I honestly have no idea how I have never added a chicken tortilla soup recipe to the blog before. It’s probably my favorite kind of soup ever, yet I haven’t ever made it for myself.
What’s up with that?
And, oh my, it was amazing.
Not only did this soup make my house smell absolutely lovely, but it was hearty, flavorful, and so, so comforting – just what I love about chicken tortilla soup.
Using all fresh ingredients for this recipe makes such a difference. I used fresh tomatoes instead of diced tomatoes and really liked how the flavor turned out. I also like adding some of the tortilla strips into the slow cooker in the beginning so they work to thicken the soup slightly as they dissolve into the liquidy tortilla soup goodness int he crock pot, slowly, throughout the day.
And, in line with splurging, I had to make my own tortilla strips. Please do this as well. Your tastebuds will thank you ever so much.
Making the fried tortilla strips takes just about 10 minutes from start to finish and I recommend doing it right before serving so they’re nice and crispy to add as a topping to the soup. Just a handful will do. Be strong.
To that end, a lot of what really makes chicken tortilla soup great are all of the toppings you can add which add more depth of flavor, texture, and interest to the soup. Popular toppings are the tortilla strips, sliced or diced avocado, fresh tomatoes or salsa, shredded cheddar and/or jack cheese, a dollop of plain greek yogurt, and freshly squeezed lime juice.
Choose all of them or just a few, but please – oh please – choose toppings. 🙂
I’ve also found that cooking chicken breast along with chicken thighs does a few amazing things in the slow cooker. One, it makes the final chicken way more flavorful and juice (versus just breasts by themselves). Two, it allows you to get the lower fat, healthier chicken breast without sacrificing on flavor or texture.
I hope you enjoy this tortilla soup recipe as much as I do. It’s easy to make and perfect for a fall day!
Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
- 1 lb. chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
- 1 lb. chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
- 4 large (approx. 4 cups) vine-ripened tomatoes, diced
- ½ red onion, diced
- ½ yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
- ½ jalapeño, minced (seeds and membrane removed)
- 1½ tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- ½ tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- ½ tsp. paprika
- ½ tsp. dried basil
- ½ tsp. dried oregano
- ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp. lime juice (approx. ½ lime, plus more for garnish)
- 1½ cups frozen corn kernels
- 2 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
- 6 corn tortillas, sliced into strips, divided
- ¼ cup olive oil, for frying the tortilla strips
- avocado, sliced for topping
- Lay the chicken into the bowl of a slow cooker.
- Top with the diced tomatoes, red onion, yellow onion, garlic, chicken stock, jalapeño, cumin, salt, pepper, chili powder, paprika, basil, oregano, cayenne, lime juice, corn, and cilantro. Stir to combine.
- Take 2 of the 6 corn tortillas (cut into strips) into the liquid in the slow cooker. This will thicken the broth and will dissolve as it cooks.
- Cover, and cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
- Once chicken is tender and can easily be pulled apart, remove from the pot and shred using your fingers (if cool enough) or use two forks. Shred into bite-size pieces and then return to the pot, stirring to incorporate.
- When ready to serve, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a wide pan. Slice the remaining 6 tortillas into thin, long strips.
- In batches, lightly fry the tortilla strips in the oil until golden brown and crispy. Remove and lay on paper towel to drain. Lightly sprinkle with salt, if desired.
- To serve, ladle the soup into a bowl. Top with the sliced avocado and fried tortilla strips. Squeeze a little more lime juice over top, if you'd like.
This post was originally posted on September 17, 2015 and republished on November 4, 2016 to include a new recipe video.
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