Turkey Tortilla Soup Recipe

J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

Note: You can use store-bought tortilla strips or crumbled tortilla chips if desired. For a milder flavor, remove one ancho and one pasilla chili and replace 1 cup chicken stock in step three with 1 (14.4-ounce) can of diced tomatoes with their juice or Ro*Tel tomatoes.

Recipe Details

Turkey Tortilla Soup Recipe

Active 30 mins
Total 30 mins
Serves 4 to 6 servings


  • 2 cups peanut oil for frying tortilla strips (see note)

  • 4 corn tortillas, cut in half, then sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch strips (see note)

  • Kosher salt

  • 2 pasilla chiles

  • 2 ancho chiles

  • 2 whole chipotle chiles canned in adobo sauce plus 1 tablespoon sauce

  • 2 quarts low-sodium canned or homemade chicken or turkey broth

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 large onion, finely diced

  • 1 whole poblano pepper, seeds and stem removed, finely diced

  • 2 cloves garlic, grated on a microplane grater

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 pound leftover turkey meat, shredded by hand into rough 10-inch pieces

  • Sliced scallions, sliced cilantro, diced avocado, diced jalapeño and lime slices for serving


  1. Heat peanut oil to 350°F in a dutch oven or wok over high heat. Add tortilla strips and fry, agitating with a metal spider or slotted spatula until strips are crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, season with salt, and set aside.

  2. Combine all chilis in a medium saucepan and add half of the chicken broth. Simmer over medium-high heat until the chilies are completely tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a blender or hand blender cup and blend until completely smooth.

  3. While chilies are simmering, heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over high heat until shimmering. Add the onions and poblano pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cumin and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add remaining chicken broth. Add chili purée from step 2 as soon as it is ready.

  4. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer, add turkey meat, and cook until flavors have blended, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Serve hot, passing tortilla strips, scallions, cilantro, avocado, jalapeños, and lime wedges at the table.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
357 Calories
14g Fat
28g Carbs
32g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 357
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 19%
Saturated Fat 2g 12%
Cholesterol 76mg 25%
Sodium 461mg 20%
Total Carbohydrate 28g 10%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 32g
Vitamin C 14mg 71%
Calcium 88mg 7%
Iron 3mg 18%
Potassium 771mg 16%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)