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+ servings

Chicken Tortilla Soup

The lightly spiced broth is topped with a lime squeeze, fresh cilantro, Monterey Jack cheese, avocado and fresh crispy tortilla strips.
Course Soup
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword chicken, chicken breast, chicken soup, chili, corn tortilla, tomato, tortilla
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings 6


  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (4-ounce) can mild green chilies
  • 2 medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 1½ pounds
  • tablespoons chili powder
  • 3 limes, divided
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt & pepper
  • 8 small corn tortillas
  • Vegetable oil, as needed, for frying
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 medium haas avocado, pitted and sliced


  • In a large stock pot heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat and add the garlic and diced onion. Sauté until the onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the cumin, paprika and cayenne and cook, stirring constantly for 30 seconds. Add the chicken stock, diced tomatoes, with their liquid, the green chilies and 2 cups of water. Let simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • While the broth simmers season the chicken breasts on both sides liberally with chili powder. In a sauté pan heat the remaining tablespoon of oil on medium heat.
  • Cook the chicken until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and let cool.
  • Chop the chicken into chunks and stir into the broth. Continue to simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the juice from two of the limes, half of the chopped cilantro and season with salt and pepper.
  • Slice the tortillas in half and then into 2-inch long strips. Fill a large sauté pan with enough oil to reach 1-inch up the side of the pan. Heat oil to 350°F.
  • When the oil is hot, add some of the tortilla strips to the pan and fry until golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes. Work in batches so the pan is not overcrowded. Remove to a paper towel lined plate.
  • To serve, scoop the broth into bowls and top with shredded Monterey jack cheese, avocado, the remaining cilantro and tortilla strips. Cut the remaining lime into wedges to serve on the side.