Filled with juicy shredded chicken, black beans, sweet corn, and healthy veggies, this Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe is utterly irresistible and my all-time favorite soup recipe! Enjoy this comforting and delicious chicken soup at home with your own family and topped with all your favorite toppings, including tortilla strips, avocado, green onion, and sour cream.
Chicken tortilla soup
Chicken Tortilla Soup, also known as Sopa de Tortilla, is a traditional Mexican soup with several versions and interpretations. Originating somewhere in Mexico City, there is one constant among all Tortilla Soup recipes- the presence of fried tortillas.
I first tried Chicken Tortilla Soup nearly two decades ago while eating at the restaurant, La Torito. An instant favorite, I always ordered a big bowl whenever I had the chance.
Chicken Tortilla Soup- loaded with vegetables, chicken, and all your favorite toppings– was the very first soup recipe I learned to cook on my own. Even now, I still can’t get enough.
Ingredients in chicken tortilla soup
- olive oil
- poblano pepper
- jalapeño pepper
- bell peppers
- ground cumin
- chili powder
- Italian seasoning
- canned tomatoes
- low-sodium chicken broth
- chicken breasts
- red enchilada sauce
- black beans
- whole corn kernels
- green onion
How to make chicken tortilla soup
This Sopa de Tortilla is super easy to make! As long as you don’t mind a little chopping, stirring, and shredding, you’ll have no problem preparing a big pot of this soup for your own family!
- Sauté the vegetables. Grab a large Dutch oven or stockpot and sauté the onions over medium-high heat. Once the onions have started to soften, add the poblano pepper, jalapeño pepper, red and green bell peppers, and the garlic. Cook the veggies, stirring often until softened.
- Add the seasoning and broth. Stir in the salt, cumin, chili powder, coriander, Italian seasoning, canned tomatoes, and chicken broth. If you don’t have each of those spices available, feel free to substitute with approximately 1 tablespoon of your favorite taco seasoning, plus more to taste.
- Add the chicken. Bring to a boil and add the chicken. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Allow chicken to cook for approximately 25 minutes.
- Shred the chicken. Remove the cooked chicken from the pot and set aside until cool enough to handle. Meanwhile, add the enchilada sauce, black beans, corn, cilantro, green onion, and lime juice to the soup. Mix well to combine. Return the shredded chicken to the pot.
- Simmer and serve. Allow the soup to simmer, altogether, for an additional 10 minutes. Serve with all your favorite toppings!
If you’re short on time, feel free to add pre-cooked shredded chicken breasts or even shredded rotisserie chicken!
Chicken Tortilla Soup Toppings
One of my favorite parts to this soup is the fun you can have with the toppings! And, you guys, this soup WANTS you to have fun with the toppings! From fresh greens to zesty lime juice, and everything in between, you can go wild or keep it super simple.
With that said, Chicken Tortilla Soup is an excellent meal for entertaining. Simply prepare a massive pot, set out all the toppings, and let your guests add what they love and leave what they…don’t.
- Fresh greens- chopped cilantro and green onion.
- Avocado- you want this, trust me.
- Fried tortilla strips- homemade or store-bought.
- Heat- chopped jalapeño or serrano peppers.
- Dairy- cheese, Greek yogurt, or sour cream.
- Fresh lime wedges.
Is this Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe Spicy?
The heat level of Chicken Tortilla Soup is entirely up to you; but, in general, this soup is relatively mild.
If you are super sensitive to spicy foods, I recommend skipping the jalapeño and adding half the recommended chili powder. Also, make sure that whichever red enchilada sauce you choose is not spicy.
How to thicken Chicken Tortilla Soup?
Depending on my mood, sometimes I prefer a somewhat thicker soup. Lucky for us, this is super easy and doesn’t require any blending!
- Add a couple tablespoons of tomato paste. Tomato paste is an amazing natural thickener for things like soups and sauces. Simply add it just before you add the spices, mixing well to thoroughly combine with the vegetables and prevent burning.
- Corn tortillas. Yep, corn tortillas. All you have to do it chop up a couple small corn tortillas and toss it in with the simmering soup. You’ll notice that after a period of time, the tortillas will dissolve right in with the soup! The corn tortillas also add really excellent flavor to the broth so it’s a total win-win.
How to store Chicken Tortilla Soup
Good news, you guys!
Chicken Tortilla Soup tastes awesome leftover. In fact, I’m just going to go ahead and say that it may even taste better 1-2 days after it was initially made. For that reason, I strongly recommend making a BIG pot of this delicious healthy goodness to enjoy all week.
If you’re not really into eating the same thing two days in a row, you can easily freeze the leftovers for a quick family meal or in pre-portioned containers for lunch.
How to freeze Chicken Tortilla Soup:
- Allow the soup to cool completely before dividing or transferring. I recommend refrigerating overnight, if possible.
- Freeze in either large gallon or quart-sized freezer bags or in freezer-friendly containers.
- Do NOT freeze with the toppings.
- Place the soup-filled bags on a baking sheet or on a flat surface in the freezer to freeze, always making sure to leave a small amount of room in each bag for expansion during freezing.
- Freeze completely and stack each on top of each other or side-by-side for easy storage.
To thaw: transfer frozen bags of Chicken Tortilla Soup to the refrigerator to thaw overnight.
If you try making this Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
For more soup recipes check out,
- Ham and Bean Soup Recipe (Crock Pot)
- Albondigas Soup Recipe (Mexican Meatball Soup)
- Homemade Tomato Basil Soup Recipe
- Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe
- Easy Minestrone Soup Recipe (Stovetop + Slow Cooker)
- Healthy Buffalo Chicken Soup
- Easy Chicken Avocado Soup Recipe
- Easy Chicken and Dumplings Recipe
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Chicken Tortilla Soup
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium onions - chopped
- 1 poblano pepper - seeded and diced
- 1 jalapeño - seeded and diced (optional)
- 1 red bell pepper - seeded and chopped
- 1 green bell pepper - seeded and chopped
- 6 cloves garlic - minced
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp ancho chili powder
- 1 tsp coriander
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 2 (15 ounce) cans fire roasted tomatoes
- 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth - (or water)
- 3 chicken breasts
- 10 oz red enchilada sauce - (approximately)
- 1 (15 ounce) can black beans - drained
- 2 (15 ounce) cans whole corn kernels - drained
- 1/2 cup cilantro - chopped
- 1/2 cup green onion - chopped
- 1 lime - juiced
- Tortilla strips
- Lime wedges
- Sour cream
- Chopped cilantro
- Sliced avocado
- Add olive oil to a large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook for 4-6 minutes, stirring often. Add the poblano pepper, jalapeño, red, and green bell pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
- Add the salt, cumin, ancho chili powder, ground coriander, Italian seasoning, canned tomatoes, and chicken broth (or water), to the pot. Cover soup and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer over medium-low heat. Add the chicken breasts and return the lid to the pot.
- Allow the chicken to cook for 25-30 minutes. Carefully remove the chicken breasts from the pot and transfer to a clean cutting board. Let rest until cool enough to handle then shred with a fork.
- Return the shredded chicken back to the pot. Add the enchilada sauce, black beans, corn kernels, cilantro, green onion, and lime juice. Simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes.
- Garnish with fresh cilantro, chopped green onion, lime juice, avocado, sour cream, and tortilla strips, if desired.
- If you are super sensitive to spicy foods, I recommend skipping the jalapeño and adding half the recommended chili powder. Also, make sure that whichever red enchilada sauce you choose is not spicy.
- If you do not have all the spices listed to make this soup, your favorite taco seasoning would make an excellent substitute. Add approximately 1 tablespoon in place of the cumin, chili powder, salt, and coriander. Season with more taco seasoning or salt to taste.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)