simple chicken tortilla soup

Many Sundays, I share on my Instagram feed a little rundown of what we ate for dinner the week before. I call these Real Life Menus, as there’s nothing aspirational about them. There’s takeout; there’s burnout; there have been quick bean quesadillas almost once a week recently simply because they’re low-effort and they work. There’s there’s jetlag, flops, and frozen pelmeni, and there are some ambitious meals I bring to the table while telling my family how grateful they should be for me (they laugh, which is deserved).

These round-ups have also led me realize that there are a lot of recipes I make fairly often for dinner and never mention here, such as this soup. My gut feeling was that there are many very authentic recipes out there for sopa azteca or sopa de tortilla and this is absolutely not even close, or trying to be. What’s a girl to do? Well, not clutter the internet with another pale imitation of a great dish, I suppose. But comments on these menus are causing me to rethink this a bit. Maybe this is the one that will work for you at the near-to-last minute on a Tuesday night, as it always does for us, providing a meal that feels balanced, delicious, but also highly doable. Maybe this, too, is a worthwhile space to take up.

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The base of this is a light tomato broth flavored with onions, garlic, and chile. We cook some chicken in this, then shred it, and warm corn and black beans in it too. The finish of lime juice is not optional; it lifts everything. At the table, I put out a mess of toppings, including fried corn tortilla strips but yes, bagged chips, a bit crumbled, also work. I also love it with crumbled cotija, avocado, fresh cilantro, and hot sauce, since I have to keep the soup relatively mild for family harmony. I hope it becomes a part of your repertoire, too.

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Simple Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • Servings: 4 to 5
  • Source: Smitten Kitchen
  • Print

Let’s talk about heat! There are so many ways to impart both chile heat and flavor here, and this recipe works with any of them: 1 minced jalapeño or serrano, or more to taste. Ground chile powder (not the spice blend for chili, the dish), chipotle powder, or even smoked hot paprika or cayenne will give it a kick. You could used a minced chipotle from a can, or just a spoonful of the puree around it. You could add some dried chiles, first toasting them in a dry pan, soaking them in hot water until soft, and blending them. Each will change the flavor of the soup slightly, and deepen it.

If you only have bone-in skin-on chicken thighs, start with 1.3 pounds and cook it 5 minutes longer.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeño, finely chopped (see Note about other heat options)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground chile powder (see Note about other heat options)
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 to 4 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs (see Note)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels (optional)
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Finishes, choose your own
  • Cotija cheese, crumbled
  • 1 medium avocado, sliced
  • Sour cream or Mexican crema
  • Second half of lime, cut into wedges
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Corn tortillas, cut into thin ribbons, to fry (instructions below)
  • Hot sauce

Make the soup: Heat a large or 4-quart soup pot over medium-high. Once hot, add olive oil. Once oil is hot add onion, garlic, and jalapeño and cook, stirring, until softened and beginning to brown at the edges, about 5 minutes. Add cumin and chile cook one minute. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, until one shade darker, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add 3 cups chicken broth and stir to combine. Add chicken thighs and bring the soup to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover, simmering for 15 minutes, until chicken is very tender and cooked through. Remove chicken with tongs and transfer to a cutting board. Add beans and corn (optional; still frozen is fine to soup), gently simmer for 3 to 5 minutes. While it simmers, use two forks to shred chicken into bite-sized pieces. Season soup well with salt and black pepper. Return shredded chicken to soup and warm through, 1 minute. If the soup is too thick for your liking at this point, add all or part of remaining 1 cup broth and bring back to a simmer. Check seasoning again and adjust to taste.

Remove from heat and squeeze lime juice of half a lime over. Serve with any finishings of your choice; shown here with avocado, cilantro, cotija, tortilla strips, and hot sauce.

Want to make fried corn tortilla strips? In a large nonstick frying pan, heat a generous 1/4-inch of a neutral/high heat-safe oil over medium-high until a drop of water flicked in sizzles dramatically. Add a handful of corn tortilla strips and cook, stirring a bit, until they begin to brown at the edges, 2 to 3 minutes. Scoop out with tongs or a slotted spoon, shaking off excess oil, and transfer to paper towels to drain. Season immediately with salt. Repeat with remaining strips. I promise, there will be no leftovers, but if there are, they keep in a bag at room temperature for a few days.

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147 comments on simple chicken tortilla soup

  1. Bentley

    So funny I made taco soup (ground beef instead of chicken) last night, was worried my kids would revolt and they all loved it. Lots of shredded cheddar can ease pretty much anything I suppose. And it was so quick! I didn’t use any acid tho and now I might have to squeeze some line over my lunch leftovers mmmm

  2. Ree

    It’s like you read my mind — coming back from vacation on a slightly dreary Tuesday morning necessitates a stick-to-your-ribs yet punchy and uplifting recipe like this. Might try and fight the jet lag and even make it tonight!

      1. Stephen K. Mack

        One of the reasons I love Deb is her generosity of sprit and her ability to share with ‘us’ . She personifies that sharing spirit and her participation on the comments section is always something I look forward to. I’ll check out Liz’s post, I need all the help I can get!! I’m not feeling that generosity from you!

    1. FJ Hughes

      Of course, just don’t overcook it. I make my soup using Costco rotisserie chicken, great use of leftovers. Sometimes I take the bones from the carcass and simmer with the broth for additional flavor before starting the soup recipe.

  3. Diane

    I love seeing the “basic” weeknight menus. It can be exciting to see a heavenly dish that clearly needed hours in the kitchen but I look at the pictures, read the post/story if it leaps out at me and MAYBE look at the ingredient list to see if there’s a wild ingredient I never thought to use in similar dishes. I don’t usually have the will power for the more intricate recipes. Sure it’s not an authentic experience but it is dinner and I think that’s all I want on Tuesday night. Hope you don’t mind sharing more of your family favorites in the future!

  4. Thank you. Your “real life” meals speak to those of us who – even if we love cooking – at times find that feeding our growing children seems a relentless responsibility. I have three bone-in chicken thighs in the fridge destined to become soup for dinner. Now I know what kind of soup it will be.

  5. Mimi

    Ooohh this looks great, and doable. I’m very much for the weekday recipes, and this one is flexible – important for a family with 3 kids of differing tastes.

    Thanks Deb, as always…

  6. Rachele

    I had a bunch of chicken thighs that I had good intentions of marinating for the 5 spice chicken recipe in Samir Nosrat’s book. I dropped the ball on the marination and found this recipe, and , thanks to the instant pot, could cook some dried black beans while I prepped the soup. I am making everything right now. Such a wtf am I going to make pantry friendly little Tuesday night blessing. Amen hallelujah and glory be.

    1. Nancy Hanson

      Love this recipe. Made it 3 times already. Each time with different chicken. Bone in thighs, boneless thighs (much easier) and bone in chicken breast. My picky eaters loved it and it is truly a pantry loving recipe. Thank you.

  7. KW

    This is my first time commenting even though I’ve made many of your recipes. But I had to let you know that I made this on the day you posted this recipe, and it’s delicious and just as quick as promised. I used chicken breasts and cheddar cheese (because it’s what we had). I also baked the tortilla strips instead of fried them. I find it easier because then you pop them in the oven while the soup is cooking and don’t have to think about them until the soup is ready.

  8. Kim griffin

    I just love you , full stop. I share your joy and frustration in feeding a family. I am almost seventy, I know how did that happen? And so remember what it is to feed others.

  9. This looks good. I do make something similar called southwestern corn chowder and it comes together in like 20 minutes. Highly recommend soups like this for busy families! Customizable and flexible.

    Related, your chicken chili recipe is a serious lifesaver for the days when I am gone or have late afternoon stuff preventing me from supper prep/cooking. I have given that recipe to A LOT of friends for the same reason! It’s always delicious and so so so easy to throw together in the morning.

    1. S

      Aspirational recipes are great but we all need to eat every night regardless of how our day went so thank you for this. Keep the simple dinner ideas coming! And I second Suzanne’s “not on instagram so happy to read this here”.

  10. Michelle

    Is there a specific ground chile powder you recommend? I usually default to chili powder since I’m cooking for small humans and can’t have it too spicy!

    1. deb

      I am using one a reader once sent me from a farmers market in New Mexico (I am spoiled) from a baggie that says “mild” so not very helpful for shopping. But if you search around, you can find mild chile powders from lots of stores online.

  11. Barbara

    Yesterday I had tortilla soup from a local restaurant and thought – I need a good tortilla soup recipe. You always come through when I need you. Thank you!


    Don’t forget a healthy 1-2 tsp of dried oregano, and even a little cumin or coriander seed in this soup (amazing texture). I roast a whole poblano over a burner instead of a jalapeno and also add torn corn tortillas to my soup to thicken it and give more masa notes….enjoy!

    1. k

      Love the oregano idea – I’ll garnish my next bowl with it. Made the soup tonight with blackeyed peas (only bean I had left) and a pint of frozen corn I put up last summer. Garnished with plain yogurt, crushed tortilla chips, cilantro, and asiago; next time, will top also with oregano and diced fresh jalapeño. So delicious.

  13. Jennifer

    If you are really lazy, like me, you can cut corn tortillas into strips, toss them in a little oil and seasonings and then spread on a sheet pan. 425 degrees for a few minutes. No oil to clean up. And this soup looks delicious
    , btw.

        1. AM

          A takeout near us does a great vegetarian tortilla soup with dumplings made of tamale/masa dough for bulk (frying them a little to get some crispy edges is nice), and hominy rather than fresh corn for a little thicker texture — maybe one or both of those swaps would work for you?

    1. Winnie

      Soy curls (available online) are great at mimicking the texture of chicken. Just rehydrate in water and squeeze out before adding. If you can find a good vegan “chicken” broth, you can rehydrate in that as well.

    2. Megan

      I didn’t have chicken, beans, or corn, but did have some tortillas that were going stale in the fridge and decided to make this anyway. Used carrots and green peppers in place of the veg and simply didn’t use a replacement for the meat or beans. It was very good, if simple.

      The spices and flavors of the broth plus good toppings are what really made it for me. I think you could use many different veggies to add bulk where there may have been meat and it would still turn out great! Though I do like the suggestion of adding mushrooms for some more umami flavor, I think I’ll try it next time!

      1. Angeline

        I made this and it was delicious! I had to make some modifications because due to health reasons, I’m avoiding onion and garlic. I’m doing a loose low-FODMAP diet. I figured I’d comment because I come to Smitten Kitchen regularly for recipes, and have been able to make modifications with great success! Used a mix of bell peppers and green onion tops instead of onion, and garlic-infused olive oil to get the garlic flavor. I just used whatever chili powder I had on hand, and didn’t have a jalapeño but I did have chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in the fridge. Baked some corn tortillas for my topping, and it was delicious. Even better the next day.

          1. Kimberly Janson

            Hi! Just wondering if I can make this recipe in a slow cooker? Would I still brown the onions and garlic or can I just throw it all in there? Thanks!

  14. Ellen

    Deb, I am probably not alone in hoping that you can find a way to share your ‘little rundown of what we ate for dinner the week before’ in some way in addition to instagram (for those not on instagram) – perhaps in your weekly newsletter.
    Thank you!

  15. Jill

    I tried this last night! Very good. My normal tortilla soup recipe uses crushed tomatoes instead of tomato paste, but I liked this version better–felt like a depth of flavor. You never disappoint Deb!

  16. EK

    OMG DEB, you have done it again!!!! I was craving an easy/tasty/filling lunch and this absolutely hit the spot. I made it exactly as directed with half a serrano pepper diced and Goya black bean soup drained for the beans. Crushed tortilla chips and a dollop of sour cream for toppings. It reminds me somewhat of your slow cooker chicken chili (a longtime fav), but I think I actually prefer this version since it’s lighter and has corn for a vegetable. Plus, it literally took me 30 mins to cook between work meetings and it’s a one pot meal. THANK YOU!

  17. Sonya

    I made chicken taco bowls earlier in the week and had leftover shredded chicken, black beans, and corn. So I followed the soup directions and then added all my leftovers to the broth and simmered for about 15 mins. It was soooo good! Thank you for this delicious recipe!

  18. Claire

    Hi Deb- this looks great, have been hoping you would post the recipe! Are there any dried chilis you would recommend? I’ve just started using them so still working on finding the right balance between flavor and heat. Was thinking some ancho, guajillo and maybe a few chipotle… overkill?

  19. Anne

    I love your blog and I’ve been following you for many many years. So many so, that I feel old looking back at all of your previous recipes. How can that be?! 15 years?! Thank you for always being a reliably amazing recipe and fun stop with interesting and funny commentary. This recipe looks tasty, and I’m sure my family with enjoy it!

  20. Jennifer

    When I saw this, I changed my mealplan so we could have this right away. And it was the right decision: the whole family loved it!

  21. Reenee

    I saw on Instagram that you used a boullion concentrate and am wondering your thoughts on if this is preferable to a store-bought box stock?

    1. deb

      I generally prefer it over storebought boxed stocks. I find the flavor to be better, it lasts longer, takes up less space, and is way easier to haul from the grocery store. I specifically like the Better Than Bouillon brand. I currently keep their Chicken, Beef, Turkey (I use it for Thanksgiving stuff), Vegetable, Mushroom, and No-Chicken (tastes cozy like chicken soup, but no chicken flavoring or meat) around, which is a lot. I think sane people can get away with one or two.

      1. Molly

        I keep all those flavors too, plus a Lobster or Seafood one for fish stews etc. The “cheese drawer” of my fridge is actually my “cheese and Better than Bouillon” drawer. Definitely not sane.

    2. Kim

      I use the Better than Bouillon veggie broth for every recipe that calls for any kind of broth and it always turns out great. I like it because I know the glass is recyclable, it’s cheaper (at least at Costco) and you don’t have to open a whole container if you just need one or two cups.

  22. Mickey

    So refreshing to read your stories about the life of a “real mom”. Some days, you just get dinner on the table. My kids love to talk about the night they had doughnuts for dinner. As if that happened every night (not).

    This soup looks great for our rotation. I usually pick up a rotisserie chicken and it inevitably ends up as Congee, or some sort of yummy soup.

  23. Mary Beth

    I made this today, delicious! Making life even easier, I used rotisserie chicken and a can of shoe peg corn. Don’t skip frying your own corn tortilla crips so easy and addictive!

  24. Kat

    So quick and easy and a perfect weeknight option when you don’t know what else to make. The only change I made was immersion blending the onions in broth after cooking the chicken. I prefer a slightly thicker liquid and this was perfect!

  25. Katie

    This recipe is so good! I made a double batch to eat throughout the week, but I wanted to get a little more vegetables into it, so I took some inspo from your cauliflower tacos (one of my absolute favorite things to make) and did 1 pound of chicken and 1 pound of cut up cauliflower. Tastes great!

  26. Sylvia Halepota

    Made this on a Sunday afternoon. It’s very easy and makes enough for lunch during the week. I will be using various toppings each day to make it a little different. I used chicken breast for that is what I had available.

  27. Janet A

    It was time for another soup meal, but I had no avocado or tortillas or jalapenos in the house, so it was a more North African-Middle Eastern inflected soup as I did it, with chickpeas in place of the black beans, lemon juice in place of the lime juice, some crushed tomatoes that needed using up in place of part of the tomato paste, and garnished with sumac-dusted yogurt, lemon-infused olive oil, and cilantro.

    And yes, I know that isn’t the recipe here, but what I love about your site is that your recipes are infinitely riffable, and, after all, using up what’s in the fridge and adapting to what we can get or what our family will eat is the name of the game, amirite? (I do plan to do the Mexican-inflected version someday, though.)

  28. Anne

    Great weeknight super easy super flavourful soup! Made it even easier with bought tortilla crisps on top with avocado! Definitely a winner !

  29. Beth

    Made this vegetarian by skipping the chicken and using two tins of black beans. My partner is recovering from covid and this is the first meal in a week that he has eaten with enthusiasm. My favourite type of food, in that is is super easy with a huge payoff. Served two hungry people well, I think I’d double it to feed 4/5. Definitely adding this to the rotation, thank you!

  30. Hillary

    Made this tonight and it was great! Would make again. I followed one of the other commenters recommendations to use an immersion blender after removing the chicken. I liked the consistency of the soup and no chunky onions or jalapeños. This was not spicy with 1 jalapeño and I used adobe sauce.

  31. Stephanie

    Thank you! What a delicious (and simple) meal. This is now my go-to chicken tortilla soup! Please do share more of these meals that you make that work when time is in short supply.

  32. Lily M

    We make this all the time! Such a quick, tasty, and filling dinner. I like to use a can of fire roasted tomatoes in addition to tomato paste, then use the immersion blender on the onion/chile/garlic/tomatoes for a smooth base to the soup.

  33. Andrea

    Please be suuuuuper careful about flicking a drop of water on oil to test if ready to fry the strips. Can cause an explosion. I had a huge flame come up out of the pan (I’ve never fried anything- lesson learned!)
    Delicious soup!! Came together easily

  34. Nicole B

    I love tortilla soup!!!! I was actually thinking about it last week and how I needed to make it again soon and then I saw your recipe pop up – amazing! One modification that I do is to first fry the tortillas strips (if I am going that route) in the soup pot and then use that oil as the base to start the soup (I got this from Simply Recipes) – it really adds a great flavour to the soup and saves an extra dish to wash (though you do need to fry them in a couple of batches, instead of all at once). Usually I am just using up leftover chicken, but this time I am going to go the route of cooking the chicken in the soup – tomorrow’s dinner! Thanks!!

  35. Helen Martin

    This chicken tortilla soup sounds yummy and I will have to try it. I am more of a baker and have make your blueberry muffins and banana bread. Oh, my goodness! The muffins were so beautiful that I posted them on messenger to friends and family. I received several requests. They are scrumptious and the banana bread is the best I’ve ever made! I’m going for the Hummingbird cake next!

  36. eb

    We made this the other night. Pretty straight forward. Used a fairly large jalapeno, and for dried powders 1/2tsp ancho, 1/2tsp chipotle, and 1/2tsp smoked paprika. We used 2 ears of fresh corn (the ones you find pre-husked in packs of 4 because that’s all they have). We did end up adding a bit more stock. In all we thought it was quite good. I might up the heat next time. It had spice but was not spicy. Oh and I think we used probably around 1.5 tbs of salt. Obviously you want to under salt if you’re going to crush regular tortilla chips in your soup.

  37. Grace G

    My husband made this tonight. Our 6-year-old took one bite and declared the dinner worth two hugs and one kiss for the chef!

  38. Kora

    This was so good! I doubled the corn and beans. I used chicken breasts because that’s what I had. I added some smoked paprika and did not have any chili powder. So really this recipe was a template. It was perfect. It was the best Mexican tortilla soup I have ever had. And it was so easy. Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

  39. Quin

    I’ve been making Ina’s tortilla soup for so many years and it is truly delicious. Gave this one a spin on a whim because I had the ingredients and was short on time, and it was good! Definitely keeping this for when I want tortilla soup in a hurry. Used thin sliced chicken breasts which worked great.

  40. Julee

    I made this for dinner! Thanks for sharing!
    As always, your recipes are spot on.
    I found myself salting and adding lime juice to the finished soup and it was perfect.

  41. Jonathan

    Made this tonight. Kids are already asking for the soup again. My eleven year old: “Is this one of Deb’s recipes?”

  42. AC

    I used bone-in skin-on chicken thighs so it took longer to cook through, but the soup was delicious! Also added some cabbage because I had them. Next time I might add more broth so the consistency is more soup and less stew/chili. Regardless, SO glad to see this recipe for easy and adaptable weeknight meal!

  43. Julie

    Thinly slice a couple of corn tortillas and add them after you remove the chicken. They give it a little more body and act like noodles once they get nice and soft. You can get away with less chicken because the simmered tortillas make the soup feel a bit more substantial without as much poultry.

  44. This is a great time of year to have tortilla soup, when winter won’t completely let go and spring is at its chilliest. Somehow I never tried making it until late in life, after having a delicious (but very different) version at a friend’s lunch. I didn’t want to fry the tortillas, so tried baking them and have never gone back (brush tortillas lightly with oil on both sides, stack and cut into strips, arrange on baking sheet & bake at 350F for 15+ min). I use the recipe in Alice Waters’ Art of Simple Food, minus the chipotle (just not a fan). Because it’s a very light version, toppings make the dish: my favorites in addition to the essential avo & cilantro are matchstick radishes (seasonal at this time of year!) and scallions or Mexican pickled red onions.

  45. Ann M.

    I made this last night and it was great. I love that it’s not complicated but gives you a much tastier alternative to the dreaded canned soup. I tweaked 2 small ways by using chicken breasts instead of thighs and I added a jar of garden tomatoes that I cashed last summer. Thanks for the great recipe. I’m sure it will be on repeat.

  46. Karen

    Made this a couple days ago and everyone commented on what great flavor it had! I doubled the recipe and added several handfulls of chopped spinach. Otherwise followed the recipe closely. So good!

  47. Kay

    Thank you for sharing this recipe! I made this for dinner tonight after coming home from work and with two toddlers hugging my leg while I cooked. My almost 3 year old has several texture aversions so it’s challenging to get him to eat a variety of foods. He gobbled spponfuls of chicken, beans and corn up and said “yummy food” while my 1.5 year old said “is good”.
    I used chicken breasts. some better than bouillon (not chicken roast or something like that) and added Mexican Sabor spice blend from spice tree organics.
    I love your easy, weekday meals- you are a treasure!

  48. Becca

    Your recipes always give the perfect blend of comfort and elegance. Thank you, Deb, for saving me time and again at dinner time.

  49. Elizabeth

    I’ve made this THREE TIMES since you posted it, and real talk, there are chicken thighs in my fridge right now for #4. If your upcoming cookbook isn’t already about surprisingly good meals in under 45 minutes, I hope your next one will be! You could title it “Bangers” because this thing is a banger, girl.

  50. Agnieszka

    Thank you for the inspiration. This soup is delicious. I didn’t have all the ingredients, but made the soup twice already using left-over stuff from the fridge, both times vegetarian, since that’s what I had on hand that needed to be used. But I think the base of tomato paste and blended dried chilies with water is an excellent idea for a base in a soup. After anything can be added (chickpeas with sweet peas or cauliflower).

  51. Teddi Carbonneau

    We love this type of soup. When it is easy and doesn’t take crazy ingredients makes it a double winner. I am always in a hurry, so sometimes to get a depth of flavor quickly I use Hatch Tex-Mex enchilada sauce, a can of chopped tomatoes with peppers and rotisserie chicken for my tortilla soup base.

  52. Julie

    Delicious! I used skin-on bone-in chicken thighs, and waited for them to cool because it always takes me a million years to shred chicken with forks (wanted to do it with my hands), so the whole process took me a lot longer than 30 minutes, but well worth it anyway. It wasn’t quite perfect, but I unexpectedly didn’t have any limes so I’m sure that would have done the trick.

  53. tanya

    I made this last week and it is the best tortilla soup I’ve ever made/eaten. I love that it has some tomato but is not tomato based.

  54. Kris

    Great recipe! We used chipotle in adobo instead of chili and sprinkled our tortilla strips with Tajin instead of salt. This will go into our rotation for sure !

  55. Sharon

    I was surprised how totally delicious and pleasing this dish came out. I think I followed the recipe pretty closely except I used a chipotle in place of the jalapeno. Quick and delicious and a great way to use up the corn tortillas lingering in the back of the fridge.

  56. Elise

    This was delicious and fairly simple. The tomato paste added nice complexity and depth. I don’t know how you get 4-5 servings of soup using only 3 cups of broth though— I added twice that amount and it still felt skimpy for 3 people!

  57. Morgan Prudden

    Super easy and delicious! I added one whole chopped bell pepper in with the onions and garlic and enjoyed the extra crunch and vegetable addition.

  58. Crystal

    I love this chicken tortilla soup recipe! I’ve made it using shredded rotisserie chicken which was super easy and a good use of leftover chicken. I just made it using bone-in chicken thighs but fried them rather than simply boiling them. I patted chicken dry with a paper towel and salted them. Heated 1 tbsp butter in a Dutch oven and placed thighs skin side down for 5 minutes. Flipped, cooked for 5 more minutes then removed. Then I followed the recipe as written except cooking the onions in the rendered chicken fat instead of oil. I added the chicken back to the soup and boiled to finish cooking it.

  59. Angel

    Easy and delicious weeknight dinner! I substituted the jalapeño for poblano, ancho powder for dried guajillo and ancho peppers.

  60. Dianna

    This is going to be my new speedy delicious dinner! I didn’t have time to thaw the chicken we had in the freezer, so I took a chance and threw some prawns in at the same time as the corn and black beans. So yummy! The fried tortillas did take a smidge more time, but they were worth it. My husband and 3.5 year old devoured this meal. Thanks!!

  61. Karen

    I just made this tonight, after wanting to eat it as soon as I saw the photos and recipe a few weeks ago. It is delicious and the best part is that BOTH of my teenagers thought so too! Yay, to a winner that everyone agrees on.

    Deb, thank you so much for continuously sharing such delious, do-able recipes. When I need inspiration for what to cook, I look to your website.

  62. Pam

    This was really fantastic! Super quick and very flavorful, with comforting Tex-Mex smells throughout the house :) My only comment is that it really should be doubled to feed 4. As written, it fed 2 adults with only a very small amount leftover. We will definitely be making (and doubling) again!

  63. Bethany Comegys

    I made this tonight and it was fabulous! I used chipotle adobo instead of jalapeño but that was the only difference.

  64. Rachel

    This was a winner! Hubby raved about it, so I will definitely be adding it to my recipe arsenal. Though I did use some extra-effort-added components (homemade chicken broth, beans soaked and cooked from dried), when those elements are prepped ahead of time, the dish is quite quick and easy to prepare. I also used cooked and shredded chicken that I had previously frozen; I only added 9 oz, which felt sufficient. I chose to blend the soup before adding the chicken, corn, and beans and definitely preferred the smoother texture (as did my onion-hating husband). I used 1/2 tsp chipotle chile powder + 1/2 tsp smoked paprika and also added some cayenne for additional heat. Also used fire-roasted corn for added flavor but will definitely be trying this with fresh corn from the farmer market when it becomes available. I topped it with feta (subbed for cotija), sour cream, cilantro, and those addictive tortilla strips, which I fried in refined coconut oil. So good! Thanks for another great recipe.

  65. Julie Gupta

    It’s officially fall in Northern VA with rain and cold temps today, and I felt like a soup was warranted. This is sooooooo good and took no time to make. Will make a double batch next time and freeze some. Love Smitten Kitchen!

  66. Liz

    Making this for dinner tonight! I had bone in, skin on chicken thighs so fried them first and cooked the onions in the rendered fat. I then blended the onion broth before returning the shredded chicken to the pot, and it tastes delicious! Apart from prepping the fixings, it’s pretty much done, leaving me with very little hands-on time needed before serving, which is perfect for a midweek meal, and I love how it’s very store cupboard-friendly.

  67. Kate

    I have made this both as written with the chicken and a vegetarian version with Better Than Bouillon “no chicken base” and 2 cans of black beans. I suspect it would also be good with half black beans, half pinto beans, if one was so inclined. Happy to report that both are easy and very good.

  68. Amy P.

    If you’re wondering if you try this: just do it. It’s a great recipe! I have never thought tortilla soup looked interesting, never really desired it. So why did I even bother trying this? Ingredients looked good and I’m always looking for repeat-soups this time of year. 🙃And you know what – I like chicken tortilla soup now. My family of 4 gave it a unanimous thumbs up. Thanks Deb! Already looking forward to making this again.

  69. Cathy Harmon

    Thank you for the recipe; it’s so quick and easy to put together. I had some adobo pepper and sauce in the freezer so I added about 1 t for an extra depth of flavour. Also, I pureed 1 cup of soup to make it a bit creamier. Very tasty indeed!

  70. Jessica

    Made this tonight and it was amazing! Best thing I’ve made in a long time. This one is definitely going into the regular rotation. Thank you, Deb!

  71. Kristen Kemp

    Hello! I will start by saying I know chicken thighs are the chicken of choice for many reasons. However, I like breast meat in tortilla soup. Can I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts in this recipe? Sorry if I’ve missed you already answering this question and thank you for your time!

  72. Perfect chilly weather or warm weather soup. We topped ours like we do chili and charred corn tortillas for dunking. Used home-grown frozen sweet corn, and doubled both the bean and corn quantities. Yum!

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  74. Lisa Kelso

    This is quick and very delicious. I’ve made it twice. Once exactly as written. The 2nd time I substituted shredded leftover rotisserie chicken (a really good one) for the chicken thighs and cooked it in the broth mixture for a bit to soften and flavor it. Also great. Making tortilla strips is fun and simple and they’re way too good. I highly recommend this recipe!

  75. Suma

    My sister in law gifted me the newest SK cookbook and now I have gone from cooking many of my meals from SK to all of my meals from SK and I’m not complaining!

    Made this tonight using multiple options from your heat suggestions. Was easy enough to do on a weeknight. Loved this and can’t wait for my leftovers tomorrow!

  76. EK

    Made this tonight with ground turkey instead of chicken because I forgot to defrost anything in advance. Browned the meat with the onions and then added tomato, stock etc after. It turned out SO well and so much easier than cooking and shredding chicken! Will be my new sub.

  77. Rob

    Absolutely love this soup. In case it’s helpful for any vegetarians, I make this using one package of Sweet Earth Mindful Chicken. I skip the first chicken cooking step and just add it to warm up when I add the black beans and corn. Everything else is the same (except using veggie broth rather than chicken.) It works great!

  78. Jenny Gonzalez

    This is the easiest and best chicken tortilla soup I’ve ever made and I’ve tried many recipes! I air fried my tortilla chips which were perfect. My kids loved it too!

  79. Liv

    I’m sure that chicken thighs build a real depth of flavor, but as a vegetarian I can confirm that this recipe is great with fake meat too. Love it with soy curls or a fancier fake chicken product. Also, when I was mid-recipe today I realized we were out of tomato paste (gasp!) and swapped a jar of really watery tomato sauce that I canned in the summer, so basically the opposite of paste, and it was still very good. I either serve it with tortilla strips, as shown, or I quarter corn tortillas and make chips to scoop.

  80. Shannon

    This is recipe yielded the best tortilla soup I’ve ever had so delicious! It’s easy and flavorful. A must add to the weekly rotation. Well done Smitten Kitchen yet another satisfying recipe!

  81. I like cooking up some of good recipes I see on website it’s good way to have bbqs with chicken and pork chops I love it cook up something’s good this summer from Jerry pfeifer