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Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

By Mandy Tanner

Smoking the chicken for soothing tortilla soup keeps the meat tender and juicy while adding toasty wood-fired flavor. The spice level on this soup is mellow, just a slight tingly warmth, so if you prefer more of a kick, add some cayenne or serve with your favorite hot sauce.

Prep Time

10 Minutes

Cook Time

2 Hours


Signature Pellet Blend


Number of people serving


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Units of measurement:
1 (3 1/2 to 4 lb) chicken, spatchcocked (backbone removed)
1/3 Cup fajita seasoning
2 Tablespoon avocado or canola oil, divided
2 ears corn, husks and silks removed
1 red onion, sliced ½-inch thick rounds
1 Teaspoon Kosher salt
1 Teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper
4 Clove garlic, minced
2 Tablespoon tomato paste (double concentrated)
8 Cup chicken broth
1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed well and drained
Crispy tortilla strips
1 avocado, diced
1 plum tomatoes, diced
1/2 Bunch cilantro
Lime wedges
Cotija cheese, crumbled (optional)


  • Watch Video

    Smoked Chicken Tortilla Soup

    Smoked Chicken Tortilla Soup thumbnail
  • 1

    When ready to cook, preheat the Traeger to 225°F with the lid closed; this should take about 15 minutes.

  • 2

    Season the underside (bone side) of the spatchcocked chicken with half of the Traeger Spicy Fajita Rub, flip the chicken over and season the skin side with the remaining rub.

  • 3

    Insert a leave-in meat thermometer into the thickest part of the breast, avoiding the bone, if possible. Place the chicken skin-side-up directly on the grill grates. Close the lid and smoke for 1 hour.

    225 ˚F / 107 ˚C


    Super Smoke

  • 4

    Leaving the chicken on the grates, increase the temperature of the grill to 400°F.

  • 5

    While the grill is heating, drizzle the corn and onion slices with the oil and season with kosher salt and pepper on all sides.

  • 6

    When the grill reaches 400°F, place the onion slices and corn directly on the grill grates next to the chicken. Close the lid and cook for 10 minutes, then flip the onions and rotate the corn. Close the lid and cook until the onions have nice grill marks and are tender.

    400 ˚F / 204 ˚C


  • 7

    Remove the onions from the grill. Continue cooking the corn and the chicken until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F, about another 10 minutes. Remove the chicken and the corn from the grill (leave the grill on) and let cool slightly.

    400 ˚F / 204 ˚C

    165 ˚F / 74 ˚C

  • 8

    Meanwhile, place a Dutch oven or similar ovenproof pot on the grill grates to preheat for 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of oil, the minced garlic, and tomato paste to the pot. Close the lid and cook for 5 minutes, then stir, close the lid and cook until the garlic is fragrant and tomato paste is sizzling, another 3 to 5 minutes.

    400 ˚F / 204 ˚C


  • 9

    Pull the skin off the chicken breast in one or two pieces and reserve it. Shred or chop the meat into bite-size pieces as desired. Slice the corn off the cob and chop the grilled onion.

  • 10

    Slowly add 1 cup of broth to the Dutch oven, stirring to distribute the tomato paste. Then add the remaining chicken broth and the chicken skin (it will be removed but it has a lot of seasoning on it that you want in the broth). Close the grill lid and bring to a simmer.

  • 11

    Once simmering, carefully remove the chicken skin. Add the chicken meat, black beans, corn, and onion to the soup, and stir to combine. Cook until hot, another 10 to 15 minutes.

    400 ˚F / 204 ˚C


  • 12

    Portion the soup into bowls, and top with the tortilla strips, avocado, tomato, cilantro, and cotija cheese if desired. Serve with lime wedges. Enjoy!

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