Chicken Tortilla Soup

4.84 from 6 votes
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This chicken tortilla soup is loaded with shredded chicken, tomatoes, warm spices, and corn. It’s bursting with flavor and made gloriously creamy with refried beans. The soup delivers on all of the creaminess with none of the guilt of actual cream!

Overhead of chicken tortilla soup served in bowls topped with tortilla strips, cheese, and sliced avocado.


Light And Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup

This hearty chicken tortilla soup is loaded with rich flavors and inviting textures. The combination of succulent shredded chicken, sweet corn, and zesty spices creates a combination of seriously tasty flavors. As if that weren’t enough, smooth, naturally creamy refried beans are stirred into the broth, transforming each mouthful into a creamy experience that keeps you coming back for more. The soup strikes the perfect balance between comfort and health, giving you all of the savory goodness of a rich and creamy soup but with none of the guilt – or dairy if that matters to you – from actual cream. Plus, it only takes 30 minutes to make!

Why You’ll Love This Chicken Soup Recipe

  • Dinner in 30 minutes. This recipe is quick and easy to prepare, making it perfect for even your busiest days. With simple ingredients and just a few straightforward steps, you can have homemade soup on the table in no time.
  • Creamy comfort without the cream. Despite its name, this soup actually doesn’t have any cream in it at all. Thanks to the refried beans, however, it still manages to achieve the creamy texture that you would expect in heavier, more calorie-laden soups.
  • Rich flavors. The combination of tender chicken, aromatic spices, and rich chicken stock provides a burst of savory goodness in every bite and an added layer of creaminess.
  • Customizable. Add veggies, switch up your protein, play with toppings, or add an extra kick of spice. You can do so much with this soup to customize it to your taste preferences.
Ingredients for chicken tortilla soup separated into bowls.

How to Make Chicken Tortilla Soup


Here’s a grocery list for you! Make sure you have the following ingredients before diving into this chicken tortilla soup recipe. Scroll to the recipe card below for precise measurements.

  • Butter & Olive Oil
  • Yellow Onion & Garlic
  • Canned Diced Tomatoes
  • Chicken Broth
  • Refried Beans: You could use black beans or pinto beans instead, but the refried beans are what makes this soup creamy. If you swap them out for a different bean, your soup will no longer be “creamy”.
  • Ground Cumin
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Shredded cooked chicken: Leftover Rotisserie Chicken works great with this recipe
  • Canned Corn
  • Mexican blend shredded cheese: This is an optional topping, but I highly suggest partaking. It adds such a nice touch to the soup.
  • Avocado Slices: Optional but so delicious.
  • Tortilla Strips: If you don’t want to add tortilla strips, you don’t have to, but I love how they melt into the soup.
A bowl of chicken tortilla soup topped with tortilla strips, cheese, and sliced avocado.


This is a quick overview of how to make this easy chicken tortilla soup. For more thorough instructions, have a look at the recipe card at the bottom of the page.

  • Saute the veggies. Saute the onions in butter and olive oil in a soup pot. Once the onions are translucent, add the garlic and saute until fragrant.
  • Make the soup. Stir in the tomatoes and chicken broth, followed by the refried beans, cumin, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Finish it off. Turn the heat down and add the chicken and corn kernels. Simmer for a few minutes until heated through.
  • Serve. Ladle into bowls and top with cheese, avocado and tortilla strips.

Topping Ideas

One of the joys of this chicken tortilla soup is the opportunity to personalize it with an array of delicious toppings. Here are some ideas, but make it your own and add whatever your heart desires.

  • Sour cream. I think sour cream is the perfect addition to this soup. A dollop is all it takes.
  • Crispy chips. Add a little crunch with your favorite tortilla chips. You could even use Fritos or Doritos if you’d like.
  • Fresh herbs. Add a pop of color and flavor with some chopped fresh cilantro or chives.
  • Pico de gallo. Grab some from the store or make your own! The pico in my Breakfast Burrito Recipe is to die for.
  • Lime wedges. Add a fresh lime wedge or two to the top of your soup. Squeeze it over the top for an extra zing of flavor.
Chicken tortilla soup in a pot near tortilla strips, cheese, and avocado.

Tips & Variations

Take a moment to look through these simple tips, tricks, and variations to help you get the best chicken tortilla soup for your taste buds.

  • Use rotisserie chicken. While you could roast and shred your own chicken, store-bought rotisserie chicken is an awesome, delicious, time-saving option.
  • Add some spice. Add diced jalapeños or a pinch of cayenne pepper to the soup for a spicier kick. Smoked paprika would also be an awesome addition. A little less spicy than cayenne or jalapeños but so tasty and a great companion to the cumin in this recipe.
  • Thicken it up. If you prefer a thicker consistency, you can use an immersion blender to partially blend the soup before adding the chicken and corn.
  • Switch up the protein. Feel free to swap the chicken out for shredded turkey. Cooked ground beef, ground turkey, or ground chicken would also work. You could even add the carnitas from this Instant Pot Chicken Carnitas Tacos recipe.
  • Use different beans. Feel free to use black beans or pinto beans instead of refried beans; just note that the soup won’t have the same “creamy” consistency.

Serving Suggestions For Soup

Two bowls of chicken tortilla soup topped with tortilla strips, cheese, and sliced avocado.

How to Store & Reheat Leftovers

  • Refrigerator. Once the soup has cooled to room temperature, transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Freezer. You can also keep the soup in the freezer for up to 3 months. If you choose to freeze the soup, allow it to thaw before reheating.
  • To reheat. When you are ready to enjoy your leftovers, pour the desired portion into a pot and heat over medium heat on the stovetop until warm. Alternatively, ladle some leftover soup into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave at 30-second intervals (stirring between each) until heated through.

More Easy Soup Recipes

Looking for more delicious, easy soups to get you through your busiest weeks? Make a big batch of one of these tasty options.

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4.84 from 6 votes

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This Chicken Tortilla Soup is packed with shredded chicken, tomatoes, corn, and creamy refried beans. It has all the creamy comfort without the cream!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic,, minced
  • 2 cans (14-ounces each) diced tomatoes, , undrained
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can (16-ounces) refried beans
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin,, or to taste
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper,, to taste
  • 2 to 3 cups shredded cooked chicken, (leftover Rotisserie Chicken works great with this recipe)
  • 1 cup canned corn kernels


  • 1 cup Mexican Blend Shredded Cheese,, optional
  • Avocado Slices,, optional
  • Tortilla Strips,, optional
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  • Heat butter and olive oil in a soup pot. Add onions and saute just until soft and translucent.
  • Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  • Stir in the tomatoes and add chicken broth. Stir in refried beans and season with cumin, salt, and pepper.
  • Continue to mix until well combined; turn the heat up and bring to a boil.
  • Turn heat down to medium-low; add shredded chicken and corn kernels; continue to cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until heated through.
  • Ladle into bowls and top with cheese, avocado, and tortilla strips.
  • Serve.


  • Chicken Options: Opt for store-bought rotisserie chicken or make my shredded boiled chicken recipe.
  • Spice It Up: Toss in diced jalapeños, a dash of cayenne, or smoked paprika for a kick.
  • Want It Thicker? Use an immersion blender to blend the soup a bit before adding chicken and corn.
  • Protein Variations: Swap chicken for shredded turkey or use ground meat.
  • Bean Choices: Swap refried beans for black or pinto beans.


Calories: 380kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 34mg | Sodium: 1207mg | Potassium: 748mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 677IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 307mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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4.84 from 6 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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  1. Annie B says:

    I haven’t made this as yet but it sounds fantastic. Natasha’s remarks were very informational. I truly appreciated her breakdown.

  2. Katie says:

    This was amazing!! I added more cumin and left off the cheese, but otherwise kept it as.

  3. Natasha says:

    An FYI for others:

    I made this tonight, my husband would not eat it since he hates onions but it was his loss.

    I got 8.5 cups out it, at two cups a serving it is pretty hearty.

    I used 13.7 ounces of cooked shredded chicken, not quite two cups but close enough.

    I did not see the nutrition information but I am sure it varies, without adding any cheese, avocado or tortillas it was 196.6 calories per cup, so for 4 servings at 2 cups each it is 393 calories per serving.

    If you are trying to keep your dinner under 500 calories, I would omit the tortilla, go light on the cheese or omit it as well and add 1 ounce of avocado for 45 calories.

    I would not add an extra cup of chicken either.

    The soup itself was really good, good flavor, filling and was all around fantastic. I will make it again. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Teena McElroy says:

    Very good soup. I just added a little more cumin.

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      Hi Teena! SO happy you enjoyed it! Thank you! 😀

  5. Rani says:

    This soup was so easy & delicious! I used canned chicken (which is SO EASY!) My only complaint is that I had to add a lot more spices – 2tsp cumin, 1tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp poultry spice & 3 bay leaves.