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Tortilla Soup

The flavors of the Southwest in one bowl! Savory chicken nestled in a aromatic blend of broth, cilantro and cumin.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Southwestern
Keyword: Chicken Tortilla Soup, Southwestern Soup
Servings: 4 big bowls
Calories: 100kcal
Author: Anecia Hero - SmartyPantsKitchen


  • 2 lbs. chicken see recipe notes
  • 48 oz. chicken broth
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes (buy 2 boxes of chicken stock/broth)
  • 1 small can diced green chiles
  • 1 pkg. corn tortillas see recipe notes
  • 1 pkg. Sazon Goya Seasoning see recipe notes
  • 1 can black beans drained (optional)
  • 1 can sweet yellow corn drained (optional)
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 2 avocados sliced
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin divided, see recipe notes
  • 2 tablespoons chile powder see recipe notes
  • 1 tablespoon oil


First Things First - Cook The Chicken

  • There are a couple of ways to cook the chicken-bake, saute or boil. 
    If you want shredded chicken in your soup, bake it. If you want cubed chicken in your soup, saute it on the stove. I don't recommend boiling the chicken because it gets watered down and rubbery:(
    Bake the chicken: season lightly with salt, pepper, cumin and chile powder; place in a lightly oiled baking dish, covered, and bake until the chicken is at 165ºF internal  - OR-
    Saute the chicken on the stove: cut the raw chicken into cubes, place cubes in a big bowl, add seasonings, toss, and add to hot skillet
  • Set cooked chicken aside
  • Add oil to stockpot on medium heat; add onions and cook till tender
  • Add Rotel tomatoes, green chiles, and half of the chicken broth
  • Take  three tortillas and tear them into small pieces; add them to the stockpot and bring up the heat till they dissolve
  • Add cooked chicken to the stockpot
  • If you have the Sazon Goya seasoning, add half a packet ; stir it in, reduce heat, cover and let the soup cook for about 10 minutes; taste for seasonings; you may want to add more cumin, chile powder, or the other half of the package of Sazon Goya seasoning
  • If you don't have the Sazon Goya seasoning, add 1 tablespoon of ground coriander to the soup and an additional 3 torn corn tortillas; let it cook till the tortillas are dissolved, then taste. If you like it, move on. If you don't, add more coriander, salt, etc.
  •  If you want it spicier, add more chile powder; If you want it saltier, add more salt
    If you don't have Sazon Goya seasoning, add one more tortilla (torn into pieces); cover and allow to simmer

Optional Additions

  • Black Beans: if you want to add black beans, drain a can and rinse them; add them about 10 minutes before serving; always taste and adjust seasonings after you add anything to the soup
  • Sweet Corn: if you want to add sweet corn, drain a can and rinse; add the corn about 10 minutes before serving; always taste and adjust seasonings after you add anything to the soup
  • Slice avocado; chop cilantro; plate and garnish

Fried Tortilla Strips (optional)

  • While your soup is simmering, put 1/2 cup vegetable oil in a skillet on medium high heat
  • Take four tortillas and cut them into fine strips; place tortilla strips into hot oil; remove and place on paper towel; garnish soup with fried tortilla strips


  • I like to use a combination of white and dark meat; I usually us one large chicken breast and 6-8 chicken thighs (skinless)
  • If you use chicken thighs, you may have to pull the meat off the bone...just sayin...
  • Corn tortillas: you'll put 3 tortillas into the soup; reserve the remainder for frying tortilla crisps (optional)
  • Ground Cumin: you'll sprinkle a little on the chicken and put the rest into the soup; feel free to adjust the amount according to your preference
  • Chile Powder: sprinkle a little on the chicken and put the rest into the soup; start out light, add more if you want it a bit more spicy
  • If you add beans or corn, you may have to add more broth


Calories: 100kcal