This creamy chicken tortilla soup recipe is super easy to make, comforting, and perfectly seasoned. It's ready in about 30 minutes for a fast and satisfying meal!
You may also like my Mexican Chicken Soup or Creamy Chicken Taco Soup for similar irresistible flavors.
Why you'll enjoy it
If you're anything like me, a good chicken tortilla soup is hard to resist. In this quick soup, juicy chicken is simmered with corn and beans in a delicious and rich seasoned tomato broth. This soup is honestly good as-is, but the crunch that tortilla strips give and fresh toppings like avocado are a must for me to take it over the top.
This Mexican-inspired chicken tortilla soup is a bit different than the traditional or typical version. I wanted to make a creamy broth that has a bit of thickness to it, so I used crushed tomatoes. It's a game changer, if you ask me! The broth thickens up beautifully for an all-around richer soup. It's definitely better than any restaurant version that I've tried, and I think you'll agree.
What you'll need
- Olive oil - for sautéing
- Onion - use any variety, but sweet (Vidalia) is our 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. It's a really tasty trio.
- Corn and black beans - easy canned veggies that are staples in Tex-Mex cooking. They're inexpensive and save time.
- 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. It's stirred in right at the end to keep it nice and tender and not overcooked.
Is this soup 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
- Of course, you'll want to top this tortilla soup with crispy tortilla strips! However, crushed Doritos or Fritos will work just fine in a pinch.
- Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt adds 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 Tex-Mex shredded cheese blend or cotija cheese if that's your thing.
How to make creamy chicken tortilla soup
This is an overview, and full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
- Sauté the onion in a soup pot until it's lightly browned, then add in the crushed tomatoes, Rotel diced tomatoes, and chicken broth, followed by the spices, corn, and black beans.
- Increase the heat and bring the soup to a boil, then simmer for 5 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 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. You could try coconut milk for a dairy-free option if you're familiar with using it, but it'll alter the taste of the soup.
- 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.
What to serve with this soup
- If you're making this chicken tortilla soup for taco night, I suggest putting all the toppings individually in a divided serving platter so that everyone can choose their own!
- I love serving this soup with a side salad that has mixed greens, tomatoes, and cucumber and dressed up with my southwest Chipotle Lime Ranch Dressing.
- It's always a good idea to serve my Restaurant Style Guacamole with tortilla chips along with it.
Leftovers and storage
- This soup will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days just fine.
- Reheat in a saucepan over a low heat and very 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.
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.
Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 1 (28 fluid ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (10 fluid 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 fluid ounce) can corn drained
- 1 (14 fluid 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Will this soup freeze ok?
See "leftovers & storage" section of the blog post. 🙂
It was easy and really delicious
Thanks so much, Yvonne! 🙂
If I don’t have heavy cream, can I use sour cream?
There's a chance it'll curdle and make the soup taste too tangy, but you could try.
This is by far the best soup ever!!! I made it today for the first time for my favorite day of the year. My family likes to get together once a year and everyone brings a soup! I brought this and brought home an empty crockpot!!! It was gone before everyone was able to have some. I even doubled the recipe!!!
That's so nice to hear, Katie!! 😀
This soup is insanely good. I made it for my family tonight and we could not get enough. Thank you!!
That's awesome!! 😀 Thanks for your review!
Cheryl P. says
Fantastic soup! I followed the recipe and added about 1/2 tsp of cumin. The cream really makes this! I had bread with the soup and had to refill my broth because I dipped it all out with my bread! I will make this often and recommend to others. Thank you for such a delicious EASY recipe!
Thank you so much! Glad you enjoyed it! 🙂 I appreciate you recommending it to others.
I chose this recipe to make for Cinco de Mayo, and it did not disappoint. So flavorful!! Will definitely make again and again.
I'm thrilled it was a hit, Lorena!! 😀
This soup is so amazing! I seriously make this once a week and everyone in my family loves it so much! Even my kids that don't like beans eat them in this soup. I ran out of green chilis so I used a whole jalapeño. Just leave it to boil in the soup and the soup is not spicy at all, such a great flavor!
Love this recipe so much! Thank you!
You're very welcome, Lupe!! So happy it's a regular in your rotation. 🙂
Do you think you can put this all into a crockpot for the day?
I think you probably could... but I'd add the cream in last (like basically soon before serving to warm thru). Also, I'd use raw chicken thighs (or chicken breasts but they'll be drier since they're leaner) vs. re-cooking already cooked chicken for 6-8 hours. Enjoy!
Really good and easy. I added ground cumin and grated garlic. The crushed tomatoes are key to add body to soup. Also smoked paprika is always my favorite over regular paprika. Just kicks it up a notch without adding spiciness. And don’t forget the lime juice as a topper. Will use this recipe now.
I'm so pleased you enjoyed it!! 🙂 Thanks, Kathy!
I live for this soup.
I was wondering if the heavy cream could be left out? I'm lactose intolerant, and I don't know if my 4 yr old son is or not.
Lactose intolerant momma!!
Hi! You could, but it might taste quite acidic without it. You could add a pinch of sugar if you find that the tomato taste is a bit sour/overpowering.
You can use a non dairy creamer in place of heavy cream
You could try, but I haven't personally tested anything like that before in place of real cream.
Do you think you could skip the cream altogether and maybe add some more broth to make this more of a brothy than creamy soup and still have enough flavor?
I think you could probably tweak it, yes! Let me know how it goes.
Love this recipe! Easy, quick and delicious. Thank will definitely be making this again.
Fantastic!! Thanks for letting me know! 🙂
Is one cup of broth correct?
Yup. The crushed tomatoes, cream, and Rotel all add liquid. As mentioned in the post, this soup is fairly thick. If you find it too thick, add a little more broth to thin it out to your liking. Hope you enjoy it!
So delicious! I subbed frozen corn for canned and added pickled jalapeños from my garden. Husband licked the plate! Pic on my Insta: @burienwino
So happy you liked it, Michele! Thanks for your review. 🙂
Very tasty! Can you freeze leftovers? Thanks.
So glad you enjoyed it!! I haven't tried freezing leftovers, but you could give it a try. Sometimes soups with cream don't freeze/reheat all that great texture-wise, but it should still taste fine.
This is by far the best soup I have ever eaten!
Absolutely delicious, I doubled the spices and added fresh chillies as I love spice!
But it is amazing!
Do you happen to know calories for a portion?
Hi! I'm so glad you liked it. That's odd... the calorie count should be displaying now. Thanks for pointing that out! 🙂
How can I adapt this for InstaPot?
Hi! I have not tested this one in the Instant Pot. It's a really quick stovetop recipe, so I recommend just trying it as-is. I don't really think there's a benefit to pressure cooking this one. You'd have to add the cream in at the end anyway, and the chicken will be very overcooked since we use already cooked chicken. I do have a well tested Instant Pot chicken tortilla soup recipe you may want to try that uses uncooked chicken, though: https://bit.ly/3fY29uH
SORRY JUST SAW THIS NOW WILL BE MAKING THIS WITH FEW SUBS PERFECT FOR RAINING DAYS IN SINGAPORE PERFECT FOR MY AFTER OFFICE MEALS WILL DM YOU IF I MAKE THIS AND LET YOU KNOW HOW IT GOES THANKS RAMYA
Delish!! Just made for my boyfriend, his dad and myself. Everyone loved it!