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Chicken Tortilla Soup - chicken, beans, tomatoes and Mexican spices simmered together and topped with tortilla chips, cheese & sour cream. So delicious! Simply Sated
4.5 from 6 votes

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This soup has layers of flavor and a little heat. It isn't a traditional Chicken Tortilla Soup, but it is superb. It is meant to be eaten with crushed tortilla chips and isn't good without them. If you love spicy soup, add 2 cans HOT Rotel style tomatoes or 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes. It is best made with seasoned and seared chicken thighs, but is also delicious using rotisserie chicken meat.
Course Entree, Soup
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6 -8
Author Susie Gall


  • NOTE: This soup is meant to be eaten with tortilla strips or tortilla chips crushed in the soup. It isn’t tasty without the strips/chips.
  • For the soup:
  • 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs or the meat from a rotisserie chicken.
  • Seasoning made with 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon kosher salt & 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil divided
  • 4 tablespoons butter unsalted, divided
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 can Fire-roasted Rotel tomatoes or regular Rotel Tomatoes *See note
  • 1 can 10 ¾ ounces beef broth
  • 1 can 10 ¾ ounces chicken broth
  • cups water
  • cups tomato juice
  • 3-4 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Juice from ½ lime
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon bottled steak sauce
  • 1 can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 can corn
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • To Serve:
  • Squeeze of fresh lime juice
  • Tortilla chips or strips
  • Fresh cilantro chopped
  • Garnishes:
  • Avocado slices
  • Sour Cream
  • Cojita cheese crumbled
  • Shredded Mexican or Cheddar cheese
  • Extra tortilla chips


  1. If using chicken thighs, season all sides of the thighs with the seasoning mix. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons oil and 2 tablespoons butter. Heat until the oil shimmers and add the seasoned thighs. Cook the thighs on both sides for 3 minutes and transfer to a cutting board. Cut the chicken into 1-inch pieces.
  2. If using rotisserie chicken meat, remove the chicken meat from the bones and cut it into cubes.
  3. Heat oil and butter over medium heat in a large Dutch oven.
  4. Add onion and cook until translucent, then add garlic and cook 1 minute more.
  5. Add all soup ingredients except chips, cheese and sour cream.
  6. Cover and simmer at least 1 hour for flavors to meld. (Soup can be cooked in a slow-cooker, on LOW 6-8 hours or HIGH 4 hours.)
  7. To serve, add crushed tortilla chips (or strips) to each soup bowl and ladle the soup on top. Add a squeeze of lime and fresh cilantro.
  8. Serve with your other favorite garnishes.
  9. Enjoy!
  10. To make the Tortilla Strips:
  11. Stack 3 corn tortillas and cut in half. Slice the halved tortillas crosswise into ¼” strips. Heat a skillet over medium heat until hot and add 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil. Heat the oil until it shimmers and add the tortilla strips. Stir often until the strips are golden and crispy. Transfer the strips to a paper towel-lined plate to dry. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Set aside until the soup is ready to serve.

Recipe Notes

*Note: If smoother soup is desired, process tomatoes in the blender (or with an immersion blender) to puree before adding to other ingredients.