If there's one dish that can bring warmth to your soul and spark a smile, it's got to be the hearty and luscious Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup. Loved by many for its rich flavors and comforting creaminess, this recipe has been a favorite across the culinary landscape. Today, we invite all food enthusiasts to the kitchen to craft this beloved bowl of delight from scratch. Whether you're an experienced chef or a home cook eager to try something new, our detailed guide will help you create the perfect pot of Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup.

Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup

The Origin of Tortilla Soup

Mexican Tortilla Soup, or 'Sopa Azteca', dates back centuries and has been part of traditional Mexican cuisine. It originated from the ancient practice of native Mesoamericans drying maize to preserve it. The maize was treated with lime, producing nixtamal, a hominy used in the making of tamales and tortillas. This rich history is a testament to the enduring appeal of tortilla soup, adapted and embraced globally, and often with diverse regional variations.

Key Ingredients in Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup

To achieve the signature creaminess and flavor burst, it’s essential to have the following ingredients on hand:

  • Chicken: Choose boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs for the base protein of the soup.
  • Vegetables: Onions, garlic, and jalapeños (or any type of chili pepper) for aromatic and spicy undertones.
  • Broth: Chicken broth serves as the foundation of the soup, where the chicken will be simmered to infuse every spoonful with a rich, meaty stock.
  • Tomatoes: Fresh, ripe tomatoes or canned diced tomatoes bring a tangy brightness to the broth.
  • Herbs and Spices: Cumin, chili powder, and paprika for that essential Southwestern flavor profile, along with fresh cilantro for a final zesty touch.
  • Dairy: Heavy cream or milk adds a luxurious silkiness, making this tortilla soup irresistibly creamy.
  • Toppings: Crispy tortilla strips, shredded cheese, and a dollop of sour cream for the quintessential garnish that elevates every scoop.

Step-by-Step Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe


  1. Begin by preparing your ingredients. Finely chop the onions, mince the garlic, and dice the tomatoes. Also, rinse and roughly chop the cilantro, and prepare the jalapeños by deseeding them for a milder flavor, or leave the seeds in for more heat.
  2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and set it aside while you heat a large pot over medium-high heat.

Cooking the Base

  1. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pot and sauté the onions until they become translucent. Next, add the garlic and jalapeños, stirring for a minute until the aromas are released.
  2. Now, stir in the spices—cumin, chili powder, and paprika—and continue to cook for another minute. The combination of these spices is vital for the depth of flavor in your soup.

Simmer and Shred

  1. Pour in the chicken broth and add the seasoned chicken breasts or thighs. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked.
  2. Remove the chicken from the pot and shred it into bite-sized pieces using two forks.

Combining the Cream

  1. Return the shredded chicken to the pot and add the tomatoes. Allow the soup to simmer for another 10 minutes to marry the flavors.
  2. Reduce the heat and pour in the heavy cream or milk, stirring gently. Simmer for a few more minutes and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish and Glass

  1. While the soup simmers with the cream, it's time to prepare the tortilla strips. Serve the soup in bowls and top with the strips, followed by a sprinkle of cheese and a garnish of fresh cilantro. A dollop of sour cream is optional, but highly recommended.

Your Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup is now ready to be enjoyed. Serve it alongside some lime wedges for a final squeeze of citrus, and perhaps a side of Mexican rice or warm cornbread.

Serving Suggestions

The true beauty of this soup lies in its customizability. Toppings play a significant role in the overall flavor, so don’t be shy to experiment. You might find that additions like avocados, sliced jalapeños, or a drizzle of hot sauce take your creamy tortilla soup to the next level.


For a complete meal, pair the soup with a fresh green salad for a lighter touch, or with warm flour tortillas for a heartier serving. The soup also pairs beautifully with a slice of creamy avocado toast for brunch or a light lunch.

Health Benefits and Nutritional Content

This creamy soup, laden with proteins from chicken and dairy, also offers a good dose of vitamins and minerals from the various vegetables and spices. The tomatoes and onions provide important antioxidants, while the chicken contributes essential amino acids for muscle repair and growth. Remember to use low-sodium chicken broth if you're watching your salt intake.

Share Your Cooking Journey

After you’ve tried the recipe, share your experience and any modifications you made to suit your taste. You can connect with other food enthusiasts by using the hashtag #CreamyTortillaSoup and sharing your creation on social media. Don’t forget to tag us - we can’t wait to see your kitchen triumphs!

Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup brings the comfort of a home-cooked meal and the excitement of international flavors right to your table. It's a dish that the entire family can enjoy, and with the detailed recipe provided, it’s now easier than ever to prepare. Enjoy the process of cooking as much as the meal, and savor every spoonful of this versatile and delicious Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup. For more culinary adventures, stay tuned and continue exploring the expansive world of flavors and recipes.

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