This soup tastes like a chicken burrito and you’ve probably got most of the ingredients already!
This Burrito Soup recipe is simple to make with a handful of pantry staples you might already have on hand, like Spanish rice and refried beans, and tastes just like a chicken burrito. And with the optional toppings, everyone in the family can make it their own.
You’ll want to make this in a Dutch oven or large stock pot to give the ingredients plenty of room to build lots of flavor into the soup base.
Are Poblano Peppers Hot?
Compared to jalapeno peppers, poblano peppers offer a barely-there, mild heat that mellows during the cooking process. The charring of the onions and peppers, which is the first step in making this recipe, also brings out the sweetness in the peppers and helps to give the soup a “simmered all day” flavor.
To achieve this quickly, cut the onions and peppers into small pieces, no larger than ¼-inch, and add them, along with salt, to a stock pot with very hot oil, over medium-high heat. Stir for a few seconds and then leave the onions and peppers alone for a good three minutes. Don’t stir them, don’t shake the pan, just leave the vegetables in one spot.
Give everything a stir after three minutes, and leave the vegetables alone again; repeat this until the onions and peppers start to char on one side, which will take about 10 minutes. The rest of the soup comes together quickly after this, so be sure that all of your ingredients are measured and packages and cans are opened and ready to go.
How To Make Burrito Soup That Tastes Like A Burrito
Add the tomato paste and garlic to the pan and stir for about 30 seconds to cook the raw flavor out of the tomato paste. Pour in the entire box of Spanish rice, including any seasoning packets that were included, and stir until everything is well coated in the tomato paste. This will help toast and bloom some of the spices from the rice seasoning, and will continue to help the tomato paste caramelize and deepen in flavor.
Note that you can use plain uncooked long-grain white rice instead of Spanish rice. Simply use 1 cup of the rice and add in 2 teaspoons of chili powder and 1 teaspoon of ground cumin.
Then, add the chicken stock and refried beans all at once, and stir until the beans are mostly smooth. Drop in the chicken tenderloins and bring the pot to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat so that the soup is simmering, and let it cook for 15 minutes, stirring every once in a while. Shred the chicken directly in the pot, and let everything continue cooking for another five to seven minutes.
At first, the soup will have a loose, creamy soup consistency but will continue to thicken as the rice absorbs more of the liquid, eventually becoming more like a hearty chili. If you prefer more of a soup-like consistency, add more chicken stock and adjust the salt as needed.
If you are saving any leftovers, the rice will continue to absorb the liquid while it’s in the refrigerator, so to reheat, mix in a little chicken stock to loosen the consistency.
How To Make Crispy Tortilla Strips
One of my favorite garnishes for this soup, and one that really makes it taste like a chicken burrito, is are some crispy flour tortilla strips. You can absolutely just use some crushed tortilla chips, but the flavor of the flour tortillas is more similar to a burrito tortilla’s flavor.
My favorite way to make tortilla strips is in the air fryer, as explained fully here. Briefly, to make them: Cut about 8 flour tortillas into ⅛-inch strips and transfer them to a large bowl. Spray the strips with olive oil spray and toss to coat, then sprinkle with salt. Place the oiled, salted tortilla strips into the air fryer at 400°F for about 6 minutes (longer if you like them super crunchy), and set those aside to cool until the soup is ready.
You can alternatively cook them in a non-stick skillet. Put the sprayed tortilla strips into the skillet set over medium heat, arranging them in a single layer. Allow to toast underneath, 3-4 minutes and then stir. Once they are crisped up, remove them immediately from the skillet so that they don’t continue to darken and get bitter.
How To Garnish Burrito Soup
Part of the fun of this soup is the toppings. I like to put together a handful of favorites, like shredded cheddar, sliced green onion, sour cream, cilantro, and of course the crispy tortilla strips. Crumbled queso fresco, avocado, roasted corn, jalapenos, pico de gallo, chopped tomatoes or radishes, or even black beans also make great toppings.
More Chicken Soup Recipes
Podcast Episode: Making Burrito Soup
Listen to learn how to make this recipe, along with some great tips from Christine by clicking the play button below:Print
This Burrito Soup recipe is simple to make with a handful of pantry staples you might already have on hand, and tastes just like a chicken burrito. Garnish with crispy flour tortilla strips, shredded cheddar, sour cream, sliced green onion, and cilantro.
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium onion, small dice
- 2 medium poblano peppers, seeded, small dice
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled, minced
- 1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
- 1 (6.8 oz.) box Spanish rice with seasoning*
- 6 cups chicken stock**
- 1 (16 oz.) can refried beans
- 8 chicken tenderloins
- In a Dutch oven or 8-quart stock pot heat oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Stir in onion, poblano peppers, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion and peppers are lightly charred, about 10 minutes.
- Add garlic and tomato paste. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds.
- Stir in Spanish rice mix, including any seasonings in the package, and stir until well coated in tomato paste.
- Add chicken stock and refried beans, stir until smooth. Add chicken. Bring to boiling, reduce to a simmer. Cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Shred chicken directly in pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5-7 minutes more or until rice is fully cooked. Serve warm.
*Brands of boxed Spanish rice with seasoning can range from 6.75, 6.8, and even 6.9 ounces. Anything within the 6-ounce range will work in this recipe, however, when given a choice, aim for the smallest weight. Zataran’s Spanish Rice was used while testing this recipe. Note that you can use plain uncooked long-grain white rice instead of Spanish rice. Simply use 1 cup of the rice and add in 2 teaspoons of chili powder and 1 teaspoon of ground cumin.
**The soup will become thicker the longer it sits, almost like a chili. For a thinner consistency, stir in an additional cup of chicken stock at a time until desired consistency is reached and adjust salt as needed.