This Chicken Tortilla Soup has the perfect amount of spice alongside a healthy serving of vegetables, all in a warm, comforting broth. (gluten free, low carb, freezer friendly)
If you’re looking for a flavorful chicken tortilla soup that tastes like it’s been simmering on the stove all day but only takes about an hour to make, then this is for you!
This recipe is so good, it’ll trick your friends into thinking you spent all day in the kitchen pouring your heart and soul into this bowl of deliciousness. But don’t worry, I certainly won’t tell them it didn’t take you anywhere near that long. My lips are sealed.
Soups are one of my all-time favorite things to make. There’s just something so satisfying about about having all the ingredients in one tidy little pot that makes cleanup so much easier. It really appeals to the neat freak in me. Plus, packing a soup like this for lunch the next day makes eating leftovers super convenient and stress free.
And easy, stress-free lunches are a total win in my book.
Ingredients in chicken tortilla soup
The secret to packing in tons of flavor in a short amount of time is using lots of spices. From onions, garlic, cumin and oregano to fresh cilantro, lime juice, chipotle peppers and smoked paprika, every single inch of this chicken tortilla soup is full of as many delicious Mexican flavors as possible.
This bowl of soup has the perfect amount of heat alongside a healthy serving of vegetables, all in a warm, comforting broth. While the combination of various chili powders, cumin and smoked paprika give the chicken tortilla soup a slightly spicy kick, the lime juice and cilantro add hints of brightness and fragrance that make my mouth water. Top it all off with a healthy dollop of plain Greek yogurt or sour cream, a sprinkle of shredded Mexican cheese and all you have left to do is one thing.
Top it with some crushed tortilla chips!
I personally like using regular store-bought tortilla chips, but if you’re looking for a super authentic version, then making your own tortilla strips is the way to go.
To make your own, simply cut 4 or 5 store-bought corn tortillas into thin strips and fry them in some oil. Once they get crispy, place them on a paper towel to drain off any excess oil and season with salt. That’s it!
If you’re looking to save 20-30 minutes of cooking time, you can use any leftover shredded chicken you have in the fridge or buy a cooked rotisserie chicken from your local grocery store and shred it at home. Using rotisserie chicken in recipes is one of my favorite little time savers!
Can chicken tortilla soup be frozen?
Yes. To freeze, I suggest cooling the soup in the fridge. Once chilled, scoop into freezer-safe zip-top bags or containers and freeze. When ready to eat, let frozen container thaw completely in the fridge or defrost in the microwave. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave until completely warm.
Can this tortilla soup recipe be made in the slow cooker?
Yes! To make in the slow cooker, place all ingredients except black beans, corn, cilantro and lime juice in the slow cooker. Cover and cook for 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low. When ready, transfer the chicken to a plate and shred with a fork. Add the shredded chicken, black beans, corn, cilantro and lime juice. Stir, season with more salt to taste and serve.
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For the chicken
- 2 pounds chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons garlic
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
For the soup
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 large green bell pepper, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauced, chopped
- 2 teaspoon ancho chili powder
- 2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1/2 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 15-ounce can whole kernel corn, drained and rinsed
- 1 4-ounce can diced green chilies
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons lime juice (or the juice of 1 lime)
- corn tortilla chips
For the Chicken
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray or olive oil.
- In a large mixing bowl or gallon-sized zip top bag, add chicken, olive oil, oregano, chili powder, cumin, garlic and salt. Toss to coat and transfer to baking sheet.
- Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until fully cooked through. Cook time will vary depending on the thickness of the breasts. Remove chicken from oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
- Shred chicken with a fork and knife. Set aside until ready to use.
For the Soup
- Heat oil in large dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add diced onions and peppers. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes or until onions become translucent.
- Add garlic, chipotle pepper, chili powder, cumin, oregano, smoked paprika and onion powder. Cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
- Add diced tomatoes, black beans, corn, green chilies, chicken stock, tomato paste and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add shredded chicken and cook for 15 more minutes. Turn off the heat, add the cilantro and lime juice and stir to combine. Taste and season with salt, to taste.
- Serve in bowls and top with cilantro, limes and crushed corn tortilla chips.
Nutritional information does not include tortilla chips.
This chicken tortilla soup recipe was originally published in September 2016. It was retested, rephotographed, rewritten, and republished based on reader feedback in March 2018.