Chicken Tortilla Soup is one of my favorite comfort foods! Chicken breasts, corn, beans, and other delicious ingredients are simmered in a tomato base. Top this delicious soup with crispy homemade tortilla strips, avocado, lime, and cilantro for the perfect Mexican-inspired soup!

We love having Tex Mex and Mexican nights around here. Corn dip, instant pot chicken tacos, beef enchilada casserole, you name it.

tortilla chicken soup in pot

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup is one of my favorites and something I always order when I visit Mexico. The great thing about travel is creating versions of those recipes when I get home for my friends and family (and for you) to enjoy!

This chicken tortilla soup recipe is easy to make. As with a classic tortilla soup recipe, tortilla strips are fried crisp and add the perfect crunch. I top this soup with lime and cilantro, and the freshness to finish it off with a fresh flavor.

Add your own favorite toppings, a bit of cotija cheese, guacamole, pico de gallo, and sour cream are all great additions! I like to create a little topping bar when I serve this soup so everyone can add what they love.

What Is Tortilla Soup?

Tortilla soup is a Mexican-inspired soup made with a tomato (or chicken) base. It usually has ingredients like corn, beans, and often other additions like jalapenos and cilantro. It is simmered, then topped with crispy tortilla strips and whatever you’d like to add.

Tortilla soup is most commonly made with chicken but you can also find it made with lamb, beef, and fish. Cooking the protein in the soup adds a ton of flavor!

ingredients unmixed in pot

How To Make Tortilla Soup

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

You can also make the tortilla strips a few days in advance. They only need to pan fry for a minute or so on each side. Once they’re crisp, salt them and save them for later.

For the Chicken Tortilla Soup:

  1. Saute jalapeno and onion until fragrant (remove the jalapeno seeds to make it less spicy)
  2. Add everything else and simmer
  3. Remove the chicken and shred it with a couple of forks
  4. Add the chicken back in
  5. Serve it with tortilla strips and desired toppings

This recipe is crazy easy!

tortilla strips in bowl

What To Serve With Tortilla Soup

Here’s where it gets fun! Tortilla soup is so versatile that nearly anything can be served with it!

A bright tangy cabbage slaw or a Fresh Corn Salad will complement the rich flavors of tortilla soup as well as a side of cheesy quesadillas.

For soup toppings, try some sliced black olives, green chiles, shredded cheddar or crumbled cotija cheese, or cubes of avocados. This is definitely a recipe that will find it’s way to your table year round!

chicken tortilla soup with lime

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tortilla chicken soup in pot
4.98 from 428 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Chicken Tortilla Soup

This soup is simmered to perfection 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


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic minced
  • 1 jalapeño diced and seeded
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 14 ½ ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with chilis such as rotel
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 14 ½ ounces can black beans rinsed & drained
  • 1 cup corn drained if canned
  • 2 chicken breasts boneless, skinless
  • ¼ cup cilantro chopped
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1 avocado sliced, for garnish

Crispy Tortilla Strips

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


  • Heat ¼ cup olive oil over medium-high heat a small pan. Add tortilla strips in small batches and fry until crisp. Drain and salt.
  • Heat olive oil In a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and jalapeño and cook until onion is softened.
  • Add remaining ingredients and simmer 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  • Remove chicken and shred. Add back to the pot and simmer for 3 minutes.
  • Spoon soup into bowls and and top with tortilla strips, lime wedges and sliced avocado.


4.98 from 428 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

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

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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  1. I actually had a question, I have been looking for the recipe I have used for a couple of years. I think it is yours, only thing is a see it’s been revised. The one I was looking for required Roma tomatoes. Is this the same recipe? Thanks

    1. Hi Amanda, while the write-up has been revised this recipe is exactly the same as when originally published. Sorry, this one didn’t turn out to be the one.

  2. I struggled with this one. Mine came out too tomatoey/limey tasting. I added more broth and spices but that only helped a little. Doctored with extra toppings (avocado, cheese & sour cream).3 stars

    1. I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you Jeanne. This is a tomato based soup so the tomato flavor is prominent. You could certainly leave out the lime or just serve with wedges for each to squeeze on their own if you prefer.

  3. Just wanted to pop by and leave a review because this dish is DELISH. It’ll be a regular in my rotation from now on. I did modify a few things, basically because of what I had on hand. The toppings MAKE this soup. I didn’t homemake tortilla strips, only used crushed up tortilla chips.
    Thanks for a great recipe!5 stars

  4. Y.U.M. Every time I make tortilla soup, I try a new recipe. I think I’ve found the one to stop the madness. Love it.

    Family likes spice, so despite that it tasted delicious as is, I added about 1/2 tsp more cumin and a 1/2 of paprika. I squeezed a bit more lime (my lime was small), and added about 1/2 cup of cream cheese (in small spoonfuls) after microwaving it then stirred until it was fully mixed in. Served with tortilla chips, sour cream and avocado. Family LOVED it. Thank you!5 stars

  5. Made this for dinner tonight, and WOW!! I used pinto beans instead of black beans, because it’s my preference, but HOOOOOT BOY this is YUMMY!!!!5 stars

  6. I made this recipe yesterday and was so happy with how it turned out. I topped with tortilla chips because that is what I had on hand.
    Thanks for having such great recipes!5 stars

    I also did not have fresh jalapeños, I used canned. Diced up what I thought would be 1 whole jalapeños.5 stars

  8. I don’t have a jalapeño pepper on hand but I do have canned diced jalapeños. Can I substitute that and how much would you recommend? Thanks

    1. Canned jalapenos can vary in their level of spice. Since they don’t require much cooking, you could add them a bit at a time, and do a taste test until you achieve the flavor that you’d like. I’d let it cook a minute or so between each addition to let the flavors meld together. Enjoy Jen!

  9. It was good but I would only put coriander leaves at the end as a garnish. I would definitely make it again.4 stars

  10. Using a WHOLE chicken makes it even better! I’ve made Holly’s recipe several times and wonder….how can something so simple be this good!?!
    I boil a whole chicken the night before and leave it in the pot, put in fridge. The next day I skim the fat off the top, remove whole chicken (need to debone), then put pot on the stove to start heating up. Add the ingredients as directed, plus the deboned chicken. Also add a can of diced green chiles bc man they are so good! Top with store bought tortilla strips and lots of cilantro and lime. Aaaahhhmazzing ❤️

  11. This has become our family favorite! All year round we enjoy this recipe. Making it today in preparation for second COVID vaccine. Comfort food at its finest:)

  12. This is a great recipe. Thank you, Holly! I made a few changes. Since I love cumin I used 2 t. instead of 1 t. I also added 1/2 t. of smoked paprika. I cooked both chicken breasts in the pot as directed, but I only shredded/chopped 1 and put it back in the pot. I thought it was too meat heavy to put them both back, but I thought cooking them both would give more flavor. I also added 1/3 to 1/2 C polenta or corn meal and let it cook about 5 or 10 minutes. This gives the soup a little more body. Don’t leave the lime juice out–it gives it some zing! I didn’t use the tortilla strips, just added corn chips, but I’m sure they would be good if you wanted to make them.5 stars

  13. Thank you. Simple, straightforward and delicious. I wouldn’t fry anything in olive oil, sauté: yes. I used an air fryer. I drizzled some olive oil on the sliced tortillas, fried them for 5 mins at 370 and they came out perfectly (shake once or twice to make sure it fries evennly). Be careful if you make it ahead, you might end up finishing them because they were a delicious light snack :)

    I was worried it’d be too spicy for me but it wasn’t.

    I’m serving it with avocado slices and a dollop of sour cream.5 stars

  14. I have made this several times so I think it’s only right that I mention how delicious and easy it is.5 stars

  15. Made this soup with some leftover chicken. It was a perfect use for it. It was very simple process to make. I had all the ingredients on hand so I was able to put this together quickly.5 stars