This quick and easy chicken tortilla soup has been one of my go-to "don't feel like cooking but need something comforting" meals for years. It has big flavor and gets its mellow heat from a chipotle chile.
*This is an updated version of a post I originally published over two years ago, in the early days of the blog. Since it's a favorite weeknight recipe and it deserved better, I've made some improvements to the post and recipe, and replaced the horrendous photos 🙂
As I'm barrelling (for real, I feel like a barrel) toward the end of this pregnancy at a speed that feels both unbearably slow and ridiculously fast, evenings when cooking is just not going to happen are more frequent than ever before.
*This post probably contains affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure policy for details.
Sometimes it's frozen pizza or cereal to the rescue, but if I can get up even an ounce of motivation, I go with this soup instead. The effort to make this is truly minimal - no vegetable chopping involved - and I usually have the ingredients on hand, so it's an easy last minute call.
This easy chicken tortilla soup also has amazing bold flavor, despite its speediness. Ladled on top of a few broken tortilla chips topped with grated cheese, it also has great texture. That's how I love to eat it (not forgetting the dollop of sour cream and sprinkle of cilantro).
You can use the oft-suggested shortcut of picking up a rotisserie chicken for the meat, but I usually just pan fry a couple of chicken breasts, which I figure doesn't take much longer than picking a chicken apart.
Here's How I Make this Chicken Tortilla Soup!
- Season a couple of chicken breasts with salt and pepper and pan fry them until cooked through, about 10 minutes, turning once. Set aside to rest.
- To a dutch oven or large pot, add a can of rinsed cannellini or kidney beans, a minced chipotle chile in adobo sauce, a can of whole tomatoes, some cumin, salt and chicken broth.
3. Simmer the soup for 15 minutes. While it's cooking, use a potato masher, or just a wooden spoon, to break apart the tomatoes and mash the beans a little bit.
4. Cut the chicken breasts into ½ inch pieces.
5. Stir the chopped chicken into the soup and continue to cook another minute to heat it back up.
6. Ladle into bowls and top with grated cheese, sour cream, and cilantro, or do as we do and ladle the soup over some broken tortilla chips and grated cheese. Top with sour cream and cilantro.
The heat level is easily adjusted with the quantity of chipotle chile. I find one chile gives mild to medium heat. Feel free to bump it up!
Sound good to you? If you make this chicken tortilla soup, I would be thrilled and honored if you would take a pic and tag me on Instagram @ourhappymess!
Or pin for later! ↓↓↓
More Main Course Soups!
Chicken Tortilla Soup
- 15 oz can of navy beans, drained and rinsed
- 28 oz can whole tomatoes
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 cups chopped, cooked chicken breast (2 chicken breasts)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- sour cream
- cilantro chopped
- monterey jack cheese grated
- tortilla chips
- Combine the beans, tomatoes, chicken broth, chipotle chile, and cumin together in a large pot or dutch oven, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Using a potato masher, partially mash the tomatoes and beans until the tomatoes are in bite-size pieces. Add chicken and heat for another couple of minutes. Add salt, to taste.
- I like to assemble this soup in the following way: break a few tortilla chips in the bottom of a soup bowl and add some grated cheese. Ladle the soup on top and top with sour cream, cilantro, and additional cheese if desired.