This creamy chicken tortilla soup comes together quickly and only requires a pot and a blender or immersion blender. It keeps well in the fridge for lunches too.
When fall and winter hit, it’s officially soup season. Thankfully, soup is one meal I can almost guarantee my entire family will eat. It’s made in one pot (and a blender for this one), which makes clean-up easy and there’s typically leftovers which makes for the best, easy and healthy lunches in a pinch.
There’s two top favorites in our house. One is this amazing chicken noodle soup made with bone broth, and this creamy tortilla soup.
I’m from Texas and grew up on tortilla soup. There are so many different varieties, but this is one we keep coming back to. My family also loves this Mexican soup with hominy, which has a similar flavor profile, but isn’t pureed.
If you have kids, getting them to eat vegetables can be a challenge, and pureed soups like this hide all those veggies and allow you to get them in without the protests.
How to Make Tortilla Soup
Start by chopping up all of your produce like onions, jalapeños, corn tortillas and garlic and sautéing them in a bit of olive oil. Add spices like cumin that give the tortilla soup a nice smoky flavor, and tomato paste to give it a richer, tomatoey flavor.
Then add your canned tomatoes, green chiles and broth and bring it to a simmer.
Here’s the pro tip and the tip that keeps you from getting more pans dirty. Drop 2-3 chicken breasts, raw, into the simmering broth and simmer until they’re cooked through (don’t worry—the full instructions are below!). Pull them out and shred them with two forks.
After I shred it, I actually take my kitchen shears and cut the chicken into smaller bites for my kids.
Before adding the chicken back to the soup, you’ll pour the soup into a blender and blend until it’s smooth. Add the chicken and coconut milk and season to taste! Then you’ll serve it with fresh sliced avocado, chopped cilantro and more tortilla strips or crunchy chips—the chips are much easier in my opinion.
How Do You Make Tortilla Soup creamy?
You might be wondering, how on earth does this creamy chicken tortilla soup get creamy if there’s no dairy in it? The trick is adding corn tortillas to thicken the broth and make it feel more hearty.
Plus, the corn tortillas add so much amazing flavor that needs to be in tortilla soup. I mean, can you really call it tortilla soup if there’s no tortillas in it?
To give it a silky, creamy finish, at the end, you’ll mix in a small amount of coconut milk. It’s just enough to give it that extra creamy mouth feel. If you don’t have any coconut milk or don’t mind dairy, you can absolutely use milk or heavy cream, or skip it all together. The tortillas make it creamy enough as it is!
Is This Chicken Tortilla Soup Healthy?
It depends—this one is though! It’s made with almost all vegetables, a little bit of oil and no-dairy. If you prefer vegetarian, just skip the chicken. You could easily add corn, hominy (we’ve done this and it’s great), or black beans after you blend to give it a little more body.
What’s in this Easy Tortilla Soup?
All of the good stuff that you’d expect from a yummy and healthy recipe for tortilla soup :
- corn tortillas
- canned tomatos
- tomato paste
- green chiles
- chicken broth
Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe (Dairy-Free)
Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup
- 1 Tbso olive oil
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- 1/2 jalapeño pepper chopped
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 3 corn tortillas diced into small squares
- 3 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp cumin
- 1 28oz. can of whole tomatoes mostly strained
- 2 4oz. cans of mild green chiles
- 1 32oz. carton of chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 chicken breasts uncooked
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
- 1 avocado sliced
- tortilla strips or chips
- lime cut into wedges
- Heat olive oil over medium heat, when hot, add onion, jalapeño, garlic and the corn tortillas. Cook for about 5 minutes until veggies soften and tortilla starts breaking down.
- Add tomato paste and cumin and combine everything—toast for about a minute.
- Add strained tomatoes, green chiles and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer.
- Add chicken breasts and simmer for 20-25 minutes until they're cooked through. Remove from pot and shred with two forks.
- Keep chicken to the side and pour the broth into a blender, or use an immersion blender to blend until smooth and creamy.
- Add chicken back to the broth, add coconut milk and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve with sliced avocado, tortilla strips, cilantro and a squeeze of lime.
Looking at these pictures has me craving this soup all over again. Promise me something—you’ll try this one soon!