Being the busy mom that I am and as much as I enjoy cooking, sometimes all I feel like doing is throwing a bunch of ingredients in a slow cooker to see what happens.
That might be a little bit of a risky thing to do depending on the ingredients used but sometimes I’m willing to take that chance. LOL
We should all be allowed to have lazy days right?
I can’t tell you how thankful I am for slow cookers and crock pots – they’ve been such a tremendous help and time saver here.
Last week I had some chicken I needed use up and I since just didn’t feel like doing anything elaborate, I came up with this super easy chicken tortilla soup crock pot recipe and it turned out amazing!
I’m a huge fan of Mexican-inspired recipes and flavors and this chicken tortilla soup recipe was very well received by my whole family!
My son loved it… so much… specifically the black beans…😂
He called them his “little bean friends”. lol
I really enjoy hearing all the silly things that come out of that wild little kid brain of his. 🙂
For this recipe I used skinless bone-in chicken breasts, but you can use any kind of chicken that you have on hand.
Just make sure that if you use chicken with bones in, you’re very careful in making sure they’re all removed before serving.
I removed the bones from my chicken breasts at the step where I shred the chicken, which made it easier.
Feel free to add other veggies and ingredients you enjoy to this recipe to make this slow cooker tortilla soup your own!
What Ingredients are used to make chicken tortilla soup?
The key ingredients for this dish are boneless skinless chicken breasts, chunky salsa (use whatever heat level you prefer) and black beans, drained and rinsed. Chicken broth, taco seasoning and frozen corn kernels are also used. You can optionally sprinkle your soup with crushed tortilla chips or some toasted tortilla strips (corn tortillas and flour tortillas both work) as well.
Slow cooker / Crock Pot: To make crock pot chicken tortilla soup start by combining the chicken, salsa, chicken broth, taco seasoning and frozen corn kernels in the slow cooker. Set on low for 8 hours or high for 4-5 hours. Once done cooking, add in the black beans and let cook for an additional 30 minutes. Serve with chopped cilantro, lime wedges, tortilla chips and add tortilla strips if desired.
Instant Pot: For making chicken tortilla soup in an Instant Pot, begin by adding the salsa, chicken broth, taco seasoning, frozen corn kernels and boneless skinless chicken breasts to the pot. Close your Instant Pot lid and set it to pressure cook on high for 5 minutes. Once done cooking, do a quick release followed by adding the black beans to your soup. Let simmer until heated through before serving with desired toppings such as cilantro, lime wedges and tortilla chips.
Stovetop: To make this dish on the stovetop begin by sautéing onions and garlic together in a large pot. Add your boneless skinless chicken breasts followed by all remaining ingredients including salsa, taco seasoning, black beans and frozen corn kernels (all of which should be drained and rinsed prior). Allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes until heated through before serving with desired toppings such as cilantro, lime wedges and/or tortilla chips.
It is possible to use leftover rotisserie chicken meat or shredded chicken instead of chicken breasts.
For a more complex fresh flavor, add fresh cilantro and fresh lime juice to the soup
For an extra smoky, savory dish, add some enchilada sauce, minced garlic or smoked paprika.
To intensify the existing flavors some chili powder or sliced green chiles can be added to taste.
Top with shredded cheese, crushed tortilla chips, sliced avocado and diced jalapeño for a restaurant-style presentation.
For an added Mexican flair, add some chorizo sausage to go with your chicken.
Black beans can be added for anyone looking to increase their protein intake.
Add a can of diced tomatoes with green chilis for added spice.
For extra creamy chicken tortilla soup, a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt will achieve that extra creamy texture. Turning it into a creamy tortilla soup however will be a bit of a change from the original idea.
Instead of chicken breasts, use boneless skinless chicken thighs.
Mix in corn or diced bell peppers for a colorful cool twist.
Swap out the chicken broth and use vegetable broth instead to make it vegetarian-friendly.
Don’t forget to add your favorite hot sauce or spices for an extra kick.
What to Serve with chicken tortilla soup:
A big bowl of crockpot chicken tortilla soup is perfect for a cozy night at home. But what do you serve with it to make the meal complete?
Tortilla Chips or crispy Tortilla Strips: Crumbled tortilla chips or tortilla strips are a must! Serve these on the side or top your soup with them for some crunchy texture. Totally recommended.
Avocado Slices: Avocados add creaminess and freshness to the dish – plus they look pretty cute when sprinkled over top.
Cilantro & Lime Wedges: A squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of cilantro bring all the flavors together in one delicious bite!
Garnish your soup with some fresh avocado, sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese on top
How to Store and Reheat Leftover chicken tortilla soup:
Once your chicken tortilla soup has cooled to room temperature, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. To reheat, place desired amount of soup into a pot over medium-low heat and stir until it's heated through. Another option is to use a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 90 second intervals, stirring between each interval until it's hot enough for your liking.
However you choose to reheat your soup, make sure that it reaches 165°F before serving. This will ensure that all of the ingredients have been thoroughly cooked!
Can I freeze chicken tortilla soup?
Yes! After you have cooked the soup allow it to cool completely before transferring it into freezer bags. Make sure the soup is in an airtight container and label with a date so you can keep track of freshness, it should be eaten within 3 to 4 months maximum. When ready to eat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat on stovetop or microwave until steaming hot. Enjoy!
If you find that your chicken tortilla soup has become too thick once frozen, just add a bit more water or stock when reheating.
Other Recipes You'll Enjoy:
- 4 1/2 lbs chicken breasts
- 3 1/2 cups chunky salsa (use whatever heat level you are comfortable with)
- 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp taco seasoning
- 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
- 19 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
Optional for Serving:
- Strips of toasted tortillas or crushed tortilla chips
- Combine all ingredients, except chicken in a 6 quart slow cooker. Stir everything to combine.
- Add chicken breasts to the mixture in the slow cooker. Do not cut the chicken.
- Cook on high for 2 1/2 hours.
- Remove the chicken breasts from the slow cooker and place them into a mixing bowl, leaving the liquid and other ingredients in the pot.
- Using 2 forks, gently break apart the chicken breasts to shred. I like to have a combination of large chunks and small.
- Add the shredded chicken back to slow cooker and cook on LOW for 1 1/2 hours.
Optional for Serving:
- Sprinkle with crushed tortilla chips or toasted tortilla strips if desired.
If you'd like you can use chicken with the bone in for this recipe. If you decide to do this be careful in making sure all the bones are removed before serving. If I go this route, I remove the bones when I shred the chicken.
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 4 hours
- Category: Soup
- Method: Slow Cooker
- Cuisine: Mexican