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two bowls of authentic cheesy Mexican chicken tortilla soup

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


  • 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


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


  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.