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This 30-minute creamy chicken tortilla soup recipe is easy to make and has a cozy, perfectly seasoned broth. Load it up with your favorite toppings for a satisfying meal!

You may also like my Mexican Chicken Soup or Creamy Chicken Taco Soup next.

a bowl of creamy chicken tortilla soup with a spoon

Why you’ll love it

A good chicken tortilla soup is hard to resist. Juicy chicken is simmered with corn and beans in a rich tomato broth. This soup is fantastic as-is, but the crunch that tortilla strips give and fresh toppings like avocado are a must-have for me to take it over the top!

This Mexican-inspired soup is a bit different than the traditional or typical version you’ll see. I wanted to make a creamy broth that has a bit of thickness to it, so I used crushed tomatoes. The broth thickens up beautifully to make a restaurant-quality tortilla soup.

What you’ll need

  • Olive oil – for sautéing
  • Onion – sweet (Vidalia) is my go-to in this soup
  • Crushed tomatoes – to make the broth thicker and richer
  • Rotel tomatoes – we’re using Original Rotel, which have a very mild kick and include green chilies along with the diced tomatoes. The green chilies really enhance the flavor of this soup!
  • Chicken broth – for another savory layer
  • Seasoning – my homemade blend in this soup has garlic powder, smoked paprika, and chili powder
  • Corn and black beans – easy, inexpensive canned veggies that are staples in Tex-Mex cooking
  • Heavy cream – for that velvety quality and to tone down the acidity of the tomatoes. If you’re not a fan of cream at all, try my Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup instead.
  • Chicken – rotisserie or any leftover chicken works perfectly for convenience and making this soup way faster
ingredients for creamy chicken tortilla soup in prep bowls

Is it spicy?

This soup isn’t particularly spicy as written, even if you use Original Rotel. If you do want to make this soup spicy, however, feel free to stir in 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper or add in a jalapeño or a chopped chipotle chili and a spoonful of adobo sauce for a spicy, smoky flavor. 

Chicken tortilla soup toppings

  • Top this tortilla soup with crispy tortilla strips! Crushed Doritos or Fritos will work just fine in a pinch.
  • Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt adds even more creaminess and a cooling sensation.
  • If you’re a cilantro person, it’s a must for this soup. Avocado and scallions are other fresh ingredients that pair very well along with a squeeze of fresh lime.
  • Craving cheese? Try a Mexican blend or cotija cheese.

How to make creamy chicken tortilla soup

This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.

sauteing onions and adding beans, corn, and other ingredients to a pot for chicken tortilla soup

Sauté the onion in the olive oil until it’s lightly browned, then add in the crushed tomatoes, Rotel tomatoes, and broth, followed by the spices, corn, and black beans. Increase the heat and bring the soup to a boil.

adding cream and chicken to a pot of creamy chicken tortilla soup and simmering

Simmer for a few minutes. Use this time to prep the toppings you’ll be using. Stir in the chicken and cream, and let it heat through for a few minutes. Season generously with salt & pepper, and serve each bowl with desired toppings.

Substitutions and variations

  • The crushed tomatoes give this soup a bit of thickness and body, so I don’t recommend subbing them for something else.
  • I also don’t recommend swapping the cream for a lower fat alternative because it’s likely to curdle from the acidity of the tomatoes.
  • If you don’t have Rotel diced tomatoes or don’t want some pieces of tomato in the soup, you can leave it out and include a 4 ounce can of diced green chilies instead.

Tools for this recipe

Check out Natasha’s favorite kitchen essentials, gadgets, and cookware!

  • I suggest putting all the soup toppings individually in a divided serving platter so that everyone can choose their own.
  • This is the soup pot I use to make it.
  • And here’s my favorite cooking spoon to limit scratches on cookware.

What to serve with chicken tortilla soup

Leftovers and storage

  • This soup will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
  • Reheat in a saucepan over a low heat slowly, giving it the occasional stir. If the heat is too high, the broth may separate.
  • I don’t recommend freezing leftovers of this chicken tortilla soup. You could try, but keep in mind that soups with cream generally don’t come out the same texture after being frozen. It’ll still taste good, though.
closeup of a pot of creamy chicken tortilla soup with a ladle

Did you make this chicken tortilla soup? Have any questions? Leave me a comment or review below! You can also tag me #saltandlavender on Instagram so I can see when you make it.

a bowl of creamy chicken tortilla soup with a spoon
5 from 23 votes

Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup

This 30-minute creamy chicken tortilla soup recipe is easy to make and has a cozy, perfectly seasoned broth. Load it up with your favorite toppings for a satisfying meal!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion chopped
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (10 ounce) can Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies with juices
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 (12 ounce) can corn drained
  • 1 (14 ounce) can black beans drained & rinsed
  • 1 cup heavy/whipping cream
  • 2 cups cooked chicken (I used a rotisserie chicken)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Toppings (optional, to taste): tortilla strips, avocado, sour cream, Tex-Mex cheese, etc.

Instructions 

  • Add the oil and onion to a soup pot and sauté over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes or until it's lightly browned.
  • Stir in the crushed tomatoes, Rotel, and chicken broth, followed by the garlic powder, smoked paprika, chili powder, corn, and black beans. Stir well and increase the heat to high.
  • Once the soup has come to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer with the pot covered (lid slightly ajar) for 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prep the toppings.
  • Stir in the cream and chicken and let it warm through for 3-5 minutes. Taste and season with salt & pepper as needed (I am generous with both).
  • Serve immediately and top bowls as desired.

Notes

  • Substitutions:
    • I don’t recommend subbing the canned tomatoes for another variety because it adds thickness/body to the soup.
    • I don’t recommend subbing the cream for something with a lower fat percentage because the tomatoes are likely to curdle it.
    • If you don’t have Rotel or don’t want some pieces of tomato in the soup, you can leave it out and include a 4 ounce can of diced green chilies instead.

Nutrition

Calories: 425kcal, Carbohydrates: 38g, Protein: 23g, Fat: 22g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Cholesterol: 89mg, Sodium: 478mg, Potassium: 985mg, Fiber: 9g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 1309IU, Vitamin C: 21mg, Calcium: 118mg, Iron: 5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

© Salt & Lavender Inc. Content and photographs are copyrighted. Sharing this blog post is much appreciated, but copying and pasting full recipes without authorization to social media is strictly prohibited.

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This recipe was originally published on March 28, 2021. It’s been updated with new photos and better instructions but is the same great recipe!


Hi! I’m Natasha.

Salt & Lavender is a recipe blog with a focus on delicious comfort food using everyday ingredients. Beat the weekday grind with hundreds of easy-to-follow and hassle-free recipes!

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74 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This soup is SCRUMPTIOUS.
    My partner is pescatarian so we subbed sautéed shrimp for the protein, also added garbanzo beans on a whim- which gave the texture of melty potatoes.
    We ended up abandoning our spoons completely in favor of scooping with white corn chips. Simply put…it will require restraint to not have this on heavy rotation LOL- Kudos!

  2. 5 stars
    Delicious soup! I will absolutely make this again for my family and try halving the heavy cream to keep more of the tomato flavors.

  3. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! I made the vegan version which was delete the meat and use plant base chicken meat and deleted heavy cream and used vegan sour cream. I will be making this one again real soon, already have a request for it.