Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup is fantastically flavorful and oh so easy to make! This tasty one-pot soup is great the first day and even better the next!

Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Tortilla soup is basically its own food group around here.

Over the years I’ve made it every which way and honestly haven’t met a bowl I haven’t liked!

If you poke around the blog you’ll find a Crock-pot Chicken Tortilla Soup (aka “the classic”), a Spicy Shrimp Tortilla Soup, and even a vegan and vegetarian-friendly Lentil Tortilla Soup that can be made in the Instant Pot or slow cooker.

This spicy stove-top version will get along with the gang quite nicely…

Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup Bowl

Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup

This scrumptious stove top spicy chicken tortilla soup is a great way to warm up on a chilly day! I usually dive into a bowl the first day and then anxiously await the leftovers the next day – SO GOOD!

Prefer to make it in a slow cooker? Have at it! I’ve included instructions below the recipe card at the bottom of this post. xoxo

Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup
5 from 4 votes

Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup is fantastically flavorful and oh so easy to make! Pile it high with all your favorite toppings and make it as spicy or as mild as you'd like. Recipe yields 5-6 cup sized servings or 3 large bowls.

Course Soup
Cuisine American, Mexican
Keyword Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 5 servings
Calories 222 kcal
Author Jenn Laughlin - Peas and Crayons


  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 TBSP avocado oil or favorite cooking oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 jalapeños
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2-3 cups red enchilada sauce (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup salsa verde or your favorite jarred salsa
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • Juice of 1 lime or extra to taste
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp salt or season to taste


  • 2-4 tsp additional cilantro
  • 1 avocado (peeled, pitted, and sliced thin)
  • 1-2 handfuls tortilla chips or strips
  • 4-6 ounces grated pepper jack or cheddar cheese


  • sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • thinly sliced jalapeño
  • lime wedges to garnish


  1. Finely dice your onion and jalapeño, removing the stem and seeds from the jalapeño. For a slightly spicy soup, add a teaspoon or so of the seeds into the soup. If an extra spicy soup is desired, feel free to add all the seeds. You can make this soup as mild or as spicy as you'd like.

  2. Heat a large pot with 1-2 tsp of oil. Add onion, jalapeño, cumin, and chili pepper. Sauté until tender, approx. 3-5 minutes. Add the minced garlic towards the end, sautéing for about 30 seconds or until fragrant.

  3. Add your broth, enchilada sauce, and salsa to the pot and stir. Bring to a rolling boil, add your chicken, then reduce heat to a vigorous simmer. 

  4. Cook the chicken for 20 to 25 minutes. For a speedier cook time, you are welcome to dice the chicken first before adding it to the soup, in which case you'll only need to simmer it 10-15 minutes.

  5. Use tongs to remove the chicken from the soup and add to a large bowl to shred with forks. You may also dice on a cutting board. Once it's in bite-sized shreds or chunks, add it back to to the soup along with your lime juice and cilantro.

  6. Give it a taste and season with salt as desired (this will depend on the saltiness of your enchilada sauce and broth) - you can also use this time to make your soup even spicier if desired by adding extra jalapeño seeds, hot sauce, or cayenne pepper.

  7. Top your choice of toppings from the list above (I added them all - SO GOOD!) and dive in! Leftover soup can be kept in the fridge and is great the following days!

Recipe Notes

No avocado oil? No problem! Use olive oil, coconut oil, or your favorite healthy oil. No salsa verde? I've made this with chunky red salsa too and it's fantastic both ways!

Using leftover or rotisserie chicken in place of raw? You'll want to use about 3 cups and simmer it in the soup for just 5-10 minutes or until chicken is heated through and the broth is spicy and flavorful. Enjoy!

Want a chunkier soup or just looking to let more veggies in on the fun? Feel free to add extras like chopped bell pepper, corn, black beans, and more!

Nutrition Facts below are estimated using an online recipe nutrition calculator and are calculated before toppings. Adjust as needed based on topping choice and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts
Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 222 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 58mg19%
Sodium 1105mg48%
Potassium 621mg18%
Carbohydrates 14g5%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 25g50%
Vitamin A 1395IU28%
Vitamin C 12.5mg15%
Calcium 30mg3%
Iron 2.2mg12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Want to make it in the slow cooker?

Use the recipe from the recipe card above and use these crock-pot instructions for an easy peasy dump-and-go slow cooked dinner:

First add the veggies and garlic to your crock-pot and layer whole chicken breasts and spices on top. Next add the enchilada sauce, salsa, and broth. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.

Once you’re ready to eat, shred the chicken with two forks (if preferred you can remove the chicken and shred it in a bowl before returning it to the soup) and portion soup into bowls. Swirl in the lime juice and cilantro just before serving. Top with all your favorite tortilla soup toppings and dig in! Leftover soup be frozen for up to one month in pre-portioned heat-and-eat bowls (like pyrex) or larger airtight containers.

hungry for more?

If you get a chance to try this spicy chicken tortilla soup, let me know! Leave some love in the comment form below or tag your photos with @peasandcrayons on Instagram so I can happy dance over your creation! I can’t wait to see what you whip up!

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Recipe Rating


  • Mary

    5 stars
    I added garbanzo beans and whole corn and served with lime tossed avocado and Mexican 4 cheese blend and it was absolutely phenomenal! One of the best soups ive ever made.

  • Tracie

    5 stars
    Loved it.I used organic ingredients. Plus I do not measure and I added some mushrooms, carrots and zucchini! My husband loved it! Even though he made a comment when he told what I was making for supper…(I think of soup as an appetizer)…Not any more. It was filling ,flavorful and very satisfying.

  • Jennifer Farley

    5 stars
    Delicious the first day and excellent for leftovers!

    • Woot! So glad you enjoyed it Jennifer, thanks!

  • Beth Pierce

    5 stars
    Yummy! I am going to make it this weekend. I love that you included enchilada sauce.

    • So excited for you to try it Beth!

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