Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

There’s a chain of casual dining restaurants in the Midwest called Max & Erma’s, and when visiting my brother in Ohio I discovered their sinfully good Chicken Tortilla Soup. I came home desperate to find a knock-off recipe, but since much of their soup’s deliciousness presumably comes from creamy cheese and fried tortilla strips I was doubtful I was going to find one that could be lightened up. Luckily, I stumbled across a recipe on that used a lot of cream based soups and I knew I could easily substitute the light versions. The recipe originally served 15 but I halved it and made a few other changes/substitutions. It turned out great. It’s creamy and has just the right amount of kick for me. I never would have guessed I could get so close to the restaurant flavor using canned soups, but it’s really similar!

2012 Update: This was originally one of the first recipes I posted, and as it’s perfect for Fall football-watching, I wanted to encourage readers to dig through the archives and make it this season. The problem was that the photos I took of it back in December 2010 were just plain awful. I decided to make it again and take new photos, and while I was at it, I tweaked the recipe a little to improve it overall. After receiving a few reader comments that the soup was too thick, I thinned it out a bit by adding a cup of water which made it enough for 8 servings. This allowed me to add tortilla strips to the recipe while keeping it at only 4 Green, 3 Blue or 3 Purple myWW Weight Watchers SmartPoints and 160 calories per cup.

This is a great recipe for football season and also for potlucks, because you can easily heat the soup up in a crock pot rather than on the stove top. I brought it to work back in 2010 for just such a potluck and it was a huge hit. Don’t forget to check out my Easy Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken post- the perfect way to make shredded chicken for this recipe!

Chicken Tortilla Soup


Chicken Tortilla Soup

Yield: 8 (1 cup) servings


  • 6 oz cooked chicken breast, shredded or chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 (15 oz) can fat free, low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 can Campbell’s 98% Fat Free Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 1 can Campbell’s 98% Fat Free Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1 can Campbell’s 98% Fat Free Cream of Celery Soup
  • 1 can Campbell’s Cheddar Cheese Soup
  • ½ can of Rotel Tomatoes & Green Chiles
  • ½ cup chunky salsa (I used Medium)
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 12 tablespoons of tortilla strips (the type found in bags by the salad toppings) – I prefer New York Texas Toast brand in Chili Lime, but Fresh Gourmet also sells something similar


  1. In a large pot, combine all ingredients except the tortilla strips and stir until mixed. Bring to a boil and then simmer covered for one hour. When serving, sprinkle 1.5 tablespoons of tortilla strips over each cup of soup.

MyWW SmartPoints per (1 cup) serving: (SP calculated using the recipe builder on

Green: 4 SmartPoints/ Blue: 3 SmartPoints/ Purple: 3 SmartPoints

Weight Watchers Points Plus:
4 per serving (P+ calculated using the recipe builder on

Nutrition Information:
160 calories, 19 g carbs, 3 g sugars, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 9 g protein, 2 g fiber (from

Adapted from