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.)
  • 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 11 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, optional
  • 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. 
  • 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.)
  • 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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32 comments on “Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup”

  1. This is a family favorite! So good!

  2. Made this tonight.  It’s delicious 😋.  I picked up tomato sauce instead of paste and could not find my cumin seasoning, so I had to run back out to the store.  Was worth it.  I used rotisserie chicken that I had in the fridge.  It was real easy to make especially if you have all of your ingredients.  I love soup, I eat it in the summer too.  This was my first time making chicken tortilla soup.  It’s one of my favorite soups to eat and now I can make my own.   Yeah and Yum!!!

    • I’m so happy you’re enjoying this soup Denise! I eat soup all year long too! Using leftover rotisserie chicken is a great idea and another way to make things easier. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review!

  3. This soup is so damn delicious !!!
    I just made the stovetop method & used a rotisserie chicken. Absolutely spot on with SO much flavor. Will be making this very often, was very easy :-)))

    • I’m so happy to hear that Debbie!😍 I’ve been making this one so much lately. I definitely see it as a year round soup recipe. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review!

  4. Now my absolute favourite chicken tortilla soup! Simply delish! Though I did leave out the jalapeños as I don’t like the taste of them.

  5. What kind of chicken broth did you use for this? 

  6. I didn’t have jalapeños on hand but I did everything just like the recipe and my family loved it. I will be making this again. 

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