Here’s how to make a homemade copycat version of the Panera Bread Chicken Tortilla Soup. This is a warming and nourishing recipe using real food ingredients. You’re sure to love this Panera style soup on a cold day!

Panera chicken tortilla soup in a white bowl.

No need to rush out the door when you’re craving a warm cup of soup.

This copycat recipe from Panera will have you feeling all of the warm and fuzzies in less than an hour’s time from the comfort of your own home.

This quick meal is perfect for a busy schedule but you still want craveable meals.

Copycat Panera Chicken Tortilla Soup Benefits

  • Packed with flavor, this recipe is both gluten and dairy-free so it works for many dietary styles. See my guide for going gluten and dairy-free.
  • Soup is always a crowd-pleaser, so don’t think twice about adding this meal to your weekly round-up. With wholesome ingredients like white meat chicken and no preservatives, it’s perfect at any time of day.
  • This recipe includes whole, clean ingredients, making it a healthier and more cost-effective option than the drive-through There is no citric acid, sunflower oil, potato flour, dehydrated garlic, yeast extract, extractives of paprika, or corn starch in this copycat Panera soup cup. Instead, I’ve used real whole foods made on the stove top.

Ingredients

ingredients for Panera chicken tortilla soup on a white counter.

Chicken is a lean protein that provides the hearty base to this soup and makes it so appetizing. I like using boneless skinless chicken breasts.

Red bell & jalapeño peppers add a mouthwatering punch that’s both sweet and spicy! You can feel free to use green chiles or other types of chili peppers like poblano peppers, but it’s much easier to just use jalapeños for that kick of chile peppers.

Corn, black beans and tomatoes are not only wonderful additions to the flavor of this recipe, but also add a wealth of nutrition. The Panera soup features fire-roasted tomatoes, but you can use any type of canned chopped tomato you have on hand. Use both the tomatoes and the tomato juice.

Chicken broth acts as the base of this yummy soup.

See the recipe card below for the full ingredient list and measurements.

Recipe Steps

process for cooking Panera chicken tortilla soup.

Step One

Cook the chicken in oil over medium heat until browned on each side. Remove the chicken, and set it aside to rest.

Please see the recipe card at the end of this post for the exact ingredients and measurements.

Step Two

In the same pot, sauté the onion, garlic, jalapeno, and red bell pepper until soft.

Step Three

Shred the chicken, then return it to the pot. Add the black beans, roasted corn, diced tomatoes or fire roasted tomatoes, broth, chili powder, cumin, and oregano. Stir to combine.

Step Four

Allow the soup to simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in the salt, pepper, and lime juice. Top with avocado and tortilla strips or tortilla chips, as desired. Serve hot!

I hope you agree that this homemade version made by an actual human beats the microwavable cup.

My family loves this glute free soup that has a hint of cumin with tender chicken and a crunchy tortilla topping.

close up shot of Panera chicken tortilla soup in a white bowl.

Recipe Tips

  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Or, freeze for up to 2 months and defrost and reheat before serving.
  • To make baked tortilla strips, you can cut several corn tortillas into strips, about ¼-inch wide (try making my Air Fryer Tortilla Chips). Toss them in olive oil and then lay on a baking sheet. Bake in an oven at 375 degrees F for 12-14 minutes, or until they are golden and crispy. Let them cool for a few minutes and then serve on top of your soup.
  • The nutrition data for this soup does not include the tortilla strip topping.
  • Feel free to top the soup with additional toppings that you like, including salsa, shredded cheese, sour cream, or avocado.
  • Want an Instant Pot version of this recipe? See my Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup.

Recipe FAQs

Can I substitute bone broth for chicken broth in this recipe?

Yes. chicken bone broth can be substituted for chicken broth. Either will work great.

Is this soup gluten-free?

Yes, the soup as written is gluten free. Just make sure the chips you use are made from white corn masa or stone-ground corn with no wheat added.

a spoon full of Panera chicken tortilla soup.

More Healthy Soup Recipes You Might Like

I hope you make this recipe! If you do, please leave a comment and a starred review below.

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Print
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Panera chicken tortilla soup in a white bowl.

Panera Chicken Tortilla Soup (Copycat)

Here’s how to make a homemade copycat version of the Panera Chicken Tortilla Soup. This is a warming and nourishing recipe using real food ingredients. You’re sure to love this Panera style soup on a cold day!

  • Total Time: 45 Minutes
  • Yield: 6 Servings 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil (I used avocado oil)
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 15ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15ounce can sweet corn, drained
  • 1 15ounce can diced tomatoes, with the juice
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional, for topping)
  • Sliced avocado (optional, for topping)
  • Tortilla strips or corn tortilla chips for topping

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chicken, and cook until browned on both sides and cooked through.
  2. Remove the chicken from the pot to a clean plate to rest.
  3. In the same pot, add the onion, garlic, jalapeno, and red bell pepper. Sauté for a few minutes until the veggies start to soften.
  4. Add the black beans, corn, and diced tomatoes, and stir to combine.
  5. Use two forks to shred the chicken. Or, you can also chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Return the chicken to the pot along with the chicken broth, chili powder, cumin, and oregano.
  6. Bring the ingredients to a simmer and then reduce the heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes to ensure everything is heated through.
  7. Turn off the heat and stir in the salt, pepper, and lime juice.
  8. Top with cilantro and tortilla strips and serve hot.

Notes

  1. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Or, freeze for up to 2 months and defrost and reheat before serving.
  2. To make baked tortilla strips, you can cut several corn tortillas into strips, about ¼-inch wide. Toss them in olive oil and then lay on a baking sheet. Bake in an oven at 375 degrees F for 12-14 minutes, or until they are golden and crispy. Let them cool for a few minutes and then serve on top of your soup.
  3. The nutrition data for this soup does not include the tortilla strip topping.
  4. Feel free to top the soup with additional toppings that you like, including salsa, shredded cheese, sour cream, or avocado.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 342
  • Sugar: 9.6 g
  • Sodium: 880.1 mg
  • Fat: 10.7 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 38.2 g
  • Fiber: 8.3 g
  • Protein: 27.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 55.2 mg

Keywords: panera soup, copycat soup recipe, healthy panera soup recipe

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About the Author: Carrie Forrest has a master’s degree in public health with a specialty in nutrition. She is a top wellness and food blogger with over 10 million annual visitors to her site. Carrie has an incredible story of recovery from chronic illness and is passionate about helping other women transform their health. Send Carrie a message through her contact form.