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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) Tomato Tortellini 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 93 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 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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243 comments on “Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup”

  1. I am so excited that I found this! I have only tried this soup once and fell in LOVE! Thank you for sharing this. I need your professional opinion… I love to cook but am not the best at freezing and reheating. What method do you recommend? Freezer bags, mason jars, or plastic containers? I have googled it and got a lot of different opinions. I am going to follow the directions to the tee, so I am sure it’s going to be FANTASTIC, and would like to give it away to friends and Family. I just need advice on freezing and reheating if you have time to answer, if not no worries.

    • Hi Vicki!! I am so happy to hear that you love this soup as much as I do, and I love freezing it too! My process is to let it cool completely, and then store it in these containers in the freezer. (I take a piece of tape, put it on the lid, and use a sharpie to label what it is). Then to reheat, you can let it thaw overnight and reheat in the microwave/stovetop, or, you can reheat in the microwave from frozen! (Pop it in for about 3 minutes, stir, then repeat in 1 minute increments until it’s nice and warm!) Wooo!

  2. I made this using the crockpot method. We ended up going out for dinner because of an impromptu get together with friends. So we had it the next night with crusty bread…OMGOSH!! I think it was the best dinner I have ever made!!

  3. Excited to try this! Could I throw this in the crockpot overnight? (And add the dairy/toppings in the morning.) 

    • Hi Kelsey, the crock pot instructions are in the notes section of the recipe card! 🙂 I’ll put them here for you:

      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.

  4. I’m a soup girl but my husband is not. This is the ONLY soup my husband requests me to make. SO yummy. We use spicy taco seasoning instead of the hot sauce and it comes out perfectly every time! We’re both obsessed!

  5. This was delicious!! I will definitely be making this again! I was wondering, would this be one that I can freeze and reheat? I thought it would be a good freezer meal to give to a friend. Thanks!!

  6. This was delicious! I used rotisserie chicken and a crock pot and it was quick, simple, and easy! Unfortunately it was supposed to be my meal prep for the week but only lasted a whopping 2 days because everyone loved it that much! Definitely a permanent spot in our rotation!

    • Sounds like you did a great job with this one Jessica, nice work!🙌 I’m so happy it was such a hit, thanks so much for the great comments and review!

  7. I have made this countless times now, it’s mine and my husband favorite. I just used up what we had in the freezer and made a new two gallon batch to restock. It also was requested as the main course for my mother in laws surprise party coming up next month! I don’t have Rotel in the house too often so I always use whatever salsa we have on had which gives it a more complex flavor. For example the fire roasted tomato and serrano salsa from heb have it a nice kick. My favorite thing about this recipe is I have all these ingredients on hand more often than now so I can throw it together whenever.

    • Yayyy! I love that you’re enjoying this one Shawna, it’s one that I make often too! Like you said, I feel like I always have the ingredients on hand so it’s easy to slide into soup mode. Thanks so much for your support and for taking the time to leave a review!💗

  8. Making this soup now, thanks for the recipe.

  9. Made this soup for the first time and it was delicious . Definitely making again. Nice flavor. I added juice of  1 lime and added bunch of cilantro to the whole pot. 

    • I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed the soup Ginny!! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review, I really appreciate it! -Stephanie

  10. DELICIOUS.   I was super careful at the end to make sure the soup was not super hot and the cheeses blended beautifully! A keeper!! 

    • I am sooo happy to hear that Cindy!! NICE WORK handling the temperature when you added the cheese, it’s a game changer! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review, I really appreciate it! -Stephanie

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