It seems like it should be a crime for Chick-Fil-A to only offer their chicken tortilla soup for a couple of months out of the year. And an even bigger crime that it has to contain both gluten and dairy making it off limits for me. I love a hearty soup with spicy southwest flavors and those crunchy tortilla strips are next level as soup toppings go. Well, there is no reason for you (or me) to go without anymore - this copycat Chick-Fil-A chicken tortilla soup recipe will set you straight.
This soup has just the right amount of spice from green chiles and it's creamy with no added dairy. It's filled with hearty black beans, navy beans, corn and chicken. We finish it off with a squeeze of lemon juice, just like the restaurant favorite.
The next time you're looking for a bowl full of comfort, try this yummy soup. If you're looking for other spicy chicken soups to enjoy on a cold night, check out my copycat Chili's southwest chicken soup, my easy chicken taco soup or this fan favorite gluten free white chicken chili.
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Why You’ll Love This Chicken Tortilla Soup
- It's rich in flavor - The ingredients combine beautifully to create a rich, complex flavor.
- Great for meal prep - You can make this easy soup and have it ready to be reheated during the week. It gets better the next day!
- Customizable - Switch out any ingredients you don't like or add more. Want it more spicy? Add some diced jalapenos. Make is vegan with vegan chicken pieces and vegetable broth.
- Allergen free - It's gluten free and dairy free, which makes it accessible for those with dietary restrictions.
This tortilla soup is comprised of easy ingredients that can be found in any grocery store.
- Oil - I use light olive oil for all of my cooking and baking, but any cooking oil will work here.
- Yellow Onion, Celery and Green Pepper - These three provide the base for the soup flavor. Feel free to use red or yellow peppers if you prefer. Dice the vegetables into small even sized pieces so they cook at the same rate.
- Garlic - Mince the garlic evenly, or use jarred garlic.
- Green Chiles - I used a small can of diced green chiles which is usually available in the Mexican food section of the grocery store. They are fairly mild, so if you like spice I'd recommend adding a diced fresh jalapeno as well.
- Chili Powder, Cumin, Oregano, Paprika and Garlic Powder - These spices are what gives the soup it's southwest flavor. If you don't have individual spices on hand, you can replace all of the spices with 2 Tablespoons of gluten free taco seasoning.
- Salt - Kosher salt works well, but you can use whatever you have on hand.
- Navy Beans - This soup is mostly comprised of white beans (both whole and mashed for the creamy broth). Navy beans are used in the restaurant recipe, but cannellini beans will work just as well. I always use Bushs brand beans, which are gluten free.
- Black Beans - I love black beans in a soup and the combination of white and black beans here provide a great flavor and lots of fiber.
- Whole Kernel Corn - I have used frozen corn niblets, but a drained can of corn will work just as well.
- Chicken Broth - This is the base of the soup - you can also use vegetable broth if you prefer. If you're following a gluten free diet, make sure you're using gluten free chicken broth. This is an ingredient that frequently has hidden gluten. I like Pacific Foods brand.
- Cooked Chicken - For ease you can use a rotisserie chicken here or leftovers from a roasted whole chicken. If you're following a gluten free diet, make sure your rotisserie chicken is gluten free (some stores add broth or spices which contain gluten).
- Vegan Heavy Cream - Use your favorite brand of vegan heavy cream - I like the Silk brand. If you're not dairy free, use dairy heavy cream in the same measure.
- Vegan Sour Cream - Sour cream adds to the creamy thickness of the soup. If you're not dairy free, use regular sour cream in the same measure.
- Lemon Juice - A lot of tortilla soup recipes call for lime juice, but Chick-Fil-A uses lemon juice in their soup, so we do too! A tiny bit of acid helps to bring all the flavors together.
See recipe card for full ingredient list and quantities.
Substitutions & Variations
- Not Dairy Free - use dairy heavy cream and sour cream in the same measure.
- Ground Meat - Use ground chicken if you prefer.
- Make it Vegan - Replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth and use vegan chicken pieces in place of meat.
- Heat - For some extra flavor and spiciness, add a diced fresh jalapeno along with the garlic and green chiles.
How to Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup
This soup is easy to make and just requires a large pot, knife for chopping vegetables and a bowl and fork for mashing beans.
STEP 1: Heat olive oil in a dutch oven pot over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and celery. Cook until softened.
STEP 2: Add the garlic, green chilis and spices and continue to cook for 2 minutes more.
STEP 3: Add one can of navy beans, the black beans, corn, chicken and chicken broth. Stir and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 25 minutes.
STEP 4: Pour the remaining can of navy beans into a small bowl. Mash the beans with a fork until it forms a paste.
STEP 5: Add the bean paste to the cooked soup. Stir it in until it dissolves. Cook uncovered for about 5 minutes to thicken.
STEP 6: Remove ½ cup of soup broth to a small bowl. Add the sour cream and whisk well to temper the cream.
STEP 7: Remove the pot from heat. Add the tempered sour cream, heavy cream and lemon juice to the soup. Stir well and serve.
What to Serve with Chicken Tortilla Soup
The tortilla strips listed in the recipe card are a great compliment to this soup. If you don't want to make those, corn chips will do. Gluten free corn muffins or gluten free cornbread also make a great side for this dish. Serve it with a salad for a complete meal.
Store leftover soup in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat to 165 degrees before serving.
It's hard to say what is spicy for one person versus another. I don't consider this soup to be spicy. Green chiles are fairly mild. If you're worried about spiciness for children, you can leave the chiles out of the soup.
It is a thicker soup, not as thick as stew. Normally the thick broth is made by adding flour, which isn't gluten free. Some recipes, like the one at Chick-Fil-A use both flour and corn masa. This recipe is thickened only with white beans making it completely gluten free.
Other soup recipes to consider:
If you try this recipe, please leave a 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 star rating and let me know how you liked it in the comments below.
Chicken Tortilla Soup (Chick-Fil-A Copycat)
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Cup Yellow Onion diced
- ½ Cup green pepper diced
- ¼ Cup Celery diced
- 3 cloves Garlic minced
- 4 ounce Green Chilis
- 2 teaspoons Chili Powder
- 2 teaspoons Cumin
- 1 teaspoon Oregano
- 1 teaspoon Paprika
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 30 ounce Navy Beans drained & divided
- 15 ounce Black Beans drained
- 1 ½ Cup Frozen Corn
- 4 Cups Gluten Free Chicken Broth
- 4 Cups Cooked Chicken
- ½ Cup Vegan Sour Cream
- ½ Cup Non-Dairy Cream
- 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
For the tortilla strips:
- 8 Corn Tortillas
- Olive Oil
- Salt to taste
- Add the oil to a large dutch oven pot over medium heat.
- Once the oil is warm, add the onion, bell pepper and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes until softened.2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, 1 Cup Yellow Onion, ½ Cup green pepper, ¼ Cup Celery
- Add the garlic, green chilis, and spices. Stir constantly while cooking for 2 minutes more.
- Add 1 can of navy beans, black beans, corn, chicken broth and chicken to the pot. Bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover and cook for about 25 minutes. Stir occasionally, but not too often or your beans will break.30 ounce Navy Beans, 15 ounce Black Beans, 1 ½ Cup Frozen Corn, 4 Cups Gluten Free Chicken Broth, 4 Cups Cooked Chicken
- While the soup is cooking, add the second can of navy beans to a small bowl. Use a fork to mash the beans into a paste.
- Remove the lid from the pot. Add the bean paste to the soup. Stir it well to dissolve the paste. Allow it to cook uncovered for about 5 minutes to thicken the soup.
- Remove ½ cup of the liquid and add it to a bowl with the sour cream. Whisk them together to temper the sour cream.½ Cup Vegan Sour Cream
- Remove from heat. Add the tempered sour cream, heavy cream and lemon juice. Stir well and serve.½ Cup Non-Dairy Cream, 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
To make the tortilla strips:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Cut the corn tortillas into strips about ¼ inch wide.8 Corn Tortillas
- Place the strips into a bowl and drizzle them with a little olive oil. Stir them around and sprikle with some salt.Olive Oil, Salt
- Spread the strips in a single layer on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 10 minutes, stirring once.
- Remove from the oven and taste test - add more salt to taste if needed.
Tiffany is the recipe developer, stylist and food photographer behind Well Fed Baker. As a lifelong baker who had to go gluten free and dairy free in 2016, Tiffany strives to share allergen friendly recipes that never feel like they are free from anything.