Grilled Chicken Tortilla Soup


The BEST Chicken Tortilla Soup! It’s packed with fresh flavors and the grilled chicken and corn just takes it from good to incredibly good! Finish it of with lots of tortilla strips or crumbled tortilla cheese, cheddar and avocado to really make this soup sing.

A close up of Grilled Chicken Tortilla Soup in a white bowl

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 on the cheese and avocado, because avocado (or guacamole) is a tortilla soup must in my book.

Ingredients for Grilled Chicken Tortilla Soup chopped up on a chopping board

Do I Have to Use Grilled Chicken and Corn?

In the dead of winter you might be asking do I have to use grilled chicken and corn here? The answer is no. Other good options included shredded rotisserie chicken, skillet seared breasts or thighs or leftover roasted chicken.

Then of course frozen corn can be used in place of the fresh. I just figured when I’m going to be grilling the chicken we might as well grill the corn too. It adds great flavor.

If you want to stretch the soup and get another serving you could add in black beans and a little more broth to get more out of it.

Do You Like Like It Mild or Spicy?

If you love spicy soup feel free to leave the seeds in the jalapeños and even add more. Then if you don’t tolerate any heat well omit the jalapeño.

How do You Get a Decent Char on Chicken Breasts?

If you were wondering about the random 1 tsp sugar in the recipe I added it because just hint 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.

A ladle of Grilled Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup Ingredients

  • Chicken breats
  • Spices – chili powder, cumin, sugar, S&P
  • Olive oil
  • Veggies – corn, yellow onion, jalapenos, garlic, avocado
  • Low-sodium chicken broth
  • Canned fire roasted tomatoes
  • Lime
  • Cilantro
  • Cheese

How to Make Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • Grill seasoned chicken and corn (it adds great flavor!).
  • Saute onion, jalapeños and garlic in a pot.
  • Pour in broth, tomatoes and spices.
  • Simmer to cook and meld flavors.
  • 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.

Grilled Chicken Tortilla Soup in a white bowl with tortilla chips at the side

How to Make Homemade Tortilla Strips

The quickest version here is to serve is to serve this with store-bought tortilla chips or tortilla strips. But if you want to go the extra mile, you can make your own strips by frying sliced tortillas in oil or brushing lightly with oil and baking at 400 degrees until crisp (as I done here with my Black Bean Tortilla Soup).

More Easy Tortilla Soup Recipes to Try

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Grilled Chicken Tortilla Soup

5 from 11 votes

My idea of the BEST Chicken Tortilla Soup! A family favorite! It's jam packed with fresh flavor and easy to make. In the winter feel free to substitute shredded rotisserie chicken and frozen corn here.

Servings: 5
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 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.

  2. Brush chicken with 1 Tbsp olive oil then season both sides with chili powder mixture. 

  3. 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.
  4. 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.

  5. Heat remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. 

  6. Add onion and saute 5 minutes then jalapenos and garlic and saute 2 minutes longer. 
  7. Pour in broth, tomatoes, remaining 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp cumin, 3/4 tsp sugar and season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  8. 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 the last 5 minutes.

  9. 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. 

  10. Recipe source: Cooking Classy

Nutrition Facts
Grilled Chicken Tortilla Soup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 385 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 26%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 72mg 24%
Sodium 368mg 15%
Potassium 1093mg 31%
Total Carbohydrates 27g 9%
Dietary Fiber 5g 20%
Sugars 7g
Protein 33g 66%
Vitamin A 20.8%
Vitamin C 26.2%
Calcium 7.3%
Iron 15.2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chicken tortilla soup
Calories: 385 kcal
Author: Jaclyn


  • Janet: We really enjoyed this soup, very flavourful and not difficult to make. Thank you! September 11, 2018 at 6:04pm Reply

  • Traci: I followed the recipe exactly but upped the cumin because I really love the taste of it. I also roasted my own diced tomatoes instead of canned (personal preference to not buy canned food). It’s the best version of tortilla soup I’ve ever had. Highly recommend!!

    I’m looking forward to trying your other recipes. August 27, 2018 at 5:56pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Happy to hear you think it’s the best :). Hope you enjoy more of my recipes! Thanks for your review Traci! August 27, 2018 at 8:21pm 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

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