Chicken Tortilla Soup is made with rotisserie chicken, lots of vegetables, and topped with baked seasoned tortilla strips, sour cream, cheese, and cilantro. If you love homemade soups, you may also want to try my 7 Can Chicken Taco Soup.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This homemade soup is a quick and easy recipe that comes together in under 30 minutes. It is a hearty enough soup to serve as the main course, especially with a side of homemade breadsticks. The seasoned and baked corn tortilla chips top off the soup, giving it even more flavor and added crunch.

Bowl of Chicken Tortilla Soup with Garnish

Soup Ingredients

There are two parts to this recipe–the baked tortilla strips and the soup.

Tortillas: Buy corn tortillas for the most crunchy and sturdy results when baking into chips. You could also buy tortilla strips to make this recipe even easier!

Chicken: Rotisserie chicken is already cooked and easy to add to recipes. You could also make your own rotisserie chicken to use in this recipe.

Veggies: I added quite a few vegetables to the soup, including jalapeno peppers and green chile peppers for a little bit of a kick. If you don’t want a spicy soup, leave out the jalapenos and/or green chile peppers. I will go into more detail about controlling the spiciness of the soup below. You can also add your favorite veggies to the mix.

Toppings: I chose to top the soup with tortilla strips, sour cream, cheese, and cilantro. I think avocado would be a great addition as well.

Pan of Homemade Tortilla Chips

How to Make Tortilla Chips

The first thing to get started in this recipe is to season and bake tortilla strips so they are nice and crunchy. As I stated above, I recommend corn tortillas. Flour tortillas will not bake as crispy or sturdy.

Once you have cut the tortillas into strips, coat the strips in a mixture of lime juice, olive oil, kosher salt, cumin, and chili powder. Spread the coated tortilla strips onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Keep the strips in a single layer for best results. Bake the strips for 15-18 minutes, flipping them halfway through baking. While the tortillas are baking, get the soup made.

Ingredients for Chicken Tortilla Soup on Stove in a Pot

How to Make Chicken Tortilla Soup

While the tortilla strips are being baked, make the soup. To make the soup, first, in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot with a lid, cook the onions and jalapeno peppers (if adding). Next, add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Then, add the remaining soup ingredients. Reduce the heat to low and cover. Let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes, or until everything is heated through.

When the soup is warm, serve it topped with crispy tortilla strips, sour cream, cheese, and cilantro. Yes, it is that simple! This is a wonderful soup to enjoy on a cold day; it will warm you up in no time! 

Pot of Chicken Tortilla Soup with Ladle of Soup

How to Control the Heat {Spiciness} in the Soup

For some, the more heat or kick in a bite, the better. However, not everyone is a fan of spicy food. This soup can be made with a little more or a little less kick. One of the ways to control it is to choose the jalapeno peppers that are more or less spicy.

The older the jalapeno pepper the spicier it will be. Looking at a pepper, the older ones will have stress marks, like little white lines or flecks on the flesh. The younger (less spicy) peppers will have clear, shiny flesh. So if you like them hot, pick the older pepper and if you like the mild, pick the younger one. Or, just leave them out altogether.

Another way to control the heat is when choosing a can of green chile peppers. Look for a mild label; but, beware that just because the can states the peppers are mild, they may still have a decent kick to them. Flavor and heat can vary quite a bit when it comes to cans of diced green chiles because of the differences in the exact varieties of green chiles added. Again, you can always leave out the green chiles if preferred.

How to Freeze Soup

This does make a large batch of soup, so if you can’t eat it within a couple of days, freeze it for later. To freeze the soup, let it cool down close to room temperature. Use a ladle to transfer the soup into freezer-safe plastic containers, leaving a little room at the top of each container for expansion. Seal the containers well, label them, and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months.

When ready to enjoy, let the soup thaw in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours. Then, heat it up on the stovetop or in the microwave and add the toppings. Yum!

Bowl of Chicken Tortilla Soup with a Spoonful

More Soups

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Chicken Tortilla Soup is made with rotisserie chicken, lots of vegetables, and topped with baked seasoned tortilla strips, sour cream, cheese, and cilantro.

Ingredients

Tortillas

  • 1 package (12 ounces) corn tortillas, cut into ¼-inch strips
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder

Soup

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced (approximately 1 cup)
  • 1 medium jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced (approximately ½ cup)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 2-3 cups rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 ounces) sweet corn, drained
  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) fire-roasted tomatoes, diced
  • 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chile peppers
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Toppings

  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, finely diced

Instructions

Tortillas

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, combine lime juice, oil, salt, cumin, and chili powder.
  • Add the tortilla strips into the mixture and toss to coat.
  • Spread the seasoned tortilla strips out onto the lined baking sheet in an even layer.
  • Bake 15-18 minutes, flipping halfway through, until crispy. While the strips are baking, make the soup.

Soup

  • In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, add oil and heat until sizzling. Add onion and jalapeno and cook until softened (about 5 minutes).
  • Add garlic and cook one more minute.
  • Add chicken, black beans, sweet corn, tomatoes, chilis, chicken broth, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, and salt.
  • Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until the soup is warm.
  • Spoon soup into individual serving bowls, and top with tortilla chips, sour cream, cheese, and cilantro.

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