This healthy Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe is loaded with flavor, with a richly seasoned broth, shredded chicken, tomatoes, peppers, corn, and beans. Top with crunchy tortilla strips, avocado, and sour cream for an easy weeknight dinner ready in under 40 minutes!

Overhead view of a bowl of chicken tortilla soup

Easy One-Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

This easy Chicken Tortilla Soup brings delicious comfort and a surprising element of fun to the table, a family favorite recipe. It’s made in one pot and ready in under 40 minutes!

My friend Meghan shared this recipe with me many years ago. It’s a riff on the chicken tortilla soup from local restaurant Brasa. While this soup is no longer on their menu (sadly), I’m happy that we can still enjoy its goodness at home!

The base of this soup is a combination of seasoned chicken broth and tomato. And then it’s loaded with bites of fresh veggies, sweet corn kernels, black beans, and chicken. It’s a healthy chicken tortilla soup recipe that’s so very delicious!

But what makes this one-pot soup recipe extra special and super fun? It’s the surprise hiding at the bottom of the bowl

Down under all those tasty spoonfuls of soup are chunks of fresh mozzarella cheese. The cheese keeps its form, but the heat of the soup transforms it into ooey-gooey blissful bites. This reminds me of the cheesy yum in lasagna soup, which EVERYONE loves!

The recipe card lists the mozzarella as an optional garnish – because the soup is still great without it. However, I highly recommend that it be moved to the TOP of the ingredient list, as it’s really quite the spectacular addition!

overhead view of chicken tortilla soup ingredients

What You’ll Need

This easy soup recipe is loaded with robust Mexican flavors and ingredients, like chili powder, Mexican oregano, corn, and black beans. See the recipe card for measurements.

  • Onion & bell pepper
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil – For sauteing the vegetables and garlic.
  • Seasonings – This easy tortilla soup is seasoned with chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, Mexican oregano, chipotle powder, salt, and black pepper.
  • Diced tomatoes – Canned diced tomatoes are easy, and perfect.
  • Tomato paste – Adds richer tomato flavor to the soup.
  • Chicken broth – Be sure to use low-sodium broth so you can control the salt.
  • Corn & black beans – Typical Tex-Mex ingredients add nutrients, protein, flavor, and texture to the soup.
  • Chicken – You can either grab a roasted deli chicken or cook/roast two chicken breast halves yourself.
  • Lime juice – A squeeze of lime juice adds a bright note to the soup.
  • Garnishes – I always offer fresh mozzarella, avocado, cilantro, green onions, tortilla crisps, (more!) lime, and sour cream when serving.

How to Make Chicken Tortilla Soup

This chicken tortilla soup comes together quickly, perfect for busy weeknights.

  • Saute the onions and peppers. Cook the onion, sweet bell peppers, and garlic in the oil until just softened.
  • Add the broth. Stir in the chicken broth, tomatoes and tomato paste, and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add the remaining ingredients. Stir in the corn, black beans, shredded chicken, and lime juice. Simmer until heated, about 10 minutes.
A ladle of tortilla soup over a soup pot
  • Serve. Ladle the hot soup over fresh mozzarella and avocado in individual bowls. Top with your desired garnishes and serve with fresh lime on the side.
a bowl of homemade chicken tortilla soup

How to Make Tortilla Strips

You can find bags of tortilla strips at the store near the croutons, but it’s also super easy to make your own!

  • Cut tortillas into strips. Cut corn tortillas into strips, about 1/4″ in width.
  • Fry. Fry the strips in olive oil. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain. Sprinkle with salt if desired.

Or just use your favorite tortilla chips!

Angled view of a bowl of chicken tortilla soup topped with lime and cilantro

Tips & Variations

Here are a few tips and variations to keep in mind when making this one-pot soup.

  • Use leftover chicken. If you have any leftover chicken breasts in the fridge, this recipe is a great way to use them. Whenever I roast or grill chicken breasts, I often cook more than I need for a recipe, and then throw the extra chicken into the freezer for a later meal – which comes in handy when making this soup!
  • Make it spicy. Want to give this soup an extra kick? Stir in some chopped or sliced jalapenos for added heat. Or offer jalapeno on the side. Or sprinkle in some ground chipotle powder, which will also give a smoky flavor besides the heat.
  • Taste test before serving. I always sneak a spoonful or two of this soup before serving to see if it needs any extra salt or other spices. All of the ingredients – tomato paste, chicken broth, deli chicken, beans, etc – can have varying levels of saltiness, so it always pays to taste test and adjust if needed.
  • Make it creamy. If you prefer creamy soups, you can stir in some cream or half & half, or even a bit of cream cheese, while the soup is simmering.
A hand holding a spoon in a bowl of chicken tortilla soup

Serving Suggestions

When our family eats this soup, we always add fresh mozzarella and avocado to the bottom of our bowls before ladleing hot soup over the top.

For the mozzarella, you can cut up large balls of fresh mozzarella – or use small mozzarella balls or even smaller mozzarella “pearls”. For the avocado, just cut it into bite-sized chunks.

When you ladle the hot soup over the mozzarella, the cheese stays in its form and transforms into soft, super melty, ooey-gooey fun!

Then add your own favorite toppings – here are a few ideas:

  • Cilantro
  • Green onions
  • Sour cream
  • Tortilla crisps or chips
  • Sliced jalapenos and/or pickled jalapenos
  • Hot sauce
  • Pickled red onions
  • Shredded cheese (especially if not using mozzarella)

Then add a few lime wedges to squeeze over the top and dinner is served!

If you’re looking for a drink to go with this soup, a margarita or tequila mojito would be perfect.

Overhead view of a bowl of chicken tortilla soup

How to Store & Reheat Leftovers

Leftover chicken tortilla soup can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days. Keep it in an airtight container.

Reheat leftovers gently in the microwave or on the stovetop.

Be sure to keep any toppings separate and add them just before serving, as some (like avocado) won’t reheat or store well.

Can I Freeze This?

Yes, you can also freeze this easy chicken soup.

Allow it to cool completely, then transfer it to airtight, freezer-safe containers. Freeze for up to 3 months.

Thaw overnight in the fridge. Reheat on the stovetop, bringing it to a simmer, and then serve as usual with your favorite toppings.

More Delicious, Easy Soup Recipes:

Like this recipe? Save it to Pinterest!

Pinterest image for chicken tortilla soup
Overhead view of a bowl of chicken tortilla soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

This healthy Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe is loaded with flavor, with a richly seasoned broth, shredded chicken, tomatoes, peppers, corn, and beans. Top with crunchy tortilla strips, avocado, and sour cream for an easy weeknight dinner ready in under 40 minutes!


  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 sweet bell peppers, any color(s) you like, chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • ½ teaspoon ground chipotle powder
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons kosher salt, to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 32 ounces low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 can (14 ounces) corn, drained - or use fresh sweet corn kernels, so good!
  • 1 can (14 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 to 4 cups cooked, shredded chicken breasts - a roasted deli chicken works great!
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice

Optional Garnishes, see Notes for more ideas:

  • fresh mozzarella, cut into 1″ chunks - or use small mozzarella balls or "pearls"
  • fresh avocado, cut into 1" chunks


  1. Heat a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Add oil. Once oil is shimmering, stir in onion, sweet bell peppers, and garlic. Stir occasionally, until just softened, about 4-5 minutes.
  2. Then add chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, chipotle powder, salt, pepper, tomatoes, tomato paste, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. 
  3. Stir in corn, black beans, shredded chicken, and lime juice. Simmer for 10 minutes more, or until heated throughout.
  4. To serve: Place avocado and mozzarella in the bottom of individual serving bowls. Ladle hot soup over the top. The cheese will stay in its form but become melted and ooey-gooey, yummy! Top soup with cilantro, green onions, sour cream, and tortilla crisps or chips. Offer fresh lime slices on the side for squeezing over the top.


Optional Garnishes:

fresh cilantro, chopped
green onions, chopped
fresh jalapeno slices and/or pickled jalapenos
pickled red onions
tortilla crisps or chips
fresh lime slices
sour cream

Adapted from Meghan Kell's recipe box, inspired by the soup once offered at Brasa.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 757Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 211mgSodium: 1033mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 7gSugar: 8gProtein: 79g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment below. And share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #afarmgirlsdabbles!

Overhead view of a bowl of chicken tortilla soup

This post was originally published in 2011, then updated in 2022.