Chicken Tortilla Soup is an easy 30-minute weeknight meal that is flavorful and filling with big chunks of chicken and plenty of vegetables. Make your own crispy strips for crunch and top it off with all your favorite Mexican fixings.
A hearty bowl of soup is one of my favorite comfort foods during the cold winter months.
This Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup is one of my go-to weeknight dinner recipes because you can make it start to finish in about 30 minutes.
That makes it perfect for those busy weeknights where everyone has commitments and places that they need to be.
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Key to Success #1 – Start with the Tortilla Strips
When you get ready to make your Chicken Tortilla Soup, start working on the tortilla strips first.
They will need time to bake in the oven to crisp up so they need to go into the oven fairly quickly.
Use a knife or a pizza cutter to cut the corn tortillas into 1/2-inch strips.
I stack 5 or 6 tortillas on top of each other then run the pizza cutter over them to slice them evenly.
The tortilla strips don’t have to be perfect, but it will help them crisp up and cook evenly if they are a uniform size.
Toss the tortilla strips in olive oil then place them in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet.
Sprinkle kosher salt all over them then pop the pan into the oven for 15-18 minutes.
If you think about it, you can toss them around halfway through cooking but it’s really not necessary in my opinion.
Key to Success #2 – Let’s Talk About the Chicken
You can use any type of cooked chicken in this Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe.
I like to use fresh or frozen chicken breasts for this recipe. I often have frozen chicken breasts in my freezer so that is what I use most frequently.
You can throw the frozen chicken breasts into the Instant Pot and set the timer for about 12 minutes on HIGH pressure and they will be perfect.
Keep in mind that the Instant Pot will need to heat up before the timer starts so your total cook time will be longer.
You can also cook the chicken in a pot on the stovetop.
Or if you are in a rush, you can use a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store or any leftover chicken that you have on hand.
I prefer larger chunks of chicken in my soup instead of shredded chicken so this is why I choose to cook chicken breasts at home for this recipe.
Cook the chicken in advance then use a large sharp knife to cut the chicken breast into bite-sized pieces.
Key to Success #3 – Top It Your Way
When your soup is finished cooking, ladle it into individual bowls and allow your family to top it their way.
You can provide small bowls of cheese, sour cream, guacamole, chunked avocado, or any other toppings to at you like.
One of my favorite cheese blends to use for topping this soup is the Mexican Fiesta Blend cheese. This is usually a mixture of Monterey Jack, asadero, and queso quesadilla cheeses but it can be different depending on which brand you are using.
The Mexican Fiesta Blend cheese melts so well and has a tangy flavor that compliments this soup very well.
And don’t forget about the homemade tortilla strips that you made. They add the perfect amount of crunch to your soup.
If you don’t want to make the tortilla strips, try substituting Fritos corn ships instead.
Save this Easy Mexican Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe to your favorite Easy Soups board or your Mexican Recipes board.
For the Tortilla Strips
- 8 small corn tortillas cut into 1/4-inch strips
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp kosher salt
For the Soup
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 jalapeno peppers, finely diced
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 green bell pepper, finely diced
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 32 oz (4 cups) chicken broth
- 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
- 2 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups cooked chicken, cut into chunks
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 Tbsp lime juice
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, finely minced
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
- Toss tortilla strips with olive oil and spread onto the foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake 15-18 minutes until the tortilla strips are golden brown and crispy.
- Heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, bell peppers, and jalapenos. Saute for about 5 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute.
- Stir in the chicken broth, tomatoes, black beans, cooked chicken, chili powder, lime juice, cumin, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper. Bring soup to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 5-7 minutes.
- Add minced cilantro and boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
- Ladle into bowls then top with tortilla strips, shredded cheese, sour cream, guacamole, or other toppings of your choice.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 307Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 72mgSodium: 706mgCarbohydrates: 22gNet Carbohydrates: 6g
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