Chicken Tortilla Soup is one of the easiest ever soup recipes and a family favorite!

Chicken breasts, corn, beans, and veggies are simmered in a simple seasoned tomato broth.

Garnish this delicious soup with crispy homemade tortilla strips, avocado, lime, and cilantro!

a pot of chicken tortilla soup garnished with lime

Chicken Tortilla Soup

One of the things I love best about travel is enjoying new foods and creating versions to enjoy at home for friends and family (and for you)! Chicken Tortilla Soup (and Lime Soup from Cancun) are a couple of my favorites to enjoy when I visit Mexico and of course I love soups of all kinds.

  • This chicken tortilla soup recipe is easy to make!
  • No need to precook the chicken; just toss it in the pot with the rest of the ingredients.
  • It’s dairy-free, low in carbs and full of healthy goodness.
  • It reheats and freezes well for future meals.
  • Tortilla strips are fried crisp and add the perfect crunch. They can be made days ahead of time.

Ingredients in Chicken Tortilla Soup

Tortilla soup is a Mexican-inspired soup made with a tomato broth base.

Chicken – Tortilla soup can also be made with lamb, beef, or fish, but since this is chicken tortilla soup, I use chicken breasts. You can also use skinless chicken thighs or shredded chicken.

Veggies – Onions, garlic, and jalapeños flavor the broth. You can add your favorite veggies, we love corn and tomatoes, but you can also add red pepper or celery. Black beans (or pinto beans) make this soup both hearty and filling.

Broth – Regular or low-sodium chicken broth and canned diced tomatoes (like Rotel) or fire roasted tomatoes are the base of the broth. Add spices (or even a little homemade taco seasoning for flavor.

Tortilla Strips – Crispy tortilla strips are used as a topping for this soup. They are made by cutting corn tortillas into thin strips, frying them until crispy, and seasoning them with salt.

ingredients unmixed in pot

How To Make Tortilla Soup

It’s easy! Chicken tortilla soup takes just 30 minutes to cook. Make the tortilla strips while the soup is simmering (or you can purchase Tortilla Strips online or at the grocery).

  1. Saute jalapeno and onion until fragrant. Add all remaining ingredients and simmer
  2. Remove the chicken and shred. Stir the chicken and some lime juice into the soup.
  3. Serve it with tortilla strips and desired toppings.

Prep Tip

You can make the crispy tortilla strips a few days in advance (and make extra, they’re great for snacking). They fry in oil for just a minute or two so they’re quick to make.

Be sure to salt them while they’re warm so the salt sticks and let them cool completely before putting them in an airtight container.

tortilla strips in bowl

Serving Suggestions

A bright, tangy cabbage slaw or a Fresh Corn Salad goes well with this chicken tortilla soup recipe, or even simple cheese quesadillas.

Toppings for Chicken Tortilla Soup

In addition to tortilla strips you can add your own favorite toppings.

  • Fresh: lime juice, fresh cilantro, red onion
  • Creamy: Cotija cheese or shredded cheese, sour cream, avocado
  • Other favorites: Guacamole, pico de gallo
chicken tortilla soup with lime

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a pot of chicken tortilla soup garnished with lime
4.99 from 765 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Chicken Tortilla Soup

This soup is so easy to make and filled with beans, corn, tomatoes, and chicken. Top it with cilantro, lime, and tortilla chips for the perfect comfort food! 
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 servings
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  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic minced
  • 1 jalapeño diced and seeded
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 14 ½ ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 14 ½ ounces can black beans rinsed & drained
  • 10 ounces canned diced tomatoes with chiles such as Rotel
  • 2 chicken breasts boneless, skinless
  • 1 cup corn drained if canned
  • ¼ cup cilantro chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1 avocado sliced, for garnish

For the Tortilla Strips

  • 6 6" corn tortillas cut into ¼" strips
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • salt


  • For the tortilla strips, cut the tortillas into ¼-inch strips. In a small pan, heat ¼ cup of vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add the tortillas, in small batches to the oil and fry them until they are crisp, about 1 minute per side. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towel. While warm, sprinkle with salt to taste.
  • In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and jalapeño to the pot, and cook until the onion is softened, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Add in the chicken broth, black beans, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes with juices, corn, lime juice, cilantro, ground cumin, and chili powder. Stir to combine.
  • Add the chicken breasts and bring the soup to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Remove the chicken from the pot and shred it with two forks. Add the shredded chicken back to the pot and simmer for an additional 3 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  • Spoon soup into bowls and top with tortilla strips, lime wedges, and sliced avocado.



Additional vegetables can be added.
This recipe uses chicken breasts that are 6oz each. If your chicken is larger or smaller, adjust the cooking time as needed.
Create a fun meal by serving it with a variety of toppings.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To reheat, simply heat it up on the stovetop over low heat, stirring occasionally until heated through.
To freeze, cool completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
If you’d prefer tortilla strips can be replaced with tortilla chips or they can be cooked in the air fryer or oven. Toss the strips with 1 ½ tablespoons of oil and salt. Cook in the air fryer at 350°F for 2-4 minutes or until crisp or bake at 350°F for 11-14 minutes. Check the strips early to ensure they don’t burn.
4.99 from 765 votes

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1.25cup | Calories: 278 | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 671mg | Potassium: 714mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 290IU | Vitamin C: 19.9mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 2.7mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Chicken, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American, Mexican
Chicken Tortilla Soup in a bowl with text
Chicken Tortilla Soup ingredients in a pot and Chicken Tortilla Soup in a pot with writing


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About the author

Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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4.99 from 765 votes (610 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. Holly, Holly, Holly…. when I tell you this is restaurant quality, I kid you not! Gurlll…. my whole household gave this 100 thumbs up! I had to make this twice in 3 days. The second time around I had to make a double batch! This is such a great dish for this cold snap the country is having rn. I think I’ll be putting this in weekly rotation for the remainder of the winter, and next time I’m tripling the recipe. The very only thing I did different, was to season my chicken breasts with my homemade taco seasoning and seared them before adding to everything else. OMG! This was so so good. I started following you on Pinterest, and can’t wait to see your other offerings. Thank you, Holly! Your friend and follower for life, Dee! p.s. Nordstrom’s tortilla soup ain’t got nothing on yours!!! 5 stars

  2. Super easy and super delicious. Chicken tortilla soup is one of our favorites and this was one of the best!5 stars

  3. This was, in a word, amazing! I did veganize it by using seitan for the protein and subbing vegetable broth for the chicken broth, but otherwise used the ingredients listed. I was afraid that there weren’t enough seasonings by half, but the flavor was just spot on. My wife couldn’t stop raving about it! We’ll definitely be making this one again and again.5 stars

  4. My family loved this soup. Very filling. I omitted the jalapeño due to sensitive stomach. It was still great without it. I will make this again.5 stars

  5. Best chicken tortilla soup ever! So easy to make. This will be in rotation. Thank you so much are used Monterey Jack cheese.5 stars

  6. I followed the recipe exactly. While this soup wasn’t bad, it wasn’t as flavorful as I had hoped. I appreciated the ease of the recipe but likely will not make again.

  7. This was absolutely delicious! It was also extremely easy to prepare. This will be in my permanent rotation of recipes!5 stars

  8. Just tried the recipe tonight! With a few adjustments: I used Taco seasoning instead of chili, I used diced chicken instead of shredded and I added some celery.5 stars

  9. I’m a newbie cooker and I just bought an Instant Pot. Do you have instructions on how to adapt this to an Instant Pot? I absolutely love chicken tortilla soup! Thank you!

    1. I have never tried adapting this recipe for the instant pot but another reader has and cooked it on the soup setting for 15 minutes. I hope that helps!

  10. I’m not one to leave reviews but I have made this recipe many times over the past 2ish years. My husband, a picky eater, loves it night-of AND as leftovers. The only chances I made are omit the jalapeno due to flavor preference, and buy store bought tortilla strips.5 stars

  11. I wanted something “soupy” but also with lots of protein. And wow… This was so so so easy to make and I cannot say enough how delicious it was. I cooked it for 30 mins before shredding the chicken and cooking another 10 mins. Oh, and I cheated and used store bought tortilla strips.5 stars

  12. This soup is absolutely Wonderful!. My unbelievably picky daughter even loves it. No better endorsement can be had. I make it exactly as written. Bill H.5 stars