Crock Pot Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup

by jenna on October 17, 2013

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You guys.

I’m sitting here right now just praying you have a slow cooker so you can make this today…or tomorrow…or this weekend. Basically, as soon as possible. I’m not quite sure how to describe this other than I *think* I might actually like it more than white chicken chili and I never thought that would ever happen. Ever. I’ve been making white chicken chili about once a month for years now, but after tasting this creamy chicken tortilla soup I thiiiiiiiink I have a new favorite.

This soup is as easy as it comes. Just throw all the ingredients in the crock pot in the morning and enjoy a comforting bowl of goodness that night. Some chicken tortilla soup recipes are rather thin and brothy, but not this one. Nope. This soup is thick, creamy and just slightly spicy.

Top bowls with crunchy tortilla chips, avocado chunks, shredded cheese, cilantro and jalapeno slices!

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Before you all tell me that I already have a chicken tortilla soup recipe on the blog so why make another, allow me to explain.

Basically, everything is better in the slow cooker. And as much as I love the old recipe, this one just blows it out of the water for two big {simple} reasons.

1. Chicken thighs

2. Sour cream

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Lately, I’ve been cooking with chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts and let’s just say I’m officially on the dark side now. So tender! So delicious! So easily shredded after seven hours in a crock pot jacuzzi. Sure, you can make this recipe with chicken breasts and I’m sure it’s still exceptionally tasty… BUT…just try it once with chicken thighs? Then, let’s talk.

The sour cream addition is sort of obvious. Everything tastes better when made creamy. It gives the soup a nice little tang and cuts a bit of the spice. You’ll never go back to another version after trying this one, I assure you!

Did I mention how insanely easy it is to make?

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Crock Pot Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup

serves 6

Print this Recipe!


1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs

2 quarts chicken stock

2 14.5 oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed

1 jalapeno, seeded and minced

1 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes {the fire roasted kind if you can find it}

1 4 oz can diced green chilies

1 yellow onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 bay leaves

1 tbsp cumin

2 tsp chili powder

1 tbsp oregano

1 cup frozen corn

4 corn tortillas, torn into small pieces

heaping 1/2 cup sour cream

1 tsp salt – to taste

black pepper – to taste

sliced avocado for serving

shredded cheddar or monterey jack for serving

fresh minced cilantro for serving


In a 6-8 quart slow cooker combine all ingredients except for the frozen corn, tortillas and sour cream. Turn to LOW and cook for 7 hours.

When there’s 30 minutes left, remove chicken with a slotted spoon and transfer to a cutting bowl. Shred or chop into tiny pieces then return to the slow cooker. Add the corn and mix in the sour cream. Tear the tortillas into small pieces and add to the soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

When ready to serve, let everyone garnish their own bowl with lots of avocado, cheddar cheese and cilantro. Enjoy!


active time ~ 15 minutes

total time ~ 7 hours


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{ 93 comments… read them below or add one }

Live Love Yum October 17, 2013 at 3:07 am

I don’t have a slow cooker!! *gasps*


Sherry October 28, 2013 at 2:37 pm

I made this and did it on top of the stove, just as good!


Averie @ Averie Cooks October 17, 2013 at 3:09 am

I love that this is just a dump it all in kind of recipe. So easy and the colors are gorgeous! I was LOLing to ‘crock pot jacuzzi’ :) Pinned!


Kim October 17, 2013 at 3:37 am

Ugh – I don’t have sour cream but I will fix that soon and make it tomorrow – can’t wait!!! Thanks for sharing!


Meg Jones | The Spatularette October 17, 2013 at 4:15 am

I recently switched over to team chicken thighs as well and it really makes all the difference! They blow the flavor and texture if white meat right out of the water. When the weather cools downs I love making soup on Sunday then packing it for lunch all week. I think I just found this Sunday’s recipe! Thanks, it looks like a winner!


Joanne Craven October 17, 2013 at 4:47 am

One of my fave soups (next to tomato soup) is chicken! Oh so not fair coz I don’t have a crock pot and this looks so good! Is there any other cooking method I can try? Can’t I just use a big pot and slow cook it that way?


Madison October 17, 2013 at 4:51 am

I love adding chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts–so much more tender and juicy. This soup looks amaze-fest!


Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} October 17, 2013 at 4:53 am

I totally agree with your chicken thigh assessment. Can’t get my husband on the dark side, though! He wouldn’t even know with this recipe, though. :) Trying it sometime this fall for sure!


Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat October 17, 2013 at 5:01 am

Ok, being a blogger I feel it’s almost sinful that I don’t have a slow cooker, but almost every recipe I’ve come across sos far this morning requires one so I’m pretty sure I know what I’ll be buying at Costco this weekend!


April October 17, 2013 at 5:56 am

I was thinking the SAME about the slow cooker – need to get one ASAP! I wonder if Jenna has any recommendations, or if they all do the trick?!?!


Belinda October 17, 2013 at 5:12 am

I love your other chicken tortilla soup recipe and I can’t wait to make this one!


Kelley October 17, 2013 at 5:34 am

Sounds fabulous! Have been looking for recipes to add to my soup rotation! I may have missed it – but… Where do the torn tortillas come in? Thanks!


April October 17, 2013 at 5:55 am

Oh No, i am making your white chicken chili tonight – but ok, will make this one next. I can’t imagine loving it more, but i trust ya!!!!!


erin @hooleywithaz October 17, 2013 at 6:09 am

this looks so good! i have been loving my slow cooker the last couple weeks. i made homemade applesauce on sunday and it was to die for. so easy.


Christina October 17, 2013 at 6:14 am

This sounds amazing, Jenna! Where do we add in the tortillas? I’m guessing with the corn? Thanks!!


Bev @ Bev Cooks October 17, 2013 at 6:27 am

Yes yes yes times 40 billion. Yes.


shelly@ohshellsbells October 17, 2013 at 6:27 am

this looks boy-friendly. i think mine is getting sick of my vegetarian(ish) ways. maybe i will offer the olive branch and make this tonight!


Laurie October 17, 2013 at 6:33 am

Looks so good! I am going to make it tomorrow. I may just be missing it but what do you do with the corn tortillas? Add to crock pot? Thanks!


amie October 17, 2013 at 6:52 am

this looks amazing! I will be trying it this weekend. At what point do you use the corn tortillas?


jenna October 17, 2013 at 7:30 am

Right after the sour cream.


Beth October 22, 2013 at 6:29 am

Any ideas for replacements if you live in canada where there is no such thing as corn tortillas?


Sarah October 23, 2013 at 3:36 pm

I just made this last week and completely forgot to add the tortillas, it was still delicious! We didn’t even realize they were missing!


Dana October 17, 2013 at 6:55 am

I have to break out the crock asap! I haven’t used it since Jan/Feb!! I know….sad. This sounds awesome!


Ellie October 17, 2013 at 6:55 am

Sorry, it sounds great, but where do the tortillas come in? They are left out for the seven hours cooking time, but never get added in these instructions. Are they for the top? Will make this this weekend for sure!


jenna October 17, 2013 at 7:30 am

You add them right after the sour cream.


Ellie October 17, 2013 at 7:37 am



W October 17, 2013 at 7:04 am

Tortillas?? Details, details


jenna October 17, 2013 at 7:29 am

Right after the sour cream.


maria October 17, 2013 at 7:10 am

Better than white chicken chili? Fo’realz? I need to make this asap then!


jodi October 17, 2013 at 7:10 am

jenna – just wondering – when do you add the tortillas? or are they just for topping? thanks so much can’t wait to make this!


jenna October 17, 2013 at 7:27 am

You add them right after the sour cream :)


Sara October 17, 2013 at 7:11 am

This may be a dumb question, but will the sour cream separate or curdle if the soup is reheated later? I would be making this soup for me, myself, and I to feast on all week.


jenna October 17, 2013 at 7:27 am

Nope – the sour cream will not curdle!


Caroline L. October 17, 2013 at 7:38 am

You had me at soup! :)


Carla October 17, 2013 at 7:59 am

I know it’s probably blasphemy to suggest substituting, but do you think plain yogurt would work instead of sour cream?


jenna October 17, 2013 at 8:20 am

I can’t say for sure since I haven’t tested it that way, but you can try!


Lacey October 17, 2013 at 8:00 am

yumdotcom Jenna!


jenna k October 17, 2013 at 8:01 am

yum! this looks/sounds like the perfect mix of my mom’s taco soup and her potato soup (random, but it has that sour cream broth base). i’m definitely going to have to try this soon!


Molly October 17, 2013 at 8:03 am

Thoughts on whether greek yogurt would work as a replacement for the sour cream?


Angie October 17, 2013 at 8:06 am

I’ve subbed greek yogurt for sour cream in a number of recipes – do you think that would work here?


Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie October 17, 2013 at 8:09 am

For some unexplained reason I have been putting off making tortilla soup for over a year. I know I have something wrong with me. But seeing this in a slow cooker means it may finally happen! Once I get back from this wedding I’m in…


Bryony @ Friday Night Dinners -- PDX October 17, 2013 at 8:22 am

This looks amazing! I love busting out the crockpot and just letting things cook all day. I’ll definitely be trying this out!


Stacey I October 17, 2013 at 8:33 am

There was a bar by us that would serve what they called chicken enchilada soup and it was heavenly. They stopped making it :( I have tried many recipes to recreate that, and this actually looks so close!! I will definitely be making this – very excited :) !!!


Laurel October 17, 2013 at 8:43 am

Sounds like another one for the win! Just made your crockpot root beer chicken last night — those thighs definitely do the trick!! Thanks for another to add to the crockpot repertoire!


Laura @ Lauras Baking Talent October 17, 2013 at 9:00 am

I have a slow cooker and I’m definitely trying this recipe soon : – ) Love new soup recipes.


Sarah (Shh...Fit Happens) October 17, 2013 at 9:04 am

Ohmy this looks so good, I wish I did not have to make it and could just enjoy eating it :)


Emily @ Life on Food October 17, 2013 at 9:45 am

This sounds amazing. I have made a similar soup not not in the crock pot. Things are always easier in the crock pot.


Megan October 17, 2013 at 9:58 am

Sounds amazing, and I love cooking with my slow cooker! Definitely gonna give this a try next week, but I think I’ll sub out the sour cream for Greek yogurt.


Nellie October 17, 2013 at 10:21 am

Just curious, with salmonella in the news quite recently… does a slow cooker do a good job killing the bacteria?


jenna October 17, 2013 at 10:35 am

It does, actually. To kill salmonella, you just need to heat food at 131 degrees for one hour – in the slow cooker, your food simmers for 12 hours so all icky bacteria is definitely killed in that process.


Nicole October 17, 2013 at 10:33 am

Oh my gosh, yum. Perfect reason to get my slow cooker out and reunite with it!


kimwithak October 17, 2013 at 10:50 am

Hello Crock Pot, nice to see you again!
I love my crock pot and I’m pretty sure I’m going to adore this recipe!
Can’t wait to make it!


Natalie October 17, 2013 at 11:20 am

Pinned it! This looks so good, I can’t wait to try it!


Erin | The Law Student's Wife October 17, 2013 at 11:25 am

You have me wanting to join the darkside! Soooo wish this was in my crockpot rightthissecond.


Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe October 17, 2013 at 11:49 am

Well it’s my lucky freakin’ day because I just got a slow cooker for my birthday last Friday! I am pinning this recipe and will make it asap! It sounds so delicious!


Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs October 17, 2013 at 11:53 am

Sounds delicious! I may have to dust off my crock pot this weekend… :)


Kristin October 17, 2013 at 2:15 pm

I’m not suriei f it gets better than white chicken chilli but I must try this!


Beth October 17, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Any advice for cooking this on the stove in the case of no crock pot or a too small crock pot?


Ashley @ Hudson on the Potomac October 17, 2013 at 3:30 pm

I am also a recent chicken thigh convert. SO much better with breasts! Love this recipe and I really love that it doesn’t require cooking the chicken or searing the chicken before adding it to the crockpot. Makes life so much easier!


Coty and Mariah October 17, 2013 at 4:51 pm

All I want to do is make soup every night. So this is perfect! Thanks!


Heather October 18, 2013 at 6:59 am

I could eat chicken tortilla soup every day! (In my head) I can’t wait to make this – I think it will be a great thing to make on Sunday to have for lunches next week. Thank you for the idea Jenna!


Shelly October 18, 2013 at 12:26 pm

I have to let you know, this soup was life changing for me yesterday. I have a yucky cold. While I like my other tortilla soup recipes, I have not loved them. My husband and I both loved, loved, loved this one! It was a cold night, complete with the first snow of the season and was just what my stuffed up head needed. What was really crazy is that I had all of the ingredients on hand! (I did use chicken breasts and it was just fine for us).

I’m desperately trying to leave my desk to warm some up for lunch.


ARPL October 19, 2013 at 2:31 pm

Made your soup and it was really nice! The garnishes really made it special. Good thing it was a hit as your recipe makes an awfully large amount.


Lisag October 20, 2013 at 8:45 am

So excited to make this today; finally chilly in Georgia!


K. October 20, 2013 at 10:20 am

I’ve got this going in my crockpot now, which is a 6 quart, and I don’t have the chicken in yet, nor the corn or tortillas/sour cream, and I’m up to the top rim, so just a heads up to any one making this, you’ll want to do it in an 8-quart pot.


Laura T. October 20, 2013 at 2:12 pm

Do you think you could cook it on the “High” setting and cut the cooking time by a few hours? Thanks!


Ashley October 21, 2013 at 9:04 am

Hey just FYI…I cooked it on high for 4 hours and it was awesome.


Chanel October 20, 2013 at 7:39 pm

I made this tonight for my husband and he LOVED it. I should add that he is a veeeery particular eater but thought that this recipe was the bomb. Such delicious savory spice perfect for today’s rain. Cheers :)


Jenn S October 21, 2013 at 5:30 am

Hey Jenna! Would you mind updating us about your Temple Spa routine sometime soon?


Ashley October 21, 2013 at 9:03 am

I made this yesterday. Usually I taste test as I cook but didn’t because the slow cooker was doing all the work. As soon as I took the first bite, I smiled SO BIG! This is so wonderful, filling, comforting and delicious. Thanks for sharing!


Jenn October 21, 2013 at 10:33 am

I can’t be home in 7 hours from work, is there any harm in letting this cook for 8 hours plus? Or will it just make the chicken extra tender?


Kait Hurley October 21, 2013 at 2:34 pm

YUM!! Can’t wait to try this one. Thanks Jenna!


Michelle October 21, 2013 at 5:31 pm

Sad day. I prepped this and had it in the crock pot when I left for work this morning. I walked in the house tonight expecting the delicious smell of chicken tortillia soup but no such luck. Our power company turned off our power from 9-3 for maintenance work (which I’d known about but then forgotten–blerg!). The entire thing went in the trash and we’re instead going to have frozen mushroom risotto from TJs. Sigh.


Zahra October 22, 2013 at 5:52 am

Made this to cook Sunday night for Monday night’s dinner, SO GOOD. A couple of modifications I made: took the time to defat the chicken thighs. Since its all in the crockpot, the fat can’t go anywhere, so I tried to remove it before it went in. Then, because I was feeding someone lactose-intolerant and left the sour cream as a garnish, after pulling the chicken thighs out, I took my immersion blender to the soup base. This broke up the beans and gave the soup a wonderful thickness. Then I added the corn, tortillas and shredded chicken back in. Next time, I’m going to add the corn tortillas before the 8-hour cook time so they can fully break down and give the soup some thickness. Great recipe, my guests and I completely gobbled it down!!


Sarah October 23, 2013 at 3:41 pm

I just made this over the weekend and it was delicious! My husband is not a soup guy but he really enjoyed this one!

Word to the wise, this makes a LOT of soup. My crock pot wasn’t big enough! I put everything in except the 2nd carton of broth, cooked all day, then transferred to a bigger pot (on medium-high on the stovetop) and added the remaining broth with the last cooking steps. Worked great!


Toby Frazier October 23, 2013 at 3:57 pm

To prepare, rinse/drain the black beans and place in the bottom of your slow cooker (give it a quick spray to prevent sticking). Then layer with the Rotel, corn, onions and peppers. Top with 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Whisk together the cream of chicken soup, enchilada sauce and milk. Pour over chicken. Cook on high for 6 hours or on low for 8-10 (my preferred amount of time). Remove the chicken and shred with forks. Place the shredded chicken back in the slow cooker and combine with the rest of the soup ingredients. Ladle into bowls, top with tortilla strips, cheese and ENJOY!


Regina October 24, 2013 at 11:07 am

I made this yesterday – and it was a hit! I had to work late, so didn’t get the corn in it, but it was still delicious! Thanks for this recipe!!


Anne October 26, 2013 at 6:33 pm

You don’t need a crock pot for this! Use a nice heavy dutch oven type pot. Start it about 2-3 hours before you want to serve it. I made it for our mid-autumn supper tonight, came out fabuloso! Skinned & boned the thighs, sauteed the onions a bit, threw in the chicken (cut up in 1″ chunks), added the garlic for a minute, then threw the rest in as if using the crock pot. Covered it up & simmered for 1-1 1/2 hours. Then added the corn & tortillas (I roasted mine over the flame for extra flavor). Let simmer another 15 minutes, mixed the sour cream in a 1/2 cup heavy cream then finished the soup with it. Delicioso! Served with avocado, cilantro, cheese, green onions, sour cream, hot sauces etc at table.


Ma?gorzata Kamila October 27, 2013 at 12:02 pm

Mniamm ;))


Stefanie October 28, 2013 at 7:35 am

Jenna, thank you so much for this recipe! I made it on Friday and I also fried up my own corn tortilla chips. The soup is delicious! I’ve tried several chicken tortilla soups and this one is a winner! I love how I can literally throw everything into the crock pot.


Trisha November 3, 2013 at 11:24 am

I made this stew this week and it was delicious! So savory and satisfying. I saved a couple servings in the freezer and am looking forward to pulling them out on busy November weeknights!


Heather @ French Press November 4, 2013 at 3:30 pm

I have still not embraced chicken thighs- but this soups makes me want to give them a try


Valerie November 5, 2013 at 6:10 pm

in the words of my husband, “pretty damn good. you better save that recipe. that was real effin good. pretty effin good.”

cuss words removed for g-rated audience members :)

thank you!


Melanie November 25, 2013 at 1:59 pm

This sounds fabulous! I’m adding it to the ‘must try’ list.


Megan @ MegGoesNomNom December 1, 2013 at 3:59 pm

We tried this today and it was a big hit! Love the corn tortilla pieces. :) Thanks for the recipe.


Laura January 15, 2014 at 7:36 pm

My husband had asked me if I could make him Chicken Tortilla Soup because it’s his favorite. Since I had never eaten it before I didn’t know where to start until I came across your recipe. I made it tonight and we both LOVED it. We both had two bowl fulls and 5 hours later I’m still full LOL. I did have one question though – my soup didn’t turn out thick and creamy….It was still very brothy. As I said it was delicious but I’m just wondering when it normally gets thick? I was thinking as I poured in two quarts of chicken stock that I couldn’t understand how it would possibly thicken. Thanks for the recipe we will be enjoying this all week and it’s in the rotation for the future!


Megan @ MegGoesNomNom October 11, 2014 at 12:05 pm

I encountered the same thing when I made the recipe. The first time I made this recipe I actually used half of the amount of specified chicken stock (1 qt vs 2 qts), and the second time I used 2 qts. I MUCH preferred the version with only 1 qt of liquid. With 2 qts (aka 8 cups), when I made it, the broth was thin and not very creamy, nor flavorful. It’s delicious with only 1 qt (aka 4 cups) of broth however.


Joyce January 21, 2014 at 11:21 am

Delicious. Thank you for the idea!


Kelly January 21, 2014 at 2:53 pm

I’ve just started cooking my chicken breasts in the crock pot, can’t believe it took me so long to discover this tip! I love that I can leave them while I’m working or doing chores around the house and then they are so easy to shred up for soup or sandwiches the next day. Or whenever! Can’t wait to try this recipe, I am definitely in soup mode lately!


K January 21, 2014 at 3:33 pm

I have a question about the torn corn tortillas in the soup … are they just the regular soft tortillas (like you make tacos/fajitas with?) and so there a torn pieces floating around in the soup? Or crunchy chip corn tortillas?
BTW: Have you had Whole Foods own Corn Tortilla Chips they make now? They are SO GOOD! They are light and crispy, perfectly salted and only have about 5 ingredients total. I won’t buy bagged/mass produced corn tortilla chips again.


K January 21, 2014 at 3:34 pm

PS. Oh, and I just made your Creamy White Chicken Chili yesterday – it is one of my/our favs, so so good! I will have to make this recipe next!


Suzanne September 8, 2014 at 10:18 am

I want to make the creamy chicken tortilla soup for a large group. The recipes indicates that its for 6 people….can I just double the ingredients for 12?


jenna September 8, 2014 at 1:21 pm



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