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This chicken taco soup recipe has a flavorful Rotel tomato cream cheese broth, black beans, corn, and plenty of tender chicken. It’s fast and easy to make in just 35 minutes! We include stovetop, Instant Pot, and Crockpot instructions below.
Why you’ll love it
This recipe is based on my popular Creamy Taco Soup that’s made with ground beef, and I figured it was time to get a chicken version on here! It’s a filling and flavorful Tex-Mex soup all on its own, and it’s even better when you load it up with your favorite toppings.
Sometimes I crave tacos and soup, and this is the best of both worlds. It’s also way easier than making actual tacos, and you can get a hot meal on the table fast for Taco Tuesday using inexpensive pantry ingredients. Pair it with a salad with spring mix and this Chipotle Lime Ranch Dressing, and your family will be very happy.
What you’ll need
- Olive oil – for sautéing
- Onion – our favorite variety is sweet onion (Vidalia), but yellow is fine
- Red bell pepper – but any color is fine
- Tomatoes – I definitely recommend using Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies. If you can’t find them, you can use regular ones, but add in a can or two of diced green chilies if possible. They make a huge difference in the overall flavor!
- Chicken broth – for deeper savory flavor. If salt is a concern, use low sodium instead.
- Garlic powder, cumin, smoked paprika, chili powder – my signature homemade taco seasoning
- Corn & black beans – convenient canned veggies
- Cream cheese – for the smooth, creamy broth. I like Philly best.
- Chicken – we’re using rotisserie for convenience
Chicken taco soup toppings
- For some crunch, try tortilla strips or crushed tortilla chips.
- To give a cooling effect, a dollop of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt works great. Avocado would also give extra creaminess.
- Add shredded cheddar or a Tex-Mex blend for cheesiness.
- Lime wedges and cilantro amp up the flavor even more and add brightness!
- Sliced jalapeno peppers would give it a spicy kick.
How to make chicken taco soup
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
Take the cream cheese out of the fridge to let it soften up. In a large pot, sauté the onion in the olive oil. Add the remaining soup ingredients apart from the cream cheese, chicken, and salt & pepper. Bring to a boil, then simmer.
Cut the cream cheese into cubes and add to the soup. When it’s melted, stir in the chicken and cook until warmed through. Season with salt & pepper, serve, and add your toppings!
- I would use uncooked chicken thighs (try 4 of them) or chicken breasts (try 2 of them), and cook the soup for 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low. I recommend chicken thighs if cooking on low since they’re less likely to dry out.
- Add in the cream cheese during the last 30 minutes of cooking. Ensure it’s set on “high”.
Instant Pot Method
- Use uncooked chicken breasts (try 2 of them) or chicken thighs (try 4 of them), and add everything except for the cream cheese, seal it up, and cook on high pressure for 8 minutes.
- Let the pressure release for 5 minutes then quick release the rest. After you unseal it, stir in the cream cheese. Use the sauté function to help it melt faster.
Can I make it with uncooked chicken?
- Sure! If you want to make this with uncooked chicken, you definitely can. I recommend starting the soup by adding 2 cut-up chicken breasts (or 4 cut-up chicken thighs) to the pot after you’ve cooked the onion for a few minutes. Cook the chicken for about 5 minutes, and then transfer it to a plate. Add it back in towards the end so it finishes cooking without getting tough or overcooked.
Substitutions and variations
- You could swap the cream cheese for heavy cream. Try 1/2 cup to start with. I’d probably build up to about 1 cup. I would then add in some lime juice prior to serving to give it that nice tangy flavor.
- I find Original Rotel tomatoes to have a bit of kick, so be sure to use mild ones if you’re sensitive to spice. If you want the soup to be really spicy, add in 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper or more as needed!
- This soup isn’t super thick, but if you do want it a bit thicker, you could add a cornstarch slurry (start with 1 tablespoon cornstarch + 1 tablespoon cold water), and add it in a few minutes prior to serving.
Leftovers and storage
- This taco soup will last 3-5 days in the fridge in a covered container.
- You can also store it for 3 months in the freezer.
- I recommend warming it up on a low heat. The cream cheese may separate a bit, but it’ll still taste good! Stir it well prior to serving.
Will you give this creamy chicken taco soup recipe a try? Questions? Let me know in the comments below, and be sure to tag me #saltandlavender on Instagram if you make one of my recipes!
Chicken Taco Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 2 (10 ounce) cans Ro-tel diced tomatoes & green chilies with juices
- 1 (14 ounce) can black beans drained & rinsed
- 1 (12 ounce) can corn drained
- 1/2 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 8 ounces cream cheese (I used Philly) softened, see note
- 2 cups cooked/rotisserie chicken shredded
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Toppings (optional): shredded Mexican cheese blend, avocado, cilantro, tortilla strips, etc.
- Add the oil and onion to a soup pot and sauté over medium-high heat for 5 minutes.
- Add all the remaining soup ingredients to the pot except for the cream cheese, chicken, and salt & pepper.
- Increase the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil. Turn down the heat so it's simmering gently (uncovered) for 5 minutes. While the soup cooks, prep your toppings.
- Cut the cream cheese into smaller pieces and add it to the soup. Let it melt in (you may have to stir it a fair bit until it's fully incorporated).
- Stir in the chicken and cook for another 5-7 minutes or so until it's warmed through.
- Season the soup with salt & pepper and serve with toppings as desired.
- The cream cheese for this recipe should be super soft so it melts into the soup easily. I recommend taking it out of the fridge prior to starting the recipe and then microwaving it in 20-30 second intervals until it’s very soft.
- If you have any concerns with salt, use low-salt broth.
- If you’re not using Rotel diced tomatoes, you can use regular ones, but I suggest adding a can or two of diced green chilies as well (the 4 oz. size ones) since it really makes a difference in the way the soup tastes.
- Serves 4-6 depending on portion size/what you top it with.
- See blog post for Instant Pot & Crockpot adaptation suggestions.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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