The Cozy Cook

Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup

 This Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe is easy to make on the stove top or the Crock Pot. Make it with fresh, leftover, or rotisserie chicken. Cheddar and Cream Cheese add a hint of creamy indulgence!

Be sure to try my (amazing) Tomato Soup recipe next!

A bowl of Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup topped with crispy tortillas, diced avocado, shredded cheese, jalapenos, and cilantro.

Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

There is SO much fresh flavor going on in this soup, it’s definitely hard to stop eating it. I generally have to package some up for the freezer, (it freezes very well), to keep myself from eating the whole batch.

Make this as spicy or as mild as you want! And the topping options are endless: Crispy tortilla strips, jalapenos, cheese, avocados, cilantro, (clearly my stance is ‘all of the above’). 😁

This is so easy to make on the Stove Top or Crock Pot. You can even use leftover chicken!

Check out my PRO tips, storage info, and more below!

How to Make It

*See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

Soften onions, jalapeno peppers, and garlic in butter. Add tomato paste, corn, undrained diced tomatoes, black beans, taco seasoning, cayenne pepper, cumin, and hot sauce.

Sauteeing onions and peppers in a soup pot and adding vegetables and seasoning to make Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup.

Add chicken broth and chicken breasts. Bubble gently for 20-25 minutes, until cooked through. Remove and use 2 forks to shred. 

Taking chicken breast out of a pot of Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup and shredding it on a plate.

Add the chicken back to the soup and reduce heat to low. Add cheddar and softened cream cheese and stir until smooth and combined. Garnish, and serve!

A soup pot showing cheese being added to broth next to a pot of Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup.

Crock Pot Method

  • Soften onions, peppers, and garlic in butter on the stovetop. Transfer to Slow Cooker along with all remaining ingredients except for the shredded cheese, cream cheese, and garnishes.
  • Cook on low for 6 hours. (I recommend low heat to keep the chicken juicy and tender. Cooking it over higher heat makes it tougher. If necessary, it can be cooked for 4 hours on high.)
  • Remove chicken and use 2 forks to shred. Return it to the Crock Pot.
  • Turn off heat. Gradually mix in the cheddar and cream cheeses and stir to incorporate.

Pro Tips

  • Optional garnishes include: Diced avocado, sour cream, jalapenos, shredded cheese, and cilantro.
  • 2 cups rotisserie or leftover chicken may be used instead of chicken breasts. 
  • The cheeses melt much creamier and smoother if they’re near room temperature when added.
  • Make sure the base isn’t too hot when the cheese is added or the dairy will separate and the consistency will be grainy.
  • 1 ½ cups frozen or fresh corn may be used instead of canned corn.

Storage

Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

A pot of Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup garnished with crispy tortillas and cilantro.

Tools For This Recipe

(Amazon affiliate links)- Check out all of my kitchen essentials here.

  • 4-Quart Dutch Oven– this is the perfect size for this soup. This one is high quality and you’ll have it forever. (I use one almost every time I cook!)
  • Pinch Bowls– for measuring out ingredients ahead of time.
  • Box Cheese Grater– Shredding from a block tastes and melts much better than packaged cheese.
  • Garlic Twister– it’s much more flavorful to mince fresh garlic. This twister does it in seconds and is easy to clean and store.

Try These Next

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A bowl of Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup topped with crispy tortillas and garnished with avocados, cheese, jalapenos, and cilantro.

Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup

5 from 19 ratings
This Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe is easy to make on the stove top or the Crock Pot. Make it with fresh, leftover, or rotisserie chicken. Cheddar and Cream Cheese add a hint of creamy indulgence!

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 15 oz. can corn, drained
  • 1 10 oz. can Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 2 small boneless skinless chicken breasts, or 2 cups shredded chicken
  • 1 pinch Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1-2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 1 oz. packet taco seasoning, equal to 3 Tbsp.
  • 1 ½ cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/3 cup cream cheese, softened

Instructions

  • Heat 2 Tbsp. butter over medium heat and add the diced onions and peppers. Sauté for 4 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
  • Add all remaining ingredients EXCEPT for the cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and garnish ingredients. I also recommend starting with 2 Tbsp. of Taco Seasoning and add more to taste toward the end if preferred. (I end up using all of it.)
  • Let the soup gradually come to a gentle bubble, partially covered. If the chicken boils rapidly, it becomes tough. Cooking it slowly keeps it nice and juicy.
  • Remove the chicken after 20-25 minutes, once cooked through. (Timing depends on the thickness of the chicken.) Use 2 forks to shred, then return to the soup.
  • Reduce heat to low and gradually sprinkle in the shredded cheese and softened cream cheese. Stir until smooth and creamy.
  • Taste and add any additional seasonings as needed. Garnish and serve!

Notes

PRO Tips
  • Optional garnishes include: Diced avocado, sour cream, jalapenos, shredded cheese, and cilantro.
  • 2 cups rotisserie or leftover chicken may be used instead of chicken breasts. You can add it when the uncooked chicken breast would be added and simmer for 15 minutes to let the flavors blend, but no need to bring it to a boil.
  • The cheeses melt much creamier and smoother if they’re near room temperature when added.
  • Make sure the base isn't too hot when the cheese is added or the dairy will separate and the consistency will be grainy.
  • 1 ½ cups frozen or fresh corn may be used instead of canned corn.

Crock Pot Method
  • Soften onions, peppers, and garlic in butter on the stovetop. Transfer to Slow Cooker along with all remaining ingredients except for the shredded cheese, cream cheese, and garnishes.
  • Cook on low for 6 hours. (I recommend low heat to keep the chicken juicy and tender. Cooking it over higher heat makes it tougher. If necessary, it can be cooked for 4 hours on high.)
  • Remove chicken and use 2 forks to shred. Return it to the Crock Pot.
  • Turn off heat. Gradually mix in the cheddar and cream cheeses and stir to incorporate.

Frying Tortilla Strips (For Garnishing):
  • Cut corn or flour tortillas into strips.
  • Heat vegetable or canola oil over medium-high heat in a high-walled skillet. Use just enough oil to submerge the tortilla strips.
  • Fry the strips in batches until crisp and slightly browned. Remove and set on paper towels, sprinkle with salt.

Nutrition

Calories: 204kcal, Carbohydrates: 17g, Protein: 13g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 41mg, Sodium: 785mg, Potassium: 390mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 627IU, Vitamin C: 15mg, Calcium: 133mg, Iron: 2mg

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60 comments on “Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup”

  1. Oh My Goodness, Stephanie, I just made this soup and it is so delicious! Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful recipe!

  2. How many oz of cream cheese? 🤔

  3. Excellent! I did add an extra chicken breast, an extra cup of broth and additional garlic. We like garlic. Served with avocado, tortilla chips, jalapeños, fresh cilantro and sour cream. Easy to make.

  4. Amazing! This recipe is simple to make, healthy, filling and my family loves it! I doubled the recipe and shredded an entire Rotisserie chicken. We topped with fresh cilantro, sour cream avocado, Tortilla chips and jalapeños. So good!

    • I’m so happy the family loves the soup Cathy! Using rotisserie chicken is yummy and is a great way to save time. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review!❤️

  5. If I’m using rotisserie chicken, when should I add it to the crockpot? Should I wait towards the end to toss it in so it doesn’t get too tough?

  6. If I double the recipe in my crockpot, how long should I cook it?

  7. great soup!

  8. This sounds amazing and would like to make for a retreat I’m going to, but can I make it a day ahead of time? 

  9. Do you add the chicken uncooked to the crockpot?

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