When I was in college, I used to check the dining hall menu and plan my meals around those days when chicken tortilla soup was on the menu. After college as a young, poor professional, I took my side in the great Chipotle vs Qdoba debate – in part aided by the fact that they too offer a delicious chicken tortilla soup!
Through my journey to become a better cook I’ve tried to learn to make foods I love, which I call copycat recipes. In this post, I’ll share one of my favorites – a copycat Qdoba chicken tortilla soup that reminds me of my past by making my present delicious.
This recipe seems complicated at first, but that’s because like many Mexican cuisine dishes (or those inspired by Mexican food, like Qdoba’s version) there are a lot of spices and ingredients to add flavor. It’s worth it to make sure you have all the ingredients if you plan to make this copycat Qdoba chicken tortilla soup so it turns out as close to the original as possible.
Making Qdoba Chicken Tortilla Soup at Home
Before jumping into the recipe, I find it helpful to write the whole process down. You obviously need to begin by gathering all of your ingredients; then mince your onions and garlic and dice your peppers (both poblanos and jalapeños), but keep them all separate. Add the onions, poblanos, and oil to your soup pot and sauté them for five minutes.
Next, add the garlic, jalapeños to the pot as well as the cumin and chili powder. Continue to sauté your veggies for another five minutes.
While you’re waiting for these to get nice, soft, and aromatic, add the soup broth and corn tortillas to a blender. Puree them until smooth. (Yep, this seems odd, but it’s a critical step to get the right flavor and thickness in this copycat Qdoba chicken tortilla soup recipe.)
Next, add this blend to your pot along with your tomatoes. It’s easiest if you just buy diced fire-roasted tomatoes and crushed tomatoes – they usually come this way when you buy them canned. Bring the whole mixture up to a boil.
Finally, add the remaining spices and fold in the shredded chicken to the broth. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let your soup simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. To serve, you can garnish with Monterey Jack cheese, crushed tortilla chips, and even cilantro if you’re pro-cilantro; you also don’t need any garnish to enjoy this soup – it’s delicious without them too!
Copycat Qdoba Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe
- 1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- ½ cup Onion, minced
- ½ cup Poblano Pepper, diced
- 3 cups Soup Broth (Chicken or Vegetable)
- 4 corn tortillas
- 1 tablespoon Garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoon Jalapenos, seeded and diced
- ½ teaspoon Cumin
- 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
- 2 cups Canned Fire-Roasted Tomatoes, diced
- ½ cup Tomatoes, crushed
- 1½ cup Shredded Chicken
- (Optional) ½ cup Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
- (Optional) Crushed Tortilla Chips
- In a soup pot, add the oil, onions, and poblanos and sauté for 5 minutes over medium heat.
- Add the garlic, jalapeno, cumin, and chili powder. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Using a blender, combine the soup broth and tortillas. Puree until just about smooth.
- Add the tortilla-broth mixture to the pot along with the fire-roasted tomatoes and crushed tomatoes, bring to a boil.
- Add the spices and shredded chicken, and reduce heat. Let simmer for 15 minutes on medium-low heat.
- Season to taste and serve with the crushed tortilla chips and Monterey Jack cheese for garnish.
Now that you see it, it’s not too bad! It has a few more ingredients than most recipes I’ve shared, but it’s what the recipe needs to be as close to the original Qdoba chicken tortilla soup as possible.
Have other questions about this copycat Qdoba chicken tortilla soup recipe? Let me know in the comments!
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Looking for other copycat soup recipes?
Here are some suggestions:
- Copycat Outback Potato Soup
- Copycat Roy Choi French Onion Soup
- Copycat Rafferty’s Potato Soup
- Copycat Panera Turkey Chili
- Copycat Panera Broccoli Cheddar Soup (Keto-Friendly)
- Copycat Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup