The Insider’s Secret to Applebee’s Irresistible Chicken Tortilla Soup

Are you ready to indulge in a bowl of heaven? Look no further than Applebee’s irresistible Chicken Tortilla Soup. This mouthwatering dish combines the flavors of tender chicken, savory tortillas, and a medley of spices to create a taste sensation you won’t be able to resist. Whether you’re a die-hard fan of Applebee’s or simply looking for a delicious soup recipe to whip up at home, you’re in for a treat. This article unveils the insider’s secret to recreating Applebee’s famous Chicken Tortilla Soup, so get your aprons ready and prepare to wow your taste buds!

Applebee's Chicken Tortilla Soup | 101 Simple Recipe
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The History of Applebee’s Chicken Tortilla Soup

Discover the origins and evolution of Applebee’s famous chicken tortilla soup.


The history of Applebee’s chicken tortilla soup dates back to the early days of the restaurant chain. It was first introduced on the menu in the late 1980s as a limited-time offer, but it quickly gained popularity among diners. The flavorful combination of chicken, tortilla strips, and savory broth became an instant hit.


Over the years, Applebee’s chicken tortilla soup has undergone several changes and enhancements to meet the evolving taste preferences of customers. The soup went through a period of experimentation, with the addition of new ingredients and spices to further enhance its flavor profile.

Introduction of New Ingredients

One significant change in the evolution of Applebee’s chicken tortilla soup was the introduction of new ingredients to the recipe. The original version primarily consisted of chicken, tortilla strips, and a flavorful broth. However, as diners’ palates evolved, Applebee’s decided to add various vegetables such as corn, tomatoes, and onions, to create a more robust and satisfying soup.

Enhanced Flavors and Spices

To make the chicken tortilla soup even more irresistible, Applebee’s included a range of spices and seasonings. The addition of spices like cumin, chili powder, and paprika brought a delightful kick to the soup’s flavor profile. The blend of these spices contributed to the unique taste that sets Applebee’s chicken tortilla soup apart from other versions in the market.

Why Customers Love Applebee’s Chicken Tortilla Soup

Applebee’s chicken tortilla soup stands out for several reasons, making it a favorite among diners:

  1. Rich and Flavorful Broth: The soup’s broth is a harmonious blend of savory flavors that perfectly complement the ingredients. Every spoonful bursts with rich flavors that keep customers coming back for more.
  2. Generous Amount of Ingredients: Applebee’s chicken tortilla soup is not just broth with a few bits of chicken and tortilla strips. Each bowl is packed with a generous amount of tender chicken chunks, crunchy tortilla strips, flavorful vegetables, and a variety of spices.
  3. Textural Contrast: The combination of the tender chicken, crunchy tortilla strips, and crisp vegetables creates a delightful textural contrast in every spoonful. It adds an element of surprise and keeps diners engaged throughout their meal.
  4. Customizable Toppings: Customers have the option to customize their soup by adding toppings such as shredded cheese, sour cream, or fresh cilantro, enhancing the flavors even further. It allows diners to tailor the soup to their personal taste preferences.

In conclusion, the history of Applebee’s chicken tortilla soup showcases its evolution to meet the changing preferences of customers. The addition of new ingredients, enhanced flavors, and the unique textural contrast are the key factors that set this soup apart and make it a beloved dish among Applebee’s patrons. Whether you’re a long-time fan or a first-time visitor, the irresistible taste of Applebee’s chicken tortilla soup is sure to leave you wanting more.

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Ingredients that Make it Perfect

When it comes to Applebee’s chicken tortilla soup, there are a few key ingredients that contribute to its authentic and irresistible flavor. From the mouthwatering chicken to the aromatic spices and seasonings, as well as the vibrant vegetables and garnishes, each component plays a crucial role in creating this beloved dish.

Chicken as the Base Protein

At the heart of Applebee’s chicken tortilla soup lies the flavorful and tender chicken. This protein-packed ingredient serves as the base for the soup, adding depth and richness to every spoonful. The chicken in this recipe is typically shredded, allowing it to effortlessly blend with the other flavors and textures in the soup. To achieve the perfect chicken for your homemade version, you can either use cooked chicken breasts or rotisserie chicken.

Pro Tip: For a shortcut, opt for store-bought rotisserie chicken as it is already seasoned and juicy, saving you time and effort.

Spices and Seasonings

One of the secrets to the amazing flavor of Applebee’s chicken tortilla soup lies in the carefully selected spices and seasonings. A perfect balance of spices adds a delightful kick to the soup, while enhancing the overall taste. Common spices and seasonings used include chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. These ingredients come together to create a harmonious blend of flavors that make this soup truly irresistible.

️ Pro Tip: Feel free to adjust the spice level according to your personal preference. If you enjoy a spicier kick, you can add a pinch of cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes to the mix.

Vegetables and Garnishes

No soup is complete without an array of colorful and fresh vegetables. In Applebee’s chicken tortilla soup, you’ll find a medley of veggies that not only add a burst of flavor but also contribute to the overall texture and visual appeal. The most common vegetables used in this recipe include tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, and corn. These veggies bring a refreshing and crisp element to the soup, making each spoonful satisfyingly hearty.

Pro Tip: Aside from the traditional vegetables, you can also personalize your soup by adding extras like diced avocado, cilantro, or a squeeze of lime juice as garnishes. These additional touches can elevate the flavors and provide a refreshing twist.

By carefully selecting and combining these key ingredients, you’ll be able to recreate the iconic Applebee’s chicken tortilla soup in your own kitchen. From the succulent chicken to the flavorful spices and vibrant vegetables, each element contributes to the soup’s authentic taste and texture. So why not give it a try and enjoy a bowl of this irresistible soup whenever you’re craving a comforting and satisfying meal!

Preparing and Cooking Applebee’s Chicken Tortilla Soup

If you’re a fan of Applebee’s chicken tortilla soup, you’ll be excited to learn that you can recreate this delicious dish in the comfort of your own home. With just a few simple steps, you can enjoy a bowl of this irresistible soup anytime you want. So put on your apron and get ready to impress your family and friends with your culinary skills!

Prepping the Ingredients

Before you start cooking, you’ll need to gather all the necessary ingredients for Applebee’s chicken tortilla soup.

  1. Chicken: The star of the show, you’ll need boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
  2. Vegetables: Grab some onions, garlic, green bell peppers, and jalapenos for added flavor.
  3. Spices: Gather your pantry essentials such as chili powder, cumin, and salt.
  4. Broth: You’ll need chicken broth to create the base for the soup.
  5. Tomatoes: Fresh or canned diced tomatoes will give the soup a tangy kick.
  6. Corn Tortillas: These will be used to make crispy tortilla strips for garnish.
  7. Garnishes: Don’t forget to have some shredded cheese, chopped cilantro, and lime wedges handy for serving.

Once you have all the ingredients, it’s time to move on to the next step.

Cooking Techniques and Tips

Now that you have everything prepped, it’s time to cook up a batch of Applebee’s chicken tortilla soup.

Start by cooking the chicken breasts. You can either grill them or bake them in the oven until they’re fully cooked. Once done, shred the chicken using two forks. This will give the soup that classic chicken tortilla soup texture.

In a large pot, heat some oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, green bell peppers, and jalapenos. Sauté them until they’re soft and fragrant.

Add the shredded chicken, spices (chili powder, cumin, and salt), diced tomatoes, and chicken broth to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 20-30 minutes.

While the soup is simmering, it’s time to make the tortilla strips. Cut the corn tortillas into thin strips and fry them until they’re crispy. Drain them on a paper towel to remove any excess oil.

Once the soup is done simmering, it’s time to serve. Ladle the hot soup into bowls and top it with the crispy tortilla strips, shredded cheese, chopped cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice. These garnishes will add an extra layer of flavor and texture to the soup.

Now you’re ready to enjoy a steaming bowl of Applebee’s chicken tortilla soup!

Serving Suggestions and Presentation

When it comes to serving Applebee’s chicken tortilla soup, presentation is key.

Consider using colorful bowls that will complement the vibrant colors of the soup. The contrast will make the dish even more visually appealing.

You can also set up a DIY soup bar with different toppings and garnishes. This allows everyone to customize their own bowl of soup according to their taste preferences. Some additional topping ideas include avocado slices, sour cream, and salsa.

For a complete Mexican-inspired meal, serve the soup with some warm cornbread or tortilla chips on the side.

Remember, the secret to the perfect bowl of Applebee’s chicken tortilla soup is using fresh, high-quality ingredients and taking your time to let the flavors develop. So go ahead, try this recipe out and impress your loved ones with your homemade version of this classic dish!

If you’re looking for a delicious and easy chicken tortilla soup recipe, you should check out this White Castle Recipe. It’s a classic American dish that is sure to satisfy your cravings.

Variations and Customizations

When it comes to Applebee’s chicken tortilla soup, there are endless possibilities for customization to suit your taste preferences. Whether you prefer a spicy kick, are looking for vegetarian or vegan options, or want to get creative with garnishing, this article will guide you through the insider’s secret techniques. Let’s dive in and explore how you can put your own spin on this irresistible soup.

Adding a Spicy Kick

If you’re a spice lover, adding a kick to your chicken tortilla soup is a must-try. Here are some ideas to amp up the heat:

  • Jalapeños: Dice some fresh jalapeños and add them to the soup. The heat level can be adjusted by adding more or less depending on your tolerance.
  • Hot sauce: Drizzle your favorite hot sauce over the soup before serving. Choose from classic options like Tabasco or go for a unique flavor with Sriracha.
  • Spicy seasoning: Sprinkle some chili powder, cayenne pepper, or crushed red pepper flakes into the soup while it simmers to infuse it with a fiery flavor.

By incorporating these spicy elements, you can take Applebee’s chicken tortilla soup to a whole new level of heat and intensity. Don’t forget to keep a glass of water handy, just in case!

Vegetarian and Vegan Options

If you follow a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, you don’t have to miss out on the deliciousness of Applebee’s chicken tortilla soup. Here’s how you can adapt the recipe to meet your dietary preferences:

  • Substitute chicken: Replace the chicken in the recipe with protein alternatives like tofu, tempeh, or seitan. These plant-based options will add a similar texture and absorb the flavors of the soup.
  • Vegetable broth: Instead of using chicken broth, opt for vegetable broth to create the base of your soup. It will provide a rich and savory flavor that complements the other ingredients.
  • Additional veggies: Add more vegetables to the soup to enhance its nutritional value. Consider ingredients like corn, bell peppers, zucchini, or spinach for added texture and taste.

With these modifications, you can enjoy a vegetarian or vegan version of Applebee’s chicken tortilla soup without compromising on taste or your dietary choices.

Creative Garnishing Ideas

Garnishing your soup can take it from ordinary to extraordinary. Here are some creative ideas to make your Applebee’s chicken tortilla soup visually appealing and even more appetizing:

  • Tortilla strip design: Instead of simply scattering tortilla strips on top, arrange them in a creative design, such as a swirl or crisscross pattern. This will add a touch of elegance to your soup.
  • Avocado slices: Place thinly sliced avocado on top of your soup. The creamy texture and vibrant green color will make the dish pop.
  • Cilantro and lime: Sprinkle freshly chopped cilantro and squeeze a fresh lime wedge over the soup just before serving. This will add brightness and freshness to each spoonful.

Remember, garnishing is an opportunity to showcase your creativity and make the dish visually appealing. Feel free to experiment with different toppings and find your favorite combination.

With these insider’s tips, you can customize Applebee’s chicken tortilla soup as per your preferences. Whether you’re adding a spicy kick, exploring vegetarian or vegan options, or getting creative with garnishing, this iconic soup will become a masterpiece in your kitchen. So, grab your apron and get ready to embark on a flavorful culinary adventure!

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Soup for All Seasons

Discover why Applebee’s chicken tortilla soup can be enjoyed year-round and for any occasion.

Applebee’s chicken tortilla soup is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed any time of year. Whether you are craving a hot and comforting soup during the colder months or looking for a refreshing and flavorful option during the summer, this soup is the perfect choice.

One of the reasons why Applebee’s chicken tortilla soup is so popular is because of its rich and robust flavors. The combination of tender chicken, vegetables, spices, and tortilla strips creates a harmonious blend that is both satisfying and delicious.

During the colder months, this soup provides a warm and hearty meal that is perfect for cozying up indoors. The warm broth and spicy flavors will warm you from the inside out, making it an ideal choice for chilly evenings or when you’re feeling under the weather.

Pro Tip: Add a squeeze of fresh lime juice for an extra burst of flavor!

On the other hand, during the summer months, Applebee’s chicken tortilla soup offers a refreshing and light option that won’t weigh you down. The soup is packed with fresh ingredients like tomatoes, onions, and cilantro, which add a burst of freshness and brightness to each spoonful.

☀️ Pro Tip: Garnish the soup with avocado slices to add a creamy and cooling element.

Pairing Suggestions and Complementary Dishes

When it comes to pairing Applebee’s chicken tortilla soup with other dishes, the options are endless. The soup’s bold flavors and textures make it a great accompaniment to a variety of dishes.

For a complete and satisfying meal, consider pairing the soup with a fresh salad or a side of Mexican rice. The crispness of the salad or the fluffy rice perfectly complements the heartiness of the soup.

Pro Tip: Try a side of Applebee’s Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad for a well-rounded and flavorful meal.

If you are in the mood for something indulgent, why not try pairing the soup with some crispy chicken tenders or a cheesy quesadilla? The contrasting textures and flavors will satisfy your cravings and take your meal to the next level.

Pro Tip: Add a side of Applebee’s Classic Chicken Tenders for a delectable combination.

Serving Size Options for Individuals and Groups

Applebee’s offers different serving size options for both individuals and groups, making it a versatile choice for any occasion.

For individuals looking for a satisfying and filling meal, the regular serving size of Applebee’s chicken tortilla soup is perfect. The generous portion of soup, topped with crispy tortilla strips, will leave you feeling satisfied and content.

Pro Tip: Share the regular serving size of the soup as a starter before indulging in your main course.

If you are dining with a group or hosting a gathering, Applebee’s also offers a family-size serving of the chicken tortilla soup. This larger portion is perfect for sharing and ensures that everyone can enjoy this delicious soup together.

Pro Tip: Order the family-size serving of the soup for your next gathering and watch it disappear!

Soup Storage and Reheating Tips

Have some leftover Applebee’s chicken tortilla soup? Don’t worry, it’s easy to store and reheat for future enjoyment.

When storing the soup, transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate it promptly. This will help maintain the freshness of the ingredients and prevent any contamination.

⚠️ Note: Remember to store the soup in the refrigerator within 2 hours of serving to ensure food safety.

To reheat the soup, simply transfer it to a saucepan and warm it over medium heat until it reaches your desired temperature. Stir occasionally to ensure even heating.

Pro Tip: Add some extra tortilla strips and shredded cheese when reheating the soup for added texture and flavor.

Now that you know the insider’s secret to Applebee’s irresistible chicken tortilla soup, you can enjoy this delicious dish year-round and for any occasion. Whether you’re looking for a comforting meal on a cold winter day or a refreshing option in the summer, this soup will never disappoint.

Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you for taking the time to read our article on Applebee’s Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe. We hope you found it informative and helpful. If you have any further questions or inquiries, please have a look at the FAQs below. We’ll be glad to assist you!

No. Questions Answers
1. Is this recipe spicy? Yes, this recipe does have a bit of spice to it. However, you can adjust the level of spiciness according to your preference by reducing or omitting the amount of chili powder and cayenne pepper.
2. Can I substitute the chicken with another protein? Certainly! If you’re not a fan of chicken or prefer another protein, you can substitute it with diced beef, shrimp, or even tofu for a vegetarian option. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
3. Is it possible to make this recipe dairy-free? Absolutely! If you have dietary restrictions or simply prefer a dairy-free version, you can substitute regular milk and cheese with plant-based alternatives like almond milk and dairy-free cheese. It will still taste delicious!
4. Can I freeze the leftovers? Definitely! This recipe is freezer-friendly. Simply let the soup cool completely, transfer it to an airtight container or freezer bags, and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and warm it up on the stovetop.
5. Can I use store-bought tortilla chips instead of making my own? Of course! If you’re short on time or prefer the convenience, you can use store-bought tortilla chips instead of making your own. Just crush them into smaller pieces before serving and enjoy!
6. How can I adjust the recipe to make it less spicy? If you prefer a milder flavor, you can reduce the amount of chili powder and cayenne pepper or omit them entirely. Additionally, adding a dollop of sour cream or a sprinkle of shredded cheese when serving can help balance out the heat.

Thanks for Reading!

We hope you enjoyed learning how to recreate Applebee’s famous Chicken Tortilla Soup in the comfort of your own kitchen. Remember to bookmark this page for future reference, as we will be regularly updating it with more delicious recipes and cooking tips. If you have any feedback or suggestions, feel free to leave a comment below. Happy cooking!

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The Insider's Secret to Applebee's Irresistible Chicken Tortilla Soup | 101 Simple Recipe

Applebee's Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

Learn how to make Applebee's famous Chicken Tortilla Soup at home with this easy-to-follow recipe. It's packed with flavorful ingredients and topped with crispy tortilla strips. Perfect for a cozy night in!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4
Calories 350 kcal


  • 1 lb chicken breast cooked and shredded
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper diced (optional)
  • 1 can 14.5 oz diced tomatoes
  • 1 can 10 oz red enchilada sauce
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup crushed tortilla chips
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Cilantro chopped (for garnish)


  • In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add diced onion, garlic, green bell pepper, and jalapeno pepper. Cook until vegetables are softened.
  • Add diced tomatoes, red enchilada sauce, chicken broth, chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine.
  • Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
  • Add the shredded chicken to the pot and simmer for an additional 5 minutes, until heated through.
  • Serve the soup hot, topped with crushed tortilla chips, shredded cheddar cheese, and chopped cilantro. Enjoy!
Keyword Applebee's, chicken tortilla soup, recipe, copycat, soup, Mexican