How to Make Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

There's nothing quite like easy soup recipes on busy nights. Warm up your kitchen and kick up the flavor in just 30 minutes with this chicken tortilla soup.

If Mexican-inspired soups are your jam during the cooler months, then this chicken tortilla soup should definitely be on your must-try list. While a lot of soups need to simmer on the stove or in a slow cooker for hours, this soup only needs about 20 minutes on the heat. This is largely thanks to the use of a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken, which you just need to strip and shred before adding to your soup.

Toppings for Chicken Tortilla Soup

To really bring out the flavors in this savory soup, prep your toppings ahead of time and feel free to go overboard—no one says you can only choose two toppings.

Tortilla Toppings

If you need to use up a package of flour tortillas, preheat your oven to 375°F and bake your lightly oiled and salted tortillas until crispy. Chop into 1/2-in. strips with a sharp knife and you have yourself some perfectly crispy tortilla strips. If you really want to impress, make your own corn tortillas, bake them and chop into strips the same way you would for flour tortillas.

Produce Toppings

A squeeze of lime adds brightness and freshness to the soup. You can serve limes on the side in a little bowl or right on top of a dollop of sour cream and sliced avocado. This will really give your soup a citrusy punch. Like a bit more heat in your soups? Slice a fresh jalapeno to add to the soup with grated pepper jack cheese.

How to Make Chicken Tortilla Soup

This chicken tortilla soup recipe from Laura Black Johnson of Largo, Florida yields 8 servings (2-1/2 quarts) of soup.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chiles
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes with garlic and onion, undrained
  • 5 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, skin removed and shredded
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 pepper
  • Crushed tortilla chips
  • Optional: shredded Monterey Jack and/or cheddar cheese, avocado, sliced jalapeno and lime wedges


Step 1: Combine the ingredients

Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup Step 1TMB Studio

In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Saute onion until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the chiles, garlic, jalapeno and cumin; cook for 1 more minute until fragrant. Stir in the tomato sauce, tomatoes and broth. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat and stir in the chicken.

Step 2: Simmer and serve

Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup Step 2TMB Studio

Simmer the soup, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Add the cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper. Portion the soup into serving bowls, and top each bowl with cheese and chopped chips or tortilla strips. If you want to try something different, learn how to make this chicken taco soup.

Tips for Making Chicken Tortilla Soup

How do I thicken chicken tortilla soup?

If your soup is looking a little thin, thicken it with cornstarch. You’ll want to make a slurry by combining a tablespoon of cornstarch with an equal amount of water in a small bowl. Whisk the mixture until a smooth paste forms. Then, add the slurry to your soup and stir well over medium-high heat until the soup starts to thicken. If you’re looking for more recipes, learn how to make Pioneer Woman’s taco soup recipe.

What are the best toppings for chicken tortilla soup?

Well, that depends on your palate. Our favorite soup toppings for chicken tortilla is crushed chips and shredded cheese, but you could also top chicken tortilla soup with sour cream, avocado slices, chopped green onions or pico de gallo. Looking for a little extra kick? Try adding a few slices of jalapeno.

What goes well with chicken tortilla soup?

Besides your favorite flavored margaritas? A whole bunch of tasty sides! We recommend serving chicken tortilla soup with cornbread, crackers or a fresh salad. Still hungry? Pair your soup with a hot sandwich recipe.

Does chicken tortilla soup freeze well?

Yes, just like most other types of soup, this recipe is great to save in the freezer for later. Skip freezing the chips, cheese or any other toppings. We suggest freezing the soup in small containers so it’s easier to defrost leftovers. And don’t forget to label! Mark each container with the recipe name and the date prepared. Frozen chicken tortilla soup lasts for 4-6 months in the freezer.

How to cut jalapeno peppers

Wear disposable gloves when cutting hot peppers; the oils can burn skin. Avoid touching your face.

How else can I cook chicken tortilla soup?

This pressure cooker chicken tortilla soup is an easy way to dump all your ingredients into one spot and cook in a short time. If you prefer a long simmer time so that you can enjoy the scent of this delicious soup wafting through your kitchen, try a slow cooker chicken tortilla soup.

Rosemary Siefert
Rosemary is an editor at Taste of Home where she can combine her love of writing with her love of all things food. When she's not working, Rosie can be found curled up with a coffee and a book, testing a new recipe for dinner or trying a new dish at a local restaurant.