Recipes

Healthy Chicken Tortilla Soup

This warm, nutritious chicken tortilla soup is made with real, whole food ingredients. You can cook it on the stove or in a crockpot. This soup is something my family enjoys eating during the colder months. 

CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP IS A HEALTHY BROTH-BASED SOUP YOU CAN INCORPORATE INTO YOUR MEAL PLANNING.

Although a little more time intensive than other soups, it’s totally worth it. If you choose to make it in the crockpot, you can add all the ingredients before work and have dinner ready by the time you arrive home. Or make it on the stove during the weekend and enjoy it all week. 

Chicken Tortilla Soup Ingredients

Chicken tortilla soup is customizable and calls for healthy, nutritious ingredients. The ingredients fall into five main categories⎯ protein, produce, spices, soup base, and toppings. The only other thing you’ll need is extra virgin olive oil. 

chicken

PROTEINS

  • Chicken Breasts– Use one pound of organic, skinless, boneless chicken breasts. 
  • Black Beans– A great source of plant protein. You’ll add two 15-ounce cans to this soup. Look for no-salt-added black beans. 
  • Optional- For a vegan and vegetarian option swap the chicken with one 15-ounce can of cannellini beans.

PRODUCE

  • Bell peppers– Typically this recipe calls for one red and one green bell pepper; however, I’ve also used yellow and orange, and both work. You’ll need about 1/2 of each or 1/2 cup of red and green bell peppers chopped. 
  • Onion- One small or half of a large yellow onion chopped. Makes about one cup.  
  • Garlic– You’ll need three minced garlic cloves.
  • Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies- How you go about this is up to you. I’ve done both ways. You can either purchase one 10-ounce can of Rotels diced tomatoes & green chilies OR use 10-ounces of diced tomatoes and chop up a green chili. 
  • Tomato Paste- Add three tablespoons to give the soup some depth.
  • Corn- You can use fresh or frozen corn. Measure out one cup. 

SPICES

tortilla soup spices

  • Ground Cumin- Makes up most of the spice mixture. You’ll use 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cumin. 
  • Chili Powder- You’ll need 1 teaspoon.
  • Garlic Powder- Use 1/2 teaspoon.
  • Sea Salt- Start with 1/2 teaspoon. Add more to taste later on. 

SOUP BASE

  • Organic Chicken Broth- Use one 32-ounce carton of low-sodium chicken broth.
  • Filtered Water– Use three cups of filtered water. Why filtered? Gives your liver one less thing it has to filter itself. 
  • Corn Meal- You’ll add toward the end to help thicken the soup. You’ll need about three tablespoons along with about 3-4 tablespoons of water to mix. 

TOPPINGS

Don’t skip the toppings. This takes the soup from really good to really great!

  • Corn Tortillas- It wouldn’t be chicken tortilla soup without tortillas! You’ll need 5 corn tortillas that you’ll cut into 1-2 inch strips and add to the soup.
  • Lime Juice- Add 1-2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice. Start with one, taste, and add more if desired.

tortillas cut into strips

Additional topping ideas for your choosing:

  • Avocado- Chopped and served on top
  • Plain Greek Yogurt-Add a dollop on top.
  • Cilantro- Chopped cilantro add additional flavor.
  • Monterey Jack Cheese- A little goes a long way.
  • Pico De Gallo- Another nice topping option.
  • Green or Red Onion- Adds a little texture and flavor.

How to Make Chicken Tortilla Soup

You have a couple of options when it comes to preparing chicken tortilla soup. You can either cook it on the stove or in the crockpot. I usually go the stovetop route but have done both, especially when I’m short on time. 

STOVETOP VERSION

To make on the stovetop, you’ll need to follow four simple steps. Chicken tortilla soup on the stovetop does take about an hour and thirty minutes to prepare so be sure you give yourself ample time. 

STEP 1- COOK THE CHICKEN

You’ll need to cook the chicken in the oven at 375℉ for about 20 minutes. You’ll add about one tablespoon of olive oil and some of the spice mixture to the chicken before baking. 

olive oil and chicken
chicken and tortilla soup spices

Once fully baked (internal temperature of 165℉), set the chicken aside. You’ll shred it later once it cools a bit.  

shredded chicken

STEP 2- PREP INGREDIENTS

While the chicken is baking, this gives you time to prep the other ingredients. You’ll need to chop 1/2 of a red and green bell pepper (total of 1 cup). You’ll also need to chop one cup of yellow onion. Set these aside and mince three cloves of garlic. 

You can also rinse the two 15-ounce cans of black beans and have the diced tomatoes and green chilies, and tomato paste ready to add. 

veggies for chicken tortilla soup

STEP 3- ADD INGREDIENTS AND COOK

Now that the ingredients are prepped, in a large pot heat one tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat. Add the bell peppers and onion. Cook for about 3-4 minutes until softened. Then add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.

 

veggies for tortilla soup

Next, you’ll add the spices, diced tomatoes and green chilies, and tomato paste. Stir these around and cook for another minute or two. This allows the flavor of the spices to really shine through. 


water

Finally, add the black beans, chicken broth, and filtered water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 45 minutes. 

Note: You’ll also need to add the shredded chicken breasts to the soup. 

STEP 4- THICKEN AND ADD TOPPINGS

To thicken the soup, add a combination of three tablespoons of corn meal mixed with 3-4 tablespoons of water to the soup. At this time, you’ll also add the corn. Continue cooking for another 30 minutes. 

corn meal and water
corn meal

Before serving, add 1-2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice and the corn tortilla strips. 

Serve hot with additional sides like avocado, cilantro, plain Greek yogurt, Monterey jack cheese, green or red onions, and pico de gallo. 

chicken tortilla soup recipe

CROCKPOT VERSION

You can make this in the crockpot. Simply add all of the ingredients except for the corn and corn meal into a crockpot. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

About thirty minutes before serving add the corn and corn meal. Then finally throw in the corn tortillas and some lime juice. 

Looking For Other Healthy Soup Ideas?

Check out these other healthy soup recipes for more dinner night ideas. 

chicken tortilla soup recipe

Healthy Chicken Tortilla Soup

This delicious chicken tortilla soup is made with real, whole food ingredients. Great for the colder months and easy to make either on the stovetop or in the crockpot. Perfect for meal planning.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound organic, skinless, boneless chicken breasts (trimmed)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup yellow onion, chopped (About 1 small onion or 1/2 of a large onion)
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped (About 1/2 of a bell pepper)
  • 1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped (About 1/2 of a bell pepper)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn
  • 10 ounce can Rotel diced tomatoes & green chilies (Can also sub with 10-ounces of canned diced tomatoes and one chopped green chili)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 32 ounce-carton low-sodium organic chicken broth
  • 3 cups filtered water
  • 3 tablespoons corn meal
  • 3-4 tablespoons warm, filtered water
  • 5 corn tortillas, cut into 1-2 inch strips

Optional Toppings

  • avocado, chopped
  • green or red onion, chopped
  • plain Greek yogurt, a dollop
  • cilantro, chopped
  • pico de gallo
  • Monterey jack cheese

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 375℉
  • In a glass baking container or on a baking sheet, add chicken breasts. Lightly coat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a small amount of the spice mixture. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until it reaches an internal temperature of 165℉. Take out and set aside. You'll need to shred the chicken once it cools a bit.
  • While the chicken is baking, prep your other ingredients. Chop your onion and bell peppers, and mince the garlic. Be sure to rinse the black beans and have your diced tomatoes with green chilies and tomato paste ready to go.
  • Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat on the stove. Add diced onions and bell peppers. Cook for 3-4 minutes until softened. Then add the minced garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Next, add the spice mixture along with the diced tomatoes & green chilies and tomato paste. Stir and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  • Finally add the black beans, chicken broth, filtered water, and shredded chicken to the pot. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 45 minutes.
  • Add corn meal mixed with 3-4 tablespoons of warm water to the soup along with the corn. Cook for another 30 minutes.
  • Lastly, add 1-2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice along with the tortilla strips. Stir to combine and serve. Serve with additional toppings.
Keyword chicken tortilla soup, healthy soup, soup, tortilla soup

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