All your favorite Mexican flavors and taste, in soup form! This quick and easy chicken tortilla soup is loaded with veggies and is perfect for those cooler fall nights. It can be made both on the stove and in your crockpot, and leftovers are even better the next day!
Don’t get me wrong, I love the fresh produce that summer brings. But, the warmth and comfort of a steaming bowl of soup on cold evening is one of my favorite feelings. Even better if that bowl of soup is eaten on the couch under a fuzzy blanket (… anyone else forever eating dinner on their couch…?).
Making a big pot of soup on a Sunday afternoon is now part of my regular fall/winter routine. I love how quickly soups come together, and they can simmer on the stove top or in the slow cooker (or my new favorite InstantPot!) while I do other things around the house. Or watch football or Netflix … which is probably more likely.
This easy chicken tortilla soup is the perfect meal in a bowl. The combination of authentic spices like chili powder, cumin, paprika, and cayenne (optional, but necessary if you love spice like me!) make this soup especially warming. It’s loaded with protein from the chicken breasts and black beans and healthy! And, the best part, it’s the perfect vessel for all your favorite toppings.
The recipe makes about 10 cups, so it’s perfect for your weekly meal prep, dinner parties, or to feed your family. Tom and I ate this soup all week and both loved it. So much so that we fought over the last bowl. Definitely add this recipe to your menu ASAP!
Ingredients in easy chicken tortilla soup recipe
Not only is this recipe loaded with both protein and vegetables, it is made with many pantry staples you likely already have on hand. The bulk of the ingredients include:
- Chicken: I used two large, boneless skinless chicken breasts here (probably ~1 – 1.5 lbs chicken). Feel free to use chicken thighs or shredded rotisserie chickens here if you prefer!
- Black Beans: Ups the protein content of this soup to keep you feeling full all day. Also loaded with fiber. Want to add some pinto beans, too? Go right ahead!
- Corn: I love how the sweetness of the corn contrasts with the spices in this soup. I used 1 can of corn, but you could easily sub frozen or even fresh corn (if you can still find it ) here.
- Fire roasted tomatoes: Using diced tomatoes here brings so much flavor to the broth! You’ll need two, 14.5oz cans
- Chicken broth: Forms the base of the broth. Vegetable broth will also work if that’s all you have on hand.
- Chopped green chilies: You can typically find these in a small can in the Mexican food aisle. They come in both spicy and mild form (the mild ones are actually kind of sweet). You can also use a chopped jalapeno if you’re a big fan of spice!
- Cilantro: I love the flavor that cilantro adds to the broth. I know some people are very anti-cilantro, so feel free to leave this out, but you’ll be missing some of the flavor.
- Spices: The spice profile in this soup is pretty similar to a Mexican dish or chili – cumin, paprika, chili powder, and cayenne.
The best part about this soup is that you basically throw everything into a dutch oven or other soup pan, turn the flame to medium-high heat, and let everything simmer. The prep time is minimal and there is barely any cook time, although you could let it simmer for a while if you want all of the flavors to melt together!
How to serve chicken tortilla soup
So… if I’m being completely honest, the toppings are everything to me when it comes to this soup. Similar to chili, I love to prepare a variety of different toppings and add them to my soup when serving. Give me alllllllll the toppings.
This is also a fun way to let people customize their meals if you’re serving this to a group. Line up the toppings and let people build their bowls, similar to a taco bar!
I LOVE to serve this soup with homemade tortilla strips. They’re super easy to make. All you have to do is cut corn tortillas into thin strips, toss in a little olive oil and bake for ~10 minutes.
Aside from the crispy tortilla strips, some of my favorite toppings are:
- Plain Greek yogurt (as a sub for sour cream)
- Additional cilantro
- Chopped red or green onion
- Cheddar cheese
- Hot sauce
- Lime wedges
- Green chiles
I’ve even stirred leftover quinoa or brown rice into similar soups before if I’m really hungry! What other toppings do you all like?!
Can I freeze my soup?
Yes! This soup should stay good in the fridge for 4-5 days. If you want to keep it longer, it can definitely be frozen.
Separate the soup into individual, freezer safe containers or bags to freeze. Leftovers are good in the freezer for about three months. Just thaw the night before in the fridge!
If you liked this recipe, you’ll want to try these!
If you make this recipe, be sure to comment below and let me know how it was! Also tag @erinliveswhole on Instagram and use the hashtag #erinliveswhole so I can see it and feature you!
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 large chicken breasts (1 – 1.5 lbs)
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 14.5 oz cans diced fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 can black beans
- 1 can corn
- 1 can green chilies (optional – or 1 jalapeno diced)
- 1 small lime, juiced
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 3 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
- 1/4 tsp cayenne (optional for heat)
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- Avocado, Greek yogurt, cheese, hot sauce, cilantro for garnish
Homemade tortilla chips:
- 6 small corn tortillas
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- In a large pot, heat two tablespoons olive oil over medium heat
- Add in onions, garlic, and cilantro and saute until fragrant
- Add chicken broth, tomatoes, beans, corn, chilies and lime juice and stir
- Add in remaining spices and then add in chicken breasts
- Bring to a boil
- Once boiling, lower heat and let simmer for 10 minutes
- Remove chicken breasts from soup and let rest for 10 minutes, then shred with fork
- Put shredded chicken back in soup and let simmer an additional 10 minutes
- Cut corn tortillas into thin strips. We like them very thin for extra crisp!
- Toss with olive oil and salt to coat
- Bake in 400F oven for about 10-12 minutes or until golden brown
For crockpot: Place all ingredients in crockpot and cook on low for 5-6 hours. Shred chicken with fork and place back into crockpot for serving.
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