Best Recipe For Chicken Tortilla Soup – Sopa Azteca


The best easy recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup (Sopa Azteca) – cheesy, filling and flavorful and so simple to make but packed with authentic Mexican flavor. Great for meal prep. Healthy and dairy-free options included.

overhead shot of two bowls of cheesy authentic Mexican Chicken Tortilla Soup with toppings

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My easy recipe for Mexican Chicken Tortilla Soup is packed with authentic flavors and so cheesy

Chicken Tortilla Soup (Sopa Azteca) is a  filling, flavorful meal that can be made with little effort, but that is packed with authentic Mexican flavor. Earthy, smoky pasilla chile, tender chicken, creamy black beans, sweet corn, salty cheese, and the addictive crunch of toasty corn tortillas. Soul-satisfying – Mexican comfort food at its best.  And it just BEGS to be served with creamy-rich avocado and a pile of grated Monterrey Jack cheese.

Sopa Azteca or chicken tortilla soup is a recipe prepared with just a few simple ingredients, but if you would never know – it tastes so complex and delicious. The crunchy tortilla chips take this to the next level. I love keeping corn tortillas in my pantry and add them to my Black Bean Sweet Potato Chili, or my Mexican Tortilla salad. 

a bowl of Mexican chicken tortilla soup topped with cheese, avocado and sour cream

A healthy spin on Chicken Tortilla Soup

Usually, fried tortilla strips are piled high on top of the soup. I do like so serve some crushed oven baked tortillas with this soup as I wanted to keep this recipe for chicken tortilla soup on the lighter side. If you want you to save some more calories, just skip the toppings and serve without the cheese, sour cream, and avocado. Cilantro, lime, light cheese, or a dollop of sour cream work too. 

all ingredients for making authentic Mexican chicken tortilla soup

Got leftover Rotisserie Chicken? Make Sopa Azteca 

If you are lucky enough to have some leftover smoked chicken or rotisserie chicken, shred it and use that! If not, start by baking some chicken breasts in the oven. To up the flavor, I season the breasts with a Mexican spice blend of cumin, coriander, and cinnamon. 

oven baked chicken breast ready to be shredded for Chicken tortilla soup recipe

Next make a light tomato broth, using a base of onions, garlic, chile, epazote, and Mexican oregano. To that we add all other ingredients and you are basically done.

a bowl of homemade authentic Mexican chicken tortilla soup with avocado slices

A note about pasilla chile: 

Its unique earthy and smoky flavor defines tortilla soup in most of central Mexico. In other parts, like Michoacan, it’s ancho chile, in New Mexico  a little smoky chipotle is added.

Should only powdered chile be at your fingertips (be it powdered pasilla (negro), ancho or any other), add about 1 tablespoon to the spice mix. The smokiness of the chicken with the smoky flavors of the chile pasilla with hints of lime is so tasty!  

close-up of a bowl of healthy Mexican Chicken Tortilla Soup

Toppings for Mexican Chicken Tortilla Soup 

So how to serve Mexican Chicken Tortilla Soup? Here are some signature garnishes and toppings for authentic Sopa Azteca.

  • Avocado
  • Cilantro
  • Sour Cream
  • Grated cheddar or Monterrey Jack
  • lime wedges

Anything else that you add would be the chefs choice. Right, that’s you. 

two bowls of easy authentic sopa azteca chicken tortilla soup served with Mexican toppings

Tips for making sopa azteca: 

  • Use fire-roasted diced tomatoes for extra flavor. 
  • For dairy-free serve with a dollop of cashew sour cream or coconut yogurt. 
  • The soup is awesome for meal prep and can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for 5 days. Or store it in the freezer.
  • Use a variety of dried chiles, if you want – like chile ancho or guajillo, but the one I see most often used is chile pasilla. If using chile ancho, use only 2 for the entire recipe.

Did you make and love this recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup? Give it your review below! And make sure to share your creations by tagging me on Instagram!

two bowls of authentic cheesy Mexican chicken tortilla soup
5 from 1 vote
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Best Recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup - Sopa Azteca

The best easy recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup (Sopa Azteca) - cheesy, filling and flavorful and so simple to make on the stovetop but packed with authentic Mexican flavor. Topped with cheese, lime, tortilla chips and creamy avocado. Great for meal prep. Healthy and dairy-free options included.  

Course dinner, main dish
Cuisine Mexico
Keyword authentic chicken tortilla soup, cheesy chicken tortilla soup, chicken tortilla soup recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 400 kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 dried pasilla chiles
  • 1 can chunky fire roasted tomatoes 15 oz 400 g-
  • 2 chicken breast fillets
  • 2 teaspoons avocado or coconut oil
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 peppers
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 cups chicken broth or 1 l water + 2 tbsp broth powder
  • 1 can black beans or red kidney beans 15 oz - 400 g
  • 1 can corn 15 oz - 400 g
  • 2 tbsp cornmeal
  • 1 twig epazote optional
  • some lime juice

Spice mix

  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Mexican oregano
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Toppings

  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 diced avocado
  • diced jalapeño
  • fresh coriander
  • Sour cream
  • Lime wedges
  • 4 cups Tortilla chips chopped up

Instructions

  1. Quickly toast the chile by turning it an inch or two above an open flame for a few seconds until its fragrant (Lacking an open flame, toast it in a dry pan over medium heat, pressing it flat for a few seconds, then flipping it over and pressing it again.) Break the chile into pieces and put in a blender jar along with the canned tomatoes with their juice and blend.

  2. Preheat the oven to 190 ° C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease a baking dish a little. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel and rub the chicken breast with 1 teaspoon each of oil and 1 teaspoon of spice mixture and place on the baking sheet. Bake the chicken in the hot oven for 15-25 minutes (depending on size). Take it out of the oven, let cool a bit and and then shred the meat using two forks while still warm. If using rotisserie chicken, skip the baking, just shred the chicken.

  3. Dice the onion, cut the bell pepper into strips and mince  the garlic. Heat some oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onion cubes and paprika strips for 5 minutes, fry the garlic for a minute, then add the rest of the spice mixture and tomato paste and fry briefly. Now add the shredded chicken and chunky tomatoes, along with 1 liter / 4 cups of broth and bring to a boil

  4. Drain the beans and corn in a sieve and add to the soup. Mix the cornmeal with a little water and stir into the soup, add epazote, then simmer gently for 10 minutes while stirring once in a while.

  5. Season the soup with salt/pepper, add some chilli sauce and also make sure to add lime juice to taste. Serve with toppings

Recipe Notes

  • Use fire-roasted diced tomatoes for extra flavor. 
  • For dairy-free serve with a dollop of cashew sour cream or coconut yogurt. 
  • The soup is awesome for meal prep and can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for 5 days. Or store it in the freezer.
  • Use a variety of dried chiles, if you want - like chile ancho or guajillo, but the one I see most often used is chile pasilla. If using chile ancho, use only 2 for the entire recipe.

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