Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup (Dump and Go!)
About this Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
This easy dump and go crock pot chicken tortilla soup is packed with protein, veggies and tastes oh-so satisfying!
Since it’s made with everyday pantry ingredients, it’s a great recipe to keep in my back-pocket on busy weeks.
My family loves it because it’s loaded with sweet corn, hearty chicken & black beans, and fire roasted tomatoes (and let’s not forget about those crispy, crunchy tortilla strips on top).
And I love this slow cooker chicken tortilla soup because there’s no browning or sauteing required, keeping prep super easy with very little hands-on time.
Plus, once it’s ready, everyone gets to go wild with any toppings they want – like fresh cilantro, sliced avocado, shredded cheese, sour cream, or sliced jalapenos!
Process & Tips for Crock Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
I love making soups in the crockpot because they cook low & slow, which really lets the flavors deepen & meld together.
And they don’t require much hands on effort so you can get a week’s worth of dinners done fast.
All you need to do for this recipe is add all your ingredients to your slow cooker and let it work its magic.
To make this soup an ultra-easy dump-and-go slow cooker recipe I skipped sauteing the onions and spices, and used granulated garlic powder in place of fresh.
Once it’s done and the vegetables are cooked through, remove the tender chicken and it’ll shred super easily between two forks.
Add a splash of lime juice to brighten and lift all the flavors up, add your toppings and enjoy!
Time-Saving Tip: You can crisp up your tortilla strips while the soup cooks away in the slow cooker. Or to make it even easier, use store bought tortilla strips or chips in place of homemade.
Fun Variations to Try
This slow cooker chicken tortilla soup is mildly spicy from the fire roasted tomatoes with green chilis.
For a completely mild version, replace the tomatoes with green chilis with regular diced tomatoes.
For a spicier soup, add an additional can of chopped green chilis along with 1 jalapeno, diced.
Turn this recipe into a creamy tortilla soup by stirring in ½ cup heavy cream (or non-dairy creamer) into the finished soup when adding back the chicken to the slow cooker.
Make a vegetarian tortilla soup by omitting the chicken, doubling the beans to two cans, and using vegetable stock in place of chicken stock.
Ingredients & Modifications
Chicken breasts: I used boneless skinless chicken breasts for this recipe but chicken thighs also work great in their place. If you want to use frozen chicken, be sure to let it thaw fully before adding to your slow cooker.
Chicken stock: I used homemade chicken stock but store bought low-sodium chicken stock or vegetable stock will work in its place. Or for extra flavor use chicken bone broth.
Corn tortillas: I used corn tortillas to make the crispy tortilla strips, but you could also use flour tortillas in their place. They may cook quicker than the corn tortillas so keep an eye on them.
Avocado oil: I used avocado oil to make the crispy tortilla strips. But any neutral oil will work in this recipe, such as vegetable oil or canola.
Onion: I love the savory, aromatic flavor that onions add to a good homemade soup. You don’t have to saute them prior to adding them to your slow cooker, so they add lots of extra flavor without much extra fuss. But if you don’t like or can’t have onions, feel free to omit them.
Canned black beans: I love the ease and convenience of using already cooked canned black beans. I always have at least one can on hand in my pantry. Just be sure to drain and rinse them before using.
Corn: This recipe works great with either fresh corn or frozen defrosted corn kernels, so feel free to use whichever you have on hand.
Diced tomatoes: Canned diced tomatoes are a pantry staple for me, they’re so convenient and add so much flavor without any extra prep steps besides opening the can.
Diced fire roasted tomatoes with green chilis: I love the extra flavor that the canned fire roasted tomatoes with green chilies add to this soup. For a completely mild version, replace the tomatoes with green chilis with regular diced tomatoes.
Garlic powder: I love the convenience and ease of using granulated garlic powder. But you could use fresh minced garlic in its place if you prefer.
Mild chili powder: The chili powder (along with the garlic powder, smoked paprika, and cumin) is the base for the tortilla soup spices & flavors. Mild chili powder doesn’t add much heat to your recipe but does add lots of flavor.
Cumin: The ground cumin adds an earthy flavor that pairs perfectly with the chili powder.
Smoked paprika: The smoked paprika adds (you guessed it) some smokey flavor to this soup.
Fresh lime juice: Fresh lime juice adds a refreshing brightness to the soup, adding it at the end lifts up all the flavors after the low & slow cook time. You can also use lemon juice in its place.
Kosher salt: Look for kosher salt with the regular iodized salt at the grocery store (it has a subtler flavor). Use less iodized salt if that’s what you have on hand.
Tips for Storing & Freezing Leftover Soup
Crockpot tortilla soup tastes even better the next day, and leftovers make a great lunch!
It keeps well in the fridge for up to 3-4 days, in a sealed container.
This soup also freezes beautifully, either in a gallon ziploc bag, or individually in mason jars.
You can store it in a sealed freezer friendly container for up to 2-3 months.
Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
- 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, or thighs
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 ½ cups cup fresh or frozen defrosted corn kernels
- 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 15-ounce can diced fire roasted tomatoes with green chilis, such as Rotel
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon mild chili powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 cups chicken stock
Crispy Tortilla Strips
- 4 corn tortillas, cut into thin strips
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil or other neutral flavored oil
- 1 pinch of salt
To Add at the End
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- Easy Guacamole
- Cilantro, avocado, Mexican cheese blend, sour cream, sliced jalapeno
- To a 6-quart slow cooker, add the chicken onion, beans, corn, diced tomatoes, fire roasted tomatoes, cumin, garlic power, smoked paprika, chili powder, salt, and stock, stirring to combine.
- Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours on high or 6-7 hours on low, or until the chicken is cooked through and shreds easily with a fork. Do not uncover during this time.
- While the soup is cooking, make the Crispy Tortilla Strips by preheating the oven to 400F. Add the tortilla strips to a rimmed baking dish, along with the oil and a pinch of salt, tossing to combine. Bake until the strips are golden and begin to crisp, about 8-10 minutes, tossing half way through. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and allow to cool.
- When the soup is ready, uncover and remove the chicken to a cutting board. Shred with a fork or cut into chunks.
- Add back to the slow cooker along with the lime juice, stirring to combine. Taste and add additional salt or lime juice if desired. Serve the soup with the Crispy Tortilla Strips, along with any toppings you like.