So, I’m not a recipe person. Never have been. That’s probably why I’m a terrible baker. I get ahead of myself. I don’t read the whole thing. I add or subtract ingredients as I go. That’s just me. But today, I made an attempt at crafting a recipe for a low-calorie chicken tortilla soup that we’ve enjoyed eating this winter. We serve it often with sliced honey crisp apples or a salad.
Low calorie dense foods
As a self-proclaimed Noom nerd, I came up with this 110-calories-a-cup soup recipe in an effort to add low calorie dense food to our diet. As you may already know, Steve and I have been using the Noom weight loss app and as of Feb. 4, 2020, we’ve lost a combined 135 pounds. We’ve done this by adding more nutritious, low calorie dense foods to our diet. You can read all about it HERE.
We quickly learned that broth-based soups are a great way to fill up without expending many calories. When I searched online for low-calorie soup recipes, I didn’t find many good ones so decided to create my own. Here’s one of our favorites. This spicy broth-based soup is full of hot, Southwest flavors and definitely warms you up on a cold day. And, even with crispy tortilla strips as a garnish, it is only 125 calories a cup! (If you’re interested in trying the Noom weight loss app, you can click HERE.)
How to make low-calorie chicken tortilla soup
First, I gather all of my ingredients and then dice the bell peppers and onions. I like using two different colored bell peppers – say one orange and one green. Then, I get out the largest pot I have in my kitchen. I love my eight quart Le Creuset dutch oven and use it all the time for soups and stews. Heat the pot first, then add just 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the peppers and onions and sauté in the oil until they are soft and fragrant.
Next, add the two cloves of minced garlic. I buy minced garlic in those little jars in the produce section of the grocery store. Go ahead and get actual garlic cloves if you’d like. I just hate my hands smelling like garlic all day.
After adding the garlic, stir until it is heated. Then, add the low-sodium chicken broth, water, green chilies, and the Rotel. A quick note about the Rotel hot diced tomatoes with habaneros: These are spicy. Really spicy. So, if you can’t take the heat, just substitute these with Rotel mild diced tomatoes with green chilies. Add the tomato paste now, as well, and give the soup a good stir to blend in the paste.
PIN FOR LATER
This is where I usually add the cooked chicken. The last time I made this soup we cooked our chicken breasts in the Instapot. But you can bake the chicken, boil it, or cook it in a crock pot, as well. Add the cumin, garlic powder and salt to taste. Let this all simmer for 10 minutes or so while you clean up your dishes and then add the cannelloni beans. I like to take one of the cans of beans and puree it (with the liquid) and then add it for a creamier soup. Simmer a little while longer while you prepare your garnishes.
We like this soup with baked crispy corn tortilla strips. You can buy those in a bag but I think they are too expensive (and besides, they are fried so they have more calories) so I usually make my own. Just cut a few small corn tortillas in strips. Lay them out on a parchment paper covered cookie sheet and spray with a cooking spray like Pam. Then sprinkle a l little cumin and chili powder (or taco seasoning) and bake at 375 degrees until golden brown and crisp. (Sorry, but I can’t remember how long that takes.) Prepped the same way, you can also make these in an air fryer.
Serving up your low-calorie chicken tortilla soup
By the time your tortilla crisps are done your soup will be, too. Serve your low-calorie chicken tortilla soup garnished with your tortilla strips and thinly sliced fresh jalapeños. I use my Pampered Chef mandolin to get really thin slices, but you can slice with a knife, as well. One cup of soup and half of a tortilla is about 110 calories.
This low-calorie chicken tortilla soup also freezes really well. We filled six clear plastic containers with four cups of low-calorie chicken tortilla soup each. I think it would be OK in the freezer for about three months. However, we loved it so much we ate it all long before then.
If you make this soup, let us know what you think! You can send us a photo and/or message on social media @postcardjar or just comment on this post. For eleven more nutritious, delicious, and low-calorie soups, click HERE.
Low-Calorie Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Large pot
- Kitchen knife
- Blender, immersion blender, potato masher, or fork
- 1 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 2 large bell peppers any color
- 2 onions small
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 6 cups chicken broth low sodium
- 4 cups water
- 2 cans Rotel tomatoes with habaneros 10 oz. cans
- 1 can diced green chiles 4 oz can
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 lbs. cooked chicken breast boiled and shredded OR browned and chopped
- 2 cans cannelloni beans 15 oz. cans (with liquid)
- 3 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 jalapeño pepper thinly sliced, for garnish
- Yellow corn tortillas
- Heat a large pot and add olive oil.
- Dice bell peppers and onions and saute in the oil on medium heat until soft. Add minced garlic.
- Add chicken broth, water, Rotel, green chilis, and tomato paste to pot. Stir.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or so.
- Add cooked chicken breast, cumin, garlic powder, and salt to taste.
- Using a blender or immersion blender, puree one can of the cannelloni beans. If you don't have a blender, crush the beans using a masher or a fork until smooth.
- Simmer for 10 minutes, then add the can of whole cannelloni beans, and the pureed/smashed cannelloni beans.
- While soup is simmering, cut corn tortillas in small strips and spread them out on a cookie sheet. Spray with cooking spray, then sprinkle with cumin and chili powder (or taco seasoning) and bake at 375 degrees until golden brown and crispy.
- Serve soup with crisp tortilla strips and fresh jalapeño slices
Is this listed in the Noom food library? Would it be considered a yellow food group? Also, I’m assuming it’s 116 cal per cup, not 116 kcal; is that correct?
Yes, 116 calories per cup. It’s not in the Noom food library, we just added our own “Ann’s Chicken Tortilla Soup” and called it 116 calories. When we added our own, it came out as its own color and wasn’t part of the Noom library. That said, we’ve been maintaining for awhile and Noom has updated the app, so not sure how it would behave now.
This my my first week on Noom and Ive lost five lbs alredy! Im convinced I can do this and with this delicious recipe I KNOW I can find good things to eat !! Theres a pot cooking on my stove now !!
Glad you like the chicken tortilla soup! And if you liked this, you have to check out our eBook with 11 more recipes–all for less than 130 calories/cup!
Delicious recipe. Thank you so much for sharing!
So happy you ike it! 🙂
I am new to Noom!! I love your website, recipes and ideas. I am curious to serving sizes information for your recipes. ie LC Chicken Tortilla Soup. Is 1cup a serving size?
Thanks for the nice comment–we’re glad our website is helpful. Yes, all the serving sizes for soup are 1 cup portions. Good luck with Noom…you can do it! 🙂
I added a large zucchini and 3 cups fresh baby spinach. My family added tortilla chips and shredded cheese. This recipe worked for all of us 🙂
Adding zucchini and spinach is a great idea! So glad you are enjoying this soup.
Hi! Just wanted to ask if this recipe freezes well? I’ve got a toddler and do my best tk batch cook and freeze individual portions as often as I can.
Thanks for asking, Hayley. Yes, this chicken tortilla soup freezes very well. We try to make it in large batches and freeze in 4-cup containers. We add a small sticker on the lid so we remember what it is. Having a toddler keeps you on your toes, I’m sure, so having a quick meal to pull out of the freezer is a big help! Let us know if you make this soup and what you think. Live + travel well – Ann
FYI… If you rub your hands on stainless steel (like your sink) after handling fresh garlic it will take away the smell from your hands completely. 🙂
Yes! That’s a great tip. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for reaching out for Noom advice. Do you have a personal Noom coach yet? You could ask your coach to review your food log and see if they have suggestions. You might be sure that you’re eating foods in the correct color categories (green, yellow, red). When I’m stuck, I’m usually eating too many red foods. Just stay focused on changing habits and behaviors and hopefully, the weight loss will come. That’s what we did. Hope this is helpful. We wish you all the best.
I made this tonight and it has AMAZING flavor! How I had to tweak it was I used one can of Rotel with habanero and one can of the mild Rotel. I couldn’t find the correct beans but looked up a substitute and used great northern. I also used 3 cans (blending 1). We live in a small town and I couldn’t find corn tortillas so for my husband and Dad, I just used tortilla chips. For my bowl I added 1/3 cup low-fat shredded cheese. EVERYONE LOVED this soup and I couldn’t be more pleased!!!
We are so glad you liked the soup; it is one of our absolute favorites. Many people do one can hot Rotel, one can mild–it cuts the heat a bit as two cans of hot can pack q bit of a spicy punch. The bean substitution and your other tweaks sound good, as well. We haven’t tried it with cheese–mostly because we were trying to keep it pretty low in calories–but we imagine the cheese could be a tasty addition.
The soup is delicious…I added cilantro and one can of black beans, one of cannelloni.
These all sound like great variations on the recipe! We’re glad you enjoyed!
I love it! Thanks so much for a fabulous recipe. I was going to freeze half and eat half but my hubby and kiddos love it too, so it is getting eaten too quickly to freeze any. It was easy to make, too. Thanks again!
Glad to hear it’s popular! Isn’t it a delicious soup? So happy ou like it! 🙂
I have been doing Noom for 3 weeks and I have already made this in my big crockpot 2 times. The only thing that I do different is I also add black beans. I intend to freeze the leftovers but they never make it to the freezer 🥴.
Thank you so very much for this recipe.
We’re so glad you like the recipe, and black beans could be really good in the soup, as well! They would affect the calorie count a little, but we imagine it would still be very delicious!
This was delicious, so tasty and a warm treat on a cold day. Does not taste ”diet” to me. The little homemade tortillas also came out good! The only thing I did was add some frozen corn but the recipe was perfect on its own. We are sensitive to heat, so I didn’t use the Habaneros only chiles. It was plenty hot enough for us. This is a must try! Thank you for sharing!
We’re so glad you liked the soup, Lori! It really is one of our favorites, as well. On a cold day, it really warms you up! 🙂
Thanks for trying and for the feedback. We appreciate it!
This recipe is fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing it ~ it’s wonderful to have options that are Noom-friendly and so delicious! I will say I used the Ro-Tel with diced chiles (not habaneros) and it was plenty zippy for us…
We absolutely love this soup–it really is one of our favorites. And we get using the milder Ro-Tel. We have grown to like spicy over the past few years. Before then, it would have been unthinkably hot! 🙂
Made for supper tonight in the instapot turned out great.
Glad to hear it! And good idea to use the Instapot!
If you liked it why would you only give them 3 stars????
I was thinking the same thing !!
We’d love to hear your thoughts, Vicki!
This is amazing. The whole family loved it! By chance do you the easiest way to add this to Noom?
We just put in a ‘custom recipe’ and called it, “Ann’s Chicken Tortilla Soup.” We told the Noom app it is 110 cal/serving which we know is 1 cup. Noom won’t know if it is green/yellow/red, though. That said, we’re pretty confident it would be a green as we think the number of calories/gram is less than 1.
I see that you get 24 cups out of this soup recipe. How many cups to a serving? I am very new to Noom. This recipe looks amazing.
Hi Thomas! Welcome to Noom. Each serving of soup is one cup, and I have found two cups (220 calories) to be quite filling. This recipe is one of my favorites as it’s packed with flavor but not calories. Honestly, discovering spice was a big revelation for us. Fats like oil and butter carry flavor, but also have lots of calories that don’t do a lot to fill us up. Spice adds flavor without calories–so this soup is ideal. Please let us know what you think!
Outstanding soup!! I added hot peppers to ours and it is so good. This will be a new staple on my Noom journey. Thank you!!
So glad you liked the soup! It is one of our favorites, as well. We just love the spicy flavor, and have also been known to add a few hot peppers on occasion.
Can you tell me how many calories are in 8 ounces?
8 oz. would be one serving of this soup, so 110 calories. Enjoy!
I have been Nooming for a few months and I love this recipe. My husband says this is his favorite chicken tortilla soup out of all he’s ever had. It’s a great meal to have on hand for the week. I would love to know if you’ve created other healthy recipes because you definitely have a gift!
So glad you like it, Robyn! This would be one of our favorite soups even if we weren’t on Noom. Low in calories, it is definitely high in flavor!
I love this recipe! I’ve been doing Noom for the past 3 months and my husband and I have made a pot of this soup almost every week. We freeze part of each batch and pull it out as needed. It’s a great “green” food!
This just made out day! We’re so glad you like it.
I will definitely be making this. Been on Noom for about a month and can’t wait to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing.
We hope you enjoy it. We just had it last week. Let us know what you think.
We just had our first snowfall up where I am, and I can’t wait to try a batch of this soup – it sounds amazing!
It is one of our favorites!
Hello, I just started Noom..into my second week. I’m anxious to try this recipe as I love tortilla soup. I’m open to all suggestions anyone has for good Noom recipes. I want to make a go of this avenue of losing weight and learning about nutrition.
On the Noom program is this in the yellow category?
Not sure which category it would be. It comes down to calories/gram. As a broth-based soup, it would either be green or yellow–and it could be a green.
I’m nodding and laughing at your opening line re recipes, baking, missing ingredients etc.
Ha! Yes – Right there with you!
But I also find that maybe we are pretty creative, open about trying new things and flexible – so hey, it works for me. (Plus, who wants to eat baked goods anyway on Noom?!) thanks for the recipe, it’s similar to mine but for your addition of the beans which I’ll try with the immersion blender first.
You can also borrow a trick from Ottolenghi’s amazing lentil soup and thicken it up with two cups of chopped cilantro stems. They add thickness, greens, lovely taste and very few calories. Surprising addition when I first tried, but scrumptious!
I am glad I read your comment before I started making the soup because cilantro is amazing and i wouldn’t have thought of doing that but I bet it adds a ton of flavour to the soup if you like cilantro!
Hey, just so you know a kCal is a kilocalorie, which is 1000 calories. So 110 kCal is the same as saying 110,000 calories 🙂
Yikes! That’s in the formatting of the recipe maker…we’ll see if we can get it figured out. It is just 110 calories, though, like we said in the text. Otherwise one bowl would be 55 days worth of food! 😂
Made this today and I substituted a small can of salsa verde for the green chiles (my grocer was cleaned out of the chiles and didn’t feel like making an extra stop!). Also, what a nice kick the Rotel tomatoes with habanero added! So good. My recipe only made 16 cups so, according to the Noom custom dish section, each cup has 160 calories. Love the low calories with all the flavor! Not sure why there was such a big discrepancy in the quantity because I followed the recipe except for the chiles above. (Maybe I needed more peppers and onions? )
The calories per serving is 110 with the tortilla strips also or without? And how many much tortilla strips for each serving?
Do you know how many calories this is without the tortilla strips? Sorry if you said it I saw 110 and 125 so I figured it might be 110 but I wanted to make sure! It sounds amazing!
I think it is 110.
How many calories per serving with tortilla chips? What is the amount of tortilla chips per serving?
I don’t remember exactly. Most of the time we use the Mission Yellow Corn Tortillas with are 60 calories each. We slice them up, give them a light spray of Olive Oil, and coat with seasonings (Cumim, chili power, taco seasoning, or whatever we have on hand) then back them until crisp. I would say have a tortilla is enough for one bowl of soup, so that would be about 30 calories. Whatever you use for little crunch on top, just measure it out and add those calories. Hope this helps.
To be honest, I don’t remember exactly, but I likely included it in the recipe. If you make this soup, you could just add up the calories and see what’s left at the end.
I added 3 TBS chili powder to give it more spice. Shredded 2 zucchini and 2 yellow squash to give more nutrition and only 1 can white beans to avoid carbs. Very good! Left off the corn tortilla strips
Sounds like some nice modifications! Enjoy!
Oh and also, a tip for not having your hands smell like garlic when using fresh cloves – rub your fingers on your metal sink faucet before you wash them. I saw that on Food Network and it actually works. Just thought I’d pass that along 😊
Thanks for the suggestion!
I just made this today and YUM!! I almost made it vegetarian because I didn’t have any chicken cooked but then found some time to bake up a breast and I’m so glad I did! I just let the soup simmer a lot longer while I cooked the chicken so it almost ended up like a chili but it’s still delicious! I didn’t use the Rotel with habeneros because I’m too chicken 😉 but the chilies have just the perfect amount of heat for me. I just started Noom about a month ago and I’m glad to see it’s been working so well for you guys. I’m a new fan of your blog! Thanks for the recipe AND the inspiration!
We’re so glad you liked this recipe. We wish you all the best on Noom!
Where did you get the small containers? Those are a good lunch size and shape!
I think these might be what you’re looking for. We use them a lot!
Thank you for sharing your low cal recipes. Can’t wait to try some…
Glad you like them! We plan on sharing more in the future, so please stay tuned!
Can you cook the chicken in the soup broth first? Then cut it up for the soup? B
I think that would be fine. Give it a try and let us know how that works.
making it with my own twists right now…..only doing 1/2 a batch and using 7oz of green chiles, added some hot sauce, substituted 1 cup of water for an extra cup of chicken broth, adding some onion powder, will probably slightly change the spice on the tortilla strips as well, but I am doing those later since I won’t actually be eating any of this until Tuesday
Great! Let us know how it comes out. Also, if you’d like a little thicker/creamier soup, you can also take one can (or half) of the beans and puree them with an immersion (or regular) blender before adding them to the soup. Enjoy!
Thanks for sharing your recipes!!!!
Delicious! Just enough spice. It’s a keeper.❤
Glad you like it, Mary! Enjoy!
FYI… If you rub your hands on stainless steel (like your sink) after handling fresh garlic it will take away the smell from your hands completely. 🙂
I’ll be making it next week. It sounds great!