Warm Your Soul with this Hearty Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

Chicken tortilla soup is one of those dishes that never ceases to amaze me. There’s something so comforting about the texture, warmth, and flavor palette in this dish that makes it an all-time favorite. Every time I make it, I like to tweak the recipe to add something different or take things away until I get it right.

Throughout my culinary career, I’ve made more naughty things than I can count. But, when it comes to the things I do for chicken tortilla soup, I turn into a true kitchen rebel. This recipe has everything: juicy chicken breasts simmered in a savory broth with canned tomatoes, diced onions, minced garlic, and cilantro; topped with crispy tortilla chips and creamy avocado slices.

I’ve been making this chicken tortilla soup recipe for years and trust me when I say that it’s worth every single “naughty” thing you do to make it!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

The Naughty Things I Do for Chicken Tortilla Soup
The Naughty Things I Do for Chicken Tortilla Soup

Are you tired of bland and boring soups? Look no further than my Naughty Things I Do for Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe. This soup will awaken your taste buds with its hearty blend of chicken, beans, and spices.

One of the best things about this recipe is its versatility. You can easily swap out ingredients to suit your preferences. Feeling spicy? Add some extra Tabasco sauce or jalapeños. Want to make it vegetarian? Simply omit the chicken and use vegetable broth instead.

The addition of lime juice and cilantro gives this soup a burst of fresh flavor that will transport you straight to a beachside cantina. And who doesn’t love a big handful of crunchy tortilla chips on top?

But what takes this soup from good to great is the naughty things chicken element. Cooking the chicken in olive oil adds richness and depth to the flavor that can’t be replicated with boiled chicken breasts. Trust me, once you try it, you’ll never go back.

So why will you love this recipe? Because it’s customizable, bursting with flavor, and has that little bit of indulgence that we all crave in our comfort food.

Ingredient List

 A steamy, spicy bowl of soup just ready to be devoured.
A steamy, spicy bowl of soup just ready to be devoured.

Hola amigos! You may be surprised to know that making my Naughty Things I Do for Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe is as easy as pie. To help you get started, here’s a list of what you’ll need to make it.


  • Chicken: You can use any cut of chicken you like, but for this recipe, I prefer chicken breasts. They are lean, tender and cook quickly.

  • Chicken broth: A good-quality broth is the key to a flavorful soup. I use low-sodium chicken broth.

  • Canned tomatoes: I prefer canned whole peeled tomatoes because they have a better flavor than diced or crushed tomatoes. Make sure they are undrained.

  • Onion and garlic: These aromatic ingredients add depth of flavor to the soup.

  • Lime: Lime adds acidity and brightness to this soup.

  • Tortilla chips: This crunchy topping gives a wonderful texture to the soup.

  • Avocados: Add some sliced avocados on top of the soup for a rich flavor and velvety texture.

  • Monterey Jack Cheese: Grated Monterey Jack cheese gives the soup a creamy, cheesy finish.

  • Tabasco sauce: This hot sauce makes the soup spicy and flavorful. If you don’t like spicy food, feel free to skip it.

  • Sugar: Just a little bit of sugar balances the acidity of the tomatoes.

  • Cilantro and parsley: Fresh herbs add vibrant color and fresh aroma to the soup.

  • Olive oil: Use it for sautéing onions and garlic.

In addition to these key ingredients, feel free to add other vegetables or toppings such as black beans or sour cream.

The Recipe How-To

 A play of colors and textures, this is the soup of your dreams.
A play of colors and textures, this is the soup of your dreams.

Prepare the Vegetables and the Chicken

First thing’s first, it’s time to prepare the vegetables and chicken. For the vegetables, start by mincing 2 garlic cloves and dicing 1 onion. Then, heat up a large saucepan over medium heat with 1 tablespoon olive oil.

Sauté the garlic and onions for about 2-3 minutes or until they’re softened. After that, add in one can of diced tomatoes (undrained) and about a handful of chopped cilantro. Let it simmer for a few minutes until the mixture thickens. In a blender, combine the vegetable mixture together with 2 tablespoons of sugar and pulse until chunky.

Next thing to prepare is the chicken. Cut 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts into small pieces.

Cook the Chicken Tortilla Soup

Once everything is prepared, it’s time to cook the chicken tortilla soup!

Now, bring your chunky vegetable mixture back to the large saucepan (where you previously sautéed the onions and garlic,) add in 6 cups of chicken broth, and stir well. Bring to a boil then reduce heat down to low. Add in your previously cut chicken pieces then let it simmer for around 20-25 minutes until fully cooked.

Top It Off with Your Favorite Ingredients

Finally, you can dish out your naughty take on chicken tortilla soup! Plate your soup into bowls and don’t forget to top them off with some favorite ingredients like tortilla chips, sliced avocado, freshly grated Monterey Jack cheese, chopped fresh parsley, some dashes of Tabasco sauce if that’s your thing. And before serving, add a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

This recipe is perfect for anyone looking for an easy-to-follow tortilla soup recipe with a bit of naughty twist!

Substitutions and Variations

 A hearty and comforting soup for those cold and rainy nights.
A hearty and comforting soup for those cold and rainy nights.

This recipe for chicken tortilla soup is already a flavorful and hearty meal, but there are ways to mix it up and experiment with different ingredients. Here are some substitutions and variations that you can try:

– Black beans: If you want to add some fiber and protein to the soup, you can include a can of black beans. Rinse them thoroughly before adding them to the vegetable mixture.

– Sweet potato: Replace the white potato with a sweet potato or yam for a more colorful and nutrient-dense soup.

– Different cheese: While Monterey Jack cheese is recommended in this recipe, feel free to use cheddar or pepper jack for a stronger flavor.

– Corn: You can add corn kernels to the soup or use frozen corn instead of canned tomatoes.

– Cumin: Add a teaspoon of cumin or chili powder for added flavor.

– Vegetable broth: If you’re looking to make a vegetarian option, you can swap the chicken broth with vegetable broth instead.

– Different meat: Substitute the chicken breasts with diced cooked pork, beef, or shrimp for a different twist on this classic soup recipe.

– Spicier version: If you like spices, add more Tabasco sauce, diced jalapeños or hot sauce for an extra kick.

Remember that cooking is all about experimentation, so don’t be afraid to try something new. And always keep an open mind – who knows what kind of delicious concoction you might create!

Serving and Pairing

 The goodness of this soup lies in its layers of flavors.
The goodness of this soup lies in its layers of flavors.

After hours of cooking and taking in the aroma of your chicken tortilla soup, it’s finally time to serve it up. Serve your soup nice and hot, topped with crispy tortilla chips, fresh cilantro, and diced ripe avocados. Other toppings can include a dollop of sour cream or shredded Monterey Jack cheese.

Chicken tortilla soup pairs well with rice, Mexican cornbread or a simple side salad. I personally like to pair this soup with a light and refreshing beverage, such as a chilled glass of lemonade or limeade. The zesty citrus flavor of these drinks nicely complements the bold and savory taste of the soup.

For those who enjoy wine, a crisp Sauvignon Blanc or dry Riesling would make a lovely pairing with chicken tortilla soup. However, for those who prefer beer, try serving this soup with a chilled Corona or Dos Equis lager to enhance the flavors of the dish.

Overall, chicken tortilla soup is very versatile and can be served alongside many different dishes for a hearty meal that is sure to satisfy any appetite.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Melt-in-your-mouth chicken, the real star of this soup.
Melt-in-your-mouth chicken, the real star of this soup.

This chicken tortilla soup is a perfect dish to make ahead of time, as it keeps well in the refrigerator for up to four days. The flavors actually intensify over time, making each bowlful all the more satisfying. When ready to eat, simply reheat the soup either in a microwave or on the stovetop. Add more broth if necessary to thin it out, and taste for seasoning before serving.

For those who want to freeze the soup for later use, it’s best to do so without adding the tortilla chips and avocados. Simply ladle individual portions into freezer-safe containers and store for up to three months. When ready to enjoy, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat as desired.

One quick tip: if you want to make this chicken tortilla soup part of your meal prep routine, make a double batch and freeze individual portions for easy lunches or dinners throughout the week. You’ll be thankful you did when you’re craving a hearty and healthy meal but don’t have any energy left to prepare one from scratch.

Overall, this recipe is versatile and forgiving enough that even leftovers are delicious – maybe even better – than the original dish. So feel free to reheat your chicken tortilla soup multiple times without worrying about compromising its flavor and texture.

Tips for Perfect Results

When it comes to chicken tortilla soup, it’s all about the toppings that take this soup to the next level. Here are some tips to help you make the perfect bowl:

1. Crunchy Toppings Make a Difference

Crunchy toppings like tortilla chips add great texture to your soup. It’s essential to use them when serving. Crush the tortilla chips and sprinkle generously on top of your chicken tortilla soup before you serve, this creates an added texture experience to the dish.

2. Use Fresh Avocado

Avocado is a staple topping for any Mexican meal, and it is no exception in chicken tortilla soup. The creamy, buttery flavor and texture of fresh avocado contrast perfectly with spicy ingredients like Tabasco sauce. For best results, remove the pit and slice the avocado into small pieces, cubes or simply halve slices if you must.

3. Cheese is Always Welcome

A lot of people swear by Monterey Jack cheese as the best cheese for chicken tortilla soup. This cheese will melt easily over your hot soup, creating a rich and flavorful consistency that beautifully complements the other flavors in the soup.

4. Squeeze Lime on Top

A quick squeeze of lime right before eating adds extra flavor and zing to tortilla chicken soup, with an added bonus of vitamin C! You’re going to want to put some lime wedges near your dish so guests can give their bowls a quick squeeze before digging in.

5. Soup-Making Hydration is Key

When working with garlic or other spicy ingredients, chop a few stems of cilantro and parsley finely and mix with water in an ice tray place in the freezer for later use. With more broth than solids in many soups we want to maintain seasoning balance even as we add liquid to our bowls for each meal time. Adding frozen seasoning ice cubes will complete not just the presentation of your dish but also intensify its aroma when serving.

By following these tips, I guarantee that your chicken tortilla soups will always come out full of flavor and style!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this chicken tortilla soup recipe is sure to become your new favorite. The combination of flavors in this soup is simply irresistible, and the naughty things I do for it are well worth it.

With a base of chicken broth and canned tomatoes, this soup is packed with protein and essential nutrients. The addition of garlic, onion, cilantro, and sugar add depth and complexity to the flavor profile. And let’s not forget the toppings – a generous amount of tortilla chips, creamy avocado slices, and gooey Monterey Jack cheese take this soup to the next level.

Whether you’re looking for a cozy weeknight dinner or a crowd-pleasing party dish, this chicken tortilla soup recipe is guaranteed to satisfy. So go ahead, indulge in some naughty things for the sake of good food. You won’t regret it.

The Naughty Things I Do for Chicken Tortilla Soup

The Naughty Things I Do for Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

El Fenix Restaurant is a Dallas institution open since 1913. I had my first job waiting tables there and had a bowl of this soup everyday. I won't bother you with the details of what I had to do to get this coveted recipe out of temperamental Chef Jorge... but it is illegal in about half of the states.
No ratings yet
Print Pin
Course: Appetizer/Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: < 60 Mins, Brunch, Very Low Carbs
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Calories: 575.8kcal


  • 14 1/2 ounces canned tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro or 2 tablespoons parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • salt and pepper
  • Tabasco sauce
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 2 chicken breasts, boiled, deboned and cubed
  • 2 cups monterey jack cheese, cubed
  • 2 medium avocados, cubed
  • tortilla chips
  • lime


  • In blender combine undrained tomatoes, onion, garlic, cilantro and sugar.
  • Pulse in blender until chunky.
  • In large saucepan, add vegetable mixture and chicken broth and chicken pieces.
  • Simmer 20 minutes, season to taste.
  • To serve:
  • Place cheese, avocado, and broken chips on bottom of bowl. Pour very hot soup over this in bowl. Sprinkle with fresh green onion tops and cilantro/parsley.
  • Sprinkle with lime juice, if desired.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 477g | Calories: 575.8kcal | Carbohydrates: 17.3g | Protein: 38.3g | Fat: 40.5g | Saturated Fat: 15.4g | Cholesterol: 96.7mg | Sodium: 1437.3mg | Fiber: 8.3g | Sugar: 5.7g

Recommended Recipes Just For You