Paleo Chicken & Kale Tortilla Soup

This Whole30 and paleo chicken tortilla soup comes with added kale for extra nutrients. This Mexican favourite doesn’t have any tortilla chips but the pumpkin seeds provide extra crunch. This healthy recipes only takes 25 minutes and can be served for dinner or lunch. I’d love to know if you make it, so let me know in the comments and don’t forget to rate this recipe.

Paleo Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe



Tortilla soup is a classic Mexican dish made with a tangy, savoury tomato and garlic broth and crispy tortilla chips or strips over the top. Often, the soup will also have chicken, corn or beans and a range of garnishes such as avocado, chopped onions, cheese, and extra coriander and lime.

Although nobody is quite sure of its origins, this hearty and zesty soup has become a real darling of Mexican fusion cuisine. The purists will have to forgive me but as this is a paleo-friendly version, the tortillas no están incluidos! Also, I’ve gone on my own adventure with the traditional recipe so this is another Irey’s special. Es muy delicioso (it’s very tasty) and I hope you like it.


As with most of my recipes, I always try to make them as nutritious as possible. This recipe uses lots of nutrient-dense ingredients and superfoods like kale, pumpkin seeds and tomatoes. If you look at the nutritional breakdown below, this soup is high in many essential vitamins and minerals.  It’s high in protein and low-to-moderate in carbohydrates, with a hefty dose of dietary fibre that will keep you nicely satiated.

This chicken tortilla soup is gluten-free, paleo, Whole30 and great for anyone looking for a quick nutrition boost.  

Whole30 Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe



There are many versions of tortilla soup and this is my own take on it. I wanted to create a recipe that’s really quick and easy to make, perfect for a mid-week dinner or lunch, and this one should only take you 25 minutes.

Chicken Tortilla Soup Ingredients

I wanted to use pre-cooked chicken to speed up the prep time but feel free to use fresh, raw chicken instead. Simply pan fry it for 6-8 minutes before dicing and adding to the soup. The rest of the ingredients are simple and easy to pick up from any supermarket. 

To make it, everything is cooked together in one pot and you can prepare all your garnishes in the meantime. Beware, this soup is a little spicy but you can modify the heat by adding fewer jalapeños.



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Paleo Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

Paleo Chicken Tortilla Soup (With Kale)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Author: Irena Macri
Servings: 2
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
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Calories: 624kcal
Super quick and easy, this Whole30 and paleo-friendly chicken tortilla soup comes with added kale for extra nutrients and crunchy pumpkin seeds. There are no tortilla crisps, but the soup certainly doesn't lack in flavour or texture. Takes 25 minutes!


  • 1 medium onion finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 large red pepper diced
  • 1/4 cup pickled jalapeños finely diced (the ones you get in a jar like these)
  • 2 cloves garlic finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1.5 cups cooked diced chicken (breast or thigh meat is good, I picked up some roasted chicken from the supermarket)
  • 2 cups torn kale leaves
  • 1.5 cups chopped tomatoes tinned, 400 g
  • 2 cups chicken stock or broth, I love Kettle & Fire one
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime grate the zest first
  • 2/3 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoon diced spring onion/scallions
  • 3 tablespoon fresh coriander/cilantro leaves a good handful
  • 1 avocado sliced into strips (a half per person)
  • A little dusting of paprika if you're feeling fancy


  • Heat a medium saucepan with olive oil and add the diced onion. Cook for a minute or two and add the red peppers. Stir and cook for another minute while chopping other ingredients.
  • Add the jalapeños, garlic, oregano, coriander seed and cumin powder. Stir and cook for about 30 seconds to release the aromas.
  • Now add the chicken, kale, diced tomatoes, chicken stock, lime zest and juice and stir. Taste for salt. I added about 2/3 of a teaspoon of sea salt but you may need less depending on how much salt is in your chicken stock.
  • Bring everything to a boil and cook on high heat for 5 minutes. Then, let it sit for 2-3 minutes off the heat while you prepare the garnishes.
  • Place pumpkin seeds in a small frying pan and cook on medium heat for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Keep your eyes on them so they don't get burnt. We simply want to toast them for extra crunch and nuttiness.
  • Serve soup in bowls, topped with fresh coriander, green onions, toasted pumpkin seeds and sliced avocado. If you want, you can add corn chips or a paleo/Whole30 alternative like baked sweet potato chips. 


PS. You can get 10% off Kettle & Fire bone broths and stock by using CRAVECOLLECTIVE at checkout , see the range here.


Calories: 624kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 22g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 69mg | Sodium: 2689mg | Potassium: 1929mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 8705IU | Vitamin C: 170mg | Calcium: 315mg | Iron: 8mg
Keywords: Chicken Soup Recipes, Dinner Meals, Kale, Meal Prep, Soups
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Healthy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Irena Macri
By Irena Macri

About the author: Hi, I’m Irena Macri. I share delicious recipes that I have cooked and loved. I am a published cookbook author, have been food blogging for over 10 years and have a Diploma in Nutrition. You will find many healthy recipes as well as my favourite comfort food. More about me here | Subscribe to my newsletter and freebies

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    1. But it’s so tasty and nutritious 😛 You don’t have to use it, by the way, olive oil is fine.

  1. I can’t tell you just how much my hubby and I enjoyed this soup! I used avocado oil throughout (no coconut oil or butter/ghee). Also, the package of diced tomatoes was 750g, used all of it! Even used a little of the jalapeno juice! Made it last night, we had enough for lunch for each of us today. Lunch couldn’t get here fast enough today!! And now my lips, my mouth, and my belly are all doing a Mexican happy dance! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!

  2. Hi Irena!

    Just made this soup and it’s delicious :P. I wasn’t sure how the kale would taste in here, but I love kale and was willing to give it a try. The kale gives an earthy flavor that parallels black beans!, which is common in tortilla soups. Very nice job! And being from Texas, I was hoping it would have that taste of home (currently live in Colorado) and it does :D. Will be making this again for sure, thanks for sharing!

  3. Can’t wait to try this! Looks fantastic. How about some extra-thin fried plain strips in lieu of tortilla chips?!

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