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Salsa verde chicken and rice tortilla soup, aka cozy, healthy, happy food… aka my favorite kind of food!!

Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice Tortilla Soup | @hbharvest

Ok, so sorry for that lame first line up there, but you see, I have Asher sitting literally in the same chair with me begging for my attention. We have t-minus two hours until the parents return home and she says we NEED to spend the last two hours of sister-time talking all about her Girl Scout Daisy meeting that she just returned home from.

Oh, and important note, just like her big sister, Asher has declared the Samoa her favorite Girl Scout cookie… with Tagalongs coming in a very tight second. She also says that we must make homemade versions.

I am SO down with that. 🙂

Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice Tortilla Soup | @hbharvest Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice Tortilla Soup | @hbharvest

Quickie post today since I need to spend these last few hours with the little sister before our time is up.

So lets talk Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice Tortilla Soup!!

Oh this soup, it’s kind of my world right now. I’ve been making it weekly all month-long. It’s totally my kind of flavors, my kind of cozy and my perfect blend of everyday healthy. Or mostly healthy since I completely broke down and fried those tortilla strips. You can for sure bake them, but I don’t know, I was just feeling the fried chips for this soup. I can’t lie, the fried ones beat the baked by a land side, you just can’t deny it.

When I set out to create this soup, I knew I wanted something cozy and full of flavor, BUT yet still full of healthy ingredients… plus something that was QUICK. Sometimes you just need a quick soup, you know? Not a soup that needs to simmer all day long or a soup with a billion and one ingredients. Thing is, this can be kind of tricky to accomplish, but umm not with fresh Mexican ingredients.

Basically I let the salsa verde (I used the leftover salsa verde from this recipe, but you can use store-bought) add all the flavor to this soup. I added a few simple seasonings and pretty much called it a day. SO simple and fast, but so so good.

Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice Tortilla Soup | @hbharvest

Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice Tortilla Soup | @hbharvest

I knew I wanted some hearty greens in this soup from the start. Actually, I was originally thinking about calling this a super green chicken tortilla soup, but then it turned out to be kind of a wonky green color so I nixed that. I had a huge bunch of broccoli rabe just sitting in my fridge…wilting…so I used that. It was SO good in this, but you could also use collard greens, kale or even broccoli florets. So basically whatever you have on hand will work. Just make sure it’s hearty and super green! 🙂

And then the rest is very basic. Well, I guess rice isn’t traditionally in chicken tortilla soup, BUT my mom taught me to LOVE rice in soup. Noodles or rice, either works, but for this soup rice works best!! You can make it two ways. Way one, add raw rice to the soup + a little extra water, cover and simmer 25 minutes. This works great, but only if you are eating the soup right away. The first time I made this I made the mistake of letting the rice sit in the soup for an hour and then yup, the rice soaked up all the broth. Then I had soupy rice…which was actually delish, but not what I was going for. Way two, add the already cooked rice to the soup just before serving. Personally, I like this way best, and I seem to always have cooked rice on the ready! 🙂

And that’s it. Quick, yummy tortilla soup, and full of greens. Yes, please!

OH, and of course, don’t forget all the toppings. The toppings are the best!

Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice Tortilla Soup | @hbharvest


Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice Tortilla Soup.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories Per Serving: 606 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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  • In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, brown sugar and a large pinch of salt + pepper.
  • In a large heavy bottom soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sprinkle half the seasoning mixture over the chicken. Once hot, sear the chicken until browned on about sides, about 3 minutes per side. Once the chicken is browned, lower the heat to LOW and slowly pour in the the chicken broth. Add the remaining spice mixture, salsa verde, broccoli rabe or kale and season the soup with salt + pepper. Cover and simmer 25 minutes or until the chicken is tender and cooked through.
  • Meanwhile, heat about an inch of oil in a high sided skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot (if it sizzles when a wooden spoon is placed into the oil it is ready) add a few tortillas at a time and fry until golden, about 1 minute for the triangles and 30 seconds for the strips. Remove using a spider spoon and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle generously with salt and lime zest. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
  • Once the chicken is cooked though, remove the soup from the heat and stir in the rice + fresh cilantro + lime juice.
  • Divide the soup among bowl and top with avocado, a dollop of plain greek yogurt, fresh cilantro, green onion and cheese. Add a large hand full of the tortilla chips. EAT!


*Alternately you can add 1 cup of RAW rice + 2 cups of water to the soup when you add the chicken broth. Allow the rice to cook NO LONGER than 25 minutes. If you let it sit longer, it will soak up all of the broth.
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Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice Tortilla Soup | @hbharvest

Soup for all…or maybe just me…with double the chips…and cheese!

Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice Tortilla Soup | @hbharvest

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  1. 5 stars
    So, so good! Love this variation with salsa verde (I used homemade salsa verde from my freezer — yum). It went together so fast and was perfect for my soup craving on a chilly night. Your recipe has just the right amount of flavor and heat, and the lime juice and fresh cilantro add so much brightness!

    With just two of us, there’s always leftovers, so instead of stirring the rice into the pot, I added 2-3 Tbsp. of cooked rice to each bowl before ladling in the soup. The only other thing I’ll do differently next time is add the kale closer to the end so it doesn’t overcook. Thanks for a new recipe to add to my fall/winter soup rotation!

    1. Hey Kim,
      Happy Wednesday! Thanks so much for giving this recipe a try, I am thrilled to hear that it was a winner! xTieghan

  2. 5 stars
    We absolutely loved this recipe! Great flavor, easy to make, and healthy ingredients. This will be one of our new comfort foods 🙂

    1. Hi Carol,
      Fantastic!! Thanks so much for trying this recipe, I am thrilled to hear that it was enjoyed! xxT

  3. 5 stars
    Delicious! Made a few adjustments because I had about 1/2 a rotisserie chicken. Sautéed 1/2 an onion, then added the seasonings (left out the brown sugar for my low carb husband). Let them Bloom and then added the broth and salsa verde. Also added a can of black beans. Whole family liked it. Was very flexible to the different diets we have going on. Would make again.

    1. Hi Jennifer,
      Thanks so much for making this recipe, I am thrilled to hear it was enjoyed. Thanks for sharing your comment! xTieghan

  4. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! Great flavors and balance.
    Doubled the recipe but only did 1 1/2 cups of rice which was perfect.
    Will definitely make this soup again.

    1. Hi Maryn,
      Wonderful! I really appreciate you giving this recipe a try, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!! xTieghan

    2. 5 stars
      Delicious ! I added black beans, a jalapeño and roasted green chilis from New Mexico. used Mexican rice. Also put a little more chicken broth just to make it a little less spicy after my additions.

  5. 5 stars
    This recipe was really good!! The broth was delicious 🔥 the only think I would do different next time would be add the broccoli and kale later on – but I’m someone who likes their veggies al Dante in soup. Such a fab soup – love everything Tieghan makes! ❤️

    1. Hi Millie,
      Wonderful! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks a lot for giving it a try! Happy Holidays! xTieghan

  6. 3 stars
    I typically make a chicken tortilla soup from Emeril’s recipe that is amazing, but I just received this cookbook for a birthday gift and this recipe looked fun and easy to try. I made the recipe and did not make any changes. You could definitely taste the enchilada sauce, and it didn’t quite taste like chicken tortilla soup. I will stick with my current recipe.

  7. 3 stars
    I love most of Tieghan’s recipes, but this one was a bit on the heavier side for me. I think instead of using 2 cups of rice, maybe 1 to 3/4 cups of rice is enough, the salsa verde with the spices tasted delicious, but it was just too heavy with the sour cream, tortilla strips, avocado, and rice. Again, I loved the broth, but a bit disappointed with the combination.

    1. Hey Hayden,
      Sure, I would cook for 6-8 hours on low. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  8. 5 stars
    I made a similar recipe from your cookbook. It called for 18 minutes in the instant pot. This was my first time using one and it seemed to overcook the dish. The burn notification came on part of the way too. The chicken was over cooked but since it was shredded still tasted great. I feel like maybe I used the instant pot wrong? Should it be less time? I thought I followed everything right and I’ve made so many of your other dishes with no problem, any advice?

    1. Hi Lauren! Oh no I’m so sorry about that! Maybe a different setting on the instant pot would be better? Thanks so much for the feedback! xxTieghan

    2. The burn notification came on for me too, and I’ve used my InstaPot quite a few times. I’m sure that having a wee layer of liquid on the bottom (like 1/2 cup of water or so) would eliminate the problem (or sauteing the onions/garlic in oil prior to adding the chicken). I think the onions & garlic get stuck on the bottom of the insert.

  9. 5 stars
    This soup was so very good. My family loved it…there wasn’t anything left in the pot. I used Swiss chard instead of kale because that’s all I had. Used uncooked rice…didn’t take the lid off the pot for 25 minutes like I’d normally cook rice. It was perfect. Thank you so much Tieghan!

  10. I made this tonight using your cookbook Half Baked Harvest Super Simple and it calls for uncooked rice. I didn’t cook at all. Pretty big quality control issue – do you have any input?

    1. Hey Jessica,
      So sorry I am unclear here, which recipe did you follow because they are two completely different recipes? Let me know how I can help! xTieghan

  11. Hi, can this made the day before without the rice? What about the lime tortilla chips, can they be made the day before?

    1. Hey Rebecca,
      Yes, both are okay to be made a day in advance. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan