This Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup is loaded with tender chicken, corn, beans, fajita seasoning and is simmered in a rich, creamy broth. Finish with your favorite Tex-Mex toppings for an easy one-pot dinner that the whole family will love!

creamy chicken tortilla soup topped with cheese, avocado and fresh cilantro

I made this recipe last night and WOW. I used rotisserie chicken as suggested and it had so much flavor. I also used spicy fajita seasoning because we like spicy. Results were phenomenal. I agree the fresh toppings make alllll the difference (we used cheddar, tortilla chips, sour cream, cilantro). Thanks for a great recipe we’ll be making all winter!!

— Anita

We eat a lot of soup during the fall and winter, some of our favorites are vegetable beef soup, chicken noodle soup and this amazingly delicious creamy chicken tortilla soup. I first got the idea for this soup from my mom. She made up a huge pot of Trisha Yearwood’s tortilla soup for a Halloween gathering we were having. It was a HUGE hit and I knew I had to recreate it (with a few minor tweaks) and share with all of you. My son has already requested it several times since then. It’s that good!

This cozy, comforting recipe for chicken tortilla soup has quickly become a family favorite. I love that it comes together super quick with the use of rotisserie chicken or cooked chicken we might happen to have in the fridge. It seriously tastes like it’s been simmering on the stove all day, but only takes about 40 minutes to prep and cook. As an added plus, my whole family really enjoys it. We like to top our bowl of creamy, delicious soup with shredded cheese, avocado or guacamole, crispy tortilla strips and a little fresh cilantro. The perfect satisfying lunch or dinner!

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Quick & easy. Soup recipes that are made in one pot on the stovetop are the best! And not only is there less cleanup with this soup recipe, you’ll have dinner on the table in just over 30 minutes!
  • So tasty. The bold aromas of Mexican spices are absorbed by the creamy broth and chicken to create a meal that’s filled with savory Mexican flavors.
  • Easy swaps. You can make this recipe with all of your favorite Tex-Mex ingredients! Switch up the protein or even make it meatless. This recipe is easy to make vegetarian! Want to use different vegetables? Chicken tortilla soup is versatile and delicious all types of ways.
  • Perfect for the family. This family-friendly meal is comforting, cozy and easy to make for the whole family because creamy Mexican-flavored soup is always a crowd favorite. You can easily make this as spicy as preferred, so even the kids can enjoy.

Ingredients needed

You guys know Mexican dishes are my favorite and this quick + easy soup recipe is no exception. It’s quickly become one of my go-to meals when I need something tasty on the table in a hurry. It’s loaded with everything I’d put in tacos or burritos, but in soup form! Here’s what you need to make it:

  • Chicken Broth. I recommend using a low-sodium chicken broth because then you can control the sodium in the soup. Everyone’s salt preferences are different.
  • Black beans & kidney beans. You can use all black beans or all kidney beans, if you prefer. You can also substitute pinto or great northern beans for the black and/or kidney beans in this recipe.
  • Onion + garlic. Major flavor enhancers!
  • Corn. Feel free to use canned or frozen corn.
  • Salsa. Use any favorite salsa, but be aware if you use a “hot” salsa, it could make this soup pretty spicy.
  • Chicken. You can use frozen chicken strips, diced chicken, shredded rotisserie or leftover chicken.

To make this tortilla soup recipe extra creamy, a small amount of flour, a can of cream of chicken soup and some half-n-half or heavy cream are stirred in with the other ingredients. There are also plenty of spices to add flavor, tortilla strips for a satisfying crunch, and we finish with our favorite toppings (shredded cheese, cilantro, and avocado)!

ingredients for chicken tortilla soup separated in small white bowls

How to make this recipe

Making this flavorful soup recipe is such a breeze and it takes under 30 minutes to cook. Whoop! You can prep your veggies in advance to save extra time. Here’s the simple process, but for the full, printable recipe, reference the recipe card at the bottom of the page.

  1. Sauté. Heat butter in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Then, sauté the chopped onion and garlic until soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add all of the soup ingredients. Once the onion and garlic are soft, stir in the flour, cooking for 1 minute more. Add the broth and the half-and-half. Stir in the cream of chicken soup, salsa, chicken, beans, corn, cumin and fajita seasoning.
  3. Simmer. Cook the soup over low heat for 15 minutes. While the soup is cooking, you can be prepping any additional ingredients that you’d like to add as a topping over the soup.
  4. Serve and enjoy. Ladle soup into individual bowls and top with crumbled tortilla chips or strips. Sprinkle each serving with cheese and add any other optional toppings. We love using shredded cheese, fresh cilantro, and avocado! Yum!
cooking soup in a large pot

Customize this recipe

This soup is fabulous as-is, but you can easily swap out the ingredients to use what you have available and/or customize the flavors to your preference. Here’s some ideas:

  • Chicken. You can use any kind of cooked chicken for this soup, such as leftover cubed chicken, shredded chicken, or roasted chicken breasts.
  • Beans. Not a fan of black beans? Try pinto beans instead. You could even leave the beans out completely. If you are going to leave the beans out, I would suggest adding a couple of cans of diced tomatoes.
  • Corn. Typically, I use canned corn, but frozen or fresh corn will also work just fine.
  • Seasoning. I chose a mild fajita seasoning and salsa, but if you prefer spicy, use a “hot” seasoning packet and salsa instead. You could even sub the fajita seasoning with taco seasoning.

Tips for recipe success

This creamy chicken tortilla soup recipe really is so simple, but here are some tips to make sure your dish is absolutely perfect every time you make it!

  • To save time, use store-bought rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken that you have on hand. Of course you can roast or pan sauté the chicken if you’d like.
  • Make it less chunky. I feel like this soup recipe has a great ratio of chicken and veggies to broth, but if you’d like a less chunky soup, simply add additional chicken broth. On the other hand, if this soup isn’t chunky enough for you, use less broth or add more veggies.
  • Double the recipe. This is fabulous for crowds (everyone loves it) and can be easily doubled. Leftovers are amazing too!
  • Taste and be sure to add salt to your soup, as preferred. The saltiness of the broth, chicken, canned ingredients, fajita seasoning, and personal preferences for salt all vary, so salt to taste.
spooning creamy chicken tortilla soup out of a large pot

Topping options

Feel free to add any favorite toppings you like. You really can’t go wrong! Just don’t forget the tortilla strips! Some favorite topping options:

  • Shredded cheese. Add a sprinkle of some shredded cheddar cheese, Mexican cheese or crumbled cotija cheese over the top. The cheese gets all melty and delicious! Yes, please!
  • Sour cream or Greek yogurt. A dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt gives this soup even more wonderful creaminess!
  • Avocado or guacamole. A must for me when I eat Mexican-flavored dishes. By the way, my guacamole recipe is bomb!
  • Tortilla chips or strips. One of my favorite toppings to add is crushed tortilla chips or strips. Make your own or grab tortilla strips down the grocery store aisle with salad dressing and toppings. Adds the perfect crunch!
  • Cilantro. I’m a huge fan of fresh cilantro and add extra to almost all Mexican recipes that I make. So flavorful and yummy!
  • Green or red onions. About a tablespoon of green or red onions would make a great option for an extra boost of flavor.
  • Pico De Gallo. Adds delicious freshness!
  • Lime juice. A squeeze of a lime is the perfect finish to this soup recipe!

How to make tortilla strips

You can find pre-made tortilla strips at your local grocery store. They will most likely be located near salad dressings, with the salad toppings. There are lots of different flavor varieties and I usually keep a bag in the pantry to pair with any soup I’m eating. However, if you’re looking for a super authentic version, then making your own tortilla strips is the way to go.

To make homemade tortilla strips, simply cut 4 or 5 store-bought corn tortillas into thin strips and fry them in some oil. Once they get crispy, place them on a paper towel to drain off any excess oil and season with salt. That’s it!

Here’s a great recipe for baked tortilla strips, if you’re looking to avoid extra oil.

white bowls filled with creamy chicken tortilla soup and topped with cheese and avocado

Serving suggestions

We love this dish paired with tortilla chips, crackers, crusty bread or Mexican Cornbread. It’s seriously the BEST cornbread you’ll ever taste and a must try whether you serve it with this soup or a different recipe.

To keep things on the lighter side, try this with a fresh, green salad. Simply toss mixed greens with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Feel free to add toppings to your salad such as red onion, cherry tomatoes, and/or croutons. Better yet, serve this tortilla soup alongside my tasty Southwest Salad with Avocado Dressing for the perfect soup/salad meal. You can easily omit the chicken from the salad, since this soup has plenty of chicken.

Frequently asked questions

Is creamy chicken tortilla soup healthy?

In my opinion, I think this recipe is pretty good for you. Healthy is subjective and means something different to everyone, but it’s packed with nutritious ingredients. We’ve got veggies, fiber-rich beans, and high protein chicken, so it is a balanced meal. And for one big bowl the calories and fat are really great!

However, if you really want a healthy version of chicken tortilla soup, check out our Healthy Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe. It’s a reader favorite!

Can I make this in the slow cooker?

This creamy soup totally works in the slow cooker! Simply add all ingredients to the crockpot. Since the chicken is already cooked and you are basically just heating everything up, the soup will only need to slow cook for 3-4 hours on low. Once cooked, ladle into bowls and top with all your favorites.

Storing recommendations

This is a great recipe to meal prep on the weekend, and then simply reheat throughout the week for easy lunches and dinners. Store leftover soup in an airtight container. It keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 4 or 5 days. I have not tried freezing this soup and since it includes half-and-half or cream, I don’t think freezing it would work very well.

white bowl filled with creamy chicken tortilla soup and served with a spoon

Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup is one of my family’s favorite soups ever! Trust me, everyone will LOVE this flavorful soup and it’s SO easy too!

If you try this, let me know! Leave a comment and if your family loves it as much as mine does, be sure to give it a five star ⭐️ rating! Also, tag @kimscravings on Instagram with a picture of your creation. It’s so fun to see what you’re cooking! Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list to receive more delicious recipes straight to your inbox.

creamy chicken tortilla soup topped with cheese, avocado and fresh cilantro
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Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup

This Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup is loaded with tender chicken, corn, beans, fajita seasoning and is simmered in a rich, creamy broth. Finish with your favorite Tex-Mex toppings for an easy one-pot dinner that the whole family will love!
Author: Kim

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 (32 ounce) box chicken broth
  • 2 cups (1 pint) half-and-half
  • 1 (10.75-ounce) can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup prepared salsa, mild or spicy depending on preference
  • 3-4 cups diced or shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 packet fajita or taco seasoning, mild or spicy depending on preference

Optional for serving:

  • Tortilla chips or strips
  • Grated cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Sliced avocado
  • Fresh cilantro

Instructions 

  • Heat the butter or oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and the onion and sauté until softened, 5 minutes.
  • Add the flour and stir well, cooking for 1 minute more. Add the broth and the half-and-half. Stir in the cream of chicken soup, salsa, chicken, beans, corn, cumin and fajita seasoning.
  • Simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Ladle soup into individual bowls and top with crumbled tortilla chips or strips. Sprinkle each serving with cheese and add any other optional toppings. Enjoy!

Notes

Storage: This soup will keep airtight in the fridge for 5 to 7 days. I have not tried freezing this soup and since it includes half-and-half, I don’t think it would work very well.
Serving: 1serving, Calories: 206kcal, Carbohydrates: 8g, Protein: 19g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 67mg, Sodium: 305mg, Potassium: 335mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 399IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 90mg, Iron: 1mg

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This post was originally published January 2020. It was updated with new content and republished September 2022.