This Chicken Tortilla Soup is a delicious dinner that the entire family will love. It’s full of veggies and sprinkled with the most delicious homemade tortilla strips.

Tortilla soup ladled into bowls.

Quick survey. Raise your hand if you love any or all of the following items: canned tomatoes, cilantro, cheese, sour cream, fresh veggies, homemade tortilla strips, and avocado? Was your hand up the whole time? Perfect…mine too! You will absolutely love this Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe!

A spoonful of tortilla soup.

My chicken tortilla soup recipe combines all your favorite Mexican flavors along with some seasonings you already have in your pantry. I love that you can easily adapt this soup to your liking with the toppings you love best which makes everyone happy!

Fresh tortilla strips with cheese and avocado are some of my favorite toppings. Sometimes I like to have multiple servings with different toppings each time. I would love to hear what your favorite toppings are after you make this Chicken Tortilla Soup.

Overheard picture of bowls of tortilla soup with toppings.

How to make tortilla soup?

  1. First, heat up some olive in a large pot. Then, stir in the onions, celery, and carrots and cook over medium heat until the onions start to brown, about 10 minutes.
  2. Next, add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  3. Then, add the chicken stock, tomatoes, jalapenos, cilantro, and the remaining seasonings.
  4. Next, cut the tortillas in half, and then cut them again crosswise into ½ inch strips and add the strips to the soup. Add in the chicken and bring it to a boil.
  5. Finally, lower the heat and simmer for about 25 minutes.

A picture of all of the ingredients needed to make chicken tortilla soup.

What kind of tortillas should I use in tortilla soup? 

Believe it or not, stale corn tortillas are the best tortillas to use for tortilla soup. I would even venture to guess that tortilla soup was first created as a way to use up old tortillas because this is the perfect use for them!

You will definitely want to use yellow corn tortillas instead of white because they have a richer flavor when they have been cooked. So, the next time you have old corn tortillas, do not throw them away! Make this chicken tortilla soup recipe!

Bowls of chicken tortilla soup without topping on them.

What is tortilla soup made of?

  • onions
  • carrots
  • celery
  • garlic
  • chicken stock
  • canned tomatoes
  • ground cumin
  • ground coriander
  • black pepper
  • cilantro
  • yellow corn tortillas
  • rotisserie chicken

Corn tortillas are used twice in this recipe: once to thicken the soup, and once to garnish the soup by frying strips in canola oil. 


How long is this soup good for?

It will last for 3-4 days in a covered container in the refrigerator. It will last a little long in the freezer when stored in air-tight ziploc bags. Stored this way, it will keep for up to 3 months. 

How to make chicken tortilla soup thicker?

If you’d like the soup to be thicker, then cut up 2 more tortillas into strips and simmer for 10 minutes. Repeat until the desired consistancy is reached. 

Stir in the spices, tortilla strips, and cilantro.

Cook’s Note:

  • You can double this recipe as needed. Make sure you have a big enough soup pot. Also, it will take longer for the soup to come to a boil. 
  • I love serving this soup with cornbread, Mexican salad, and tres leches cake for dessert!
Tortilla soup in bowls ready to eat.
5 from 6 votes

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
6 people
This Chicken Tortilla Soup is a delicious dinner that the entire family will love. It's full of veggies and sprinkled with the most delicious homemade tortilla strips.


  • soup pot
  • wooden spoon
  • 10-inch skillet
  • Slotted spoon
  • ladle



  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped white onion from about 2 medium onions
  • 2 cups chopped carrots from about 4 carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery from 2 stalks
  • 4 large garlic cloves minced
  • 10 cups chicken stock
  • 2 14.5-ounce cans petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 large jalapeño peppers seeded and minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 8 6-inch yellow corn tortillas slightly stale
  • 3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken


  • 6 6-inch corn tortillas sliced into 2-inch strips
  • 1 cup canola oil or enough oil to cover up to a ¼ inch of your skillet
  • salt


  • grated Mexican cheese
  • sour cream
  • chopped cilantro
  • sliced avocado
  • tortilla strips



  • In a large, heavy-bottomed pot heat the olive oil over medium heat. Once shimmering, add the onions, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring often, until the onions are translucent and the edges begin to brown, about 7-8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30-60 seconds.
    Saute the onions, carrots, and celery.
  • Stir in the chicken stock, tomatoes, jalapeños, ground cumin, ground coriander, salt, pepper, and chopped cilantro.
    Stir in the tomatoes and chicken stock.
  • Cut 8 corn tortillas in half, and then cut the tortillas crosswise into 1/2-inch strips. Stir them into the soup along with the rotisserie chicken. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the soup to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the temperature to low and simmer for 25 minutes. This will give the soup time to thicken a bit. While the soup simmers, make the tortilla strips.
    Stir in the spices, tortilla strips, and cilantro.


  • Pour the canola oil into a 10-inch skillet and heat over medium heat. Test to see if the oil is ready by flicking a couple of drops of water into the oil. If it sizzles, then the oil is ready. Add half of the tortillas to the hot oil and cook until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the tortilla strips to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle the strips with salt. Repeat with the remaining tortilla strips.
    Fry tortilla strips in canola oil and sprinkle with salt.


  • Ladle to soup into bowls and serve with the tortilla strips, cheese, sour cream, cilantro, and avocado.
    Tortilla soup in bowls ready to eat.


Calories: 386kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 1033mg | Potassium: 816mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 7310IU | Vitamin C: 14.1mg | Calcium: 103mg | Iron: 2.2mg

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Chicken tortilla soup with avocado, sour cream, and homemade tortilla strips on top.

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This post first appeared on Food Folks and Fun on November 8, 2010. I have since updated the photos. 

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Recipe Rating


  1. Really YUMMY chicken tortilla soup!

  2. Chicken tortilla soup is so delicious! This recipe looks simple and delicious, can’t wait to try it!

  3. How delicious! I loved this soup so much thanks for the great share 🙂

  4. This soup sounds really good, I need to try and make it in my Instant Pot!

  5. Yes please what a great bowl of comfort!! Can’t wait to try.

  6. This Tortilla Soup looks so flavorful and delicious!

  7. Jessica Formicola says:

    We had this soup for dinner last night and my family is already wondering when I’m going to make it again!

  8. wilhelmina says:

    This tortilla soup is exactly what I have been craving!