Chicken Tortilla Soup

This easy tortilla soup has been a staple at both of our houses and was in dire need of a makeover so you guys can all see how beautifully delicious it is!  This isn’t like the thick chicken tortilla soup that they have at Chili’s; it’s brothier (is that a word?) a la Cafe Rio or Costa Vida. It’s super healthy and low in calories, full of fresh, nutritious ingredients and we actually prefer it to traditional chicken soup at our house when we’re stuffed up because of the garlic, lime, and the spiciness that the jalapenos add, helping clear our heads.

Tortilla Soup

A beautifully healthy soup like this is amazing because it leaves so much room for tasty toppings.  If you use and love our Taco Chicken recipe, you can easily make that one night and just cook extra to save for this soup.  The directions call for marinating this chicken earlier in the day and then grilling it as you are preparing the soup.  I’ve done that lots of times, but I’ve also found that I like this soup even more if I don’t use leftover chicken or bother with thinking ahead to marinade and instead add all the flavors of the chicken marinade right into the soup pot.  My trick is to cut up my chicken into bitesized pieces and let it sit in the marinade, which is a flavorful mixture of lime juice and seasonings while you prep other ingredients.  I’m going to show you this version in the photos and include this option in the original recipe, below!

chopped chicken

So while your chicken is hanging out in those flavors, start by sauting onion and jalapeno.  I love using our Lime Olive Oil for this step!

lime olive oil

That will cook for just a few minutes and then you add in your chicken that was marinating.

Easy Tortilla Soup Recipe

A quick addition of some canned fire-roasted tomatoes and chicken broth are all you need to finish it up.  Let it simmer for a bit for all the flavors to blend together and you’re done!  You could easily add additional vegetables if you want, like corn and beans, but simple is totally fine here and it leaves a great canvas for toppings.  Load those bowls with anything you like.

Tortilla Soup with Toppings

We love tortilla strips, cilantro, queso fresco, and avocado.

Easy Stovetop Tortilla Soup

Perfectly easy weeknight meal!

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Easy Stovetop Tortilla Soup


A simple and delicious chicken soup packed with Latin flavors and healthy ingredients!


  • 1 recipe Taco Chicken
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 jalapenos, membranes and seeds removed if you don’t want it too spicy
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 4 cans chicken broth (or 1 carton)
  • 1 15oz can diced tomatoes (we suggest fire roasted)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Optional topping suggestions:

  • tortilla strips or chips
  • guacamole or avocado
  • cotija cheese
  • sour cream
  • cilantro
  • green onions


Click here for the link to the Taco Chicken Recipe.

1. Early in the day, begin marinating the chicken. Right before you start preparing the soup, start grilling it (to make it all at the same time in one pot, see notes section)

2. In a large stockpot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion and saute 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and minced jalapeno and cook a few minutes more until pepper is softened and garlic is fragrant.

3. Add chicken broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer 15-20 minutes.

4. While soup is simmering, juice the limes and set aside.  Start preparing the toppings: grate the cheese, chop the cilantro, cut up the avocado or prepare the guacamole, and fry the tortillas.

5.  Right before serving, add lime juice and chicken to the soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle soup into the bowls and add desired toppings.


If you’d like to make the chicken all at the same time in one pot, follow these adaptations!
– Dice raw chicken into bite-sized pieces and combine in a bowl with marinade ingredients, including all seasonings, but omitting garlic and pepper. Let sit while you prep other ingredients.

– After step 2, push onion mixture to side of pan and transfer chicken to pot, including all juices/marinade.  Stir and cook until chicken is mostly cooked through and then proceed with step 3 in recipe.

–  You might want to taste the soup before adding the final lime juice in step 5 and add to taste.






  1. I actually just made this a couple of weeks ago for the first time and it was a BIG HIT. I fed a few guests too and every person that ate it absolutely loved it. I added a big chunk of chopped cilantro to the broth and it added a lot of flavor, and I added a few broken up corn tortillas to the broth also. Thanks for this recipe though, its seriously delicious.

  2. This is a great recipe! I had some leftover roasted chicken that I wanted to use up so I had to make some changes… Instead of the taco chicen I added 1/2 tsp of chili powder, 1/4tsp cumin, 1/2tsp oregano, and about 1tsp of sea salt. I needed some extra salt because I used homemade stock instead of canned or boxed broth. I also added about a cup of frozen corn. It made for a super frugal meal and we all really loved it!

  3. This soup is soooo yummy! We call it "magic soup"… whenever we are feeling colds come on, we make it and bam! Colds are gone! I think the garlic, jalapeno, and lime scare it away. 😉 My husband loves Cafe Rio's soup and is so, so happy that I came across this one! Love it!

  4. I just wanted to say that my husband loves tortilla soup (not to mention he has a super picky pallate). I made this tonight for this cold rainy day and it was a HIT! He keeps raving about it and told me to add it to our 5-star recipes. I was shocked to see that my other 3 picky eaters even ate it up very well. I'm tossing my labor-intensive recipe out and replacing it with this one.

    Also, what a relief today. I was in no mood to dig through recipes for what to make for dinner tonight. I came here and scrolled down the amazing pictures and found what hit the spot:) Thanks for the visual treat too:)

  5. LOVED it! I added a can of black beans and a little sour cream! DELICIOUS! My husband even gave it a 9.5!! Plus I loved making the tortillas strips. FUN!

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