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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215 Responses to “Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup”

  1. #
    51
    Lee Ann — December 18, 2012 at 3:52 am

    Thinking of making this weekend. Looks yummy! But I am a wimp when it comes to hot stuff so worried about the serrano pepper. I know they are pretty hot. Is this recipe mild?

    • Rachel — December 18th, 2012 @ 7:15 am

      I didn’t find it overly hot/spicy, but I believe I noted in the recipe or blurb above it that you can sub in a jalapeño instead which isn’t as hot. The cheese you top it off with in the end helps to reduce the heat, plus… it’s only 1 for the entire recipe. :)

    • donna maynard — December 22nd, 2012 @ 3:59 pm

      I haven’t tried it yet but it sounds like it would’nt be too hot.

  2. #
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    David R — December 22, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    Rachel, thanks for the recipe! Made it today and it was delicious. I’m not a big soup eater, but this will go into my monthly rotation!

    And the Serrano did not make it too hot at all – perfect addition to the flavor.

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    jill — January 30, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    I made this soup and it was very good. I did add some lime juice, avacodos and cilantro (upon serving) to make it a little more flavourful. I also made my own tortilla strips and they were delicious.
    Great easy crockpot meal!

  4. #
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    Mila — February 5, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    This soup was SO good! My husband typically requests heartier meals because he doesn’t think soup will fill him up so I made this on a day when he was leaving town. He called me at work to say that the soup smelled delish and he wished he would be home for dinner. I was sad that he wasn’t home for dinner to taste this soup – but I must admit it was DELISH!! I added extra hot sauce (I love spicy food) and added some guacamole (leftover from Sunday night’s Super Bowl that needed to get used) and it was so good. I only wish I had room for a 2nd bowl!

    • Rachel — February 5th, 2013 @ 8:59 pm

      So glad to hear you enjoyed it! It sounds like you’ll have to make it again sometime so your husband can try it out too. :)

  5. #
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    Lindsay — February 9, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    Hey!
    I made a double batch of this today! Smells really good!! Do you happen to have a calorie count and serving amount? Can’t wait to dig in!
    Thanks!

    • Rachel — February 10th, 2013 @ 9:00 am

      The serving size is listed within the recipe as 8-10 for a regular batch. I do not personally calculate nutritional information.

  6. #
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    Stephanie — February 10, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    Made this today and just had to comment because it was soooooo good! I used tomato sauce in lieu of the tomatoes because hubby doesn’t like them. Also omitted the hot peppers as we’re lightweights around here. Served with a dollop of sour cream. Had to fight my 13 month old for bites! He couldn’t get enough. Thank you!

  7. #
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    Jordan — February 11, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    I am eating this soup as I type. SO GOOD! I must admit, the serrano pepper made it a tad too spicy for my 3-year-old daughter, but my husband loves it. The cheese definitely took down the heat. For leftovers, I will be sure to add some avocado and I did add cilantro to the soup about 2/3 the way through. Thank you for this wonderful recipe!

  8. #
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    Debbi — February 13, 2013 at 9:19 am

    I’m doing a double batch but the cooking times are not the most convenient. With double batch do you think 5 hours on high would work?

    • Rachel — February 13th, 2013 @ 9:44 am

      Most slow cookers will switch over to the warm setting automatically when it is done cooking so I would recommend staying with 4 hours.

  9. #
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    jennifer — February 16, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    Delicious!

  10. #
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    Holly — February 16, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    I am thinking of making this…it sounds so good! I am a newbie at cooking different things tho and I have a silly queation. When you say to use strips of seasoned tortillas do you mean the soft, round ones I would buy for wraps or burritos? I’ve never noticed seasoned ones, only white or whole wheat?

    • Rachel — February 17th, 2013 @ 3:32 pm

      Nope… tortilla strips like you see in the images within the post. Seasoned tortilla strips are generally located near the croutons, in either the aisle that contains the salad dressing or near the lettuce.

  11. #
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    Leatha — February 22, 2013 at 8:18 am

    I am planning to cook this recipe because it sounds so good. I was wondering if you cook the chicken prior to putting it in the slow cooker. Sorry if this is a silly question.

    • Rachel — February 22nd, 2013 @ 11:52 am

      Add the chicken in raw/uncooked and remove later to shred, as stated in the recipe. :)

  12. #
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    Sara — February 22, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    I made this soup today and added green chilis instead of serrano peppers. No perticluar reason besides it was what I had and didnt need to run to the grocery store. Love love this soup!

    • Rachel — February 22nd, 2013 @ 1:25 pm

      So glad you liked it :)

  13. #
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    Leatha — February 22, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    Thanks for your reply. So many of the chicken tortilla soup recipes say to start with cooked chicken (even in the slow cooker). Your reply was helpful.

    • Rachel — February 22nd, 2013 @ 1:25 pm

      Not a problem. I hope you enjoy it.

  14. #
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    Heather Dempsey — February 23, 2013 at 9:20 am

    Woke up early today to get this in the crock-pot!! Hoping for a very tasty dinner! :)

  15. #
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    Tashia D — March 6, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Hi Rachel!
    I came across this recipe on Pinterest and tried it a few days ago. I absolutely loved it and I’m not really a soup person! It was delicious! Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Rachel — March 6th, 2013 @ 11:36 am

      So glad you enjoyed it! :)

  16. #
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    Old Soul — March 11, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    The best recipe I have ever made. I portion it out into single servings and freeze. Omg, soo freakin good. Thank you!

  17. #
    67
    Old Soul — March 11, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    Btw…any Idea of serving size, calorie count ect??

  18. #
    68
    Old Soul — March 11, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    Just saw a previous post….no worries on calories …will figure it out myself…..

  19. #
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    anna — March 12, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    Silly “I NEVER cook” question…I used chicken broth instead of stock. Should I just bail now or let it keep cooking? I am kicking myself for not paying attention! Thanks and feel free to laugh! :)

    • Rachel — March 12th, 2013 @ 12:09 pm

      They’re pretty much interchangeable, so I wouldn’t worry about it. I hope you like it! :)

  20. #
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    Katie — March 14, 2013 at 10:43 am

    Rachel, I found your Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe on Pinterest. I was looking for a crock pot version and I’m so glad I tried yours. It is delicious. I’m making my second batch today. Sure to be a family favorite. Thanks

    • Rachel — March 14th, 2013 @ 1:40 pm

      So glad to hear you enjoyed it! :)

  21. #
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    Christy McCloskey — March 30, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    I came acrossed this recipe on Pinterest! In the crockpot now and it smells so good. Our mouths are watering in anticipation for dinner tonight! I figured a quick and easy meal the night before a big holiday feast would be best. Smells better than the pizza we were thinking about ordering!! Happy Easter and God Bless.

    • Rachel — March 30th, 2013 @ 4:55 pm

      I hope you enjoy it! :)

  22. #
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    Sherry — April 8, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    Made it today! The kitchen smells so good, looking forward to my family trying it out. I’m going to let the girls put on their own cheese and tortilla chips.. and also will serve with a fresh french stick of bread! Hoping its a hit! Thanks again for this!

    • Rachel — April 8th, 2013 @ 3:07 pm

      I hope you enjoy it! :)

  23. #
    73
    Denise — April 10, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    This has become a family favorite and so easy to make with left over roasted chicken. I add black beans too. Thanks for the great recipe!

    • Rachel — April 10th, 2013 @ 8:48 pm

      So glad to hear it! :)

  24. #
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    Anna — April 12, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Took a leap and Made this for a party this past weekend. It was delicious… Everyone loved it and so did my pickyhusband and kids. Thank you and will be making this again soon.

    • Rachel — April 12th, 2013 @ 11:28 am

      So glad to hear it! :)

  25. #
    75
    kristen — April 25, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Thanks for the recipe! Crocking now…did you just use Frito chips?

    • Rachel — April 25th, 2013 @ 6:56 pm

      I used Santa Fe style tortilla strips. They can typically be found either in your salad dressing aisle near the croutons or near your salad mixes in the produce section. I hope you enjoy the soup!

  26. #
    76
    Melissa — April 29, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    This is so yummy! I added a can of black beans.

  27. #
    77
    Enrique — April 30, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    I would like to serve this meal but I would like to serve it for over 30 people. What will be the amount difference in the recipe?

    • Rachel — May 1st, 2013 @ 7:20 am

      Depending on if you want this to be served with other items or alone, you should increase 3-4+ times. Having extra would never be a bad thing.

  28. #
    78
    Enrique — May 1, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    Thank you Rachel. I want to start cooking the day before and I have a crock pot do I start cooking before and put in the crock pot or is it better the day of?

    • Rachel — May 2nd, 2013 @ 7:11 am

      It would be best the day of. You should be aware that a standard 5 or 6qt slow cooker will not be sufficient for the amount you will be cooking. You’ll need to divide and cook among several slow cookers.

  29. #
    79
    Brittany — May 6, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    Have you ever used frozen chicken or should it be thawed out first?

    • Rachel — May 7th, 2013 @ 7:14 am

      I have never, I always use fresh. I’d recommend using fresh or thawing the meat completely prior to cooking. I’ve read that using frozen meat of any kind in the slow cooker is not a good idea, for many reasons.

  30. #
    80
    yvette — May 20, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Does trimmed mean skinless boneless chicken breast?

    • Rachel — May 20th, 2013 @ 6:24 pm

      Trimmed means trimmed of fat.

  31. #
    81
    yvette — May 20, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    Thanks, do I use boneless skinless chicken sorry, never really cook and I’ve only used my crock pot only once.

    • Rachel — May 21st, 2013 @ 7:35 am

      Yes, boneless chicken breast as stated in the recipe.

  32. #
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    Carrie — May 22, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    Made this tonight and it was a Hit !!! Only made a few changes.. Doubled the Corn and tomatoes,added about 1 1/2 cup of Chopped Cilantro ( we LOVE cilantro). Also to our individual bowls I added a tablespoon of sour cream! Husband and 2 year old approved !!! THank you !!! this will be a regular in our house ! Served with Loaded Salad..made for a great weeknight meal !

    • Rachel — May 22nd, 2013 @ 7:22 pm

      So glad to hear your whole family enjoyed it! :) Love the changes you made, especially the corn – more corn is never a bad thing!

  33. #
    83
    Toni M. — May 27, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    This was so delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  34. #
    84
    Anna — May 30, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    This recipe is hilarious! At about 7 1/2 hours it was thin, bland and somewhat disappointing. At 8 hours on the dot however it had become spectacular!! Not one of the 6 people who I fed it to for lunch had anything less than rave reviews to give it, so much so that they insisted we make it again for dinner! Good think we had backup ingredients, lol :) Thank you so much for sharing this – its’ the first time I used my crockpot – aside from just heating up sauces and stuff that is. What a success!

  35. #
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    Don — June 9, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    must add chunks of avocado!

  36. #
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    Crystal Payne — June 18, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    This recipe is Perfection! I have been searching for years to find the perfect recipe that compares to that of restaurants I frequent and well this has surpassed them. I made two slight modification of omitting the corn and adding sliced avacado as a garnish. Thank you for sharing,it will be a staple in our home from now on!!

    • Rachel — June 18th, 2013 @ 7:26 pm

      I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it!

  37. #
    87
    Diane — June 19, 2013 at 11:05 am

    I made this recipe on Sunday and brought to work for my co-workers… OMG, everybody loved it. I served it with rice to make it a little bit hardier. This is will be added to my list of remakes.

  38. #
    88
    Kristen — August 7, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    I am wondering if you have the nutritional information for this soup?

    • Rachel — August 7th, 2013 @ 2:04 pm

      I do not, but you are welcome to calculate it yourself! :) There are lots of free nutritional calculators online.

  39. #
    89
    Jessica @ This Blessed Life — August 31, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Hi there! I found this recipe via Pinterest and it looks AMAZING. But thought you might want to know it’s going around Pinterest and not linking to you at all, but rather this hacker site who is running ads on the side to apparently make money off of your idea! I am linking DIRECTLY to you and I notified the people on Pinterest who were (accidentally, I’m sure!) linking to the hacker site. I hope you can get it resolved, and that more people will actually come straight to you. Thanks for what looks to be a great recipe! Can’t wait to try it. :)

    • Rachel — September 1st, 2013 @ 7:57 am

      Thanks so much for letting me know and for pinning it properly! Much appreciated. That kind of theft happens far more than I like. And yay for New England! Hope you’re having a great holiday weekend.

  40. #
    90
    Jessica @ This Blessed Life — August 31, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    Also, I just realized you’re a fellow New Englander! I live in CT – born and raised. :)

  41. #
    91
    sara — September 9, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    Hey! What if stove top not slow cooker?

    • Rachel — September 9th, 2013 @ 8:18 pm

      Because I wrote this specifically for the slow cooker, I do not have guidelines for it on the stove-top.

  42. #
    92
    Lauren — September 15, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    This is a staple in the fall and winter in our house! We are wimpy when it comes to spicy and I rarely have jalapeños or Serrano peppers in the house so I usually use a can of Rotel Diced tomatoes with green chiles. It gives the soup a little kick without being super spicy.

  43. #
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    Vicki Wilson — September 19, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    Made this today in my deep covered baker, cooked it in the oven for 2 hours at 325. This was really good, I loved the soup base, great flavor. I will probably leave out the pepper next time. Yum!

    • Rachel — September 20th, 2013 @ 7:22 am

      Glad to hear you enjoyed it! :)

  44. #
    94
    Andrea (Quest for Delish) — September 25, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    I made this soup tonight and the whole family loved it. I found this on pinterest and couldn’t resist trying it. I used jalapeno instead because I was worried it would be too spicy for my children. I also used frozen corn instead of canned. Very Delish.

    • Rachel — September 26th, 2013 @ 7:32 am

      Glad to hear you enjoyed it! :)

  45. #
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    Mimsy — September 29, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    I made this today and just want to say BRAVO! We loved it and will be making it often as winter closes in on us here in the Northwoods. Thank you so much for sharing a really terrific recipe! I’m going to try Lauren’s idea of adding Rotel diced tomatoes next!

    • Rachel — September 30th, 2013 @ 7:16 am

      Glad to hear you enjoyed it! :)

  46. #
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    Jill Q. — October 2, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    I would it to add avacado to this soup, so how much avacado when u recommend and do I add it before or after serving it?

    • Rachel — October 3rd, 2013 @ 7:34 am

      The amount would totally be a personal choice but I would recommend adding it after serving, as a garnish.

  47. #
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    Heidi — October 3, 2013 at 10:14 am

    Thank you! We made this for dinner yesterday and really enjoyed it. I prepped everything the night before and popped it in the fridge. The next morning I placed the crockpot in the base and set it on low. 8 hours later it was ready for us to enjoy!

    • Rachel — October 3rd, 2013 @ 8:41 pm

      I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it! :) Thanks for sharing.

  48. #
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    Megan — October 7, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Rachel,
    Do you add the chicken into the crockpot frozen or defrosted?

    Thanks!

    • Rachel — October 7th, 2013 @ 12:49 pm

      Only fully thawed meat should be placed in a slow cooker. This ensures that all bacteria is properly killed off and that the meat has enough time to cook well. If frozen meat were to be used, that would lower the overall temperature of the entire dish and could prevent it from getting hot enough. Hope that helps. :)

  49. #
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    Emily — October 7, 2013 at 10:33 am

    I absolutely love this recipe! It’s so simple and the ingredients are inexpensive. The last time I made this I actually had some left over corn on the cob which I substituted for the canned corn and it was so delicious. I also substitute the serrano pepper for jalapeno and add some cayenne and lime juice about a half hour before serving because I like it extra spicy. ;) I love how versatile this recipe is–thank you for sharing!

    • Rachel — October 7th, 2013 @ 12:46 pm

      Love the use of fresh corn :) Glad to hear you enjoyed it!

  50. #
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    BabyBumpBeyond Heather — October 8, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    Thank you for watermarking your photos! I would have never found your recipe without it.

    • Rachel — October 8th, 2013 @ 4:00 pm

      I hope you enjoy it! :)

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