If you live in Texas you are very familiar with tortilla soup. It is on every Tex-Mex restaurant menu and there are many, many different versions. I have one version already on the blog, but this one is by far my boys FAVORITE. It is thick, creamy and perfectly balanced with spice.

My oldest son is in college and living in an apartment and has realized that eating fast food everyday gets old real fast so when he was home over break we made him about 10 freezable meals. One of the freezable dishes was this tortilla soup. He said he and his roommates plowed through the soup first and all said it was the best tortilla soup they have ever had! WOW! If you have boys you understand how big that is. Boy are not big “soup” eaters so for them to say it was the best and could I please make more…. big deal!

This recipe is adapted from many recipes I have found that take after the Neiman Marcus Northpark Mermaid Bar restaurant in Dallas. It is very close to the original and is absolutely delicious!

Ok don’t be turned off by the list of ingredients. It is long, but this soup is not hard to make and you probably have most of the ingredients in your panty and if you don’t they are very easy to find in any grocery store. And one ingredient your kids will love to finish is the good ole fashioned nacho cheese sauce. Yes the stuff that comes in the jar that is “queso”. We don’t really call it queso here in Texas, but it will do in a pinch and it is perfect in this soup. It gives it just that hint of something that makes it oh so good. You can obviously leave it out, but why would you? We all need a dose of jarred queso, lol.

Hope this warms you up on the cold nights this winter!

Tortilla Soup

Delicious creamy tortilla soup that is hearty and will warm you up on a cold winter night.

Servings 6


  • 3 chicken breasts or 1 large rotisserie chicken
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon cayenne pepper depending on how spicy you like it
  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cups chicken broth (1 large box typically)
  • 10 corn tortillas, torn into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup nacho cheese sauce or velveeta
  • 1/2-1 cup heavy cream (you can use as little or as much as you want to get the creamy texture you desire)
  • salt and pepper
  • Tortilla chips for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken breasts on baking sheet and sprinkle with salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through.

  2. Once chicken is cooked let cool and then shred with 2 forks. Reserve.

  3. In a large pot heat olive oil over medium-high heat.

  4. Add onion, bell pepper, celery and carrot. Saute for 3-5 minutes or until the onions are transluscent.

  5. Add garlic, cumin, paprika, coriander, oregano, chili powder, cayenne. Stir until combined.

  6. Add tomatoes, broth and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil.

  7. Once the soup is boiling turn the heat down to low. Add torn tortilla pieces.

  8. Simmer soup for about an hour. The tortilla pieces will dissolve and thicken the soup.

  9. Add reserved chicken, cheese sauce and cream to soup. Simmer for another 15 minutes.

  10. Season with salt and pepper.

  11. Serve with crispy tortilla chips sprinkled over top.

Needed Items