Dinner, Gluten Free, Healthy, Meat/Poultry, Soup

Smoky Chipotle Meatball Tortilla Soup

This rich and flavorful meatball tortilla soup is loaded with seasoned chicken or turkey meatballs and simmered in a smoky chipotle pepper broth. Topped off with crunchy tortilla chips and all your favorite toppings for a delicious, satisfying meal in under an hour.

Smoky Chipotle Meatball Tortilla Soup

How to Make Meatball Tortilla Soup

Something that I love about this meatball tortilla soup (aside from the taste) is how the meatballs bake in the oven while the sauce comes together over the stove. Many other meatball soup recipes I’ve tried always call for pan frying the meatballs in loads of oil. Not only is this difficult with a low fat protein like chicken or turkey, it takes longer and makes a mess. It may not be a one-pot meal, but I think dirtying a sheet pan is definitely worth it.

To make the meatball mixture, start by chopping up your aromatics really small. Heat some oil in a pan and toss in that onion, jalapeño garlic and spices to sauté for a few minutes. Cooking these ingredients before adding them to the meatballs is going to concentrate their flavor and get rid of any excess moisture that would make the meatballs watery.

Now here’s the trick: transfer half of that sautéed mixture to a plate and put it in the fridge to chill. The rest that’s still in the pan is going to become the base for our broth once the meatballs go in the oven.

It’s important to let the aromatics cool completely before mixing them in with the ground turkey or they will begin to cook meat in the bowl! After five or so minutes of refrigeration they should be good to go. Combine the sautéed veggies with the ground meat, chopped cilantro and some crushed corn tortilla chips. Similar to breadcrumbs in traditional meatballs, these will act as a binder.

Shape the meatballs into balls, I ended up with about 12. The mixture will be quite sticky, so I like to oil my hands. You could also use water, but oil will give the meatballs a nice crisp outside. Send those in the oven to bake until they’re just cooked. It’s totally fine if they’re even a little raw in the center, they will continue cooking in the broth.

While the meatballs are in the oven, make the broth. Super simple, just return to those sautéed veggies still in the skillet and add some fire roasted tomatoes, chipotles in adobo (plus some of that smoky sauce), a little sugar and chicken broth. Bring that up to a boil and add in your meatballs once they come out of the oven. Simmer everything together for another 10 or so minutes to allow the meatballs finish cooking and the flavors to meld.

Smoky chipotle meatball tortilla soup

What to Serve with Meatball Tortilla Soup

While the meatballs and broth are delicious, this meatball tortilla soup is all about the toppings. Tortilla chips are a given, but feel free to play around with your favorites. Here are some ideas:

  • Tortilla chips (Store-bought works, but homemade is even better!)
  • Avocado
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Sour cream or yogurt
  • Brown or white rice
  • Sliced radishes or jalapeños
  • Cotija, shredded cheese or dairy free alternative
Smoky chipotle meatball tortilla soup

More Mexican Inspired Recipes to Try

Yield: 3-4 servings

Smoky Chipotle Meatball Tortilla Soup

Smoky Chipotle Meatball Tortilla Soup

Mexican Inspired chicken or turkey meatballs simmered in a smoky tomato sauce with crunchy tortilla chips served with all the toppings.

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup crushed corn tortilla chips
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lb ground turkey or chicken
  • 1 28 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, seeded and chopped + 3 tbsp adobo sauce
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 3/4 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • Tortilla chips, avocado and cilantro for serving


    1. Preheat the oven to 425 F.
    2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When shimmering, add the onion and sauté for 5-7 minutes or until softened. Add the jalapeño, garlic, spices and salt. Cook for another 2 minutes, until fragrant. Turn off the heat and transfer half the onion mixture to a plate, leaving the rest in the skillet. Place the plate in the fridge to cool completely.
    3. Once cooled, add the onion mixture to a large bowl along with the ground turkey, tortilla chips and cilantro. Mix to combine.
    4. Using well-oiled hands, roll into 12 balls, about 3 tbsp each. Place on the baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. (It’s ok if they are still raw in the center, they will continue cooking in the broth).
    5. While the meatballs bake, add the fire roasted tomatoes, chipotles in adobo, adobo sauce, chicken stock and sugar to the skillet with the remaining onion mixture. Bring to a boil and add the meatballs. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the meatballs are cooked through. About 10-15 minutes.
    6. Remove from the heat and stir in lime juice. Serve warm with desired toppings.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 589Total Fat: 40gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 27gCholesterol: 140mgSodium: 1423mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 9gSugar: 9gProtein: 40g

All nutritional info is an estimation

Did you make this recipe?

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