Chicken Tortilla Soup

 Chicken Tortilla Soup - oh man, this is one of our favorite soups of all time. We gobble up a pot of this in no time flat! But that's okay cause it's super healthy and loaded with good stuff!

Whatever you do, don’t let the season pass without making this fabulous Chicken Tortilla Soup!!

Chicken Tortilla Soup. Such authentic south-of-th-border flavor. Everyone goes crazy over this delicious soup! It's a meal in a bowl.

I made a large pot earlier this week and we enjoyed it for dinner one evening. “Oh my goodness!” “Wow!” “Amazing!” These were the descriptive words that slipped out with the first spoonfuls. We happily ate the leftovers for lunch every day this week, and the same words were repeated with each meal.

Chicken Tortilla Soup. Such authentic south-of-th-border flavor. Everyone goes crazy over this delicious soup! It's a meal in a bowl.

It’s a wonderful soup, with lots of south of the border ingredients; cilantro, cumin, chili powder, and oregano. Sliced corn tortillas are sautéed with the onions and garlic and later “melt” into the broth adding a delicious, mysterious and authentic layer of flavor.

Chicken Tortilla Soup. Such authentic south-of-th-border flavor. Everyone goes crazy over this delicious soup! It's a meal in a bowl.

And then there’s the toppings; tiny strips of crisp corn tortillas, thinly sliced scallions, chopped cilantro and chunks of creamy avocado …………. lots of color, texture and freshness; making a bowl of this soup as beautiful as it is delicious.

Chicken Tortilla Soup. Such authentic south-of-th-border flavor. Everyone goes crazy over this delicious soup! It's a meal in a bowl.

So, whatever you do, don’t let the winter pass without making this soup. I promise, you won’t be disappointed, and I think you’ll hear “Oh my goodness!”, “Wow!” and/or “Amazing!” with the first spoonfuls too.


Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup. Such authentic south-of-th-border flavor. Everyone goes crazy over this delicious soup! It's a meal in a bowl.

5 from 2 reviews

  • Author:
  • Yield: 8-10


  • Ingredients for the soup:
  • 6 small corn tortillas
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 bunch green (spring) onions, finely sliced
  • 1 ¼ cups finely chopped cilantro, about 1 medium size bunch*
  • 6 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 2 14½-ounce cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes (If you can’t find the fire-roasted tomatoes, just use regular, canned diced tomatoes.)
  • 10 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 6 cups shredded rotisserie chicken breast
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, more or less, to taste
  • Ingredients for the crispy tortilla strips:
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 small corn tortillas
  • kosher salt
  • Ingredients for the toppings:
  • crispy tortilla strips
  • thinly sliced green (spring) onions
  • coarsely chopped cilantro
  • diced avocado


  1. For the soup, stack the corn tortillas on top of each other. Cut pile in half. Cut each stack into ¼-inch thick strips, widthwise.
  2. In a large Dutch oven or heavy-duty soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, green onions, cilantro, garlic, oregano, cumin, chili powder, brown sugar, paprika. Sauté for 8-10 minutes or until onions are translucent and tender. Add corn tortilla strips and sauté for another two minutes or until softened.
  3. Add tomatoes and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered for 45 minutes, maintaining a steady simmer. (Tortilla strips should be melted into the broth by this point.) Add chicken and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add lime juice. Taste and add a generous grind of freshly ground black pepper and salt as needed.
  4. Serve soup topped with tortilla strips, sliced green onion, chopped, fresh cilantro, diced avocado and lime wedges.
  5. For the crispy tortilla strips, preheat oven to 400˚F. Line a sheet pan with foil for easy clean up.
  6. Stack and cut tortillas in the same way as directed above in the soup recipe. Place strips on prepared sheet pan and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon kosher salt and toss lightly with your hands until all strips are coated with oil. Spread out, as much as possible, to a single layer. Bake for 10 minutes then remove from oven and toss with a spatula. Redistribute to an even layer and return to oven. Repeat until golden and crisp, a total baking time of 20-30 minutes.


Even if you don’t like cilantro, don’t skip it here. When it’s sautéed, then simmered, it looses all the fresh cilantro taste but adds amazing flavor to the soup!

55 thoughts on “Chicken Tortilla Soup”

  • Home run on this! I am presently in Mexico and decided to try it (not always a great idea when in the country of origin) Everything I have tried from your site is amazing). Everybody loved it, even though the spices down here are sometimes different in strength, etc so I had to do some guessing. Very easy to put together after a bit of prep and it was even better the next day. This recipe will replace the other tortilla soup ones I have. Thanks so much.

    And now I shall try that banana jam when I get home. Sounds amazing.

  • I have made this recipe several times and I love it! It is so flavorful and comforting. I usually alter recipes to fit my own tastes but I follow this one exactly every time because it’s perfect the way it is! Thanks!

  • I’ve made this soup multiple times and it’s soooo delicious!! I usually make it in a slow cooker with fresh made corn tortillas I get from a local Mexican store, and I add in black beans and corn at the end. Very good! Thank you for the recipe!

  • Amazing! This was so good, my husband and kids (5 and 2) asked for more. My husband and 2 year old came into the kitchen and asked what smelled so good while it was cooking (they have NEVER done that)! And they were still happy from the morning glory muffins I made for them for breakfast. Thanks so much for your awesome recipes – my family really thanks you too! 🙂 I made a few changes (not because I have skill but because of what I had on hand lol), but I think it really worked out. I used the Mexican Tortilla flavored infused broth and added fire roasted corn to it as well. Thank you thank you thank you! 🙂

  • Made this for dinner last night, and it was SO good. Not like the tortilla soup I grew up eating in my Mexican household, and I mean that in a good way. Will definitely make again.

    I was curious about the number of servings, so just thought I’d mention that half this recipe made four really generous bowls of soup for us. Followed the recipe as is, except didn’t make the tortilla toppings due to laziness. Also added queso fresco as a topping.

  • I made this today since there is a slightest bit of chill in the air and wanted to an excuse to make something “cozy”. We all love it! I’m lucky to live near a place that has some awesome Mexican rotisserie chicken and home made corn and flour tortillas. They give you enough for a army so I had plenty of them for the soup and to crisp in the oven. And you were totally right about not skimping on the cilantro. With all the spices in the soup it doesn’t come out tasting harsh. Just a nice little background flavor. My tortillas were very thin and melted right into the soup and gave it and extra texture that just made the whole experience more satisfying is guess is the right word?. Either way thank you for such a great recipe!

  • I made this last night and it was amazing!! I actually added jalepenos with the onions and spices (my family orders the atomic wings at wing joints so they’re always asking for my spice) and it was perfectly spicy. I also added a bit of cheese at the end with the avacado and fresh cilantro. I will have to save this recipe because I made a whole pot last night and it’s almost gone already!!

  • Oh my goodness!! I just finished making and then eating this. I have been looking for a good tortilla soup, and this one is AMAZING! I didn’t change much at all. I poached my own chicken breast in the stock and added some strips of flour tortillas in each bowl like noodles (I didn’t have any corn tortillas to start with.. so the flour tortillas kind of thicken it). Either way, this recipe is so so good!! 😀

    • So happy you enjoyed this, we love it too. You made me want to make it again! I love your idea of the tortilla chips. If you have a chance, try it with the corn tortillas, it really adds another amazing layer of flavor. Thanks for taking the time to leave this comment.

  • Made this for dinner last night, followed the recipe exactly, and it was fabulous! I heartily second Chris’s note about the cilantro — our oldest daughter cannot stand it and she didn’t even notice it was in the soup. An essential flavor, so definitely don’t skip it. This one goes in the keeper file!

  • I’m going with this next week. I can pick up the fire-roasted tomatoes at Trader Joe’s (they have a store near Cambria), I brought all my Pensey’s spices from Colorado for this winter of cooking and a store-bought rotisserie chicken breast works for me.

  • Chris,
    Could this look soup look any more beautiful and vibrant and satisfying! Of course not! I love tortilla soup, we have a little Tex Mex restaurant which we love, that serves a nice tortilla soup-but they add too much cheese for me. Your recipe sounds amazing!! A definite must to try! Pinned too!

  • That is one gorgeous soup! Hearty and healthy…can’t think of a better way to warm up. Love your pile of toppings too…they finish the soup perfectly.

  • Your chicken tortilla soup definitely looks amazing, Chris! We just adore anything Tex-Mex or Southwest at our house. Tortilla soup is a favorite. Using rotisserie chicken makes this recipe especially fast and easy. Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful weekend!

  • Well……….the Beef Bourguignon soup was so good, I’ll just have to trust you and try this. The Tex-Mex flavours aren’t all that popular here, except in specialty restaurants, so this would be something quite different.

  • Oh, it’s definitely soup weather again! I love, love tortilla soup and your recipe looks top notch. Plus I love that you use a rotisserie chicken…perfect for a busy day 🙂

  • This soup looks delicous and I plan to make it for my family. One question regarding the recipe – when to add the tortilla strips – do they get sauteed with the onion mixture, or are they added with the broth and tomatoes? Thank You!

  • Your comments say to sauté the tortilla strips with the onion, but the step-by-step with the recipe doesn’t include adding them to the sauté.

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