Chicken Tortilla Soup {20 Minutes!}

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20 MINUTE cheesy and creamy chicken tortilla soup. EVERYONE goes crazy over this simple soup! via #comfortfood #soup #chicken #cheesy #tortilla #dinner #lunch #cheesy #creamy #easy #quick #20minute

A quick and easy chicken tortilla soup recipe that can be made on the stove in just 20 minutes!

Bowl of chicken tortilla soup with a hand holding a spoon

I’m excited to be partnering with Swanson as a blog ambassador this year to bring you delicious recipes!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Who doesn’t like a good chicken tortilla soup? Certainly you do, and fortunately you’ve come to the right place. This recipe will NOT disappoint – you can trust me on that.

You might think there is no way this soup can be ready in only 20 minutes. But I’m here to tell you; no gimmicks; yes, this soup really can be ready in 20 minutes. And this is not one of those ok-ish meals that might have started in a box and you’re alright eating because it only took 15-20 minutes to make. It’s a knock-your-socks off flavor-packed meal you’d be proud to serve to company!

Preparation shot of the creamy chicken tortilla soup showing beans and veggies

Still skeptical? Let’s break it down!

How do you Make This Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup in Just 20 Minutes?

The biggest secret here is to use Swanson Chicken Stock (or Broth) which gives us loads of flavor with literally no work at all (okay you have to open the can, but that’s not really work is it? I like Swanson Chicken Stock best in this chicken tortilla soup recipe, but their chicken broth works well too.

The other big time saver here is to use a pre-shredded rotisserie chicken. These are available at most grocery stores and are delicious and ready-to-eat. Just pull the meat from the chicken and pop into the soup and voila!

See? Told you we could do this in 20 minutes πŸ™‚

Enchilada sauce being poured into a preparation shot for the cheesy chicken tortilla soup

Coming from someone that genuinely loves to cook and sometimes spends all day in the kitchen, there are days that you just really need a 20-minute meal that still feels and tastes completely homemade. Like, when both boys have the flu and you think you might be getting it too. Which just so happens to be how this soup originated πŸ™‚

It’s adapted from a couple of reader favorites on my site — this crockpot chicken enchilada chili and this crockpot Mexican tortilla soup, but we’re making it a bit cheesier, exchanging a chili for more of a soup consistency, changing up the spices a little, using some rotisserie chicken, and making it ready in 20 minutes instead of 4-6 hours πŸ™‚

Let me know in the comments how you enjoyed this chicken tortilla soup!

How to Serve Your Chicken Tortilla Soup:

  • Start with tortilla strips! I usually buy mine at the store, but try these seasoned tortilla strips if you’d like to make your own!
  • Layer on the avocados. I like to chop up an avocado and put it on the soup.
  • Sprinkle on the Lime juice. I add a few squeezes of lime to the entire soup and then serve bowls with an extra wedge.
  • Cilantro anyone? If you are a cilantro fan, load up on some finely chopped cilantro. If you aren’t a cilantro fan, just skip it!
  • Pico de gallo. a spoonful of homemade or store-bought pico de gallo is always a fun addition.
  • Finish with sour cream. Sour cream just amps up the creaminess of this chicken tortilla soup and if you use fat free sour cream you won’t be adding quite as many calories!

Bowl of 20-minute cheesy chicken tortilla soup


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20-Minute Cheesy Chicken Tortilla Soup

5 from 22 votes
A cheesy and flavorful chicken tortilla soup that can be made on the stovetop in 20 minutes!
Print Recipe

20-Minute Cheesy Chicken Tortilla Soup

5 from 22 votes
A cheesy and flavorful chicken tortilla soup that can be made on the stovetop in 20 minutes!
Course Dinner
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword chicken tortilla soup
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 -8 servings
Calories 185kcal
Author Chelsea


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 of 1 yellow onion, diced (optional)*
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 can (10 ounces) red enchilada sauce (I use mild)
  • 1 can (10.5 ounces) fire-roasted diced tomatoes with green chiles added in, undrained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) chili beans in mild sauce (found near kidney beans in the grocery store)
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 ounces) fire-roasted corn, drained
  • 3 and 1/4 cups Swanson Chicken Stock** (you can use Swanson Chicken Broth)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 4 ounces full fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 package (8 ounces) sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
  • 2 cups pre-shredded rotisserie chicken
  • Toppings: tortilla strips, sour cream, avocado, fresh lime, and fresh cilantro


  • Place a large dutch oven or pot over medium high heat and add the olive oil. While that oil is heating, give a quick dice to the yellow onion. Alternatively add a pre-chopped onion (or frozen chopped onion) to the oil once it is hot and shimmering. Saute, stirring occasionally for 3-4 minutes. (While the onion is cooking, open and prepare cans.
  • Add in the garlic and stir for another 30 seconds. Pour in the enchilada sauce, the undrained fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained chili beans, drained and rinsed black beans, drained corn, and chicken stock or broth. Stir to combine and increase the heat to high. While it's heating through to a boil, add in the cumin, paprika, seasoned salt, pepper, and chili powder. Stir again. 
  • Meanwhile, cube the cream cheese into small cubes (it should be very softened -- melt in microwave). Once the soup is boiling, stir in the cream cheese. Let that melt down a bit while you grate the cheddar cheese.
  • Briskly whisk the soup until the cream cheese completely melts into the soup. Stir in the grated cheddar cheese and stir until melted. Stir in the rotisserie chicken.
  • Serve with your favorite toppings such as sour cream (we use fat free), a chopped avocado, fresh lime juice, tortilla strips, fresh chopped cilantro, pico de gallo, guac, etc. -- whatever you like best!


Recipe Notes

*To make the onion prep even quicker you can buy pre-chopped onions. You can even buy frozen pre-chopped onions. **As is, this soup is pretty thick which is how we love it. If you want it thinner, feel free to add in extra stock/broth!

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 185kcal

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.


I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.





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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    We love Tortilla soup. This recipe is really good. The cream cheese and adding the cheddar cheese make it thicker and very tasty.

  2. 5 stars
    Delicious! I have four kids ages 6 to 12 and ALL enjoyed it. That, never happens. Can’t wait for the next recipe.

  3. I just found your blog and love it so far. I’m going through pinning everything that I want to try!

    I’m definitely going to try this soup. Cheese quesadillas would be great served with this, I bet. Kinda like serving grilled cheese with your soup…

    1. Ahh you’re so sweet, thank you!! You’ll love this soup! And exactly it’s like the grilled cheese to your soup! πŸ™‚

  4. 5 stars
    I made this soup and my husband loved it! I made bone broth from the leftovers of smoked chicken and used that broth in place of regular. It was to die for.

  5. I still remember the first time I ate the chicken tortilla soup is when my mom cooked this for me due to my fever and since then, I have been addicted to it. I even asked my mom to make it at least once a week. When I grew up a little bit, I could cook it by myself but I always consider food made by mom is the best. Well I’m going to call my mom to ask for one as soon as I come back home next month xD
    – Natalie

  6. 5 stars
    This is the best soup ever! It’s super yummy and I make it at least once a week. Thanks so much for sharing it.

  7. I made this last week, the only thing I did different was increasing the spices x 4. It was so good!! My daughter loved it, so we’re making it again this week. Also we made the Green Chicken Chili as well, another winner!! Thanks for the yummy goodness.

    1. Thanks Erica! I’m sorry I haven’t personally tested freezing this soup, but I don’t think it would be a great candidate for freezing because of all the dairy in it (dairy doesn’t typically freeze well and will separate upon reheating). If you still want to try, I’d recommend freezing it before adding the cream cheese and cheddar cheese and add those upon reheating. πŸ™‚

      1. Yes, it freezes well. I’ve never had a problem with it separating. Allow it to thaw or put in hot water. I double the recipe and freeze a serving size in ziploc freezer bags.

  8. 5 stars
    When I told my husband I was going to try this recipe, he didnt think he would like it. he apoligized to me and told me it was awsome! I had to agree!

  9. Could I make this in my crockpot? I have some chicken breast that I want to use up, and I prefer to have shredded chicken made in the crockpot for soups!

  10. 5 stars
    Made this tonight and it was delicious! Will definitely make it again! I did add a little more broth, so it would be a little thinner, but other than that it was great!

  11. 5 stars
    So yummy! Most importantly my 6 year old, 4 year old, 2 year old, 11 month old, and 38 year old πŸ˜‰ boys (each picky in one way or another) all loved it and finally ate their dinner without complaint and made sure I knew this was a winner I should make again. This NEVER happens! Thanks for the delicious recipe!

  12. I can’t wait to make this! I have been looking for a good recipe for chicken tortilla soup for a few YEARS since a coworker brought some in for us to try. This is the first recipe I have found that looks like the one she made us! Thank you. It looks delicious. Can’t wait.

      1. 5 stars
        I made this soup for the first time last week….. Since then we have made it two more times.. so THREE times in one week! My kids love it (even my oldest daughter who is so picky and refuses to try anything new!) We definitely have a new favorite! Thank you.

  13. 5 stars
    This came out perfect! I tweaked it a little, to my own liking. I added 2 cans of fire-roasted tomatoes and 2 cans of corn. I may have added more enchilada sauce as well. Also used hatch green chiles.

  14. 5 stars
    Made this for a Management meeting. Quick prep and cook time, I doubled the batch (loved that feature when you print out). Everyone enjoyed it and had plenty to share with other employees. Keeping this recipe for future use. Thank you!

  15. 5 stars
    This soup is so delicious it’s become my signature dish.

    And it’s versatile as heck.

    My parents don’t like the cheesy broth – no problem, half the cream cheese and remove the cheddar.

    Cooking for myself? Stirfry a poblano pepper or two with the onion, add the whole block of cream cheese, use Del Monte southwest corn (do NOT use Green Giant’s “Mexicorn”, it’s just corn with a little bit of bell pepper and a lot of added sugar… blech) and use an extra can of it, use hot chili beans, and octuple the garlic and cayenne pepper. I like my soup spicy and chunky, thanks.

    Feeling virtuous? Switch out the chicken stock for vegetable stock, omit the cheese and chicken, stirfry some bell peppers (and a poblano if you’re me) with the onion, throw some spinach in in the last few minutes and you’ve got a delicious southwest vegetable bean soup.

    It even works with leftover thanksgiving turkey if you’re that desperate to get it used up.

    1. Haha, this was such an awesome comment! Thanks so much! I’m beyond thrilled you love this so much! πŸ™‚

  16. 5 stars
    I thought this was delicious and so easy for a chilly weeknight dinner!! My fiancΓ© thought it needed more spices so I’ll probably triple them next time but I loved this.

  17. 5 stars
    This soup is easy to make and so so good! When I cooked the chicken beforehand, I used smoked paprika and the other spices for even more flavor. I also split the soup at the very end and added half a can of chopped jalapeΓ±os to spice it up for my husband and me (the other non-spicy soup for my kiddo). We all really enjoyed this delicious meal.

  18. 5 stars
    Hi Chelsea, I LOVE your site, but today I was trying to figure out the calories in this soup without any cheese, and it definitely didn’t come out right. Without the cheeses, I got 30 calories per serving. 8 oz. sharp cheddar has 900 calories and 4 oz. cream cheese has almost 400. 8 times 185 = 1480 – 1300 = 180 calories in the whole pot.

    1. Thanks Joan! Thanks for your kind comment! πŸ™‚ We try to be as accurate as possible on nutrition facts, but we do use a 3rd party software that may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, specific brands used, and ingredient sizes.

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