Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup is super easy, healthy, and restaurant delicious!
This Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup is warm, comforting, hearty, filling and deeply satisfying and BONUS, it’s SO easy; just chop, dump and simmer while the crockpot does all the work. This Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup is loaded with tender juicy shredded chicken, hearty cannellini beans, sweet corn, fire roasted tomatoes, kickin’ poblanos, and aromatic onions and garlic, seasoned to perfection in a tangy salsa verde broth. The layers of flavor all get topped with freshly squeezed lime juice, avocados, cilantro, sour cream and crispy, salty homemade BAKED Tortilla Strips for a new family favorite everyone will beg you to make again and again! This easy Tortilla Soup is ideal for weeknight dinners and always a crowd pleaser.
Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup
Most of you are probably familiar with Chicken Tortilla Soup but how about bright, tangy Salsa Verde Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup? I first posted this delectable soup years ago and thought it was time for a photo and info post update to entice you ALL to devour this favorite soup of mine.
This Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup is scrumdiddlyumptious (how have I been blogging this long and not yet used scrumdiddlyumptious??!) – seeping with all the flavors of my favorite Salsa Verde Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas – but in a soup!
This Chicken Tortilla Soup boasts a tangy, zesty salsa verde broth with a splash of refreshing lime and hint of honey all simmering with cumin, smoked paprika chili powder, chipotle powder, and oregano all melding together, seeping into the increasingly tender chicken, hearty white beans, corn, zucchini and poblano peppers.
This Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup gets topped with a pile of freshly baked tortilla strips – or you can top with store bought tortilla strips or tortilla chips – they are all delicious. I personally like to go the homemade tortilla strips route because all you do to make them is cut the tortillas with your pizza cutter then bake for 10 minutes. It makes me feel somewhat domestic when the soup is this easy.
To push the soup over the edge into deliciousness bliss, pile it high with all your favorite Mexican toppings – Mexican cheese, cilantro, avocado and sour cream. You have just created a soup so slurp worthy delicious, you will never need to order chicken tortilla soup at a restaurant again and so easy, you can toss it together even days after surgery (like I did in my original post). I hope you all love this Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup like the below readers:
What readers are saying about this tortilla soup recipe:
Made this tonight and LOVED it! Thank you!! – Melissa
I’ve made this soup half a dozen times now so I figured it was about time I let you know how much my whole family enjoys it! Thank you for another delicious recipe. Your recipes never disappoint! – Marie
Made this soup for the first day of 2017, and it is amaaaaaazing! All of your recipes are. Thanks so much for all your hard work! – Heather
This was a really delicious soup! My husband said it reminded him of his mother’s caldo (which is high praise). Thank you so much for sharing!! – Food, Faith and Other Fabulous Finds
Made this soup in the crockpot today, and it is DELICIOUS!…Thank you for an amazing, yummy and easy recipe! I LOVE SOUP! – Elizabeth
Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup
So how easy is this Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup?
When I first posted this tortilla soup, I had just had minor surgery and was sent home with a stash of strong pain meds but I try not to take strong medicine due to my kidneys so I was pretty uncomfortable and really fatigued – too fatigued for even cooking.
Don’t worry, that all changed when I shuffled into my kitchen and threw some ingredients into my crockpot.
Don’t you just love the crockpot? With zero effort, my belly was filled with complex, comforting layered flavors of Salsa Verde Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup that tasted like I had been slaving away for hours, when really, I was taking a nap.
Slow Cooker EASY Chicken Tortilla Soup – just what the doctor ordered when you’re fatigued, crazy busy or simply want to put your feet up and still enjoy a tantalizing bowl of hearty fiesta salsa verde soup.
WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE IN SLOW COOKER CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP?
- Chicken: this recipe calls for 1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts that simmer directly in the crockpot – no need to sear or chop first (YAY for not handling raw chicken!). You can substitute the chicken breasts for chicken thighs if you prefer.
- Salsa verde: this green salsa is used instead of enchilada sauce in traditional tortilla soup and boasts TONS of flavor. It is mildly tart, citrusy, bright, and tangy. It is is typically made of roasted tomatillos, serrano or jalapeno peppers, onion, garlic, lime juice and cilantro. The ingredients are blended together to create a smooth salsa and left RAW, as opposed to green enchilada sauce which is cooked. You can use my spectacular homemade salsa verde recipe or salsa verde can be found in jars next to the other salsas at your grocery store. Make sure you use MILD salsa verde so there is wiggle room with the spice level.
- Onion: use yellow onion for it’s punchy flavor. You may substitute the onion with 1/2 teaspoon onion powder.
- Garlic Cloves: this recipe calls for 4 cloves of garlic but you are welcome to use more or less. You may also substitute the garlic with 1 1/4 teaspoons garlic powder.
- Poblano Pepper: if you aren’t familiar with poblano peppers, you will love them! Poblano peppers boast a very mild heat, nothing like a jalapeno, so don’t be afraid of them! They can be found next to the bell peppers at your grocery store. You may substitute with one chopped green bell pepper if that’s what you have on hand and add cayenne pepper to taste.
- Zucchini: slice your zucchini on the thicker side because they take the shortest amount of time to cook.
- Fire-Roasted Diced Tomatoes: these tomatoes boast a wonderful smoky flavor and are sweeter and less acidicy than regular diced tomatoes. Most grocery stores carry them but if you can’t find them, then substitute regular diced tomatoes.
- Cannellini Beans: these are often referred to as white kidney beans because they are the same large shape. They are satisfyingly creamy, tender, and nutty. They are my favorite bean to use in combination with salsa verde but you may also substitute with pinto beans, kidney beans or black beans.
- Canned Sweet Corn: I use canned corn for this Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup for convenience but you may also use fresh corn. If you use frozen corn, at it at the end of cooking just to warm through.
- Seasonings: This Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup derives mega flavor from the salsa verde which is then enhanced by my typical cast of Mexican seasonings: chili powder, ground cumin, smoked paprika, dried oregano, chipotle chile powder, salt and pepper.
- Chicken Broth: use low sodium chicken broth so we can salt the soup ourselves.
How to Make Crockpot Tortilla Soup
Remember when I said this Crockpot Tortilla Soup was EASY? I was NOT exaggerating! This tortilla soup is huge on flavor with minimal effort. To make:
- Add ingredients to slow cooker. Lightly grease slow cooker with cooking spray then add chicken, tomatoes, beans, corn, zucchini, poblano peppers, salsa verde, chicken broth and all seasonings. Give them a stir.
- Cook until chicken is tender. Cook tortilla soup on low for 6-8 hours or on high 3-4 hours. You’ll know your soup is done when the chicken easily shreds with a fork. If it’s not easily pulling away, cook on!
- Shred chicken. When chicken is tender, shred either directly in the crockpot or on a cutting board then return it to the slow cooker for at least 20 minutes so the flavorful broth can seep into every nook and cranny. This extra 20 minutes is soup changing.
- Toppings. Don’t underestimate the power of toppings! Chicken Tortilla Soup is 50% about the toppings in my opinion. While the soup is simmering, you can prep all of your favorite toppings.
- EAT. Spoon your soup into bowls and top with anything your heart desires from freshly squeezed lime juice, cheese, sour cream, avocados and of course your easy, homemade tortilla strips!
WHAT TOPPINGS FOR SLOW COOKER CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP?
While we’re on the subject of toppings, let’s dive a little deeper. Because who doesn’t want to dive deeper into cheesy, crispy toppings? The toppings for Chicken Tortilla Soup add flavor and texture and are an important element to the soup. I like to create a topping bar so everyone can load on their favorites of:
- Tortilla Strips: tortilla Strips are the tortilla in Chicken TORTILLA Soup! You can use store bought or homemade (recipe below) or crushed tortilla chips work great too.
- Cheese: I love how the cheese melts into the hot broth adding both body and flavor to the soup. I think both Monterrey and pepper Jack cheese pair particularly well with the salsa verde broth but you may also use cheddar. Please use freshly grated cheese for superior taste and melting ability.
- Sour cream: a must in my book! Sour cream adds a delightful, refreshing, creamy tang to the Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup and cuts through the robust flavors. You can also use fat free sour cream or Greek yogurt.
- Cilantro: if you’re a cilantro lover, you will love it in this tortilla soup! Chopped cilantro adds a fresh, zesty flair.
- Lime Juice: you can use bottled juice or fresh lime juice to taste.
- Avocado: chopped or sliced avocados add a wonderful creaminess. To tell if an avocado is ripe, squeeze it gently. A ripe avocado should yield slightly to pressure but not feel overly soft. If your avocados ripen before you are ready to use them, they can be stored in the refrigerator .
- Pico de gallo: a spoonful of pico de gallo ins’t necessary but adds a depth of freshness I love.
HOW DO YOU MAKE TORTILLA STRIPS?
Making your own tortilla strips is SO easy and healthier because they are BAKED not fried. To make tortilla strips, all you need are corn tortillas, olive oil and salt to achieve crunchy, salty, tortilla chip results. They also don’t require any added time to the Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe because you can make them while the soup simmers.
To make tortilla strips:
- Cut tortillas into ½ inch strips. I have found the easiest way to do this is to stack all the tortillas together then use a pizza cutter to cut them all at once. It literally takes 1-2 minutes to cut them all.
- Grease baking sheet. Lightly spray a large baking sheet/jelly roll pan with cooking spray. If you don’t have a large jelly roll pan, then divide the tortilla strips into two pans so they aren’t touching.
- Season tortilla strips. Add your tortilla strips to the pan and toss with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Arrange strips in a single layer and lightly season with freshly cracked salt.
- Bake. Bake tortilla strips at 425 degrees F for 12-16 minutes or until light golden brown. They will get crunchier as they cool.
CAN I USE TORTILLA CHIPS IN EASY CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP?
You don’t have to make your own tortilla strips for Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe, instead you can use crushed tortilla chips or purchase tortilla strips. Tortilla strips are usually located near/at the end of the produce aisles. You can also play with different flavors of tortilla chips such as lime, chipotle, etc.
CAN I USE ROTISSERIE CHICKEN IN CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP Recipe?
Absolutely! You will need approximately 3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken and add it at the end of cooking, just to warm through, about 15 minutes on low.
CAN I ADD CHEESE TO CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP?
You can add cheese directly to the soup at the end of cooking like I do in my Cheesy Taco Soup to make CHEESY Chicken Tortilla Soup! In this particular soup, however, that is meant to be more brothy than creamy, I prefer to add to individual servings so it doesn’t get lost.
HOW DO YOU MAKE CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP CREAMY?
This Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup can be made into CREAMY Chicken Tortilla Soup, much like my Creamy White Chicken Chili. You can make Chicken Tortilla Soup creamy 3 different ways:
- add 4 oz. softened cream cheese at the end of cooking and stir until completely melted. This is the method I use in my Mexican Chicken Corn Chowder and it is fabulous.
- add part sour cream and part cream cheese OR part sour cream and part heavy cream at the end of cooking.
- substitute 2 cups of the chicken broth with evaporated milk mixed with 1 tablespoon cornstarch.
- adding cheese directly to the soup will also help make it creamy and thicker.
HOW DO I SPICE UP MY SLOW COOKER TORTILLA SOUP Recipe?
This Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup has a medium kick to it which I think will be perfect for most people. If you are very sensitive to spice or want to make this tortilla soup very kid friendly then substitute the poblano with a green bell pepper and omit the chipotle chile powder then add to taste.
If you aren’t sure how spicy to make your Chicken Tortilla Soup, I suggest starting with a 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder and add more to taste at the end. I use 1 teaspoon and it is spicy. You can also add heat with cayenne pepper or hot sauce. In all methods, start with a little and add more to taste at the END of cooking. Not everyone likes the same amount of heat, however, so I suggest offering hot sauce with the toppings so everyone can customize their own spice level.
HOW LONG DOES TORTILLA SOUP LAST?
Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup tastes even better the next day! It will last in the refrigerator for up to 5 days in your crockpot insert or an airtight container. You may need to add a little water to the soup when reheating.
TIPS FOR EASY CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP
- Prep Soup Ahead. You can chop your onions, garlic, zucchini and poblano pepper ahead of time so you literally just have to dump and simmer when it comes time to make your soup. Alternatively, you can add all of the Chicken Tortilla Soup ingredients to the crockpot and store in the refrigerator until yous are ready to cook. This is a great method when you want to prep the soup at night and start cooking in the morning.
- Prep Toppings Ahead. You can prep all your topping while yours soup is cooking so you can eat as soon as the chicken is done.
- Consistency. I love chunky soups – the higher the ratio of chicken and veggies to broth the better – BUT the “chunkiness” of this Chicken Tortilla Soup is totally up to your personal preference. For a less chunky soup, simply add additional chicken broth.
HOW TO FREEZE CROCKPOT CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP:
Chicken Tortilla Soup freezes and reheats beautifully as long as you keep the tortilla strips separate and don’t add any dairy products to the main soup (just add them to your individual portions).
- Cool. Cool Chicken Tortilla Soup completely before freezing.
- Package soup in a freezer safe container. You can use sandwich size plastic bags for individual soup portions, quart size bags or freezer bags. To easy fill these bags, place them in a container that you can wrap the top around the edge of – for example, place a sandwich size bag in a mug then cuff the edges around the mug. This keeps the bag open and prevents it from collapsing when you are pouring in your Chicken Tortilla Soup. Final packaging tip, make sure to let out any excess air before you seal.
- Label. Make sure to label your bags so it doesn’t’ become a freezer mystery. You also want to label so you can be sure to use your soup within 3 months.
- Freeze. Once cooled and labeled you are ready to freeze your Chicken Tortilla Soup. Once the bag is solid you can lay it flat in a single layer so it’s stackable to save space.
- Defrost/Reheat. The easiest way to thaw your soup is in your refrigerator overnight then reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.
If you forget to thaw your soup beforehand or are hit with a need-Chicken Tortilla Soup-now craving then you can defrost the soup in the microwave. Transfer frozen soup into a microwave-safe container, partially cover and microwave for 2-3 increments, until the soup has become slushy, stirring in between so it thaws evenly.
Looking For more Crock Pot Soup Recipes?
- Crockpot Creamy White Chicken Chili
- Slow Cooker Potato Soup
- BBQ Chicken Chili (Slow Cooker or Stove Top)
- Slow Cooker Bacon Ranch Chicken Chowder
- Slow Cooker Beef Stew
- Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff Soup
- Slow Cooker Cheesy Chicken Broccoli Wild Rice Soup
- Slow Cooker Thai Coconut Chicken, Wild Rice Soup
- Slow Cooker Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup
- Slow Cooker Chicken Tortellini Soup
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©Carlsbad Cravings by CarlsbadCravings.com
Carlsbad Cravings Original
Photo credit of soup: The Wooden Skillet, editing and tortilla strips by Carlsbad Cravings
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