Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup

This creamy chicken tortilla soup is full of your favorite Mexican flavors! It’s so easy to throw together and a perfect way to make use of leftover chicken! Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup Garnished with fresh cilantro and avocado in a gray soup crock.

Okay, so this is hand-down the absolute best way to make sure that you use every scrap of a Rotisserie chicken. My husband loves a good ol’ chicken dinner now and then and it’s so easy to pick one up during a busy week.

But what to do with those bits of leftover meat? I usually put them in the fridge and promise myself that I will eat them, but I usually end up forgetting about them. Until now. 

Now, I set aside the leftover meat, and boil the chicken carcass to make homemade chicken broth. From there I throw this soup together in 30 minutes flat and instantly have a dinner ready for the next day.

It’s a pretty good feeling when you’re able to stretch that chicken to make two delicious meals instead of one.

READ ON to find out how I make my easy homemade chicken broth.

birds eye view of ingredients needed to make creamy chicken tortilla soup.

Homemade Chicken Broth

Homemade chicken broth is easy to make at home and makes your soups and stews taste twice as good:

-Take a leftover chicken carcass (even a small rotisserie chicken is great for this), and place the bones and all of the scraps into a medium/large pot.

-Add enough water to cover the chicken by an inch or so. Add in any onions/celery if you have them.

-Cover the pot, leaving a small crack for steam to escape and simmer for an hour or two.

-Place a fine mesh strainer over another large pot and pour the mixture into the strainer, allowing the broth to seep through the strainer into the pot. The remains in the strainer can be discarded.

-Allow the chicken broth to cool and freeze for your future soup needs!

A ladle filled with homemade chicken broth in a big metal pot.

The Secret to Smooth and Creamy Soup

  • Use a high-quality cheese (Tillamook & Cabot are great. If  you have a Whole Foods near you, Whole Foods 365 Sharp Cheddar Cheese is said to be the best for melting.)
  • Purchase a block and shred it at home. 
  • Let the cheese come to room temperature after shredding it, before you add it to the soup.
  • Reduce the heat of the base before you add the cheese. If the liquid is too hot, the fat from the cheese will separate too quickly and the consistency will be grainy or clumpy.
  • Sprinkle flour over the cheese prior to adding it to the warm base. This helps to thicken the water that separates from the cheese once it begins to heat up.
  • Add the cheese gradually as opposed to all at once. Stir to combine as you do so.

Birds eye view of cooking onions, garlic, and peppers in a dutch oven Birds eye view of cooking shredded chicken and adding chicken broth and corn for chicken tortilla soup Birds eye view of adding sour cream to dutch oven and a ladle scooping up chicken tortilla soup in dutch oven.

Storing Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container and is best if eaten with 3-4 days.
  • This soup can be frozen.
    • Normally sour cream based soups don’t freeze well but there is a small proportion of sour cream in this soup, enough to add a touch of creamy, but the overall texture of this soup is still pretty brothy, so you’re safe!
    • The soup should be frozen in an airtight container and is best if used with 3 months.

Birds Eye view of creamy chicken tortilla soup garnished with fresh cilantro and sliced avocado in a soup crock.

Like my Handmade Soup Crocks?! The quality is excellent. They’re beautiful & super sturdy!

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5 from 1 vote
Servings: 6
Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup
Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
 
Author: Stephanie
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe, Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup

This creamy chicken tortilla soup is full of your favorite Mexican flavors! It's so easy to throw together and a perfect way to make use of leftover chicken!

Ingredients
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1 Tablespoon flour optional
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 small yellow onion diced
  • ½ bell pepper diced
  • 3 cloves garlic diced
  • 2 cups cooked chicken rotisserie works well
  • 2 Tablespoons Taco Seasoning 1 oz. packet
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can diced tomatoes NOT drained
  • 3/4 cup corn
  • 1 can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 pinch Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin optional
  • ¾ cup sour cream at room temperature
  • Fresh Cilantro roughly chopped, to garnish
Instructions
  1. Shred the cheddar cheese and set it aside to allow it to get to room temperature.
  2. Toss the cheese with 1 Tablespoon of flour. This is optional but will help the soup remain smooth when the cheese is melted into it.
  3. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large soup pot.
  4. Add the diced onions and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  5. Toss the chicken with the taco seasoning to coat it. Add it to the pot along with the diced bell pepper and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add the chicken broth, undrained diced tomatoes, corn, black beans, cayenne, and cumin.

  7. Let the soup simmer for 15 minutes, partially covered.

  8. Decrease heat to low.
  9. Add the sour cream. Stir until it’s almost fully combined, this may take a few minutes, but it will get there.
  10. Sprinkle in the cheese gradually, stirring as you do so.
  11. Once the cheese is melted, garnish with fresh cilantro and serve!
Recipe Notes

Cabot's hot habanero cheese is super hot and spicy. I love to use 1/4 cup of that and 3/4 cup cheddar in this soup. It adds a kick to this soup without making it too spicy.

Get the Handmade Soup Crocks pictured in this recipe here!

Nutrition Information
Calories: 302, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 79mg, Sodium: 1093mg, Potassium: 552mg, Carbohydrates: 13g, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 4g, Protein: 19g, Vitamin A: 20.5%, Vitamin C: 44%, Calcium: 21.6%, Iron: 12.8%