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This 20-minute, 6-ingredient chipotle chicken soup is perfect for those nights when you need a quick, comforting, satisfying meal that is made from simple ingredients and packed with flavor!
Soup season is officially upon us, but to be honest, my whole family enjoys a good soup any time of the year. And while I definitely get how difficult it is to whip up dinner on winter nights, it’s also the time when I crave a cozy meal the most.
And my favorite cozy cold-weather meal is a simple, spicy soup. If it’s not pizza or cereal to the rescue, it’s like to be this chipotle chicken soup. It’s a comforting soup and the simplicity of this recipe is what has made me go back to it over and over for years!
It’s one of my favorite soups, and the effort required is truly minimal – no vegetable chopping involved – and it uses pretty simple ingredients, so it’s an easy last minute call.
This delicious soup also has amazing bold flavor, despite its speediness. Served with tortilla chips and topped with grated cheese, it also has great texture. That’s how I love to eat it (not forgetting the delicious toppings). It’s a healthy meal that doesn’t compromise on flavor.
Why You’ll Love This Chipotle Chicken Soup
- It uses healthy ingredients that you may very well have in your pantry already! It includes lean meat in the form of chicken breasts, and navy beans for even more protein.
- It’s perfect for meal prep! You can whip up a big batch of this chicken chipotle soup and freeze it to enjoy any time later in the week. It also stores well so you can enjoy the leftovers the next day with the toppings.
- Whether you use freshly cooked chicken breasts or use leftover chicken, this recipe is adaptable to your schedule and preferences. The spicy flavor is not too much, plus, it’s easy to adjust it to suit your taste.
- The recipe allows for personalization with a variety of toppings. Add sour cream, cilantro, avocado, or tortilla chips according to your preference, making each bowl your own creation.
Navy beans are a great source of protein and fiber, adding heartiness to the soup. Ensure they are well-drained and rinsed to remove excess sodium and improve their flavor.
You can substitute navy beans for black beans or even pinto beans, if that’s more your jam.
Tomatoes add a rich, slightly sweet flavor. I use whole canned tomatoes and they can be broken down into smaller pieces while cooking, allowing their juices to blend seamlessly into the broth.
You can also use fresh tomatoes, but make sure to peel them so you don’t get a mouthful of tomato skin in every bite!
Using low sodium chicken broth lets you control the salt level of your chicken chipotle soup. It forms the base of your soup, so choosing a good quality broth will enhance the overall flavor.
You can also use homemade chicken broth if you have it on hand.
Chipotle Chiles in Adobo Sauce
Chipotle chilis are essentially jalapeño peppers that have been smoke-dried, a process that not only enhances their taste but also serves as a method of preservation. Most chipotle chiles used in cooking are grown in Mexico.
They are typically canned in adobo sauce, which is a flavorful mix of spices, herbs, and vegetables including tomatoes, yellow onion, and garlic, along with vinegar. You can easily find a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in your local grocery store.
Chipotle chiles provide a smoky heat, which is central to the flavor profile of this spicy chipotle chicken soup. The heat level is easily adjusted with the quantity of chipotle chiles. I find one chile gives mild heat and two a medium heat level. Feel free to bump it up if you like things extra hot!
Cumin adds a warm, earthy note that complements the smoky chipotle. It’s a staple spice in Mexican cooking and integral to achieving an authentic flavor.
Chicken breast is a lean protein that absorbs the soup’s flavors well. Cook and dice it before adding to the soup for a texture that’s easy to eat and distributes evenly.
You can use leftover chicken, or pick 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 whole chicken apart. You can also pick up pre-cooked chicken breasts from the grocery store.
Feel free to use any toppings according to your personal preference. This is what I usually use.
- Sour cream adds a cooling element, balancing the chipotle’s heat.
- Fresh cilantro brings a burst of freshness and color.
- Monterey Jack cheese offers a mild, melty contrast. You can also use queso fresco or sharp cheddar.
- Tortilla chips provide a crunchy texture.
- Avocado adds creaminess and healthy fats.
- Lime wedges
Don’t forget to watch the video!
Most of my recipes include a short step-by-step video tutorial. Just scroll down to the recipe card, or use the “Jump to Video” button at the top of the post!
Step by Step Instructions
- To a dutch oven, large pot, or large saucepan, add the beans, tomatoes, chicken broth, chipotle chile(s), and cumin.
- Simmer the soup for 10 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.
- Stir the chopped chicken into the soup and continue to cook another minute to heat it back up. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and a little lime juice if desired.
- Ladle into bowls and top with grated cheese, sour cream, cilantro, and tortilla chips. You can use these easy homemade pita chips as well! Try sprinkling them with chili powder.
Before storing, allow the chipotle chicken soup to cool to room temperature. Then transfer the cooled soup to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
If you want to store the soup for a longer period, it freezes well. Pour the soup into freezer-safe containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. Leave about an inch of space at the top as the soup will expand when frozen. Label the containers with the date, and the soup can be stored for up to 2-3 months.
More Cozy Soups
Tell me what you think!
If you try this recipe, l’d be so grateful if you’d leave a comment and a rating in the recipe card. I love to hear your feedback, and your tips can help other readers too!
Chipotle Chicken 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)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- for topping: sour cream, cilantro, Monterey Jack cheese, tortilla chips, avocado, etc
- 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.
- Serve with desired toppings (sour cream, cilantro, cheese, avocado, tortilla chips etc.)