This Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup is simply delicious. Garnish it with all your favorite toppings for an easy dinner your family will love.

This Authentic Tortilla Soup is incredibly easy to make and full of flavor. You can prep it in 15 minutes and then simmer it all day. Add your favorite garnishes and get a delicious slow-cooker meal that’s a perfect addition to any dinner table!

Slow Cooker Authentic Tortilla Soup served in a bowl with a spoon, tortilla chips, and garnished with cilantro

I love making this soup year-round, but it’s especially nice on cold, wintry days when you want something cozy. I’ve tried different versions and this slow cooker one is definitely a family favorite. It’s easy, delicious, and a crowd-pleaser.

What is Tortilla Soup?

It’s a traditional Mexican soup made with fried corn tortilla pieces, submerged into a broth of tomato, garlic, onion, and a variety of spices.

I love that you can adapt it to how you like. Sometimes we add corn, sometimes we leave it out. This recipe doesn’t have beans, but if you want some you can easily add them. It’s very flexible and you can customize it to your own tastes.

And what is Chicken Tortilla Soup without all the toppings? I think it’s my favorite part. Once it’s made you can offer up garnishes so everyone can dress up their bowl the way they like. Avocado, lime, sour cream and, of course, tortilla chips! Chips are a must.

The first time I made it, it was an instant hit with my kids, our family, and friends. My family requests it every Christmas Eve at our big family dinner, my sister Nicole loves it and my sister Tami makes it all the time.

I love this Slow Cooker Authentic Tortilla Soup and I can’t wait for it to become a staple in your home as well.

up close Slow Cooker Authentic Tortilla Soup in a bowl with tortilla chips and cilantro garnish

Only 15 Minutes of Prep!

I love a slow cooker recipe that is easy to prep and it really doesn’t get any easier than this one. All you do is combine all of the following ingredients and then leave them to simmer all day.

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Canned whole tomatoes
  • Red enchilada sauce
  • Chopped onion
  • Chopped green chiles
  • Minced garlic
  • Water
  • Chicken broth
  • Cumin
  • Chili powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • Bay leaf
  • Chopped cilantro

Just place all of the ingredients in your slow cooker and stir to combine them. I like to break up the tomatoes with the spatula while I stir.

Cover and cook it on low for six to eight hours. Or, you can cook it on high for three to four hours.

You can also add corn, but wait to add it until the last hour of cooking time. If you add it earlier it will be too mushy by the time the soup is done.

photo of tortilla soup garnished with cilantro served in a bowl

Before You Serve It

Once it’s done cooking, remove the bay leaf and shred the chicken. You can either take it out and shred it in a bowl or shred it right in the slow cooker.

Keep the soup warm while you prepare the toppings. There are so many ways to garnish it – here are some of our favorites:

  • Fresh cilantro
  • Shredded cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Diced avocado
  • Lime wedges
  • Tortilla chips (I like to break them into smaller pieces)

Chicken Tortilla Soup Garnishes

The best thing about Mexican food, in my opinion, is the range of garnishes you can choose from. Making it ideal for all those picky eaters.

Some popular garnishes in our home include shredded cheese, pico, sour cream, tortilla chips (naturally), jalapeños, and chopped avocados.

The tortilla chips are the favorite, most of us like them crushed in our soup bowls just before eating. Jersey, my daughter loves putting in the chips mostly whole and letting them soak up the juices so they become a little soggy. Hey, to each their own.

How to store Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

If you have leftovers, they will keep well in the refrigerator for a few days or you can freeze them to have on hand when you want an easy lunch or dinner.

Make this Chicken Tortilla Soup for your family, take some to a friend, or make a batch to freeze for easy dinners. My family loves it – I think yours will, too.

Enjoy! XOXO San

Favorite Kitchen Tools for this Recipe

tortilla soup with garnish of cilantro, sour cream, tortilla chips

Slow Cooker Authentic Tortilla Soup

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 3 hours
Total: 3 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 8 1 1/3 cup servings
Calories: 144 kcal
This Slow Cooker Authentic Tortilla Soup is simply delicious. Tortilla soup has never been so easy to make or tasted so good.


  • 1.5 lbs chicken breasts uncooked
  • 28 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, mashed
  • 10 ounces red enchilada sauce
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 4 ounces chopped green chiles
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup water
  • 14.5 ounces chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 10 ounces frozen corn (optional)

Optional Garnishes for Serving

  • Tortilla chips
  • Shredded cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Avocado
  • Lime slices


  • In a slow cooker add all of the soup ingredients except for the corn. Cover, and cook on low setting for 6 to 8 hours or on high setting for 3 to 4 hours.
  • An hour before the soup is done, add the corn (if using).
  • When the soup is ready, remove the bay leaf and shred the chicken before serving.
  • Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with your favorite toppings.



The nutrition information does not include the toppings.
Calories: 144kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 15gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 1058mgPotassium: 586mgFiber: 3gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 461IUVitamin C: 23mgCalcium: 50mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know what you think!
photo collage with bowls of soup

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  1. Recipe sounds delicious. What size crock pot is advisable? Most receipts never add that important detail and I am new to slow cooking and unable to tell just by looking at a recipe. Thanks!

    1. Emme – Welcome to the slow cooker world. I use a 6 quart crock pot. I am glad you bring this up, I will change my recipe directions to reflect this! Thanks! And enjoy! xoxo San

      1. When I made my soup I cut corn tortillas in my soup. It not only adds thickness to the soup,but add flavor to the soup. And I add back beans. It’s one recipe that you can go wild with.just before it’s done add sharp cheddar cheese. I add a cam chopped green chili. And sala.Nancy

  2. I have made this three times now and all three times have been asked to share the recipe. It’s an amazing dish. Thank you for sharing it.

  3. Why is it called tortilla soup? There is no mention of tortillas in the recipe. I have had tortilla soup in a couple of restaurants and they used tortillas in their soup. Is there a reason you don’t use tortillas? Just curious,

  4. If I wanted to add beans to this recipe how much would you recommend adding? And should I add them at the beginning or with the corn?

    1. Are you adding canned beans? This will make a difference on when you add them. If you are doing canned beans I would throw in for the last 30-45 minutes, making sure to rinse and drain them before you put them in. They do over power the soup if you don’t. San

  5. Just put this in the crock sat down n realized i screwed up i had to buy a 28oz can of enchilada sauce bc thats all the store had. As i was hurrying up i forgot to half the can n poured the whole 28oz of enchilada sauce in the pot… u think the soup is salvageable?

    1. I hope you were able to figure this out, sorry we didn’t get to reply sooner! If this happens again, I would double the chicken broth, chiles, and add extra seasoning to taste. It would definitely make it a lot soupier, which my family loves anyway! If you have enough of the other ingredients you could always just double everything as well, this soup does make great leftovers.

  6. 5 stars
    I made this soup last week. It is just my grown daughter and me in my household. I made the recipe as written, however, I left out the cilantro and the corn—just a personal preference. I have to say that it is a keeper!!!!! . It is so easy to make—-do some prep, put it in the slow cooker and go do something else. The aroma was great while the soup was cooking. My daughter and I both loved it and in fact we ate it 2 nights in a row. We had some left and I put it in a freezer container. We will have it some night when I don’t feel like cooking. I can see why your relatives all love it. It is the kind of recipe that becomes a request!!!! The chips (Mission brand), the cheese and the sour cream just add to the overall flavor. Great recipe!!

    1. I am so glad to hear you and your daughter enjoyed the soup! It really does make the house smell amazing. Thank you for the review!

  7. 5 stars
    I just made this recipe last night and it turned out great! The only thing I will change for next time is the type of tomatoes I picked up from the store. I mistakenly bought runny crushed tomatoes vs the chunkier mashed tomatoes used in the recipe.

    For spice lovers I would recommend using more green Chile’s or even adding a jalapeño in the mix. I used the amount described the in the recipe and I found that I would like it a bit spicier. I added garlic salt + more salt since it tasted very “tomatoey”

    I had to improvise and use canned corn since there is not any frozen corn at the store due to this corona virus and it still turned out delicious.

    Overall this recipe makes for an excellent tortilla soup and I’m glad I found it!

    1. It definitely is a good base recipe! You can also use hot green chiles to add more spice if you’d like! The kids are a bit picky about spice so we tend to make base recipes less spicy for sure. I’m so glad you enjoyed it with those additions!

  8. 5 stars
    My family is going to love this recipe! Can’t wait to make this! Perfect for the cold weather we’ve been having!

  9. 5 stars
    This recipe is amazing!! I make it over and over. I always add chayote squash to the soup. It absorbs all of the flavor and adds a great texture! This soup is definitely a staple in our household due to its simplicity. I use an instant pot rather than a slow cooker which brings the cooking time down to 24 minutes. I am so grateful to have found this recipe.

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