with optional shredded cheese, tortilla chips, sliced avocado, and/or sour cream.

Recipe Tips

  • Season To Taste. Depending on the tomatoes and broth you use, you may need to adjust the salt to taste at the end.
  • If you find on day 2 that your soup is too thick for your liking you can thin it out with a bit more chicken broth.

Topping ideas

  • Sour cream
  • Sliced avocado
  • Crunchy tortilla strips
  • Fresh cilantro
  • An extra squeeze of lime from your lime wedges
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Sliced jalapenos
  • Diced green onions

Storage

Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. When you are ready to eat it, allow it to thaw in the fridge overnight.

Variations

  • Make it vegetarian: Use vegetable broth and omit the chicken. (You could saute sliced portobello mushrooms to give your vegetable tortilla soup more volume.)
  • Make it creamy: This chicken tortilla soup is amazing as is, but it can be made into a more creamy soup. In the last few minutes of cooking time, just add 2/3 cup heavy cream and 1/3 cup sour cream.
  • Change it up: Use different beans, add other veggies, add extra spice. Make it your own.
  • Make homemade crispy tortilla strips instead of store-bought: Slice corn tortillas into small strips and pan-fry them (in batches) with 1/4 cup vegetable oil over medium-high heat for about 3 to 5 minutes. Once golden brown and crispy, set side on a paper towel to drain. Sprinkle with salt.

FAQs

Can this recipe be made in the slow cooker?

Yes, While I prefer the stovetop for this easy chicken tortilla soup recipe, (very easy and ready in less than 30 minutes), if you want to make it in the crock pot and use uncooked chicken, I suggest: Cutting the chicken into bite-sized chunks and combining everything in the crock pot except the corn and the tortillas. Cook on cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for about 4 hours. Add the tortillas and corn in the last hour of cooking. You could also use whole chicken breasts and then remove them at the end of the cooking time for shredding and then return them to the pot.

Can This Recipe Be Made In The Instant Pot?

Yes, saute the chicken and onion in the bottom of your instant pot. Add garlic, and saute another minute or two. Add the rest of the ingredients. Place the lid on, and cook at high pressure for 5 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for about 5 minutes  Then quick release the rest of the steam.

Can I use ground beef or turkey in this recipe?

Yes, ground turkey or beef is excellent in this soup. Brown your meat, drain if needed, then add in the onions and follow the rest of the recipe.

What Other Vegetables Could I Add To This Soup?

Cabbage or zucchini, or another bean, like garbanzos, would be a great addition to the soup.

I don’t have broth. Can I use bullion and water to make this homemade chicken tortilla soup?

Of course. I love the better than bullion for making broth. One suggestion, broth from bullion can be very salty; I recommend waiting till the end to determine if your soup needs additional salt.

More  Soup Recipes to Enjoy

Quick Chicken Tortilla Soup - If you have 20 minutes, you can make this soup!

Did You Make This Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup?

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easy chicken tortilla soup recipe

Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • Author: jamie sanders
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: soup
  • Method: stove top

Description

Spice filled broth, yummy chicken and veggies come together perfectly in this amazing 20 Minute Chicken Tortilla Soup!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cups chicken, chopped (cooked or uncooked)
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1 4 oz can diced green chilies
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 32 ounces chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbs lime juice
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn kernels
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 corn tortillas broken into very small pieces

Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium. Saute garlic and onions for about 3 minutes.  Add chicken, chili powder, and cumin. If using raw chicken, saute, till chicken is cooked through, If using precooked chicken, cook another minute so the chicken can absorb the spices.
  2. Add tomatoes (with juice), beans, broth, corn, diced chilies, lime juice, and 1 cup water to the pan; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Bring soup to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Add broken-up tortillas and cook until tortillas have dissolved (5 to 10 minutes).
  4. You can serve the soup now or simmer over low heat for up to 30 minutes to allow the flavors to merge a bit more.
  5. Serve with optional shredded cheese, tortilla chips, sliced avocado and/or sour cream.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/6 of recipe
  • Calories: 384
  • Fat: 10
  • Carbohydrates: 49
  • Fiber: 15
  • Protein: 20

Keywords: chicken tortilla soup, soup

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18 Comments

  1. this is my favorite soup!

  2. Dee Draeger says:

    I help run a cooking group, for patients, at a rehabilitation center. We are cooking this soup tonight, thank you for posting the recipe,

  3. if you wanted to do this in a slow-cooker, would you just throw everything in and let it cook for a couple hours?
    thanks, new to the slow cooker stuff. lol
    mary
    ladefly@aol dot com

    1. If you want to do this in the crock pot and use uncooked chicken, I recommend:
      Cutting the chicken into bite sized chunks and combining everything in the crock pot except the corn and the tortillas. Cook on cook on low 6 to 8 hours or on high about 4 hours. Add the tortillas and corn in the last hour of cooking.

      gook luck,
      ~Jamie

  4. Yum, looks good! Would love it if you linked up on my blog hop Also let me know if you'd like to follow each other!

  5. Always love soups in the fall and have made several tortilla soups over the years but a "quick" and "easy" are words that definitely make me want to try this one. Thanks for sharing! I'd love to have you link this us to Titus 2 Tuesday this week on
    Kathy

  6. Featuring YOU today! Thanks so much for linking up to {wow me} wednesday!

  7. This looks so heartwarming and delicious!
    I would love to have you join my new link party Wednesday Extravaganza! Come by and share this or other recipes.

  8. I'm always looking for a new yummy soup. This looks delishious! I co-host a link party every week (double the exposure for you!). It's called tip-toe thru tuesday and is running right now. I would love to have you come party with us, if you have time!

  9. Oh my gosh, just yesterday I had a bowl of tortilla soup at a restaurant and commented to my husband that we need to make more of it at home. Then this! Its fate! Serendipity! Divine by Design! really though, this looks amazing and so simple- If you have a minute, I'd love for you to link up to Sweet Sharing Monday –

  10. Love this! Now if only I could get the rest of the people in the house to eat it as well! I love Chicken Tortilla soup myself. Found you at the Create and Inspire Linky and I'm now a new fan and follower 🙂

    Have a great weekend!

  11. this looks so good and we eat so much soup in the fall. please come link it up at my friday recipe linky party!

  12. Hi Jamie,
    This is one of my favorite soups! Thank you so much for sharing your awesome recipe with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you have a great weekend and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

  13. My kids are huge soup eaters, so I can't wait to try this one. I pinned it:-) I love that it is so quick and easy to put together too!!!