Chicken Fajita Soup

chicken fajita soup

I’m really excited about this recipe. It was an idea that turned out better than I’d expected. Which is not always the case. Not even close. I’m a master at repurposing leftovers and I’m cheap so I can make a deli chicken cover 2 dinners and maybe even a sandwich! Chicken Fajita Soup checks off many boxes, including easy, healthy, inexpensive and you can make it as hot and spicy as you like. As an added bonus it’s also very tasty!

We often make fajitas when we have leftover chicken or steak. The concept of this soup is taking the tasty components of a fajita and increasing the amount of healthy ingredients and decreasing the amount of “unhealthy” ingredients. Not that flour tortillas, cheese and sour cream are exactly unhealthy, but if you use them only as a garnish you’ll be saving some calories and fat. Or you could leave them out all together. I don’t buy low fat, reduced fat, fat free, sugar free or any other modified foods. They normally compensate with added ingredients like thickeners so I prefer to use the real deal and be sensible about it. Seriously though, a serving works out to under 500 calories with garnishes. That’s a pretty low calorie dinner. And we both agreed that the garnishes really enhanced the flavour. Without them you basically have “salsa soup.”

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Start by finely dicing a medium sized onion. It sounds like a lot but onion reduces quite a bit and it’s an important flavour component for most soups. Heat a large stock pot to medium and add olive oil. Sauté the onion until slightly soft, then add minced garlic, diced red pepper and jalapeño. Depending on your heat tolerance you can remove the seeds and membrane of the jalapeño or leave them in. Season with salt and pepper, cayenne pepper and ground cumin and sauté a few minutes to allow the spices to release their full flavour.

Is Chicken Fajita Soup spicy?

The amount of cayenne in this recipe is about a medium heat. I did that on purpose so it could easily be adapted to your personal heat tolerance. So feel free to adjust accordingly. Jalapeño peppers differ in heat levels so use more or less depending on the heat of the pepper and how hot you like it. I would make it a bit spicier for myself. The bonus of adding heat is it might actually speed up your metabolism. Maybe just a bit. But there is some evidence that this is true to some degree and also some claims that it helps with satiety. That means feeling fuller. Or satisfied. In case you didn’t know.

Next, add the canned tomatoes (not drained), rinsed and drained black beans, chopped tomatoes, chicken stock and wine. I like the combination of canned stewed tomatoes and fresh. If you can find Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies it’s a perfect fit for this recipe. You can even choose between mild and hot. I find grape tomatoes are super sweet and have the best flavour when tomatoes aren’t in season. You can also use Romas. The wine adds a bit of sweetness to balance out the acidity but if you prefer not to use alcohol, just omit it, but add a pinch of sugar to balance the acidity of the tomatoes. And the black beans are there to add fibre! Chop up your chicken and add it to the pot. You can use more chicken if you like, just remember the nutritional information is based on the recipe amounts.

chicken fajita soup

Add a big handful of fresh chopped cilantro and let it simmer for 10 or 15 minutes.

How to make crispy tortilla strips

While your soup is simmering away, take 3 medium flour tortillas (I used the 6 inch size) and cut them into thin strips then cut the strips into pieces around 2-3 inches long. Scatter on a dry baking sheet and toast in the oven at 350 for about 5-7 minutes. Shake the pan and try to turn them over half way through. If you have convection setting you won’t need to turn them.

toasted tortilla strips

When they’re lightly browned and crispy they’re done. These are a great garnish but also kind of fun to just snack on. Half a tortilla per bowl of soup is more than enough.

toasted tortilla strips

This recipe makes 4 very generous servings of soup. Top with any combination of garnishes you choose. I like them all! Crispy tortilla strips, more fresh chopped cilantro, a bit of shredded sharp cheddar, a spoonful of sour cream and some green onions. And, if you really really like the heat you can add a hit of Sriracha at the end.

chicken fajita soup

Here’s the recipe:

Chicken Fajita Soup

A delicious and healthy soup with a personalized level of heat.
Course Soup
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 476kcal


  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 sweet red pepper
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 10 oz canned Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 15 oz canned black beans
  • 12 grape tomatoes, or 2 roma
  • 4 cups chicken broth or 1 900 ml carton
  • 1/2 cup white wine optional
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • large handful fresh chopped cilantro reserve some for garnish


  • fresh chopped cilantro
  • sour cream
  • shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • diced green onion
  • 3 flour tortillas
  • Sriracha sauce


  • Heat olive oil in large stock pot over medium heat. Sauté onion until golden. Add minced garlic, minced red pepper, chopped jalapeño, cayenne pepper, cumin, salt and pepper. Sauté a minute or so until fragrant. To reduce heat from jalapeño, remove seeds and membrane if desired.
  • Add stewed tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, rinsed and drained black beans, chicken stock, wine and chopped chicken. Rinse and chop cilantro and add to soup, saving some for garnish. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut flour tortillas into thin strips, then cut into 2-3 inch pieces. Arrange on a dry sheet pan so none are overlapping. Bake 7-8 minutes, turning over half way through or use convection bake setting.
  • Serve soup with a spoonful of sour cream, shredded cheddar, cilantro, green onion and toasted tortilla strips. Add fresh cracked black pepper if desired.
    For extra extra heat, add a hit of Sriracha sauce.
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Nutritional Information:
(based on myfitnesspal calculations)

Without garnish

346 calories
11.2 g fat
27.3 g carbs
27.4 g protein

With Garnish

476 calories
18.5 g fat
37.3 g carbs
31.6 g protein

more for cinco de mayo

Hot Layered Mexican Dip

Steak Fajitas

Taco Salad

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