Chicken Tortilla Soup

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Chicken Tortilla Soup is everything I love in one – it’s Mexican food, it’s soup, it’s tangy with lime and cilantro and it can be eaten year around. I made tortilla soup a year or so ago but it didn’t turn out at all the way I had imagined it would, so I never tried to make it again. Which by the way is a horrible reason to not try something again, so thank goodness I talked some sense into myself and made it again because it was probably one of the best soups I’ve ever made. I’m pretty sure it moved it’s way into my top 5 favorite dishes to make!

I was actually joking that this is my “white girl chicken tortilla soup” because there’s no spice in it whatsoever and I’m okay with that!! Next time I may try a little jalapeno for some flavor and a tiny amount of spice but that’s about it, I loved this soup just the way I made it. The lime and the cilantro totally made this broth amazing! I bet it would be even better if I made the broth too.

Here’s what you need:

Start by dicing up half of an onion…

Heat up some oil over medium heat in a dutch oven and add in the diced onion. Cook until the onion is translucent, about 7 minutes.

Mince up a few cloves of garlic and add them to the onion and stir around. Be careful to not burn the garlic.. burnt garlic smells horrible and tastes really bad too.

If you want to use jalapeno, dice it up with the seeds or without, and add it in with the garlic. Saute for just a minute. I didn’t end up using jalapeno, which was just fine with me because I don’t like spicy food, especially spicy soups.

Once the garlic, and jalapeno if using, is softened and fragrant, add in the broth, tomatoes and black beans. I used 6 cups of chicken broth, one can of tomatoes with the juice and then the black beans need to be drained before adding.

Bring this whole mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat. Once it reaches a boil, add in your raw chicken breasts. I don’t normally cook soup this way if it uses chicken, but I thought I would try it out and it worked well. The downside is that I used store bought broth rather than homemade, which I would’ve gotten if I had cooked my chicken before adding it to the soup.

Simmer the chicken until it’s done, just about 15 minutes or so. Once it’s done, remove the chicken to a plate or cutting board and cover in taco seasoning. Once the chicken is slightly cooled, shred it with your fingers or using two forks. Once it’s all shredded, sprinkle on some more taco seasoning to make sure it’s well coated.

Another option would be to use leftover chicken, or shred a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.

Add the shredded chicken back into the soup pot. Roughly chop up a good amount of cilantro – and by good amount I mean most of a cilantro bunch. It only needs a rough chop because it will wilt in the hot liquid.

Add in the juice of one whole lime or two if they’re small. Stir to combine and taste the broth, adjust the seasonings if necessary but it should be just about perfect!

Serve it up!

Top it off with crunchy tortilla strips, a good amount of avocado, a little more cilantro and a wedge of lime. Now, if you’re really good you can make your own tortilla strips, but really, buying them is so much easier! If I was to make some myself it would’ve taken just as long to fry up some tortilla strips as it did to make the whole pot of soup.

This soup is absolutely delicious and tastes just perfect the way it is. It’s a very simple version of this soup which I think tastes best. I hope you give it a try soon because I promise you’ll love it and want to make it all the time!

Chicken Tortilla Soup



  • 2 T. oil
  • 1/2 medium Onion diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 medium Jalapeno diced, optional
  • 1-14 oz can Diced Tomatoes
  • 1-14 oz can Black Beans drained
  • 6 cups Chicken Broth low-sodium
  • 2 Chicken Breasts
  • 3 T Taco Seasoning
  • 2 Limes 1 juiced, 1 for wedges
  • 1 bunch of Cilantro roughly chopped
  • Tortilla Strips
  • Avocado diced


  • Heat some oil in a dutch oven and saute a diced onion until translucent. Add in garlic and diced jalapeno if using, saute for another minute.
  • Add in tomatoes, with juice, black beans and chicken broth.
  • Bring this to a boil and add in the chicken breast, immediately lower heat to a simmer
  • Simmer chicken for about 10-20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through
  • Remove chicken and shred when slightly cooled, cover in taco seasoning.
  • Add chicken back to soup pot, with juice of one lime and most of a bunch of chopped cilantro, stir to combine. Taste for any adjustments.
  • Serve in bowls and top with crunchy tortilla strips, diced avocado, a wedge of lime and a few leaves of cilantro.

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