Chicken Tortilla Soup


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I’m a bit of an anomaly. I come from a family who isn’t nearly as obsessed with food as me, and growing up my friends didn’t really care much about food as well. Clearly I’m from another planet. The one thing we did care about growing up was chicken tortilla soup. There was one restaurant in Tucson (Café Terra Cotta) that has since shut their doors, that had the most epic tortilla soup in the city.

During the good old days of high school (when we literally didnt have a care in the world) we’d go out for lunch or a girls night out and without fail, each and every one of us would order tortilla soup. God forbid we should ever branch out and order something else. But then again, why would we want to when this place had the best chicken tortilla soup on the planet!!  It was equal parts smoky and spicy and I made sure to add extra cheese once it arrived to the table. #sorryimnotsorry

Chicken Tortilla Soup from (@Whatsgabycookin)

I’ve been craving a trip to Tucson lately so I whipped up a version of this Tucson inspired Chicken Tortilla Soup and piled it high with all the toppings! It’s  loaded with shredded chicken, cheese, plenty of cilantro, crispy tortilla strips and of course, avocado. (guacamole would totally work too!)

Chicken Tortilla Soup

5 from 21 votes


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 onion roughly chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic roughly chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper stem and seeds removed and roughly chopped
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
  • 1 14- ounce can fire roasted tomatoes and green chiles
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • ¾ cup black beans
  • ¾ cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken


  • shredded cheese - colby jack / monterey jack / pepper jack your choice
  • quartered limes
  • cubed avocado
  • cilantro
  • sliced green onions
  • 2 small corn tortillas cut into thin strips


  • Heat a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add the onion, garlic and jalapeno and sauté for until the onion is translucent and the jalapeno softens. Season with the salt, pepper, dried oregano, cumin and chipotle pepper. Stir to combine and cook for 1-2 minutes until the spices toast.
  • Add the fire roasted tomatoes and the chicken stock and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Using an immersion blender, blend the soup ingredients until smooth. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed. Add black beans, corn and shredded chicken.
  • Divide the soup into 4 bowls and top with cheese, avocado, cilantro and crisp tortilla strips. Add extra lime juice if desired. Serve immediately.
  • To make the tortilla strips: In a small skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium high heat. Once hot, add the tortilla strips in a single layer, frying quickly for about 30-45 seconds, flipping them once to ensure both sides get crisp. Remove the tortillas once crisp with a pair of tongs and transfer them to a paper towel lined plate to dry.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Lauren A

    5 stars
    This is delicious! I used 1 tsp adobo sauce because I had it and didn’t have chipotle powder, a full 320z carton of chicken stock because I knew the last bit would sit un-used in my fridge, and threw the cilantro stems into the onion and garlic sauté instead of tossing them out since the whole thing got puréed anyway. Made as written or with a few tweaks—totally hit the spot and satisfied a craving to have something simmering on the stove on a weeknight.

  2. Mary LaRiviere

    5 stars
    This was delish!! I followed the recipe exactly except I added more shredded chicken to make it a bit hardier. It has a little kick, but not too much. My teenage kids and husband gobbled it up. Will add to our regular rotation. Be sure to make the homemade tortilla strips. They are easy and make this especially good.

  3. Daisy

    5 stars
    One of our go to recipes once the weather starts to turn cool! So, so, so good! A squeeze of lime at the end is everything!

    • Cathy B

      5 stars
      Yep! I’d say that is bowl licking!
      (Sheesh.. voice texting)

  4. Gail

    Could I use regular tinned tomatoes if I don’t have fire roasted tomatoes & green chilis? Or any better substitute? Can’t wait to make this!

  5. Nina

    5 stars
    This recipe is easy and great (from a retired Home Ec teacher!). I did not blend the soup because I used broth with chicken, which I had frozen. I didn’t want to “blend” the chicken! The soup was still wonderful. I am quite particular about recipe sites, but Gaby, you are a “go to” for me. Thank you!

  6. Carly L

    5 stars
    Hands-down best homemade tortilla soup I have made. Plus, it came together so easily. I added a bit more corn and beans, purely due to personal taste, but you can’t go wrong following this recipe exactly as is. As many people have commented, wish I had doubled it—it disappeared quickly.

  7. Elyssa

    5 stars
    This tasted delicious! I didn’t have chipotle powder so I subbed with ancho chili powder and it was so yum.

  8. Julie Vaillant

    5 stars
    Made this soup for the first time!! It was absolutely was i was looking for on this cold December night!!

    I ate all the tortilla strips before the soup was ready!!! LOL had to make another batch!!!

    Always great, easy to follow recipes !! Thanks Gaby

  9. Jesse Ferguson.

    5 stars
    This soup is one of VERY few that everyone eats. I have a husband and girls age 3 and 5 who are all pretty picky in their own way () They gobble up this soup! And they each get to “dress it up” however they want. Avocado, cheese, chips, etc etc.

  10. Sally Lou

    5 stars
    This soup is INCREDIBLE and so easy! This will be one of my new favs besides the fire roasted tomato soup!

  11. Kaitlin

    5 stars
    This soup is SO good! I threw in a chipotle chili in adobo sauce because I happened to have an open can and all of the shredded chicken from the rotisserie because I wasn’t sure what else I’d do with it. Topped it with tortilla chips made in my air fryer, avocado, cilantro, scallions, and avocado!