Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup
An easy Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe that’s perfect for busy nights and chilly weather. Also great for the stovetop!
It’s soup season! Hooray! I love to serve soup at least once a week–maybe more. Not only does my family love it, but I love that I can make it in the morning, and then serve it anytime.
Crockpot soups are my favorite, because I can add all the ingredients in the morning, and then just serve it that night when very little additional prep. It’s definitely a busy mom’s best friend. With sports, dance, and music lessons, we’re on the go a lot in the evenings, and the crockpot is my favorite way to make a yummy dinner for my kids that’s ready whenever we need it.
Easy Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup
There are just a few ingredients, and most of them are probably already in your pantry. It comes together in just minutes, and after all day in your crockpot, it’s ready to serve to a hungry family! This soup has a chicken broth base that’s flavored with tomatoes, garlic, black beans, onions, cilantro, and green chilis. It’s topped with the yummiest homemade tortilla strips that start out crunchy, but then sink into the soup and add texture. It’s hearty and packed with flavor, and you’ll want to make sure you make extra! In this particular soup I like the tortilla strips better than tortilla chips.
You can also make this soup on the stove, instead of a slow cooker.
What You Will Need to Make Chicken Tortilla Soup:
- Chicken breasts (or roast chicken)
- Diced Tomatoes
- Black Beans
- Chicken Broth
- Green chili (or can of green chilis)
- Corn Tortillas
- Toppings: Sour cream, avocado, cilantro
How to Make Crispy Tortilla Strips:
The soup is so good, but I also adore the crispy tortilla strips that get sprinkled on top. You can buy them in at the grocery store, but this homemade version is SO much better, and not hard at all. They’re also pretty fast to make, and absolutely worth the few minutes of extra time. They totally make the soup, for sure! If you’ve never made them before, they’re definitely worth a try. They really doesn’t take that long, and are SO yummy.
Stack corn tortillas on top of each other, then use a pizza cutter to cut the tortillas in half. Next you’ll cut each half into 1/4-1/2 inch strips. Heat a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil to medium-high heat, and place the strips in a single layer in the pan. Fry them in the oil and use tongs to turn them over as needed, until a light golden brown. Toss with salt. You can also use a bit of taco seasoning, or a sprinkle of cumin to taste for added flavor. Drain on a plate that’s lined with paper towels. It’s best to make these right before serving, but you can make them ahead of time if you need to.
Instead of frying, you can also bake the tortilla strips in the oven. Toss the freshly-cut strips in a couple tablespoons of oil, sprinkle with salt or taco seasoning, then bake in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes until crispy and golden brown. Each option works well!
How To Make Chicken Tortilla Soup:
Have I mentioned how quick and easy this is? And my mouth is watering just talking about it. If you’re using a crockpot, just add all the ingredients into your slow cooker (except tortilla strips and toppings). Cook on high for 8 hours if your chicken is frozen, or for 6 hours if chicken is thawed. I’ve done it both ways many times, and they each work well. When the chicken is done, the soup is done! Shred the chicken with two forks, and stir to combine.
To make on the stovetop, cook your chicken first, then shred and add to the soup ingredients. Cook over medium heat until the soup is heated through. You can also use a roast chicken from the grocery store instead of chicken breasts. You’d only need time for the soup to heat through in a pot on the stove, so if you’re even shorter on cooking time, it’s a great option. I often make it this way when I have less than an hour to make dinner, and I can get this on the table quickly. If I have a bit more time and can start in the early afternoon, the soup is perfect just simmering on the stove until ready to serve. It’s a huge hit at our house, and often requested by my kids.
Serving Chicken Tortilla Soup:
Into each bowl, place a layer of cheese on the bottom. We prefer Colby Jack or a Mexican blend, but Monterey Jack is yummy too. Ladle the soup on top of the cheese, then sprinkle generously with the fried tortilla strips. Top of avocado, a bit of lime juice, a dollop of sour cream, and cilantro (also a must!).
Storing Leftover Soup:
Store your leftover soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It’s also a great soup to freeze, and lasts for up to months in the freezer. I like to place the soup in gallon-size freezer bags, and label the date and name of soup with a Sharpie. Make sure the bag is lying flat to freeze, so it will stack more easily in your freezer. I try to make 2-3x what we need every time I make it, and freeze the rest. Then all I have to do is make the tortilla strips, which just take a few minutes. Super easy and fast dinner during the fall and winter months. (And sometimes the rest of the year too!)
Chicken Tortilla Soup
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, (or roast chicken, shredded)
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 14.5 ounces petite diced tomatoes, (1 can)
- 15.5 ounces black beans, drained and rinsed (1 can)
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1 mild green chili, seeded and chopped (or 1 small can green chilis)
- cheese, shredded
- 10 corn tortillas
- 2-3 tablespooons vegetable oil
- taco seasoning, optional
- Combine chicken breasts, onion, garlic, tomatoes, broth, salt, pepper, and green chili in your crockpot. Cook on high for 6 hours, then low until ready to serve. Shred chicken with two forks.
- **To make on the stovetop, cook your chicken first, then shred and add to the soup ingredients. Cook over medium heat until the soup is heated through. You can also use a roast chicken from the grocery store instead of chicken breasts. You'd only need time for the soup to heat through in a pot on the stove,
- Serves 6. To serve, in each bowl place a layer of cheese (whichever kind you like best–I love both of them!), then spoon the soup on top. Sprinkle with tortilla strips, cilantro, and avocado. Serve with a dollop of sour cream as desired.
- *For my family of 8, I usually double this recipe. I also add extra beans to bulk it up a little, and even add an extra chicken breast. The ingredients can be forgiving–if you like extra of something, add it in!
Homemade Tortilla Strips
- Stack corn tortillas on top of each other, then use a pizza cutter to cut the tortillas in half. Next you'll cut each half into 1/4-1/2 inch strips. Heat a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil to medium-high heat, and place the strips in a single layer in the pan. Fry them in the oil and use tongs to turn them over as needed, until a light golden brown. Toss with salt. You can also use a bit of taco seasoning, or a sprinkle of cumin to taste for added flavor. Drain on a plate that's lined with paper towels. It's best to make these right before serving, but you can make them ahead of time if you need to. Instead of frying, you can also bake the tortilla strips in the oven. Toss the freshly-cut strips in a couple tablespoons of oil, sprinkle with salt or taco seasoning, then bake in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes until crispy and golden brown. Each option works well!
More Yummy recipes to try…
- Cozy Taco Soup (Stovetop or Crockpot)
- Easy Crockpot Hot Chocolate
- Quick & Easy Chicken Pot Pie
- Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
Kierste Wade is a published author, blogger, and mom to six. With more than 20 years DIY and project experience, she has been sharing ideas on her blog since 2009. Focusing on simple and doable projects, she loves to share attainable ideas for all things home, holidays, and family. Kierste has been featured on Better Homes and Gardens, HGTV, American Farmhouse Magazine (print and online) Taste of Home, Country Living, and more.
This recipe looks delicious! Chicken tortilla soup is one of my favorites, too! One thing I’ve added to my own, that has such great texture is a can of hominy, rinsed and drained.
That’s a great idea, Natalie! Thanks for sharing!!! xoxo
What is hominy?
Hominy is a food produced from dried maize kernels that have been treated with an alkali, in a process called nixtamalization. It’s yummy in soups!