Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe at

I’m sharing the world’s best tortilla soup recipe.

Yes, I can call it that because I’ve eaten it on both sides of the planet.

The year before my first year in Thailand, there were two other teachers from Texas at the school where I taught.  They were gone when I got there, but my roommates raved about their tortilla soup recipe.  When the recipe was in a fundraiser cookbook that came out that year, it became a weekly meal for us.  Since I lived in always-hot Bangkok, I can say that it’s fine to eat this in hot weather.  But it’s fabulous for cold weather.

You can dump the ingredients into a crock-pot for an all-day-simmered version, or cook it on the stove.

Over the years, I’ve changed up the recipe.  Here’s my version:


One lb. chicken.

Two cans 28 oz. WHOLE tomatoes.

Chopped onions

Chopped garlic

One can Ro-tel or salsa

7 cups of chicken stock

2 tsp. black pepper

2 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp chili powder

2 tsp garlic powder

Poultry seasoning

Garlic salt


Grated cheddar cheese



I generally use pre-cooked chicken in this recipe, but when I don’t have any, I saute the chicken, cut in bite-sized chunks, in a small amount of olive oil, with onion and garlic to taste. (Remember to cook extra, and freeze it for other recipes later!)

For the soup, I use my kitchen scissors to cut up the whole tomatoes into small pieces while they are still in the can.

I’ve tried to skip this step by buying diced tomatoes, but it’s not the same.  Using the whole tomatoes provides a juice that’s perfect for soup, but the diced tomatoes make it taste more like a tomato sauce.

Then, I dump the tomatoes in the soup pot and fill the cans with water.  That gets the last bit of goodness out, and also is seven cups of water!  I then just add the chicken bullion cubes to the soup itself.

I add all of the other ingredients including the chicken but NOT including the chips and cheese.  Those are served on the side.

I also always add a dash of garlic salt, and a cover-the-top sprinkling of poultry seasoning.  In Thailand, we had a favorite chicken bullion that was fabulous.  When I moved back here, I found the soup to be a bit bland, until I realized that the bullion I was using wasn’t seasoned and that the stuff there must have been.  (It’s a guess, since I couldn’t read the package.)  I started adding the poultry seasoning, and it did the trick!

Technically, this is a double recipe.  But since it’s just enough for hubby and I to eat twice on, I think it’s a good size for four adult servings.

Sprinkle with grated cheddar and crushed chips.

This stuff . . . is awesome!

Now for my menu plan.  I’m keeping it simple in this crazy last-week-of-school-before-the-Christmas-break.

Monday – Chicken Fried Rice

Tuesday – BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

Wednesday – Mexican casserole

Thursday – Spaghetti

And that’s all I’m planning, since we’ll be having our first Christmas celebration with family after that!

Are you keeping it simple in the kitchen during these crazy weeks before Christmas?


I’ll be linking this up at for Menu Plan Monday.

I’m also linking this up to My Homey Haven for Tonya’s Ten Days of Warm Winter Soups link-up!

Still looking for last minute gifts?  In November, for hubby’s birthday, I bought an armband that fits his iphone even with the Otterbox on it.  He likes it!  (affiliate link alert!!!)

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  1. 1

    Goodness, I said about the same thing in my menu post-busy week, simple meals and a family celebration this weekend! And my sister taught in Thailand for a couple of years. Who knew? 🙂

  2. 2
    Valerie Barber says:

    How long do you cook it?

  3. 4

    Stopping by from Orgjunkie’s Menu Plan Monday…

    This looks like a great soup! I’m just starting to menu plan and cook extra to freeze, so I’m looking for hearty soups like this. I love your reminder to cook extra chicken to freeze for later. And thank you for the tip about cutting the tomatoes with scissors in the can! So easy!

  4. 5

    We have a restaurant here that makes the best chicken tortilla soup. They have to have some “secret” ingredient because I’ve never had soup as good as theirs. Your recipe does look yummy!!

  5. 6

    This will be out dinner tonight. We’re headed in with diced tomatoes though since I’ve got no whole. Maybe we’ll like our soup saucy!!!! 😉 Thanks!

  6. 7

    Yum- I’m going to have to give this world’s best Chicken Tortilla Soup a try! This sounds like just the soup my family will LOVE. Thanks for linking up to my 10 Days of Warm Winter Soups series!

  7. 8

    i put black beans and sweet corn in my chicken tortilla soup. and i actually like it better in hot weather than cold– but i make mine spicy enough to make me sweat a lil. also, since i’m usually more likely to have fresh tomatoes in the house than canned, and i rarely buy special ingredients for a specific meal, i’ve always made my soup with diced fresh tomatoes. (i add in chopped pickled jalapenos for the spicy factor).

    and you just reminded me that i have four quarts of it frozen in my freezer. sounds like dinner later this week 😀

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