Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

The perfect chicken tortilla soup recipe. An easy and flavorful chicken soup made in the slow cooker, topped off with shredded cheese and seasoned tortilla strips.

The best slow cooker chicken tortilla soup! Recipe by @bakedbyrachel

Fall is an exciting time. For starters it’s my favorite season, not just for the juicy fresh locally grown apples and all of the amazing seasonal recipes but also for all of the changes. The leaves start to turn and the weather gets cooler. It means bundling up in cozy clothes, snuggling under a blanket and sipping on a hot drink.

Have you ever noticed all of the delightful smells that come with Fall? There’s a fresh crispness to the air. And let’s not forget it’s nearly fire season… the good and cozy kind.

But Fall brings many other kinds of changes. It kicks off the busy season. Class is back in session, for many…after school sports and activities are in full swing. Vacations and days of lounging around are but a memory now. And to make matters worse, the days are getting shorter. Less time and less light to get everything done.

The best slow cooker chicken tortilla soup! Recipe by @bakedbyrachel

To make life easier, it’s time to pull out the slow cooker. I happily use mine year round, but it’s especially handy and well loved in the busier and cooler months. From stews to chowders and soups, even to slow cooked meet, slow cookers are super handy to have. Toss your ingredients in before you head off to work, running errands or just hanging out at home. Hours later you’ll have a delicious meal with minimal effort. It’s an incredibly easy way to make a large batch of food to enjoy for dinner, a weeks worth of meals or to stock up your freezer!

The best slow cooker chicken tortilla soup! Recipe by @bakedbyrachel

I’ve been wanting to make a tortilla soup since last year, I just never got around to making it. I truly wish I hadn’t waited so long. It was incredible. Full of flavor, just the right ratio of liquid to solids and the perfect hint of spice. I honestly wanted to use homemade tortilla strips and I tried to make some but didn’t love the results so store bought strips won out. I love the handiness of this prepackaged item as you can snack on them and have them ready for whenever you heat up a bowl of this soup. No slaving over the stove to crisp up fresh tortilla strips, just open the bag and grab a bunch!

If you’re looking for other slow cooker ideas, be sure to check out this slow cooker roundup from last year and a few new recipes, like slow cooker mini meatball minestrone soup and slow cooker lobster chowder!

Yield: Serves 8-10

Cook Time: 4 hours

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

An easy and flavorful chicken soup made in the slow cooker, topped off with shredded cheese and seasoned tortilla strips.

Ingredients:

1lb chicken breast, trimmed
15oz can sweet whole corn kernels, drained
15oz can diced tomatoes, drained
5C chicken stock
3/4C onion, chopped
3/4C green pepper, chopped
1 serrano pepper, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp salt, divided
1 tsp ground pepper, divided
Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
Seasoned tortilla strips

Directions:

To your slow cooker add first 9 ingredients plus 1 tsp salt and 3/4 tsp ground pepper. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
 
Prior to serving, remove chicken breasts. Transfer chicken to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for easy shredding. Alternately you may shred chicken by hand. Season chicken with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Return shredded seasoned chicken to slow cooker bowl. Stir gently.
 
If serving immediately, divide among bowls. Top off with a generous helping of shredded cheese and seasoned tortilla strips. Soup may be stored in the fridge for up to several days. If freezing, label containers well with soup name and date.
 

Baked by Rachel original

This post is made possible by BlogHer’s Make Ahead Meals editorial series, made possible by Bank of America.


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211 Responses to “Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup”

  1. #
    1
    Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray — September 27, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Another soup I’ll be adding to my slow cooker arsenal! Thanks. :)

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    Kate@Diethood — September 27, 2012 at 9:45 am

    The soup looks amazing and your photos are beyond gorgeous!!

  3. #
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    Cassie — September 27, 2012 at 10:00 am

    Perfect! I love tortilla soup!

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    Meagan @ A Zesty Bite — September 27, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    I love tortilla soup and its perfect for start of the fall season.

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    Rachael {SimplyFreshCooking} — September 27, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Oh this looks wonderful! I just had some chicken tortilla soup from Chili’s because I thought I was craving it, but it just wasn’t as good as I remember it being. Cooking all this healthy homemade food has made me a total food snob and it’s hard to eat at chain restaurants now. Do you find that as well?

    • Rachel — September 27th, 2012 @ 2:23 pm

      It completely is! I have a hard time justifying going out to eat anyway but when I know I can make it all at home it’s even harder.

  6. #
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    Linda @ My Foodgasm Journal — September 27, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    Yum! I’m about to try slow cooking recipe and this is perfect! I love how you make this recipe so simple to follow, can’t wait to try it.

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    amy @ fearless homemaker — September 27, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    You know I love my slow-cooker + this looks absolutely wonderful!

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    Erin — September 27, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    I love Tortilla soup. I use mild jalapeno canned tomatoes in mine with a packet of fajita seasoning mix, and serve with Hint of Lime tortilla chips and a MOUNTAIN of sour cream. I just might have to try it your way!

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    Trish — September 27, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    I’ve been wanting to given tortilla soup a try ever since the restaurant I used to get it from closed down. This looks so easy I’d be a fool not to give it a try :)

  10. #
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    Tracey — September 27, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    I love your little soup crocks! They’re on my list of props I still want to add to my collection. Love the soup too, so perfect for fall!

  11. #
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    Meghan — September 27, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    I love tortilla soup, and any chance I have to use my slow cooker! Can’t wait to try this!

  12. #
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    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts — September 27, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    Tortilla soup is a favorite of mine, this looks perfect!

  13. #
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    Megan {Country Cleaver} — September 27, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    Looks tasty!

  14. #
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    Rachel (teacher-chef) — September 28, 2012 at 2:03 am

    YUM – I made this (or some variation of this) so much in the fall/winter! It is probably the only “repeat dinner” that my fiance even gets close to getting tired of: but I love it (so easy and delicious)!!!

  15. #
    15
    Julia — September 28, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Yep, totally making this! A double batch. Then freezing some for after #2 is born. Yum, love tortilla soup!

  16. #
    16
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet — September 28, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    I am a sucker for slow cooker recipes and this sounds amazing!

  17. #
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    Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen — September 29, 2012 at 9:36 am

    I want to take a swim in that bowl!

  18. #
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    Cheri | Kitchen Simplicity — September 29, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    I’m always on the lookout for tasty slow cooker recipes and have been on the lookout for the perfect Chicken Tortilla Soup for a while now. This looks like it just might be it!

  19. #
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    Charlotte — October 2, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    I love crockpot cooking! I am trying this tonight! Thanks for the hint on shredding chicken breast. It worked!
    Amazing!

  20. #
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    Amy Gonzalez — October 2, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    I made this tonight. It was a hit! Thanks for the recipe!

    • Rachel — October 2nd, 2012 @ 7:52 pm

      So glad to hear you enjoyed it. :)

  21. #
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    Amanda — October 7, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    Do you think you could use frozen chicken and cook for longer?

    • Rachel — October 8th, 2012 @ 8:16 am

      I haven’t personally ever used frozen items to create a slow cooker recipe outside of making chicken stock. However, I did poke around and found that a lot of people do seem to do it but it isn’t recommended. So I guess it’s really up to you!

  22. #
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    Lyndsay — October 11, 2012 at 11:40 am

    About the frozen chicken – I have used frozen in a couple other slow cooker recipes and just cook it for 1-2 hours longer. I haven’t noticed any difference in quality or taste doing it that way.

    I plan on making this recipe today!

  23. #
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    Meg — October 12, 2012 at 11:39 am

    What size slow cooker is this recipe designed for? I have a “mini” slow cooker (4 quarts)should I downsize the ingredients a bit?

    • Rachel — October 12th, 2012 @ 3:07 pm

      This was made in a 6quart slow cooker. I’d suggest downsizing at least slightly to be sure it all fits.

  24. #
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    Karen Joyce — October 13, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    YUM! This was so good! Thanks for the recipe! I will admit that I used 3/4 cups of diced green chiles instead of green pepper. That and I think I’ll add a little cilantro and sliced avocado at serving time next go around. I’m sure I’ll be making it again soon!

  25. #
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    Karen Joyce — October 13, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Oh! And I don’t know if my crockpot runs hot or what but I checked the chicken and it was completely done after 3 hours on high.

  26. #
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    Inspire Me Heather — October 14, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Thank you – I’m making this tonight!!

  27. #
    27
    Deb Manjo — October 14, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    I am making this tomorrow =)

  28. #
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    Jackie — October 15, 2012 at 8:29 am

    Just want to make sure- you put the chicken breast in raw? Or do you pre-cook it?

    Thanks!

    • Rachel — October 15th, 2012 @ 8:50 am

      Yes, they are put in raw and taken out to shred at the end of the cooking cycle.

  29. #
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    Janice — October 17, 2012 at 12:13 am

    This recipe looks great!

  30. #
    30
    Yvonne — October 17, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    So delicious! Thank you

  31. #
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    Naomi — October 19, 2012 at 12:53 am

    It looks delightful! I was wondering, though, if chicken broth is the same as chicken stock?

    • Rachel — October 19th, 2012 @ 7:21 am

      They’re similar. The difference is that broth is made using only meat and/or vegetables for the flavor, whereas stock uses bones, meat, vegetables and herbs resulting in a more full bodied flavor.

  32. #
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    Whitney — October 19, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Saw this recipe on Pinterest. Making this this morning…also added kidney beans to the mix. It’s looking good!

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    melissa — October 20, 2012 at 10:08 am

    this soup was so good! thank you for the recipe. i made it this week. i used rotisserie chicken because i had it on hand and also added a can of blackbeans (drained and rinsed) to make it more hearty. i linked your blog at the link below. thanks again!!!
    http://www.thelettereblog.com/2012/10/20/crockpot-tortilla-soup/

    • Rachel — October 20th, 2012 @ 6:08 pm

      Thanks so much for sharing! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  34. #
    34
    Tasha — October 24, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Where do I find Serano peppers? Is there a substitue if I can’t find?

    • Rachel — October 24th, 2012 @ 11:53 am

      You could substitute Jalapeño peppers instead. My store happened to be out the day I was ingredient shopping so that’s why I ended up with Serrano peppers. They’re twice as hot as Jalapeños, so either plan on less bite or just increase the Jalapeños slightly if desired.

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    Rachel — October 25, 2012 at 10:25 am

    I made the soup from this recipe this weekend, it was fantastic! I added a few things to make it spicier, and it was perfect. The whole batch was finished off in one day… Thanks for this!

  36. #
    36
    Sophia — October 25, 2012 at 11:05 am

    This looks great. Only thing I would do different is stick with my homemade tortilla strips. I often wonder why people add extra ingredients such as beans, potatoes, zucchini to tortilla soup.

  37. #
    37
    LeKeisha — October 27, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    Do you happen to know the nutrition information for this?

    • Rachel — October 28th, 2012 @ 2:21 pm

      I’m sorry, but I do not. There are a lot of free nutritional calculators available that you could use to find out though.

  38. #
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    Leslie — October 28, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    I made this today, and it was so easy and delicious! I made it exactly as directed except I also topped it with sour cream, which I thought added to it. My husband commented on what a great flavor the soup had. Thanks for such a wonderful recipe!

    • Rachel — October 28th, 2012 @ 9:00 pm

      You’re very welcome. I’m so glad you both enjoyed it.

  39. #
    39
    Jessi — October 31, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Very good. I added a can of black beans & cilantro. Also topped with sour cream. It was a hit. Thanks :)

  40. #
    40
    Lori — November 1, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    Made this today and it was delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

  41. #
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    Cathy — November 3, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    Made this for dinner tonight and everyone loved it. Followed the recipe exactly and turned out great. Will definitely be making this again. Thanks for the recipe!!

  42. #
    42
    Kadesha — November 5, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    I plan on trying this recipe later this week or next week. I’m new to using a crock pot. I cooked my first meal in my crock pot last week. I wanted to know if you put the whole chicken breasts in the crock pot to cook with the other ingredients or you shred the chicken first? How do you shred the chicken? Can I use frozen corn, instead of can corn? Also, how long can the soup be stored in the freezer? Thanks!

    • Rachel — November 6th, 2012 @ 6:55 am

      Yes, put the raw whole chicken breasts in the slow cooker. In the recipe it tells you to shred the chicken towards the cooking cycle. You can either place the whole chicken breasts in a stand mixer and shred with a paddle attachment or shred by hand with forks. As for freezing, I typically freeze soup in the cheap reusable plastic containers you can find at the grocery store. Leave at least a half inch between the soup and the top of the bowl and label the container well. Usually soup can be stored frozen for several months or longer depending on if it’s a freezer attached to a refrigerator or if it’s a stand alone unit. Good luck!

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    Heather G — November 7, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    Made it tonight and it was a success! Wouldn’t feed 8-10 people though. We have 4 plus a toddler and there was a bowl or two at best left.

    • Rachel — November 8th, 2012 @ 8:26 am

      So glad you enjoyed it. As for the servings, 8-10 is the recommended serving size. When determining this, it’s typically one large ladle full per person. I know that doesn’t sound like much but in the US we’re use to seeing vastly larger portions than are recommended. Certainly feel free to eat more, but it should definitely be able to feed a larger group than 4 people.

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    Linda R — November 14, 2012 at 11:16 am

    I have this in the crock pot right now, just finished adding the last ingredient. Smells wonderful already. Can’t wait fior dinner! I’ll let you know how we all liked it!

  45. #
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    angela k. — November 19, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    Made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious!! My family loved it.

  46. #
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    Michelle Koch — November 25, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Where do you find the tortilla strips? Also I am hoping to put this in the crock pot then eat it 8 hours later, could I just put cooked shredded chicken in the crock pot with all the other ingredients and then let it cook on low for 8 hours or would the chicken overcook??

    • Rachel — November 26th, 2012 @ 7:03 am

      I found my tortilla strips in the produce section near the lettuce and bagged lettuce varieties, but it can also be found near the croutons. As for the chicken, you can either add in your shredded chicken at the very end or add large uncooked whole chicken breasts in the beginning of the cook cycle and shred towards the end, per the recipe instructions. Do not add shredded chicken in the beginning.

  47. #
    47
    Angie — November 25, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    What size crock pot does this recipe fit in? I’m wondering if my 7qt crock pot would fit a doubled recipe…

    • Rachel — November 26th, 2012 @ 7:01 am

      This is made in a 6qt slow-cooker with some head room but I don’t believe a 7qt would be enough room to double safely.

  48. #
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    K&B — December 1, 2012 at 4:01 am

    I love make ahead meals ! It makes life 10x easier.

    ratedkb.wordpress.com

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    Toni — December 6, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    For the tortilla chips you can take a corn tortilla cut into strips put on a cookie sheet and spray with olive oil and bake in the oven.

    • Rachel — December 6th, 2012 @ 3:09 pm

      I’m aware, but did not care for the taste.

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    JENNIFER — December 12, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    Made this today! So yummy and easy! Thanks!!

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