Simplified Chicken Tortilla Soup

Simplified Chicken Tortilla Soup has a fresh, roasted tomato based broth with shredded chicken and vegetables and topped the way you like it. It is my absolute favorite homemade Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe that I make all the time!

simplified chicken tortilla soup

I first posted this Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe in the summer of 2009. I have consistently made it since then, and over the years I have slightly modified the recipe to make it more simple and quick.

This soup is a staple for us during the winter months, and I often immediately freeze half the batch so we can have it ready for a quick weeknight dinner.

Chicken Tortilla Soup is something I order often at restaurants. Whether it’s Max & Erma’s, Chili’s, or 54th Street Grill, I find myself drawn to choosing this soup as a lunch or dinner entree. One thing these restaurant versions have in common is that they are usually creamy and cheesy. I know they are not the healthiest choice, although there are certainly less healthier menu items!

I’m always on the mission to create my favorite restaurant dishes at home, with the opportunity to make them slightly healthier. The soup is much healthier than restaurant Chicken Tortilla Soup. The optional toppings I’ve listed are certainly not optional for us! They really elevate this meal to something amazing. We really like using tortilla strips on this soup. You can find them near the croutons.

As Baby Sister is due to join us two weeks from today (!!!), I feel more at ease knowing there’s a container of this soup in my freezer 🙂

Recipe Details

The first step in this recipe is to roast some vine ripened tomatoes. The tomatoes are cut in half and placed cut side down on a baking sheet with olive oil, salt, and pepper. The roasting helps concentrate the tomato flavor.

roasted tomatoes
Simplified Chicken Tortilla Soup ingredients

The broth of the soup is built by sauteing onions, garlic, and red pepper. Then the vegetables are seasoned with chili powder and cumin, and the chicken broth is added. This mixture simmers while the tomato mixture is prepared.

To prepare the tomato mixture, the roasted tomatoes are pureed with fresh jalapeno and canned fire roasted tomatoes. The tomato mixture is added to the broth and simmered to meld the flavors.

The last step is adding the chicken and adjusting the salt. The toppings really elevate this soup from good to great, so I highly recommend them!

Gluten Free Chicken Tortilla Soup

This recipe is naturally gluten free. Most tortillas and tortilla strips are gluten free, but please check your packaging to make sure.

Simplified Chicken Tortilla Soup Pin

Looking for more Soup Recipes?

Check out my other favorite Soup recipes:
Leek and Potato Soup {Julia Child’s recipe}
Roasted Tomato Soup
Black Bean Soup
Panera Copycat Chicken Sonoma Stew
Homemade Turkey Soup
Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
Chicken Sausage Florentine Soup
Chilli Coconut Chicken Soup
Creamy Tomato Basil and Italian Turkey Sausage Soup
Chicken, Leek, and Tomato Soup

simplified chicken tortilla soup

Simplified Chicken Tortilla Soup

This is the best homemade chicken tortilla soup! A tomato based broth with shredded chicken and topped the way you like it.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 or more


  • 5 vine ripened tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion (diced)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 red bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 or 2 jalapeño peppers (depending on your spice preference, ribs and seeds removed and roughly chopped)
  • 14.5 ounces canned fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts (shredded or diced)

Optional toppings:

  • Crushed tortilla chips/tortilla strips
  • 1 Roma tomato (diced)
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Shredded cheese (Monterey Jack, Cheddar, etc.)
  • Light sour cream


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Slice the tomatoes in half. Spread 1 tablespoon of the olive oil on a foil-lined baking sheet and arrange the tomatoes on top, skin side up. Drizzle the tomatoes with another 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Roast the tomatoes for 35 minutes, until the skins wrinkle and the tomatoes are slightly brown around the edges.
  • Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed, 4-qt. soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and bell pepper and sauté about 5 minutes, until the vegetables become soft. Stir in the chili powder and cumin and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the chicken stock and water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then cover, decrease the heat and simmer 10 – 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, place the chopped jalapeños, the canned tomatoes with their juices, and the roasted tomatoes (included all the juices and browned tomato bits) in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Puree the jalapeño-tomato mixture about 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to the soup and continue simmering, covered, about  30 – 60 minutes.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste along with the cooked shredded chicken. Simmer a few minutes until chicken is heated through.
  • Ladle the soup into bowls. Top as desired and serve immediately.


You’re Gonna Bake It After All
Keyword chicken, mexican, soup

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