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Healthy Chicken Tortilla Soup

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DISCLAIMER:  This article may contain affiliate links and we may earn a small commission if you purchase through one of our affiliate links.  We only recommend products we love.

You know this isn’t a site for long stories with each recipe, so I’ll make the story of this Healthy Chicken Tortilla Soup short and sweet:

My girlfriend has a favorite Mexican restaurant in Fremont that has amazing tortilla soup. I wanted to make something similar for her. We already had a clean eating chicken tortilla soup recipe on the site here, but it wasn’t the same style as the one at this restaurant. So, I scoured the internet for something that looked fairly similar.

I came across this recipe from A Spicy Perspective and was inspired. The first time, I made it as written and it was a hit (bravo to A Spicy Perspective) but we both wanted to make some changes. The second time I made it, we made it with our tweaks and used air fried tortillas instead of store bought. Amazing and nearly perfect.

Oh, and we also found a habanero jack cheese in the fancy cheese section at Fred Meyer. That took this to a new level.

healthy chicken tortilla soup

Healthy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Author: Ryan Chapman
Servings : 4

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp avocado oil divided (or olive oil)
  • 1 onion small, diced
  • 2 Tbsp bottled minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup cilantro finely chopped, divided in half
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes peeled and crushed, 15 oz.
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast whole or diced into 1/2" pieces
  • 1 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 avocados medium, cubed or sliced
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups Monterey Jack Cheese or pepper jack, shredded, divided
  • 8 corn tortillas

Instructions

Tortilla Strips

  • Oven: Preheat oven to 425 F. Using a pizza cutter, cut tortilla into thin strips (about 1/4 inch wide) and in half. Toss strips in about half of the oil. Bake at 400 F on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 5 minutes or until tortilla strips are browned and crispy. Remove from pan and crush approximately half of the strips.
  • Air Fryer: Follow preparation above for oven and then add to your air fryer basket and air fry at 425 F, tossing frequently, until tortilla stips are browned and crispy. Remove from air fryer and crush approximately half of the strips.

Soup (Stove Top)

  • In a large pot, heat half of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion, half of the chopped cilantro, and all of the minced garlic. Saute for 3 min.
  • Add the chicken breast (whole or diced), broth, tomatoes, and all spices. Make sure the chicken breasts (if whole) are at the bottom of the liquid. Bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 10-12 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  • Remove and shred or chop chicken breasts (if cooked whole).
  • Add chicken back to the pot along with 1 cup of cheese, and half of the tortilla strips (crushed). Stir well. If too much broth/liquid has evaporated and you would like it to be thinner, you can add some water at this point (or more broth).
  • Spoon soup into 4 bowls. Top with remaining tortilla strips, shredded cheese, avocado chunks, and chopped cilantro, if desired.

Soup (Slow Cooker)

  • Combine diced onion, garlic, half the cilantro, chicken breast (whole or diced), broth, tomatoes, and all spices in a slow cooker. Cook on low 6 hours or on high 4 hours.
  • Remove and shred or chop chicken breasts (if cooked whole).
  • Add chicken back to the slow cooker along with 1 cup of cheese, and half of the tortilla strips (crushed). Stir well. If too much broth/liquid has evaporated and you would like it to be thinner, you can add some water at this point (or more broth).
  • Spoon soup into 4 bowls. Top with remaining tortilla strips, shredded cheese, avocado chunks, and chopped cilantro, if desired.

Soup (Instant Pot)

  • Combine diced onion, garlic, half the cilantro, chicken breast (whole or diced), broth, tomatoes, and all spices in Instant Pot.
  • Close the lid, set valve to sealing, and program for soup.
  • At the end of cook time, quick release the pressure.
  • Remove and shred or chop chicken breasts (if cooked whole).
  • Add chicken back to the soup along with 1 cup of cheese, and half of the tortilla strips (crushed). Stir well. If too much broth/liquid has evaporated and you would like it to be thinner, you can add some water at this point (or more broth).
  • Spoon soup into 4 bowls. Top with remaining tortilla strips, shredded cheese, avocado chunks, and chopped cilantro, if desired.

To Freeze:

  • Make tortilla strips as directed. Allow to cool. Add to a sandwich sized bag and set aside. Omit remaining oil.
  • Add all remaining ingredients except avocados and cheese to a gallon sized freezer bag.
  • Add both bags (bag of soup plus bag of tortilla strips) to a third bag to make a “kit” and freeze.

To Cook After Freezing: Slow Cooker

  • Add contents of large bag (reserve tortilla strips for now) to slow cooker.
  • Cook on low 8 hours or on high 6 hours.
  • Remove chicken and shred or dice chicken. Return chicken to slowcooker.
  • Serve soup topped with tortilla strips, avocados, and cheese.

To Cook After Freezing: Instant Pot

  • Add contents of large bag (reserve tortilla strips for now) to Instant Pot. Press saute. Allow soup to heat until a half to one cup of liquid has accumulated at the bottom (10-15 min). Press cancel.
  • Lock lid; set valve to sealing. Program for soup.
  • When cook time is up, set valve to venting to quick release.
  • Remove chicken and shred or dice chicken. Return chicken to Instant Pot and stir.
  • Serve soup topped with tortilla strips, avocados, and cheese.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Pin this healthy chicken tortilla soup to your favorite boards. Use the pin button on the image below (hover to see it on desktop). This would go great on clean eating boards, Instant Pot boards, Slow Cooker boards, soup and stew boards, Mexican Food boards, and more.

This clean eating chicken tortilla soup can be fairly spicy depending on your tolerance. However, you can adjust the spice level with the chili powder and the cayenne.

healthy chicken tortilla soup
Healthy Chicken Tortilla Soup

You can even use your Instant Pot or Slow Cooker to make this healthy chicken tortilla soup!

clean eating chicken tortilla soup
Clean Eating Chicken Tortilla Soup
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