A delicious crockpot (or instant pot) Mexican Tortilla Soup
It’s probably no surprise with the plethora of Halloween treats and recipes on my site that Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. Right after making Halloween treats, one of my favorite things is to figure out costumes. I don’t always dress up, but if I do, it has to be somehow coordinating with my boys. One year I was a “chef” with a big stockpot and Grey (back then he was just 1 year old) was a lobster inside the pot. This was my sister-in-law’s idea and one of my favorite costumes ever.
Another year when Bentley was a newborn, I dressed him up like a sack of money. He had a small beanie with felt “dollar bills” sewn all over it. I dressed up like a robber, my husband kind of dressed up like a robber (he’s not into costumes at all haha!), and our toddler was a police cop.
But this year, I might be the most excited yet. I can’t take credit for this idea and I’m not sure who thought of it originally, but Bentley will be a lion, Grey a tiger, I’m dressing up like a bear (ok dressing up might be a slight exaggeration; I bought bear ears), and I got the husband a shirt with the words: “Oh My!” (That’s his kind of “costume”) So: “Lions, Tigers, and Bears! Oh My!” Fun, right? But mostly, it’s also super easy 🙂
Speaking of easy things, we all need more of that as we head into the holidays, right? This is just the easy soup you’re going to be craving all fall/winter long! It’s so crazy simple to assemble. One of those “dump it and forget about it” kind of meals. If you’re making it in the crockpot you can set everything in and come back that evening to a delicious soup. And in the instant pot, it’s dumping all the ingredients in and coming back in about 25 minutes to a perfect, delicious chicken tortilla soup.
The instant pot is nice, because you can assemble all of the sides/set the table/etc. while it’s cooking and pressure is releasing.
Don’t get me wrong, this base of soup is absolutely delicious, but the toppings are what really makes this chicken tortilla soup!
What do you top this chicken tortilla soup with?
- Probably most important: Tortilla Strips. I like to buy pre-packaged tortilla strips for ease, but you can quickly make your own. To make your own tortilla strips: Stack 2-3 corn or flour tortillas and slice in half. Cut crosswise into 1/2 inch strips and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Toss with oil, salt, and pepper. Spread into an even layer and bake until golden brown and crisp (turn halfway through) about 7-10 minutes.
- Cheese: If using pre-grated, you can use a Mexican blend and freshly grated favorites are sharp cheddar or colby jack.
- Fresh Lime: a squeeze of fresh lime in each bowl adds a delicious fresh flavor to the soup
- Fresh Cilantro: Beyond what is added into the soup, a bit of extra cilantro is always a good idea if you’re a cilantro lover 🙂
- Avocado: A perfectly ripe avocado is one of my favorite additions. You can also add a big scoop of guacamole instead.
- Sour Cream: another favorite addition (I love making it a bit creamy with a big spoonful of sour cream). You can use fat-free or low fat for a very low calorie soup addition. Seriously, you won’t be able to tell the difference in this soup if you stir in some fat free sour cream!
A delicious crockpot (or instant pot) Mexican Tortilla Soup
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts (uncooked/raw)
- 1 can (15 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes, undrained OR 1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 can (10 ounces) red enchilada sauce
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 can (4 ounces) fire-roasted diced green chiles
- 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can (15 ounces) fire-roasted corn, undrained
- 1 container (32 ounces) chicken stock or broth (stock has more flavor)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 3/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1 bay leaf
- Seasoned salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- Tortilla strips, Freshly squeezed lime juice, freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese, ripe avocados, fresh cilantro,
Remove the fat from the chicken breasts and add to a large crockpot (I use a 6-quart crockpot). Gently crush the tomatoes with your hands and add those and all juices to the crockpot along with the enchilada sauce, minced garlic, diced onion, green chiles, drained & rinsed black beans, and undrained corn.
Pour in the chicken stock or broth, the cumin, chili powder, paprika, bay leaf, and salt & pepper to taste (I use 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper). Cover and cook for 3-4 hours on high or 5-7 hours on low or until the chicken is cooked through, tender, and easily shreds.
Remove the chicken to a plate or bowl and shred with two forks. Return the chicken to the crockpot and add in 1-2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (to taste). Taste and adjust any seasonings (salt + pepper) and add fresh lime right here if desired. Remove the bay leaf.
Serve bowls of the soup with lots of your favorite toppings: freshly grated cheese, a large spoonful of sour cream, additional cilantro, fresh lime, and lots of tortilla strips!
Using the saute function, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and saute the minced garlic and diced onion for 3-4 minutes until the onion starts to soften.
Remove the fat from the chicken breasts and add to the instant pot along with all of the other ingredients. Give everything a good stir.
Secure the lid and cook on high pressure (manually select) for 7 minutes. Let the pressure naturally release for 10-15 minutes before using quick release for the remaining pressure. Remove the chicken and shred and then return to the pot. Taste and adjust any seasonings (salt + pepper) and add fresh lime right here if desired. Remove the bay leaf.
Serve bowls of soup with your favorite toppings: freshly grated cheese, a large spoonful of sour cream, additional cilantro, fresh lime, and lots of tortilla strips!
Total time doesn't include cooking time; it will vary based on what you use (crockpot or instant pot)
Nutrition Label for this Chicken Tortilla Soup does not include additional toppings since this will widely vary on what and how much you top the soup with
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