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Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

This easy chicken tortilla soup recipe is made using canned ingredients and pre-cooked chicken from the market. It is a go-to favorite on nights when I don’t have a lot of time but still want to serve something healthy and delicious to my family. 

Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

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The beauty of this dish is that you really don’t need to worry about shopping for fresh vegetables to complete it. You can just shop your pantry and find what you need with ease.

The fully cooked chicken I opted for was Perdue Shortcuts. Perdue Farms now offers a service where they deliver their products straight to your door. Did you know that?! You can get 15% off your order plus receive a free package of diced chicken by using this link

The beauty of this easy tortilla soup is that I can shop for all of my ingredients well in advance and there is little prep required to assemble my pot. On busy nights, that is just what I look for when it comes to recipe selection! 

easy tortilla soup

If there is a certain spice or vegetable that’s you’d like to add to this mix, please feel free to make this recipe your own. I like to keep things simple and keep it down to just 4 cans. 

I know there are 7 can chicken taco soup recipes online that look absolutely divine, but this one will only ask for 4 and is still packed with flavor and provide the punch you are looking for when it comes to a home meal. 

Mexican Tortilla Soup Recipe Ingredients

  Here is what you need to put together this delicious family meal. Mind you, most of these bullets are seasoning. 

  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 package, 9 oz, Perdue Short Cuts Carved Chicken Breast (cooked chicken)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can, 15 oz, golden corn (do not drain)
  • 1 can, 15 oz, black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can, 14.5 oz, diced tomatoes (do not drain)
  • 1 can, 4 oz, diced green chilies (do not drain)


  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese, optional for serving
  • fresh cilantro, optional for serving
  • tortilla chips, optional for serving
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How To Make Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

I want to note something about the timing in this recipe before we get down to the nitty-gritty. You could truly have this dish on the table in about 30 minutes. Remember, the chicken is pre-cooked. 

However, if you need some extra time and you want it to simmer for an hour, that is ok too! Sometimes I like to start dinner a bit early and then slow cook my way to setting the table. Whatever works for you. So, the range that I give you below is truly based on your personal needs for the day.

Low carb chicken tortilla soup
Mexican tortilla soup
healthy chicken tortilla soup
How to make tortilla soup

Add onion, garlic, and oil to a large stockpot. Heat over medium-high until onions are translucent. Add seasonings and chicken and mix well.
Stir in your chicken broth. If you don’t have chicken broth on hand, you can also use vegetable broth if that means you will avoid a trip to the store. 

Stir in broth, corn, beans, tomatoes and green chilies. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce heat to simmer.
Cover and cook for 30-60 minutes, stirring occasionally.  At this point, you should adjust the flavors to meet those of your family. Add some more spices if you feel like you need to boost the flavor. Some families like a bit more zest than others. 

Adjusting The Heat Of This Soup Recipe

As a note, if you are someone who likes a lot of HEAT in their Mexican tortilla soup, you might want to consider buying canned ingredients that offer that option from the start. When shopping, you can choose between mild or regular green chilies – choose the latter.

There’s also the choice between mild or hot Rotel. The latter offers significantly more kick.  This is a personal decision, but once that should be made at the market. 

Chicken tortilla soup topped with cilantro and tortilla chips

Final Toppings For Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

Once the soup is finished cooking, you can serve each bowl topped with a sprinkle of cheese and some fresh cilantro if you choose. If you want to make this a low carb chicken tortilla soup, then I would skip the tortilla chips or maybe just offer up a few on each bowl. 

This recipe is naturally gluten-free. 

Variations And Tips

Here are variations for Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup to cater to those who prefer either spicier or milder flavors:

To Make it Spicier:

  1. Jalapeños or Hot Peppers: Add finely chopped jalapeños or hot peppers to the soup for an extra kick. Adjust the quantity based on how spicy you like it.
  2. Cayenne Pepper: Sprinkle a bit of cayenne pepper into the broth for a gradual heat increase. Be cautious, as a little goes a long way.

To Add Mild Heat:

  1. Mild Salsa: Include mild salsa in the recipe to introduce a subtle heat without overwhelming spice levels.
  2. Chili Powder: Use a mild chili powder or a blend of chili powders with less heat. This way, you get the flavor without too much spiciness.

Customizing at the Table:

  1. Hot Sauce on the Side: Serve hot sauce on the side, allowing individuals to adjust the spice according to their liking.
  2. Fresh Lime Squeeze: A squeeze of fresh lime not only adds flavor but also balances out the heat if the soup becomes too spicy.

For Gluten-Free Options:

  1. Gluten-Free Tortilla Chips: Use gluten-free tortilla chips or strips as a substitute for regular ones. Many brands offer gluten-free options that are readily available in most grocery stores.
  2. Corn Tortillas: Instead of flour tortillas, consider using corn tortillas, which are often naturally gluten-free. Cut them into thin strips and add them to the soup for a delightful texture.

For Low-Carb Options:

  1. Vegetable Noodles: Replace traditional tortilla chips with spiralized vegetable noodles, such as zucchini or cucumber, for a low-carb alternative.
  2. Cauliflower Tortillas: Explore cauliflower tortillas as a substitute for traditional ones. They are low in carbs and can be cut into strips to add to the soup.

General Healthy Modifications:

  1. Lean Chicken Breast: Opt for lean chicken breast instead of dark meat to reduce the overall fat content of the soup.
  2. Broth Choices: Choose a low-sodium chicken broth or make your own broth to control the salt content.
  3. Extra Veggies: Load up on vegetables like bell peppers, spinach, or kale to boost the soup’s nutritional content.

For Those Who Prefer Spicier Flavors:

  1. Extra Jalapeños: Increase the amount of finely chopped jalapeños in the soup for an added kick. Be sure to adjust the quantity based on the desired spice level.
  2. Hot Sauce Infusion: Add a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce to the broth during the cooking process. This allows for a customizable spice level, and individuals can add more at the table if needed.
  3. Spicy Salsa: Use a spicier variety of salsa or add a spoonful of hot salsa to intensify the heat without compromising the overall flavor.

For Those Who Prefer Milder Flavors:

  1. Mild Salsa: Opt for a mild salsa or pico de gallo to maintain a flavorful but milder profile. This ensures a subtle kick without overwhelming heat.
  2. Less Chili Powder: Adjust the amount of chili powder in the recipe to reduce overall spiciness while still retaining the essential flavor. Start with a smaller quantity and taste as you go.
  3. Bell Peppers: Include sweet bell peppers to add a touch of sweetness and balance out the spice. Their mild flavor complements the dish without overpowering it.

Additional Tips:

  1. Customizable Toppings: Serve condiments like sliced jalapeños or hot sauce on the side, allowing individuals to personalize their bowls according to their spice preferences.
  2. Lime Zest: Enhance the overall flavor while mitigating spice by adding a bit of lime zest. This adds a refreshing citrus element to counterbalance the heat.

Feel free to experiment with these variations based on individual taste preferences. The beauty of the Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe lies in its adaptability, ensuring a delightful experience for both spice enthusiasts and those who prefer milder flavors. Enjoy the delicious journey of creating a customized bowl of goodness!

Other Soup Recipes For You To Consider:

Chicken tortilla soup recipe

Tips for Leftovers

Here are some tips for handling and repurposing leftovers from your Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup:

  1. Refrigerate Promptly: Once the soup has cooled down, store any leftovers promptly in airtight containers and refrigerate them. This helps maintain freshness and prevents the growth of bacteria.
  2. Label and Date: To keep track of freshness, label the containers with the date. This makes it easier to know how long the leftovers have been in the fridge.
  3. Reheating Soup: When reheating, use a stovetop or microwave. Stirring the soup occasionally helps distribute heat evenly. Ensure it reaches a safe internal temperature before serving.
  4. Add Fresh Toppings: Revitalize leftovers by adding fresh toppings just before serving. Garnish with a sprinkle of chopped cilantro, a squeeze of lime, or a dollop of sour cream for a burst of flavor.
  5. Transform into Casserole: Use the leftover soup as a base for a tortilla soup casserole. Layer it with tortilla chips, cheese, and additional toppings. Bake until bubbly and enjoy a new twist on the classic dish.
  6. Freeze for Later: If you have a larger batch of leftovers, consider freezing portions in labeled, airtight containers. Frozen soup can be a convenient and quick meal option for busy days.
  7. Make a Chicken Tortilla Salad: Turn the soup into a refreshing salad by using the chicken, vegetables, and broth over a bed of fresh greens. Top with tortilla strips and your favorite dressing.
  8. Quesadilla Filling: Repurpose the chicken and vegetables from the soup as a flavorful filling for quesadillas. Add cheese, fold in tortillas, and cook until golden brown for a delicious snack or meal.
  9. Soup as Sauce: Puree leftover soup and use it as a base for a sauce. It can be a flavorful addition to pasta, rice, or even as a topping for grilled chicken.

Remember to use your creativity and adapt these tips based on your preferences.

Common Questions

  1. Can I use pre-cooked chicken for this recipe? Yes, absolutely! Using pre-cooked chicken, such as rotisserie chicken or leftover grilled chicken, can save time and add extra flavor to the soup.
  2. What’s the best way to shred chicken for the soup? A quick and efficient way to shred chicken is to use two forks. Hold a piece of cooked chicken with one fork and shred the meat using the tines of the second fork.
  3. Can I make this soup in advance? Certainly! The flavors often develop even more when allowed to meld over time. Prepare the soup in advance, store it in the refrigerator, and reheat when ready to serve.
  4. What are some good side dishes to serve with Chicken Tortilla Soup? Classic side dishes include rice, beans, or a side salad. Cornbread or tortilla chips can also complement the soup nicely.
  5. Is it possible to make this soup vegetarian? Yes, you can make a vegetarian version by substituting chicken with tofu or adding more vegetables. Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth for the base.
  6. Can I freeze Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup? Absolutely! Freeze the soup in airtight containers for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator and reheat on the stove or in the microwave.
  7. Are there alternative toppings besides the traditional ones? Get creative with toppings. Consider adding sliced radishes, diced avocado, or a dollop of Greek yogurt for a unique twist.

These common questions address various aspects of making Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup and provide helpful insights for cooks of all skill levels.

Recipe Variation Ideas

Here are some exciting recipe variation ideas to add a twist to your Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup:

  1. Cheesy Chicken Tortilla Soup: Melt shredded Mexican cheese into the soup just before serving. Top with additional cheese, creating a gooey and flavorful experience.
  2. Avocado-Lime Chicken Tortilla Soup: Add chunks of ripe avocado and a generous squeeze of lime to each bowl. The creamy avocado and citrusy lime elevate the freshness of the soup.
  3. Black Bean and Corn Chicken Tortilla Soup: Incorporate black beans and corn for added texture and flavor. The combination adds a hearty and wholesome element to the soup.
  4. Chipotle Chicken Tortilla Soup: Infuse a smoky flavor by adding chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Adjust the quantity based on your spice preference for a unique and bold taste.
  5. Mango Salsa Chicken Tortilla Soup: Top each bowl with a vibrant mango salsa, featuring diced mango, red onion, cilantro, and lime juice. The fruity sweetness contrasts beautifully with the savory soup.
  6. Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup: Create a creamy version by stirring in a bit of heavy cream or coconut milk. This adds richness and a velvety texture to the soup.
  7. Vegetable-Packed Chicken Tortilla Soup: Load up on colorful vegetables such as bell peppers, zucchini, and carrots. The extra veggies not only enhance nutrition but also bring a burst of vibrant flavors.
  8. Cilantro-Lime Rice Chicken Tortilla Soup: Serve the soup over a bed of cilantro-lime rice. The aromatic rice complements the soup and adds a delightful fragrance to each spoonful.
  9. Green Chicken Enchilada Soup: Infuse the flavors of green enchiladas by adding a green enchilada sauce to the soup. Top with shredded Monterey Jack cheese for a delicious twist.
  10. Taco Seasoned Chicken Tortilla Soup: Incorporate taco seasoning for a flavorful punch. The combination of taco spices adds depth and complexity to the soup.

Feel free to mix and match these ideas or use them as inspiration to create your own signature variation of Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup. Let your creativity shine in the kitchen!

Other Mexican Recipes

As you savor the last spoonful of our Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup, we hope this recipe has not only satisfied your taste buds but also inspired your inner chef. Feel free to customize the dish to match your spice preferences, dietary needs, or simply add your unique touch.

Chicken tortilla soup topped with cilantro and tortilla chips

Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

Yield: 10


  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 package, 9 oz, Perdue Short Cuts Carved Chicken Breast (cooked chicken)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can, 15 oz, golden corn (do not drain)
  • 1 can, 15 oz, black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can, 14.5 oz, diced tomatoes (do not drain)
  • 1 can, 4 oz, diced green chilies (do not drain)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese, optional for serving
  • fresh cilantro, optional for serving
  • tortilla chips, optional for serving


    1. Add onion, garlic, and oil to a large stockpot. Heat over medium-high until onions are translucent.
    2. Add seasonings and chicken and mix well.
    3. Stir in broth, corn, beans, tomatoes and green chilies. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook for 30-60 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    4. Serve soup topped with cheese and cilantro if desired.

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