This Chicken Taco Soup Brings the Smoke and Spice in Just 30 Minutes

updated Apr 22, 2020
Easy One-Pot Chicken Taco Soup
Loaded with juicy chicken, hearty black beans, and sweet corn, this quick soup was made with weeknight dinners in mind.


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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Ready for a Taco Tuesday reboot? Loaded with juicy shreds of chicken, hearty black beans, and sweet corn, all swimming in a smoky, spiced broth, this chicken taco soup recipe is one you’re going to want to keep close by through chilly weather and beyond. Clocking in at about 30 minutes, this soup is definitely weeknight-friendly and just what to eat when you want big flavor without a ton of time.

Smart Shortcut: Poach the Chicken Right in the Soup

My favorite reliable method for getting tender, juicy shredded chicken is poaching. It can simply be done in a saucepan filled with water, but when making soup, there’s an even better approach: Instead of cooking the chicken in a separate pot and then stirring it into the soup, this recipe walks you through cooking the chicken breasts directly in the soup. Not only will it help get dinner on the table even faster, but poaching the chicken directly in the soup also imparts more flavor. As it cooks, the savory broth, sweet tomato, and array of smoky spices are infused into the chicken.

If you want to skip even this step, however, you can also use pre-cooked shredded or canned chicken in the soup. Add at the end and heat until warmed through.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

When time is of the essence, remember to embrace “the meanwhile” and prep as you cook. Rather than prep all the ingredients before you get started on the soup, start with just the onion and garlic and then, while they cook, measure out the spices, rinse and drain the beans, and open the tomatoes and stock. If you also clean as you go, there will be hardly any dishes once dinner’s ready.

Easy One-Pot Chicken Taco Soup

Loaded with juicy chicken, hearty black beans, and sweet corn, this quick soup was made with weeknight dinners in mind.

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


  • 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

  • 1

    medium yellow onion, diced

  • 2 cloves

    garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon

    chili powder

  • 1 tablespoon

    ground cumin

  • 2 teaspoons


  • 2 teaspoons

    dried oregano

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 cups

    (32 ounces) low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 (15-ounce) can

    black beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 (15-ounce) can

    diced tomatoes

  • 1 pound

    boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • 1 cup

    fresh or frozen corn kernels

For serving (optional):

  • 2

    medium scallions, thinly sliced

  • 1/2 cup

    shredded sharp cheddar cheese

  • 1/2 cup

    crushed tortilla chips


  1. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, salt, and pepper, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the broth, beans, and tomatoes and their juices, then stir to combine.

  2. Add the chicken and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and registers an internal temperature of 165℉, 10 to 14 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chicken.

  3. Transfer the chicken breasts to a cutting board. Shred the meat with two forks, then return the chicken to the pot. Stir in the corn. Serve topped with the scallions, cheese, and tortilla chips if desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator or frozen for up to 3 months.

Extra Shortcut: If you want to skip even the step of poaching and shredding chicken, you can also use pre-cooked or canned chicken. Stir in chicken near end of cooking and simmer just until it's warmed through.

The Chicken Dinner Playbook

Want fresh, easy ideas for chicken dinner? Start by learning a few basic cooking techniques and then add a little inspiration (that’s where we come in). This soup is part of a package of recipes that build on basic techniques for quick and easy chicken dinners any night of the week. See the rest of your chicken dinner playbook here.