Gimme Some Oven

Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.


WOW – fall is flying by! Now that we’ve about reached the halfway point for our fall season at work, it was time this weekend for our quarterly social. And since Yours Truly was in charge this time, we of course had ourselves a delightful little potluck – yeah!! :)  I mean, seriously, who would want to order in pizza or sandwiches, when you could have a smorgasbord of all your volunteers’ favorite dishes to sample??

Being that it has turned ridiculously cold ridiculously soon this year, I made it a soup-themed potluck. I’d baked a nice little dessert to bring, but then realized the night beforehand that the organizer (um… me) somehow missed noticing that we were way short on the main dish – soups! Yikes! So to even things out, I turned to the recipe that I’ve often turned to in a bind m-a-n-y times over the years – this fantastic slow-cooker chicken tortilla soup!

I randomly stumbled across it online a few years ago, and was intrigued by the slow-cooker idea. So I gave it a try for (another) potluck, and after about 15 people asked for the recipe, I figured it was a keeper…which is fantastic because it is SO easy to make! Seriously! Don’t be scared off at all by the long list of ingredients. The are quick to combine, and there’s no cooking required – just chopping one onion. (Which if you’re really in a bind, the stores finally now sell frozen chopped onions – voila.)  However, for the overachievers or those who would like to hear a little sizzle on the stove, however, I’ve included an easy little homemade tortilla strips how-to. :)

Hooray for crock-pots and good soups! Two of my favorite things about winter. :D


clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 360 minutes
  • Total Time: 370 minutes
  • Yield: 8 cups soup 1x


You’ll love this Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe! Come home to the moist deliciousness of a warm, bubbly, delicious slow-cooked meal. So easy!


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenderloins (frozen or refrigerated)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (10 ounce) can good-quality mild enchilada sauce
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
  • 1 (10 oz.) package frozen corn (or 1 can of whole-kernel corn, drained)
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. chipotle powder (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped

Homemade Tortilla Crisps Ingredients

  • 3 corn tortillas
  • 23 Tbsp. olive oil

Optional Garnishes

  • avocado slices
  • shredded Mexican or cheddar cheese
  • limes
  • chopped tomatoes
  • soft tortillas (you can place these in the bottom of the bowls, and ladle the soup on top if you’d like!)


  1. Place all soup ingredients (chicken through cilantro) in a large crock pot and stir briefly to combine. Cover, and cook on “low” setting for 6 to 8 hours or on “high” setting for 3 to 4 hours. Anywhere from 15-60 minutes beforehand, remove the chicken breasts. Let cool briefly, then shred and return to soup.
  2. To serve, ladle soup into individual bowls, and add desired garnishes.

Homemade Tortilla Strips “How-To”:

  1. Use a knife or pizza cutter, cut a few corn tortillas into small strips (as pictured above).

Skillet Method:

  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Test to see if the oil is ready by dripping a drop or two of water in the skillet. (No sound – too cool. Splatter – too hot. Sizzle – perfect!) Once it’s ready, add in the tortilla strips. Give them a stir or a flip every 20-30 seconds, until they have begun to turn slightly golden. Remove and place on paper towels to drain and dry. Season with salt or other seasonings.

Oven Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Lay out tortilla strips on a greased cookie sheet, and brush with olive oil. (Optional: season with salt or other seasonings.) Bake the tortilla strips for 5 minutes, then give them a quick stir and/or flip. Bake for 5 minutes more, or until they are crispy and golden.


Share this Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

21 comments on “Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup”

  1. i love your blog! i’m a college student, and i’ve been trying out all of your recipes! simple and delicious! can’t wait to try this one!

  2. you know what? i find all of your optional ingredients and toppings to be ESSENTIAL. black beans, chipotle powder, lime juice? ALWAYS. avocado? must have it. lovely winter warmer, ali!

  3. Yum… Love your soup, and I think it sounds great in the slow cooker. I can imagine the lovely smell in the house while this soup is simmering away!

  4. OK, this one is a definite winner. I’m not much of a tortilla soup fan, but I think this recipe has made a convert of me. So easy that I felt guilty because of how great it tasted. And coming home to the smell of this bubbling away was fantastic!

    I followed the recipe for the most part except doubling all the spices and substituting pintos for black beans (we’re anti-black bean in my house). I think the only thing I’ll change next time would be to saute the onion before throwing it in. They were a bit crunchy for our tastes.

    Thanks for sharing. Methinks this one’s gonna be a fall/winter staple in our house!

  5. This looks so good! I was actually already planning a chicken tortilla slow-cooker soup for tomorrow night! I don’t have the recipe in front of me, so I’m not sure how it compares, but after I make it I’ll check back and let you know. :) Your pictures are beautiful!

  6. I just made this soup today and it was great! Thank you.

  7. What size slow-cooker did you use? I just purchased a 3-quart one, will this fit or will I need to reduce the recipe?

  8. How come this photo is exactly the same I found from a different source

    • Hi Hernando,

      Thanks for pointing it out. Those are my photos. Looks like the online magazine used them without permission, although their “source” points back to this post.


  9. I just made this soup and love it! I’ve tried finding a copy cat recipe for Claim Jumpers tortilla soup and this is definitely the closest I’ve come to finding a recipe that really hit home as a great tortilla soup. I like it spicy, full of flavor, and a little creamy so I doubled the chili powder, added some salt, and added 1/4 c. heavy cream. All the garnishes went on top with a couple dashes of Chipotle Tobasco hot sauce…yum!!! Thanks for this recipe!!

  10. THIS SOUP IS DELISH!!! I now have several family members and friends making it too!! I’ve changed it a little but non the less fabulous! Wish I knew the calories though…. YUMMY!

  11. Amazing tortilla soup. Thanks!

  12. A while back I made this soup, and it was perfect. When I went to make it again, I got confused and used a similarly-named recipe from a different site – it just wasn’t the same! I was so glad to find this one again! 
    Question: I am cooking a meal for about 20 people. Would you suggest doubling or tripling this recipe? There will be a side dish as well. 

  13. Hi! I don’t have a slow cooker. Can you give me instructions on regular stovetop? Thank you!!

    • Hi Eddie! No worries, here is what we’d suggest:

      First of all, we’d recommend either using a store-bought rotisserie chicken (that you shred), or doing half of this recipe (and shredding the chicken).

      In a large dutch oven or pot, sauté your onion in some olive oil (or veg oil), for at least five minutes – you can sauté them longer if you want. Then add your garlic and sauté for one or two minutes more. Add the cumin and salt. Then add your chicken stock, pasilla peppers, green chiles, corn, tomatoes, black beans, and shredded chicken. Bring everything to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for at least 15 minutes (and up to 45), depending on how thick or thin you like your soup.

      We hope this helps and that you enjoy! :)

  14. Wow! This is really good, and I should know, I live in the desert southwest! I used a roast chicken from the grocery store for the chicken and it was fab!