The Best Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup Ever

Chicken tortilla soup is one of my favorite soups to indulge in here in Tucson — with El Charro Cafes having the best one!  Everyone makes it differently, but I really hate the versions that mash in tortilla (like the kind you’ll get if you order it at CPK restaurants).  I have been working on a good recipe for forever and last night Mark said, “You’ve really perfected this soup.”  That was just awesome!  Previous times I’ve made it on the stovetop and it was good..but it just wasn’t perfect.  I think this slow cooker version is perfect — the extra long, slow cook time allows all flavors to really blend together and the chicken is always extra tender and juicy PLUS you just need to set everything before noon and you’ll have a hearty soup ready for dinner!


Here’s the recipe:

  • 2 uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 can (15 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 bottle (12 oz) red enchilada sauce
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 can (4 oz.) diced green chiles
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 package frozen corn
  • 1 box (34 fl oz) chicken broth or 2 cans chicken broth
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp Mexican hot chili powder (regular chili powder if you don’t want it spicy, but the Mexican hot chili powder gives it a nice tint of spicy!)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Corn tortillas
  • Cooking oil
  • 1 avocado
  • Green onions and cilantro, chopped
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Sour cream (optional)

For all mainlanders: I found and used (almost) all Trader Joe’s brand ingredients and the soup was wonderful.  The crushed tomatoes was Sprouts generic brand.

***I like to slow cook everything on LOW setting, I feel it makes a huge difference for the meats****


  1. Load your slow cooker with the chicken, crushed tomatoes, enchilada sauce, black beans, onion, green chiles, corn and garlic. Pour in chicken broth, and season with cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Cover and cook on Low setting (6 to 8 hours) or on High (3 to 4 hours).
  2. When fully cooked, pull chicken out and shred. Place shredded chicken back into slow cooker with soup.
  3. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a skillet on Med-Hi heat.  Cut tortillas into desired shape (strips, little triangles, etc) then place in hot skillet.  Cook for about 60 seconds when tortillas turn a golden brown color and crisp.  Lay cooked chips on a sheet of paper towel to soak excess oil and sprinkle some salt and pepper if desired.
  4. To serve soup, top with cheese, avocado, green onions, cilantro or any other add-in you like and then sprinkle tortilla strips on top.  Add a dallop of sour cream for extra richness!
  5. Bon appetit!

Serves 6



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