One of my very favorite soups to order at restaurants is chicken tortilla soup. You're going to love how quickly and easily this soup comes together. Use shredded rotisserie chicken to bring this dish together in no time.
This recipe inspired by What's Gaby Cooking recipe for Chicken Tortilla soup. While her recipe is delicious as is, we have made a few changes in the ingredients to customize the flavor to our preference and make a much larger batch.
- Consistency. We were craving a slightly thicker and creamier version so included masa harina in our version. A little goes a long way.
- Flavor. We love cooking with chili in adobo sauce so opted for that instead of dried chili. It's spicy, so you don't need a lot. You can freeze the leftover chilis in a small container to enjoy for another recipe.
- Quantity. It should be no surprise that we're a fan of batch cooking and freezing our leftovers. Which is to say, our version yields 8+ cups of soup.
Which is all to say, this soup is accommodating. Don't have black beans on hand? Use kidney or pinto beans? Can't find white corn (I typically get it from the frozen section)? Add yellow corn instead.
What type of broth to use for Chicken Tortilla Soup?
Okay, let's talk stock. Our preference is to use a homemade stock because it's easier to make it low-sodium (a must for us) and use quality meats and veggies. For chicken tortilla soup, we will use either a chicken stock or bone broth. If you're interested in making your own, here are some tricks:
- Roast Bones First. Roasting the bones and meat ahead of time will provide lots of extra flavor to the stock.
- Keep Meat to Shred. Typically, we will remove the meat from the bones a few hours into simmering. We'll shred the chicken meat and set it aside in a bowl (if we're using it that day) or freeze in 1cup portions with some broth (if we'll use it later for soup or enchiladas).
Our favorite homemade broths:
If you don't have time to make your own stock or ran out of your freezer stash, there's lots of great options at the store too. We've definitely done this before. Our favorite is to buy the broth in a carton and then a rotisserie chicken and shred the meat using a handheld food mixer.
The Importance of the Masa Harina Corn Flour Slurry
This easy restaurant-style chicken tortilla soup recipe is easy to throw together even on a busy weeknight. If you don't have access to masa harina corn flour in your local grocery store, see if you have a local market that specializes in Hispanic foods. The masa harina slurry is essential for thickening the soup. If you don't have access to a food market that specializes in Hispanic foods, you can also find it online on market places such as Amazon and Walmart.
Favorite Garnishes for Chicken Tortilla Soup
There's lots of great garnishes you can add to add some flavor, crunch, and color to your bowl of chicken tortilla soup.
Our favorite garnishes:
- Tortilla chips (a must!)
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Sour cream
- Sliced jalapeno
Homemade Tortilla Chips
Interested in making your own tortilla chips? It's very easy! Buy corn tortillas, cut into small strips, then fry in hot oil
Freezing Chicken Tortilla Soup
Chicken tortilla soup freezes incredibly well. We recommend freezing without any of the optional garnishes you add at the end. It's better to add those fresh once the soup as reheated.
To freeze, we recommend using our 1-cup or 2-cup freezing trays. It's best to use up the soup within 4 months. However, if you'd like to keep the soup longer, then transfer to a vacuum-sealed bag.
To reheat chicken tortilla soup, we recommend either microwaving in a bowl or placing on a pot over low heat. Once the soup has started to thaw and melt, raise the heat to medium until it begins to simmer.
Other Freezer Tips:
- This recipe only requires 1 chipotle from a can, which means you'll have several left over. We love portioning out the remaining chipotles in our 2T tray with the sauce divided among the wells.