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Thick and Hearty Chicken Tortilla Soup

Preview: Thick and Hearty Tortilla Soup is a tomato and chicken stock-based tortilla soup with finely chopped tortillas added while cooking for a thicker, more flavorful soup.

Tortilla soup comes in so many forms. Unless you’re a repeat customer, you never know what kind you’ll get when ordering at a restaurant.

It might be tomato-based, broth-based, thick, thin, with or without avocados, with or without vegetables such as zucchini or corn, etc., I personally have cycled through various stages with tortilla soup. This is my newest favorite.

Only the most traditional vegetables are called for. But that doesn’t stop me from adding the occasional leftover veggie.

close-up of tortilla soup

What makes this soup thick?

By virtue of its name, all tortilla soups contain corn tortillas.  However, in this one, part of the tortillas are chopped and sautéed with the onions. They don’t get crispy.

Instead, they are cooked in the broth and become a thickening agent in the soup making it hearty and filling with the best flavor imaginable. Of course, you still need the requisite crispy fried tortilla strips to flavor and garnish.

cutting corn tortillas to garnish the soup
tortillas strips for frying

More Tex-Mex recipes for your enjoyment

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Yield: 8 servings

Thick and Hearty Tortilla Soup

Thick and Hearty Tortilla Soup

This Thick and Hearty Tortilla Soup is a tomato and stock-based tortilla soup with finely chopped tortillas added while cooking for a thicker, more flavorful soup.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6 corn tortillas, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 6 cups chicken stock (I boil the bones of the rotisserie-baked chicken listed below)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Chicken from one rotisserie-baked chicken, shredded or cubed


  • Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 1-2 avocados, cubed
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 corn tortillas, sliced and fried crisp (actually, we need more than this because we like to eat them plain)


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped tortillas, garlic, and onion. Saute 2-3 minutes. Add cumin and chili powder. Saute an additional minute to bring out the flavor of the spices (and make the house smell good).
  2. Add tomatoes, bay leaves, chicken stock, and pepper. Return to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add salt if necessary depending on the saltiness of stock.
  3. While soup simmers is a good time to fry some tortillas for a garnish. Preheat 1/2-3/4 cups of vegetable oil in a small skillet. Cut tortillas in strips. When the oil is hot enough to bubble when tortillas hit the oil, put in enough strips to cover the bottom. Strips are done when they start to turn a golden brown color. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and repeat process with remaining strips.
  4. Remove bay leaves and stir in chicken. Reheat.
  5. Garnish soup with shredded cheese, avocado, and tortilla strips. Sour cream is optional.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 354Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 660mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 6gSugar: 5gProtein: 17g

Did you make this recipe?

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Adapted from Stop and Smell the Rosemary, published by the Junior League of Houston.


Saturday 27th of December 2014

Made it for dinner tonight. It was awesome! Thanks for sharing.


Thursday 13th of March 2014

Looks great! I've had a restaurant version of this and I loved it. I'm so excited to try and make this myself so I can have it anytime! Thanks for sharing!


Sunday 28th of October 2012

just made it, absolutely wonderful thanks! :)


Sunday 28th of October 2012

Thanks for coming back to comment Samantha.


Tuesday 27th of September 2011

Wow - delish recipe! I love tortilla soups - and yours is fantastic :) I actually made mine with Gardein veggie chicken (cuz I'm vegetarian) and it turned out excellent! Can't wait to try more of your recipes :) Thanks!


Sunday 16th of January 2011

Yup. made it again for dinner tonight (I've made it at least 5 times since finding this recipe). I LOVE it! Thanks again... :)

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