December 1, 2020

Healthy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Healthy Chicken Tortilla Soup! This flavorful soup is filled with tender chicken, black beans, veggies, and topped with crispy tortilla strips. It’s a healthy, delicious, and easy meal that is perfect to meal prep in advance of a quick and easy lunch or dinner. 

tortilla soup in white bowl with toppings

The Best Healthy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Let’s talk healthy chicken tortilla soup!

I am a HUGE soup fan, ok? It is usually so easy to make, can be whipped up with just one large pot, and you get leftovers that somehow magically end up tasting even better as the days go on. It’s a WIN.

This chicken tortilla soup is not only flavorful in it’s own right, but then you get to pile on all of your favorite toppings (umm…hello crispy tortilla strips!) and somehow it gets even better.

Not only is this recipe delicious it is also:

  • HEALTHY – which simply means that it is made with good for you, nutrient dense, real food ingredients that will nourish your body.
  • QUICK – we’re talking around 30-40 minutes which makes it the perfect solution to your weeknight dinner woes.
  • COZY – ok, is there anything more cozy and comforting than a hot bowl of soup? This one just wins all the comfort food awards!

soup ingredients

What’s In Chicken Tortilla Soup?

Boneless, skinlesss chicken thighs: you could of course use boneless, skinless chicken breast for this recipe but chicken thighs have more flavor and stay a bit more tender than chicken breast.

Black beans: these add in an extra punch of protein and make the soup nice and hearty.

Veggies and aromatics: yellow onions, jalapeños, and garlic create a flavorful base for this soup.

Fire roasted crushed tomatoes: fire roasted tomatoes give this soup even more flavor. If you cannot find fire-roasted crushed tomatoes feel free to use regular crushed tomatoes instead.

Chicken broth: you could use veggie broth instead of chicken broth if you are keeping this soup vegetarian.

Spices: a combination of spices like cumin, chipotle powder, dried oregano, and paprika help to give this soup it’s flavor.

Helpful Kitchen Tools

dutch oven

sharp knife

cutting board

wooden spoon

measuring spoons

ladle

spices and veggies in dutch oven

How to Make This Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

Step One: The first step in this recipe is to sear the chicken thighs. Searing the chicken helps to develop even more flavor in the soup. Be sure to liberally season the chicken with salt and pepper before searing. 

Step Two: Next, you’ll remove the chicken from the pot and sauté all your veggies and the spices. Heating the spices for a moment helps to toast them and bring out even more flavor.

Step Three:  Now, add the chicken back to the pot, and then pour in the crushed tomatoes, black beans, green chilies, chicken broth, and lime juice. Let the soup simmer for around thirty minutes. 

Step Four: While the soup is simmering is the perfect time make the crispy tortilla strips! 

Step Five: Remove the cooked chicken, use two forks to shred the meat, and then stir the chicken back into the pot. Then, pour in the full fat coconut milk, give the soup a stir, and simmer for another five minutes or so. 

Step Six: Now it’s time to finish the soup! Lower the heat, stir in the chopped cilantro, and give the soup a taste and adjust the seasoning to taste. Ladle your finished soup into bowls and serve with all the toppings!

Delicious Soup Toppings and Ways to Serve

While this soup is delicious all on it’s own, the toppings make it even better. Feel free to get creative and add your favorites. Here are a few of my personal favorite recommendations:

  • Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • Cilantro
  • Cotija cheese
  • Green onion
  • Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Avocado
  • Crispy tortilla strips

tortilla strips on sheet pan with salt

Homemade Crispy Tortilla Strips

One of the best ways to top this soup is with homemade crispy tortilla strips seasoned with lime juice and salt. While they might look a little complicated, making these crispy tortilla strips could not be easier.

Here’s how to make them: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cut a few corn tortillas into thin strips.
  3. Spray the tortilla strips with a generous amount of non-stick cooking spray, like this one. (You could also toss them in avocado oil).
  4. Spread the strips out in an even layer on a sheet pan that has been lined with parchment paper.
  5. Bake the strips at 375 degrees for ten to twelve minutes until the strips have browned a bit and are crispy.
  6. While the strips are still hot, season them generously with salt and lime juice.

How to Make This Soup in the Slow Cooker

Yes! To make this soup in the slow cooker:

  • Sear the chicken and sauté the veggies
  • Add the chicken and veggies to the base of a slow cooker
  • Add the broth, black beans, crushed tomatoes, spices, and lime juice to the slow cooker
  • Cook on low for 5-6 hours or until the chicken is fully cooked through and tender
  • Remove the chicken from the slow cooker. Use two forks to shred the meat and then stir the chicken back into the soup.
  • Stir in the chopped cilantro before serving

Can You Freeze Chicken Tortilla Soup?

Yes! Once the soup has cooled completely, transfer it to a freezer safe storage container and place in the freezer. Once you are ready to use the frozen soup, I recommend letting it thaw in the fridge and then reheating on the stove top for the best results.

Tips, Tricks, and Frequently Asked Questions

  • Want to make a vegetarian version of this soup? Leave out the chicken and instead add in an extra can of black beans plus your favorite veggies.
  • This is a great base recipe to get creative with. Some of my favorite veggies to add to this soup are diced bell peppers, fresh corn (stir it in at the end), zucchini, mushrooms, baby spinach or even kale.
  • This recipes calls one pound of chicken but feel free to add half a pound or a pound more if you want an even heartier soup.
  • Want a creamier tortilla soup? Replace or two cups of chicken broth with full fat canned coconut milk.
  • Don’t feel like making the crispy tortilla strips? Feel free to use tortilla chips instead.

soup in bowl with toppings

More Delicious Soup and Stew Recipes You’ll Love

Salsa Verde Chicken Soup

Healthy Pumpkin Chili

Healthy Chicken Taco Soup 

Healthy Slow Cooker Chili 

Chicken and Corn Chowder

I hope you give this Healthy Chicken Tortilla Soup a try! It’s full of flavor and so easy to make!

If you do give this recipe a try, I want to know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @allthehealthythings on Instagram. Your reviews help support All the Healthy Things and make it possible for me to continue to create the recipes you know and love.

Print

Healthy Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free
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Scale:
  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil or ghee
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon cumin 
  • ½ tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano 
  • 28 oz fire roasted crushed tomatoes
  • 2 15 oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 4 oz green chilies
  • 4 cups chicken broth 
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 1 cup full fat canned coconut milk
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro, plus more for serving
  • Sliced green onion, for serving
  • Corn tortillas
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • Avocado, for serving
  • Shredded cheese, for serving

Method

  1. Heat a large heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Once hot, add in a tablespoon of avocado oil or ghee. 
  2. Liberally season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Add the chicken thighs to the pot and sear the meat for 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove from the pot.  
  3. Add the minced garlic, diced onion, and diced jalapeno to the pot and saute for 3-4 minutes until the onion is translucent. 
  4. Add the cumin, paprika, dried oregano, chipotle powder, paprika, salt, and pepper to the pot and saute for an additional minute. 
  5. Pour in the crushed tomatoes, black beans, green chilies, broth, and lime juice. Stir until well combined and then add the chicken back to the pot. Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and let simmer for 25 – 30 minutes until the chicken is tender and fully cooked. 
  6. While the soup is simmering make the crispy tortilla strips. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut a few corn tortillas into thin strips. Spray the tortilla strips with a generous amount of non-stick cooking spray. Spread the strips out in an even layer on a sheet pan that has been lined with parchment paper. Bake the strips at 375 degrees for ten to twelve minutes until the strips have browned a bit and are crispy. While the tortilla strips are still hot, season them generously with salt and lime juice. Set aside. 
  7. Remove the chicken from the pot, use two forks to shred the meat, and then add it back to the pot. Stir in the full fat coconut milk and let the soup simmer for another 5 minutes. 
  8. Lower the heat, stir in the chopped cilantro, and give the soup a taste. Adjust the seasoning to taste. 
  9. Serve the soup with chopped cilantro, sliced green onion, tortilla strips, crispy tortilla strips, and cheese.

Keywords: chicken tortilla soup, healthy chicken tortilla soup, tortilla soup

 

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Recipe rating

    35 comments
    • Yay! I’m so glad you loved it, Mary! Thanks for taking the time to leave a review!

  1. 5 stars, just like every allthehealthythings soup I’ve made so far. The longest step was probably trimming the fat off the chicken at the beginning; otherwise it came together easily and had a lot of flavor!

    • I’m so glad you liked it, Heather! Thanks for taking the time to leave a review!

  2. Delicious tortilla soup. Even the tortilla strips are perfect!! I’m definitely saving this recipe!

  3. This is soooo good!! Definitely making this again and making sure I save this recipe.

  4. This recipe is perfect for meal prep! It made a big batch and was very filling. My husband loved it and said it was “restaurant quality.” Needless to say, we’ll be adding this recipe to our regular rotation!

  5. I made this for a large group for Christmas Eve! It was absolutely amazing! Will be my new go to chicken tortilla soup recipe! We added some extra toppings like guac, radishes, cilantro, and cheese.

  6. This is the best tortilla soup EVER. I’m honestly not a huge fan of tortilla soup, but made it for my parter who loves any soup, well now I’m a huge fan of tortilla soup. We had leftovers and I was excited to reheat and eat this same soup day after day. So so so good. Also, because I’m lazy, I just bought the Whole Foods 365 corn chips to add and they were BOMB with this. Hands down I think I could eat this everyday of my life.

    • I’m so glad you and your partner enjoyed the soup, Taylor! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review!

  7. I made a big batch of this soup on Sunday for lunches this week and let me tell you it just keeps getting better! Perfect for food prep and super cozy for the arrival of cold weather. Thanks for another great recipe!

  8. Can’t say enough good things about this soup. Absolutely bursting with flavor and goodness. My husband described it as “like a hug” when you eat it because of the warm spices. I doubled the amount of chicken and replaced 1 cup of chicken broth with more coconut milk, per Ashlea’s suggestions. Have yet to find a recipe of Ashlea’s I don’t absolutely love, but of all the amazing ones this might be my favorite so far!

  9. Just made this for dinner and it was delicious!!! I loved the touch of coconut milk for creaminess, genius! Every recipe I have made off your website has been phenomenal. Would definitely make this again!

  10. This soup is SO GOOD. I’ll definitely be adding it into our rotation. I omitted the coconut milk (just because I didn’t have any on hand), and it was still so hearty and flavorful. It’s perfect for warming up from the colder weather.

    • Hi, Christy! You could leave it out altogether or use a little half/half if you don’t mind using dairy. Hope that helps!

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