Easy 30-Minute Homemade Chicken Tortilla Soup

When I see chicken tortilla soup on a restaurant menu, I get excited.

There’s something about the slightly spicy broth with tender chicken, the corn and black beans, juicy tomatoes, creamy avocado, and those addictively good tortilla strips on top that I can’t resist.

Easy 30-Minute Homemade Chicken Tortilla Soup - Chicken, tomatoes, corn, black beans, avocado, cheese, and addictively crunchy tortilla strips! Fast, easy weeknight meal, and better than from a restaurant!!

Rather than making a trip out for it, you can make it at home in 30 minutes and it’s easy. So many ingredients get tossed into the pot all at once and before you know it this hearty, comforting soup is ready. And it tastes better than my favorite restaurant version.

To save time, use storebought rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken that you have on hand. Of course you can roast or pan sauté chicken if you’re so inclined.

Easy 30-Minute Homemade Chicken Tortilla Soup - Chicken, tomatoes, corn, black beans, avocado, cheese, and addictively crunchy tortilla strips! Fast, easy weeknight meal, and better than from a restaurant!!

Make sure to salt your soup to taste. I use low-sodium chicken broth and no-salt-added tomatoes and add a bit of salt to my soup so I can control the overall salt level.

The saltiness of low-sodium broth, rotisserie chickens, canned tomatoes, black beans, and personal preferences for salt all vary so salt to taste.

Easy 30-Minute Homemade Chicken Tortilla Soup - Chicken, tomatoes, corn, black beans, avocado, cheese, and addictively crunchy tortilla strips! Fast, easy weeknight meal, and better than from a restaurant!!

My family loved the soup and I love that it’s ready so quickly and with very minimal effort. And it’s better than from a restaurant.

It makes enough that I stashed half in the freezer for those nights when I just want to pull something out of the freezer for dinner. And with winter cold and flu season around the corner, soup is perfect.

Easy 30-Minute Homemade Chicken Tortilla Soup - Chicken, tomatoes, corn, black beans, avocado, cheese, and addictively crunchy tortilla strips! Fast, easy weeknight meal, and better than from a restaurant!!

Print Recipe

Easy 30-Minute Homemade Chicken Tortilla Soup

The soup has slightly spicy broth with tender chicken, corn, black beans, juicy tomatoes, creamy avocado, and addictively good tortilla strips. It's ready in 30 minutes, easy, hearty, comforting, and better than restaurant versions. To save time, use storebought rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken that you have on hand. Make sure to salt your soup to taste. It makes enough to stash half in the freezer for those nights when you just want to pull something out of the freezer for dinner. And with winter cold and flu season around the corner, soup is perfect.

Yield: about 10 cups

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

Tortilla Strips

  • 10 small corn tortillas, cut into 1/4-inch wide strips
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

Soup

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup sweet Vidalia or yellow onion, peeled and diced small (about 1 medium onion)
  • 1 large jalapeno pepper (about 4 to 5 inches long), diced very small (the seeds are where the heat is concentrated; included or discard them based on preference)
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
  • 32 ounces (4 cups) low-sodium chicken broth
  • two 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes and juice (I used petite diced, no-salt-added)
  • one 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken (use storebought rotisserie chicken to save time; or roast or cook your own chicken in a skillet)
  • 1 1/2 cups corn (I used frozen straight from the freezer, fresh may be substituted)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (regular paprika may be substituted)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional and to taste
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely minced
  • diced avocado for serving, optional for serving
  • shredded cheese, optional for serving
  • sour cream, optional for serving

Directions:

  1. Tortilla Strips - Preheat oven to 375F, line a baking sheet with a Silpat or foil to save cleanup time, loosely scatter the tortilla strips, evenly drizzle with olive oil, evenly sprinkle with kosher salt, toss with hands to coat evenly, and bake for about 15 to 18 minutes, or until crisp and lightly golden brown; set aside. While strips bake, begin making the soup.
  2. Soup - To a large Dutch oven or stockpot, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and heat over medium-high heat to warm.
  3. Add the onion, jalapeno, and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften. Stir intermittently.
  4. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir intermittently.
  5. Add the chicken broth, tomatoes and juice, black beans, chicken, corn, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, 2 teaspoons salt, pepper, smoked paprika, optional cayenne pepper, and bring to a boil. Allow mixture to boil gently for about 5 to 7 minutes. If at any point the overall liquid level looks low or you prefer your soup to have more broth, add 1 to 2 cups of water; you'll adjust the salt and seasoning levels at the end.
  6. Add the cilantro and boil 1 minute.
  7. Taste soup and add salt to taste. This will vary based on how salty the chicken broth, tomatoes, black beans, and rotisserie chicken are, and personal preference. Make any necessary seasoning adjustments (i.e. more salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, etc.).
  8. Ladle soup into bowls, top with tortilla strips to taste, optionally garnish with avocado, cheese and/or sour cream; serve immediately. Soup will keep airtight in the fridge for 5 to 7 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Extra tortilla strips will keep in airtight at room temp for up to 5 days.

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56 comments

  1. This looks fabulous!  I’ve really been craving soup lately.  This would def hit the spot!

  2. I can’t believe I can have this amazing soup in only 30 minutes! It looks delicious!

  3. I’ve also had chicken tortilla soup in restaurants but I’ve never made it. Soup weather is kind of hitting us this week so this would be a great one to kick off the season with!

    • LMK if you try it, Paula. It’s definitely not soup weather here (mid 80s still) but I’ve been making soup anyway :)

    • This soup was a very tasty lunch for us today. Jon said there was just the right amount of spice after his first spoonful. I totally agree… your description of slightly spicy is right on. We really love trying your recipes–they’re easy to do, loaded with all sorts of good stuff and never short on flavor!

    • Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad you guys enjoyed it! Thanks for all the compliments about my recipes, too :) You’ve been on a Mexican-themed cooking-fest this weekend. I bet your house smelled so good!

  4. I’m not gonna lie. This ingredient list just perked up my day. Spicy and filling. I too get excited when I see chicken tortilla soup on a menu – I’m always wondering what the restaurants take on it will be. Your soup is pretty much to die for based on the pic. 

    • Thanks for the compliments and yes, it’s always a grab bag, literal pot luck, when you order it from a restaurant and wonder what their take on it will be! If you try this one, LMK!

  5. YESYESYESYES!!!!

    I love tortilla soup.  It’s so simple to make, and the flavors are nothing fancy, but this is really my comfort food soup, much more so than chicken noodle.   LOVE IT.

  6. Wow, this looks crazy good! I don’t think I’ve ever had tortilla soup before, so I’m glad I found your recipe. I will definitely try this once :)

  7. This looks amazing! Your pictures are always so beautiful and make me want to eat everything you cook!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.com

  8. And soup weather is upon us!  This definitely sounds like a hit!

  9. It actually rained today and I’m totally in a soup mood! This sounds perfect for dinner!

  10. Mmmm, I too get excited for chicken tortilla soup!  It’s something about the crunchy bits of tortilla mixed with the spicy soup.  So comforting!

  11. This looks so full of flavor! LOVE the idea of freezing it nothing better than a hot bowl of soup that doesn’t take any work to make on cold evenings!

  12. This soup looks so good…I love all the spiciness and the crunchy tortilla strips are the best.  Your photos
    always make me want to make the recipe right away.  We are bracing for a possible hurricane this weekend so a pot of this soup will hit the spot.

  13. Yummy! I love a little spice in my soup. And using a rotisserie chicken makes it so easy.

  14. Oh my, homemade chicken tortilla soup is my favorite soup in the whole world!! Your recipe looks so good Averie! Yum!

  15. Great recipe – it’s simmering on the stove right now. I made a few changes – the main one was adding some cubed sweet potato since I only had a little corn. Also I’m going to crumble some tortilla chips in the finished soup since I don’t have corn tortillas. But I already know it’s going to be delicious. Our nights in KC have been down into the 40’s so it’s soup weather. Thanks for the recipe.

  16. Brilliant, just brilliant. It`s very delicious and I made the soup for 22 minutes, I don`t know is this a record but the most important is that after that I have some personal time for myself :) Thank you for that

  17. What a fabulous  recipes, a lot of  flavors. I enjoy with your cooking. So great.

  18. Years ago I made a chicken tortilla soup that had been written by a friend.  It was delicious.  I lost the recipe and have been looking literally for years for a recipe that sounded similar to that one.  Just finished making your recipe and it is THE ONE! Thank you for sharing your recipe!

  19. YUM!!  What a great recipe!  Thank you, Averie!  It is the first recipe I have tried from your blog and I will certainly be trying more.  I made the soup last night and it was delicious. The corn I had in my freezer was actually “Roasted Corn” from Trader Joe’s which I think was a perfect match for your recipe. I also had scallions on hand so I sliced some of those up and put it on top with the diced avocados and tortilla strips.  Excellent!  I know I will make this recipe again as it is as good as my favorite tortilla soup in our local restaurant. Thanks again!

  20. I have been looking for a good Chicken Tortilla Soup for awhile and this hit the spot!!! This soup was excellant and I happy to say the search is over. Thank you.

  21. This was seriously amazing!! So flavorful and a touch of spice! My hubby approved. It was so easy and we have leftovers for a couple days. Thanks for a great recipe! I’ll be making it again :)

  22. I made this soup for my cooking class presentation, and everyone enjoyed it so much!! I was wondering if you could substitute fresh tomatoes in for the canned ones, and if so, how much would be a good amount? Thanks for this recipe, love it! :)

    • Yes you could likely use fresh, although I haven’t personally tried, and you’d want to use approximately the same amount of fresh as I have used with canned, but again just guessing as I haven’t done it that way.

  23. Wondering if you could cook the chicken in the soup? I make my chicken and rice soup by adding raw chicken breasts in and taking it out and shredding it and adding it back in–gives it extra flavor!

    • You probably could play with the recipe to do that but I haven’t tried it so can’t make recommendations about exactly what to do, how long to cook for, when to take it out, how to make sure the vegetables then don’t become over-cooked, etc.

  24. I love tortilla soup, and have made this recipe many times, so I thought it was about time I sang its praises.  It always turns out great, and couldn’t be easier to make; a bit of dicing, chopping & shredding…open a few cans, and voilà…soups on!  I like that you can spice it up or down according to your taste (I like mine with a “kick” to it!).

  25. Best soup ever!! I make it twice a week, my boys love it and so do I! Thank you so much for this recipe ;))

  26. Thank you for sharing your recipe for homemade chicken tortilla soup. It’s the best we have ever had. We barely spoke through dinner because we were so busy enjoying the soup 😃💙

  27. Very good soup but I will make it with half the salt next time.   

    • Glad you liked it and yes, salt is one of those very personal preference type of things – and some brands are saltier than others, as is chicken broth, rotisserie chickens, etc. Just salt to taste.

  28. Thank you very much for this recipe! I made it for dinner last night and my family loved it. I enjoyed how filling and flavorful it turned out yet how quick and easy it was to make with inexpensive ingredients.  I’ll definitely check out more of your recipes. 

    • Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! I try with my recipes to have them be quick, easy, and use everyday ingredients and glad it all worked out for you!

  29. This was a great recipe! I used a 28oz can of tomato sauce instead of the 2 cans of diced tomatoes, and it made the soup into a really nice, thick texture! I also omitted the black beans (I didn’s have any) and added 1 tsp. of coriander. 

    YUM!

    • Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! It’s also a very flexible recipe as you found out and glad your swaps worked great!

  30. This was awesome!  Made it tonight for dinner.  Got thumbs up from my 26 year old son.  Added some red, yellow, and green bell peppers in the mix.   Added the spices and sautéed a minute before adding the liquids.  Used a rotisserie chicken which made it super easy and quick to throw together.  Added the cilantro to individual bowls when serving as I love the freshness it adds to a dish.   Baking the corn tortilla strips pulled it all together!  Thanks for a great soup recipe!  Looking forward to trying more of your recipes!

    • Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! You sound like a great cook and can improvise and make things work out, and even get a thumbs up from your son :)

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