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.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Fingers crossed that it starts warming up outside soon and I don’t feel like eating soup all day every day. Zach and I have been living almost exclusively on potato soup, chili, and this very chicken tortilla soup for the past few weeks.
It’s cold outside, and while I could see chicken tortilla soup being just fine as a summer food as well, right now I’m loving warming up with a bowl of it every night. It’s hearty, filling, and absolutely loaded with flavor. And it’s warm, which I never seem to be anymore these days. Did I mention that?
But the best part? It’s super simple to make and can be ready in under 45 minutes.
How to Make Tortilla Strips for Chicken Tortilla Soup
Crispy corn tortilla strips are possibly my favorite part of chicken tortilla 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 1/4″ thick (mine usually end up thicker than this, but I always aim or 1/4″) 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 Chicken Tortilla Soup
The ingredient list on this recipe might be long, but the actual steps involved are 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 for Chicken Tortilla Soup?
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
I hope you’ll check out my Chicken Tortilla Soup video at the bottom of the recipe! If you enjoy watching, make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel where I’ve already uploaded over 100 recipe videos that you can watch for free!
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 1/2 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.
- Serve topped with your crisp tortilla strips and other toppings, as desired.
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