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.
Love taco flavors? Try my Easy Baked Chicken Tacos or this Easy Taco Casserole Recipe.
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.
Ingredients for it
- 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
- 1/2 red bell pepper chopped
- 2 (10 fluid ounce) cans Ro-tel diced tomatoes & green chilies with juices
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 (12 fluid ounce) can corn drained
- 1 (14 fluid ounce) can black beans drained & rinsed
- 1 (8 ounce) block of cream cheese (I used Philly) softened
- 2 cups cooked/rotisserie chicken shredded
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Toppings (optional): shredded Tex-Mex cheese blend, avocado, cilantro, tortilla strips, etc.
- Take the cream cheese out of the fridge at least an hour ahead of time to let it soften up, or microwave it for 20-30 seconds until it's soft.
- 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.
- Serves 4-6.
- 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.
- See blog post for Instant Pot & Crockpot adaptation suggestions.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.
Hi can you use hamburger meat instead or has anyone??
You can. The beef version is actually linked right at the top of the the "why you'll love it" section of the blog post.
Jenn Pennell says
Made this and added green pepper and it was so delicious!! Thanks for the inspiration!
You're welcome, Jenn!
Thank you!! 😀
Linda Jackson says
Hello question I don’t eat black beans so one of a kind of beans can I put in there
Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says
Hi! We've only tested it as written. If you're used to subbing out black beans in other recipes for another variety you like, you're welcome to try here. Let us know how it goes. 🙂
Absolutely delicious and so easy! It’s part of our regular family rotation.
So glad to hear it, Lillian! Thanks for taking the time to write me a review! 😀
Could I use chopped turkey instead of chicken ? Have lots in freeze.
Caroline Chang says
Excellent! Will definitely make this again. So tasty - just the right amount of spice (I'm a wuss!!). I used the Ro-Tel mild, but it was perfect.
Wonderful!! 🙂 So happy it's a new favorite, Caroline!
Patty Gaskill says
Recently made this but added green pepper, white corn also yellow. My lady loves it. Definitely will make again.
how would you adjust this to make it in an instant pot?
The blog post has instant pot instructions. You must've scrolled right past them. Hope you enjoy the soup, Mary!
Just wonderful! Easy a little spicy!! Thank you
You're very welcome!
This is a great tasting soup.
Do you sauté the red bell pepper or just add it later?
I just add it in raw on step 3.
This recipe is delicious! Topped it with cheese, sour cream and green onion. However, I used nearly twice the seasonings and it still wasn’t quite enough for me, plus i put franks hot sauce on top as well. The cream cheese and sour cream really cools it down so you can get away with quite a lot of spice. Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe! 🙂
So glad you liked it and tweaked it to your tastes, Isabelle! 🙂
Janet Battisti says
We really enjoyed this soup. Can't wait to share with other family members. We changed it up a bit, not corn fans. So we added an extra can of beans, also a little rice, not much about 1/2 c. It was a hit.
So glad you enjoyed it!!
Brian C says
It's suppose to start snowing soon which put us in a total soup mood and my wife was wanting to try something new and we came across your chicken taco soup and boy am I glad we did!! My wife has a dairy allergy so I always get nervous when we have to sub a dairy free version in for an ingredient since you just never know how it's going to react with everything, but wow! Even with the cashew milk cream cheese it was a hit and we'll be adding this soup to the winter soup line up for years to come
I'm so happy it worked out, Brian!! Thanks so much for your review!
Delicious!!!! Only me but love leftovers.
I'm thrilled you enjoyed it!!
Making this for the second time tonight and wouldn't you know, no diced tomatoes. What to do? Only thing I had was chunky salsa, and it tastes great. Thanks for the recipe.
I'm glad you were able to adapt it in a pinch, Nancy! 🙂
I would like to make this recipe. Can it be cooked off top of the stove with using rotisserie chicken and if so how long to cook?
This uses rotisserie chicken. You had to scroll right past the recipe to leave me a comment. Please read the blog post and it'll tell you everything you need to know. Enjoy! 🙂
Where do I find the blog post and instant pot directions
You're on the blog post. Just scroll back up and read.
OMGoodness. This soup is delicious. We are big fans of chicken tortilla soup and love those flavors. The cream cheese in this really added a depth of flavor and richness. Will definitely make this again.
Thank you so much!! Glad you enjoyed it!
Awesome soup. Have made this many times. It’s one of our favorites. Easy, quick and delicious.
Aww thank you!! 😀
Marietta Abbott says
what size serving does this make?
Hi! A serving size is 1/6 of the recipe as written. It's calculated automatically from a database of ingredients. You'd have to weigh your own ingredients and/or consult a nutritionist for information beyond that. Enjoy!
Such a great comfort soup for a cold night! This is an easy recipe that you can leave as is, or tweak with your own flavor likes. I added some roasted pablano peppers and some extra spices to punch the flavor level. A keeper recipe for really any time of the year, lunches, etc. Thank you for sharing!
I'm so glad you liked it!! Love those additions! 🙂
Heather Roberts says
LOVED this recipe- and super simple and quick. I used raw chicken breast, cut small and added with all other ingredients to cook along with the soup boiling. worked really well. I had one can rotel and one can "chili ready" diced tomatoes.
I'm so happy to hear that, Heather!! Thanks for your 5-star review! 😀
This is delicious! I made it exactly as the recipe states. There is only one of me and would like to know if it can be frozen?
Hi! There's freezing instructions in the post under "leftovers and storage". 🙂
Oh my goodness!!! This is just SO good. My third time making it. The first time I didn't have any Rotel tomatoes so I made my own with a copycat recipe with tomatoes, diced cilantro, lime juice and canned chillies. Also, to reduce the fat and calories I used about 3 ounces of cream cheese and two wedges of Skinny Cow Swiss cheese. The next time I made it with Rotel tomatoes and the third time I went back to making my own Rotel- much better. Also, I usually add a little more chicken than 2 cups and add a little more chicken broth. I will say I used organic canned tomatoes and several other organic ingredients . This is a 10*** dish!!
Thank you so much!! 😀
I didn’t have black beans or cream cheese on hand when I found this recipe. I used sour cream and chickpeas. I didn’t have re bell peppers either. I boiled chicken thighs for 20 minutes, then shredded it. This recipe was versatile enough with all the substitutions I had to make (on the fly). I added shredded cheddar and tortilla chips. My family LOVED this soup! I will make it again with the correct ingredients next time.
I'm so glad you were able to adapt it!! 🙂
Sheila Gartenberg says
Hi Natasha! Your recipes look amazing!! Any way to thicken up this chicken taco soup to make it more of a casserole? Thanks!
Hi Sheila!! Thank you!! I'd probably add waaaay less broth and then cook it down some more maybe? I have a taco casserole recipe here: https://bit.ly/3HHIGuF
Diane Duerst says
Wow! This is delicious! I added 4 oz of Velveeta with the cream cheese, but it was good without it too! Thanks!
Thank you so much!
This recipe is by far the best that I have ever had! I was a little skeptical when i saw it had cream cheese in it...But Wow! .....Is it ever oooh soo delicious..Soo...Kudos to the lady that put this recipe on pinterest!
So glad you liked it!
This was delicious and incredibly fast and easy to make!!
Wonderful!! Thank you! 🙂
This soup is delicious. I have made this numerous times my family loves it.
That's great to hear!
Can I make this in a crockpot? In the crockpot can I use cooked rotisserie chicken?
I don't recommend using cooked rotisserie chicken if putting it in the crockpot. That'll waaaaaaaay overcook it. I'd use uncooked chicken breasts or thighs and then add in the cream cheese during the last 30 min or so.