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!

Homemade seasoned tortilla strips are a perfect addition to this recipe!

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.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 10 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chicken, Dinner, Slow cooker, Soup
Servings: 8


  • 1 lb chicken breast
  • 15 oz sweet whole corn kernels drained
  • 15 oz diced tomatoes drained
  • 5 C chicken stock
  • 3/4 C yellow onion chopped
  • 3/4 C green bell 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


  • 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.


Recipe serves roughly 8-10.
An original recipe from Baked by Rachel

Items used in this recipe:

This post contains affiliate links.

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313 Responses to “Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup”

  1. #
    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 8, 2013 at 4:00 pm

      I hope you enjoy it! :)

  2. #
    Mysti — October 10, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    I found your recipe via pinterest. I’m very excited to cook this but one quick question, maybe you can help: I have a 2 qt crock pot since I only cook for one, so how much should I adjust the ingredients?

    • #
      Rachel — October 10, 2013 at 5:48 pm

      It’s been a while since I’ve made it, but I’m betting that it would work well to cut the recipe in half. Just a guess though. Definitely judge as you’re putting the ingredients in and cut back further as needed if necessary. Enjoy!

  3. #
    Cassie — October 12, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    I see the serving size says 8-10. is that cups or 1/2 cup servings?

    • #
      Rachel — October 13, 2013 at 8:37 am

      Roughly 1 cup servings.

  4. #
    Katie — October 15, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    Made this today and had it tonight. FABULOUS! My husband ate 4 bowls. I had some frozen chicken tenders and threw those in the crock pot still frozen. Cooked on low for about 10 hours due to my work schedule. The chicken literally fell apart when I tried to take it out to shred. We topped it with fresh chopped cilantro and jalepenos as well as the cheese and chips. Thanks for a new go-to meal!

    • #
      Rachel — October 16, 2013 at 7:17 am

      So glad you enjoyed it! :)

  5. #
    Matt — October 21, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    What does the 5C and the 3/4C mean? I’m a college student looking for easy recipes. Thanks!

    • #
      Rachel — October 21, 2013 at 6:12 pm

      C stands for cup(s)

  6. #
    Brooke Meghan — October 22, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    I made this 3 days ago and fell in LOVE!! This is the best Chicken Tortilla Soup I’ve had. Definitely going to be a regular meal in my home. :) Thank you so much for sharing! I added potatoes to this recipe and topped with avocado, as well as the chips & cheese. …SO DELICIOUS.

    Brooke Meghan

    • #
      Rachel — October 23, 2013 at 7:21 am

      So glad you enjoyed it :)

  7. #
    Liz — October 23, 2013 at 8:00 am

    R – I’m new to your following. I’m a Cooking Light girl, so I’m used to seeing the nutritional data as part of a recipe. Is this something you might consider adding to your recipes??
    Also, for the Chicken Tortilla Soup:
    *on a scale of 1/Mild – 10/Emergency Room Hot, where does this fall on the spectrum of heat?
    *any reason one cannot use frozen corn?

    • #
      Rachel — October 23, 2013 at 12:58 pm

      I don’t offer nutritional data as I don’t ever use that personally. I find that information can be wildly inaccurate as well so I prefer to suggest people find a free online calculator they like and use that. Heat wise, I don’t recall it being overly spicy. Keep in mind it’s a small amount of spice/heat for a large batch of soup, plus you’re adding in some cheese which always helps to minimize any spiciness. If you’re fearful of the heat level, others have opted to use jalapeños in place of the serrano pepper. In regards to the corn, you should never add frozen food of any kind into a slow cooker as it reduces the overall temperature, thus creating a potential issue when it comes to killing off any bacteria that may be present. It’s always recommended to only place room temperature food into a slow cooker for that reason. Hope that helps!

  8. #
    Michele — October 26, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Excellent! Has great flavor, not crazy spicy. I was 2cups shy on chicken stock (I doubled recipe), so it was probably a little chunkier than should be. I think I would add the 2 cups next time, but increase the spice factor so the flavor isnt compromised. Will definitely make again!

    • #
      Rachel — October 27, 2013 at 7:45 am

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

  9. #
    Jennifer — November 6, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    Thank you for sharing a old time favorite recipe. Used Yellow Pepper, didn’t have green and I put a lot of fire in mine, so the sweetness of the Yellow was perfect. I also added black and pinto beans, fan favorite in my house. Rotel with Habaneros as well as Fire Roasted diced tomatoes. I used all low sodium or non salt products to keep the sodium down. Added 4-5 oz of non fat cream cheese in the last 1 hour to cream it up, was super yummy, with no fat. Thanks again for sharing your recipe, made me grab out the crock pot during these fall months. :)

    • #
      Rachel — November 6, 2013 at 6:26 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  10. #
    Katelyn — November 10, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    Can I use chicken broth instead of stock?

    • #
      Rachel — November 11, 2013 at 7:34 am

      They are typically interchangeable though one offers slightly more flavor than the other. Use what you prefer.

  11. #
    jessica blackson — November 11, 2013 at 2:01 am

    IS THIS MEANT TO BE A THINNER SOUP OR THICK CHILLI TYPE? Can you use less liquid to make it chunkier? My kids arent great with thin soups. Thanks

    • #
      Rachel — November 11, 2013 at 7:33 am

      No need to yell ;) This is a soup, not a chili but there is always room to adjust to personal preference. If you prefer a thicker soup then add less liquid or just serve a thicker bowls worth to your kids. :)

  12. #
    sarah — November 19, 2013 at 10:55 am

    Would it work to double this recipe for the slow cooker? It would be great to make extra to freeze.

    • #
      Rachel — November 19, 2013 at 2:03 pm

      If you have a large enough slow cooker then you could certainly increase the quantities.

  13. #
    colleen — November 20, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    i have been making this soup since last winter and am getting ready to pass your link on to my friend. just had to tell you how delicious it is! thank you!!

    • #
      Rachel — November 20, 2013 at 4:48 pm

      I’m so glad to hear it! Thanks for stopping by to let me know and for sharing the recipe with your friend! :)

  14. #

    I just had chicken tortilla soup for the first time today. It is amazing & I can’t wait to make this for the boyfriend. It seems like something healthy & like it will be boyfriend approved. :)

    • #
      Rachel — November 22, 2013 at 7:22 am

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  15. #
    Maria — December 4, 2013 at 5:00 am

    Made this last Sunday, and LOVED it! Will definitely add it to my repitoir. I left out the serrano pepper as my husband isn’t too fond of the heat, but kept some on the side for me to add to my own bowl at serving time.

    Tortilla strips can’t be bought in Denmark, so I made my own by frying up some tortilla quarters on a pan. Worked perfectly :)

    • #
      Rachel — December 4, 2013 at 10:30 am

      So glad you enjoyed it so much and I’m glad to hear the homemade tortillas worked out for you :)

  16. #
    Kathryn — December 6, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    Do I cook the chicken prior to placing in crock pot? If not can it be frozen?,

    • #
      Rachel — December 6, 2013 at 4:57 pm

      The chicken should be fully thawed and added to the slow cooker raw.

  17. #
    ariana — December 6, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    Hi, your soup sounds deeeelicious! I was wondering what size crock pot you used? I would love to make this for a potluck I am going to next week and I want to be sure I have enough or if I can double the recipe in one crockpot. I have a 6qt crockpot.

    • #
      Rachel — December 6, 2013 at 8:30 pm

      This was created in a 6-quart slow cooker. Hope that helps! Enjoy :)

  18. #
    MCS Gal — December 13, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    This sounds wonderful. It’s definitely on my make it soon list.

    • #
      Rachel — December 13, 2013 at 1:15 pm

      Thanks so much! I hope you enjoy it.

  19. #
    Jennifer — December 14, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    I use diced tomatoes with green chili, and sub cayenne for half the black pepper. Like it spicer!

  20. #
    Judy P. — December 20, 2013 at 2:08 am

    I misread the part about how long, I thought it said cook high for 4hrs, and low for 8 hrs. But something told me to recheck the recipe (4hrs later).
    Oh my goodness, I just tasted it… Amazing!! Its not too spicy, the shredded chicken floats so wonderfully, my home smells so delicious. I only spent $6.00 for everything (I already had chicken at home). Its inexpensive to make, its easy and the cooker does it for you.

    Thank you oh so much for this wonderful recipe. I will definitely make this again! :) Happy Holidays!

    • #
      Rachel — December 20, 2013 at 7:30 am

      So glad to hear you enjoyed it :)

  21. #
    Cherii — December 21, 2013 at 10:20 am

    In the ingredients…it says green pepper…is that a green bell pepper or a green chile pepper? Thanks!!

    • #
      Rachel — December 21, 2013 at 8:18 pm

      Green bell pepper :)

  22. #
    Laura — January 7, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    Hi Rachel! My coworker made this for us today in our coworker lunch share and it was delicious! Pinning it now!

    • #
      Rachel — January 7, 2014 at 4:25 pm

      So glad to hear you enjoyed it! :)

  23. #
    Maureen McCabe — January 20, 2014 at 5:53 am

    I bought all the ingredients. Making it tonight.

    • #
      Rachel — January 20, 2014 at 7:49 am

      Enjoy! :)

  24. #
    Lecia — January 26, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    Omitted onion. Used at least 1/2 tsp. of red pepper
    Used 3 frozen chicken breast and put them frozen in crockpot
    Came out delicious!

    • #
      Rachel — January 27, 2014 at 7:59 am

      So glad to hear you enjoyed it. Just remember in the future to not put frozen meat into a slow cooker as it becomes a health concern, as it allows bacteria to linger for too long and also requires a longer cook time. Only place fully thawed meat into slow cookers.

  25. #
    Therese — February 5, 2014 at 9:17 am

    Wonderful recipe! The k you for mentioning that it freezes well. I like to freeze some individual servings for lunches whenever I am able.

    • #
      Rachel — February 5, 2014 at 12:55 pm

      Having that option is always great! I hope you enjoy it :)

  26. #
    Jodee Weiland — February 5, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    This recipe looks delicious, and I love that it is done in a slow cooker! I love the ingredients you use as well. Thanks for sharing!

    • #
      Rachel — February 5, 2014 at 12:55 pm

      Thanks Jodee :)

  27. #
    Torrey — February 5, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    I saw a similar recipe with the only difference being 1/4 teaspoon more chili powder and 2 teaspoons of cumin. I made it the other way once. I was planning on making your way next, but noticed the similarities and I wondered if your recipe left the cumin out on purpose.

    • #
      Rachel — February 5, 2014 at 5:00 pm

      This is a 100% original recipe created by me. The ingredients listed are how I chose to make my dish for my own taste preferences and those in my family. I can’t speak for the ingredients by the other party, but it was likely barely adapted from my recipe without proper credit given.

  28. #
    Lisa — March 2, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    OMG! This soup is so delicious! I loved the way I started it in the morning and it was ready when guests arrived at lunchtime. My crockpot couldn’t hold the last 2 cups of broth and it still came out perfect. No stress! Everybody was raving about the soup! It was a great soup to have with sandwiches on a cold winter day.

    • #
      Rachel — March 3, 2014 at 7:25 am

      So glad to hear you enjoyed it! :)

  29. #
    Steph M. — March 9, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    This came out amazing. I actually left it on a bit longer than the 8 hours; we had some and i left it on overnight again for even more flavor. Just one thing – be really, really careful with the spicy pepper. I cut without gloves and my skin was on fire bc I got it stuck under my nail and scratched afterwards and it was PAINFUL!! But really great soup, similar taste to Chili’s!

  30. #
    Lauren — April 15, 2014 at 11:25 am

    This. Soup. Was. Amazing!!! I had to make a few modifications because of my kids’ sensitivity to spicy things, but *wow*!!! We all loved it so much. And I’m a little embarrassed, but thank you so much for linking on what the seasoned tortilla strips are – I definitely would have been hunting in the chip aisle and running to the gourmet grocers and markets in town trying to find something that I’ve simply never noticed with all the salad toppings in the produce department. :)

    Truly a repeatable soup, thank you for sharing!

    • #
      Rachel — April 15, 2014 at 8:39 pm

      So glad to hear you enjoyed it and I’m glad you were able to find the tortilla strips! Thanks for sharing! :)

  31. #
    Melinda — April 21, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    Made this for dinner tonight, but I was wondering if you’ve tried using bread bowls instead of regular bowls? My family and I live bread bowls! I’ll let you know how it turns out:-)

    • #
      Rachel — April 21, 2014 at 4:46 pm

      I have only made pretzel bowls so far: beer pretzel bowls recipe. I’ll certainly keep that idea in mind for the future though! :) I hope you enjoy the soup!

  32. #
    Lilly — July 29, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    I think this may be the best slow cooker recipe I’ve ever used and unlike a lot of leftovers in this house this never goes to waste! I typically omit the peppers altogether because I don’t care for spicy spice much but everything else I do just as the recipe says. And for anyone curious about the state of the chicken after cooking, it really does fall apart! I have to gently take it out of the pot with a couple of serving spoons and after a couple of pulses with a stand mixer I throw it all back in the mix (I like leaving some chunks in the chicken as opposed to pulling it all in to tiny shreds, I think it gives is a nice texture.) Oh-and don’t forget the tortilla chips they add just the right crunch. For the longest time I couldn’t find these tiny tortilla strips pictured here but I finally found them around the salad toppings at my local grocer and stocked up.

    • #
      Rachel — July 30, 2014 at 1:23 pm

      I’m so glad to hear you enjoy it! Thanks for sharing! :)

  33. #
    Julia — August 25, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    I am really excited to try out this recipe when the weather cools. We always have soup on Monday nights in the fall and winter months. It will be nice to have a new recipe to try!

    • #
      Rachel — August 25, 2014 at 7:05 pm

      Enjoy! :)

  34. #
    Claire — September 1, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    Hello :)

    Newbie at slow-cooker recipes…. do you need to cook the chicken breast before adding it to the croc-pot? Or do you put the raw chicken breast in with the other ingredients?


    • #
      Rachel — September 1, 2014 at 8:03 pm

      Add raw chicken breast in with the other ingredients. Enjoy! :)

  35. #
    Tina — September 12, 2014 at 9:57 am

    This looks delicious! I’m going to try it this weekend!

    • #
      Rachel — September 12, 2014 at 10:13 am

      Enjoy! :)

  36. #
    Michelle — October 18, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    I just saw this on Pinterest and am anxious to try it. I have been making a packaged tortilla soup, but I checked out the sodium levels- YIKES! Have been searching for a recipe to make my own and it looks like my search may be at an end! And it can be made in my slow cooker? Excellent! Thanks for sharing

    • #
      Rachel — October 19, 2014 at 10:08 am

      Enjoy! :)

  37. #
    Melissa V — October 18, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    I thought when I made this the first time that there was a recipe for seasoned tortilla strips included?

    • #
      Rachel — October 19, 2014 at 10:12 am

      The recipe is only for the soup. Purchased seasoned tortilla strips were recommended and linked to.

  38. #
    Michelle — October 22, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    I made this soup today and it is so, so good! I added black beans because we love them, and another reviewer put that idea into my head. I will add this to the soup and chili rotation, yum yum yum!! Thanks again for sharing this

    • #
      Rachel — October 23, 2014 at 7:27 am

      So glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for sharing :)

  39. #
    Barbara — November 2, 2014 at 11:33 am

    Do you know how many calories are in that soup per serving?

    • #
      Rachel — November 3, 2014 at 7:16 am

      I don’t calculate that information. However, there are lots of free calorie calculators online you could use.

  40. #
    clarence — November 3, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    have you cooked this on the stove top and is there any different way to do it on stove. thanks

    • #
      Rachel — November 3, 2014 at 4:20 pm

      No I have not. I wrote this as a slow cooker recipe only. You’re welcome to try it on the stove top however.

  41. #
    Billye Flanary — November 18, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    This was absolutely delicious! Thanks for sharing – it’s a keeper! The tortilla strips you recommended made this dish!

    • #
      Rachel — November 19, 2014 at 7:28 am

      So glad you enjoyed it! And yes, those tortilla strips area amazing. :)

  42. #
    Stephannie A. — November 27, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    Making this in my crockpot right now! I’m willing to bet it is going to be so delicious! I made my own seasoned tortilla chips, and can’t wait to try them in the soup. Thanks for sharing!

    • #
      Rachel — November 28, 2014 at 9:18 am


  43. #
    kate — December 18, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    hello! I’m making this for s dinner party tomorrow night and was wondering if you added the serrano pepper seeds or removed them before mincing. Thank you!

    • #
      Rachel — December 18, 2014 at 6:29 pm

      You can do it either way depending on how spicy you want it to be. The seeds will add some extra heat.

  44. #
    Amanda — January 11, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    Was wondering if you though putting in a small whole chicken would work instead of chicken breast?

    • #
      Rachel — January 12, 2015 at 7:37 am

      You could try it, but the overall cook time may vary.

  45. #
    Kathy B — January 13, 2015 at 10:51 am

    Added a large smoked turkey wing to add more flavor. T’was delish!

    • #
      Rachel — January 13, 2015 at 4:14 pm

      So glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing :)

  46. #
    lee downard — January 22, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    Add a little cheese to soup, and a few more spices and it becomes a great soup. too thin for my taste without the cheese melted into the soup. Yum

    • #
      Rachel — January 23, 2015 at 7:31 am

      That’s the beauty of cooking at home – you can always easily customize to your liking! :)

  47. #
    Jennymcb — January 30, 2015 at 10:38 am

    Love this recipe! I have made this at least 5 times since November. I do cut up my chicken ahead because I like the chunks and use a baf of thawed frozen corn. It is a perfect soup to come home to after work or outside activities. I have frozen it which makes it even better. Thank you for sharing.

    • #
      Rachel — January 31, 2015 at 8:14 am

      I agree, it’s such a comforting soup! So glad you’ve enjoyed it!

  48. #
    Robin — January 31, 2015 at 6:42 am

    Looks delicious and i just pinned it can’t wait to make this. Rachel your reaponses to many comments are hysterical! I wouldn’t be able to hold my tongue. Keep up the good work!

    • #
      Rachel — January 31, 2015 at 8:16 am

      Thanks Robin! I hope you enjoy it! :)

  49. #
    Stacey — February 3, 2015 at 7:13 pm

    Made this for dinner, it is awesome! Subbed the serrano and bell pepper for a poblano so it wouldn’t be too spicy for the kids. It was perfect and so so easy. Thanks for sharing.

    • #
      Rachel — February 4, 2015 at 7:37 am

      So glad everyone enjoyed it!

  50. #
    Miki — February 4, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    This is delicious, and is a very easy to follow recipe! I never thought to use my stand mixer to shred hot chicken, that was a game-changer for me…no more burned fingers in this house…thanks so much for the idea and for a solid family-pleasing recipe!

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