Easy Black Bean Tortilla Soup: When you have no time, but want a really delicious and warming bowl of soup, this is the recipe for you! It's embarrassingly simple to make, but has great flavors. Take the time to make the crispy tortilla strips. They make the difference! | macheesmo.com

Easy Black Bean Tortilla Soup

Black bean tortilla soup can be made in a few minutes using the canned version. It’s a fast meal with plenty of flavor that the whole family will enjoy.

Soup is always a great go-to freezer meal. If you’re trying to prep for a busy time in your life or if you just need a great meal in your freezer, this easy black bean tortilla soup is just the thing you need! This recipe is also naturally gluten-free so it’s a great dinner idea for gluten-intolerant guests!

You could make this soup with dried black beans, but it would be more involved. Using canned black beans is a quick shortcut and still leaves you with a very delicious soup. I like to add a few chipotles to mine which gives the soup a little spice and a subtle smokey flavor. Totally optional though. Leave them out if they aren’t your thing!

What is tortilla soup?

Let’s back up a bit. What exactly is a tortilla soup? Some people think that tortilla soup gets its name because you serve it with tortilla chips or tortilla strips. While the soup is normally served with those garnishes, tortilla soup gets its name from actually cooking ripped-up tortillas in the soup.

The corn tortillas kind of dissolve in the soup, thickening it slightly and giving it a wonderful taste and texture. 

Normally chicken tortilla soup is the standard (like my slow cooker chicken tortilla soup), but you can make tortilla soup with almost anything! 

Dried or canned black beans?

I love making dried beans. Simmering a big pot of beans with spices is a great meal prep idea, and you absolutely can use those cooked dried beans in this soup. 

But, to be honest, I would just used canned beans for this soup. 

For starters, it makes the soup really easy to make and this is an easy weekday soup at its core. 

Second, there are enough other flavors and texture going on in this soup that you wouldn’t get much difference in using dried beans.

So, save yourself some time and go with canned black beans. 

How to make crispy tortilla strips

You could skip this recipe piece and just serve the soup with tortilla chips, but these are a nice touch.

To make them, slice the tortillas into thin strips and add them to a baking sheet. Toss with olive oil, chili powder, salt, and pepper. 

Bake these for about 15 minutes, stirring once halfway through. You can bake them for longer if they happen to not be crispy enough for you. Just remember that they will continue to crisp up as the cool after baking.

Making the black bean tortilla soup

This is an all-in-one-pot, vegetarian meal. Couldn’t get easier.

Start by adding the olive oil to a large dutch oven with a diced onion. Let that cook over medium heat until it’s translucent and then add the garlic, chipotle pepper, and cumin. A pinch of salt and pepper at this point wouldn’t hurt also.

Cooking onions and spices for tortilla soup.
The basics.

Stir that all together and then add the beans, corn, and diced tomatoes. Remember to rinse and drain the beans really well before tossing them in the pot.

Add the vegetable broth as well and bring everything to a simmer. The liquid should just barely cover all the ingredients. If it doesn’t, add a bit more stock or water.

Making the tortilla soup in a Dutch Oven.
Big Easy Flavors

Once the soup is simmering, add in the chopped corn tortillas. These will dissolve in the soup and thicken it a bit. YUM.

After 15-20 minutes of simmering, this bad boy is ready to serve.

Simmering the black bean tortilla soup
Simmer Simmer

I serve my black bean tortilla soup piled high with homemade crispy corn strips (or just tortilla strips), sliced jalapenos, fresh cilantro, and a few fresh lime wedges. You could jazz it up even more with grated cheese or sour cream or leave those out for a vegan version of the soup.

Couldn’t get easier and it’s a delicious and healthy meal.

Making this soup in a slow cooker

I usually don’t make this in a slow cooker just because it’s very fast to make just in a pot on the stove. 

But, if you wanted to, I imagine you could add all the ingredients to a slow cooker (including the corn tortillas) and cook the soup on low for 6 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. 

Substitutions and ideas

Here are a few substitutions or additions you could make to this soup.

  • Spices! Feel free to add more spices that go well with tex-mex flavors like cumin seeds, dried chiles, garlic cloves, and Mexican oregano (go easy on the oregano as it can quickly overpower the soup).
  • If you aren’t shooting for a vegetarian meal, you could add some shredded chicken to this soup for a more traditional chicken tortilla soup recipe.
  • Add more toppings like sliced avocado, crema, queso fresco, pickled jalapenos, etc.
Black Bean Tortilla Soup with Toppings

Storing and reheating this black bean tortilla soup

BONUS: This meal freezes perfectly which is one of the reasons I chose it. Let the soup cool to room temperature and then store it in freezer-safe bags. It’ll keep beautifully for three months. Reheat it slowly on the stove for best results.

It’s soup season and this one should be on your list!

My Easy Black Bean Tortilla Soup Recipe

Easy Black Bean Tortilla Soup: When you have no time, but want a really delicious and warming bowl of soup, this is the recipe for you! It's embarrassingly simple to make, but has great flavors. Take the time to make the crispy tortilla strips. They make the difference! | macheesmo.com

Easy Black Bean Tortilla Soup

When you have no time, but want a really delicious and warming bowl of soup, this is the recipe for you! It’s embarrassingly simple to make, but has great flavors.
4.08 from 28 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Appetizers, Main Dishes, Soups
Cuisine Tex-Mex
Servings 8 Servings



  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teas ground cumin
  • 2 chipotle peppers seeded and diced
  • 2 15 oz. cans black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 ½ c. sweet corn
  • 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 4 corn tortillas chopped
  • 1 qt. vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper

Crispy Corn Strips

  • 6-8 corn tortillas sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 teas chili powder
  • 1 teas kosher salt
  • 1 teas black pepper


  • Fresh jalapenos
  • Limes
  • Cilantro


  • In a large dutch oven, add olive oil and diced onions. Cook until onions are translucent over medium heat, about 3-4 minutes. Then add minced chipotle peppers (opt.) and garlic. Stir to combine.
  • Add in drained and rinsed black beans, corn, and tomatoes along with vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer.
  • Add in chopped corn tortillas and simmer on low for 10 minutes. Tortillas should mostly dissolve. Season soup well with salt and pepper.
  • Serve soup with any all garnishes you want, but most importantly crispy corn strips (or corn tortilla chips in a pinch).
  • For Crispy Corn Strips:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Slice corn tortillas and toss with olive oil, chili powder, salt and pepper. Spread them out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake corn strips for 15 minutes, stirring once halfway through.
  • Remove corn strips and let cool. They will continue to crisp up as they cool.
  • Freeze this soup by letting it cool down to room temperature. Then transfer to freezer safe bags. Stores in the freezer for up to 3 months. Reheat slowly on the stovetop.



Serving: 1bowlCalories: 209kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 4gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gSodium: 931mgPotassium: 196mgFiber: 4gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 449IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 38mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Black Bean Soup, Soup Recipes, Tex-Mex Recipes, Tortilla Soup

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16 Responses to “Easy Black Bean Tortilla Soup” Leave a comment

  1. Nick, that recipe sounds rocking. It’s cold and rainy here so it would be perfect tonight. I’m saving this one to try this weekend when the rains hit again.

  2. I had the same reaction as Chris here and then went ahead and made this soup….WOW! While I expected it to be good, it was way over the top good : ) The addition of the crispy tortillas on top really made it (they are also addictive on their own)…..we even added other typical Mexican toppings, like avocado. A definite repeat…..thx

  3. I’ll be packaging this to go for 100 Scouts and 30 adults in patrols of 10 at a Venture Crew, White Stag Sierra camp in northern California. It should be a successful dinner for them to cook. Some have never cooked before! Why do you rinse & drain the beans? I think it adds flavor and substance to the soup. Have you tried any meat in this recipe? I’m sure pre-cooked ground beef would be good. The vegetarians can take out their portions before the meat addition. I’ll let you know how that goes. I’m thinking of trying your Grilled Chicken Tostadas another night. Do you recommend any other easy dinners for teens to cook? Sue Bryant, Cookie, White Stag Sierra

    1. Wow Sue! That’s amazing! It’s an easy one so it’s a great first timer cook recipe for sure. I always drain and rinse my beans just because I don’t personally like the juice in the can and hate how it stains food. Maybe my food blogger tendency to care too much about how stuff looks. ;)
      I’ve never tried it with meat but I don’t see why you couldn’t add to it. Pulled chicken would make it a classic tortilla soup style, but any protein would work fine I think. Ground beef would probably be my second choice and easier to prepare for sure.
      For other recipes, I’d say browse the easy eats category (https://www.macheesmo.com/category/easy-eats/) There are tons of really straightforward stuff there. Good luck! Hope the camp goes well!

  4. Nick,

    Just have to comment on this recipe. We make this every couple of weeks – even in the dead heat of summer. We love it – always easy and tastes fantastic. Not shy with adding hot sauce at the end along with a nice squeeze of lime. My second favorite thing on your website (besides the breakfast hash of course)

  5. Made this for dinner tonight! It is so ding dang dong delicious!!!!! Followed the recipe exactly..topped with all sorts of goodies:) I will definitely be making this again!

  6. Made this tonight!! It was excellent- we will definitely make it again. My only change was to leave out the chipotle peppers and to use ground chipotle spice instead. Thanks for sharing!!

  7. Hi i only have dried black beans. Would this work using a crock pot and how would you handle the black beans

    1. Hey Terry! You could definitely use dried beans. I would cook them as you normally do and then just add them to the soup! And yes, tossing everything in a crockpot on low should work fine! Good luck!

  8. Hi! Looking forward to making this tonight! I have one question, I wasn’t able to get chipotle peppers for the soup but was thinking I’d use the jalapeno pepper I bought and roast that into the soup instead of just adding it as a topping once the soup is done. Do you think this is a good idea or would frying the jalapenos in be a bit too strong for the recipe? Thanks!

    1. Hey Rose, If you click show directions under the ingredients it shows you the corn strips directions. :) Good luck!

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