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Homemade Chicken Tortilla Soup

This chicken tortilla soup is as good as (if not better than) any I've had in a restaurant. I get so many compliments when I serve it: you will, too. —Laura Black Johnson, Largo, Florida
  • Total Time
    Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
  • Makes
    8 servings


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
  • 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, shredded, skin removed
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Crushed tortilla chips
  • Shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese


  • In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat; saute onion until tender, about 5 minutes. Add chilies, garlic, jalapeno and cumin; cook 1 minute. Stir in tomato sauce, tomatoes and broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Stir in chicken.
  • Simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes. Add cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper. Top servings with chips and cheese.
  • Freeze option: Before adding chips and cheese, cool soup; freeze in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a large saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally and adding a little broth or water if necessary. Add chips and cheese before serving.

Chicken Tortilla Soup Tips

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.

What are the best toppings for chicken tortilla soup?

Well, that depends on your palate! We’re fond of 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—just be sure you wear gloves when cutting the hot peppers as the oils can burn your skin.

What goes well with chicken tortilla soup?

A whole bunch of tasty sides! We recommend serving chicken tortilla soup with cornbread, crackers or a fresh salad. Still hungry? Find more soup recipes here.

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.
Editor's Note
Wear disposable gloves when cutting hot peppers; the oils can burn skin. Avoid touching your face.
Nutrition Facts
1-1/4 cups: 200 calories, 8g fat (2g saturated fat), 55mg cholesterol, 941mg sodium, 9g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 2g fiber), 22g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • debstamp
    Jan 30, 2021

    Great taste and easy to make. This came together quickly and the leftovers were as good if not better.

  • KarenKeefe
    Jun 18, 2020

    This soup is extraordinary! The very best I have ever tried!

  • grjen
    Mar 6, 2020

    I think this soup is delicious and different than my "typical" soup. I did make a few modifications based on what I had on hand: no jalapeno, chicken, or cilantro and I added one can of kidney beans, about one cup of cooked rice, and one cup of cooked ground beef. The lime juice gives a great zip to the soup.

  • Lee
    Apr 4, 2019

    EXCELLENT! So easy. You can even be a little fast and loose with the ingredients. It is a forgiving recipe that allows you to be creative. I added corn and carrots. My only regret is that I didn't double it. Family absolutely loved it.

  • Bob
    Jan 14, 2019

    I made a double-batch, as I always do on a first pass, otherwise following the recipe exactly. I'm glad I doubled! This is one of the tastiest soups I've ever made, and that's out of many, many soup recipes. Light and with a nice tang from the cilantro and lime. My wife agrees -- one of the best. I wouldn't change a thing, and I'll be making it again for sure.

  • Yvelise
    Oct 17, 2018

    This was so very easy to make and turned out FANTASTIC!!! My kids and I just loved, loved, LOVED it. Instead of rotisserie chicken, I just cooked chicken breasts and cut them up. I do not like jalapenos, so I did not use them. We garnished with shredded cheese and tortilla chips. I will definitely make this again. OH!! I made this AFTER work on a weeknight. Very easy!!

  • RLSM
    Jun 11, 2018

    Tasty soup. Saut?ed onion and garlic on the stove top, then placed all ingredients in the slow cooker. Also added black beans as suggested by another reviewer. Will make again!

  • Shelly413
    Dec 22, 2017

    really easy and everyone loved it.

  • Maddy12
    Apr 20, 2017

    Thank you! This recipe is the best, cozy warm, a little spicy and very flavorfulit is now in my rotation, I have made it about 4 times (so far!)Can't thank you enough for this recipe!

  • Queenlalisa
    Apr 7, 2017

    This delicious soup was so easy and tasted like it took a lot more work than it did. I am going to double it next time and invite some friends over. I might try adding some corn and black beans next time, but it is great just like it is.