A tasty Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe can be eaten year-round! Hearty, healthy, and a little spicy, it’s seasonless! 

Perfect in the dead of winter to warm you from head to toes or as part of a Cinco de Mayo menu, this Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup will become a family favorite!

Bowl of chicken tortilla soup garnished with cheese and jalapeno slices.

Why You Must Make

  • Packed full of flavor, this tortilla soup recipe is delicious comfort food.
  • It’s perfect for dinner on game day or on a chilly night.
  • It’s made with primarily pantry ingredients so all you need to pick up are the fresh garnishes and the canned goods you don’t have on hand.
Overhead view of chicken tortilla soup in a white soup bowl.

How to Make Tortilla Soup

I was worried that it was too spicy for the hubby’s tender palate, but with a nice dollop of sour cream and sprinkling of cheddar, he sang its praises.

  1. Combine all of the ingredients except for the tortillas and toppings with 2 cups of water in a large stockpot.
  2. Place it over medium-high heat and bring it just to a boil.
  3. Tuen the heat down and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  4. Using a pizza cutter or kitchen shears, cut each tortilla into thin strips. Use in the soup to thicken or bake them in the oven to use as a crispy garnish.
  5. Serve the soup in bowls with the desired toppings on the side.

Corn tortillas are cut into strips, added at the end, and simmered in the soup for 10 minutes. Personally, I like frying up these strips to make them crispy and using them for a garnish instead of adding them to the soup. Either option works well!

This tortilla soup recipe makes a perfect weeknight meal, yet it’s special enough to serve when you have a crowd coming over to watch a football game.  It’s piece of cake to throw together. When you go to the market to buy the ingredients, get a second set of canned goods and frozen corn to make it again next month!

Ingredient Notes:

Besides some of the fresh garnishes, all these ingredients can be safely stored for months. This enables you to make this easy chicken tortilla soup any day you’re in the mood!

  • Chicken broth – I use Pacific brand. Other brands can be overly salty.
  • Crushed tomatoes (canned)
  • Red enchilada sauce (canned)
  • Chopped green chiles – I usually drain the juice, but not necessary
  • Chili powder
  • Ground cumin
  • Dried cilantro leaves – May replace this with a  tablespoon of fresh, finely chopped cilantro as the dried doesn’t have the same punch of flavor.
  • Garlic – Remove the inner sprout if green as it can be bitter.
  • Chicken – fresh, rotisserie, or even simple leftover roasted or grilled chicken (not  marinated or strongly seasoned)
  • Corn – frozen works well, though fresh corn off the cob would be wonderful
  • Onion – I prefer white or yellow for this recipe
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • Shredded cheese, corn tortillas, sour cream, guacamole, avocados, salsa, and/or chopped scallions, for serving
Side view of a white bowl filled with tortilla soup topped with garnishes.

Serving Suggestions

This tortilla soup recipe makes a perfect weeknight meal, yet it’s special enough to serve when you have a crowd coming over to watch a football game.  It’s piece of cake to throw together. When you go to the market to buy the ingredients, get a second set of canned goods and frozen corn to make it again next month!

Start with some quesadilla wedges like these Spinach Quesadillas filled with spinach dip or Spicy Pork Quesadillas. A salad like this Guacamole Salad, Mexican Street Corn Salad, or Gazpacho Salad would be perfect with this Tex-Mex entree, plus Homemade Guacamole and chips and these Mini Margarita Cheesecakes would round out the meal.

Overhead view of tortilla soup in a white soup bowl with a handle

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Tortilla Soup?

A tortilla is a Mexican unleavened bread that can be made from wheat or corn flour. According to Wikipedia, tortilla soup is a traditional Mexican soup made of fried corn tortilla pieces, cooked in a broth of tomato, garlic, onion, and chile de árbol, and epazote. It can be topped with chiles, avocado, cheese, or sour cream. 

Can Leftover Chicken Be Used?

Yes, definitely. Rotisserie chicken is an easy alternative, but you can also use leftover grilled or roasted chicken. Just make sure it’s not highly seasoned or sauced as additional flavors could affect the soup’s flavor.

How Do You Store Tortilla Soup?

This tortilla soup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. After that, it can be frozen for up to 3 months. Just let it defrost overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

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Overhead view of tortilla soup in a white soup bowl with a handle

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Yield 6

A hearty, healthy Tex-Mex soup with loads of flavor and a touch of heat!

Ingredients

  • 1 can (14 ounces) chicken broth
  • 1 can (29 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (11 ounces) red enchilada sauce
  • 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chiles
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried cilantro leaves
  • 1 heaping teaspoon minced garlic or 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 to 3 cups cooked, shredded chicken (or more, if you’d like)
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 corn tortillas (6 inches each)
  • Shredded cheese, sour cream, guacamole, avocados, salsa, and/or chopped scallions, for serving

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients except for the tortillas and toppings with 2 cups of water in a large stockpot.
  2. Place it over medium-high heat and bring it just to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the soup is heated through, about 30 minutes.
  4. Using a pizza cutter or kitchen shears, cut each tortilla into thin strips. Place the strips in the pot and cook 10 minutes more. Or place them on a sheet pan and bake until crisp.
  5. Serve the soup in bowls with the desired toppings on the side.

Notes

Recipe courtesy of Christy Jordan's Come Home to Supper

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 435Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 108mgSodium: 466mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 6gSugar: 6gProtein: 40g

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