A secret ingredient makes this Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup creamy while ADDING an extra almost 10 grams of protein per serving!
It’s soup season! This deliciously warm and satisfying creamy chicken tortilla soup recipe is pretty easy and quick-ish to make if you are looking for a cozy and comforting dinner option. It is healthy in all the right ways and doesn’t require much prep time.
Serve it with avocado fries, Mexican street corn, or a simple side salad for a fuller bite, but you’ll find with 45 grams of protein (!!) it’s very filling.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Fun to Customize: Kick up the heat by adding more jalapenos to your delicious soup, or leave them out altogether. You can also top it with your favorite toppings. I love mine with homemade extra crunchy tortilla chips and extra fresh cilantro. It would be delicious to add some shredded cheese, too.
It’s a Breeze to Freeze: Pour your leftover chicken tortilla soup into a freezer bag and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. Perfect for busy weeknights when you don’t have time to cook.
A Family Favorite: I love creamy soups, but this one hits differently. The combination of flavors and textures will be a hit with the whole family. It’s comforting, satisfying, and sure to become a regular on your dinner rotation.
Healthy and Filling: It’s my favorite soup recipe because it’s so healthy and filling! This soup has so much protein, fiber, and lots of vegetable goodness.
Ingredients for Easy Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup
For the Soup
- Onion: I prefer yellow onion because it adds a nice sweet touch to the soup. But if you’re in a pinch, white onions will do the job pretty well. Chop it!
- Bell Pepper: I’m using red bell pepper for the color. You can go with the one you like. Chop this, too.
- Jalapeño Pepper: Finely chop your jalapeño pepper. If you’re not a fan of spicy food, remove the seeds and membranes before chopping. That’s where the heat is!
- Seasonings: I keep it simple with ground cumin, chili powder, salt, and black pepper. You can use my homemade taco seasoning for a more Mexican flavor.
- Chicken Breast: We use three boneless, skinless chicken breasts and cook them right in the soup before shredding them and adding it back in. Of course, you can always use leftover cooked chicken
- Crushed Tomatoes: Canned ones are easy to work with and save you time from dicing fresh ones. This ingredient will bring a beautiful, rich color to your soup base. If you only have whole canned tomatoes, use those and crush them by hand.
- Black Beans: Drain and rinse before adding to your soup. You can also use your own cooked black beans if you cook them for meal prep, like with this Instant Pot Black Beans recipe.
- Corn: I prefer canned corn for convenience, but you can also use frozen corn or even fresh if you’re making this in the summer!
- Chicken Stock: Use homemade or store bought. Check out my How to Make Homemade Bone Broth in the Crockpot post for info on the easiest way to make your own!
- Cottage Cheese: This secret ingredient makes this soup creamy without adding heavy cream, sour cream, or cream cheese. Plus it adds 50 grams of protein to the pot of soup!
- Lime: Lime offers the perfect amount of acid to this recipe and a flavor that pairs perfectly with the rest of the ingredients.
- Cilantro: We stir in fresh cilantro at the end for an even more flavorful soup.
There’s a recipe card at the end of the post with quantity details and the complete recipe.
Step by Step Instructions
- In a large stock pot or Dutch oven, heat the avocado oil. Add the onion, red bell pepper, jalapeño pepper, ground cumin, and chili powder. Sauté until the vegetables are tender.
- Add the chicken breasts, tomatoes, black beans, corn, salt, pepper, and chicken stock to the pot. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and simmer for 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place the cottage cheese into a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
- Cut the tortillas into strips.
- Heat a thin layer of avocado oil in a skillet. Once it is hot, add the tortilla strips, in batches if necessary, and cook until brown and crispy on one side, about 1-2 minutes. Use tongs to flip and cook on the second side. Remove from oil and place on a towel-lined plate.
- After 25 minutes of simmering, remove the chicken breasts from the pot.
- Use two forks or a shredding tool to shred the chicken breasts.
- Add the chicken back to the pot.
- Stir in the lime juice and cilantro leaves.
- Stir in the blended cottage cheese.
- Cook a few minutes until hot and then serve with the crispy tortilla strips.
Tips and Tricks
- Save time and use leftover rotisserie chicken if you have any.
- Make sure to blend your cottage cheese before adding it to your pot of soup. Otherwise it won’t incorporate into the soup as well.
- Add poblano pepper to your soup if you want to keep things mild. These peppers will bring amazing smokiness to your recipe.
- Feel free to use chicken thighs if you’re out of chicken breasts.
- The soup will be thicker after being refrigerated for a day if you have leftovers. You can always add more chicken stock or chicken broth if it’s too thick for your liking.
Variations to Try
Switch Up the Beans: Try Pinto beans if you’re out of black beans. Since they are creamier, they fit perfectly in this creamy chicken tortilla soup recipe.
Make a Vegetarian Version: Swap chicken broth with vegetable broth and leave the shredded chicken out. You can add more veggies and more beans. Zucchini, green bell pepper, and spinach are all good choices.
Top it Differently: You wouldn’t want to leave the corn tortillas out and nothing beats homemade crispy tortillas! But if you don’t have any on hand or don’t have time to make homemade, look for store bought crispy tortilla strips (like I used in this Vegan Taco Salad) instead. You can use regular tortilla chips, too. Crush a handful and sprinkle them on top of your soup before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to Store Leftover Soup?
Save the soup for later by keeping it in an airtight container in your fridge. It’ll last you a good 3-5 days. And as I said earlier, you can also freeze it without worrying about any compromises in flavor.
How Can I Thicken The Soup?
This soup is actually has a nice thickness to it. If you’d like it a little thicker, consider blending 1/3 of the soup before adding the chicken and cottage cheese and then adding it back to the pot.
Can I Make This Soup in a Crock Pot?
Yep, make your creamy crockpot chicken tortilla soup by dumping all the ingredients (except cheese and toppings), and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. Add the cottage cheese towards the end of cooking and top with your favorite toppings before serving.
If you make this Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe, or any of my other healthy recipes, please leave a star rating when you comment! It’s so helpful for other readers to see which recipes are tried and true! I’d also love to see it–share your photo of this dish and tag me on Instagram, and I’ll feature you!Print