Restaurant Style Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

Yields: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30-35 minutes


For the soup

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chilies (like Rotel), undrained
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

For the toppings (choose your favorites)

  • Crispy tortilla strips (recipe below or store-bought)
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • Diced avocado
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Sour cream
  • Lime wedges

Equipment and Utensils

  • Large pot or Dutch oven


1. Cook the chicken

  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  • Add the chicken pieces and cook until browned on all sides and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Remove chicken to a plate and set aside.

2. Sauté the vegetables

  • Add the onion to the pot and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds, stirring constantly.

3. Build the soup base

  • Stir in black beans, pinto beans, fire-roasted tomatoes, diced tomatoes and green chilies, chicken broth, chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, salt, and pepper.
  • Bring mixture to a boil.

4. Simmer and thicken

  • Reduce heat to low, add the cooked chicken back to the pot, and simmer for 20-25 minutes, partially covered, or until the soup has thickened slightly.

5. Make crispy tortilla strips (optional)

  • Cut corn tortillas into thin strips.
  • Heat a thin layer of oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  • Fry tortilla strips in batches until golden brown and crispy. Drain on paper towels.

6. Adjust seasoning

  • Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning as needed.

7. Serve

  • Ladle the soup into bowls and top with your desired toppings like tortilla strips, cheese, avocado, cilantro, sour cream, and a squeeze of lime.


  • Spice it up: Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or a chopped jalapeno for extra heat.
  • Rotisserie shortcut: Use pre-cooked rotisserie chicken for a quick and easy preparation.
  • Make it vegetarian: Substitute vegetable broth for chicken broth and add an extra can of beans.
  • Storage: Leftover soup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.


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