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Chicken Tortilla Soup

The spicy tomatoey broth in this hearty chicken tortilla soup is so much better than at your local Mexican restaurant! Load it with creamy avocado and your favorite gluten-free tortilla chips for an authentic, easy dinner.

Bowl of chicken tortilla soup with cilantro and avocado.

The Best Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

Chicken tortilla soup, oh, where do I begin? It’s like a warm hug on a chilly day. Rotisserie chicken, roasted Hatch chilis, and sweet tomatoes all come together in a flavorful fiesta. With hints of smokey cumin and fragrant garlic, it’s pure comfort. And that’s not even the best part. Toppings like herby cilantro, creamy avocado, and crispy gluten-free tortilla chips are what really set it apart from canned soups. Now that you’ve got this recipe for a homemade version, you’re never going back. Plus, it’s an absolute win-win every time. Whether you’re using leftover turkey or even taco seasoning, there’s no way to mess this up – it’s that delightful.

Why You’ll Love This Gluten Free Chicken Tortilla Soup

It’ll be the only soup request you get from now on.

  • Homemade. This recipe is naturally thick, has real spices, and a decent amount of sodium— unlike store-bought soups.
  • Better than at restaurants. You can have as many servings as you want, make it spicier, and even add more toppings.
  • Wholesome. It’s packed with fresh ingredients like chilis, tomatoes, onion, and garlic for the best flavor.
  • Simple. You don’t need to do much aside from roasting the chilis, letting it simmer, and blending the soup.
Two bowls of chicken tortilla soup with avocado and cilantro.

What You’ll Need

Don’t worry, hatch chilis aren’t usually that spicy. Check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact amounts.

  • Hatch chilis – These are also called “New Mexico chilis.”
  • Tomatoes – Roma tomatoes are best.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil – Vegetable, corn, or canola oil work too.
  • Yellow onion – Feel free to use white onion.
  • Garlic cloves – You can use garlic powder.
  • Cumin – Use taco seasoning if you’re out of ground cumin.
  • Chicken broth – I prefer low-sodium versions.
  • Rotisserie chicken – Leftover turkey is a good swap.
  • Cilantro – Make sure it’s fresh. Don’t use parsley because it’s too refreshing and spicy.

Topping Ideas

You can’t have tortilla soup without crispy tortilla chips!

  • Gluten-free tortilla chips – Feel free to use regular tortilla chips.
  • Fresh cilantro – Don’t use dried cilantro or parsley because they’ll change the flavor profile.
  • Avocado – A dollop of leftover guacamole works too.
Bowl of Mexican soup with toppings.

How to Make Chicken Tortilla Soup

Once you blend it, even picky eaters won’t be able to tell how many veggies are in this soup. Check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for more detailed instructions.

  • Roast the chilis. Preheat the broiler. Place the chilis in the pan and broil them for 5 minutes or until blackened. Flip them over and blacken the other side. Place the roasted chilis in a bag. Seal the bag to trap the steam. Let them sit for 10 to 15 minutes. This helps loosen the peel.
  • Peel and dice. Peel the skin off the chilis; it should come off easily. Don’t worry if they break because you’ll be blending the soup anyway. Remove the seeds and dice the chilis.
  • Cook the onions. Set a pot over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onions and cook for 3-4 minutes until they start to soften. Add the garlic and cumin and cook for another 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Blend it. Add the tomatoes, roasted chilis, and chicken broth to the pot. Stir well. Allow the mixture to simmer for 10-15 minutes. Blend the soup in batches until smooth.
  • Add the chicken. Stir in the shredded chicken and allow it to simmer for another 3-4 minutes. Stir in the chopped cilantro.
  • Serve. Ladle the soup into bowls. Add your favorite toppings like tortilla chips, avocado, shredded cheese, and a squeeze of lime if desired. Enjoy!

Tips for Success

Even if you’ve never made it before, these tips will make it seem like this chicken tortilla soup recipe has been in your family for decades.

  • Use dried chilis. Toast 6-8 dried guajillo chilis and then remove the stems and seeds. Soak them in a bowl of warm water for 15 minutes or until softened. Use them instead of hatch chilis for a more authentic flavor profile.
  • Use homemade. If you’ve got a family recipe for chicken stock, go ahead and use it. It’ll give great flavor!
  • Add more toppings. Swirl in a tablespoon of Mexican crema or top the soup with crumbled chicharron for more traditional toppings.
  • Char the veggies. For a deeper flavor, roast the chilis, tomatoes, onion, and garlic in the oven at 300F for 15-20 minutes or until charred all over. Add them in and blend as usual.
  • Make it vegetarian. Use veggie broth and leave out the chicken for a vegetarian version of this soup.
  • Reduce the heat. Switch to 2 poblanos and 2 jalapeños instead of hatch chilis.  Roast the poblanos just like the hatch chilis in this recipe. The jalapeño can be added raw.
Soup in a bowl with avocado, cilantro, and tortilla chips.

Serving Suggestions

This chicken tortilla soup is perfect for Mexican or Tex-Mex dinners. It’s hearty enough to be served on its own, but feel free to pair it with other dishes like tacos or steak. My Pulled Pork Tacos, Chicken Tacos, and Steak Tacos with Poblanos are some of my favorite. For steak dinners, pair this soup with my Taco Bowl or Cuban Mojo Steak.

How to Store Leftover Chicken Tortilla Soup

Once fully cooled, refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Store the toppings and soup separately. To reheat it, pop it into the microwave for up to a minute or until warm. You can also heat it in a pot over medium-low heat for 7-8 minutes.

Can I Freeze This Soup?

Absolutely, but without the toppings. Pour the cooled soup into freezer-friendly bags or containers in serving-size portions. Freeze for up to 3 months. Transfer it to the fridge overnight to thaw or reheat it in a pot straight from frozen. Add toppings as usual.

More Soup Recipes To Try

Soup in a bowl with avocado, cilantro, and tortilla chips.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This hearty chicken tortilla soup with a spicy broth is the perfect Mexican soup for dinner. It's thick, tomatoey, and loaded with avocado.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 4 hatch chiles roasted, stemmed and seeded, then diced {directions below}
  • 28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 32- ounce reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 rotissaire chicken skin removed and white and dark meat shredded
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped


  • Gluten Free Tortilla Chips crushed
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Avocado seeded, peeled and diced


Hatch Chilis:

  • Preheat broiler.
  • Place Hatch chiles on broiler pan and broil until chiles turn black about 5 minutes, remove, flip chiles and blacken other side.
  • Remove the chiles from the broiler and place them in a paper bag, food-safe plastic bag, or heat-safe bowl. Close the bag or cover the bowl, and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes. The steam will help loosen the peel from the chiles.
  • To peel, pull the skin off the chile; it should come off fairly easily, but you can use a knife to cut away any stubborn bits. Remove seeds and dice.


  • Preheat a dutch oven over medium heat. Add remaining olive oil then add onions, cooking for about 3-4 minutes or until starting to soften. Add garlic and cumin, cook for another minute or two, stirring frequently.
  • Add tomatoes, roasted chiles, chicken broth to pan and stir well. Allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes, then blend mixture well with a hand blender or use a blender blending in batches.
  • Stir in shredded chicken allow to simmer for another 3-4 minutes.
  • Stir in chopped cilantro and ladle into soup bowls.
  • Add desired toppings and enjoy
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Soup
Cuisine: Mexican


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