Best Chicken Tortilla Soup is a super easy dump and go time saving recipe made in the pressure cooker (instant pot), slow cooker or stove top. Chock full of chicken, vegetables paired with delicately spicy tomato-based broth and topped with homemade crunchy baked tortillas and cheese.
You are going to love this Best Chicken Tortilla Soup...
- Easy dump and go recipe
- You can make this recipe low carb by skipping the black beans and tortillas and adding in a few more veggies
- Burst of flavors
- Not too spicy (you can adjust the spice level to your preference)
- Recipe frees you up to perform other tasks around the house
- Can make homemade crispy tortillas toppings using gluten-free or lower carb soft tortilla wraps
- Perfect recipe for game day tailgating and trick or treating warm up
Every spoonful is like a little Mexican fiesta
Do you like Tex – Mex recipes? Then, you are going to love our Best Chicken Tortilla Soup. This soup has a lot going on from both a flavor and a texture perspective. It is both savory and slightly spicy.
This tortilla soup has fresh veggies, hearty chicken in this delicious slightly spicy tomato-based broth. Topped with creamy cheese and the crunch of the baked tortillas. Garnished with cilantro, avocados and a little squeeze of lime. What is not to love about this traditional Mexican Soup? Another fabulous fast and easy soup is our Sopa de Fideo (Mexican Noodle Soup ).
It’s SOUP SEASON!
Cooler nights, changing leaves and warming nourishing soup is just what you need to stay warm and cozy this season. Warming broth, a little spice, healthy vegetables with cooked veggies is just what your body is craving. You need to be extra good to your body in the change of seasons.
This is the time when we are most apt to be out of balance and most likely to fall under the weather. One way to keep healthy is by eating easy to digest foods to get the nutrition your body needs, If you want to learn more about how to eat to support your body, check out our post on Feed your Spleen: Nourish your body.
Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker and Stove Top options
Whether you have a pressure cooker (instant pot), slow cooker (crock pot) or just a stove top, we have you covered with directions.
If you have an instant pot, you can put everything into the instant pot, set it for 14 minutes on high pressure, perform a quick release. Top with grated cheese, cilantro, lime juice and crispy baked tortilla chips, if desired and enjoy.
For slow cooker options, you can put everything into the slow cooker (crock pot) and cook on high for 4-6 hours or low heat for 8-10 hours. Garnish as desired.
Stove top directions are very similar but we add the items in at different times. We first add the olive oil, onions, carrots, celery and garlic and sauté until aromatic. Then, we slice the chicken into thin slices and add with the spices and sauté until cooked through. Next we add the tomatoes, broth and simmer on medium heat for about 20 minutes until the vegetables are cooked through. Garnish as desired.
Homemade Crispy Tortillas Strips can be Baked or Fried
Do you like texture in your soup? We sure do. These little crispy tortillas are the perfect contrast to the chunky vegetable soup. Either baked or fried, they are delicious. In addition, you can use gluten-free wraps, low carb wraps, corn soft tortillas or regular flour tortilla wraps. We used Mission Gluten-free flour Tortillas and they were delicious.
We actually do prefer them baked as they are lighter and crispier. You just preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and cut your tortillas in to slices. Then, we spray the lined baking pan with a little oil spray and place the tortillas single layered on the baking tray. Just spritz the tortillas with a light spray of olive oil and sprinkle on chili powder, salt and pepper and you are good to go. Bake for about 5-10 minutes and then toss. Bake for another 5-10 minutes until golden brown.
We also tried a batch pan fried and they are delicious too but you must keep a close eye on these tortilla ss they can burn. Instead of seasoning the tortilla strips before you cook, you wait until after they are done frying. We do not have a deep fryer so we did a pan fry in shallow oil.
Place oil in pan and add your cut tortilla strips to the pan and fry over medium low heat for about 5-6 minutes or until golden brown. After you remove them from the pan, place them on an absorbent paper towel lined dish and season with chili powder, salt and pepper.
Soup for busy Dinner Ideas
This is a busy time of the year and with a little planning you can have some wonderful dishes for those busy work weeks. We double up on soup and stew recipes and freeze half for later. When you have had the world’s worst day at work, you can get dinner on the table in a flash. You may want to give these healthy and quick less than 30 minute soup recipes a try...
Best Chicken Tortilla Soup
Best Chicken Tortilla Soup
- 1 tablespoon oil (for stove top version only)
- 1 small red onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 carrot chopped
- 1 large bell pepper chopped (optional)
- 1 stalk celery chopped
- 1 jalapeno or red chili pepper finely chopped (optional or use less as more as desired for level of heat)
- 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (You can also use left over grilled chicken or rotisserie chicken or leftovers from Savory Herb roasted Whole Baked Chicken)
- 28 ounces of fire roasted canned tomatoes (I puree mine in blender as my kids dislike chunks of tomatoes)
- 4 cups chicken broth (gluten free and low sodium)
- 2 bay leaves (optional)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons ground chili pepper
- 1 teaspoon sugar (or sugar substitutes it helps bring the flavors out of the tomatoes)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 12 ounces corn
- 12 ounces black beans
- Tortilla soft – 3 whole – (regular, gluten free or lower carb soft flour or corn tortillas all work well)
- Olive oil spray or ¼ cup oil if you wish to fry tortillas
- 1 teaspoon chili powder for tortillas
- ½ cup cheddar cheese shredded
- cilantro ¼ chopped (optional)
- Lime zest and lime juice – 1 lime
- Avocado (1 sliced optional)
Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Directions
- In your pressure cooker (instant pot), add chopped onion, garlic, carrot, celery, red bell pepper, jalapeno, Whole chicken breasts, canned tomatoes, chicken broth, bay leaves, oregano, cumin, chili pepper, sugar or sugar alternative, salt and pepper to taste, corn and black beans. Stir.
- Close lid of the pressure cooker and make sure the steam release button is placed on NO VENTING. Set your pressure cooker to high pressure and time for 14 minutes. Allow to release pressure naturally for 10 minutes and then can manually vent carefully by using an oven mitt or towel and turning the vent knob safely away from your face. Be careful. When the button collapses, you can remove the lid.
- Remove the chicken from the pan and shred. Add the chicken back into the instant pot and stir. Chicken Tortilla soup if now ready to be served with garnishes as desired.
Slow Cooker (Crock Pot) Directions
- In your slow cooker (crock pot), add chopped onion, garlic, carrot, celery, red bell pepper, jalapeno, Whole chicken breasts, canned tomatoes, chicken broth, bay leaves, oregano, cumin, chili pepper, sugar or sugar alternative, salt and pepper to taste, corn and black beans. Stir.
- Set your slow cooker (crockpot) on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-6 hours. Remove the chicken from your slow cooker and shred with a fork. Add the chicken back into the slow cooker and stir. Chicken Tortilla soup if now ready to be served with garnishes as desired.
Stove Top Directions
- Put oil in large pot and add onion, garlic, carrots, celery, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers and cook until aromatic and slightly tender. Add chicken, if using precooked chicken, you can move through all the steps sequentially. If using uncooked chicken, cook chicken first with seasoning until juices no longer run pink. Add oregano, cumin, salt and pepper, chili powder and sugar.
- Next, add canned tomatoes, chicken stock, bay leaves, corn and black beans and simmer for about 20 minutes over medium heat until flavors have a chance to mingle.
Make Crunchy Tortilla Strips (While the soup is simmering, make the garnishes).
- In a small bowl add the cheddar cheese, chopped cilantro and lime zest and mix. Set aside.
- Cut up the corn or flour tortillas into thin strips and cut into thirds.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (176 C). Cut the tortillas into slices. Then, we spray the lined baking pan with a little oil spray and place the tortillas single layered on the baking tray. Just spritz the tortillas with a light spray of olive oil and sprinkle on chili powder, salt and pepper and you are good to go. Bake for about 5-10 minutes and then toss. Then, Bake again for another 5-10 minutes until golden brown. Set aside.
Pan Fried Option:
- Place oil in pan and add your cut tortilla strips to the pan and fry over medium low heat for about 5-6 minutes or until golden brown. Toss periodically and keep a close eye on them so they do not burn. After you remove the fried tortilla strips from the pan, place them on an absorbent paper towel lined dish and season with chili powder, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Putting It All Together
- Ladle chicken tortilla soup into bowls, drizzle with a little fresh lime juice and top with cheese topping and fried tortillas. If you like sliced avocados, add a few of those as well. Enjoy!
- Best Chicken Tortilla Soup can be stored in a sealed container for up to 3 days without garnishes. You can freeze the soup for up to 2 months in a freezer safe container. Store garnishes separately in the refrigerator.