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 598 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


  • 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 chilis 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 598 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. I cannot imagine that you use two boneless skinless chicken breasts that weigh in at only 6 oz. total, as stated in your notes. I also think it is ridiculous if you actually used only 6 oz. of chicken for 8 servings. You really need to edit this one, Wendy.

    1. They’re 6 oz each which is a total of ¾ lb of chicken. Along with beans, we find this to be plenty in this soup but you can add more to your liking.

    2. Patricia you need to read the recipe again. It says 2 chicken breasts. Depending on the size, you can add more.

      The BEST chicken Tortilla soup, hands down! So flavorful! We make it over and over :)5 stars

  2. 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

  3. 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!

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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?

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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!

  13. 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