This quick Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe uses salsa to deepen the flavor instantly. It’s delicious and ready in less than 15 minutes.
This quick tortilla soup starts with raw chicken, but is still ready really quickly. You can also make this using leftover chicken or turkey. It’s really full of Mexican flavors and it will shake up your Taco Tuesday. The key to all of that flavor so quickly is to use some salsa, and then to add some tasty toppings at the end, like chopped avocado, cilantro, and green onions.
Scroll down to read more about how it all comes together or click here to jump straight down to the recipe.
What Kind Of Tortillas?
For this quick tortilla soup, the tortilla chips are there to add some flavor and crunch at the end, so you have flexibility on what you use. I used store-bought baked corn tortilla chips. But you can bake your own tortillas into chips or make Air Fryer Tortilla Strips instead which is quick and easy.
Tip For Making Chicken Tortilla Soup Quickly
This chicken tortilla soup recipe is ready from start to finish in less than 15 minutes. But the ingredient that makes this soup so delicious in such a short time isn’t the tortilla chips. It’s tortilla chip’s best friend: Salsa!
You can find many varieties of salsa, from mild to very spicy. Whatever heat level you choose, it has a wonderful slow-simmered flavor. When you add it to soups, it makes the soup taste like it was simmering for hours, even if you only spent 15 minutes making it. Plus, since it already has tons of flavor from onions, jalapenos, garlic, and more, it cuts down on our ingredient list.
To make this soup as healthy as I can, I buy a salsa with as little sodium as possible and one that has whole ingredients like tomatoes, peppers, and onions.
So, we’ve covered the tortillas and the secret flavor-boosting ingredient of salsa. What other ingredients do we need for quick chicken tortilla soup?
The chicken, of course! I went with thin chicken cutlets here so that I could just cut them into thin strips for quick-cooking. You could use chicken breasts or chicken thighs, but make sure to cut them into thin slices or small dices to cook in time. On the other side of things, you could use already cooked chicken like leftover rotisserie chicken or slow cooked shredded chicken (or leftover turkey, or any other cooked meat). Just be mindful of any salt or seasonings the cooked chicken might already have and adjust accordingly.
We’ll also want chicken broth or stock, no or low-sodium, and a can of diced tomatoes for the base of the soup. Plus a can of black beans to stir in once the chicken is cooked.
The rest of the ingredients get added to the bowls of soup at the end. I like shredded cheese, green onions, avocado, and fresh cilantro. You could use sour cream and lime wedges if you’d like as well. It’s fun to set up little bowls with all the tasty toppings and let everyone add their favorites at the table.
More Chicken Soup Recipes
Love this recipe? Browse my full collection of soup recipes or try one of these great options, all featuring chicken.
- Chicken Enchilada Soup Recipe
- Chicken Burrito Soup
- Quick Chicken Noodle Soup
- Chicken and Dumpling Soup
- Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup
Podcast Episode About Making Chicken Tortilla Soup
Listen to me explain briefly about how to make this soup, along with some other great tips, by clicking the play button below:
This quick chicken tortilla soup recipe uses salsa to deepen the flavor instantly. The soup is ready in less than 15 minutes.
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup low-sodium chunky salsa
- 3/4 lb. thin chicken breast cutlets, sliced thinly*
- 1 (15.25 oz.) can black beans, drained
- 20 tortilla chips
- 1/2 cup shredded cheese
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1 avocado, pitted and chopped
- 20 fresh cilantro leaves
- Put a large pot or Dutch oven on the stove over high heat. Pour in the chicken stock, diced tomatoes, and salsa. Cover and let it come to a boil.
- When the stock mixture comes to a boil, add the chicken. Reduce heat to a low simmer until the chicken is cooked through, 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in the black beans and let them heat through for 30 seconds or so.
- Get out 5 soup bowls and crunch 2 tortillas into each one. Ladle soup into the bowls. Crunch another 2 tortillas onto the top of each. Garnish each serving with the cheese, green onion, avocado, and cilantro.
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*Alternatively, use cooked chicken or other cooked meat. Add it along with the beans and simmer just until heated through.
This post originally appeared in August 2014 and was revised and republished in November 2023.