Delicious Applebee’s chicken cheese tortilla soup recipe

Welcome to my recipe article on how to make an irresistible copycat of Applebee’s Chicken Cheese Tortilla Soup! If you’re a fan of Mexican flavors with a cheesy twist, then this recipe is perfect for you. This soup boasts a combination of delectable flavors and is perfect for those cold, wintry nights when you need something comforting and warm in your belly.

Not only is this soup delicious, but it’s also super easy to make. With minimal effort and time, you can get a warm bowl of soup that’s as good (if not better) than the original Applebee’s recipe! Plus, if you’re anything like me, then you love replicating restaurant recipes at home and impressing your guests with your culinary skills.

So, get ready to gather your ingredients and start cooking up some cheesy chicken tortilla soup that’ll leave everyone wanting more. With my detailed recipe instructions and expert tips along the way, this copycat soup is sure to become a household favorite. Let’s get started!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Applebee's Chicken Cheese Tortilla Soup - Copycat
Applebee’s Chicken Cheese Tortilla Soup – Copycat

Let me tell you why you’re going to love this Applebee’s Chicken Cheese Tortilla Soup copycat recipe. Imagine tangy tomato puree, chicken broth, and a perfect blend of spices – chili powder, black pepper, Worcestershire sauce – all balancing together in velvety harmony. Now imagine this luscious soup cradling chunks of tender chicken and fresh chopped vegetables.

This soup is not only sumptuous, but it’s also simple and easy to make at home. It requires basic ingredients like chicken stock, garlic, onions, vegetable oil, cilantro, corn tortillas strips and shredded cheese. And the best part about it? You can customize it according to your preference so that every spoonful will be bursting with flavors you love.

If you’re a fan of Mexican-style soups such as chicken tortilla or cheesy chicken enchilada soup, then trust me when I say this recipe will put your taste buds in heaven. It’s perfect for any occasion – whether you’re cooking up a weeknight dinner or hosting a festive gathering with friends.

So what are you waiting for? Gather your ingredients and don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in this flavorful and hearty soup with a twist!

Ingredient List

 Warm and comforting, just like a hug from grandma
Warm and comforting, just like a hug from grandma

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this delicious Applebee’s Chicken Cheese Tortilla Soup. This recipe makes about 6 servings.

Main Ingredients:

  • Chicken broth: 4 cups
  • Chicken: 1 lb (cubed)
  • Tomato puree: 14½ oz can
  • Yellow onion: 1 medium (chopped)
  • Garlic: 2 teaspoons fresh (minced)
  • Chili powder: 2 teaspoons
  • Black pepper: 1/2 teaspoon
  • Worcestershire sauce: 1 tablespoon
  • Granulated sugar: 1 tablespoon

Additional Ingredients:

  • Vegetable oil: 4 teaspoons
  • Corn tortillas: 4 (cut into 1/4-inch strips)
  • Water: 1 cup
  • Green pepper: 1/2 medium-sized (chopped)
  • Black beans: 10 oz can (drained and rinsed)
  • Nonfat sour cream: for serving
  • Cheddar cheese: for serving (shredded)
  • Cilantro: for serving (chopped)

Note that these ingredients can be easily found in your local grocery stores.

The Recipe How-To

 Ready to make all your taste buds dance with joy
Ready to make all your taste buds dance with joy

Now that we have all of our ingredients for this delicious Applebee’s Chicken Cheese Tortilla Soup copycat recipe, it’s time to get cooking! Here’s how to make it:

Step 1: Saute the Onions and Garlic

First, heat up 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil in a large pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add 1 medium yellow onion chopped and sauté until it becomes soft, which should take just a couple of minutes.

Next, add 2 teaspoons fresh garlic minced and cook for another 30 seconds until fragrant. Be careful not to burn the garlic, as it can turn bitter.

Step 2: Add Chicken and Broth

Once the onions and garlic are fragrant, add in 4 cups of chicken broth and stir well. Then, add in 1 14 oz can of tomato puree and stir.

Add in 2 cups of cooked shredded chicken (rotisserie works great!) to the pot and bring it all to a boil. Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat to low-medium and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.

Step 3: Add Vegetables and Spices

After 10 minutes has passed, you can start adding your vegetables and spices into the pot. First up, add in 1 green pepper chopped.

Then toss in some chopped cilantro (to taste), along with 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and a dash of granulated sugar.

Let these flavors marry together by continuing to let the soup simmer for an additional 15-20 minutes.

Step 4: Cook Tortilla Strips

While your soup is simmering away, preheat your oven to 400°F (204°C). Cut your 4 corn tortillas into small strips (about 1/4 inch wide).

Place them on an un-greased baking sheet and bake at 400°F (204°C) for about 5-7 minutes. Be sure not to overcook them; they should be golden brown when you pull them out.

Step 5: Serve Hot!

Once your tortilla strips are done cooking, you’re ready to serve! Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle on some shredded cheese on top. Then garnish each bowl with some fresh cilantro leaves and a dollop of nonfat sour cream.

Finally, add the crispy baked tortilla strips on top right before serving; they’re what make this soup really special!

Enjoy your Cheesy Chicken Tortilla Soup just like from Applebee’s restaurants!

Substitutions and Variations

 This soup is the ultimate comfort food on a cold day
This soup is the ultimate comfort food on a cold day

There are plenty of ways to make this chicken cheese tortilla soup recipe your own. Here are some substitutions and variations you can try.

– Vegetarian version: You can make a vegetarian version of this soup by using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth and skipping the chicken. Add extra vegetables such as sliced zucchini or mushrooms for more flavor and nutrition.

– Spicy version: If you like your soup to have some kick, add more chili powder or red pepper flakes to the recipe. You can also use hot salsa or diced jalapeños for an extra spice boost.

– Creamy version: To make the soup creamier, add a dollop of sour cream or heavy cream at the end. You can also use shredded Monterey Jack cheese instead of cheddar for a milder, creamier taste.

– Gluten-free version: Replace the flour tortillas with corn tortillas for a gluten-free alternative. Make sure to check that all your other ingredients are gluten-free as well.

– Keto version: If you’re following a keto diet, skip the flour tortillas altogether and replace them with crispy bacon pieces for added crunch. Use full-fat cheese and sour cream for extra fat content.

Whatever variations you choose to make, be creative and have fun experimenting with different flavors and textures. Remember, cooking is an art, not a science!

Serving and Pairing

 A fragrant blend of flavors, you'll feel like a chef in your own kitchen
A fragrant blend of flavors, you’ll feel like a chef in your own kitchen

Once your Applebee’s chicken cheese tortilla soup is ready, it’s time to serve! This soup is perfect for a weeknight dinner or for entertaining guests on a chilly evening. It’s hearty and filling enough to be a main dish, but it can also be served as a starter course.

When it comes to pairing, you can’t go wrong with a side of cornbread or some warm crusty bread. I also like to add some toppings to my soup, such as tortilla strips, shredded cheese, and fresh cilantro. A dollop of nonfat sour cream can provide a creamy element that contrasts well with the spicy flavors of the soup.

For drinks, consider serving this tortilla soup with a refreshing iced tea or a cold beer. If you prefer something non-alcoholic, lemonade or soda would be great options as well.

Overall, this delicious chicken cheese tortilla soup copycat recipe from Applebee’s is sure to please your taste buds and warm your soul. Whether you’re cooking for your family or hosting a group gathering, this comforting soup will impress everyone at the table.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Filling, satisfying, the perfect meal on a rainy day
Filling, satisfying, the perfect meal on a rainy day

Once you have made this delicious Applebee’s Chicken Cheese Tortilla Soup Copycat Recipe, you may not be able to resist the temptation to make a little extra for later! Luckily, this soup can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge or freezer for later enjoyment.

To store this soup in the fridge, wait until it has cooled completely and then transfer it to an airtight container. It will last in the fridge for up to 4 days. Keep in mind that the longer it sits, the more the flavors will meld together, making it even more delicious!

When reheating this soup from the fridge, simply add it back to a pot over medium heat and stir occasionally until heated through. If you find that your soup has thickened up a bit from being chilled, add some additional chicken broth or water until it reaches your desired consistency.

For long-term storage, you can also freeze this soup for up to 3 months. To do so, transfer the cooled soup to a freezer-safe container and label it with the date. When ready to eat, simply let it thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating.

Whether enjoying immediately or down the road, this Applebee’s Chicken Cheese Tortilla Soup Copycat Recipe is sure to satisfy your cravings for something warm and comforting!

Tips for Perfect Results

 A burst of colors and textures, it's like a party in a bowl
A burst of colors and textures, it’s like a party in a bowl

When it comes to homemade soups, the little details can make all the difference between a mediocre meal and a restaurant-worthy dish. Here are some tips I’ve picked up along the way while testing this Applebee’s Chicken Cheese Tortilla Soup copycat recipe that will help you achieve perfect results every time you make it.

Firstly, don’t oversalt your soup. While salt is important for flavor, it’s easy to go overboard and ruin the entire dish. Start with a small amount of salt and taste as you go along. Remember that you can always add more later if needed, but you can’t take it out once it’s in the soup.

Another important tip is to use high-quality ingredients whenever possible. This means using fresh herbs like cilantro instead of dried, and opting for homemade chicken broth instead of store-bought. Using good quality ingredients will enhance the flavor of the soup and give it that extra oomph.

When cooking vegetables for the soup like onions, green peppers or garlic, cook them slowly so they release their flavors slowly and evenly. Cooking them too quickly can result in uneven distribution of flavors throughout the soup.

It’s also important to cut your tortillas into small, bite-sized pieces when making the tortilla strips. This ensures that they cook evenly and don’t become too chewy or tough.

Finally, if you want your soup to have a creamier texture, try adding a dollop of nonfat sour cream just before serving. It adds a nice tanginess to the soup without adding any extra calories or fat.

With these simple tips in mind, I’m confident that you’ll be able to make a delicious pot of Applebee’s Chicken Cheese Tortilla Soup every time!


Now that you have learned how to make delicious Applebee’s Chicken Cheese Tortilla Soup at home using this copycat recipe, you may have some questions about the process. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions and their answers to help you perfect this soup recipe.

What is chicken tortilla soup made of?

The origins of chicken tortilla soup can be traced back to Mexico, where it is a beloved dish. Typically, the soup includes chicken broth, tomatoes, garlic, onion, chiles, and crispy tortilla strips. However, there are different versions of the soup that incorporate additional ingredients such as beans.

How do I thicken up my chicken tortilla soup?

To enhance the flavor of your broth, consider incorporating additional ingredients to add more depth to the taste. Furthermore, incorporating a thickening agent such as cornstarch, roux, masa, or other types of flour (e.g., tapioca flour, arrowroot flour, or potato flour) can help to achieve the desired consistency.

What is in O Charley’s chicken tortilla soup?

This recipe, Chicken Tortilla Soup, does not contain any of the following allergens: eggs, fish, milk, peanuts, shellfish, soy, soybean oil, tree nuts, or wheat.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Copycat Applebee’s Chicken Cheese Tortilla Soup recipe is a must-try for soup lovers or anyone who craves a rich and satisfying meal. With its blend of flavors from the chicken, cheese, spices, and vegetables, it’s impossible not to fall in love with this soup. Plus, with the convenience of making it from home, you can enjoy a restaurant-quality soup without leaving your house.

To make your own heavenly batch of soup, just follow the steps outlined in this recipe article while also keeping in mind the helpful tips and variations provided. By doing so, you will be rewarded with a bowl full of deliciousness that everyone will enjoy.

So why stick with mediocre store-bought soups when you can create a masterpiece in your kitchen? Trust me; this one’s worth trying out!

Applebee's Chicken Cheese Tortilla Soup - Copycat

Applebee's Chicken Cheese Tortilla Soup - Copycat Recipe

This is a copycat recipe, but very good.
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Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: < 60 Mins
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Calories: 919.1kcal


  • 1 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 15 ounces tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce (optional)
  • 1/4 cup green pepper (chopped ) (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon jalapeno pepper (minced ) (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, mixed with
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 lb cooked chicken, cubed
  • 1 cup whipping cream, heavy
  • 1/4 cup nonfat sour cream
  • 8 ounces cheese (process or food or cut in 1-inch cubes)
  • 10 (6 inch) corn tortillas, cut in 1/4-inch strips
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped for garnish (optional)


  • Sauté garlic and onions in oil in large pan or Dutch oven until soft.
  • Add next 10 ingredients to pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.
  • Whisk flour/w ater mixture into soup.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add chicken and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add cream, sour cream, and cheese; stir until cheese is melted.
  • Deep-fry tortilla strips in 350 degree oil OR spray with non-stick cooking spray and bake in a 400 degree oven until crisp.
  • Sprinkle with salt if desired.
  • Pour soup into bowls, pile tortilla strips into a "haystack" shape on top of the soup, garnish with cilantro.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 785g | Calories: 919.1kcal | Carbohydrates: 57.8g | Protein: 52.8g | Fat: 53.8g | Saturated Fat: 26.2g | Cholesterol: 204.4mg | Sodium: 1793.7mg | Fiber: 6.6g | Sugar: 10.5g

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