How to Make The Red Robin Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe at Home

If you are a fan of chicken tortilla soup, then you’re already onto how scrumptious, spicy, and special this zesty take on chicken soup can be. Chicken tortilla soup is the rebel of the chicken soup family and that rebellion tastes mighty good. So, if you like Red Robin’s version of this delectable dish, you’re in luck. You’re going to learn to make it right here, right now.

First, let’s dive a little deeper into the sumptuous pool that is chicken tortilla soup.

Origins of Chicken Tortilla Soup

The birthplace of chicken tortilla soup is a bit of a mystery, but there may be clues in its ingredients. Also known as sopa Azteca, or soup of the Aztecs, and sopa de tortilla (tortilla soup), the dish is believed to have originated in the regions of Mexico that the Aztec people inhabited. Some of the staple ingredients that comprise chicken tortilla soup include Mexican cuisine staples like tortillas. So, most food historians are confident that this tasty soup has roots in Mexico.

Obviously, various recipes for chicken tortilla soup have traveled and people all over the world are able to enjoy the dish. However, it began showing up in the U.S. a long time ago. In the early 1900s, the Mexican Revolution led many people to move to the United States. As people set up residence, they also set up shops, introducing American society to different types of food that have become one of the favorite cuisines in the country.

One of those revolutionary introductions was the tortilla. This versatile piece of flat bread could house ingredients, or become a standalone ingredient in its own right — as is the case with chicken tortilla soup! Mexican cuisine became a tremendous contribution to the vast landscape of American food and a popular subtype of it developed, Tex-Mex cuisine.

When Tex Mex Picked Up Steam

As mentioned before, the Mexican Revolution brought many people north to the U.S. However, Tex-Mex wasn’t on the radar quite yet. It would be another 30 years before the popular food category began to surge. As native Mexicans began to settle in bordering states, particularly Texas, they also started to create a new subculture as Americans. That culture is known as Tejano.

Through Tejano culture and customs, recipes that had been in families for many generations got some new twists. Blending with other types of Southwestern ingredients and recipes, Tex Mex food was born. Chicken tortilla soup has authentic Mexican ancestry, but many of the popular recipes, such as Red Robin Chicken Tortilla Soup, are in the Tex-Mex cuisine family.

What Makes Red Robin’s Chicken Tortilla Soup Special?

The first thing that is clear about Red Robin Chicken Tortilla Soup is that it is hands-down delicious. No one that puts a spoonful of it to their lips can deny that. It is a fact. However, there’s more to it than just being delicious.

Red Robin was founded in the late 1960s as a lone restaurant. Today, there are more than 570 Red Robin restaurants throughout the country. While it is famous for its burgers, the chain quickly expanded its menu to include a few more iconic dishes, such as chicken tortilla soup. While many diners initially flocked to Red Robin for its gourmet-style burger options, more “adventurous” patrons began sampling other offerings. The chain’s chicken tortilla soup quickly became one of its most popular dishes, easily holding its own against the popular burgers and fries.

Getting back to what’s special about the soup, there are different schools of opinion on the magic of the meal. However, there does seem to be a broad consensus that the true essence of Red Robin’s version ( is the broth base of the soup.

While there are rumors that the “chicken” broth that makes the soup was originally really pork broth, keep in mind that both are considered white meats. There is an obvious taste difference between pork and chicken, but also some similarities. What is indisputable is that the broth base is extremely rich. So, this standout soup has a brilliant broth that simply strikes the palate upon first taste.

Infusing that rich broth base with tomato really cinches up the soup part. In reality, the dish is really about perfectly blending chicken soup with tomato soup while giving it a spicier pizazz for the finish. However, including the beans and peppers are absolutely necessary to pull it off.

Topping it off with dashes of tortilla strips, sprinklings of cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream is the culinary crown of this amazing soup. Reading about it probably makes your tummy rumble, right? Are you hungry, yet? Good. Let’s get ready to do this!

Red Robin Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

Make sure to gather the ingredients you need to recreate this delightful dish. Chicken, kidney beans, bell peppers, tortilla strips, cheddar cheese, and sour cream are necessary. That much will be obvious when you pull up a Red Robin menu. You will also want to have corn (frozen or canned), diced tomatoes (fresh or canned), tomato paste, lime juice, and some select spices on hand, too.

Mexican seasoning, which probably includes spices such as cilantro, chili powder, cumin, paprika, and coriander, is essential to lend the soup an authentic Tex-Mex flavor. Finally, a dash of lime juice gives it a burst of acidity that balances the dish.

Of course, never forget the salt and pepper for ANY dish, including chicken tortilla soup.

Cook the chicken to a shreddable consistency. You can bake or boil the chicken, although boiling it is quicker. Shred it when it’s done. Saute the green peppers in oil. Many Tex-Mex recipes use neutral oils, allowing the flavors to take the main stage. So, vegetable or canola oils are good to use.

Add the chicken and tomatoes. Stir to combine and add the broth. Let those flavors fuse to develop a rich broth base. After that, you can add your beans (and corn, if you want) and spices. Put the pot on a simmer and let it cook for between 10 to 20 minutes. Add a splash of lime juice. Top with tortilla strips and cheddar cheese. Give it a dollop of sour cream and you’re good to go. This should serve a modest four or a greedy two. Enjoy!

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