The BEST Homemade Chicken Tortilla Soup!

A recipe that is likely to make you famous! This homemade chicken tortilla soup is simply the best! Topped with lightly fried corn tortilla strips, avocados and a squeeze of lime, it's a savory and healthy bowl of amazingness!

chicken tortilla soup

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This chicken tortilla soup has made me famous! At least amongst my friends and family! In fact, when I visit family out of state, they ask me to make this! It's that memorable!

Memorable Chicken Tortilla Soup 

Imagine a chicken tortilla soup with fresh, homemade salty fried tortilla strips on top, creamy chunks of avocado, and a squeeze of lime.

Oh my...this is the kind of soup that can really cure what ails you!

How this recipe started

I was first introduced to this recipe waaaaay back when my boys were just babes and we lived in California. Yup, it was still the 90's people!

I had been looking for a good chicken tortilla soup recipe and my sweet m-i-l came across this one and gave it to me. She hadn't tried it yet, but someone she knew had and declared it to be amazing.

It looked like a lot of work...but I was willing to give it a try if it would mean I could have the soup that my palate was longing for.

A couple hours later...I knew I had scored big-time! This was IT. THE recipe to beat all others! I've made alterations to the original recipe so that I can get it on the table faster, without losing any of the amazing Mexican flavor!

And I am proud to share the recipe with you. Be warned, it is rather lengthy and I want to walk you through the process. But if you are craving a good bowl of Chicken Tortilla Soup, you will not be disappointed! I promise!

(And I apologize for my rather 'crap' pictures...I was frying tortilla strips, chopping onions and jalapenos and trying to manhandle my phone to take pictures all at the same time...not the best idea!)

Chicken Tortilla Soup

2 49.5 oz cans chicken broth
2-3 whole, boneless and skinless chicken breasts OR 1 family-size rotisserie chicken diced* **

Note: *If using raw chicken, add to chicken broth in large soup pot and let simmer one hour. Then remove and let cool before chopping and adding to soup pot. **If using cooked chicken, dice and add to soup pot

Additional ingredients:
1 chopped onion
3 diced jalapenos
3 minced garlic cloves
-Saute the above in oil until soft and then add to chicken broth
(Be very careful when working with peppers...wear gloves or keep hands off face! The oils will burn!)

1 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp cumin
3 tsp chicken bouillon granules
pepper to taste
-Add spices to soup pot

8-12 corn tortillas, cut into 1/4" strips
-Fry these in oil, drain and salt

About 10 minutes before serving, add the following to pot:
1 cup frozen corn
4-5 diced roma tomatoes
1/2 green pepper, diced
(any of the above 3 ingredients can be omitted if your family doesn't like them)

Toppings (don't add to soup pot):
Shredded mexican cheese
chopped cilantro
diced avocado
tortilla strips

To serve soup

Ladle soup into bowl. Top with shredded cheese, cilantro, avocado, a squeeze of lime and handful of tortilla strips

Let me take you through it in picture format now.

How to make amazing chicken tortilla soup

use meat from rotisserie chicken

Chicken should be cooked and diced before proceeding with the recipe.

soften onion, jalapeno and garlic

Saute onion, jalapenos and minced garlic in oil until soft. A little sprinkle of salt helps them sweat and soften quicker. Then add them to the broth. The spices get added next. The diced chicken should be in the soup pot too!

Let's start making tortilla strips!

making fried tortilla strips

You can see how narrow I cut the corn tortillas. Do not try this with won't get the same results! Make sure your oil is good and hot (it should sizzle when you place a drop of water in in - I heat mine at about medium). 

Add the strips and using a heat-safe utensil, stir them in a little circles so they begin to twist and curl. See them starting to brown in the third pic? Let them continue until they are good and crispy, then remove to a paper-towel-lined basket to absorb the oil and salt them immediately. I do mine in batches.

Finish soup

Add the rest of the optional ingredients (corn, tomatoes and green pepper) and let simmer 10 minutes.

Time to build your bowl.

A bowl of absolute deliciousness (do NOT omit the toppings, they make the soup!!).

chicken tortilla soup

You're welcome!

bringing beauty to the ordinary, 


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  1. I have been looking for such a recipe. I'll be trying it soon!

  2. Hi Cindy,
    Saw your link over at The Pin Junkie and had to come check it out. I love all the healthy goodness in this soup and the combination of flavours looks amazing. Definitely adding it to the soup rotation. Thanks so much.

    1. I'm so glad you're going to try it Robyn! I know you'll be wowed by how amazing it is :) I'd be honored if you come back and let me know what you thought! Have a great day :)

  3. OOH YUM! I just printed this out and hope to give it a try this week! I'll let you know how it turns out :)

    1. Oh good, I hope you love it as much as we do!! It's one of our family faves :)

    2. I had to come back to tell you that I made this last night(perfect for a snow day!) and it was SO good!! I cheated and bought my tortilla strips though. I also topped it with avocado (like you suggested) and shredded pepper jack cheese. Delicious! We'll definitely be making this again, thanks!!:)

    3. Christy, I'm so pleased you liked it; it is the perfect soup for a cold winter night :) Thanks for coming back and letting me know!!

  4. Yummy, yummy, yummy! Thanks for sharing with SYC. Pinned.

    1. Oh my goodness, it is SO yummy!! Thanks for the pin and the fun comment :)


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