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Chicken Tortilla Soup

This Homemade Chicken Tortilla Soup is warm and spicy. Plus, you likely have all the ingredients on hand! A quick and easy dinner for cold nights!

An overhead view of southwest tortilla soup garnished with lime wedges

Creating This Southwest Tortilla Soup Recipe

It has been so cold here lately. Days where it “warms up” to temperatures in the 30’s, but the sun is bright and shining, which only makes you feel worse because it doesn’t look like it should be cold at all. Days where you need warm, fuzzy socks on your feet at all times.

Kids are going bonkers because they feel cooped up, and quite frankly so do you. Add howling winds and early morning snow to top it off and you have got soup weather on your hands.

But you don’t want just any soup. You want something with a little spice. Something that isn’t just a bowl of warmth, but something that will really heat you up a spoonful at a time.

And it also needs to be something that will not require you to go out in that freezing cold-howling wind-sun shining weather to purchase any crazy ingredients.

And that is why this week we had this easy Chicken Tortilla Soup for dinner this week. Because it’s warm. It’s spicy. And I didn’t have to pick a single special ingredient up.

I confess, I didn’t have the avocado or cilantro, but this bowl of goodness was equally satisfying without those ingredients. I just love this recipe and have made it several times since finding it on Jane’s blog. I’m sure you’ll love it too!

A blue plate piled high with tortilla strips

Chicken Tortilla Soup Ingredients

I didn’t have to pick up a single ingredient to make this recipe, I already had them all on hand. Win!

  • Onion
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Chicken broth
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Canned corn
  • Chicken breasts
  • Black beans
  • Lime
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Corn tortillas
  • Avocado
  • Spices
  • Sour cream
  • Shredded cheddar

For the complete ingredient list and detailed instructions, don’t forget to scroll to the bottom of this post for the FREE printable recipe card.

How to Make Homemade Chicken Tortilla Soup

The ingredients list may look lengthy, but this soup actually comes together very quickly.

  1. Sauté the onion in olive oil until soft, then add garlic and spices.
  2. Add the chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Add tomatoes, corn, black beans.
  3. Grill or pan-fry chicken spiced with cayenne, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Cut up or shred chicken and add it to the soup.
  4. Add lime juice and cilantro.
  5. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a large frypan over medium-high heat, crisp up tortilla strips. Add salt.
  6. Serve soup garnished with your choice of cheese, sour cream, tortilla strips, fresh cilantro, avocado, and a lime wedge.

The above is simply a quick summary of this recipe. Check out the free printable card at the bottom of this post for all the detailed instructions.

What to Serve with Chicken Tortilla Soup

I love serving this homemade chicken tortilla soup with some sort of bread, and maybe a fresh salad if the weather’s not too cold.

A bowl of homemade chicken tortilla soup, with a spoon resting on the side

Can I Freeze This Soup?

Yes, this easy chicken tortilla soup recipe freezes incredibly well. Just be sure to freeze the soup without the tortilla strips on top. You want to freeze the base soup and doctor it up with toppings after it’s been thawed and reheated.

To freeze the soup:

  1. Let the soup cool completely.
  2. Seal inside a freezer bag(s) or freezer-safe container.
  3. Label and store up to three months.
  4. Thaw overnight in the fridge when ready to use. Reheat gently in a saucepan.

Tips for Making the Best Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • When I plan ahead, I love to make Crock Pot Mexican Chicken to use in this recipe.
  • If spicy isn’t your thing, start with the smaller amounts of seasonings listed and adjust according to taste as needed.
  • You can use store-bought tortilla chips if you don’t have corn tortillas on hand to make them from scratch.

What Readers Are Saying

Made this last night, and we really enjoyed it!” — Lauren

By far the BEST tortilla soup ever!” — Anna

This soup is AMAZING! It tastes a lot like the tortilla soup at Qdoba which I love. This one is a definite keeper.” — Shelley

More Easy Soup Recipes:

Served with a large salad and a crusty loaf of bread, this Roasted Red Pepper Soup can be a delicious and warming meal all on its own. 

Celebrate fall with this recipe for Pumpkin Soup with Toasted Walnuts. You’ll love the added soup toppings of toasted walnuts and blue cheese!

If you’re looking for a creamy, rich and flavorful soup, try this Italian Sausage Kale Soup. It’s a lightened up version of an Olive Garden Classic and crowd favorite, Zuppa Toscana.

This Slow Cooker Ham Soup with Potatoes and Kale is both easy to prepare and flavorful, thanks to the use of a slow cooker and the rich flavor that a leftover ham bone imparts.

This Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup is a fun twist on classic chicken noodle soup. It’s the perfect soup for soothing sore throats year-round!

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Chicken Tortilla Soup with Black Beans

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Chicken tortilla soup is warm, spicy, and you likely have all the ingredients on hand!

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 - 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 - 14.5 oz. can corn, drained and rinsed
  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 lime (one extra for garnish)
  • 1 handful cilantro, chopped
  • 4-5 corn tortillas, cut into strips
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • 1-2 tsp chili powder
  • 1-2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • cheddar or jack cheese, shredded
  • sour cream

Instructions

  1. Saute onion in olive oil until soft, then add garlic, cayenne, chili powder, and cumin. Saute until fragrant (a minute or two). Add chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Add tomatoes, corn, black beans.
  2. Grill or pan-fry chicken spiced with cayenne, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Cut up or shred chicken and add it to the soup. Try the soup and add more seasonings according to taste, if needed. Add lime juice and cilantro.
  3. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a large frypan over medium-high heat, crisp up tortilla strips. Add salt.
  4. Serve soup garnished with your choice of cheese, sour cream, tortilla strips, fresh cilantro, avocado, and a lime wedge.
  5. Note: If spicy isn’t your thing, start with the smaller amounts of seasonings listed and adjust according to taste as needed. You can also substitute tortilla chips if you don’t have corn tortillas on hand.

Notes

Adapted from This Week for Dinner

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Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 382Total Fat 15gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 50mgSodium 1731mgCarbohydrates 42gFiber 12gSugar 8gProtein 25g

GoodLifeEats.com offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although GoodLifeEats.com makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

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Lauren

Friday 14th of January 2011

Made this last night, and we really enjoyed it!

Anna

Monday 3rd of January 2011

By far the BEST tortilla soup ever!

Michelle @ our table of 4

Saturday 18th of September 2010

This look yummy. I am going to try this recipes tonight.

Anonymous

Sunday 17th of January 2010

I recently made this soup for my family. WOW...this soup lives up to the title "best tortilla soup made at home"

Shelley

Friday 25th of December 2009

This soup is AMAZING! It tastes a lot like the tortilla soup at Qdoba which I love. This one is a definite keeper. I just wish the rest of my family would eat it!

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