Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

The tortilla is truly a wonderful ingredient. It can be a wrap, it can be fried into a bowl or chip, and in this case it can be a great part of a soup. One of the brilliant parts of this recipe is the use of a slow cooker, so with a quick bit of prep, you can make a hearty, delicious soup for even the busiest nights. Recipe creator Melissa Olivieri, whose culinary exploits can be found on her website The Olive Blogger, has made a blend of ingredients that lets you pack a full meal into a delicious soup that lets a slow cooker do all the heavy lifting. 

You can make the tortillas yourself, though Olivieri suggests buying a package of pre-sliced tortilla strips. What is more important is that you get the right stock for the soup. "I do prefer to use a broth concentrate (or bullion cube) vs. ready-made broth as I find it has more flavor," explains Olivieri. Once you've got all the right ingredients together, though, you can just sit back and watch the magic happen in the slow cooker.

Gather the ingredients for your slow cooker chicken tortilla soup

Start with two medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts. You also need to buy an onion, a lime, two medium avocados, and a bunch of fresh cilantro from the vegetable aisle. Pick up a can of black beans, a can of whole kernel corn, a can of diced tomatoes (at least one cup worth), and a large can of strained tomatoes (at least 2 cups). Buy a bottle of olive oil and a carton of chicken broth concentrate. You'll also need a package of tortilla strips. "You can use whatever your preference is," Olivieri explains about whether to use flour or corn strips. "I love a corn tortilla strip when doing anything with Mexican flavors."

Finish your shopping trip with Kosher salt, garlic powder, chili powder, and cumin.

Sauté the onions

You should do any prep, such as dicing your onion and chopping your cilantro, in advance. Heat a medium pan over medium-high heat. Once it's up to temperature, add the oil and the onions. Sauté the onions until they're browned and fragrant. "You are essentially giving them a quick caramelization," Olivieri explains. This should take about 5 minutes. Once browned, set the pan full of onions aside.

Add ingredients to the slow cooker

Now it's time to turn to the slow cooker. Drop your chicken breasts, the diced tomatoes, the corn, the beans, the strained tomatoes, the chicken broth, the spices, lime, and the water into the slow cooker. Finally you can pour in the sautéed onions and half of the chopped cilantro and your soup blend is made. Set the slow cooker to high for 3 hours and let it roll.

Shred the chicken and return to the soup

Give the soup a gentle stir every hour. "I like to give it a stir a couple of times while cooking when it is set to high to ensure nothing is sticking," Olivieri explains.

When the chicken is fully cooked, remove it from the slow cooker to another dish to shred it. As Olivieri explains, "You can check it two ways: Either using a thermometer to read 165 F or by checking there is no pink when you are shredding it." Shred it into smaller pieces using two forks since it will still be hot. If the chicken is cooked properly, it should come apart easily. 

Once shredded, add the chicken back to the slow cooker and stir it to reintegrate it into the soup.

Finish and serve your chicken tortilla soup

Finally, with the chicken well-blended into the soup, the soup is done. "Once you add the chicken back and stir to combine you can serve and enjoy," adds Olivieri. Ladle soup into individual bowls and add sliced avocado and the rest of the cilantro to them. Finish up your Mexican soup masterpieces by topping them with the tortilla strips as a garnish. Now it's time for you and your guests or family to warm up with a hearty soup from scratch that actually took very little time to cook.

Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
5 from 46 ratings
Not only is this chicken tortilla soup warm, comforting, and delicious, but it's easy to make, too, as you can count on the slow cooker to do most of the work!
Prep Time
Cook Time
bowl of chicken tortilla soup
Total time: 3 hours, 10 minutes
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil

  • 1 medium onion, diced

  • 2 medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 (12-ounce) can whole kernel corn
  • 1 (14-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed (aprox 540ml)

  • 2 cups canned, strained tomatoes

  • 1 tablespoon chicken broth concentrate (or 1 bouillon cube)

  • 3 cups water

  • juice of 1 lime

  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon cumin
2 medium avocados, sliced

  • 1 package tortilla strips
  1. Heat a medium pan over medium-high heat, add oil and onions and sauté until browned, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

  2. Assemble ingredients in slow cooker, starting with the chicken breasts, diced tomatoes, corn, beans, strained tomatoes, chicken broth, water, lime juice, spices, sautéed onions, and half of the chopped cilantro.

  3. Set the slow cooker to high for 3 hours, giving it a gentle stir once every hour.

  4. When chicken is fully cooked, remove from the slow cooker and use forks to shred it.
  5. Add chicken back to the soup and stir to combine.

  6. Serve the soup topped with sliced avocado, cilantro, and tortilla strips as garnish.

Calories per Serving 651
Total Fat 28.2 g
Saturated Fat 3.8 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 66.2 mg
Total Carbohydrates 71.4 g
Dietary Fiber 15.8 g
Total Sugars 7.8 g
Sodium 915.2 mg
Protein 32.6 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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