Chicken Tortilla Soup
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Chicken Tortilla Soup



For someone who loves to cook as much as I do, there are days, plenty of them in fact, where I just want a delicious dinner to appear before my eyes, requiring as little work as possible. This Chicken Tortilla Soup is that answer to my prayers. With just a little bit of effort on my part, I'm able to get this flavorful soup on the table for my family without spending hours in the kitchen preparing it.

And who doesn't like tortilla chips? When I put Kenya and Chloe’s bowls in front of them with some tortilla chips on the side, their eyes light up. They love that I let them use their hands to break up the chips to sprinkle on top of the soup and then stir them in, making dinner not only an interactive experience, but a super fun one at that!

Chicken Tortilla Soup  (Serves 4-6)

  • Prep Time: 5 mins,
  • Cook Time: 25 mins,
  • Rating:
    Rate this recipe
For someone who loves to cook as much as I do, there are days, plenty of them in fact, where I just want a delicious dinner to appear before my eyes, requiring as little work as possible. This Chicken Tortilla Soup is that answer to my prayers. With...


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 green bell pepper or red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 32 oz box chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
  • 1 15 oz can tomato, diced
  • 1 pound chicken breast, boneless and skinless
  • juice of 1 lime
  • crushed tortilla chips


  1. 1. In a large pot, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil and sauté the onions and salt for 3 minutes.
  2. 2. Add the bell peppers, garlic clove and cumin and sauté for an additional 2 minutes.
  3. 3. Add the broth and remaining ingredients (except for the lime juice & tortilla chips). Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
  4. 4. After 10-15 minutes (depending on the size of your chicken breasts) remove the chicken from the pot and shred, using a fork. Place the shredded chicken back into the pot with the lime juice and simmer for another 3-4 minutes or until chicken is heated though.
  5. 5. Remove bay leaf, pour soup into bowls, and top with crushed tortilla chips for everyone to stir in on their own. Serve with desired toppings on the side.

Accompaniments: Shredded Monterey Jack, Mexican Cheese Blend, Avocado, Sour Cream, Cilantro, Diced Green Onion

Chicken Tortilla Soup

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  1. Sarah S

    January 16, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! My whole family loved it and it was so easy to make! Definitely a repeat for us!

  2. Silke

    March 28, 2016 at 11:12 pm

    Dear Catherine: Can this soup be made in a slow cooker?

    • C. McCord

      March 29, 2016 at 10:09 am

      I haven’t tested that, but yes I think it can be done! Throw everything in the crock pot together and cook on low 6 hours, or high 4 hours. Shred the chicken and serve with toppings! Let me know if you try it and how it works out!

      • Silke

        April 2, 2016 at 1:27 pm

        Thanks, Catherine! I did use the slow cooker now, 8 hours on low actually. I sauteed the onion and garlic with the cumin before in a pan, then put all ingredients but the corn into the slow cooker. The corn, I added only in the last half hour. It worked out beautifully. What a great recipe!

        • C. McCord

          April 4, 2016 at 10:42 am

          Awesome! Thank you for letting me know, I’ll do that at home, too!

  3. Nicole Head

    November 29, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    This stuff is amazing! Love it with a little feta in it. Sounds strange, I know, but we learned it from a little coffee shop in the mountains, and it’s perfect with this recipe.

  4. gesenia

    July 20, 2015 at 5:05 am

    Made this last night. OMG super easy and super delicious. Thank you

  5. Melissa

    February 24, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    Bought your book and tried making this soup. I really like the taste the lime gives it. Very tasty soup!

  6. Susan

    November 2, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Catherine, most chicken tortilla recipes call for cooking or poaching the chicken before adding to the soup. What would be the reason for that ? This is so much easier and probably absorbs the flavor from rest of the ingredients?

  7. JB

    March 12, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    This is one of my favorite soups, but I add zucchini after having it at a restaurant that way. :)

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  10. adrimolina

    August 1, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    Made this yesterday and it was a hit! So good!

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  12. Julie

    May 23, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    Just made this, sooo good! Even better with a dollop of Greek yogurt and some shredded cheddar :)

  13. Darlene

    March 11, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    Hi Catherine,
    what do you think about using chicken thighs?

    • catherine

      March 11, 2013 at 3:46 pm

      That should work just fine! Boneless and skinless thighs will take a few minutes longer to cook. If they’re bone-in then they’ll take a bit longer than boneless!

      • Darlene

        April 3, 2013 at 5:29 pm

        I made this twice in one weeks, it was that good! and super easy
        The chicken thighs in place of the chicken breast turned out even yummier:)

  14. micholah

    December 11, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    I just made this for dinner tonight, and it was perfect! Thanks for all of the wonderful dishes! This website is what I have been looking for!

  15. Emily

    November 2, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    This was the first recipe I tried from your website, and it was delicious! My husband said it was the best soup I have ever made! I followed the recipe but added a couple items suggested by other comments – 2 fresh chopped tomatoes from my garden, a can’s worth of rinsed black beans, and extra chicken broth to keep everything soupy. I will be making this again soon!

  16. Allison

    January 25, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    This soup is awesome…but I do think the salt content is a little high to be considered “healthy”. There is sodium in the broth, salt on the chips, loads of salt in canned tomatoes, plus an additional 1 tsp of salt. I think you could probably use unsalted tortilla, fresh tomatoes, omit the extra salt and it would still be really yummy… and alot more healthy.

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  18. Lindsay

    October 24, 2011 at 10:54 am

    I made a few tweaks to this recipe to make it a little more hearty and protein-dense, as well as a little more flavor-filled (at least for our tastes).

    I added 2 small cans of diced green chilis; 2 cans of rinsed, drained navy beans, and I substituted a bag of Trader Joe’s frozen soycutash blend rather than simply adding the corn (edamame, corn, red bell peppers). It turned out DELICIOUS and we had enough for 3 meals for our family of four, so we ate one, and froze two.

    Just wanted to share my tweaks

  19. vmeyn4

    June 23, 2011 at 6:34 am

    This soup is wonderful, and so easy to make. Even my picky husband gobbled it up! Loved it!! Thanks!

  20. Bren

    June 2, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    This sounds soo yummy & I’m sure it’s tasty. I’m gonna try. So, just thaw in fridge? I love this app!

  21. MA

    April 3, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    Delicious and easy!! Recommend and loved it just how it is!

  22. Julie P.

    March 6, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    Loved both the simplicity and the great flavor. My son isn’t big on soup but said yum right away when he tasted the broth. This will be a regular in our line up. Oh, added one more clove of garlic and also cilantro. Like everyone’s suggestions on the black beans as well.

  23. Amanda

    March 6, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    Drain the tomatoes or include the liquid?

    • Amanda

      March 6, 2011 at 6:58 pm

      Nevermind, dumb question :)

  24. Miriam

    March 5, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    Another yummy, and addicting hit… Thanks!!

  25. Michelle

    March 5, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Another hit! Can’t wait to try more of your recipes!

  26. Lori

    March 3, 2011 at 10:12 am

    Looks yummy! I think I’m going to try this in the crock pot and see how it turns out…then, it can be a great dinner to come home to on the days I work late!

    • Britney

      March 7, 2011 at 5:12 pm

      Did you try this in the crockpot? Howd it turn out? Thinking I may try in the crockpot this week

      • Alejandra

        February 4, 2014 at 1:12 am

        Peanut butter and baanna, all wrapped up to make both a dessert and breakfast on the go? Can’t beat that! Using chocolate cereal for crunch is such a great idea, I hadn’t thought of using it in a sweet wrap before.

      • catherine

        March 8, 2011 at 3:12 pm

        I made this over the stove, but I’m sure you can do it in a crock pot :)

  27. Katie

    March 2, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    Can this be frozen? Trying to find healthy recipes to freeze for after baby arrives!

    • catherine

      March 2, 2011 at 6:59 pm

      Yes you can freeze :)

  28. PuzzlingChristian

    February 28, 2011 at 11:36 pm


  29. Kelly

    February 26, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    I added a can of diced green chili’s and it was GREAT!

    • Lizzy

      March 4, 2011 at 6:11 pm

      Same question here :). I’m a vegetarian so I struggle in this dept.

  30. Kandice ames

    February 25, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    This is probably a dumb question, but do you put the chicken in raw?

    • Miriam

      March 5, 2011 at 6:40 pm

      Yes, chicken does go in raw.

    • Trisha

      February 28, 2011 at 3:10 pm

      I am wondering the same thing. So not a dumb question! 😉

  31. Jacquie

    February 25, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Making this for my sniffley toddler tonight and it smells delicious!! :)

  32. Marie

    February 24, 2011 at 7:27 am

    I made this for dinner last night and it was great. It would also be good with a can of black beans. I’ll add them next time. Thank you!

  33. Kathy

    February 23, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    This looks delicious, are there substitutions for the corn kernels and tortilla chips? i know it’s tortilla soup, but my daughter is allergic to corn…. i really want to make this but don’t know what to sub it with. Thanks!

    • catherine

      February 24, 2011 at 2:40 pm

      You can omit the corn and the corn chips and it will still be delicious!

      • Edder

        February 3, 2014 at 8:26 pm

        I’m a bit surprised at the cnemmots here. I bought a couple of these at the grocery yesterday, and then decided to make a quick meal instead of cooking. All I added was grated cheese, and I thought the carne asada was pretty good!Just goes to show you that taste in these things is pretty much personal. My tastes do tend to be on the simple side.I was thinking it would be easy to prepare in a pot by just adding a bit of liquid and heating. Sure was simple to just heat and put in a tortilla. And here I was thinking it was pretty good…

  34. Allison

    February 23, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    We had this soup for dinner tonight and it was delicious! I added a can of black beans for a little extra protein.

  35. Jill

    February 23, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    I do this exact recipe – I just also add black beans and a jar of salsa – sometimes mango salsa for sweetness – this is one of my faves!

  36. Julia's Child

    February 23, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Oh! I’ve been thinking about Tortilla soup lately. How did you know!!! Can’t wait to make this. Perhaps tomorrow.

  37. AASpark

    February 23, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Looks great. I have a recipe like this that I add extra chicken. Once I shred teh chicken when the soup is done I have extra yummy chicken for topping salads or making really quick quesadillas. I even use some of the corn and tomato from he soup for them and add some caramelized onions. really yummy!!

  38. yeni

    February 23, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    I have these ingredients on hand year round, so this will be an easy one to add to the soup rotation. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Ecaterina

      February 4, 2014 at 12:22 am

      i actually tried the chkecin mesquite one , it was great ! i was a bit skeptical…but from the moment i opened it , it seemed greatI also brought the steak one…and as soon as i opened it…it smelled disgustingive seen all bad reviews on the steak and i agree. the chkecin one is the best and all i did was add cheese and corn chips on the side…yum !

  39. Christine

    February 23, 2011 at 9:00 am

    This seems like a healthy, easy, delicious recipe, all requirements when it comes to my cooking, thank you.

  40. Maryea (Happy Healthy Mama)

    February 23, 2011 at 8:49 am

    I love your colorful tortilla chips. I can’t wait until my little one will eat soup consistently. My husband and I love to eat soups all winter long.