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February 6, 2024

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Warmly spiced and satisfying, this chicken tortilla soup comes together fast thanks to the ultimate easy dinner party trick: a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.

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a bowl of chicken tortilla soup topped with tortilla strips, cilantro, sour cream, cheese, avocado and lime juice
Photography by Gayle McLeod

More Tex Mex Favorites

Our Best Tortilla Soup Recipe Will Warm You Right Up

What is tortilla soup? It’s a flavorful Mexican chicken soup traditionally made with tomatoes, garlic, onions, and chilies. While our version may not qualify as the most authentic tortilla soup recipe ever, we know for sure it’s the most weeknight friendly, and this soup delivers. We’ve also made a great Vegetarian Tortilla Soup if you need a meat-free version. While we’re talking about tortillas, we’d like to point you towards our Homemade Tortillas and Homemade Tortilla Chips, that always love a batch of Perfect Guacamole.

chicken, chicken stock, enchilada sauce, creamed corn, diced tomatoes, onion, zucchini, chiles and spices in prep bowls

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Ingredients For This Quick And Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • Seasoning: bay leaves, cumin, chili powder, kosher salt, freshly cracked black pepper

  • Pantry: Chicken Stock, canned creamed corn, fire-roasted diced tomatoes, canned enchilada sauce, canned green chilies

  • Fresh: small yellow onion, medium zucchini, garlic cloves

  • From the grocery deli: rotisserie chicken

chicken, stock, enchilada sauce, creamed corn, diced tomatoes, onion, zucchini, chiles and spices being combined in a pot
a pot of chicken tortilla soup made with enchilada sauce, creamed corn, diced tomatoes, onion, zucchini, chiles and spices

How to Make Chicken Tortilla Soup

  1. Remove all the meat from the chicken (and don’t forget to save the bones for stock!)

  2. With your trusty kitchen knife, chop the onion, garlic and zucchini.

  3. Toss everything into a big pot along with the canned tomatoes, chilies and spices.

  4. Put your feet up and snack on Tortilla Chips while the soup simmers. (optional, but recommended).

  5. Serve with all your favorite toppings and a good squeeze of fresh lime juice.

chicken tortilla surrounded by  tortilla strips, cilantro, sour cream, cheese, avocado and lime juice for topping
a bowl of chicken tortilla soup topped with tortilla strips, cilantro, sour cream, cheese, avocado and lime juice

How to Store Leftover Soup + Tips

  • Soup leftovers often get better with time, and this soup is no exception. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to three months. Just make sure they have cooled completely before storing!

  • Chicken is easier to pull off the bones and shred when it’s warm. We like to purchase rotisserie chicken from the store and pick off all the meat before storing it in the refrigerator—that way it’s ready to go whenever we want to use it.

  • If you’d like to usePoached Chicken instead of a rotisserie, that will work too.

  • Our recipe calls for canned enchilada sauce, but you can also make our homemade enchilada sauce if you have a little extra time.

  • Toppings make this soup extra delicious, and we recommend having tortilla strips, chopped fresh cilantro, sour cream, shredded cheddar or pepper Jack cheese, diced avocado, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice on hand.

a bowl of chicken tortilla soup topped with tortilla strips, cilantro, sour cream, cheese, avocado and lime juice

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Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  20 min
  • Cook Time:  40 min
  • Calories: 296

Video

Ingredients

  • 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded (3 to 4 cups)
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 (14.75-ounce) can creamed corn
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 (10-ounce) can red enchilada sauce
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1 (4-ounce) can green chilies
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

For Serving (Optional)

  • 1 (3.5 ounce bag) tortilla strips
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Sour cream
  • Shredded cheddar or pepper Jack cheese
  • Diced avocado

Method

  1. In a large pot, combine the shredded chicken, chicken stock, creamed corn, diced tomatoes and their juices, enchilada sauce, onion, zucchini, chilies, garlic, bay leaves, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Place the pot over high heat and bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent and zucchini is tender, about 30 minutes. Discard the bay leaves.

  2. Serve the soup in bowls topped with tortilla strips, and any additional toppings of your choice, as desired.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories296
  • Protein28 g
  • Carbohydrates22 g
  • Total Fat8 g
  • Dietary Fiber4 g
  • Cholesterol27 mg
  • sodium1148 mg
  • Total Sugars10 g

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

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  • Sosa

    Can I use hamburger meat instead of chicken

    Sure!

  • Kelly

    Can I use regular corn? Could I add cream? My husband bought regular corn and wondering if I need to go get creamed corn instead.

    Creamed corn adds to the texture and flavor so we'd recommend using it. Hope you enjoy Kelly!

  • Jody

    Could you tell me how much a serving size is? I am planning to try this tonight, but am tracking my calories. Thanks!

    Hi Jody, we unfortunately don't have yield for this soup right now. As of now a serving size is 1/6th of the recipe.

  • Chet Bowen

    Loved this soup. It was a bit too "hot" for me, and I usually enjoy some kick. I would recommend that people add the chili powder to taste, or I will just add some to my bowl each time. My wife does not like as spice as me, so it was too hot for her.

    I also added 2 more cans of fire roasted tomatoes to help cool it off. As it was too good to not eat. Any other ideas on making it not as hot? I double checked that I used 1 teaspoon of chili powder and not a tablespoon (I can confuse those at times). The enchilada sauce was mild, and so was the green chilis., so I think it was the chili powder.

    Thank you for a great recipe. My wife and I have enjoyed everything we have tried here.

    Ya cut back on chili powder I guess and I would leave out the green chilies if you are trying to cut back on spice.

  • Mary Williams

    Tortilla soup and yet I don't see where there is any tortillas in the ingredients. Do you use tortilla chips in the soup at all?

    They're used as a garnish here! We refer to them as "corn chips" in the recipe—they're optional, but definitely suggested!

  • Elise

    This soup has quickly become a hit with my family and anyone I have served it to. The fact that it is quick and easy to make, amazingly delicious, and healthy means it will be in regular rotation at our house.

    Thanks Elise, we are so glad you loved it!

  • Kelly Cooney

    Super easy and delicious!!

    Thanks Kelly, so happy you love it!

  • Christina

    I made this soup and it was so easy and hearty. It tasted wonderful. I left out the green bell pepper because I am not a fan but it has other peppers. It's a keeper for sure. My family loved it.

    Thanks Christina, we are so happy you loved it!

  • K

    My fam loved this. We have some texture issues so I sautéed the onion and zucchini then spices before adding everything else. Going on our easy dinner list!

    Thanks K, so happy you loved it!

  • R D

    Love this soup. Easy to make using the rotisserie chicken and doesn't take long to cook.... AND YUM. It is delicious

    Thanks RD, we are so happy you enjoyed it!