30-minute Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe made with shredded chicken, diced tomatoes, black beans, and corn. It’s garnished with homemade tortilla strips, lime, and cilantro for classic Mexican flavors!
Guys, this recipe dates back to my earliest blogging days in 2014. It’s a timeless, classic…meant to be made again and again, and always happily devoured.
What I love about this Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe
- It turns leftover rotisserie chicken (or DIY shredded chicken) into an amazing, healthy, entree!
- It’s naturally gluten-free and dairy-free.
- It goes from stove to table in 30 minutes, and always tastes better the next day
- Makes the perfect leftovers for dinner all week!
- This soup makes perfect meal prep for those busy workday lunches.
How to make Chicken Tortilla Soup
Step 1. Start with a soup pot on medium-high heat, heat the oil, and then saute the aromatics, such as garlic, onion, and bell peppers.
Step 2. Add remaining ingredients: canned tomatoes, canned beans, frozen corn, and seasonings.
Step 3. Bring all of that to a boil, do a short simmer, add in the rotisserie chicken (or DIY shredded chicken), add in cornmeal thickener (optional).
Step 4. While soup is simmering, bake the tortilla strips. You can skip this step and use tortilla chips for garnish as well.
How to make chicken tortilla soup thicker?
If you’ve done any homework for this recipe, you’ve probably stumbled across Pioneer Woman Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe.
When she makes her chicken tortilla soup, she mixes cornmeal with water to form a paste and adds it to the soup while it’s simmering.
I borrowed that technique for my recipe and it was spot on! I like Chicken Tortilla Soup brothy, but I also want that distinct cornmeal flavor and slight thickening effect.
If you want yours thicker, just add more of the cornmeal/water paste.
How to make tortilla strips
Step 1. Preheat oven to 400° and slice corn tortillas into thin strips.
Step 2. Toss strips in olive oil, a little chili powder, and salt.
Step 3. Place on a sheet pan and bake for 10 minutes (toss them around after 5 minutes)
Step 4. Cool the strips (and try to not eat them all before serving)
Guys, these strips, they take Chicken Tortilla Soup to the next level…you’ll crave them for dayyyyys!
Chicken Tortilla Soup Ingredients
- extra virgin olive oil – You can use any non-flavored oil for this recipe.
- fresh garlic – Don’t skimp on the fresh garlic…evrrrrr, but especially when it comes to tortilla soup.
- onion – I’m a pretty big fan of red onions in my Mexican cooking. But truly, any onions will do for this recipe.
- red bell pepper – Red bell pepper is not a requirement here. Feel free to use green or yellow bell peppers in this soup.
- chicken broth – I love my reduced-sodium chicken broth for this tortilla soup (and all things, really). You could even do a combination of chicken broth and water to cut down on the sodium. That’s one of my favorite kitchen hacks.
- canned diced tomatoes – I’m a big fan of buying the no-salt-added version of these. Also, you can use whole peeled tomatoes, or any neutral flavored canned tomatoes for this chicken tortilla soup.
- canned black beans – I love to use reduced-sodium black beans so I can keep my OCD happy and be in control of my salt usage.
- corn – Use canned, frozen, or cut it straight from the corn cob. Your choice!
- seasonings – I love to use crushed red pepper, cumin, salt, and pepper to keep it pretty basic but so flavorful.
- cornmeal and water – I borrowed this trick from the Pioneer woman who uses it for her chicken tortilla soup recipe.
- shredded chicken – We love to use storebought rotisserie chicken for this soup, or Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Breast. Both are delish!!!
- cilantro and lime – Trust me, you won’t want to skip the classic, Mexican ingredients. They are the icing on the cake of chicken tortilla soup.
- tortilla strips – Check out my instructions for homemade tortilla strips here in this post, or use packaged tortilla chips.
- chef knife and cutting board
- 3-quart soup pot
- small baking sheet (to bake tortilla strips)
- small mixing bowl (to make cornmeal paste)
- food storage container
More easy soup recipes
- Italian Sausage Soup with Orzo
- Three Bean Turkey Chili
- Southwest Vegan Tortilla Soup
- Fall Apart Chicken Vegetable Crockpot Soup
- 10-Minute Pesto Chicken Gnocchi Soup
Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup
- 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 cloves Garlic finely grated
- 1/2 large Onion diced
- 1/2 large Red Bell Pepper diced
- 3 cups Reduced-Sodium Chicken Broth
- 1 15 oz can Reduced Sodium Diced Tomatoes keep juice
- 1 15 oz can Reduced Sodium Black Beans drained and rinsed
- 1 cup Sweet Corn frozen, canned, or fresh
- 1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
- 1/8 tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 cup Rotisserie Chicken shredded
- 1 bunch Cilantro chopped for garnish
- 1 Lime sliced into wedges for garnish
- 1/2 cup Tortilla Chips or tortilla strips for garnish
For the cornmeal thickener:
- 2 Tbsp Corn Meal
- 2 Tbsp Water
For homemade tortilla strips
- 4 Corn Tortillas sliced into thin strips
- 1 Tbsp Canola Oil
- 1/4 tsp Chili Powder
- 1/8 tsp Kosher Salt
For the Chicken Tortilla Soup:
- In a 4 or 5 quart soup pot, heat OLIVE OIL; add GARLIC, ONION, and BELL PEPPER; sauté until tender.
- Add CHICKEN BROTH, TOMATOES (with juice), BLACK BEANS, CORN, RED CHILI FLAKES, CUMIN, SALT, and PEPPER; stir to combine; increase heat to med-high and bring it to a gentle boil for a few minutes.
- Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer (about 15 minutes); add cooked CHICKEN in the last 5 minutes.
For the Pioneer Woman tortilla soup-thickening trick:
- In a small bowl, combine the CORNMEAL and WATER to form a paste. Work the lumps out with a fork; add this paste to the soup; stir to combine.
Bake the homemade tortilla strips (while the soup simmers)
- In a mixing bowl, combine TORTILLA STRIPS, CANOLA OIL, CHILI POWDER, and SALT; work the oil and seasonings into the strips with your hand; scatter on a baking sheet.
- Insert into oven and bake for about 8-12 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.
- Remove from oven; remove strips from baking sheet onto a plate or bowl; set aside to cool.
To serve Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Ladle warm soup into bowls, top with cilantro, lime, and baked tortilla strips. Add cheese if desired.