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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) Chicken Corn Chowder and Italian Wedding Soup recipes 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

Note: This is an overview. 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.
  • To soften the cream cheese quickly: Heat 2 cups of water in the microwave. Place cubed cream cheese in the microwave and close the door. Let it soften for 5 minutes.
  • 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.
  • This recipe is in The Cozy Cookbook on page 55!

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!)
  • Spice Rack– This is the one I have, it’s a snap to measure out your seasonings quickly and easily. (Big time saver.)
  • Measuring Spoons To measure out the seasonings.
  • Pinch Bowls– I measure out my seasonings ahead of time and add them to these small bowls so they’re ready to go when it’s time to add them.
  • Garlic Twister it’s much more flavorful to mince fresh garlic. This twister does it in seconds and is easy to clean and store.
  • Soup Bowls(I love these!)
  • 16 oz. storage containers – I use these to store/freeze my soups. They have 8 oz. sizes as well. They’re stackable, leak proof, and dishwasher/microwave safe.

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

4.99 from 282 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, about 3 Tbsp.
  • 1 ½ cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/3 cup cream cheese, softened

For Topping

  • Corn or Flour Tortillas, See notes

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.
  • This recipe is in The Cozy Cookbook on page 55!

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.
**If using rotisserie/leftover chicken: Add it at the beginning. For even more flavor, leave the meat on the bone (if that’s an option), and then remove the bones at the end! 🙂

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 information is an estimate and is per cup. There are 13 cups in this recipe.

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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688 comments on “Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup”

  1. By far the best tortilla soup I’ve ever made!

  2. I added a McCormick’s taco seasoning packet, 6 cups of broth instead of 5, a whole 6 oz can of tomato paste, and 1 cup of rice at the end along with the rest of the ingredients mentioned and BOY OH BOY is it tasty! Highly recommend this rendition for extra flavor. It thickens the soup and is almost more like a “stew” after chilling and re-heating. 

    • I’m so happy that you enjoyed your version! 2 packets of taco seasoning will definitely pack on the salt, as a word of caution for others, though I’m sure the rice absorbs some of that 🙂

  3. Made this many times. I tweak it a bit but it is still the base. 

  4. I was worried this might be too spicy for my picky family but it was PERFECT! I only used 1/2 tsp of the hot sauce. Definitely a keeper!

    • Nice work Marcy! My daughter and I don’t like too much spice and we both love this one. I’m so happy it worked out for you and your family! Thanks so much for the review!🩷

  5. Made this recipe twice now. Only thing different I added the second time, was half packet more seasoning, and it was delish! 😍

  6. Made this soup last night.  Are it with rice the first night and tortilla chips the second night. It is delicious. Will definitely be making this again!! Great recipe!

  7. Oh my so good, I have made this before but this is better if I need a recipe for dinner I usually look to see if you have it. I make a lot of your dishes often. Thank you for giving us such tasty recipes.

  8. I love this soup and make if over and over.

  9. So yummy!

    • I’m soo happy that you loved it Alexandra! I actually just ordered this kind of soup at a restaurant today, and it didn’t compare to this version! So glad you loved it!

  10. Stephanie , this creamy chicken tortilla soup is AMAZING! I used the crockpot as written! For my husband to ask the NAME of the soup means a prime choice meal! One tip: out of desperation I used Aldi’s baked tostados shells, heated and broken. Stephanie, I have made so of your recipes, that when a new recipe pops up, I put it on the menu. Thank you!

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