This keto chicken tortilla soup recipe has all the qualities to become the easiest (and dare-I-say favorite!) meal in your dinner rotation. Tender shreds of chicken thighs in a broth swimming with tomatoes and diced onions, seasoned with cumin and chili powder and alllll the special things that create that yummy, southwestern flavor. Top off a bowl with fried strips of keto-friendly tortilla and whatever toppings your heart desires (sour cream, avocado, cilantro- preferably all of them if you know what’s good for you).
This easy chicken tortilla soup is:
- intensely flavorful (increase or decrease the amount of spice to your preference)
- low-carb and keto-friendly
- gluten-free and dairy-free (use dairy-free sour cream or cheese as toppings if you wish)
- ready in under 30 minutes
It’s meaty. It’s soooo good. And best of all, it’s incredibly quick and simple to throw together.
I’m a year-round soup person- it doesn’t matter what the temperature is outside, I will happily take a cozy, comforting bowl of soup if one is available (my favorites: keto mushroom soup, keto chicken soup and this cabbage and sausage soup with roasted vegetables).
What I love about this low-carb chicken tortilla soup recipe is that it has fresh, zesty and spicy notes, which are always “in season.” Even if you typically don’t partake in soup year-round.
how to make chicken tortilla soup
This keto-friendly version doesn’t deviate too much from a traditional chicken tortilla soup recipe, but it does lack a few ingredients that the classic soup would normally have. To make it low-carb, skip the beans and the corn and swap the fried tortillas for a keto-friendly option. Store-bought or homemade tortilla is up to you (find a tortilla recipe here if you prefer a cleaner option than what is available at the grocery store).
- avocado oil
- yellow onion, diced
- garlic, minced
- green chiles
- canned petite-diced tomatoes
- chicken broth or stock
- chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
- chipotle powder (optional, see notes)
- chili powder
- salt and pepper
- dried oregano
- nutritional yeast (optional)
- lime (optional)
- keto tortillas, cut into thin strips
- toppings of choice (avocado, sour cream, chopped cilantro, lime wedges, grated cheese, etc.)
This is an easy chicken tortilla soup recipe that is low-effort and perfect for any sort of dinner-in-a-flash situation.
- Sauté the onions and garlic. In a large pot on the stovetop, heat the oil over medium and add the onions. Sauté about 5 minutes or until they soften. Add the minced garlic and cook another 30 seconds.
- Combine the ingredients. Add in the cans of diced tomatoes, green chiles, chicken broth, salt and pepper and the rest of the seasonings. Bring the mixture to a boil then add in the whole, raw chicken thighs. Reduce the heat to low-medium and simmer the soup for 20 minutes.
- Fry the tortilla strips. While the soup simmers, heat two tablespoons of avocado oil in a small frying pan. Fry the tortilla strips until golden brown- about five minutes over medium heat. Remove and allow them to cool on a paper towel-lined plate.
- Shred the chicken. After the soup has simmered, remove the cooked chicken pieces from the pot. Cool on a plate for a few minutes, then use two forks to pull the meat apart, shredding the chicken. Return the chicken to the pot and stir.
- Serve. Turn off the heat and stir in the nutritional yeast. Squeeze the juice of a lime into the soup. Allow it to cool, then ladle into bowls. Top with the fried tortilla strips and ingredients of choice (sour cream, shredded cheese, cilantro, etc.!).
keto tortilla soup recipe notes
- Save the tortilla strips as a topping- don’t stir them into the soup or they will get soggy and break apart after a while.
- High-fat toppings like sour cream, cheese, and avocado will make this low-carb tortilla soup more “keto.” You can also easily swap the avocado oil for MCT oil.
- Adjust the spice level to your preference. If your spiciness tolerance is low, I recommend omitting the chipotle powder. However, the heat level will vary based on the toppings used. I serve this soup to my kids and stir in a little sour cream to make it less spicy.
- Small chicken breasts can be substituted for chicken thighs, but I prefer thighs because they are more flavorful and tender (and more affordable).
- For a really easy soup, use pre-cooked shredded chicken (for instance leftover roasted chicken works great for this). You can reduce the cook time to about 10 minutes and add the shredded chicken in at the very end.
If you try this keto tortilla soup, let me know! Drop a comment below or tag me on Instagram (@stemandspoon). I LOVE seeing what you’re making. Enjoy!
you might also love…
- If you’re a fan of this easy tortilla soup recipe, how about another keto chicken soup? This keto chicken soup is more of a classic, packed with meaty chicken shreds, lots of herbs and aromatics, and finished off with a squeeze of fresh lemon. It’s also paleo, dairy-free and gluten-free.
- A slice of this keto cornbread is the perfect side to any soup! This one’s easy to make and works with just about any meal.
- Keto chili is a family favorite and I guarantee you’ll have leftovers. A quick dinner is wonderful but not having to cook the next day? Totally ideal. 😉
*This post contains Amazon affiliate links. I earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you) when you purchase something from one of those links. I will always recommend brands and products that I use and love. Thank you for supporting Stem and Spoon! -Abby
- 4 tablespoons avocado oil (divided)
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon canned green chiles
- 2, 14-oz. cans petite-diced tomatoes
- 3-1/2 cups chicken broth or stock
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder (optional)
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 4 medium chicken thighs, boneless and skinless (about 1 pound)
- 1 low-carb tortilla (store-bought or homemade), cut into thin strips
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
- 1 lime
- toppings of choice: sour cream, shredded cheese, cilantro, avocado slices
- Place a large pot on the stovetop over medium heat and warm 2 tablespoons of the avocado oil (set aside the other 2 tablespoons). Sauté the chopped onions for about 5 minutes or until they soften. Add the minced garlic and cook another 30 seconds.
- Pour in the two cans of diced tomatoes, add the green chiles and the chicken broth. Stir in the cumin, chipotle powder, chili powder, salt, pepper, and oregano.
- Bring the mixture to a boil then add the whole, raw chicken thighs to the pot. Reduce the heat to low-medium and simmer the soup for 20 minutes.
- While the soup simmers, warm the remaining 2 tablespoons of avocado oil in a small frying pan on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Fry the tortilla strips in the oil until they turn golden brown- about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate. Set aside to use as toppings.
- After the soup has simmered for 20 minutes, remove the cooked chicken pieces from the pot and transfer to a plate or cutting board. Let them cool for a few minutes, then shred the chicken using two forks to easily pull it apart.
- Return the shredded chicken to the pot. Turn off the heat.
- Stir in the nutritional yeast (optional) and the juice of 1 lime.
- Let the soup cool a few minutes. Serve with the fried tortilla strips and your favorite toppings (sour cream, shredded cheese, cilantro, jalapeño, etc.!).
For a spicier soup, substitute the green chiles for chopped jalapeño. For less spice, omit the chipotle powder.
Increase the fat in this low-carb chicken tortilla soup by choosing high-fat toppings like sour cream, avocado, or cheese. Avocado oil can also be substituted fro MCT oil.
This chicken tortilla soup can be made with pre-cooked shredded chicken (like leftover whole roasted chicken). Reduce the simmer time to 10 minutes and add the shredded chicken in at the very end.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 425Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 120mgSodium: 1459mgCarbohydrates: 16gNet Carbohydrates: 9gFiber: 7gSugar: 4gProtein: 28g
This nutritional information is approximate and is provided for convenience as a courtesy.