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Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

This easy Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe is a flavor packed soup recipe that’s perfect to make ahead on busy nights.

Love Tex-Mex inspired food? Make sure to try my Chicken Enchiladas or my Fiesta Chicken Casserole!

Easy Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup 

I am all about an easy, slow cooker, flavor packed dinner. Plus, we do love our Tex-Mex around here…so this chicken tortilla soup recipe is an obvious hit in my house! It’s a little creamy, but not too creamy…it’s a little spicy, but not too spicy…it’s the perfect vehicle to add all my favorite garnishes…or no garnishes at all, AND it feeds a crowd…or just your family with leftovers for the week!

So, basically it’s kind of the perfect meal for us, and I think you will enjoy it too!

Is Tortilla Soup Really Mexican? 

Tortilla soup is a traditional Mexican soup recipe that was believed to have been created by the Aztecs in southern or central Mexico. It’s a broth based soup with tomatoes, onions, garlic, and chiles with fried tortillas submerged into the flavorful broth.

Of course there are now many variations of tortilla soup and I am sharing a very Tex-Mex version that I have created with chicken and a little heavy cream to thicken it up. 

Ingredients You’ll Need For Chicken Tortilla Soup:

This soup includes all simple ingredients, and if you do regular Taco Tuesdays, you might have most of these in your kitchen now!

  • Onions & Garlic: I microwave the onions before adding them to the slow cooker to start the cooking process and soften them up. Alternately you can soften them in a skillet or just add them raw. 
  • Boneless Chicken Breasts. You could even use boneless chicken thighs if you would like!
  • Spices: Chili Powder, Cumin, Smoked Paprika, Salt and Black Pepper
  • RoTel: Or you can just used diced tomatoes and a can of diced green chiles.
  • Adobo Sauce from a can of Chipotles in Adobo. Add a diced chipotle pepper for more heat if you like things spicy!
  • Black Beans: Or really any type of beans you like.
  • Corn: Canned or frozen will work.
  • Chicken Broth: Any brand you like, but I love Trader Joe’s Organic Chicken Broth!
  • Heavy Cream: The heavy cream adds richness and creaminess to the soup. There isn’t a lot of cream, but enough to make the broth silky.
tortilla soup with chicken and black beans in a crock pot slow cooker

How To Make Tortilla Soup Dairy Free:

You can simply omit the heavy cream in this recipe if you prefer. You could also add in a few tablespoons almond milk or nondairy creamer in its place. I like to garnish my soup with a little grated cheese and sour cream as well, which you can easily skip!

Do You Have To Make This Soup In The Slow Cooker?

Absolutely not. You can easily make this soup on the stove top in a big dutch oven. You basically follow all the steps in the same way, just bring the soup to a boil over medium heat, cover and reduce it to medium-low for about a hour, or until the chicken shreds easily.

Quick Method: You can even cut the cooking time WAY back if you use pre-cooked shredded chicken, or even a store bought rotisserie chicken. Just follow the instructions as written without the chicken. Add all the ingredients to a large pot or Dutch oven. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, simmer for 10 minutes and add in the chicken last, cooking until it is warm. This will take you less than 30 minutes!

How Do You Thicken Chicken Tortilla Soup?

  1. If you would prefer a thick tortilla soup you can add in more heavy cream, up to 1/2 cup. You can also stir in some refried beans to the broth. As they heat and mix in they will add thickness. 
  2. Another easy way to thicken soup without adding too many more calories is instead of microwaving the onions to soften, add them to a small skillet along with a tablespoon of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of flour or cornstarch. Cook the onions in the flour and then use that mixture in the soup. This will help thicken up your soup slightly.
  3. An old-school way of thickening soup is to add in some instant mashed potatoes. I don’t typically do this, but it ABSOLUTELY works!
  4. And lastly you can always create a slurry using equal parts cold water and cornstarch (1 – 2 tablespoons). Mix this together and add it into your soup and bring it to a boil. This method thickens just about any soup or sauce. 
Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup in a bowl with taco-style toppings on a white towel

Tortilla Soup Toppings!

You can see from my pictures that we really go crazy with soup toppers. I treat this soup almost like a taco. I even go the extra mile and fry up some corn tortilla strips, making my own tortilla chips which taste amazing. But you can absolutely just use bagged tortilla chips too! Here are some of our favorite garnishes:

  • Tortilla Chips
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Avocado
  • Shredded Cheese. I like grated cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
  • Sour Cream
  • Lime Wedges. I really like a squeeze of lime juice in my tortilla soup!
  • Jalapeños
  • Salsa or Pico de Gallo

Storing Leftover Soup:

This soup will store beautifully in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days. As soup sits, the flavors blend even more making most soup recipes even better the second day!

Can You Freeze Chicken Tortilla Soup? 

Tortilla soup is a great recipe to make in batches and freeze. Simply allow it to cool completely and place in a freezer-safe container or even a zip-top freezer bag for up to 2 months. Allow the soup to thaw in the refrigerator and then reheat and enjoy!

Looking For More Soup Recipes? Try These:

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Chicken Tortilla Soup in a serving bowl with tortilla strips, avocado, a lime wedge and a spoon

Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup

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  • Author: Shelly
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: serves 6
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Dinner


This easy Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup is a flavor packed soup recipe that’s perfect to make ahead on busy nights.


  • 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
  • 2 pounds boneless chicken breasts
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 (10- ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chilis (like RoTel)
  • 1 tablespoon Adobo Sauce (from a can of chipotle in adobo), optional also add one finely chopped chipotle pepper for heat
  • 1 (15- ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups canned or frozen corn
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Tortilla chips to serve

Optional Toppings:

  • cilantro
  • avocado
  • sour cream
  • grated cheese
  • lime wedges


  1. Place the diced onions in a small heat-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes, or until softened.
  2. Place the chicken breasts in your slow cooker. Add in the softened onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, canned tomatoes, Adobo sauce, black beans, corn, and chicken broth.
  3. Stir ingredients together, cover and cook on high for 4 hours or 6 hours on low.
  4. Remove the chicken from the soup and shred. Place chicken back in the soup and add the heavy cream. Stir to combine.
  5. Serve warm.


Store airtight in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 242
  • Sugar: 4.2 g
  • Sodium: 1192.4 mg
  • Fat: 4.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 18.2 g
  • Protein: 31.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 87.3 mg

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2 comments on “Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe”

    1. You can, but there will be no need to do it in the slow cooker. You can cook your onions with a little olive oil in a Dutch Oven on the stove top until the are soft and then add garlic, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, canned tomatoes, Adobo sauce, black beans, corn, and chicken broth. Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer for 15-20 minutes. Add in the shredded chicken and heavy cream cook for another 10 minutes, until the chicken is warm 🙂

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