So flavorful and nutritious, chicken tortilla soup is mildly spicy and easy to make. With black beans, corn, tomatoes, and crushed tortilla chips, it’s sure to please! Closeup of chicken tortilla soup in square white bowl, garnished with crushed tortilla chips and wedge of lime.

This popular chicken tortilla soup is easy to throw together, even when you don’t feel like doing any cooking. You can prepare it in about half an hour. With southwestern flavors of cumin and chili powder, it’s super flavorful. 

I adapted this recipe from one of my new favorite cookbooks, Everyday Food Light. Chicken tortilla soup is popular in a lot of restaurants and it’s so easy to make at home. I’m sure it’s much healthier than restaurant versions, too, because you control the sodium and fat. 

About this chicken tortilla soup

I like to use rotisserie chicken because it’s easy. But if you’ve done some meal prep and have cooked chicken in your freezer or fridge, that’s perfect! I often have bags of frozen cooked chicken ready to use. I use my Instant Pot to make a big batch of shredded chicken or I roast a bunch of split chicken breasts to use later.

Begin preparing this soup by sautéing some chopped onions. You could also add chopped bell peppers if you like. Add the seasonings, cumin and chili powder (or my homemade taco seasoning!) stirring, and cooking for one more minute to toast the spices a bit. Toasting the spices deepens the flavor.

Add a couple cans of diced tomatoes, undrained, a couple cans of black beans, frozen or fresh corn, chicken broth, water and heat it all up! If you want, pinto beans would be a good replacement for the black beans. Use low sodium tomatoes, beans, and chicken broth if you can. 

Right before you’re ready to serve the soup, stir in a cup of lightly crushed tortilla chips and a squeeze of lime juice.

Serve chicken tortilla soup garnished with more chips, a lime wedge, fresh cilantro, sour cream, or cubed avocado. Toppings really make this soup shine!

Oh, and….. a Dos Equis. With lime. Enjoy!

Overhead view of soup in bowl, with spoon alongside and wedge of lime, on wooden cutting board.

More chicken soup!


Chicken Tortilla Soup

Yield: Serves 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

So flavorful and nutritious, chicken tortilla soup is mildly spicy and easy to make. With black beans, corn, tomatoes, and crushed tortilla chips, it's sure to please! 


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • cooked meat from one whole chicken (I used a rotisserie chicken)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 10 ounces frozen corn
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup crumbled tortilla chips
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • lime wedges and additional tortilla chips for serving, optional


1. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened and translucent. Add chili powder and cumin; stir and cook for approximately one more minute.

2. Add tomatoes and their juice, beans, chicken, chicken broth, corn, water, and corn. Add salt and pepper to taste, remembering that you will be adding tortilla chips later which contain some salt.

3. Turn heat up to high and bring soup to a boil. Reduce to a simmer (medium-low heat), add tortilla chips and cook until softened (about 2 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in lime juice.

4. Serve with a lime wedge and more tortilla chips.


  • Instead of rotisserie chicken, use 1-2 lbs. shredded cooked chicken breasts or thighs.
  • Additional toppings: sour cream, fresh cilantro or green onions, cubed avocado, etc.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 475Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 107mgSodium: 564mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 8gSugar: 5gProtein: 41g sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

Did you make this recipe?

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Verdict: Delicious! The kind of meal that fills you up but doesn’t make you feel heavy and gross.
Husband’s take: He LOVES this! He really likes my white chicken chili which has similar flavors, but actually prefers this soup now.
1 1/2 year old’s take: She loves this too. I drain hers so that she just had the chunky stuff and not the broth.
Changes I would make: None are necessary, but if Ben was away I could easily eat this vegetarian–plenty of protein from the beans. If you are a true vegetarian, leave out the chicken and use vegetable broth instead of chicken. Also, for vegetarians AND meat-lovers, if you have cilantro–throw some of that on. And diced avocado. Yum!
Difficulty: Easy, quick, and healthy.