Fiesta Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I’ve shared a lot of recipes over the years with friends and family but, this tortilla soup is hands down the one that gets requested the most often. Honestly, I’m really surprised I haven’t already shared it, if only to prevent me from having to email it to someone new. Forwarding emails is such taxing work, you know. I’d much rather sit and eat bon bons and watch Parenthood (do bon bons still exist?).

Here are a few reasons why I think this is a favorite (in no particular order):

  1. It’s absolutely the BEST tortilla soup I’ve ever tried. Lots of trial and error has gone into making this soup my be-all-end-all. If soup eating were a sport, I would win something while eating this and you would too.
  2. It’s drop dead easy. Put (mostly) all of the ingredients into the slow cooker in the morning and come dinner time you have a hot, hearty soup that literally took you 10 minutes to make.
  3. It makes you feel amazing and has healing abilities. This is the direct result of #1 and #2. People will love it. You’ll feel really cool. You’ll start day dreaming about cooking for Graham Elliot on Master chef. You’ll eventually realize Graham will want you to cook more than just tortilla soup and decide not to audition. You’ll feel sad until you realize there’s still soup in the fridge. All is well. All is well.
  4. It’s a texture thing. Crunchy tortilla chips topped with cheese turn magical when you add a ladle-full of hot soup brimming with beans and chicken. Throw some diced avocado and a dollop of sour cream into the mix and you just created a euphoric textural symphony of taste in a bowl. The only thing that could make it better would be a unicorn sitting at your dining room table with you. And maybe some flan.

Now that I’ve pretty much covered the “why”, let’s focus on the “how”. You’ll start by adding red enchilada sauce, chopped green chiles, diced tomatoes, and black beans into your slow-cooker.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Followed by some frozen corn kernels…

Chicken Tortilla Soup

…spices like cumin and chili powder, salt, oregano, and a bay leaf. You’ll also chop up an onion and a few cloves of garlic and add them into the mix. You’ll then pour a few cups of chicken broth over everything and give it a stir.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

As a general rule, I never like to add frozen meat to my slow-cooker since it takes so long for it to come up to temperature. But, I break that rule whenever I make this soup. Such a rebel, I know. But my reasoning is that the chicken breasts are individual and the soup itself is brothy so they defrost really quickly and it saves me a step. Add 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts into the slow-cooker.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Let it rip and roll and do it’s thing on HIGH for 3-4 hours or on LOW for 6-8. It’s ready when the chicken shreds easily. Remove that easily shred-able chicken from the soup and shred it up. Meanwhile, stir a big handful of chopped fresh cilantro and the juice of 2 limes into the soup.

Chicken Tortilla SoupReturn the chicken to it’s home and serve hot over corn chips and cheese for maximum effect. The melted cheese paired with the still-slightly-crisp tortilla chips is heaven.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This post is part of BlogHer’s Dinner, Faster editorial series, made possible by Land o’ Lakes.

Fiesta Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
  • 1 can (15oz) petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (10 oz) red enchilada sauce
  • 1 can (4 oz) diced green chilies
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) black beans, drained
  • 10 oz frozen corn kernels
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 C chicken broth
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
  • ½ C fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • tortilla chips, cheese, sour cream, avocado for serving
  1. Combine all ingredients except for the cilantro and lime juice in a slow-cooker.
  2. Cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours or LOW for 6-8 hours.
  3. Remove chicken from soup, shred into bite-sized pieces and return to soup.
  4. Stir in chopped cilantro and lime juice.
  5. Serve with tortilla chips, cheese, sour cream, and avocado if desired.



    • Jimbo says

      Gillian, my pop up blocker didn’t like the print link at first. Check to see if it’s preventing the link from opening (look for a little yellowish bar at the top of your browser, and tell it to allow pop ups from heatherlikesfood).

    • Heather says

      Did you figure it out Gillian? A new print window should just open up on it’s own. Jimbo is correct about the pop-up blocker. Let me know if I can help!

  1. Alyx Strelow says

    Can’t wait to try your soup!! Just wondered if you have any idea how many calories per serving?
    Thank you!

  2. Heather says

    Alright, alright, I hear you! :) I’ll see what I can do about adding the nutritional info onto recipes. Thanks for all the feedback!

  3. Lisa Lewey-Shields says

    Heather – so glad I found your blog page while scrolling through the Ziplist pages. Love all the recipes I have seen so far. I commented about your blog page (you are my blog of the week) and shared your Fiesta Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe on my fb page “Tweak it and make it your own with Lisa”. Looking forward to trying more of your recipes.

  4. Ann Marie says

    We just finished eating this and it was outstanding! I made it exactly as written and served it with the tortilla chips, sour cream, shredded cheddar and sliced avocado. My picky 4 year old wouldn’t touch the soup (which kills me b/c he loves most Progresso soups and this blows canned soup away) but he ate some of the shredded chicken I pulled from the soup and picked away the veg and beans. This soup was full of flavor and mild spice. You won’t be disappointed.

  5. S Gilliam says

    This was absolutely wonderful…I used the medium hot enchilada sauce and added 1 jalapeño….I also took fresh white corn tortillas, cut them in strips, fried them and laid them on a paper towel to drain…salted them and sprinkled them on the soup….delish!
    A definite keeper.

  6. holly says

    This was excellent! My only adjustments next time will be to reduce the lime juice to only one lime (i had super juicy limes and 2 was too much) and maybe cut the amount of chicken to one and half breasts. There was so much chicken that there wasn’t quite enough broth.

  7. Karin says

    I am wondering on how many adult servings are in the recipe. I would love to make this for my small book group of 12…should I double the recipe?

    • Heather says

      Sorry it was watery after doubling, it’s a pretty brothy soup to begin with but the flavor shouldn’t have been off.

  8. Anne says

    This soup was so good and super easy! Making it for the 2nd time. Doesn’t even need the tortillas but it hey do kick it up a notch.

  9. Lisa says

    Wonderful soup!! I will definitely make again and again. I would like the nutritional information per serving if anyone has it.

  10. Pam says

    I made this today for dinner. I am expecting my mom any minute now and I have finished squeezing the limes and shredding the chicken. My daughter and I tested a little and OMG, I am already in LOVE with this recipe. Southwestern/Mexican flare is by far my most favorite cuisine!!! I can NOT wait to eat dinner with the garnishes to get the full effect. This soup rocks!!!

  11. Monica says

    this soup is pretty close to amazing! i have three children…7, 5 and 1 and they all enjoyed it as well. The only thing i did differently was i used three skinless thighs and they were partially frozen. I also put a few tortilla chips in my bowl and ladled the soup over the top before serving…YUM! Other than that, i wouldn’t change a thing.

    • Heather says

      Haha, isn’t it? My favorite way to eat it is to make a little mound of tortillas and cheese in the bottom of the bowl and then ladle the soup over the top to melt the cheese. MMmmm.

  12. Cher says

    Hi – currently making this soup and hoping it will be delicious. I figured out the nutrition info (I used 1 lb of chicken total and used 99% reduced fat chicken broth)
    Per Serving (for 6 servings in the recipe)
    Calories: 295
    Carbs: 35
    Fat: 5
    Protein: 32

  13. says

    I have this recipe in my crockpot right now! I can’t wait to get home tonight and see how it turns out. I did two adjustments, however: I added a can of hominy (cut the corn by an ounce or two), and a third of a green pepper, chopped. We’ll see what happens!!

  14. Kat Riley says

    Just made this, didn’t stray from the recipe. Wasn’t sure I’d like it but it was really good. Think the leftovers will be even better tomorrow once the flavors meld. Good job!

  15. Kei Lara says

    Oh my word! I found your recipe today and had to make it for dinner! It was so delish! I didn’t have enough room in the crockpot for the enchilada sauce and it was so amazing. I can’t wait to make it again!

  16. Helen says

    This was the first soup recipe that I have ever made & it was amazing! Instead of tortilla chips, I used some jalapeno cornbread that I made. I added the cornbread to the top of the soup & used a dollup of sour cream for the finishing touch. IT WAS AMAZING!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS RECIPE HEATHER!!

  17. Bostonmimi says

    We made this with leftover turkey from Thanksgiving…..holy cow it was amazing!! Making it again today. This is one soup that will always be a favorite in our house..thank you!!

    • Monica Gonzalez says

      Hi Lucy. You can make your own enchilada sauce depending on the availability of chilies!! I use New Mexico whole chilies or Colorado chilies. I boil the whole chilie pod with onions, garlic, some tomato sauce or tomatoes. When it’s all boiled put it in the blender and mix it all up. Add seasoning like salt, cumin, and mix away. If it’s too hot add water. Enjoy.

    • Bridie says

      I make my own enchilada sauce. Take a quarter cup of oil and mix it with 1/8 cup chili powder. Next, add two tablespoons of flour to it and let it simmer for two minutes. Next, add an 8oz can of tomato sauce, 1 cup of water and one tablespoon of onion powder, garlic powder, and cumin each.

  18. Angela says

    VERY EASY!!!!!

    Two changes…….I used the leftovers from a whole chicken AND I added it half way through ….unlike the directions.


  19. says

    Thank you so much for posting this recipe! It was sooooo easy, which is a must for me since I do not love to cook! I followed the recipe exactly and it was amazing!! Even my kids loved it! My picky son had four bowls! They are already asking me to make it again!! :)

  20. Monica Gonzalez says

    So I finally made this soup and it was good. I was sceptical
    at first with the enchilada sauce, since I make my own, but it was fine. I used the tomatoes with green chilies in it but next time I will add more green chilies. The avocado
    and lime were the finishing touch to this fantastic meal. Gracias. Muy Rico!

  21. Tami says

    I think that this may be gluten free if you use your homeade chicken broth, I have just started a gluten free diet yesterday and think that this may fit the diet. This is great!

  22. says

    This looked so inviting after reviewing several of the recipes via Google Search. I used left over rotisserie chicken, but otherwise followed the recipe as written. It’s been in the crock pot for 1 hour now and the scent is heavenly. Can’t wait to have family meal together tonight!

  23. Sarah says

    Fabulous recipe! Thanks! I added a bit more chicken broth and about a cup of macaroni noodles. Delicious served with shredded cheese and avocado! Thanks!

  24. Ardena says

    I just made this tonight. It was delicious! I didn’t have time for the slow cooker method so I used the breasts of a precooked chicken and simmered on my stove top for about 45 min. till onions were translucent. It was so incredible. I can’t wait to taste it slow simmered in the crock pot! Will be making this again, soon! Thank you for sharing!

  25. Lyndze says

    This would not fit in my slow cooker so I have it on the stove on low. It smells amazing and the broth is delicious.

    I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of the breast meat due to personal preference. I also added some smoked paprika and used ancho chili powder because that is what I had on hand.

    I can’t wait for the finished soup! I have my avocado, sour cream, cheese and blue tortilla chips waiting! Thank you for the amazing recipe!

  26. MrsW says

    Oh my goodness. I usually don’t blindly follow recipes off the internet but I followed your recipe exactly. And I have to say I was a bit skeptical about the lime. But oh no. It was delicious. And easy. – I’m a mother to a 11 month old and am 5 months pregnant. I thank you for a delicious EASY meal. Hubby loved loved loved it. Yay! Thanks again.

  27. Chastity Nez says

    Was going to make albondigas for our cinco de mayo recipe then stumbled on this I don’t have time to do this in the slow cooker but I’m going to try it over the stove and see what magic happens I love that gooey crunchy magic cheese and tortillas make in mexican sopas

  28. Arouj says

    Yum this makes me really want to invest in a slow cooker, which brand do you use? Is there a difference between a crock pot and slow cooker?


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