This Mexican-flavored chicken soup is truly chicken soup for the soul, with a warm broth filled with chunky bites of black beans, sweet corn, shredded chicken and tomatoes topped with its namesake tortilla strips and a surprise crispy jalapeño topper.
This recipe is brought to you by French’s
“Honey, what should we have for dinner?”
Gah. The question to end all questions, and the same one that comes up day after day, week after week. But over the years I’ve developed a strategy that serves the family’s cravings and makes dinner prep so much easier, just about every time.
I narrow the choices to get the answer I want.
“Well, I prepped a batch of chicken breasts for the week (even though he prefers steak, we gotta use those chicks up!) and a I have our yummy chicken stock in the freezer (because I’m on a clean-out-the-freezer mission.) So, are you craving comfort food flavors (we all love our Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup) or maybe something with Mexican flavor and spice? You love Mexican…”, I steer him, already knowing that spices and ethnic flavors win at our house every time.
How to Make Chicken Tortilla Soup
Any great soup starts with a great broth, and even if I do say so myself, I have become the master of the GREAT broth! Whether it’s on the stove top, Crock Pot or Instant Pot, get all the secrets and the method for the best homemade chicken stock here. I typically make a batch on the weekend after roasting a whole chicken, or freeze it in gallon freezer bags to use any time. It’s really one of my favorite meal prep tips.
The rest of the soup is incredibly easy to prepare, too.
I use shredded chicken from one baked chicken breast or from one of my favorite roasted chickens that I usually make to start out the week. While incredibly easy to prepare, if you still don’t have time to cook the chicken, no big deal at all! Just buy a rotisserie bird from the store, and shred away!
From here, the only cooking left to do is a simple sauté of the onion to soften it. Then, it’s just a simple ingredient dump and about 30 minutes on the stove for the flavors to mix and marry.
For the tortilla part of this recipe, sometimes I’ll fry my corn tortilla strips, but more often than not, I simply brush with a bit of oil or spray with cooking spray and pop the strips in the toaster oven to crisp up and salt them while still hot. Easy peasy.
And then the best part: All the garnishes of all my favorite Mexican-flavored fixings. Just like most Mexican dishes, this soup tastes best when doctored up with plenty of fixins’. Don’t get me wrong…the soup on all its own carries all the flavor, but adding those bites of creamy avocado and smooth sour cream, more chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime totally makes it a feast for both the eyes and the belly.
And then there’s my new favorite addition to this soup that adds a little bit of heat and a whole lot of delicious: French’s Crispy Jalapeños. Say what? I know! That’s what I said, too.
These crispy jalapeño bites are the cousin to French’s famous crispy onions. The first time I tried them was when I broke into the canister while shopping at the grocery store, and by the time I got to check out, I’d eaten half the canister! They are totally addicting in all the best ways and skip the crazy preservatives, dyes, or weird ingredients, and don’t contain high fructose corn syrup either.
They simply add a tasty, sort of sweet, somewhat spicy bite to this soup. If the crisped tortillas weren’t in the name of this recipe, I may not have needed to add tortillas at all! Guys, it may be time for a recipe name change :).
How to Make This a Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup: Sauté the onion with the oil in a small saucepan then add to the slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients (up to the shredded chicken) and cook on High setting for 3-4 hours or Low setting for 7-8 hours. Garnish with the toppings and serve.
How to Make This an Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup: Set the Instant Pot to sauté mode and cook the onion until softened. Add the rest of the ingredients (up to the shredded chicken), cancel sauté mode, and seal the lid into position. Select Soup mode and manually adjust the time to 5 minutes. It will reach the right pressure in about 10 minutes, then cook for 5 minutes. Release the pressure lock (avoid the steam stream) and ladle into bowls and top with garnishes.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
I use my homemade chicken stock to give this soup and extra rich flavor. If you don't have time to make homemade, choose a high quality chicken stock or broth instead.
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 10 cups chicken broth
- 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes with mild green chiles
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 3 cups shredded chicken
- 1 1/2 cups corn kernels
- 4 5-inch corn tortillas
- French's Crispy Jalapeños
- sour cream
- shredded cheese
- Heat the oil in a large stock pot over medium high heat and add the onions and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring often, until the onions soften. Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, black beans, oregano, cumin, chili powder, salt and cilantro and bring to a boil, then reduce to a rolling simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Add the chicken and corn and cook until warmed though.
- While the soup is cooking, cut the tortillas into strips and spray with cooking spray or lightly brush with oil, lay in a single layer on a foil lined baking sheet and toast until crisp, then sprinkle with kosher salt.
- Spoon into bowls and garnish with French's Crispy Jalapeños, sour cream, avocado and cheese. Add a squeeze of fresh lime and serve.
This post is in partnership with French’s. As always, thank you for reading and supporting companies I partner with, which allows me to create more unique content and recipes for you. All opinions are always my own.
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