This simple and satisfying Chicken Tortilla Soup is just what you need for your weeknight dinners. Filled with shredded chicken, crispy tortilla strips, beans, and corn, this comforting soup is a crowd favorite!
Table of Contents
Sometimes simple is better, and this chicken tortilla soup is no exception. Most chicken tortilla soups are made with a mixture of dried spices, but I’ve added some dried pasilla chiles for a more authentic Mexican flavor.
The dried chiles give the broth an incredible flavor that is so satisfying and will make you want to drink the broth straight from your bowl!
- Roma tomatoes, dried pasilla peppers, onions, and garlic: These key ingredients make the base of the soup broth and give it an extra and unexpected burst of flavor!
- Chicken: I like to cook my chicken in the broth itself so it can infuse some more flavor into it, but if you want to save some time, you can use shredded rotisserie chicken or my easy shredded chicken recipe.
- Broth: I highly recommend using chicken broth, but you can also use vegetable broth or even water in a pinch.
- Corn and black beans: Corn and black beans give the soup extra flavor and texture in addition to making each serving a little more filling.
- Crispy tortilla strips: I like to cut tortillas into strips and fry them myself, but you can also crush up some regular tortilla chips or buy fried tortilla strips.
- Toppings: I like to top my bowl with queso fresco, cilantro, avocado, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
How to Make Chicken Tortilla Soup
Step 1: Make the base of the broth by adding the roasted Roma tomatoes, toasted pasilla peppers, and cooked onions and garlic to a large blender. Blend everything until it’s completely smooth.
Step 2: Heat some oil in a large pot or Dutch oven and then pour in the tomato-chile puree. Cook it for about 5 minutes to really meld all those flavors together.
Step 3: Add in the chicken, broth, and salt. Bring this to a boil and then cover and reduce to simmer for 15 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked through.
Step 4: While the soup is cooking, make the tortilla strips by cutting corn tortillas into small strips and lightly frying in them in oil for a few minutes. Set aside.
Step 5: Remove the cooked chicken and carefully shred it with a fork.
Step 6: Add the shredded chicken back into the pot along with the corn and black beans. Cook everything for an additional 3 minutes.
Step 7: Last but not least, serve the soup in a bowl topped with tortilla strips, fresh cilantro, sliced avocado, queso fresco, and a big squeeze of lime juice.
- The toppings add so much flavor to this soup and compliment the broth very well. Don’t forget to add them in, especially the lime juice!
- Save some time by using shredded rotisserie chicken or any leftover shredded chicken you have in the fridge.
- To make this even more filling, add a few scoops of Mexican rice into each bowl before serving.
- Dried peppers: If you can’t find any pasilla peppers near you, you can use dried ancho chiles since they have about the same heat level or scoville units.
- Tomatoes: If you don’t have fresh tomatoes on hand, you can use 1 ½ cans (about 22 ounces) of fire-roasted diced tomatoes instead.
- Chicken: You can use chicken thighs (bone-in or boneless) for an even better flavor. The chicken would be a little juicier and the broth would be extra flavorful thanks to the bones.
Storing & Freezing
To store, place the soup in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 1 week.
To freeze, cool the soup in the fridge. Once chilled, scoop into freezer-safe storage bags or containers and freeze for up to 3 months.
To reheat, let the frozen container thaw completely in the fridge or defrost in the microwave. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave until completely warm.
This chicken tortilla soup recipe was originally published in September 2016. It was retested, rephotographed, rewritten, and republished based on reader feedback in February 2023.