The Best Chicken Tortilla Soup
Today I’m sharing The Best Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe I’ve ever made. Drop your dinner plans and make it tonight!
The Best Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe Ever?
It would seem that everyone has their own version of chicken tortilla soup. Some are thick like gravy. Some thin and watery.
I prefer a thin, but not watery, broth-based chicken tortilla soup with lots of veggies and toppings.
Today’s Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe is exactly how I like it. Rich, zesty, and ultra comforting, with a slightly spicy finish.
Our Most-Requested Dish… Tortilla Soup
I developed this easy chicken tortilla soup recipe years ago and would venture to say it is my most requested recipe, both with personal friends and blog readers. I email the link to this recipe constantly!
Why is it so popular?
Our authentic chicken tortilla soup is chunky, perfectly spiced, and so quick to make.
The deep rich essence of the broth comes from sautéing the onions, garlic, and cilantro to release their flavor, before adding the broth and spices.
Cheese is also very important in this recipe for tortilla soup… Cheese and crushed tortilla chips are added at the end to thicken the soup base and give it a comforting luxurious feel.
There is so much depth and flavor in each bowl of soup, this will quickly become a family favorite!
Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup Ingredients
What will you need to make this zesty tortilla soup? It only requires 15 simple ingredients… 10 of which are pantry staples!
- Olive oil – To sauté the veggies.
- Onion – The beginning of every great soup recipe.
- Cilantro – If you don’t love raw cilantro, you may still enjoy this soup, because the cilantro is well-cooked.
- Garlic – Fresh is best!
- Chicken broth – Use your favorite brand.
- Diced tomatoes – Look for a brand of canned tomatoes that offers “fired roasted” for extra flavor.
- Chicken breasts – Cook them whole, right in the broth.
- Ground cumin – For deep smoky essence.
- Chili powder – Or pure ground chiles.
- Cayenne pepper – For a little kick!
- Bay leaves – For a deep herbaceous note.
- Carrots – If the skins aren’t rough and fuzzy, there’s no need to peel the carrots.
- Monterey jack cheese – To thicken the soup and to add as a garnish
- Avocados – The perfect creamy topper.
- Bag of tortilla chips – To thicken the soup and to add as a crunchy topping!
How To Make The Best Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe
- In a large stock pot, add the onions, cilantro, and garlic. Sauté to soften.
- Stir in chicken broth, tomatoes, whole raw chicken breasts, and spices. Push the chicken breasts to the bottom of the pot and bring to a boil.
- Add the carrots, and simmer until the carrots and chicken breasts are cooked through.
- Shred the chicken, then return it to the pot.
- Stir in cheese and crushed tortilla chips to thicken the broth.
- Top each bowl with the more cheese, fresh cilantro, fresh avocado, and tortilla chip pieces!
Get the Full (Printable) Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe Below!
Perfect Chicken Tortilla Soup Add-Ins
If you like to mix things up when you cook, consider adding…
- Bell Peppers
- Roasted Red Peppers
- Black Beans
Tortilla Soup Toppings
I like to top each bowl or soup with:
- Extra shredded cheese
- More tortilla chips
- Chopped cilantro
- Fresh chopped avocado
- Lime wedges
Can I Use Leftover Chicken In Tortilla Soup?
Many of you have asked if you can use leftover chicken in this recipe. Absolutely! Just shred the chicken and add it in at the end to warm it.
Can I Freeze This Chicken Tortilla Soup?
Yes. Just be sure to thaw it at room temperature before reheating, to protect the veggies from turning to mush.
How Long Does Chicken Tortilla Soup Last In The Refrigerator?
Usually about 1 week. Place it in an airtight container and set it in the back of the refrigerator.
What Do You Serve With Tortilla Soup?
Can I Skip The Cheese?
Yes. The broth will not be as thick and rich, but you will end up with a lighter leaner soup.
Can I Take Out The Cilantro?
Yes and no. Yes, you can take out any ingredient, but NO it will not taste the same. I will say, I have served this easy chicken tortilla soup recipe to several cilantro haters, and they loved it.
They say the illusive “soapy” taste is removed through the cooking process. Just be sure to leave the fresh cilantro off at the end.
Can I Make A Low Carb Chicken Tortilla Soup Variation?
Yes. Just remove the tortilla chips!
Can I Make This Chicken Tortilla Soup In The Instant Pot?
Absolutely! Find the instructions in the recipe notes below.
Can I Make Chicken Tortilla Soup In The Crock Pot?
Want to make Chicken Tortilla Soup in the Crock-Pot? Also try our simple Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe!
Looking for More Mexican-Inspired Soup Recipes?
We’ve got you covered…
- Skinny Chicken Fajita Soup
- Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup
- 5-Ingredient Cheesy Chicken Chili
- Paleo Chicken Chili Verde
- Southwest Detox Soup
The Best Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
- 2/3 cup fresh chopped cilantro, divided
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4+ cups chicken broth
- 14.5 ounce diced "fire roasted" tomatoes (canned)
- 2 whole skinless chicken breasts
- 3/4 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1-2 bay leaves
- 2 carrots, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese
- 1-2 avocados, diced
- 10 ounce Bag of tortilla chips
- In a large stock pot, heat the oil over medium-high. Add onions, 1/3 cup cilantro, and garlic. Sauté 3 minutes.
- Stir in chicken broth, tomatoes, whole raw chicken breasts, all the spices, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Push the chicken breasts to the bottom of the pot. Bring to a boil.
- Add the carrots. Return to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and cook another 10-12 minutes.
- Remove the cooked chicken breasts with tongs and either shred or chop them. Add the chicken pieces back to the soup.
- Stir in half the cheese and 1 cup crushed tortilla chips. If too much of the broth has evaporated, stir in an additional cup of broth or water.
- Ladle into bowls and top with the remaining cheese, fresh cilantro, fresh avocado, and more tortilla chip pieces.
- Set the IP on Sauté. Add the oil, onions, 1/3 cup cilantro, and garlic. Sauté 3 minutes.
- Stir in chicken broth, tomatoes, whole raw chicken breasts, carrots, all spices, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Push the chicken breasts to the bottom of the pot. Lock the lid into place and set on Pressure Cook High for 5 minutes.
- Perform a Quick Release. Once the steam valve button drops it's safe to open the lid.
- Remove the cooked chicken breasts with tongs and either shred or chop them. Add the chicken pieces back to the soup. Stir in half the cheese and 1 cup crushed tortilla chips.
- Garnish as directed above.
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