This zesty chicken taco soup is a fast and easy one-pot recipe made from canned corn, beans, tomatoes, and green chilies with tender shredded chicken. Just add your favorite taco toppings.
Why you’ll love it: This chicken taco soup recipe is a quick, easy, and satisfying one pan meal bursting with Tex-Mex flavor. It’s easy to adapt the recipe to reflect your preferences.
How long it takes: less than 1 hour
Equipment you’ll need: just one pot!
Servings: makes about 10 cups
- 1 Recipe Overview
- 2 Best Ever Chicken Taco Soup
- 3 Why You’ll Love This Chicken Taco Soup Recipe
- 4 Ingredients You’ll Need
- 5 Can I Use Leftover Cooked Chicken?
- 6 How to Make Chicken Taco Soup
- 7 Tips for Success
- 8 Make This Taco Soup Recipe Your Own
- 9 Soup Topping Ideas
- 10 What to Serve With Chicken Taco Soup
- 11 Storing and Reheating Leftovers
- 12 More Homemade Soup Recipes
- 13 Get the Recipe: Chicken Taco Soup
Best Ever Chicken Taco Soup
This chicken taco soup has everything you love about a chicken taco, wrapped up in a cozy bowl of soup! Some folks might know a variation of this taco soup recipe, “7 can chicken taco soup”, which calls for one can each of cream of chicken soup, chicken broth, beans, corn, tomatoes, chiles, and canned chicken. This version changes the ingredients to a combination of canned and fresh, to really make those Mexican-inspired flavors shine.
Why You’ll Love This Chicken Taco Soup Recipe
- One pot: This chicken taco soup is a quick, one-pot meal that you can make on the stovetop in under an hour. You don’t need any fancy equipment or gadgets for this recipe (as much as we love Instant Pot black bean soup and crock pot soup!).
- Full of flavor: This recipe is easy and economical, combining hearty beans, aromatic veggies, and tender shredded chicken in a rich and flavorful, tomato-based broth. Like my slow cooker salsa chicken, the Tex-Mex flavors are zesty and warming.
- Make it your own: Customize this recipe with more add-ins, and get creative when it comes to garnishing your soup bowls with loads of tasty toppings. Keep reading for ideas!
Ingredients You’ll Need
I’ll get you started with some notes on the ingredients you’ll need to make this easy chicken taco soup. Be sure to scroll to the recipe card below the post for the full amounts and recipe instructions.
- Olive Oil – Or another oil for sauteing, like avocado oil or vegetable oil.
- Onion and Garlic – Diced yellow onion creates an aromatic flavor base for the soup. Feel free to adapt the amount of garlic to taste.
- Bell Pepper – Use any colored bell pepper that you have on hand; a poblano pepper works well, too.
- Chicken – I recommend boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs (or a combination) as they’re easier to shred and you don’t risk small bones left in the soup. Note that thigh meat will take slightly longer to cook.
- Beans – I like to use a combination of canned black beans and kidney beans. You can use all of one or the other. Pinto beans are great, too. Remember to rinse and drain the canned beans well with cold water beforehand.
- Corn – Canned sweet corn kernels, also drained, are the easiest option. Frozen or fresh corn are great, too.
- Tomatoes – Canned diced tomatoes give the broth a heartier texture.
- Green Chilies – Use spicy or mild canned green chilies depending on your preference. You can also substitute a can of Rotel.
- Broth – Low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth.
- Taco Seasoning – I use homemade taco seasoning (so easy to make!), but feel free to substitute a packet of taco seasoning from the store.
- Toppings – We love this soup served with shredded cheese, sour cream, and more of our favorite taco toppings. See further in the post for ideas!
Can I Use Leftover Cooked Chicken?
Absolutely! Chicken taco soup is a great way to use any leftover cooked chicken breasts, shredded chicken, or poached chicken you have on hand in your fridge or freezer. Thaw and/or shred the cooked chicken as needed. Follow the rest of the recipe as directed, leaving out the chicken until the end. Simply stir it into the finished soup and let it warm through.
How to Make Chicken Taco Soup
This soup is quick to make on the stovetop, ready in just under an hour. Here’s a short step-by-step:
- Sauté the veggies. Start by adding the onion and bell pepper to a large pot with oil. Wait a few minutes until the veggies have softened, then stir in the garlic.
- Combine. Nestle the chicken breasts into the pot, add the remaining soup ingredients and bring the pot to a boil.
- Cook. Reduce the heat and simmer the soup for about 20 minutes. Make sure that the chicken is cooked through.
- Shred the chicken. Remove the chicken breasts and use two forks to shred the meat. Afterward, stir the shredded chicken back into the soup.
- Finish and serve. Season your chicken taco soup to taste, and then ladle it into bowls. Don’t forget the toppings! You’ll find some of our favorite serving ideas below.
Tips for Success
It doesn’t get easier than a fast, one-pot stovetop soup recipe! Here are some final tips for a successful chicken taco soup:
- Control the salt levels. Try to use canned beans, canned corn, taco seasoning, and broth that are low-sodium, to keep the saltiness of your soup to a minimum.
- Use a mixer to shred the chicken. Two forks do the trick, but if you’re looking for an even faster way to shred chicken, use your hand mixer or stand mixer. Place the cooked chicken in a bowl and beat the chicken using the paddle attachment, being careful to not over-shred.
- Keep the soup warm. If you’re not quite ready to serve your taco soup right away, turn the stove to the lowest temperature to keep the soup warm until you’re ready to dish up. Don’t leave your stove on if you’re not home; the soup can be kept warm in a slow cooker instead.
- Love the flavors in this Tex-Mex soup recipe? Try this chicken tortilla soup or my popular creamy queso chili, too!
Make This Taco Soup Recipe Your Own
Soups are wonderful for customizing, and this chicken taco soup is no different. Here are some easy ways that you can adapt the ingredients and flavors to taste:
- Use fresh ingredients. If you’d prefer to ditch the canned ingredients in this recipe and use all fresh instead, feel free to do so. Precook dried beans (or use Instant Pot pinto beans), dice up fresh tomatoes, and shave the kernels from air fryer corn on the cob.
- For a milder soup, make sure that you’re using mild canned chilies. If you like a bit of kick, go ahead and opt for the spicy version.
- Add more spice. Sprinkle in crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper for extra spice. I recommend adding seasonings at the end of cooking, as the heat intensifies the flavors.
- Use another protein. In place of chicken, try ground turkey, or you can make this recipe with ground beef or sausage instead.
- Make it vegetarian. If you’re making this recipe meat-free, omit the chicken and add sautéd mushrooms, or bulk it up with chickpeas, rice, quinoa, or greens like kale or spinach.
- Make it creamy. Add a can of cream of chicken soup to make creamy 8-can chicken taco soup. Or, stir in ½ cup of heavy cream or 8 ounces of cream cheese. Make sure to take this soup off the heat before you add any dairy, so it doesn’t curdle.
Soup Topping Ideas
On any given weeknight, you’ll find this chicken taco soup on our dinner table surrounded by bowls of taco toppings. It’s a fun twist on a traditional taco night!
- Cheese – Try crumbled Cotija cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, or a drizzle of queso blanco.
- Sour Cream – Gives the soup a smooth, cooling effect. Plain Greek yogurt also works.
- Guacamole or Sliced Avocado – Adds nutrition and so much flavor!
- Herbs – Chopped fresh cilantro or sliced green onions are good choices.
- Lime – Serve with fresh lime wedges to brighten the flavors.
- Jalapeño – Top with sliced chili peppers if heat is your thing. Or, try pickled onions.
- Tortilla Strips – Or crumbled air fryer tortilla chips, for crunch.
What to Serve With Chicken Taco Soup
Nothing beats a basket of soft cornbread muffins for dunking into warm bowls of chicken taco soup. Pair this soup with your favorite Tex-Mex sides and appetizers! We love crunchy tortilla chips served with a side of guacamole, easy restaurant-style salsa, or creamy 7-layer dip for dipping. For a veggie side, try corn ribs or this Southwestern farro salad. A simple arugula salad also goes great!
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
- Refrigerate. Store any leftover chicken taco soup in airtight containers in the fridge for 3 to 5 days. Reheat the soup gently in the microwave or on the stovetop over low heat.
- Freeze. This soup freezes well! Let the soup cool to room temperature, and then store it in a freezer-safe container. Keep your taco soup frozen for up to 3 months and defrost it in the fridge overnight before reheating.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup diced onion (1 medium yellow onion)
- 1 cup diced bell pepper, any color (1 bell pepper)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 chicken breasts)
- 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can (15 ounces) corn kernels, drained
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
- 1 can (4 or 4.5 ounces) diced green chilies
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 packet (1 ounce) taco seasoning (or 2 tablespoons homemade seasoning)
- Optional toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped cilantro, sliced green onions, and tortilla strips
- Heat a large pot over medium heat. When pan is hot, add olive oil, onion, and bell pepper. Sauté for 4 to 5 minutes until the vegetables are softened. Add garlic and continue to cook, stirring, for one minute.
- Add chicken, black beans, kidney beans, corn, tomatoes, green chiles, chicken broth, and taco seasoning. Stir to combine.
- Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.
- Reduce to a simmer (medium-low heat) and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through (165ºF internal temperature when checked with an instant-read thermometer).
- Remove chicken from pan and place on a plate. Shred chicken using two forks. Return to soup.
- Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning with salt and black pepper as needed.
- Serve with desired toppings.
- Lower sodium: We suggest using low-sodium, or no-salt-added beans, corn, taco seasoning, canned tomatoes, and broth.
- Nutritional information does not include toppings.
- Protein options: Ground beef or turkey can be substituted for the chicken. Brown the ground meat first. Sausage is another great option. If you prefer, make the soup vegetarian/vegan by omitting the meat and using vegetable broth.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.