Grilled Chicken Tortilla Soup


Chicken tortilla soup is one of my favorite kinds of soup. If I had to pick 3 top picks I’m pretty sure it would make the cut. Lately I’ve been getting chicken tortilla soup almost weekly at a local restaurant on our way home from the beach. But I request grilled chicken instead of the traditional shredded chicken and it’s soooo much better. So I decided I better recreate my own chicken tortilla soup and use grilled chicken and grilled corn. Then of course load in the avocado because avocado (or guacamole) is a must in chicken tortilla soup!

Grilled Chicken Tortilla Soup

Grilled Chicken Tortilla Soup

Grilling the corn is optional, you definitely can use frozen corn as well but since I already had fresh corn on hand and had the grill going for the chicken I decided to grill the corn as well. And if you love spicy soup feel free to leave the seeds in the jalapenos. I would if I weren’t feeding it to my kids for dinner. I’m still slowly sneaking in the spicy foods in hopes that someday they’ll be able to tolerate plenty.


Grilled Chicken Tortilla Soup

Then if you want to be fancy serve it with tortilla strips because they look nice (I found them by the croutons at the store), but honestly tortilla chips taste the exact same and they’re a lot cheaper so why not use those? Plus I alwayyys keep tortilla chips on hand. Bare necessities. You can even make your own strips too by frying sliced tortillas in oil or brushing lightly with oil and baking until crisp. And another side note, if you want to stretch the soup you could add in black beans and a little more broth to get more out of it.

Grilled Chicken Tortilla Soup

If you were wondering about the random 1 tsp sugar in the recipe I added it because 1/4 tsp of it helps the chicken char a little better on the grill. Then the other 3/4 tsp is just to balance out those charred flavors in the soup plus the tartness of the lime. And though the sour cream and cheese aren’t pictured here I wouldn’t recommend leaving them out, they add key flavors. Also, go with the full amount of cilantro. It may seem like a lot but it blends in. It’s all so much goodness in one bowlful of soup!


Grilled Chicken Tortilla Soup

5 from 7 votes
Servings: 4


  • 2 (10 oz) boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 2 tsp chili powder, divided
  • 2 tsp ground cumin, divided
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil divided
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 small ears corn, shucked or 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced (1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (1 1/2 Tbsp)
  • 6 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 large avocado, diced
  • Shredded Mexican blend cheese, sour cream, tortilla strips or chips for serving


  1. Preheat a grill over medium-high heat to about 450 degrees. In a small bowl whisk together 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp cumin, 3/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and 1/4 tsp sugar. Brush chicken with 1 Tbsp olive oil then season both sides with chili powder mixture. Grill about 5 - 6 minutes per side until thickest part of chicken registers 165 degrees. Let rest on cutting board 5 minutes then dice into small cubes.

  2. If using fresh corn cobs, grill shucked corn on medium-high heat, turning every 3 minutes, until slightly charred, about 9 minutes total. Cut corn kernels from cobs.

  3. Heat remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and saute 5 minutes then jalapenos and garlic and saute 2 minutes longer. Pour in broth, tomatoes, remaining 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp cumin, 3/4 tsp sugar and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a light boil over medium-high heat then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 15 minutes (if using frozen corn add during last minute or two).

  4. Add chicken and corn to soup along with cilantro and lime juice. Add diced avocados to each serving as well as cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips. 

  5. Recipe source: Cooking Classy


  • Jennifer @ Because Food Is Love: Sounds delicious! Chicken tortilla soup is one if my favorites too. I’ve always shredded the chicken, love the idea of using grilled chicken instead. Makes for a really pretty soup. July 10, 2017 at 11:54pm Reply

  • Paige Flamm: This soup looks amazing!

    Paige July 11, 2017 at 12:59pm Reply

  • Aria Smith: It looks so delicious and tasty!! Thanks for sharing delicious and tasty soup recipe!! July 17, 2017 at 3:29am Reply

  • Bekah: Would I be able to freeze this soup? September 8, 2017 at 10:54pm Reply

  • Jennifer: Perfect!!! I took shortcuts. Steamed the corn on the cob and used Tysons pre-grilled chicken to speed the process but this recipe is perfect!! September 21, 2017 at 5:46pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you liked it! And great shortcuts. :) September 22, 2017 at 10:39am Reply

  • shelby: how is this with Veggie Stock vs Chicken?, we have a Vegan in the house, and I was hoping to try this as a build your own, having the soup base be vegan and the chicken as an add-on for the rest of us. October 29, 2017 at 12:22pm Reply

  • j pertu: This one looks so good and tasty!
    I made this soup yesterday for lunch! Thanks for the recipe you shared. November 23, 2017 at 2:31am Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you loved it! Thanks for the review! November 27, 2017 at 12:06pm Reply

  • Jill: Great!!! I loved it. Added black beans as well. Fantastic. December 10, 2017 at 6:20pm Reply

  • Bob: I followed most of recipe,except I used Anaheim chili’s instead of jalapeños. I also added chicken taco seasoning and black beans, turned out excellent! I like to only use fresh cilantro at serving so you can use as much as you want. January 10, 2018 at 7:23pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Glad it was enjoyed Bob! January 17, 2018 at 12:01pm Reply

  • Tammy: So easy to make and is truly the best tortilla soup I’ve ever had. I made homemade tortilla strips and it was amazing. I literally crave this soup! January 21, 2018 at 4:43pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the great review Tammy! January 22, 2018 at 6:49pm Reply

  • Andrea: How spicy will it be with the deseeded jalapeño? Would a can of chilies be a good substitute if I want it milder? January 26, 2018 at 12:46pm Reply

  • Byrdmnb: Awesome recipe!!! I couldn’t make it to the grill (cold Colorado), so I pan fried the chicken 5 min both sides and canned corn until a nice brownish color. Followed the recipe the rest of the way. Went extra with the salt and ground cumin. Also added black beans. Reccommend homemade tortilla chips over bag chips. February 28, 2018 at 10:02pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you liked it – thanks for leaving a review! March 2, 2018 at 1:45pm Reply

  • Aubrey: It was really good and easy to make. If you love a flavorful broth soup this is the one. March 24, 2018 at 8:57pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you enjoyed it! :) March 27, 2018 at 2:09pm Reply

  • Judith: I used deboned rotisserie chicken and then used left over boiled rotisserie chicken bones and skin in water with seasoning, then strained to make excellent chicken broth to use in recipe. Grilled corn on top of range in my iron skillet. Went by the rest of recipe. Great! April 4, 2018 at 10:41am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Great idea for the broth Judith! Thanks for your review! April 4, 2018 at 3:36pm Reply

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