Vetri Cooking Lab

Chicken Tortilla Soup


  • 1 Tablespoon plus 2 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 1 –14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 32 ounces low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 –15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 Tortillas, cut into strips
  • Optional garnishes: grated Monterey jack cheese, cilantro, lime, sour cream, avocado


  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Sauté whole chicken thighs until brown on both sides. While the chicken is cooking, mix spices together in a small bowl.
  2. Add onions and green pepper. Cook for 3-5 minutes. Stir in the jalapeño, minced garlic and spice mix and cook for about 5 minutes until the vegetables and spices are fragrant.
  3. Add canned tomatoes, chicken broth, and black beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered.Taste and add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes if desired. Add water if the soup seems too thick.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°. Add tortilla strips to a baking sheet and toss with 2 tsp olive oil and a pinch of salt. Arrange in a single layer on sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from tray to cool.
  5. Carefully remove chicken thighs to a plate or cutting board and shred using two forks before returning to the soup.
  6. To serve, ladle into bowls, then top with tortillas strips and your choice of garnish, if desired.


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