This healthy and easy Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup with shredded chicken and corn and veggies is The BEST! It is topped with homemade crunchy baked tortilla strips, cheese, and cilantro! It is so easy to make in the crockpot and is a delicious family-friendly meal.

close up of bowls of soup on a white and blue cloth

I originally shared this recipe on September 25th, 2017. I have updated some of the text today.

Why This Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup is the Best

I adore this Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup. Full stop!

It’s so good that it is the latest addition to the Best of Healthy Seasonal Recipes.  It’s one of the select few soups in addition to my Vegetarian Lentil Soup, this easy healthy Minestrone and my Vegan Vegetable Soup that can claim the honor.

It only takes a few brief minutes to stir the recipe together in the insert of your slow cooker (no searing required) and then let the crockpot do all the work. The spices, tomatoes, onions and garlic season the chicken and veggies as they become tender.

Once it is done simmering, the chicken can be easily shredded and added back to the soup.

No Chicken Tortilla Soup is complete without crunchy tortillas on top. We made ours in the oven with only a small amount of oil to keep this recipe healthy and lower in calories. We also added on a small amount of Monterey Jack cheese for authentic flavor.

Serve this in the winter or shoulder seasons, for a hands-off weeknight meal or on a weekend packed with activities. We love all the fresh veggies, lean chicken and delicious crunchy tortilla strips!

The fun part is, for a family, everyone can top each bowl of soup, as you like. I let my kids top their own. Jase and I use a heavy hand with the hot sauce and lime. My little one likes to sneak on extra cheese. Everyone loves the crispy tortilla strips that soak into the soup.

I can’t wait for you to try it! If you make this recipe, please be sure to come back and let me know what you think. For more healthy Mexican Food Recipes check out these here.

Ingredient Notes For Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

Low-sodium chicken broth 

If you use regular chicken broth in this chicken tortilla soup recipe, your soup will be way too salty. However, if you can’t find low-sodium broth at your grocery store or simply forgot to buy it, scale back on the amount of salt you add to the soup and it should turn out fine!

Spices

You’ll need the following spices for the broth:

  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • pinch cinnamon

To kick up the heat a bit in this soup, feel free to add in a little more chili powder or chipotle chili powder. If you’re serving this soup to kids, I’d recommend using the specified amount of chili powder and topping your own soup with lots of hot sauce if you like a fiery kick.

If you think cinnamon is an odd addition, trust me! It is the key to the spices. I use a generous pinch and it is amazingly delcious. You wouldn’t necessarily know that it is cinnamon, but it really adds a sweet and warm element to the spice profile.

Veggies

Then I added in onion, celery and carrots for added nutrition and bulk, plus frozen corn at the end. For more flavor, I also used Mexican Style Stewed Tomatoes. You can also substitute diced canned chilis. I like the “Chili Ready” kind for this soup for added spice.

Corn Tortillas

For crispy tortilla strips, we think the best texture comes from 100% corn tortillas. Brush them with oil to bake them and they become crispy and nicely toasted. Then when they are added to the tortilla soup, they soften in the broth but do not become slippery like wheat tortillas. They also happen to be naturally gluten-free!

Instructions For This Soup

Step 1: Stir Together Ingredients In a Slow Cooker

You do not need to cut the chicken, just drop it right into the broth. Once it is cooked it will easily shred into tender pieces.

Whisk broth, garlic, cumin, chili powder, salt, chipotle chili powder and cinnamon in the insert of a large slow cooker. (Can be made in an Instant Pot. See instructions below.)Add onion, carrots and celery hearts and stir to combine. Submerge chicken breast into the broth and vegetable mixture. Crush tomatoes by hand over the soup and add tomato liquid.

Step 2: Cook on Low for 8 Hours

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. (See Instant Pot Instructions below.)

Step 3: Bake Crispy Tortilla Strips

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350ºF. Lay tortillas on work surface. Brush with oil and cut into strips. Spread on baking sheet. Transfer to oven and bake until the strips are golden and crispy, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Store at room temperature until ready to serve.

Step 4: Shred chicken, finish soup and serve

When timer goes off, remove the chicken breast from the soup to a cutting board. Shred with two forks. Return the cooked chicken to the soup, and stir in corn, cilantro, and lime juice. Ladle soup into bowls and top with cheese and tortilla chips. Pass hot sauce and lime wedges.

Tips on Making This Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

This is such an easy chicken tortilla soup recipe, but there are a few key things to keep in mind when making it:

Store the tortilla strips separately — Even though the tortilla strips taste amazing on top of the soup, you don’t want to mix them all in at once, otherwise, they’ll become a soggy mess in the slow cooker. Sprinkle the tortilla strips on when you’re ready to eat this slow cooker chicken tortilla soup, and save the rest in a plastic baggie in the meantime.

Is Chicken Tortilla Soup authentic Mexican cuisine?

Chicken tortilla soup has many variations and has been adopted by home cooks all over. It is said to have originated in Mexico City. Traditional versions are made with chicken broth, but not necessarily chicken meat. Unlike our healthy baked version, in traditional Tortilla Soup, the tortillas are usually fried.

What goes with tortilla soup?

You can serve this as a complete meal, or add a batch of Mexican coleslaw on the side. For additional toppings, you can top it off with avocados and a dollop of sour cream if you like.

close up of bowl of soup with spoon on a white and blue cloth

More Chicken Soup Recipes To Try

More Slow Cooker Recipes:

Thanks so much for reading. If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my free weekly email newsletter where I share weeknight meal plans delivered right to your inbox. Or follow me on Instagram. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It is very appreciated. Happy Cooking! ~Katie

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close up of bowl of soup on a white and blue cloth

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Total Time: 8 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Description

This healthy and easy Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup with shredded chicken and corn and veggies is The BEST! It is topped with homemade crunchy baked tortilla strips, cheese, and cilantro! It is so easy to make in the crockpot and is a delicious family-friendly meal.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder, or to taste
  • pinch cinnamon
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • ½ cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 14-ounce can Mexican or chili ready stewed tomatoes *ingredient note
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup frozen yellow corn, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
  • 1 cup grated Monterey jack cheese
  • hot sauce, for serving, optional

Instructions

  1. Whisk broth, garlic, cumin, chili powder, salt, chipotle chili powder and cinnamon in the insert of a large slow cooker. (Can be made in an Instant Pot. See instructions below.)Add onion, carrots and celery hearts and stir to combine. Submerge chicken breast into the broth and vegetable mixture. Crush tomatoes by hand over the soup and add tomato liquid.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. (See Instant Pot Instructions below.)
  3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350ºF. Lay tortillas on work surface. Brush with oil and cut into strips. Spread on baking sheet. Transfer to oven and bake until the strips are golden and crispy, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Store at room temperature until ready to serve.
  4. When timer goes off, remove the chicken breast from the soup to a cutting board. Shred with two forks. Return the cooked chicken to the soup, and stir in corn, cilantro and lime juice. Ladle soup into bowls and top with cheese and tortilla chips. Pass hot sauce and lime wedges.

Notes

Instant Pot Instructions

In step 2: cover and turn valve to sealing. Cook for 25 minutes on high pressure. Natural release for 20 minutes, then quick release the remaining pressure.

Ingredient Notes

Make sure you’re using low-sodium chicken broth or this dish will be too salty. If you substitute regular chicken broth, use ¾ teaspoon salt.

This recipe works with either Mexican-style stewed tomatoes, crushed by hand or a can of diced “chili ready” tomatoes.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 1/3 cup
  • Calories: 295