Cheesy Chipotle Chicken Soup

overhead photo of garnished bowl of soup with spoon in the bowl surrounded by various garnishes

This Cheesy Chipotle Chicken Soup is the ultimate transitional soup into the Fall season! It’s got a smokiness, spice and has lots of cheese to mellow it out. Top with tortilla chips and cozy up!

Happy September, friends! Yes…I actually am counting down the days until Fall. Even if it remains in the low 90s here in North Carolina. I’m still gonna bake pumpkin bread and maple donuts and most importantly…MAKE SOUP. 

As George Constanza once said, I’m shifting into soup mode. And I hope you will be too after you try this delicious recipe! 

Why You’ll Love This Soup: 

First off, it’s SO simple!! It’s very much a “throw everything into one pot and let it go” type of soup..which is great if you’re in a season of life like me and are having to chase a toddler around the house, ha! 

I also love the simplicity of the flavors – you have the classic smoky spices like paprika and chili powder and the MVP of the soup – the CHIPOTLE peppers in adobo sauce! 

I use the can of chipotle in adobo sauce – you can usually find it in the Hispanic section of the grocery store. It’s a staple in our house, it’s not overly spicy but smoky and has a complexity of flavor that really lends to the rest of the soup. It looks like this:

overhead photo of can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

I love all of the fresh veggies used in the soup! It’s a great way to get a ton of veggies in. I also love the pinto beans added! It gives it a great starchy element. 

I love the acidity of the lime as well! It’s just SO good. 

Oh…..and the cheese! How could I have a soup recipe without cheese?! I use a blend of pepper jack and monterey jack here, but feel free to substitute it with something less spice. 

photo of ladle of soup in the pot

And as with almost all of my soup recipes here on OBB, I went hard on the toppings! Tortilla chips give it a crunch, the fresh cilantro give it a vivacious flavor and extra lime of course….YUM. 

You’re going to love it! So let’s get into what you need for the recipe. 

Ingredients You Need: 

Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breast – you can also use boneless and skinless chicken thighs if desired!

Chipotle in Adobo Sauce – like I said above, this is a must for this recipe! You can usually find a can of this in your local grocery store. 

Pinto Beans – I use canned beans, be sure to drain them! 

Pepper Jack and Monterey Jack Cheese – gotta have cheese in this recipe!

Chicken broth – the main liquid that will be used for this recipe!

Canned Fire Roasted Tomatoes + Rotel – I used these for added tomato flavor! Def recommend the fire roasted!

Kosher salt, Garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, chili powder – these are all of the main spices that are used for this recipe. 

Fresh Limes – a must! The lime adds such a nice tangy acidity to the soup. 

Yellow Onion, Red Bell Pepper, Jalapeno – these are the main veggies that make up the soup! 

Corn – I used canned corn but you can use fresh off the cob as well. 

Garnishes – cilantro, extra lime, tortilla chips! 

Tools You Need: 

Dutch Oven or Large Pot – this soup has quite a bit of volume so be sure you use a large pot!  

Cutting Board – of course you will need a cutting board to slice and dice all of those veggies!

Knives – always have a high quality chef’s knife to cut the veggies!

Ladle – how else will you serve the soup?!

How To Make Soup in 6 Simple Steps: 

  1. Add avocado oil to a large pot on medium heat. Dice up the onion, jalapeno and bell pepper. Add the chicken breasts along with salt, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder and smoked paprika and cook for 10 min flipping hallways until done and has reached an internal temp of 165. Once done, remove on plate and set aside.
  2. Add a splash of more oil to the pot and add in diced onion, jalapeno, bell pepper and a pinch of kosher salt. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Next, add in 3 tbsp of the chipotle in adobo sauce. Mix together. It should look something like this: photo of cooked veggies in the pot
  3. Next, add in 6 cups of chicken broth, being sure to scrape the chicken bits from the bottom. Add in the canned beans, half the can of corn, fire roasted tomatoes and rotel. Mix. Add in more garlic powder, onion powder, and salt. Turn on medium heat and let simmer for 20 minutes or so. 
  4. Shred the cooked chicken with two forks and then add into the soup and let it cook for 10 more minutes. 
  5. Finally, add in the shredded cheese and juice of 1 lime. Stir in. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed! 
  6. Serve soup with tortilla chips, fresh cilantro and cotija cheese on top and enjoy! 

Best Soup Making Tips: 

Be sure to cook the chicken breasts directly in the pot that you plan to make the soup in. It will yield SO much flavor overall to the soup. 

When you add in the chicken broth, be sure to really scrape the bottom of the pan to get the cooked chicken flavor into the rest of the soup!

If desired, I always freshly shred my cheese. I feel like it’s fresher and melts easier in the soup! 

overhead photo of hand holding spoon and garnished bowl of soup

Taste and adjust AS YOU GO! I state this a lot in my recipes but I understand that everyone’s palettes are different. So go ahead and use my recipe as a base line but then if you feel like you want it to have more salt, go ahead! Or more spice? Do it! Whatever works best for you! 

Ingredient Substitutions: 

If you want this LESS spicy, I recommend skipping the jalapenos all together, using only monterey jack cheese and/or using 1 less tbsp of the chipotle in adobo sauce.

You can also use sour cream as a garnish or add in half and half at the end. 

If you don’t feel like cooking the chicken, no worries! Instead, substitute with a fully cooked rotisserie chicken! Just add in about 3 cups of the shredded cooked chicken and you’re set for a simple and easy meal.

You can absolutely substitute the red bell pepper for a green or yellow or even an orange one. Doesn’t matter! 

close up photo of spoon in garnished bowl of soup

Feel free to use fresh corn instead of canned. 

If you’re not a fan of pinto beans, you can use black beans. 

Storing Leftovers: 

Store soup leftovers SANS toppings in a large tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When you’re ready for another bowl, just warm it up either on the stove or in the microwave and load it up with fresh toppings. Usually leftovers taste even BETTER!

I hope you all enjoy this recipe and look forward to all of the soups coming to OBB in the next few months! XO -Haylie 

Did you enjoy this recipe? Here are a few others you might like: 

Creamy Black Bean Soup 

Creamy White Lasagna Soup 

Cheesy Chicken Lime Tortilla Soup 

Thank you so much for following along here, friends! Want to see more? Be sure to follow ourbalancedbowl on Instagram and tag me with your photo if you end up making a recipe! You can also post a photo of your recipe to the Our Balanced Bowl Facebook page! Like a recipe that you saw? Follow me on Pinterest here! I always love to see your re-creations! If you do make a recipe, it would make my whole day if you were to rate and comment so I can get your feedback! Lots of love! – Haylie

Cheesy Chipotle Chicken Soup

This Cheesy Chipotle Chicken Soup is the ultimate transitional soup into the Fall season! It’s got a smokiness, spice and has lots of cheese to mellow it out. Top with tortilla chips and cozy up!

Course dinner, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword cheesy chicken soup, cheesy chipotle chicken soup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author Haylie


Chicken + Spices

  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 and 1/2 pounds boneless and skinless chicken breast (around 2 large breasts)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder

Soup Veggies + Toppings

  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium jalapeno, diced (de-seeded if desired)
  • 3 tbsp chipotle pepper in adobo SAUCE
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 14 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 10 oz can Rotel (tomatoes and green chiles)
  • 14 oz can pinto beans, drained
  • 1 cup canned corn
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup monterey jack cheese, freshly shredded
  • 1 cup pepper jack cheese, freshly shredded
  • garnishes: cotija cheese, fresh cilantro, fresh jalapeno, tortilla chips, additional lime


Cooking the Chicken

  1. Add 1 tbsp of avocado oil to large pot on medium heat.

  2. Add the chicken breasts along with the 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp chili powder and 1/2 tsp smoked paprika. Cook for 10 min, flipping hallways until done and has reached an internal temp of 165. Once the chicken is cooked, place it on a plate and set it aside.

Cooking the Veggies

  1. Dice the bell pepper, yellow onion and jalapeno. To the same pot you cooked the chicken in, add a splash more oil and then the veggies. Add a pinch of salt and cook them for 4-5 minutes.

  2. Add 3 tbsp of chipotle in adobo sauce. Mix. 

  3. To the same pot, add in 6 cups of chicken broth, being sure to scrape the cooked chicken bits from the bottom.

  4. Drian the canned beans and add to the pot. Add in the 1 cup of canned corn, the can of fire roasted tomatoes and the can of rotel. Add in the additional garlic powder, onion powder and salt. Mix.

  5. Turn on medium heat and let simmer for 20 minutes or so. 

  6. Shred the cooked chicken with 2 forks and add into the pot. Let cook for another 10 minutes or so.

  7. While it's cooking, shred the cheese and then finally, when the last 10 minutes is up, add in the cheese and the juice of one lime. Stir to mix and let the soup sit for a few more minutes to let the cheese melt.

  8. Once its done, ladle it into bowls and top with additional cheese, jalapenos, fresh cilantro and tortilla chips. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

*Note, for parents and anyone who doesn't enjoy spicy things! This is a spicier soup! So, if you want to tone it down, add less of the chipotle sauce, skip the jalapenos and if desired, you can add sour cream as a garnish at the end OR add in a splash of half and half. 

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