Sopa de Tortilla (Tortilla Soup)

5 from 2 votes

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Nothing fills you right up like a warm bowl of sopa de tortilla. Also known as sopa Azteca, this delicious tortilla soup combines tender chicken with beans, corn, and a homemade chili tomato sauce all in a savory broth. Serve with crispy tortilla strips and all your favorite toppings.

overhead: bowl of sopa de tortilla with toppings

Most know this as chicken tortilla soup, but my recipe returns this dish to its original Central Mexican roots. Sopa Azteca starts with a rich broth that’s a little bit spicy, thanks to the addition of chilis. Rotisserie chicken, plus canned beans and corn, bulk it up nicely while also cutting down on extra prep time.

Served with crispy homemade tortilla strips, the textures and flavors of this soup are unlike any I’ve ever tried!

closeup: sopa Azteca with tortilla strips, avocado, and jalapenos on top

I was once naive enough to think that soup was simply a starter — surely not filling enough for a full meal. Oh, how wrong I was! Between my recipes for Pozole Rojo, Italian meatball soup, sausage and lentil soup, and the popular crockpot ham and bean soup, there are plenty of hearty soup options to choose from.

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overhead: ingredients to make my tortilla soup recipe

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Cooked Chicken I like to use breast meat from a rotisserie chicken — all I need to do is shred it into bite-sized pieces. You could also cook breast or thigh meat yourself to use in this tortilla soup recipe, or cook diced raw chicken right in the broth.
  • Dried Chili Ancho or pasilla are both mild, with pasillas being slightly hotter than anchos. 
  • Garlic & Onion The savory base to any good soup! Saute a yellow onion in vegetable oil to soften and bring out the flavor.
  • Diced Tomatoes – Again, using canned saves time. If you prefer to use fresh, be sure to remove any seeds.
  • Chicken Stock – You can also use vegetable stock. Water will work in a pinch, but your tortilla soup won’t be as flavorful. 
  • Beans & Corn – Use canned for a time-saving shortcut. You can opt for white or black beans — whatever you have on hand!
  • Seasonings – Add salt to taste, plus Mexican oregano which features more of a citrus flavor than Italian oregano.
  • Corn Tortillas – It wouldn’t be sopa de tortilla without these! Slice into strips and crisp in more oil to add delicious crunch.
  • Toppings – I like adding avocado, fresh cilantro, roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), lime slices, and jalapeños. A dollop of sour cream is also delicious.

How to Make Sopa de Tortilla

  1. Prepare the Chicken. Remove the breast meat from the rotisserie bird, then shred into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
  2. Make Chili Sauce. Toast the chili pepper in a hot skillet, turning often, until soft and pliable. Remove and discard the stem and seeds, then tear the pepper into pieces. Add to a blender with tomatoes and garlic, then purée until smooth.
  3. Start Soup Base. Heat oil in a Dutch oven, then add the onion and sauté until soft and golden, about 5-8 minutes. Pour in the chili and tomato mixture and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Then, add the chicken stock, oregano, and salt. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Prep Tortillas. Stack the tortillas and slice them in half. Then, turn the halves 90 degrees and slice into strips about ½-inch wide.
  5. Add Remaining Ingredients. Stir shredded chicken, corn, and beans into the pot, cooking an additional 5 minutes so everything is warmed through. If using fresh chicken pieces, let them cook for 10 minutes or until cooked through.
  6. Fry Tortilla Strips. Heat oil in a skillet, then add the tortilla strips a handful at a time. Fry for 2-3 minutes, until golden, then remove to drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Work in batches as needed.
  7. Serve. Top bowls of sopa Azteca with crispy tortilla strips, plus your choice of avocado, cilantro, pepitas, jalapeños, and a squeeze of lime juice.
overhead: pot of sopa de tortilla with a ladle
  • Dutch Oven – My top choice for soups as it retains heat well and cooks evenly. You’ll need a larger size for this tortilla soup recipe — it makes enough to serve 8! 
  • Skillet – Use this to toast the chili pepper and later fry the tortilla strips.
  • Blender – A high-powered blender is a must for making homemade sauces and marinades.
overhead: bowl of sopa Azteca with limes, jalapenos, and tortilla strips on top

Storing and Reheating

Transfer any leftovers to an airtight container once your sopa de tortilla has cooled. It’s best to leave off any of the toppings until just before serving.

Tortilla soup will keep for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer. Fried tortilla strips are only good for about a day or two, so fry up a fresh batch as needed.

Reheat leftovers on the stove, simmering and stirring often until warmed through. If frozen, thaw in the refrigerator overnight first.

ceramic bowl of chicken tortilla soup topped with cilantro, lime wedges, avocado and tortilla strips

Frequently Asked Questions

Is tortilla soup spicy?

I personally don’t find my sopa Azteca to be too spicy as the chilis used are quite mild. We’re talking flavor here, not heat. That said, those who are more sensitive to spice may find the heat to be too much.

Counteract the chilis with a splash of dairy (cream or milk), add some sour cream to your bowl, or simply ditch the chilis altogether.

Can I make this tortilla soup recipe vegetarian?

Yes, with just a few changes. Swap the chicken stock for vegetable stock, then leave out the chicken or replace it with more beans. Tofu would be another tasty addition to sopa de tortilla, though I’d suggest frying it first for better texture.

How do you know when oil is hot enough for frying?

The most accurate way to test oil for frying is with a thermometer, but there’s a faster, easier method! Hot oil should sizzle quite a bit when you add the tortillas too, so you can always start with one strip as a test and go from there.

hand lifting a spoon of sopa de tortilla over a ceramic bowl with more

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Sopa de Tortilla (Tortilla Soup)

5 from 2 votes
Sopa de tortilla features a flavorful broth, hearty chicken and beans, veggies, and crispy tortilla strips on top. It’s comfort in a bowl!
Servings: 8
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 45 minutes


Toppings (optional)


  • Shred cooked chicken into bite size pieces and set aside.
  • Toast the chili in a skillet over medium-high heat for 30 seconds, turning often. Chili should be pliable. Discard stem and seeds and tear into pieces. Transfer the chili pieces, tomatoes and garlic to a blender and puree until smooth. Set aside.
  • In a dutch oven add the tablespoon of oil and saute the onion for 5-8 minutes until golden. Pour in the tomato mixture and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring often. Add the chicken stock and season with salt and oregano. Reduce heat and cook 15 minutes.
  • Stack the corn tortillas and cut in half. Turn each half 90 degrees and cut into half-inch strips.
  • Add the chicken, corn and beans to the soup, stirring through and continue cooking, 5 minutes. Cover and keep warm.
  • In a skillet, heat 1/4 cup oil over medium-high heat and fry the corn tortilla strips until golden, about 2-3 minutes. Drain on paper towel lined plate.
  • Serve soup in bowls and top with divided crispy tortillas strips, avocado, cilantro, pepitas and jalapenos with a squeeze lime juice.



  1. I use rotisserie chicken breast meat and shred into bite size pieces. You can use fresh chicken and dice into 1-inch pieces, then add to soup as instructed in Step 5, but cook for 10 minutes.


Calories: 478kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 69mg | Sodium: 809mg | Potassium: 987mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 694IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 3mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: Soups
Cuisine: Mexican
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
titled image (and shown): chicken tortilla soup (sopa azteca)


Whether in the kitchen or on the grill, you’ll find me cooking American favorites with a love for BBQ, Mexican and Tex Mex. I’m passionate about making tasty food because life’s too short to be bland!

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  1. 5 stars
    This is on our list of favorite soups. I made this tonight using a rotisserie chicken and it couldn’t have been easier. I wouldn’t change a thing, this is the perfect Chicken Tortilla Soup.