A hearty Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe! This easy soup recipe comes together in under 45 minutes. Simple and absolutely loaded with flavor! I’ll also show you how to make your own crispy tortilla strips in a matter of minutes.
The Coziest Soup
This chicken tortilla soup is all you need this cold-weather season.
Hearty, super filling (loaded with shredded chicken and beans… protein!), a touch of cream cheese to make things slightly creamy (without being too rich, so you’re still eating a mostly-wholesome meal). It’s easily customizable with your favorite toppings (I like cotija cheese and avocado), has the perfect subtle crunch from home-toasted tortilla strips, and did I mention that it comes together in under 45 minutes?!
With the weather changing I’ve been living for hearty comfort food, Zach and I could live on potato soup, chili, and this very cozy chicken tortilla soup for the past few weeks (oh, and my chicken pot pie, have you tried it yet!?)
Let’s get right to it, starting with this soup’s crowning glory: those crispy tortilla strips.
How to Make Tortilla Strips
Crispy corn tortilla strips are possibly my favorite part of this soup. While you could just buy pre-made strips (where’s the fun in that?), it takes only minutes to make them at home using corn tortillas.
- Start with 10 corn tortillas. Cut into strips that are ¼″ thick (mine usually end up thicker than this, but I always aim or ¼″) and then cut strips to be about 2″ in length
- Place on a baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher sat. Toss until all strips are lightly coated and spread evenly over pan.
- Bake on 415F until crisp (about 10 minutes) and allow to cool.
I always toast my tortilla strips while my soup is simmering.
How to Make It (Overview)
The ingredient list on this recipe might be long, but the actual process is simple.
- Cook bacon pieces until crisp, remove to a paper towel lined plate. If you don’t wish to use bacon, simply melt 2 Tablespoons of salted butter over medium heat instead.
- Add onion, pepper, and jalapeno to bacon grease and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Add chicken stock, diced tomatoes, beans, enchilada sauce, corn, chilis, spices, and chicken. Simmer.
- While chicken tortilla soup is simmering, prepare tortilla strips (as indicated above).
- Add cream cheese and lime juice to soup and stir until cream cheese is melted. If you don’t love creamy soups, you can always leave the cream cheese out for a thinner soup with a more tomato-y base, but I love the flavor and creaminess that the cream cheese adds.
- Serve, topped with tortilla strips and other toppings (avocado, sour cream, cilantro, etc.), and with a side of my famous cornbread.
What Kind of Chicken Should I use?
My personal preference is to use rotisserie chicken when making this soup. It’s easy and inexpensive to pick up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, shred it, then toss it into the soup before simmering.
Another alternative would be to make a my easy crockpot shredded chicken and use that instead.
Other Recipes You Might Like:
- White Chicken Chili
- The Best Chili Recipe (seriously, the BEST, it’s won over a dozen chili cook-offs!)
- Corn Chowder
- Turkey Pot Pie
Join me in the kitchen! Make sure to check out the how-to VIDEO in the recipe card!
Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe
- 5 strips (uncooked) bacon cut into small pieces¹
- 1 cup chopped onion about one medium onion (115g)
- 1 cup diced red pepper about one red pepper (115g)
- 1 finely chopped jalapeno seeds removed
- 1 Tablespoon minced garlic about 4-5 cloves for me
- 3 ½ cups low sodium chicken stock (830ml)
- 14 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes undrained (396g)
- 14 oz can black beans rinsed and drained (396g)
- 10 oz mild enchilada sauce (283g)
- 1 cup frozen sweet corn
- 7 oz can diced green chilis (200g)
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder I like use ½ Tbsp ancho chili powder and ½ Tbsp regular chili powder
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ¾ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 cups shredded chicken I use shredded rotisserie chicken
- 4 oz cream cheese² cut into cubes (113g)
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
- Optional toppings: Avocado cotija cheese, cilantro, sour cream, etc.
- 10 corn tortillas
- Olive oil for drizzling
- Kosher salt for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 415F/215C (this is to cook your tortillas, you want the oven preheating and it can take some time for it to reach this temperature so preheat it now).
- Place bacon pieces in a large heavy bottomed pot (I like to use my Dutch Oven) and cook over medium heat until browned, crisp, and cooked through. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.
- Add onion, pepper, and jalapeno to pan and cook until translucent (about 3-5 minutes).
- Add garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds)
- Add chicken stock, tomatoes, beans, enchilada sauce, corn, chilis, chili powder, sugar, cumin, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, paprika, black pepper, and chicken. Stir well and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile prepare your tortillas.
- Cut tortillas into strips that are ¼” thick by 2” long. Scatter evenly over parchment paper lined baking sheet, drizzle lightly with olive oil (about 1 Tbsp), sprinkle with kosher salt and use a spatula to evenly coat with olive oil.
- Transfer to 415F (215C) and cook until crisp, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool on baking sheet.
- Meanwhile, once soup has finished simmering, add cream cheese and lime juice and stir well until cream cheese is melted. Return bacon to the pot and stir well.
- Serve topped with your crisp tortilla strips and other toppings, as desired.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
One of my all-time favorite soups! I make this multiple times a year during “soup season,” it never disappoints. It’s a family favorite!
I’ve been making this soup for about a year now. Every time I share it, folks beg for the recipe. I love how easy it is, but mostly how delicious!
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
Thanks so much for the review, Jeannie! We’re so happy it’s such a hit for you 🥰
This was so good!!! Followed the recipe exactly how written and it turned out great! I had a bunch of family randomly show up and I was very worried because they are pretty picky, turns out even my nieces love it! Some of the family added sour cream to cool it down but I didn’t think it was necessary. I just discovered Sugar Spun Run recipes less than a week ago and this is the third recipe I have made; cinnamon rolls and pizza crust were both hits! I am so impressed, I’m already trying to figure out what I’m making next.
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
That’s great, Kate! We’re so happy you found our site and are enjoying our recipes so much 🥰
I cook for sweet niece’s family every week, I’m making this for the second time today, they loved it last month! They also love your Ultimate Potato soup. ❤️💕 I find cooking to be such a stress reliever/ relaxation tool, the chopping and shredding in this recipe is bliss, and it’s so delicious. Thank you!
This is the best Chicken Tortilla Soup!! This is a keeper and is so delicious. Thank you for your wonderful recipes!
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
We’re so glad you like it, Gina! Thanks for leaving a review. Enjoy 😊
Miss Sam, this was another BIG winner with my family. I made it especially for my wife who loves the one made by Chic Filet. It is spicy but I toned my bowl down with some sour cream.
Only negative was the amount of prep work. All the chopping and shredding really wore this 75 year old man out!
No doubt I will have to make it again, especially during these cold winter days. I may do prep work in advance stages.
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
We’re so happy you liked the soup, Bob! Yes, the chopping does take some time, but its totally worth it 😊 Thanks for coming back to leave a review; we really appreciate it. Enjoy!
Bob, there are pull string vegetable choppers on Amazon that really make veggie prep a lot easier!
Made several of your recipes and all have been amazing! Planning my next bowl of yum. The chicken tortilla soup…. Is it on the spicier side? If it is what could I adjust to keep it milder if possible?
Hi Jodi! The only real heat here would come from the jalapeno. You could omit it if you’d like. 🙂