This Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup is a recipe that the entire family will love! An easy slow cooker recipe that's packed full of veggies, beans, tender chicken, and all the best Tex-Mex flavors. Garnish with crispy tortilla strips for the perfect finish!
In my opinion, there is really nothing better than a delicious soup recipe. And this Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe is a family favorite!
What is Chicken Tortilla Soup?
Chicken Tortilla Soup is a hearty, comforting soup made with a savory chicken broth base, shredded chicken, and a mix of vegetables such as onions, corn, and beans.
What sets this soup apart is the blend of Tex-Mex spices that give it a unique kick.
This soup is typically garnished with crispy tortilla strips, adding a bit of crunch to each bite.
Sometimes, you'll also find additions like diced avocado and a squeeze of fresh lime juice for an extra layer of flavor.
How to Make Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
This slow cooker chicken tortilla soup recipe is a great choice when you're looking for an easy recipe with minimal prep!
Here's a quick summary of the recipe. Scroll to the recipe card below for the ingredient amounts and full instructions.
- In a medium pan, heat oil over low-medium heat. Add in onion, jalapeño, and garlic and cook until softened. Transfer to the slow cooker.
- Add the remaining soup ingredients (except lime juice, tortilla strips and avocado) to the slow cooker, then cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 6-7 hours.
- Once cooked, remove the chicken and shred it, then add back to the crockpot. Stir in the lime juice, then serve!
Tips and Notes
- Chicken: I use boneless skinless chicken breasts, but chicken thighs will work too.
- Step 1 is optional! If you want to skip the step where you sauté the onion, jalapeño, and garlic, feel free. I like to pre-cook these ingredients because it takes some of the bite out and brings out the natural sweetness of the onions. However, you can just add everything straight into the slow cooker and it will work just fine.
- Drain the beans and corn. While you don't drain the Rotel, you do need to drain and rinse the can of black beans and the can of corn.
- Make homemade tortilla strips. Store-bought tortilla strips are definitely an option, but you can also easily make your own! To do so, simply cut corn tortillas into thin strips, spray them lightly with cooking spray or olive spray (or toss them in a little bit of oil). Line them on a baking sheet, then bake at 400ºF until crisp.
- Looking for a stovetop version? Try combining all of the soup ingredients in a large stockpot, then adding in pre-cooked rotisserie chicken. Simmer until everything is heated and the flavors are well melded, then enjoy!
- Looking for an instant pot version? Check out my instant pot chicken tortilla soup recipe!
- Spice it up. Like a little bit of extra heat in your soup? Try spicing it up with a can of green chilies, a drizzle of hot sauce, or a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.
- Make it cheesy. This soup definitely doesn't need cheese, but would be delicious with a handful of cotija cheese or shredded cheese such as cheddar or Monterey jack.
- Add other veggies. Want to bulk your soup up even more? Try sautéing other veggies along with the onion and jalapeño. Try it with mushroom, bell pepper, carrot, celery, zucchini, you name it.
- Swap the beans. Sub the can of black beans out for a can of pinto beans instead.
I love to serve a big bowl of this easy tortilla soup topped with crispy tortilla strips, fresh cilantro, and avocado!
It's plenty hearty and filling as-is, but you can also pair it with a couple of yummy sides! Here are a few ideas:
Refrigerator: Leftover soup can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Freezer: To freeze your soup, let it cool completely, then place it individual servings in freezer bags. It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. (I recommend laying the bags flat so you can stack them on top of one another. This helps to save space and allows them to thaw more quickly when you take them out.
Reheating: To reheat your soup, thaw it in the fridge if frozen, then warm on low on the stove until heated through!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Can I Use to Thicken Tortilla Soup?
There are several ways to add thickness to your soup. First, you can puree some of the beans and vegetables in the soup to create a thicker base.
You can also add a cornstarch slurry, by mixing equal parts cornstarch and cold water and stirring it into the soup near the end of the cooking time.
Additionally, crushed tortilla chips or masa harina can be incorporated into the soup for thickening.
Lastly, allowing the soup to simmer for a longer time can naturally reduce the liquid and result in a thicker soup. Remember though, the aim is a hearty soup and not a stew, so try to keep the texture moderately thick but still brothy.
Does Chicken Tortilla Soup Have Dairy?
Typically, tortilla soup doesn't contain any dairy. However, some variations of the recipe may include dairy additions such as cheese or sour cream as a garnish on top.
As written, our recipe is dairy-free. Just make sure to check the individual ingredients, especially the tortilla strips.
How Do You Make Chicken Tortilla Soup Creamy?
To make your soup creamy, you can add a dairy or non-dairy product towards the end of the cooking time. Common choices include cream, half and half, or milk. For a non-dairy alternative, coconut milk or almond milk works well.
Start by adding a small amount, then gradually add more until you achieve the desired creaminess. Stir well to combine and heat through.
To help prevent curdling, try not to let the soup boil. If you prefer a creamy consistency throughout, consider blending a small portion of soup then stirring it back in.
Recipe Card with Ingredient Amounts and Instructions
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium white onion
- 1 jalapeño, deseeded and diced (plus more for garnish)
- 2 to 4 garlic cloves
- 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 32 ounces low-sodium chicken broth
- 15 ounces black beans, 1 can; drained and rinsed
- 14 ½ ounces crushed tomatoes
- 14 ounces whole kernel sweet corn, 1 can; drained and rinsed
- 10 ½ ounces Rotel, undrained
- ½ cup chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 lime, juiced
- Salt, to taste
- Tortilla Strips, for garnish
- Avocado, for garnish
- Heat a medium pan over low-medium heat. Add the oil, onion, jalapeño, and garlic, and cook until softened, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a 6-7 quart slow cooker.1 tablespoon olive oil1 medium white onion1 jalapeño2 to 4 garlic cloves
- Add the remaining ingredients (except lime juice, tortilla strips and avocado). Cook on HIGH for 4-5 hours or LOW for 6-7 hours.1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts1 teaspoon chili powder1 teaspoon smoked paprika1 teaspoon garlic powder14 ½ ounces crushed tomatoes32 ounces low-sodium chicken broth15 ounces black beans14 ounces whole kernel sweet corn10 ½ ounces Rotel½ cup chopped cilantro
- Remove the chicken, shred, and add back to the crock pot. Stir in the lime juice. Taste, and add salt if desired.
- Serve with tortilla strips, cilantro, and avocado for garnish.
- Scroll up and see the post for tips, FAQs, and storage recommendations.