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Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

This is an easy chicken tortilla soup recipe that can be on the table in less than an hour.  A rich tomato broth, a bit of spice and large chunks of chicken make this a hearty and comforting meal. 

This recipe first appeared on Savory Experiments where I am a contributor.

Two bowls of chicken tortilla soup topped with tortilla strips and avocado

This tortilla soup is rich and hearty, full of vegetables, chicken and just a little bit of spice. It is one of our favourites.

It is seasoned with simple spices and I add a bit of chopped chipotle peppers and adobo sauce to give it a nice heat without being overpowering.  The chipotle peppers are completely optional, if your family doesn’t like spicy food, you can just leave these out.

Of course, if you love heat, go ahead and add as many peppers as you like.  Sometimes I will even chop up some fresh jalapenos if I have them on hand.

Chicken soup in tomato broth topped with tortilla strips and avocado

Ingredients & Substitutions

This soup is one of those meals that is hard to mess up.  You can easily customize it however you like; add extra vegetables, remove the ones you don’t like, and make it as spicy or mild as your family prefers.

The ingredients in this tortilla soup are:

  • Olive oil
  • Onions and Garlic
  • Chicken broth
  • Crushed and diced tomatoes
  • Cooked chicken
  • Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • Chili powder, cumin, salt & pepper
  • Cilantro

Using a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken makes this soup really quick and easy.  Simply remove the skin and shred the meat before adding it to the pot.

One of the best components of this tortilla soup is in the homemade, crispy tortilla strips.  They are so easy to make and add a great crunch to the finished soup.  I like to season mine with a bit of course salt, but if you want to change things up you can use seasoning salt or taco seasoning. 

You only need three things to make homemade tortilla strips:

  • Corn tortillas
  • Olive oil
  • Salt

Step by Step Instructions

This soup is made with just a few simple steps:

  • Saute the onions and garlic in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat until soft and translucent
  • Add remaining ingredients, except cilantro and tortilla strips. Stir to combine.
  • Bring soup to a gentle boil then reduce heat and simmer for approximately 20 minutes until soup is heated through
Photo collage showing steps to make chicken tortilla soup

To make your own tortilla strips:

  • Cut 6 corn tortillas into ½ inch strips
  • Toss in olive oil and salt
  • Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for 10 minutes
  • Toss the strips and bake an additional 5-10 minus until lightly golden and crisp.
Photos showing steps to make tortilla strips

If you don’t want to make your own tortilla strips you can use any store-bought tortilla chips instead.

Cook Time

One of the reasons I love this soup so much is that it is so quick to make, and it doesn’t need a long simmer time to develop great flavour.

The total cook time of this soup is approximately 30 minutes. This includes 5 minutes to sauté the onions and 25 minutes to simmer the soup.

If you are using raw chicken breast instead of pre-cooked chicken it will add approximately ten minutes to the total cook time.

Scoop of chicken tortilla soup from a large green pot.

Top Tips & FAQS

How should I serve chicken tortilla soup?

Tortilla soup is all about the toppings and there are so many great toppings to serve with this soup.  You can add as many or as few as you like.  Some great choices are:

Can tortilla soup be frozen?

Yes.  This soup freezes very well and makes great grab and go lunches.  Simply pour into airtight containers once the soup has cooled and freeze.  It will keep several months.

Can I cook the chicken in the soup instead of using pre-cooked?

Yes, you can, it will just take longer to get it to the table.  I would suggest using 4 6-ounce boneless skinless chicken breasts.  Add these to the soup when you add the broth and tomato sauce and simmer for approximately 20 minutes.  

After simmering, remove the chicken from the soup, shred or dice it and add it back to the pot. Then heat for an additional 10-15 minutes before serving.

Can I add beans to this soup?

Sure you can.  Black beans are a great addition to this soup.  I suggest using canned beans as they are easier to work with.  Simply drain and rinse the beans and add them to the soup at the same time you add the chicken and other ingredients.

Spoonful of soup with chicken, corn, tomatoes and avocado

If you like this recipe you might also like:

Easy hamburger soup

Easy grilled chicken burritos

Sheet pan buffalo chicken quesadillas

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Printable Recipe

Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

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Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 354kcal
Author: Deanna



Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil
  • 1 Large White onion diced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic minced
  • 4 Cups Chicken broth
  • 15 oz can Crushed tomatoes
  • 14 oz can Diced tomatoes
  • 4 Cups Cooked chicken shredded or diced
  • 1.5 Cups Corn kernels frozen or canned
  • 1 Chipotle pepper in adobo sauce chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Adobo sauce
  • 2 teaspoon Cumin
  • 2 teaspoon Chili powder
  • Salt/pepper to taste
  • ½ Cup Cilantro chopped

Tortilla Strips

  • 6 6-inch Corn tortillas
  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon Salt or seasoning salt

Optional toppings

  • Diced avocado
  • Sliced jalapenos
  • Shredded cheese
  • Sour cream


Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven.  Add onions and garlic and sauté on medium heat until onions are almost translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add all remaining ingredients, except cilantro, tortilla strips or toppings to the pot.  
  • Increase heat to med-high and bring soup to a gentle boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  • Serve topped with tortilla strips and an assortment of toppings. 

Tortilla Strips

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Cut the tortillas into ½ inch strips
  • Place tortillas strips in a bowl and toss with the olive oil and salt.
  • Spread the strips on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for approximately 10 minutes then toss them and bake another 5-10 minutes until lightly golden.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool before serving.


Nutritional values is for informational purposes only and will vary depending on ingredients and brands used.  
Nutritional values do not include optional toppings. 


Estimated Nutrition Facts
Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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