I’m a huge fan of soup. It’s easy to throw together, easy to freeze for later, and a healthy meal choice. My family also loves southwestern and Mexican flavors, so I created this chicken tortilla soup to meld the two.
Healthy Chicken Tortilla Soup
I’m all about taking old favorite recipes and making them healthier. Luckily, soup is already a pretty healthy food and just needs a few tweaks. Here are some of the ways this soup can support optimal health.
Hot peppers are a great addition to a meal when you have a runny nose or other mild illness. The capsaicin in the peppers can ease pain and is also known to support the immune system.
Bone broth is another immune-supporting food. Bone broth from grass-fed sources contains:
- calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous
- collagen for healthy hair, skin, and nails
- gelatin (which is a protein and contains amino acids proline and glycine)
Bone broth is also soothing to the digestive tract so it’s great for upset tummies.
Chicken tortilla soup wouldn’t be the same without the tortillas. But my family doesn’t eat grains (except for white rice occasionally), so I had to find a tortilla chip alternative. The chips I use in this recipe are made with cassava flour, so they’re also nut-free and safe for most people on an autoimmune diet. (And don’t worry… they’re extremely delicious!)
I don’t eat beans too often, but I know some people can’t eat a chicken tortilla soup without some beans. They’re easy to add in if you want them and are just as easy to leave out if you don’t.
This recipe calls for salsa verde as part of the broth. I love this salsa because it uses tomatillos instead of tomatoes for a slightly tangier taste and denser texture. If you don’t like salsa verde, you can use regular salsa instead. I also like this fermented salsa recipe because it adds beneficial bacteria and digestive enzymes to the meal.
A Simple Weeknight Meal
I’m a big fan of one-pot meals, Instant Pot recipes, or other dinner ideas that make meal prep quick and easy (and if clean-up is short, even better!). This chicken tortilla soup recipe fits the bill.
It takes just a few minutes in the Instant Pot, so it can be ready to eat after a long day. You can throw it in the Crock-Pot in the morning and have dinner ready by the time everyone is home at night.
It’s also easy to freeze (just leave out the toppings until it’s reheated). Let the soup cool and measure 2 cup portions into a freezer container of choice (I like to use glass). Freeze for up to two months.
Here’s how to make it!
Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe
- 2 lbs chicken (diced)
- 1 medium onion (chopped)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 cup roasted salsa verde (or regular salsa)
- 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans (drained and rinsed, optional)
- 1 bell pepper (chopped)
- 1 medium zucchini (chopped)
- tortilla chips
- shredded cheese
- sour cream
- lime juice
- In the Instant Pot, combine the chicken, onion, garlic, salsa verde, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, cumin, chili powder, and salt.
- Cook on high pressure for 8 minutes, with a quick pressure release when the time is up.
- Turn on the saute function and stir in the black beans, bell pepper, and zucchini.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bell pepper and zucchini are tender.
- Top with optional toppings and enjoy!
Want More Southwest-Inspired Recipes?
My family loves southwestern flavors, so we include one of these recipes in our meal rotation regularly.
- Tex-Mex Lettuce Tacos – I’m always looking to add more vegetables to my family’s meals. This recipe is an easy way to do that!
- Huevos Rancheros – This traditional Mexican breakfast is so simple it’s hardly worth a recipe. I discovered this delicious meal in Texas and have made it at home ever since.
- Mexican Beef and Rice Bowls – So Simple to make, this recipe tops my list for easy weeknight recipes. This is easy to customize to each person’s preference with a variety of topping options.
- Chipotle Style Burrito Bowl – Since we don’t eat grains, I’ve had to come up with clever ways to serve the Mexican and southwest food we love. This burrito bowl is one example (and tastes very similar to a Chipotle take-out meal!).
- Paleo Tex-Mex Casserole – If you want the flavors of the southwest but in an easy to cook and serve form, try this casserole version.
I love that Mexican and Southwest food is so simple, but full of flavor!
What’s your favorite chicken tortilla soup recipe?