Chicken Tortilla Soup

This doesn’t actually have tortillas in it. So I lied. But I did put plantain chips in it. Which made it kind of like tortilla chips. Or fritos. Whichever you like better, that’s what it was like.

I’m kind of digging the cooler whether just because soups sound so freaking good. Why eat your food when you can drink it? Last week I made my Crockpot Sweet Potato Basil Soup but mixed in hot italian sausage into it…O.M.G. It’s so freaking good. If you haven’t made it yet, get your life together and do it. Your tastes buds will sing to you. Lullabies even.

So I have begun to countdown the days until I go to California to see the friends that I met the last time I was out there for the Fueling the Fire Fundraiser. That was a long sentence for me. Anywho, last time I was in California, I met an amazing woman named Stacy who took me under her wing and fed me breakfast and mimosas while at the beach. So of course, I fell in love with her instantly. I also met a gorgeous guy that proved there are good, single men still in this world. So not only is there a cool as f*ck girl out there, but there is an entire gym full of amazing people, AND there is eye candy. BOOYAH. Winning. Stacy has even been using a countdown app for when I come out there. She’s awesome. Check it out. I have no idea when she sent this picture to me, but now the days are less than that! Yay!

Did anyone else watch New Girl on Tuesday night?! Of course you did. Because it was seriously one of the best episodes I’ve seen so far. I ABSOLUTELY could not stop laughing when Nick was in the Haunted House. And when Nick compared relationships to a Haunted House. Spot on Nick, spot.on.

What should I talk about in my blog post tomorrow? I’m saving my apple fritters recipe for Monday, because why the hell wouldn’t you want to start your week staring at a paleo apple fritter? Maybe I’ll talk about things I’m into again, Jake really liked that post. That’s a lie. He made fun of me for a week straight for it. Give me ideas people. You’re more intelligent than me anyways.


Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • Yield: 6-8 1x



For your chicken

  • 34 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2.5lbs worth)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

For your soup

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 poblano pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, finely diced
  • 1 (4oz) can diced green chiles
  • 1 (14oz) can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 32 oz fluid chicken stock (I used low sodium, no sugar added)
  • juice of 2 limes
  • chopped cilantro, to garnish
  • crushed plantain chips, to garnish
  • sliced avocado, to garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place chicken on a parchment lined baking sheet. Pour on some olive oil and then sprinkle with cumin, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and salt and pepper.
  3. Bake for 20-30 minutes (depending on the thickness of the chicken breasts). Once your chicken is done baking, use two fork to shred the chicken.
  4. While your chicken is baking, get your soup ready. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat then add your minced garlic.
  5. Add onions, red bell pepper, jalapeño pepper, and poblano pepper. Mix around to help coat.
  6. Once your onions begin to become translucent, pour in your green chiles and diced fire roasted tomatoes, along with the rest of your spices. Mix together.
  7. Then add your shredded chicken and chicken stock to the pot.
  8. Simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.
  9. When your soup has simmered, add in your lime juice and a bit more salt and pepper.
  10. Add your soup to a bowl along with avocado, cilantro, and plantain chips.
  11. Stay warm. Being cold is stupid.

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Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.

I’m a food hoarder. And a really bad dancer. If you don’t know me well, you will probably not understand my humor. Therefore, I apologize ahead of time. Thanks for listening to my ramblings of my ever-changing life and trusting my kitchen mishaps. Your trust in me is appreciated.


121 thoughts on “Chicken Tortilla Soup”

  1. That picture rocks!! This recipe looks delish and you should do a Friday question and answer sesh, it’s been a while and I’m sure you get tons of questions….

  2. And…this is officially on my menu for next week. There is a serious chill in the air in DC and this is exactly what we need :).

    Also, so jealous of your upcoming trip.

  3. I can’t wait for the cooler weather to start here, I’m finished with the 80s as highs! I love chicken tortilla soup, so this is on the to-cook list.

    My brother is going paleo with me and we’re trying to convince our mother to have a paleo turkey day. What do you think about some ideas and suggestions for a PaleOMG-worthy Thanksgiving dinner?

    1. I’m didto for the ideas for thanksgiving. This year is my first thanksgiving being paleo and I will be at my parents house and the only thing paleo they will have will probably be the turkey. So I am in need of some awesome paleo thanksgiving ideas

      1. Here are a few ideas:

        Sweet potato casserole with nuts, dates or any other fruit you want in it. Sweetness can be increased or left alone with SPs (and optional fruit).

        Homemade cranberry sauce from whole cranberries

        Balanced Bites mashed faux-tatoes – made from cauliflower, ghee, seasonings and salt. Holy crap is this tasty!

        Roasted brussel sprouts

        Paleo pumpkin pie

        Stuffing made with ground meat of your choosing and lots of veggies and spices

  4. Mmmm, soup. Have you tried Clothes Make the Girl’s golden cauliflower soup? Frickin’ deelish.

    I would like to hear about what you’re working on in the gym. What your goals are, PRs you’ve hit recently, what you’ve been loving/hating. Meh, just an idea.

  5. Nick is my favorite by far, I spit out food when he got into a screaming match with the fat clown…not embarrassed

    Two post idea.
    1) I’m still waiting for a Chinese food-ish recipe
    2) How’s the no-coffee thing going? I’m curious if it’s helped.

  6. You should do top ten (or five or whatever number you find appropriate ha) fridays that are themed. Like top ten favorite meals, top ten favorite wods, top worst wods, top five goals, top kitchen essentials, top favorite blogs, top songs, top clothing essentials, top least favorite foods, etc etc.

    also–I will be making this soup this weekend for sure. Tried to make the sweet potato basil one last week but apparently didn’t get all the soap out of the crockpot after cleaning it. Soapy Sweet Potatoes are not very tasty. Fail city.

  7. New Girl Halloween Episode….

    Nick constantly screaming with the ‘high pitch’ throughout the haunted house. My roommate and I were practically rolling. The best.

    During those screaming moments we were discussing getting so scared that one may punch the individuals in costumes scaring people… then Nick punched Jess. Complete ironicism… and yes that is an actual word.

  8. Crap..forgot to record new girl again…maybe i’ll be lucky and my dvr system will have backup epidsodes….who knows…but anyways you should talk about what you’re doing at the gym…you’re fav workout…different things you use to build up’re love/hate relationship with crossfit :)!

    And great recipe…making this!

  9. You should have another guest post!! I always like hearing from other people as well! Or like Laura said, the top 10 idea is awesome!

  10. California, yay! So awesome. My trip there isn’t until mid-Dec.

    I’m gonna go ahead and echo Dan’s suggestion of a Chinese food recipe, as I think your recipe for coconut cauli rice is the bomb, and needs more recipes it can be tastily utilized with.

    Oh and I wanted to thank you, since finding out about the WOD Genius app, I’ve been using the hell out of it to come up with gym friendly-WODs; as I am currently box-less. Sucky.

  11. YES! A soup! I’m not one for creamy soups so I am so excited for this one. You could make Fridays your Fall Soup Day? Or you could do more sugar detox desserts?

  12. Do you always make your own plantain chips or is there a brand out there where I could be lazy and buy them? So freakin’ good! And thanks for this recipe, chicken tortilla soup is one of the best, can’t wait to try!

      1. TJs are SOOOOOO good and cheap (like $1.69 a bag here) and I go through like.. 3 bags a week… oops….. wahh #paleoproblems lol

        1. Yeah! They are way cheaper than anywhere else and taste better, too! We practically buy them out every time we go. Don’t mind me and my 12 bags of plantains….

  13. I’d like some pants recommendations. I can’t wear jeans to work to buy those Old Navy jeans you recommended. My CrossFit thighs can’t fit in anything that is presentable for work. No jeans, no skirts.

  14. I’m loving your site and drooling over lots of recipes. I’m definitely going to try this one, with one change…For my old, non-primal/paleo Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe, you throw raw boneless, skinless breasts in at what would be step 7 on your instructions. Simmer for the 30 minutes, pull the chicken out and shred and then plop it back in to serve.

  15. Perfect! I just roasted a chicken tonight and have broth in the works right now. Tomorrow, I shall feast on this! 🙂

  16. Made this tonight – delicious!
    I didn’t have plantain chips though. I think I’ll get some tomorrow to try with the leftovers as I can only imagine they’d make it extra delicious. 🙂

  17. Got any good tips for slicing jalapenos without it burning your skin for the next couple hours? I sliced a fresh one a few years ago without knowing it would do that and have been afraid to buy them fresh since.

  18. I just finished cooking a batch of this, and it’s AMAZING!!! So amazing, I ran straight to the computer to leave my first comment. It’s 90 degrees still in CA (I just want scarf weather darn it!!!), but I had a crazy craving for soup. I did end up tweaking a few things… Made the chicken in the crockpot instead of baking, omitted the poblano, jalapeno, and bell peppers because 1) I’m a sissy when it comes to spice, and 2) I didn’t have any on hand. Two cans of the tomatoes, and BAM! Sooooo good!!!! Also, my PaleOMG pink headband came in the mail today. I’m totally rocking it as I eat. 🙂

  19. I made this last night and it is SO GOOD. However, it’s also way spicier than how I normally eat. I had snot running down my face and broke into a sweat during dinner last night. Beautiful visual.

  20. Ridiculously good! I mean seriously! Wish I had thought of adding zucchini though like one of the commenters. The taste of this soup is beyond compare!

  21. Hi Juli,
    All your recipes are yummy and so healthy and easy to do. Just a quick question…do you know the nutritional values on them in terms of calories, fat, protein and carbs. I would love to know!!! Thanks 🙂


  22. My hubby is a tortilla soup snob (loves it, but knows a good one from a bad one) and was nuts about this. Has a very authentic quality and flavor. The lime juice at the end of simmering really adds that special something. We used leftover Thanksgiving turkey. Well done!

  23. Love this soup!! I didn’t have all the ingredients so I improvised on the peppers, etc…but love it. THANK YOU so much for sharing your recipes!!

  24. Not a fan of how spicy it is (and becomes the longer it sits), but I’ve made several batches now sans the cayenne and red pepper and it’s a FAVORITE at my house now!! Love it!!

  25. So I made this last night since its freaking cold here in Germany (active duty here)… and it goes without saying, the cold does make you SUPER forgetful! Forgot to buy the chicken stock.. had to make my own, and the commissary didn’t have plantain chips. (jerks) so I made my own (way better btw…) the soup was a total success despite my mishaps!

  26. Made this today! What a wonderful soup!! I could not find clean fire-roasted tomatoes, so I added some smoked paprika and some diced chipotle peppers for their smokiness. Loved it! Can’t wait to see how the flavor deepens tomorrow.

  27. Juli, you are my HERO!!!! This soup is effing amazing. Seriously. Best. Ever. and now I am addicted to plantain chips.

  28. This is simmering on the stove right now. I roasted chicken thighs in coconut oil and sautéed the veggies in coconut oil, but otherwise followed the recipe — I never do that, BTW, but you’ve earned my trust with really good recipes, Juli. I tasted it — it is fabulous. I used the extra virgin coconut oil, and that extra bit of flavor and aroma is soooo good. This is a great soup!

  29. Tried this last night! I absolutely loved it!! I addee zucchini squash and cabbage to mine and minus the poblano pepper… although i was born on the border of mexico i love anything spicy!!! But my puerto rican gf who thinks louisianna sauce is spicy is not fond of spice…. ANYWAY!!! Thanks for the recipe it was very good!!!! I would rate 5 stars! My tablet wont click the stars… oh well… its good lol

  30. Made this soup without poblano, jalapeño, or chili powder so my kids could eat it. YUMMO!!! 5 stars! My phone won’t let me do the star thing.

  31. Made this yesterday! Um amazing! Love all your recipes it didnt surprise me that this one would be super yummy as well. 🙂

  32. This soup is ah-mazing! My box is mid-way through a nutrition challenge, and we are all raving over this soup and your entire blog! Several friends have pre-ordered your cookbook! Thank you so much!

  33. So effing good, even with my mistakes. I forgot to add the last tablespoon of cumin, but for me, the spice level is perfect. Also, I was completely sure I had a can of fire roasted tomatoes at home, but that feeling was totally bull. I used regular diced tomatoes instead.

  34. It was a lot of chopping. But it was worth it. Absolutely amazing Juli!!! Will definitely be making this again.

  35. I made this for my dad who is on the Paleo diet (and lost 30lb in 2 months!) he is OBSESSED with this soup! I make it once a week and double the ingredients so he can have it anytime. Great recipe!

    I don’t use the lime, cilantro, avocado or plantain chips, but everyone loves it anyway.

  36. This is one of the best soups I’ve ever had!! Spicy & delicious!! Your website is a Paleo lifesaver, thank you!!

  37. Came upon your website a couple of weeks ago and have LOVED all the recipes I have tried so far. This soup has been my favorite, it was even better the next day! Thanks for a great website with delicious paleo recipes for me and my fam!

  38. Home run! That’s what we say here! Even my 2 year old cave girl loved the chicken and soup! I served it with an easy guacamole instead of avocado slices. And plantain chips … Thanks so much for your site. We are new to paleo and have been eating 90% your recipes! Awesome!

  39. Wow, this was super easy and quick and I looooove it. So much flavor. Love this website as well. I am new to paleo and it has been so helpful. Thanks!

  40. If you make your own Bone Broth it would be a much healthier recipe. I think I’ll be making this with some Chicken Bone Broth I just made. Thank you!

  41. followed exactly but added a 28oz. can of crushed tomatoes (red gold brand) and some more hot peppers. effin amazing…freezes well too.

  42. Great soup! Followed the recipe exactly, topped it with the Trader Joe’s plantain chips and 1/2 avocado and and am thoroughly enjoying a bowl as I type. Can totally see this being a football Saturday Fall tradition. Thanks for making paleo so yummy, Juli!

  43. Great dinner! Tastes as good as the Mexican restaurant down the street! I topped ours with sour cream and it made it superb.

  44. Made this tonight!! It was soooo good! Thank you for sharing! the only thing missing for me is cheese, but I am learning to live without!

  45. Brooke McClelland

    Made this soup today when I was working from home, FANTASTIC!!!! It is spicy and delicious. Thank you for continuing to provide me will wonderful meal ideas that are paleo. Cheers!

  46. Even with just regular canned tomatoes, a green bell instead of a poblano, and no plantain chips (my local grocery did me no favors tonight), this soup was THE BOMB.COM. I loved it! I’m currently battling some cold/sinus infection-like illness, and this spicy bowl of awesome totally brightened my day. Thanks!

  47. This was AMAZING! I added a few carrots, a few celery stalks, a green bell pepper and 1/2 zucchini. It was a thick veggie chicken stew and perfectly spicy. Thank you! I used to make a similar recipe with beans, corn, cheese and tortilla strips and was looking for a healthy alternative. This is JUST as satisfying!

  48. So excited to try this! I am obsessed with chicken tortilla soup. 🙂 Any ideas where I can get the green chiles and fire roasted tomatoes?! The only thing coming to mind in my regular grocery store is Ro-Tel haha 🙂

  49. I made this the other night and it was divine. i loved how i could literally taste ever ingredient down to the lime. My husband gave me kudos for preparing such an excellent dish.. this was added to my cookbook.

  50. I boil the chicken it seems easier to shred and then I have my own broth for the soup. Love the recipe!

  51. OMG so delish! I made it in a jiffy tonight and my family loved it! Of course my family added cheese and tortilla chips since they aren’t 100% on Paleo like I am. Thank you for the great recipe!

  52. This was at the top of my results when I googled “paleo chicken tortilla soup.” I haven’t made anything even remotely like this since I was still eating beans and corn! It’s simmering on my stove right now. I added a green and yellow pepper and forgot to get limes and green chilis at the store, but dinner is on anyway. My kitchen smells amazing right now.

  53. This not an AIP friendly recipe I broke out. I guess the peppers don’t like me. I was looking forward to Mexican dish. The taste was amazing the hives were enough to make me not want to try it again.

  54. This is so awesomely good! It is one of our family’s favorite meals. I would rate it more than 5 stars if I could!

  55. I actually made this recipe in a crockpot and it turned out wonderful! I’ve made this several times over this year. It’s one of the family favorites!

  56. Made this over the weekend. Excellent! Using it to replace my normal CTS recipe. Only change I made was I left out ther arrow root.

  57. Have made this several times and myself and my 3 girls love it! I do something different that I wanted to share. I boil a whole chicken till cooked through. Let the chicken cool and strain the extra bits out of the broth left behind. Debone the chicken and add spices to the cooked chicken. Then I proceed with the recipe using this broth instead of store bought.
    Thank you so much for an awesome resource!

  58. I just made this morning and it is DELICIOUS! I would be interested in knowing a good substitute for banana because my husband is weird and hates them (but I don’t think he’ll be able to taste it after it’s baked). It came out more moist than I would have liked, but as it air cools out of the pan, it’s firming up more and I don’t mind. I baked for 1 hr 3 mins but next time I think I’ll bake an extra 20-30 mins. Thank you for this recipe!

  59. I keep coming back to this recipe. For the last 3 years every winter the first cold snap I make a double recipe and then repeat a couple times throughout the winter. It is soooo good. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

  60. I made this the other day and wow YUM! I’ve told two other people and they have both made it and love it as well. 5 stars!! Making again tonight to take camping this weekend. Thanks for the great recipes!

  61. This was definitely 5 starts! Only puzzling thing was how you get 30 minutes of prep and 30 minutes of cooking. This definitely takes more than an hour if you include preheating the oven, seasoning the chicken and shredding the chicken.

  62. YUM! I made this last night and actually just threw it all in the crock pot to cook while I was at work. I added the limes at the end. It was amaze-balls! It tastes fresh and isn’t too salty!

  63. Such a hit! My fiancé couldn’t eat chicken tortilla soup without cheese or chips until this recipe and now this is one of our “Greatest Hits.” One of the meals either he or I cook on a biweekly basis. Thank you so much! We added a little Serrano salsa and plantain chips and cannot get enough of it. It freezes really well so we always have emergency soup. Thanks Juli!

  64. I’ve been wanting to make chicken tortilla soup for my daughter to try because she loves soups. I made this recipe last week, and I know it was a hit because she asked for seconds and asked for it for lunch the next day. I baked some Siete Foods tortillas for the top because I was out of plantain chips. It may be an oldie, but it sure is a goodie.

  65. This is WAY TOO SPICY as listed. So spicy we couldn’t eat it – mouth is on fire. Next time I will cut some of the spice amounts in half.

  66. Holy crap this was delicious! I subbed an anaheim pepper for the poblano to kick up the spice a bit and am in love. This is going into the weekly rotation for sure!

  67. Absolute favorite recipe! We serve the jalapenos on the side and up the poblanos to 2 (kiddos don’t like spicy food). Also have made this in Crock Pot and Instant Pot. LOVE!!!

  68. My wife is a huge tortilla soup fan, and is very particular about it. I made this last night to help her clear out some congestion and she very much enjoyed it.

    I do plan to try this as a slow-cooker recipe as well, though. The one thing missing was some depth of flavor. The cooking time provided gets the job done, but if you have time to throw all the ingredients in the slow-cooker in the morning, you’ll cut out a few steps and probably end up with more flavor.

    Overall, great recipe!

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