Healthy Chicken Tortilla Soup
This healthy chicken tortilla soup is one of my favorite recipes of all time (and Hot Tom agrees)! It is loaded with flavor and nutritious ingredients and is hearty enough to be a complete meal itself! In fact, I ate this soup for 5 meals straight (yes, even breakfast).
Oh and the toppings bring this soup to a whole new level of deliciousness. The lime juice, red cabbage and cilantro add a zesty fresh crunch which balances out the rich warm flavors of the soup so perfectly, I don’t even have words. Also, a dollop of Greek yogurt gives it a little bit of a creamy tartness that is OH SO GOOD. Can you tell this is one of my favorite recipes?
What’s in chicken tortilla soup?
Chicken Tortilla Soup Ingredients
Are the toppings really necessary?
Yes! The fresh toppings are key! Although this chicken tortilla soup is darn good by itself, the toppings make this recipe is an absolute home-run. The only topping I wouldn’t consider crucial, is the avocado.
Greek yogurt instead of sour cream? Huh?
Yes, that is correct! We used plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream because it is a healthier option. Personally, I think Greek yogurt tastes better than sour cream in the recipe anyway. So, it’s a win win!
I recommend getting full-fat/whole milk plain Greek yogurt. You won’t regret it! Greek yogurt makes an appearance in many of my recipes like Hidden Spinach Everything Sauce, Healthy Buffalo Chicken Cauliflower Dip and Rainbow Couscous and Tzatziki Chicken just to name a few!
How to make shredded chicken.
This recipe calls for shredded chicken and you have a couple options to choose from.
- Store-bought Shredded – Buy pre-cooked and pre-shredded chicken at the store.
- Store-bought Rotisserie – Buy a roasted chicken and shred it at home with two forks.
- Homemade in Oven – Make your own shredded chicken in the oven (30-35 minutes at 350°F for chicken breasts). Let the chicken cool and shredded with two forks.
- Homemade in Crockpot – Make your own shredded chicken in the crockpot (5-6 hours on low or 3ish hours on high). Shred with two forks once cooked through.
Why low-sodium chicken stock?
Stock has a lot of salt of in it. Using low-sodium stock gives you more control over the amount of sodium and the flavor of whatever you are making. Pink Himalayan salt is my favorite and I use it for everything. The flavor is awesome and is a slightly healthier option than standard table salt.
How to make chicken tortilla soup creamy.
Generally, a creamy soup calls for heavy cream but we skipped the cream and went with a lighter option without sacrificing any flavor or heartiness.
For starters, we used a little whole wheat flour to get that thick creamy texture. Then the recipe calls for a little cheddar cheese and Greek yogurt which just adds even more rich flavor and creaminess!
TIP: If you really want to take the creaminess up a notch, stir a spoonful or so of canned coconut milk into your bowl of soup.
Can this soup be made ahead?
Yes! The leftovers reheat wonderfully and are delicious. Whether you have a busy week, need lunch to bring to the office or like the simplicity of having leftovers in the fridge, this recipe is a great meal prep option.
Can chicken tortilla soup be frozen?
Absolutely! Wait until the soup has cooled completely. Then put it freezer safe containers or baggies and pop it in the freezer!
Which pot/pan to use?
Any large pot or pan (stock pot, dutch oven, chef’s pan) works well for the recipe. I personally use a chef’s pan for everything! It is basically a large and very deep pan. By far my favorite thing to cook in.
Watch Our Video for How to Make Chicken Tortilla Soup
Healthy Chicken Tortilla Soup
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 white or yellow onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 tsp. cumin
- 2 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 4 cups chicken stock, low-sodium if possible
- 1 can of diced tomatoes, 14.5oz
- 1 can of corn, drained and rinsed (14.5oz)
- 1 jalapeño, chopped
- 2 cups shredded chicken, 1 lb. raw, see note 1
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Toppings (see note 2):
- Greek yogurt
- Shredded red cabbage + lime juice, see note 3
- fresh cilantro, chopped
- lime wedges
- avocado, optional
- Sauté Onion & Garlic: Add the olive oil and chopped onion to a large pot over medium heat. Cook for about 4-6 minutes or until the onions have softened. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add Flour & Spices: Add the whole wheat flour, cumin, paprika, chili powder, salt and pepper. Cook for 1-2 minutes while stirring. At this point the flour and seasonings will stick to the onion and garlic. The mixture should be very dry and fragrant.
- Add Chicken Stock: Slowly whisk in the chicken stock 1 cup at a time. Whisk well to avoid any lumps!
- Add Chicken & Veggies: Add the can of diced tomatoes, can of corn, jalapeño, and shredded chicken to the pot. Stir to combine. Then bring the soup to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add Cheese & Finish: Once the soup is done summering, turn off the heat. Add the cheese to the soup and stir until melted and well combined. Serve immediately and top with Greek yogurt, lime wedges, red cabbage + lime, fresh cilantro and avocado (optional). Store leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge.
This is a delicious recipe and easy to make! Ease in the kitchen is what the busy family needs!
Perfect meal prep recipe! It was even better the second time around and will definitely become a regular in my rotation
As a busy single mom of three young boys, I try not to spend too much time in the kitchen cooking unless I know it is something they will eat. While the idea of Rachel’s recipes seem ideal, they don’t usually get good reviews from her picky young nephews! I followed this recipe exactly, without the toppings. Waited for it to cool and put it in a food processor. I got 2 thumbs up and my 3 year old had more than one bite! I don’t think I will be the only one eating these leftovers. Thanks sis-in-law.
Woohoo! Happy you and the boys (especially Eli!) liked it!