Chicken Tortilla Soup (In 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

This Chicken Tortilla Soup boasts richer flavor than restaurant versions and can be ready in 20 minutes. It combines savory black beans, tender chicken, crispy corn, cheese, and is topped with crunchy tortilla strips. Perfect for a quick weeknight meal!

Try some of our other favorite soups with similar flavor profiles like this Salsa Verde Chicken SoupCrockpot White Chicken Chili, or Chicken Taco Chili.

Overhead image of Chicken Tortilla Soup

Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Believe it or not, this soup is ready in just 20 minutes without compromising flavor. It’s not just a quick fix; it’s a rich, flavor-packed meal you’d be proud to share. Even as someone who often spends hours cooking, there are times we crave a speedy yet wholesome dish, like during flu season, which inspired this soup. It’s a cheesier twist on my site’s popular Chicken Chili and Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup, using rotisserie chicken and altered spices, delivering a homemade feel in a fraction of the time.

Process shots-- images of the onion, garlic, enchilada sauce, tomatoes, corn, chili beans, and black beans being added to a pot

Ingredients In Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • Olive Oil: Used to sauté the onion and garlic, providing a base flavor.
  • Diced Yellow Onion & Minced Garlic: These add aromatic depth to the soup.
  • Red Enchilada Sauce & Fire-Roasted Diced Tomatoes: These contribute a spicy, tangy base to the soup, enhancing its character.
  • Chili Beans, Black Beans & Corn: Add texture and heartiness to the soup, making it more filling.
  • Chicken Stock: This is the liquid base of the soup that brings all the flavors together.
  • Paprika, Ground Cumin, & Chili Powder: These seasonings give the soup its signature Mexican flavor profile.
  • Cream Cheese: Adds creaminess to the soup and balances the spicy ingredients.
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese: Gives the soup a cheesy flavor and makes it richer.
  • Rotisserie Chicken: Adds protein and makes the soup hearty.


Still skeptical about 20-minutes? Let’s break it down!

Soup Shortcuts

  • Pre-chopped Produce: Use store-bought pre-diced onions or frozen diced onions along with jarred minced garlic to eliminate chopping.
  • Rotisserie Chicken: Opt for pre-shredded rotisserie chicken or prep and shred chicken in advance for quick addition.
  • Chicken Stock: Use quality chicken stock, like Swanson’s®, to enhance flavor and reduce added seasonings. Chicken broth is an alternative but might require extra salt. Read more about chicken stock vs. chicken broth here.

Process shots of Chicken Tortilla Soup-- Images of chicken stock, seasonings, and cream cheese being added and cooked together

How To Make Chicken Tortilla Soup

Now that we’ve discussed short-cuts let’s do a quick breakdown of the process for making this soup.

  1. Sauté: In heated olive oil, sauté diced onion. As it cooks, open cans and rinse black beans. Then, sauté garlic briefly.
  2. Add Ingredients: Pour in enchilada sauce, beans, corn, diced tomatoes, and chicken stock directly from their cans.
  3. Heat: Bring the soup to a boil, adding seasonings as it heats. Meanwhile, melt cream cheese and grate the other cheese.
  4. Finish: Whisk the melted cream cheese into the boiling soup. Remove from heat, stir in the grated cheese until melted, add rotisserie chicken, and serve!

Process shots-- images of the cheese and chicken being added to the pot and mixed together

What To Serve With Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup pairs well with a variety of sides and accompaniments. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Tortilla Chips: These can be crumbled on top or served on the side for added crunch.
  2. Avocado Slices or Guacamole: Adds creaminess and a refreshing contrast to the warm soup.
  3. Sour Cream: Provides a creamy tanginess that complements the spiciness of the soup.
  4. Lime Wedges: A squeeze of lime enhances the soup’s flavors.
  5. Fresh Cilantro: Can be sprinkled on top for a burst of fresh flavor.
  6. Black Bean Quesadillas or Bean Tostadas: Perfect for dipping into the soup.
  7. Italian Salad: A light salad with a tangy vinaigrette balances the richness of the soup.
  8. Spanish or Mexican Rice Recipe: Served on the side or even added to the soup for added heartiness.
  9. Cornbread or Drop Biscuits: A warm side to dip into the soup.
  10. Pinto Beans: Can be served on the side for additional protein and flavor.


To make your own baked tortilla strips: Slice 2-3 stacked tortillas into 1/2-inch strips. Place on a parchment-lined sheet, toss with oil, salt, and pepper. Bake until golden, turning once, about 7-10 minutes. 

Overhead image of Chicken Tortilla Soup in a bowl with a spoonful being taken out

Chicken Tortilla Soup FAQs

1How Do I Thicken Chicken Tortilla Soup?

As the soup cools, it thickens significantly. For a chili-like consistency, use only 2 cups of chicken stock.

2Can You Freeze Chicken Tortilla Soup?

Yes, Chicken Tortilla Soup can be frozen. Ensure the soup is completely cooled before transferring it to airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. Once sealed, store in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. When ready to eat, thaw overnight in the fridge and then reheat on the stove until warmed through.

3Can I Make This Recipe in the Crockpot?

Yes, you can make Chicken Tortilla Soup in the Crockpot. Follow these steps:

  1. Add all ingredients except the cream cheese and cheddar cheese to the slow cooker.
  2. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
  3. About 30 minutes before serving, add in the softened cream cheese and stir until melted and incorporated.
  4. Before serving, stir in the freshly grated cheddar cheese until melted.
  5. Adjust seasonings to taste, and serve hot.

Note: Ensure the chicken is cooked through if not using pre-cooked rotisserie chicken.

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Chicken Tortilla Soup

4.92 from 34 votes
This Chicken Tortilla Soup boasts richer flavor than restaurant versions and can be ready in 20 minutes. It combines savory black beans, tender chicken, crispy corn, cheese, and is topped with crunchy tortilla strips. Perfect for a quick weeknight meal!
Print Recipe

Chicken Tortilla Soup

4.92 from 34 votes
This Chicken Tortilla Soup boasts richer flavor than restaurant versions and can be ready in 20 minutes. It combines savory black beans, tender chicken, crispy corn, cheese, and is topped with crunchy tortilla strips. Perfect for a quick weeknight meal!
Course Dinner, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword chicken tortilla soup
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 -8 servings
Chelsea Lords
Calories 634kcal
Cost $11.73


  • 5.5 quart pot (cast iron will heat quicker)
  • Whisk


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup diced yellow onion, optional -- See Note 1
  • 1 teaspoon minced (jarred) garlic
  • 1 can (10 oz.) red enchilada sauce (we use mild Old El Paso)
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) fire-roasted diced tomatoes with green chiles added in, undrained
  • 1 can (16 oz.) chili beans in mild sauce
  • 1 can (15.25 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1-1/2 cups frozen corn (or 1 can drained corn)
  • 3 and 1/4 cups chicken stock (or broth) Note 2
  • 3/4 teaspoon each: paprika, ground cumin
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • Fine sea salt and pepper
  • 4 ounces full-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 package (8 oz.) sharp Cheddar cheese, freshly grated -- Note 3
  • 2 cups pre-shredded rotisserie chicken Note 4
  • Toppings of choice: tortilla strips, sour cream, avocado, fresh lime, pico de gallo, and fresh cilantro Note 5


  • ONION AND GARLIC: In a large pot over medium-high heat, add olive oil. Sauté onion for 3-4 minutes. While sautéing, prepare cans and rinse black beans. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • EVERYTHING ELSE IN: Turn the heat to high. Add the enchilada sauce, undrained tomatoes, chili beans, rinsed black beans, corn, and chicken stock. As it heats to a boil, mix in the cumin, paprika, chili powder, salt (about 1 teaspoon), and pepper (about 1/4 teaspoon). Stir well.
  • CHEESES AND CHICKEN:Warm the cream cheese in the microwave until very soft. Once the soup is boiling, mix in the cream cheese until fully incorporated. Off the heat, stir in the grated Cheddar until melted, then stir in the rotisserie chicken.
  • SERVE: Ladle soup into bowls, top with favorites like tortilla strips, sour cream, avocado, or cilantro, and enjoy!
  • STORAGE/LEFTOVERS: Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat gently on low heat. Avoid boiling or high temperatures to prevent curdling. For freezing, cool the soup fully, then transfer to freezer-safe containers. Freeze for up to 2-3 months. Thaw in the fridge and reheat on low.


Recipe Notes

Note 1: Onion and garlic: For a quick prep, use produce shortcuts like pre-diced onion or frozen diced onions, and jarred minced garlic. This eliminates the need for chopping. You can also skip the onion if preferred.
Note 2: Chicken stock: A high-quality, flavorful stock adds loads of flavor and allows us to cut down on spices or other additions. We highly recommend Swanson’s® chicken stock. We like the chicken stock best in this chicken tortilla soup recipe, but chicken broth works fine as well (you may need a bit of extra salt).
Note 3: Cheese: For the best texture, grate cheese from a block rather than using pre-grated. Pre-grated options have preservatives affecting melt quality. If you have a food processor with a grating attachment, it's quick and easy!
Note 4: Rotisserie chicken. For quick prep, use pre-shredded rotisserie chicken. Alternatively, if you often meal prep, have shredded chicken on hand in the fridge or freezer for this soup.
Note 5: Toppings: Toppings enhance this soup's flavor. Don't miss out on essentials like sour cream, fresh lime, and tortilla strips!

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 634kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 51g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 134mg | Sodium: 1748mg | Potassium: 875mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1391IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 429mg | Iron: 6mg

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! 🙂

  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. 🙂

      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 😉 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.

  16. 5 stars
    I thought this was delicious and so easy for a chilly weeknight dinner!! My fiancé 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 jalapeños 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! 🙂 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.

  19. 5 stars
    Just found this recipe and love it. Thank you so much. I did leave out the chili beans and it still was perfect!!

  20. 5 stars
    This soup was so easy and delicious! I followed the recipe exactly except I didn’t use canned enchilada sauce, I make my own from my homemade veggie broth. The flavors just really blended well and the cilantro and lime toppings are a must! Thanks for such and easy and delicious recipe

  21. 5 stars
    Spot on with the fresh shredded cheese.

    A tip for extra flavor and kick- use mild spicy chicken broth. This will add rich flavor and compliments the ingredients.

  22. I accidently added my comment to the wrong recipe. I added my comments for chicken tortilla soup to the corn chowder soup. I dont know if you can change that on your end. It would make more sense for sure! 🙂

  23. wanted to try this recipe but could not get it to print. when i click on print it jumped back to top of page would love to have a copy. thanks

    1. Hey Dave! Thanks so much for letting me know; is there anyway you could tell me what browser you’re experiencing the problem in? I can’t replicate it and neither can my developer 🙁 Any details you could provide would be so helpful! Thank you!

  24. 5 stars
    still super tasty in 2022! I cut an onion and the garlic, used chicken breasts I cooked up in the crockpot cause they were frozen this morning. This still only took 30 minutes. It was a yummy dinner for me and my husband and lunches this week.

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