Easy chicken tortilla soup with rice is filled with bold southwestern flavors and on the table in forty minutes. Top this healthy soup recipe with tortilla strips, cheese, and a sprinkling of lime juice for a delicious main dish recipe.
I may be trying to will soup weather into existence right now, but this easy chicken tortilla soup with rice is worth it.
Clearly soup isn’t exactly the first thing you’d think to make when it’s hot outside, though there are those among us (like me!) who ignore the thermometer and barrel ahead with soup on our menus.
Soup is usually healthy (or healthier), not crazy involved to make, and yields a fair amount of leftover portions for lunches and/or stocking the freezer. It’s hard to beat those qualities, even if you have to put a fan on or drop the A/C down a degree or two to eat it.
This soup, with its easy prep, healthy ingredients, and southwestern flavors, fits the bill on all counts and has earned its place as a year-round favorite. Read on to see how simple it is to make!
Easy ingredients and method
This soup starts off by sauteing onion, garlic, and diced jalapeno pepper in a little bit of olive oil.
If you’re concerned about this soup being too spicy, don’t be. I’ve found sauteing the jalapeno mellows out the spice nicely, which is what happens here. Plus discarding the seeds before adding the pepper to the recipe helps keep it on the milder side of things.
Next come the seasonings, including chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper.
Now it’s time for the liquid which is the same base I use in my Italian sausage soup: reduced-sodium chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, and water. This is also the time for adding in the more hefty ingredients. In go the cooked and shredded chicken, diced tomatoes, black beans, and corn.
All that’s left is to raise the heat to bring the soup to a boil, add the dry rice, and then let it simmer until cooked and tender.
I realize the rice is a little shy in these pictures, but it’s there. Long grain brown rice bumps up the nutrition and is a hearty addition to this healthy soup. I kept the amount of dry rice on the lower side so it didn’t blow up and overwhelm leftover soup portions, but feel free to increase the quantity if you like a lot of rice in your soup.
The “easy” in this recipe title is referring to, among other things, the chicken in this soup. I used cooked, shredded chicken here to cut out a few steps. AKA my favorite chicken shortcut ever, a rotisserie chicken.
How many cups of chicken are in a rotisserie chicken?
Of course your mileage may vary, but I measured that you can get approximately four cups of shredded chicken out of a rotisserie chicken. So this recipe calls for four cups.
If your chicken is bigger or smaller it doesn’t really matter as there’s a ton of wiggle room. Just add as much (or as little) as you like. Four cups felt like a balanced amount without chicken overwhelming every spoonful.
This soup would also work great with leftover grilled/cooked chicken breasts. Just shred or slice them up thinly and substitute away.
The toppings really make this soup! What you see here are tortilla strips, shredded cheese, and cilantro, with a drizzle of lime from the lime wedge. Definitely do your own thing though! A dollop of sour cream would work, too.
I have to say my favorite topping might be the tortilla strips. This is chicken tortilla soup after all. There are store-bought varieties, yes, however I love making them at home. All you need are tortillas, oil, and spices. The ones you see in these photos are these baked tortilla strips seasoned simply with salt and pepper.
I always find myself with a stray tortilla or two or three that I don’t know what to do with after making tacos or freezer breakfast burritos, so I’ve turned to making them into crisp and healthier strips. They’re also delicious on salads.
If you’re into chicken soups with rice, you might also like this creamy chicken and rice soup! It’s TOTAL comfort food and features an unexpectedly delicious blend of two common pantry spices.
- The tortilla strips can be made a day or several days in advance to cut down on prep time the day of. Shredding the chicken ahead of time also helps keep things lean time-wise.
Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup with Rice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 jalapeno pepper chopped with seeds removed
- 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 32 oz reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
- 28 oz water
- 1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes with green chiles
- 4 cups cooked, shredded chicken
- 1 cup canned black beans rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup sweet corn kernels
- 1/3 cup long grain brown rice uncooked
- Baked tortilla strips
- Shredded cheese
- Lime wedges
- Place a heavy-bottomed pot on the stove over medium heat. Add olive oil and once heated add onion, garlic, and jalapeno. Saute for 2-3 minutes, or until onion is just becoming golden.
- Add chili powder, cumin, oregano, pepper, and salt and stir.
- Pour in broth, crushed tomatoes, water, diced tomatoes, chicken, black beans, and corn. Raise heat to a boil.
- Once boiling, stir in rice. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, or until the rice is tender, stirring occasionally. Serve with tortilla strips, shredded cheese, cilantro, and lime wedges.
Nutritional information is provided as an estimate. As it can vary due to many factors (brands used, quantities, etc.), we cannot guarantee its accuracy.