20-minute chicken tortilla soup

summer is starting to wind down + with the first feel of chill in evening air, i was instantly overcome with a craving for soup.

might sound a bit aggressive, but when a 20-minute tortilla soup from one of your favorite bloggers has been sitting at the top of your ‘to-try’ list for months, all it takes is a 10º drop from the summer norm + i’m convinced soup is acceptable!

i’m a pretty easy sell, huh.

{cheesy chicken tortilla soup} a handful of delicious ingredients turn into a comforting soup on the stove-top in only 30 minutes!

chicken tortilla soup + i have had a long love affair.

i can never turn it down as a starter at my favorite mexican restaurant + if it’s on the lineup with even 10 others, i’ll always choose the tortilla.

but, kelly, what about broccoli cheese! everyone loves broccoli cheese soup!

well, internet friend, i like to think of this cheesy chicken tortilla soup as the sassy tequila-drinkin’ sister of brocc + cheese…

we swap the broccoli for diced green chiles + add in handfuls of cheddar. then we use masa harina which is a corn flour to thicken the beautiful broth.

there’s a few other festive ingredients like black beans + fire-roasted tomatoes, and bite after bite you’ll find yourself smiling ear to ear.

{cheesy chicken tortilla soup} a comforting soup that comes together stove-top in only 30 minutes! _

now, don’t get me wrong, i love the base of the soup but what really gets my tummy rumbling is the garnish! the tasty toppings!

so making this {super easy!} soup at home is the perfect way to sneak in an abundance of avocado + tons of tortilla strips!

{cheesy chicken tortilla soup} a comforting soup that comes together stove-top in only 30 minutes!_

with fall on the horizon + busy weekdays among us, the time has come to resurrect your favorite heavy bottomed soup pot + whip up a batch of this satisfying soup inside!  

and hey, with just 20 minutes of stove-top cook time, you’ll barely heat up the kitchen! take that soup-in-the-summer naysayers!

20-minute chicken tortilla soup
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4 servings
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup masa harina
  • 2½ cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups chicken, cooked + shredded {check out my recipe for lime-poached chicken in the notes!}
  • 10oz red enchilada sauce
  • 14oz canned black beans, rinsed + drained
  • 14oz canned diced tomatoes, not-drained {i used ro-tel HOT which gave great heat}
  • 4oz canned chopped green chiles, not-drained
  • ½ tablespoon ground cumin
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, {freshly grated if possible!}
  • toppings to taste! {see note below!}
  1. in a heavy-bottomed pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
  2. add the onion + saute until cooked + translucent. {about 5 minutes}
  3. add the garilc+ saute for an additional minute until fragrant.
  4. next, stir in the masa harina + cook for an additional minute.
  5. slowly pour in half the chicken stock, stirring to keep lump-free + the mixture is completely combined.
  6. slowly add in the remainder of the chicken stock + stir to combine until mix is smooth. {this may take a few minutes to smooth out}
  7. then add in the chicken, enchilada sauce, black beans, tomatoes, green chiles + cumin. stir to combine.
  8. continue stirring occasionally until the mixture reaches a simmer. then reduce heat to medium-low + let it simmer until fully heated through, stirring occasionally so that the soup does not stick to the bottom of the pan. {about 5 minutes}.
  9. then stir in the cheese, one handful at a time, until combined.
  10. serve the soup hot with your choice of delicious toppings! enjoy!
slightly adapted from Gimme Some Oven.


when mixing the chicken stock in at steps 5 + 6 don’t be alarmed if your masa harina siezes up into goopy glops {thats a real term, right?} , simply take your time to continue stirring the mixture until the clumps smooth out. i used the back of my stirring spoon to move the clumps to the side of the pot to break them apart + then just stir, stir stir!


the topping options here are endless. i suggest fresh avocado, chopped fresh cilantro, crushed tortilla chips + sliced scallions! sour cream, pico de gallo + more cheese are great additions as well!

tiny lightbulb

this recipe calls for cooked + shredded chicken. a rotisserie chicken is a wonderful shortcut or try poaching chicken breast in lime juice for a super flavorful boost! here are the steps:

1. place two large boneless skinless chicken breast into the bottom of a pot.

2. juice two limes over the chicken, add 1 teaspoon kosher salt + fill the pot with water, filling it just over the chicken breast.

3. bring the pot to a boil, then cover + simmer for 10 minutes.

4. shred the chicken!


 if you cannot find masa harina, substituting regular flour or cornmeal will give you the right texture, though the flavor won’t be quite the same.

tiny leftovers

 this soup holds really well -airtight- in the fridge! my batch went too quick to give the freezer test a try but i’ll get back to you just as soon as i try it myself!


masa harina is a very finely ground corn flour that is used to make corn tortillas! it can be found in your grocery store’s flour aisle. you’ll definitely want to give this new ingredient a go if your local stores have it available – the flavor is outstanding!


 huge props to Ali from Gimme Some Oven. this recipe was slightly adapted from her original version + the results lived beyond expectations!