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
4.99 from 558 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.


4.99 from 558 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

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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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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars!!!

    I changed a few things for my own permsonal preferenece:

    After step 2 before step 3 I added chili powder and cumin and stir in onion oil until it smells all over the house then follow by step 3 adding everything.

    I only have chicken stock plus 1 cup of water, I love the super rich flavor yummm!5 stars

  2. This soup is absolutely delicious. I used 4 cups of Chicken Broth and it still turned out amazing.
    I love the kick this soup has. I will making this soup again this weekend!

  3. I love the easiness of this soup! I had to run out for just a few fresh ingredients, like lime and cilantro (I am a lover of this herb) and I also grabbed an avocado to add chunks over the soup. It was the first time I’ve made this recipe, and I will say it’s delicious! In fact, I will make this for my Soup Club at school (work … staff in the club). I will definitely make this again! 10/105 stars

  4. Better than anything I’ve had in a restaurant! This is the first time I’ve reviewed any recipe, but it is sooo good I wanted to let you know. I used an entire can of corn and canned chicken from Costco since it’s snowy and I didn’t have chicken on hand.5 stars

  5. I made this recipe for 30 teens who loved it! It was savory and not spicy. The only thing that I changed was add an extra cup of broth per batch so I wouldn’t have leftover broth. It turned out great!5 stars

    1. Hi Wendy. I am a huge lover of the Rotel tomatoes BECAUSE they have the green chili in the can. I have honestly never seen a larger than 10 oz. can of Rotel. I am, however, in Canada, and maybe they have larger sizes in the US?

  6. Super easy to make. My chicken was already cooked so I shredded it and added at the end. I substituted canned little corn cobs because I didn’t have any kernel corn in the house but I had all the other ingredients. Also crunched up tortilla chips rather than the strips became I didn’t have them.5 stars

  7. I made this soup yesterday and it’s by far the best soup I have ever made! Everything in this recipe is on point and just the right amount of spice! I will definitely make this again and again and again……..5 stars

  8. Haven’t made this but putting 5 stars because I don’t want to give a bad review to leave a question. Can you make this in a crock pot? If so, how long5 stars

  9. Great recipe! The lime takes it over the top. Only changes I made were to increase the jalapeño, because we love the kick, and add a dollop of sour cream at serving. Delicious and perfect for this cold, snowy Colorado day!5 stars

  10. This is a great recipe! As with any soup recipe, I kind of use this as a basis, and then adjust to my liking. I typically do less cilantro, and more lime. I also triple the recipe, and freeze some for later.
    GREAT recipe, one of my family’s favorites.5 stars

  11. This is the best chicken tortilla soup I ever ate. I didn’t have Rotel, so substituted 3/4 of a 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes and added a 4 oz can of diced green chilies. I’m going to try a vegetarian version by using potatoes in place of the chicken.5 stars

    1. I’m so glad you loved this soup! That’s a great idea Kathy, I would love to hear how it turns out!

  12. Once again you have impressed me with your recipes! Love this comforting dish, from now on this will be my go to chicken tortilla soup.5 stars