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Horizontal overhead photo of a pot of Southwestern Black Bean Chicken Tortilla Soup surrounded by garnishes and tortilla strips.

Southwest Black Bean Chicken Tortilla Soup

This Black Bean Chicken Tortilla Soup is bursting with lean chicken, healthy veggies and South-of-the-Border flavor - it comes together in under an hour!

Course Main, Soup
Cuisine Mexican, Southwestern, TexMex
Keyword Black Bean Chicken Tortilla Soup
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 261 kcal
Author Chris Scheuer


For the soup:

  • 6 small corn tortillas (6-inch)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion finely diced
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper finely diced
  • 4 medium cloves garlic finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder I like Mexene
  • 8 cups low sodium chicken broth maybe more
  • 2 14½- ounce (411g) cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes If you can't find the fire-roasted tomatoes just use regular, canned diced tomatoes.
  • 1 cup finely chopped cilantro (about 1 medium-size bunch) use both stems and leaves
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4-5 cups diced rotisserie chicken
  • 1 10-ounce bag frozen tiny corn I like to buy the petite or tiny sweet variety, (you can also use 2 11-ounce (312g) cans sweet, crisp corn, well-drained)
  • 2 15-ounce (425g) cans black beans rinsed and well drained
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

For the crispy tortilla chips

  • 6 small corn tortillas (6-inch)
  • tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt


For the soup:

  1. Stack the corn tortillas on top of each other. Cut pile in half then stack the halves on top of each other. Very thinly slice the stacked halves widthwise. Run your knife through the strips a few times to cut into smaller pieces. Set aside. These will be used in the soup.

  2. In a large Dutch oven or heavy-duty soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and bell pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the garlic, oregano, paprikas, cumin and chili powder and cook for another minute until nice and fragrant.

  3. Add the broth, tomatoes, cilantro, reserved tortilla strips (from step 1), brown sugar, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a medium boil over medium-high heat. Cover and cook for 30 minutes.

  4. Uncover and add the chicken, corn, black beans and lime juice. Cover, turn off the heat and allow the soup to rest (covered) for another 10 minutes before serving.

  5. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. If you prefer your soup a little “juicier” feel free to add more chicken broth. Sometimes I need to do that, especially when reheating a day or two after making as the tortillas will continue to thicken the soup. Enjoy!

For the crispy tortilla strips garnish: (This is optional, if you're in a hurry you could just use crushed tortilla chips.)

  1. Preheat oven to 400˚F. Line a sheet pan with foil or parchment paper for easy clean up.
  2. Stack the corn tortillas on top of each other. Cut pile in half then stack the halves on top of each other. Thinly slice the stacked halves widthwise (about ¼-inch thick). Set aside.
  3. Place strips on prepared sheet pan and drizzle with 1½ 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.

  4. Bake for 8 minutes then remove from oven and toss with a spatula. Redistribute to an even layer and return to the oven. Repeat, stirring gently every 8-10 minutes, until golden and crisp, a total baking time of 20-30 minutes. Watch carefully toward the end so they don't burn.

Recipe Notes

See Café Tips above in the post for more detailed instructions and tips to ensure success.

If you prefer to use Metric measurements there is a button in each of our recipes, right above the word “Instructions”. Just click that button to toggle to grams, milliliters, etc. If you ever come across one of our recipes that doesn’t have the Metric conversion (some of the older recipes may not), feel free to leave a comment and I will add it.

Nutrition Facts
Southwest Black Bean Chicken Tortilla Soup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 261 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 35mg12%
Sodium 646mg28%
Potassium 384mg11%
Carbohydrates 24g8%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 18g36%
Vitamin A 627IU13%
Vitamin C 21mg25%
Calcium 78mg8%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.