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Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup

creamy chicken tortilla soup recipeHere in DC, we are in the throws of full-blown fall. The trees have finally changed, the air is crispy, and I pulled out the sweaters this week. It seemed like fall was slow to start here. One of the things that I love the most about being an Eastcoaster again is fall. Fall here is like none other. Having lived out West and in the Midwest, I feel like I can have an opinion without passing judgement. Fall is my favorite season no matter where we live, but fall on the East coast is truly a special and beautiful time.

When I think of fall, I think of soup. All I really want to eat is soup. In fact, I eat a bowl of soup almost every day for lunch. I love the warming and comforting qualities a bowl of soup has on me. Since my kids went back to school all day, I have a lot of time to myself. It can be isolating and I often find myself (even as I type this) working from the coffee shop down the street. They have the best soup ever. Everything is homemade and every day there is a new bowl to try. I love it. It has inspired me to venture out of my same-four-soup recipes and try some new ones.

This weekend I saw Trisha Yearwood make a Creamy Tortilla Soup to serve after trick-or-treating. My mom always made a big pot of chili for my brother and sister and our friends after we finished gathering our loot. Now I understand why she made chili. It can made ahead of time and kept on the stove over gentle heat until everyone was ready to serve themselves a bowl. She kept all of the toppings next to the pot with bowls and spoons and we could help ourselves. I remember feeling very grown up topping my chili. My friends all loved it too. Trisha was saying this soup is her post-Trick-or-Treating meal and it has a lot of the same qualities. Make ahead, can stay on the stove, lots of toppings, super fun.

I changed up her recipe a little to make it suit my taste more, and I have to say, I love how it turned out. I added peppers, red and yellow for color (and I had some I needed to use in my fridge), and some very finely chopped habanero pepper. Got rid rid of the canned soup. Added way more cheese at the end. Before I began my Sargento Flavor Journey, I really never cooked or ate habaneros. Now I use them any time a recipe calls for jalapeno. Yes, they have a lot of heat, but a little goes a long way. My children ate this soup too, so it was fairly mild, but it does have heat, just not too spicy. This soup will be in heavy rotation at my house. The ingredient list might look daunting, but it is mostly spices and a few cans. You could also use leftover chicken or a rotisserie and soup will be on the table in no time.

creamy chicken tortilla soup recipe

1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
1 Tablespoon taco seasoning
3 Tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1 habanero pepper, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon oregano
Salt and pepper
3 Tablespoons flour
1 (32-ounce) box chicken stock
2 cups half-and-half
1 can Rotel
1 can red kidney beans, drained
1 can black beans, drained
2 ears fresh corn or 1 cup frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup fresh cilantro

Tortilla chips
Sargento® Traditional Cut Shredded Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Sargento® Traditional Cut Shredded Pepper Jack Cheese
Sour cream
Avocado

chicken tortilla soup recipeHeat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Toss chicken with taco seasoning and add to the pan in batches. When the chicken is browned, remove and transfer to a plate. Cook the rest of the chicken and set aside.

creamy tortilla soup recipeI used a red and yellow habanero. Depending on the store where I buy them, I have found them in various colors. They all taste the same to me. Just be sure to handle them carefully, I always wear gloves when I work with them, and chop them finely. You don’t want a big bite of pepper, especially when you are serving this to children.

creamy chicken tortilla soup recipeAdd butter to the empty pot and melt. Add onion, all peppers, and garlic. Cook until soft, about 10 minutes.

creamy chicken tortilla soup recipeAdd the spices and cook for an additional minute.
Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup recipeAdd the flour and cook for one minute longer.

Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup recipeAdd the broth and half-and-half. Bring to a bubble.

Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup recipeReduce heat to low, and add the chicken back to the pot. Add Rotel, beans and corn.

Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup recipeSimmer for 20 minutes, being careful to not bring to a boil.

Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup recipeRight before serving, stir in chopped cilantro.

Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup recipeCrumble tortilla chips in the bottom of a bowl.

Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup recipeLadle soup on top and add a generous amount of cheese. Garnish with sour cream and avocado.

Print

Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup


Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 habanero pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 (32-ounce) box chicken stock
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 can Rotel
  • 1 can red kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 2 ears fresh corn or 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • Tortilla chips
  • Sargento® Traditional Cut Shredded Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • Sargento® Traditional Cut Shredded Pepper Jack Cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Avocado slices

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Toss chicken with taco seasoning and add to the pan in batches. When the chicken is browned, remove and transfer to a plate. Cook the rest of the chicken and set aside.
  2. Add butter to the empty pot and melt. Add onion, all peppers, and garlic. Cook until soft, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the spices and cook for an additional minute. Add the flour and cook for one minute longer.
  4. Add the broth and half-and-half. Bring to a bubble. Reduce heat to low, and add the chicken back to the pot. Add Rotel, beans and corn. Simmer for 20 minutes, being careful to not bring to a boil.
  5. Right before serving, stir in chopped cilantro.
  6. Crumble tortilla chips in the bottom of a bowl. Ladle soup on top and add a generous amount of cheese. Garnish with sour cream and avocado.

 **This post is a part of my ongoing collaboration with Sargento Cheese. All opinions are 100% my own.**

 

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  1. Lindsay @ Life, Love and Sugar

    October 29th, 2013 at 11:03 am

    This sounds and looks delicious! Beautiful pictures – pinned!

  2. bakedbree

    October 30th, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    thanks for the pin!

  3. Pam

    December 28th, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    I made this tonight and it was a hit! My family loved it. Thanks so much for sharing. I also bought the ingredients for lasagna soup. Can’t wait!

  4. bakedbree

    December 31st, 2013 at 11:42 am

    You are so welcome! Lasagna soup is one of my all-time favorites.

  5. June G.

    October 29th, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    I saw Trisha’s recipe, but wasn’t thrilled about the canned soup. I’ll give your recipe a go:) I love soup!

  6. bakedbree

    October 30th, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    I am not a fan of creamed soup either.

  7. Tieghan Gerard

    October 29th, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    We always have pizza or chili on Halloween! It is the perfect food for after tricker treating!

    This soup looks so creamy, cozy and perfect! I have only made tortilla soup once, but it was not creamy. This looks and sounds so much better! I have to give it a try!

  8. bakedbree

    October 30th, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    I like it both ways, creamy and brothy. Pizza would be good too.

  9. Courtney

    October 29th, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    Even though it is still in the 80s down here in Louisiana, I cannot wait to try this. Thanks for sharing!

  10. bakedbree

    October 30th, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    You are very welcome!

  11. Loretta

    October 30th, 2013 at 10:03 am

    Gorgeous! I could literally eat soup like this everyday when it’s cold out!

  12. bakedbree

    October 30th, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    Me. Too.

  13. Kathy

    October 31st, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    This looks fabulous! I like that it is creamy. Pinning!

  14. bakedbree

    November 4th, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    Thanks for the pin!

  15. Lori Pare

    October 31st, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    I made this today and served it for lunch with a friend. She loved it. My husband had it for dinner…he HATES soup, but had two huge bowls and told me it was a keeper. I love the creaminess and all the flavor!

  16. bakedbree

    November 4th, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    I am so glad! I love this soup too. Maybe now he will be a soup lover?

  17. kelly

    November 2nd, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    hi! i just had to drop a note saying how amazing this soup is! recently, i have started on the long journey of teaching myself how to cook and this recipe was easy and actually delivered on all it promised! thank you! cooking for others still makes me pretty nervous, but now i have a go-to soup that i can confidently serve to friends + family!

  18. bakedbree

    November 4th, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    I am so glad! Cooking is so much fun.

  19. Martha

    November 3rd, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    Hi! Love your site! Love the step by step with pictures. Made this soup tonight my husband said it was the best thing I ever made!!! Can you freeze this soup?

  20. Martha

    November 3rd, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    This soup was delicious! Can you freeze it??

  21. Martha Lincoln

    November 4th, 2013 at 7:53 am

    This soup was delicious. Can you freeze it?

  22. bakedbree

    November 4th, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    I don’t think so. I don’t think that cream freezes well.

  23. Phil @ what soup maker

    November 4th, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    That’s one of the reasons i love the fall…soup season and reading all the soup recipes like yours giving me ideas to keep me going.

  24. bakedbree

    November 4th, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    Me. Too. Please do, I cannot get enough soup either.

  25. Jeanne

    November 5th, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    Made your soup tonight and I had to tell you it is absolutely fantastic !
    I changed things up a bit but it still turned out and I will definitely make this again!
    Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe.

  26. bakedbree

    November 6th, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    I am so glad!

  27. Michelle

    November 6th, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Can I throw all this in the crockpot you think?

  28. bakedbree

    November 6th, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    I honestly don’t know. I am not sure how it would work with the roux.

  29. Kelly

    November 20th, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    Made this tonight. We used shredded chicken breast instead but changed nothing else. It was delish!

  30. Megan

    December 5th, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    This is the best soup EVER! I did have one question- do I use chicken broth or stock? I used broth the last time and it turned out great so maybe it doesn’t matter? Just checking…

  31. bakedbree

    December 14th, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    I use whatever I have in the house.

  32. Beth

    December 11th, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    I have made this over and over again since finding it on Pinterest… we LOVE it!

  33. bakedbree

    December 14th, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    I am so glad!

  34. susan

    December 14th, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    Wanted to make a comment about freezing it and the slow cooker.
    usually with creamed soups freezing you can but only for 2 weeks, you could omit the cream and add later to beable to freeze longer, with the slow cooker they always have you add the cream after like 30 mins before you serve it. with a roux you have to do that on the stove then add to the slow cooker 30mins or more before serving.
    Hopes this helps.

  35. Tonya

    January 3rd, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    Made this tonight with a few changes. I boiled my chicken then shredded it. I used the stock from this instead of can stock. I used 2 heaping spoons of coconut oil instead of butter and used gluten free flour. I only used 1 can of black beans that I had drained and rinsed. Added the juice of 1 lime, 1 can of Rotel, and 8 oz of sharp cheddar cheese. Turned out AWESOME!! Perfect for this very cold night!!

  36. bakedbree

    January 5th, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Sounds good!

  37. Shayne

    February 5th, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    How many people will this feed? I would like to make this for a big pot luck dinner (for 14 adults).

  38. bakedbree

    February 5th, 2014 at 11:20 pm

    I’d double it. I’d say 6?

  39. Kristi Van Vuren

    February 17th, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    I made this tonight for supper. My son, husband and I just loved it! I used a small can of green chiles since I didn’t have jalapenos and used white beans instead of black beans.I used olive oil instead of butter and I brushed 2 flour tortillas with canola oil and baked them in the oven at 350 degrees for 5-6 minutes, cut them into strips and they were so good with the soup! This was the perfect soup for this snowy, cold day! Thanks for the recipe!

  40. bakedbree

    February 21st, 2014 at 8:41 am

    Sounds good! Glad that you liked it!

  41. Tara

    March 6th, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    Thank you for the delicious recipe!! I made this Gluten Free and it was delicious. To do that, instead of adding in the flour, I mixed 6 Tbsp Corn Starch with 6 Tbsp COLD water. Add in the broth, half and half and bring to a bubble. Pour in your corn starch and water mixture and let it bubble for a minute or so. Reduce to low and add in the rest of the ingredients!! Super yummy and will for sure be added to my rotation! 🙂

  42. bakedbree

    March 10th, 2014 at 8:49 am

    Thanks for sharing!

  43. Lorrie

    March 20th, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    Hi Bree! This soup is simmering away as I type. Smells yummy! Just thought I’d let you know the can of Rotel is missing from your 2nd ingredient list. Will tell you how the soup turned out!

  44. bakedbree

    March 24th, 2014 at 8:39 am

    Thank you!

  45. Lorrie

    March 20th, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    The soup turned out delicious! I couldn’t find a habanero so I substituted a Scotch Bonnet — was worried it would be too hot, but the heat mellowed after simmering. Thanks, Bree!

  46. bakedbree

    March 24th, 2014 at 8:38 am

    They are actually the same. I am glad that you liked it!

  47. Traci

    November 2nd, 2014 at 5:48 am

    Made this soup for dinner tonight and it was delicious! Subbed chicken breasts with Costco rotisserie chicken then followed the rest of the recipe exactly as written and it came out perfect. Will definitely make this again. Thanks for the great recipe!!!

  48. bakedbree

    November 2nd, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    I’m so glad! I love this soup too. I haven’t made it in awhile, I need to.

  49. Christine Rice

    November 3rd, 2014 at 9:33 am

    Yummy! Made this soup last night for the family and it was a huge hit! Thanks for a wonderful soup!

  50. bakedbree

    November 6th, 2014 at 11:56 am

    You are so welcome, I am so glad that it was a hit.

  51. Deb

    January 18th, 2015 at 11:35 am

    i made this last night, it was fantastic!! Followed the recipe to a T, judged added the juice of one lime. Great soup!! Thanks so much.

  52. bakedbree

    January 18th, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    You’re welcome!

  53. kp

    February 28th, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    Very tasty soup! Has anyone tried to freeze some and was it successful?

  54. bakedbree

    March 1st, 2015 at 11:42 pm

    I don’t think that the creamy soups freeze well.

  55. Tonya

    March 2nd, 2015 at 11:21 am

    I freeze it all the time and it works great. Just add a little cream to it when you reheat it. I use half and half when I make it and that’s what I add to it when I reheat it.

  56. Amy

    July 8th, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    Thank you for sharing! Looked delicious, so I tried it out and followed the instructions to the letter. In the end, it never thickened and stayed extremely watery and thin. I tasted it and it wasn’t bad, necessarily, but it wasn’t anything like a soup. The spices felt lost. Anyway, I just scooped out the mixture and used it as filling in a tortilla, instead. Any suggestions on what I could have done wrong? It looked delicious in your photographs and it seems that other people had no such issues.

  57. bakedbree

    July 15th, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    It’s hard to say, but this isn’t a super thick soup, not like a chowder. My guess is that your soup never got to a bubble and didn’t thicken properly.

  58. CThomas

    July 27th, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    My favorite soup! When my husband comes home from work and sees I’m making it, his whole face lights up! I like that you can use a variety of beans and it’s still yummy. I like to sub pinto beans for the kidney beans.

  59. Candace

    August 13th, 2015 at 4:12 am

    How much would you say your recipe makes? I have a family of 7 and 2 men who love seconds and 3rds. Would your steps make enough or would you suggest doubling up?

  60. bakedbree

    August 16th, 2015 at 7:18 pm

    I would definitely double. I always prefer to have too much versus too little.

  61. Irish Chef

    September 23rd, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    I cook for a homeless shelfter and I am always on the lookout for QUICK, HEALTHY, INEXPENSIVE recipes and this one is perfect! Thank you very much. Keep the great recipes coming. The Irish Chef

  62. bakedbree

    September 28th, 2015 at 10:20 am

    You are welcome!

  63. Chris

    September 24th, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    Hi Bree,
    I live in a wee and remote Town in the Canadian Arctic. I REALY want to try this soup, but I have no clue as to what ‘Rotel’ is. Could you please describe it to me so I can improvise to make this recipe? This looks far too delish to just pass it by! Thanks!

  64. bakedbree

    September 28th, 2015 at 10:20 am

    Sure! It is canned diced tomatoes with chiles.

  65. Wendy

    November 19th, 2015 at 10:20 am

    What can I use instead of half and half so it will be lower in fat? Low fat milk?

  66. bakedbree

    November 24th, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    I have no idea, you will have to play with the recipe. My concern is that the soup will be very thin if you use low fat milk, make sure to thicken it.

  67. Amanda

    November 30th, 2015 at 9:13 pm

    Have you ever made this in the crockpot? If so did you just put everything in the crockpot and let it cook all day?

  68. bakedbree

    December 1st, 2015 at 11:15 am

    No I haven’t.

  69. Stacie

    December 5th, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    Do you mean red and yellow bell peppers? Just checking!!

  70. bakedbree

    December 5th, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    Yes.

  71. Victoria

    January 15th, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    Looks delicious but I can’t get half and half where I live. What could I use instead??

  72. bakedbree

    January 17th, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    Half and half is a mixture of whole milk and heavy cream. Whole milk will probably work just fine, it just might not be as thick.

  73. Kathleen Lambert

    January 19th, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    I made this last night for my boyfriend and i and even though i cook a lot he said its one of the best things ive ever made. I have to agree with him. So yummy and so easy. I made a few modifications to my own. instead of habeneros i used bell peppers for the red and yellow. And then used a small can of mild diced chilis in place of the habenero.
    Also when the soup was pretty much done i added a sprinkle of cayenne pepper and a little more taco seasoning.
    Such a great soup. Everyone should try it. YUMM!

  74. bakedbree

    January 24th, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    WOW! I’m glad that he liked it to much.

  75. Laura

    January 21st, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    I made this tonight for my family for a new (to us) twist on tortilla soup. Everyone raved about it and lined up for seconds. Just copied it down for my recipe box. Thanks so much!

  76. bakedbree

    January 24th, 2016 at 9:58 pm

    I’m so glad!

  77. Pamela Morgan

    February 15th, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    This is one of my favorite soups, and the way you simplified it is perfect! Check out some of my recipes on https://www.flirtingwithflavors.com/

  78. Melissa

    January 15th, 2017 at 9:16 am

    Do you think I could use fat free half and half in this? Looking for ways to cut some calories. Thank you.

  79. bakedbree

    January 24th, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    You can always try. I have not, so I can’t say for sure what the end result would be. I prefer to eat less of something than to use a fat-free product.

  80. Kanna

    April 16th, 2018 at 5:40 am

    Hi Bree,

    I must have come across this recipe years ago – and since then, I’ve made it countless times. I’ve made it for my incredibly picky 3 year old who recently requested I make it again. I’ve made it for my friends who just had a baby. I’ve made it for my in-laws, who were quite impressed.

    Anyway, I thought I’d just say thanks for a wonderful, delicious recipe that continues to impress everyone I make it for!

  81. bakedbree

    April 16th, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    I am so happy to hear this, thank you for letting me know!

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