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  • Writer's picturedeborahreinhardt

Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

Chicken, corn and other yummy ingredients simmer in a tomato base, creating a fast, hearty meal.

This chicken tortilla soup recipe features tomatoes, chiles, corn and homemade tortillas.
Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

A comforting bowl of soup is perfect for a winter meal, and this Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe combines white meat chicken, colorful peppers, corn and the right amount of spice to warm your tummy and soul. I’m betting it will be one of those recipes you’ll go back to on a regular basis because it comes together in just 30 minutes, which is music to a busy home cook’s ear.

I know there are dozens—maybe hundreds—of variations to Chicken Tortilla Soup recipes. Why is this recipe better? Because you probably have everything in your pantry, refrigerator and freezer to make it right now. Chicken Tortilla Soup is a versatile recipe, too! Want to swap corn for beans? Go ahead! Make it a vegetarian dish by using vegetable stock and leaving the chicken out altogether. Either way, the warm spice combination of cumin, coriander and celery salt help give Chicken Tortilla Soup real depth.

Chicken Tortilla Soup is believed to have originated in or near Mexico City. The traditional soup is made with roasted tomatoes, chicken broth, onion, garlic and chiles. Tortillas are cut into strips, fried and added to the bottom of the bowl prior to spooning in the soup and as a garnish. Over the years, cooks have added other ingredients, such as beans and corn, to the pot. So, let’s get cooking!

To make my Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe, which makes four servings, you’ll need these ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts, poached and cut into small strips or shredded

  • 1 small onion, diced

  • 1½ cups sweet peppers, diced (I used frozen strips of green, red and yellow peppers)

  • 1 (15-ounce) can of tomatoes and green chiles

  • 1½ cups canned or frozen corn

  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander

  • ½ teaspoon celery salt

  • 2 teaspoons lime juice

  • 2 or 3 small tortillas cut into strips

  • Olive oil

A couple of substitution notes: I swapped out the plain minced garlic for 2 teaspoons of Elbees Gourmet Garlic (chili and lime). If you don't have frozen peppers, you can chop one large green, red or yellow pepper and use in this recipe.

ingredients for the chicken tortilla soup recipe include corn, peppers, onion, canned tomatoes, chicken stock and spices

Begin this Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe by placing a 4-quart stockpot over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and add the onion and peppers. Saute for 5 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, celery salt and coriander; cook 1 minute.

Stir in chicken broth, tomatoes with chiles and corn. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat before adding the cooked chicken. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.

To make homemade tortilla strips for this Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe, cut flour tortillas into thin strips. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Brush a baking sheet with a little olive oil and move tortilla strips around on pan to coat. Sprinkle tortilla strips with salt and bake for 2 to 3 minutes (watch so they do not burn; this won’t take long at all).

How to serve Chicken Tortilla Soup

Add a few tortilla strips to the bottom of the bowl. Ladle the warm soup over tortillas. Place additional tortilla strips on top of the soup and squeeze a lime wedge over the top. Add a little fresh cilantro or parsley for a garnish and you have a hearty, comforting bowl of Chicken Tortilla Soup to savor. Other options for serving include a small dollop of sour cream or sprinkle of shredded Colby cheese on top, but I think the soup holds up well without the dairy. Some cooks add cubed avocado when serving their Chicken Tortilla Soup recipes, so if you're a fan of this fruit, go for it!

I hope you'll give my Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe a try. Warm, hearty soups are one of winter's best comforts, so tuck in with a bowl and let me know what you think!



Want more 30-minute meal recipes? My Beefy Greek Pitas recipe has all the flavors of the Mediterranean and are ready in a flash. Switch up Taco Tuesday with my mom's Doritos Taco Salad that's on the table in 35 minutes.



Three Women in the Kitchen is an award-winning food blog offering today’s home cooks comforting, hearty recipes with a personal touch. The website also pays tribute to Deborah’s mother, Katie Reinhardt, and paternal grandmother, Dorothy Reinhardt (the “three women” in the kitchen). Whether you’re an experienced or a novice cook, you’ll find inspiration here to feed your families and warm your heart. Subscribe today and you'll always know what's cooking in the kitchen!

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