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Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

This Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe is positively perfect for the chilly fall and winter months. Simply add all of the ingredients to your slow cooker and slow cook to delicious perfection! Don’t forget your soup toppings, now!

Bowl of chicken tortilla soup with an avocado and limes around the sides.

After sharing my Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe, I wanted to follow up with a slow cooker versions for those who prefer using a crock pot over a pressure cooker.

This easy dump and go crock pot meal requires no more prep than simply adding every last ingredient to the slow cooker and pressing the go button!

A major win for those of us who love a delicious filling meal but don’t want to put a huge amount of time into preparing food.

The crispy tortilla strips are entirely optional, and you can save a lot of time by serving the soup with store-bought chips and/or chopping up some corn tortillas to add them to the soup.

Rather than using raw chicken, you can use leftover chicken (4 to 6 cups chopped or shredded recommended) or rotisserie chicken. 

In this sense, there are multiple ways you can simplify this already easy chicken tortilla soup.

Just be sure you don’t forget your favorite toppings! As we all know, well-curated soup toppings often send the whole experience to the next level.

White bowl of chicken tortilla soup with toppings.

What is Chicken Tortilla Soup made of?

While there are infinite variations on traditional chicken tortilla soup, the general consensus is that it includes some cut of chicken, chicken stock or chicken broth, either fresh tomatoes or some form of canned tomatoes, seasonings like ground cumin and chili powder, fresh garlic, onion, chiles, and fried tortilla strips.

The end result is a delicious soup with Tex-Mex flavors and tender chicken. 

Many people add some form of beans to the soup, including pinto beans, black beans, chickpeas, etc.

The best part is all of the ingredients for this easy crockpot chicken tortilla soup recipe can be found at any grocery store.

Let’s dive into the details of the basic ingredients for chicken tortilla soup.

Ingredients for Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup:

Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts or Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs: Pick up boneless chicken breasts, chicken tenders, or chicken thighs to make this delicious hearty soup. I prefer using chicken breasts for a lower fat version but I also love the rich flavor chicken thighs bring. 

Yellow Onion and Fresh Garlic: Adding bold flavors to the soup to give it that cozy appeal, onion and minced garlic cloves are important flavor makers here.

Seasonings: Chili powder, ground cumin, paprika, oregano, and sea salt are the seasonings we use to make chicken tortilla soup taste like the soup form of a delicious taco. You can adjust the amounts of these ingredients to your personal taste.

Crushed Tomatoes and Chicken Broth: The broth for chicken tortilla soup is a combination of a large can of crushed tomatoes and chicken broth.

If you have regular diced tomatoes or tomato sauce on hand, you can use either as a replacement for the crushed tomatoes.

Diced Green Chiles: A can of diced green chilies brings some fresh flavor and a little Mexican spunk to the meal.

Be sure the label on the can states that they are mild green chilis for mild soup, but you can use spicy green chilis for spicy soup just as easily.

Corn and Black Beans: Tossing in corn and black beans gives this soup a delicious heartiness and amazing flavor and texture.

The sweet corn brings a pop of sweetness to offset the acidity and the squishy black beans are oh so delicious and add fiber to the meal.

Corn Tortillas or Chips: You can either fry up your own tortilla strips using corn tortillas and a skillet, or you can buy corn chips from the grocery store. If you prefer adding chopped up corn tortillas to the soup for a non-fried option, that works too!

For Serving:

Pick your favorite toppings and go wild! I like sliced avocado, Greek yogurt (or sour cream) and sometimes grated cheese. You can also top the soup with fresh cilantro, salsa, hot sauce, etc.

Optional Additions:

  • If you love bell peppers, chop up on bell pepper (color of choice) and add it in.
  • ​Rather than using all of the seasonings listed in the recipe card, you can use 2 to 3 tablespoons of taco seasoning.
  • Use rotisserie chicken instead of raw chicken if you’d prefer.
  • For richer garlic flavor, add garlic or garlic powder to your personal taste.
  • I love fresh lime juice drizzled over my soup, so I recommend picking up some fresh limes.
  • For spicy soup, add cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, 1 to 2 fresh jalapeños, or hot sauce to your personal taste.
  • If you’re a vegetable lover, chop up your favorite fresh vegetables like carrots, zucchini, green beans, and broccoli and add them to the soup.
  • Skip the can of black beans and corn if you don’t do legumes or grains.
Ladle scooping out a scoop of chicken tortilla soup out of a crock pot.

Now that we’ve covered the simple ingredients list for this amazing slow cooker recipe, let’s make the best chicken tortilla soup!

How to Make Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup:

Add all of the ingredients for the slow cooker chicken tortilla soup to your crock pot. Note: there is no need to chop the chicken into bite sized pieces first, as we will be shredding it later.

Crock pot chicken tortilla soup ingredients in a slow cooker, ready to be mixed.

Give everything a big stir until the ingredients are well-distributed.

Ingredients for tortilla soup stirred in a crock pot, ready to cook.

Secure the lid on your crock pot and cook on High heat for 4 hours or Low heat for 6 to 8 hours. The cooking time on this slow cooker soup can be reduced to 3 hours on high if you’re using pre-cooked chicken. 

Once the soup has finished slow cooking, transfer the chicken breasts to a cutting board and use two forks to shred chicken to your desired consistency.

Shredded chicken on a cutting board.

Note: If you would prefer to chop the chicken ahead of time versus shredding it after cooking, feel free to do so!

Transfer the shredded chicken back to the crock pot and stir the soup well.

Shredded chicken on top of tortilla soup, ready to be mixed in.

If you’re serving the chicken tortilla soup with homemade tortilla strips, see instructions below. 

Serve soup in big bowls with tortilla strips (or chips), and your choice of toppings such as shredded cheese (such as Monterey jack cheese, cotija cheese, cheddar cheese, etc), sour cream, cilantro, green onions, fresh limes, diced avocado, and more.

If you want to get fancy, you can make my Avocado Dip and use it as a side dish for chips and dip or use it as a topping for the soup.

Big white bowl of chicken tortilla soup with toppings and avocado and limes in the background.

This amazing slow cooker chicken tortilla soup recipe tastes even better the next day and the 3-4 days following preparation. For this reason, don’t be afraid to make it several days ahead of time.

Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

You can freeze chicken tortilla soup by double bagging two large freezer bags and freezing for up to 3 months.

How to Fry Tortilla Strips:

Stack 6 to 8 corn tortillas on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to cut them into thin strips, about ¼-inch  to ½-inch wide.

Stack of corn tortillas on a cutting board, sliced into strips.

Heat ¼ cup of high temperature cooking oil such as avocado oil, canola oil or vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Wait a few minutes for the oil to heat up and become sizzling hot.

Carefully add 4 to 6 strips of corn tortillas at a time to the oil. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until the strips are golden brown and have reached your desired level of crisp.

Tortilla strips frying in oil in a skillet.

Transfer the crispy tortilla strips to a plate lined with a paper towel and repeat the process for the rest of the tortilla strips.

Fried corn tortilla strips on a paper towel.

You can either stir the crispy tortilla strips into the whole batch of soup or have everyone serve themselves individually by adding their desired amount of strips to their own bowls. 

Fried corn tortillas are best when served immediately, but you can add any leftover crispy tortilla strips to the leftover soup.

What to Serve with Chicken Tortilla Soup:

Looking for side dishes to enjoy alongside chicken tortilla soup? This delicious Mexican soup recipe pairs perfectly with Spanish rice (or Mexican rice), refried beans, and nachos. 

You can also keep it fresh by adding a vegetable side dish such as The Best Broccoli Salad, Cucumber Tomato Salad, or Avocado Salad

Nutrition Information:

When divided into 6 equal portions, this healthy soup recipe contains 384 calories, 5 grams of fat, 36 grams of carbs, 7 grams of fiber, and 46 grams of protein.

These nutrition facts are calculated based on the soup alone without toppings or tortilla strips. For me, this is a stellar macronutrient breakdown!

How many net carbs in chicken tortilla soup? Because there are 36 grams of carbs and 7 grams of fiber, there are 29 net carbohydrates per serving in this soup. 

How Do You Thicken Chicken Tortilla Soup?

If you love thick soups and stews, you can thicken chicken tortilla soup in one of two ways. The easiest way is to start with less liquid. 

Because I prefer my soups hearty with a high ratio of chunks to liquid, this is typically my approach and the same is the case with this recipe.

Nevertheless if you want the soup to be even thicker, you can add a thickening agent like flour, gluten-free flour, cornstarch, or tapioca flour. 

Either add 1 to 2 tablespoons of any of the above options or make a slurry (such as cornstarch slurry) by combining 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water and adding it to the crock pot when there is one hour left.

This will result in a thicker consistency, similar to a stew.

Looking to make creamy chicken tortilla soup? Add ½ cup to 1 cup of heavy cream or 4 ounces of cream cheese to the soup once it has finished cooking for a creamier consistency.

Big white bowl of chicken tortilla soup with avocado, sour cream, homemade tortilla strips and cilantro on top

And that’s it! An easy go-to healthy soup recipe the whole family is guaranteed to enjoy. Whip it up for special occasions or use this as a meal prep recipe for batch cooking weekday meals.

If you’re looking for more healthy soup recipes, be sure to try out these reader favorites!

More Healthy Soups:

Tortillas in our soup forever and always!

Big white bowl of chicken tortilla soup with avocado, sour cream, homemade tortilla strips and cilantro on top
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4.37 from 11 votes

Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

This easy slow cooker chicken tortilla soup recipe is loaded with delicious flavors and is so easy to customize with your favorite toppings! A family favorite for the chilly fall and winter months.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time4 hours
Course: Chicken Main Dishes, Main Dishes
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 384kcal
Author: Julia

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground paprika
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs or chicken breasts
  • 1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (7-oz) can diced green chilis
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (15-oz) can corn, drained
  • 1 (15-oz) can black beans, drained

Fried Corn Tortilla Strips (Optional):

For Serving:

  • Avocado diced
  • Shredded cheese
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Sour cream

Instructions

  • Add all of the soup ingredients to your crock pot. Note: there is no need to chop the chicken into bite sized pieces first, as we will be shredding it later.
  • Give everything a big stir until the ingredients are well-distributed.
  • Secure the lid on your crock pot and cook on High heat for 4 hours or Low heat for 6 to 8 hours. The cooking time on this slow cooker soup can be reduced to 3 hours on high if you’re using pre-cooked chicken.
  • Once the soup has finished slow cooking, transfer the chicken breasts to a cutting board and use two forks to shred chicken to your desired consistency. Note: If you would prefer to chop the chicken ahead of time versus shredding it after cooking, feel free to do so!
  • Transfer the shredded chicken back to the crock pot and stir the soup well.
  • If you’re serving the chicken tortilla soup with homemade tortilla strips, see instructions below.
  • Serve soup in big bowls with tortilla strips (or chips), and your choice of toppings such as shredded cheese (such as Monterey jack cheese, cotija cheese, cheddar cheese, etc), sour cream, cilantro, green onions, fresh limes, diced avocado, and more.

Homemade Tortilla Strips:

  • Stack 6 to 8 corn tortillas on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to cut them into thin strips, about ¼-inch to ½-inch wide.
  • Heat ¼ cup of high temperature cooking oil such as avocado oil, canola oil or vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Wait a few minutes for the oil to heat up and become sizzling hot. Carefully add 4 to 6 strips of corn tortillas at a time to the oil. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side or until the strips are golden brown and have reached your desired level of crisp.
  • Transfer the crispy tortilla strips to a plate lined with a paper towel and repeat the process for the rest of the tortilla strips.
  • You can either stir the crispy tortilla strips into the whole batch of soup or have everyone serve themselves individually by adding their desired amount of strips to their own bowls.

Notes

This easy slow cooker chicken tortilla soup recipe tastes even better the next day and the 3-4 days following preparation. For this reason, don’t be afraid to make it several days ahead of time.
Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
You can freeze chicken tortilla soup by double bagging two large freezer bags and freezing for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving (of 6) | Calories: 384kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 46g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 100mg | Sodium: 986mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 8g
Recipe Rating




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