Chicken Tortilla Soup

This soup is part of my One Chicken, Three Meals repertoire and is a favorite of both of my kids. Its full of chicken, beans, rice and cheese and topped with tortilla chips and more cheese (so that can’t hurt). Mild enough for little ones, and easy enough to spice up for adults or more adventurous eaters, this is a definitely a winner at our house!  

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Cooling Time 10 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Soup
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6


  • Large stock pot
  • Colander
  • Large bowl


  • 1 whole Chicken carcass thighs, legs and breasts removed, tenders and wings intact
  • 6 cups water or enough to cover chicken bones
  • 4 cubes chicken bullion
  • 1 12 oz jar of salsa spice level to your preference
  • 1 12 oz can kidney beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 12 oz can refried beans
  • 1 cup frozen corn can sub for one can, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup cooked rice made according to package directions
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 6 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese plus extra to top
  • crushed tortilla chips to top
  • ripe avocado slices to top
  • jalapeno slices to top


  • Add chicken, water and bullion to large stock pot and boil over medium-high heat for 35-45 minutes or until meat falls off the bones. Be sure to turn chicken over a couple of times during cooking to make sure it cooks evenly. Once cooked, turn off heat.
  • While chicken is boiling, cook rice according to package directions and set aside.
  • Place a large bowl in the sink and set a large colander on top. Carefully pour the chicken and broth into the strainer. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  • Transfer chicken to a cutting board and separate meat from skin and bones. Chop meat into bite sized pieces and discard bones and skin.
  • Transfer 6 cups of broth back into large stock pot. Stir in chicken chunks, salsa, refried beans, kidney beans, corn, sour cream and rice, and shredded cheese and warm through over low heat.
  • Taste for salt and pepper and serve warm topped with additional shredded cheese, crushed chips and avocado or jalapeno slices.


Depression Era Grandma Tip:
Don't waste one iota of meat on that chicken carcass! Flip the bird over and pull off the pieces from along the backbones, and hip joints as well as the tenders and the wings. 
Keyword avocado, beans, cheese, chicken, rice, tortilla chips

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