Are you in the mood for a hearty and comforting soup that will take your taste buds on a journey to the southwest? Look no further than this Copycat El Chico Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe!

El Chico is known for their delicious and authentic Mexican cuisine, and their chicken tortilla soup is definitely a fan favorite. Lucky for us, with this recipe you can recreate the dish in the comfort of your own home.

This soup is packed with flavor and texture, from tender chunks of chicken breast to crispy tortilla strips, creamy avocado chunks, and tangy lime juice. Plus, it’s easy to make and perfect for meal prep or feeding a crowd.

If you’re a fan of bold and spicy flavors and want to indulge in a bowl of cozy soup that will warm your soul then keep reading. You won’t want to miss out on making this copycat El Chico Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe at home!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Copycat El Chico Chicken Tortilla Soup
Copycat El Chico Chicken Tortilla Soup

Are you tired of ordering the same old chicken tortilla soup at your local Mexican restaurant? Look no further than this Copycat El Chico Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe. Trust me, once you try it, you’ll never want to go back to your old standby.

Firstly, with just a few simple ingredients like tender chicken breasts, zesty chili powder, and creamy white cheddar cheese, this soup packs a flavorful punch in every spoonful. The combination of tomato paste and chicken broth creates a base that balances the spices without overpowering them.

Additionally, this recipe is incredibly versatile. You can make it as spicy or mild as you prefer by adjusting the amount of hot sauce or chili powder you add. Want some extra crunch? Top it off with fresh avocado slices and crispy tortilla strips for a satisfying texture that complements the creamy soup.

Lastly, making this soup from scratch means you know exactly what goes into it. No mysterious additives or preservatives – just wholesome ingredients prepared with love. Plus, by making it yourself, you’ll save money compared to buying it at a restaurant.

So why not try something new? Venture out of your comfort zone and whip up a batch of this delicious soup. Who knows? It might become your new favorite dish!

Ingredient List

“A warm hug in a bowl: Copycat El Chico Chicken Tortilla Soup”

Here are the ingredients you will need for this Copycat El Chico Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe:
For the Chicken Tortilla Soup:

  • 4 chicken breasts (6 ounces each), shredded
  • 4 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 5 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

For Serving:

  • tortilla strips or chips

Optional Toppings:

  • shredded white cheddar cheese
  • diced avocado
  • lime wedges
  • hot sauce

The Recipe How-To

“The perfect mix of spice and comfort”

Now, let’s start cooking up that copycat El Chico Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe. First and foremost, cook your chicken breasts until it is tender and juicy. You can do this by putting 4 chicken breasts and 4 chicken bouillon cubes in your pot filled with 4 cups boiling water. Allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Once done, remove from the heat and let it cool down.

Next, shred the cooled-down chicken breasts into thin strips using a fork. In preparing the soup base, heat a separate pot over medium heat on stove I. Add 5 tablespoons of tomato paste into the pot and stir continuously for 1-2 minutes. Then, add 5 tablespoons hot sauce, 1 tablespoon chili powder, and 1 teaspoon cumin powder into the pot, stirring continuously for another minute.

Pour in 6 cups of chicken broth and mix all of the ingredients together thoroughly. Next, add in the shredded chicken strips, 10 ounces of diced tomatoes, and 6 cloves of minced garlic, continuing to stir everything together evenly.

Then, add in 4 cups of homemade tortilla strips into your soup mixture and let it simmer for 20 minutes. Finally, stir in 2 tablespoons of lime juice into the mixture.

Serve hot with additional toppings like grated white cheddar cheese, sliced avocados, lime wedges, chopped cilantro, and tortilla chips if desired. Enjoy!

Substitutions and Variations

“Toppings galore: customize your soup to perfection”

One of the things that makes cooking so much fun is the ability to switch up ingredients and try new flavors. With this copycat El Chico chicken tortilla soup recipe, you can do just that. Here are some substitutions and variations to take your soup to the next level.

– Vegetarian: If you want to make a vegetarian version of this recipe, simply omit the chicken and substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth. You could also add some additional veggies like diced zucchini or bell peppers.

– Slow Cooker: To make this recipe in a slow cooker, place all of the ingredients (except for the avocado and tortilla strips) in your slow cooker and cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 6-8 hours. Then shred the chicken, add it back in, and top with avocado and tortilla strips before serving.

– Spicy: If you like a little heat, you can increase the amount of chili powder or add some hot sauce or diced jalapenos.

– Creamy: For a creamier soup, stir in a dollop of sour cream or some shredded white cheddar cheese.

– Homemade Tortilla Strips: If you have extra time, making your own tortilla strips is a great way to add some texture to your soup. Simply cut corn tortillas into strips and fry them in hot oil until crispy.

– Toppings: The best part about this soup is the toppings! Feel free to get creative with what you use – try adding sliced radishes or red onions for some crunch, or crumble some cotija cheese over top for an extra burst of flavor.

No matter which substitutions or variations you choose, this copycat El Chico chicken tortilla soup recipe is sure to be a hit. Enjoy experimenting in the kitchen!

Serving and Pairing

“A Tex-Mex classic in your own kitchen”

Ah, you have made the famous El Chico Chicken Tortilla Soup! Don’t let the soup ingredients fool you, this dish can be quite filling, and it pairs well with various sides.

One classic element that goes with this soup is tortilla chips – they add a natural crunch to the mix. Just crush up the chips into small pieces and sprinkle them on top of your soup bowl. I also like to add some sliced avocados along with the tortilla strips for some creaminess.

For a stronger taste kick, try adding some shredded white cheddar cheese on top when you serve. The cheese adds a nice tangy taste that complements the soup’s flavors and provides a cheesy texture as well.

Another great side to pair with this soup is lime juice. Squeeze about half a lime into your soup bowl before serving, and enjoy that tangy twist which freshens up your taste buds.

If you’d like to boost up the spice in this soup, then I recommend adding hot sauce or chili powder. It’s not too strong, but it gives the recipe an extra layer of flavor with mild heat.

And finally, if you’re feeling adventurous enough, try it out with homemade tortillas. Warm them up, cut them into thin strips and voila – there’s your side of choice!

Enjoy your El Chico Chicken Tortilla Soup with any of these recommended sides for a fantastic meal at home, especially after a long day at work or during those rainy evenings.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

“Make every day feel like Taco Tuesday with this soup”

Are you someone who likes to meal prep or simply have leftovers for another day? If so, then you’ll be pleased to know that this Copycat El Chico Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe is perfect for storing and reheating.

To make ahead, simply follow the recipe as instructed, let it cool down, and transfer it into an airtight container. This soup can be safely stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw if frozen and warm it up on the stove over medium-low heat until heated through.

When reheating this soup, you may notice that it has thickened up a bit due to the tortilla strips soaking up the broth. Don’t worry because you can easily thin it out by whisking in some additional chicken broth or water.

To serve this soup later or pack it for lunch, store tortilla chips and white cheddar cheese separately to maintain their texture and flavor.

Make sure to reheat just enough, excess reheating might lead to deterioration of its quality or flavor making it unpalatable.

With this Copycat El Chico Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe’s make-ahead and storing capabilities, you can enjoy a delicious hearty soup anytime that suits your schedule or cravings.

Tips for Perfect Results

“Is it even soup season if you haven’t tried this recipe?”

Ah, the sweet smell of success! Everyone wants their copycat El Chico chicken tortilla soup recipe to turn out great. I’ve got a few tips that will help guarantee the perfect pot every single time.

First off, don’t be shy with the spices. It might seem like a lot of chili powder and hot sauce at first, but trust me – those flavors are going to mellow out as it simmers. And if you’re still worried, it’s better to start with less than add too much and overpower the other ingredients.

One of the key components in this recipe is the shredded chicken breast. You can save some time by using precooked chicken, but if you’re cooking it yourself, try poaching it in extra chicken broth or bouillon for additional flavor.

Be sure to use good quality ingredients when possible. Freshly squeezed lime juice and tomato paste really make a difference in the final product. And if you can find authentic El Chico cheese at your local market, definitely give it a try.

When adding in the tortilla strips towards the end of cooking, don’t let them sit too long or they’ll become mushy. Aim for just a few minutes to get them perfectly softened but still chewy.

Finally, I recommend letting the soup cool and refrigerating it overnight before serving. This allows all of those wonderful flavors to meld together and intensify.

With these tips, you’ll be able to create a copycat El Chico chicken tortilla soup so delicious that your guests won’t believe it’s not straight from the restaurant itself. Bon appétit!


As the recipe is getting nearer to completion, let me share with you some frequently asked questions that some people tend to ask. These answers will help you work around some possible roadblocks and make sure you successfully achieve the rich and tasty copycat El Chico Chicken Tortilla Soup. So without further ado, let’s dive in.

How do I thicken up my Chicken Tortilla Soup?

To enhance the flavors of the broth, consider incorporating additional ingredients. This will give your dish a more robust and concentrated taste. Additionally, using a thickening agent such as cornstarch or roux will give the broth a creamy and velvety consistency. Other options include potato flour, tapioca flour or arrowroot flour, which will also improve the broth’s overall thickness.

What is Chicken Tortilla Soup made of?

The roots of chicken tortilla soup can be traced back to Mexico, where it is considered an authentic dish. The classic version of the soup typically consists of chicken broth, garlic, onions, tomatoes, chiles, and crispy tortilla strips. Different variations of the soup exist, with some including beans as an ingredient.

How do you make Costco tortilla soup?

Making this soup is a straightforward process. You have the option of heating it in the microwave for five minutes in the plastic container provided or using a saucepan on the stove. While I personally enjoy cooking soup on the stove, I have also found success with microwaving this particular soup. Regardless of your chosen heating method, you can expect a delicious and satisfying meal.

Is Chicken Tortilla Soup good for you?

This recipe for chicken tortilla soup is a great option if you’re looking for a lighter and healthier meal. Unlike other soups that can be too heavy and filling, this one strikes the perfect balance. And the best part? It packs plenty of flavor thanks to the enchilada sauce, spices, and green chilis. It’s a crowd-pleaser and perfect for family dinners.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this copycat El Chico Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe is a must-try for anyone who enjoys a delicious and comforting bowl of soup on a cold day. This recipe is easy to follow and uses ingredients that are readily available at your local grocery store. Plus, with the option to make substitutions and variations, you can customize the recipe to your personal taste preferences.

Make sure to serve the soup with some tortilla chips, shredded white cheddar cheese, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice for an added burst of flavor. And if you really want to take it up a notch, add some sliced avocado or homemade tortilla strips for a satisfying crunch.

Whether you’re craving soup on a rainy day or looking for a new recipe to impress friends and family, this copycat El Chico Chicken Tortilla Soup will definitely hit the spot. So go ahead and give it a try – you won’t regret it!

Copycat El Chico Chicken Tortilla Soup

Copycat El Chico Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

This is my all time favorite chicken tortilla soup! I could eat it everyday!
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Course: Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: < 30 Mins, Chicken, Chicken Breast, Meat, Mexican, Poultry
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Calories: 582.4kcal


  • 4 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 10 ounces chicken breasts
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 5 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 4 ounces white cheddar cheese
  • 4 ounces tortilla chips
  • 2 avocados (diced)


  • 1. In a large sauce pan dissolve bouillon cubes in 4 cups boiling water.
  • 2. Add chicken to broth and simmer until cooked through.
  • 3. Remove chicken from pan and set aside to cool.
  • 4. Add tomato paste, chili powder, hot suace, onion flakes and lime juice to sauce pan and bring to a simmer while stirring.
  • 5. Salt to taste.
  • 6. Cut chicken into cubes.
  • 7. To serve place chicken, cheese, tortilla chips and avocado into bowls and pour broth over them.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 531g | Calories: 582.4kcal | Carbohydrates: 37.3g | Protein: 28.9g | Fat: 37.9g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 75.7mg | Sodium: 2137.1mg | Fiber: 10.7g | Sugar: 7.8g

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