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Chicken tortilla soup is a classic Mexican dish that is hearty, flavorful, and perfect for a cold winter day. It’s a comforting soup that is easy to make, and the best part is that it can be customized to suit your taste.

Tortilla chicken soup is a Mexican soup made with chicken, tomatoes, broth, and spices, served with crispy tortilla strips, cheese, and avocado on top. This easy chicken tortilla soup recipe is simple and delicious!

Try my hearty Albondigas Soup next!

A large pot of soup with chicken, corn and black beans.
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Why We Love This Recipe

  1. Rich and flavorful: Packed with flavorful ingredients like tender chicken, tomatoes, garlic, and spices, this tortilla chicken soup has a rich, savory flavor that is both satisfying and comforting.
  2. Versatile: The soup recipe can be adapted to suit different tastes and dietary requirements. You can make it spicy or mild, add more vegetables, or use different types of protein such as shrimp or beef.
  3. Nutritious: It’s a healthy meal that is rich in protein, fiber, and essential nutrients. Adding vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, and corn provides important vitamins and minerals, while the chicken adds protein without adding excess fat.
  4. Easy to make: This simple and easy-to-make recipe can be whipped up in under an hour. It’s perfect for a quick weeknight meal or feeding a crowd.

Chicken Tortilla Soup Ingredients

  • Onion and Garlic – Chopped, minced, and sauteed in olive oil to soften and impart flavor.
  • Chicken – Cooked, shredded chicken breast. The easiest is to use the meat from a rotisserie chicken, but you could also do Poached Chicken or Baked Chicken Breasts.
  • Canned Corn – drained. Frozen or fresh could also be used.
  • Black Beans – drained and rinsed. If you don’t like black beans, use pinto beans or cannellini beans.
  • Diced Tomatoes – I use petite diced tomatoes but also love fire-roasted. If you don’t want chunks of tomato in your soup, add a tablespoon or tomato paste or an 8-ounce can of tomato sauce.
  • Green Chiles – One small can, undrained.
  • Taco SeasoningHands down I prefer a homemade blend, but you can also use a packet of seasoning, or 2 tablespoons of another prepared seasoning mix.
  • Chicken Broth – Opt for a low-sodium variety or make your own.
  • Garnishes and Toppings – Cilantro, tortilla chips or strips, avocado, sliced green onions, shredded cheddar cheese, lime wedges.

How To Make Chicken Tortilla Soup

See the recipe card below for full, detailed instructions

Chopped onion and minced garlic sauteed in a large pot.

Step 1: Heat oil in a large soup pot or dutch oven and saute onions and garlic.

Mix of shredded chicken, corn, black beans in a large pot.

Step 2: Stir in shredded chicken, black beans, corn, and taco seasoning and saute just long enough to season.

Soup broth with canned tomatoes and green chiles and chicken.

Step 3: Add canned tomatoes, green chiles, and chicken broth, and simmer for about 20 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.

Step 4: Ladle into bowls, garnish with desired toppings and serve!

Small bowls of tortilla soup with tortilla chips and sliced avocado.


Can I use pre-cooked chicken?

Yes, you can use pre-cooked chicken. If you have leftover cooked chicken, you can shred it and add it to the soup during the last few minutes of cooking. This will help to infuse the chicken with the flavors of the soup.

Will tortilla chips thicken the soup?

Tortilla chips are typically used as a topping or garnish for and are not usually added to the soup itself as an ingredient. However, if you do add tortilla chips to the soup, they may break down and become softer, which could result in a thicker consistency. This would depend on how long the tortilla chips are cooked in the soup and how much they break down.

If you want to thicken your soup, there are other ingredients you can add, such as cornstarch, flour, or masa harina. These ingredients will help to absorb some of the liquid and create a thicker, more substantial broth. Alternatively, you could also blend some of the soup in a blender and then add it back to the pot to thicken the soup.

What spices are used in Tortilla Soup?

I use my yummy homemade Taco Seasoning, but you can use a pre-mixed from the store (I like this one). The main seasonings you want to include if you’re not using a taco seasoning blend are chili powder and cumin.

How To Serve

Tortilla soup can be served in a variety of ways, depending on your personal preference. Here are a few options:

  1. Topped with garnishes – One of the most common ways to serve this soup is to top it with garnishes such as crushed tortilla chips, shredded cheese, chopped cilantro, diced avocado, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. This adds texture, flavor, and freshness to the soup.
  2. With a side of tortillas – Another option is to serve the soup with a side of warm tortillas. You can either use store-bought tortillas or make your own by heating up some corn or flour tortillas on a griddle or in the oven.
  3. Over rice – If you want to make the soup a more substantial meal, you can serve it over a bed of cooked rice. This will make the dish more filling and add another layer of texture and flavor.
  4. In a bread bowl – For a fun and creative way to serve this soup, you can hollow out a bread bowl and ladle the soup inside. This makes for a fun presentation and adds a nice crunch to the soup.


If you have leftover soup or you want to make a big batch in advance, you can store it in the refrigerator or freezer. Here’s how:

  1. Refrigerator storage: Let the soup cool to room temperature, then transfer it to an airtight container. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. When you’re ready to reheat the soup, simply place it in a pot on the stove over medium heat and stir occasionally until it’s heated through.
  2. Freezer storage: Let the soup cool to room temperature, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag. Label the container with the date and freeze it for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to reheat the soup, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat it in a pot on the stove over medium heat.

It’s important to note that the texture of the soup may change slightly after freezing and reheating. The tortilla chips may become softer and the vegetables may be slightly mushy, but the flavor should still be delicious.

To preserve the texture as much as possible, you may want to add fresh tortilla chips or other toppings when reheating the soup.

Bowl of chicken tortilla soup with a spoon lifting up a bit.

Expert Tips

  1. Use homemade chicken stock. Making your own chicken stock will give your soup a richer flavor and aroma. It’s also a great way to use any leftover chicken bones or vegetable scraps. You can make the stock ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator or freezer until you’re ready to make the soup.
  2. Add the tortilla chips at the end. To keep them from getting too soggy, add as a topping to the soup just before serving. This will ensure they stay crispy and add a nice crunch to the dish.
  3. Adjust the spice level to your taste. Chicken tortilla soup can be as spicy or mild as you like. Adjust the amount of chili powder and cumin to suit your personal taste and use jalapeños instead of green chiles.
  4. Garnish with fresh herbs and lime juice. Adding a squeeze of fresh lime juice and a handful of chopped cilantro to the soup just before serving will add a bright and fresh flavor to the dish.

More Soup Recipes


Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

5 from 2 votes
Chicken tortilla soup has a rich and flavorful broth packed with tender chicken, vegetables and spices with crunchy tortilla strips on top.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6 servings



  • 1 small onion diced (about ¾ cup)
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 3 cups shredded chicken like from a rotisserie
  • 15 ounce can of corn kernels drained
  • 15 ounce can of black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 15 ounce can of petite diced tomatoes
  • 4 ounce can mild green chiles
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt more or less, according to taste
  • Optional garnishes: cilantro, tortilla strips, avacado, green onions, shredded cheese, sour cream, lime wedges.
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  • Heat a large pot with a tablespoon of oil. Add diced onions and cook, stirring often, until translucent and soft; about 3-4 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook 1 minute.
  • Add chicken, black beans and corn to the pot. Sprinkle with taco seasoning and stir to coat.
  • Pour in canned tomatoes, green chiles, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes. Taste and add salt as desired.
  • Ladle the soup into bowls and top with desired garnishes, like cilantro, shredded cheese, avocado, and of course lots of tortilla chips!


*Nutritional count does not include optional garnishes.
I use my homemade Taco Seasoning, but you can use a pre-mixed from the store (I like this one). The main seasonings you want to include if you’re not using a taco seasoning blend are chili powder and cumin.
The easiest way to shred chicken is to use the meat from a rotisserie chicken, but you could also do Poached Chicken or Baked Chicken Breasts.


Calories: 266kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 36gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 97mgSodium: 1652mgPotassium: 978mgFiber: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 311IUVitamin C: 21mgCalcium: 49mgIron: 2mg

Nutritional Disclaimer Kristin Maxwell of “Yellow Bliss Road” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. For accurate calorie counts and other nutritional values, we recommend running the ingredients through your preferred online nutritional calculator. Calories and other nutritional values can vary depending on which brands were used.

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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5 from 2 votes

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  1. Diane says:

    I made this early in the day and reheated for dinner. This was a such a good soup! It was perfectly seasoned and so flavorful. The only thing I did different from your recipe was to use dried onion and garlic because I didn’t have fresh. The salsa I had on hand was Hatch brand. I will definitely make this many times!

    1. Kristin says:

      That’s awesome Diane! Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Heather says:

    Just made this for my family and it was delicious. I tossed in a cup of heavy cream about halfway through the simmer. Also used crispy jalapeños by Fresh Gourmet as a topping. YUMMY!

    1. Kristin says:

      Awesome feedback Heather! Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Donna says:

    Absolutely delicious!! I’m always looking for a recipe that all four of us enjoy, and this one hit the spot! Thank you so much for sharing it ???

    1. Kristin says:

      You are so welcome Donna, thank you so much for taking the time to leave some positive feedback.

  4. Gail says:

    This was delicious! I added the whole can of corn and the whole packet of taco seasoning- simply because I’m going away and didn’t want to have left overs. Amazingly easy and super tasty.

    1. Kristin says:

      Thank you Gail! and thanks for the positive feedback.

  5. Lori Wells says:

    This is a really good soup! I will put 2 cans of black beans in next time but other than that, excellent!

    1. Kristin says:

      Thank you Lori!

  6. Steph says:

    When do I add in the salsa?

    1. Kristin says:

      Same time as the broth.

  7. Ellen Scott says:

    Oh God, I cant remember the last time I cook tortilla soup .Your post make me really miss its flavor. I realise that i really like the way you share your recipe. It help me can read and know your tip, your special, your change in every recipe easily.