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  • Brianna Rhodes, RD, CD

Chicken Tortilla Soup & Cornbread

Can I just say “Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!” This Chicken Tortilla Soup is packed with chicken, black beans and avocado. Paired with the best cornbread you have ever tasted, this will be a hit with your family. Give it a try tonight!

Some times I make a meal because it is healthy and nutritious. Sometimes I make a meal just because it tastes amazing. The real star of this meal is the cornbread—and that’s saying something because the soup is really really good too!

I’ll be honest, I’ve been wanting to try this cornbread recipe for a while, but I needed to find the right meal to pair it with. Traditionally its chili and cornbread. However I just wasn’t in the mood for chili. Plus it’s hard to make good chili that isn’t spicy, so it’s not real kid-friendly. I decided to break out of the norm and pair my cornbread with Tortilla soup. The soup is actually light enough that you really can enjoy your cornbread too!

First the soup—it was incredibly easy, and it’s prepared using only 1 pot. (The fewer the dishes the better in my book!) First, use your big soup pot to saute the onions and garlic. Next add the seasonings and mix it around for 30 seconds. Then add the broth and the raw chicken. Let it cook right in the broth. I recommend slicing the chicken breast into smaller pieces in order to reduce the time needed to accomplish this step.

Once the chicken is cooked through, pull it out to shred it. Add the remaining ingredients to the pot, including the shredded chicken, and presto! You have delicious soup in 30 minutes or less.

The key to amazing tortilla soup though is the fresh avocado. This topping should not be skipped. Add a little creaminess with sour cream and cheese, and top with a little crunch from some crushed tortilla chips. All this adds up to perfection in tortilla soup.

This recipe has a slight kick to it. The solution to make it more kid friendly was to add lots of sour cream to my kid’s portion. I use the reduced fat sour cream, so it’s not too heavy. They loved it. I want to say this was the best they’ve ever eaten soup.

Now about the cornbread. I will admit this is more like cake than bread—which is why it is so delicious. My husband and kids definitely enjoyed this one. Cornbread goes very well with honeybutter. But this particular recipe has honey and butter built right into it. So nothing extra is needed here. It is super moist, and tasty, though certainly not “light”. Enjoy your cornbread, but don’t over-do it!

The Meal:

  • 14 oz portion of Tortilla Soup (about 2 cups)

  • 1/3 cup diced avocado

  • 2 Tbsp reduced fat sour cream

  • ½ oz shredded cheese

  • 5 chips (crushed)

  • 1 piece of cornbread (1/9 of the recipe)

Recipes Used in this meal:


Chicken Tortilla Soup

Serving size: 14 oz portion

Servings per Recipe: 9


  • 1 cup onion (diced)

  • 1 tsp minced garlic

  • 1 tsp paprika

  • 2 tsp chili powder

  • 1 ½ tsp ground cumin

  • 2 quarts water

  • 2 Tbsp chicken bouillon

  • 1 lb chicken breast

  • 1 cup 2% milk

  • 1/3 cup flour (or masa harina for gluten free)

  • 1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes & green chiles

  • 2 cans black beans

Toppings: Avocado, shredded Mexican blend cheese, sour cream, crushed tortilla chips


  1. Spray the bottom of a large soup pot with cooking spray. Add diced onion and minced garlic and sauté until the onion is soft/translucent.

  2. Add the paprika, chili powder and cumin. Allow to cook for about 30 seconds.

  3. Add water and chicken bouillon. Bring to a boil stirring occasionally.

  4. While waiting for the broth to boil, slice the chicken into thin strips. Once the broth is boiling, add the raw chicken into the soup pot. Boil for 10 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°. Remove the chicken, shred, and set aside.

  5. In a small cup, combine flour and milk. Stir vigorously until well combined and not lumpy. Stir into the boiling broth and cook until slightly thickened (about 2 minutes).

  6. Add diced tomatoes & green chilies. Add beans. Return shredded chicken to the soup pot. Stir to combine and simmer 10 minutes. Serve hot topped with avocado, sour cream, cheese and chips.



Serving size: 1 square

Servings per Recipe: 9


  • ½ cup butter (melted)

  • ½ cup sugar

  • ¼ cup honey

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • 1 cup flour

  • 1 cup cornmeal

  • ½ tsp salt

  • ½ tsp baking soda


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Grease an 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray.

  2. In a large bowl, combine the melted butter, sugar and honey. Stir to combine. Add eggs and beat until the mixture is smooth. Add the buttermilk and stir to combine.

  3. In a small bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, salt and baking soda. Stir to combine.

  4. Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Stir until well combined and smooth. Pour batter into the baking dish and allow to rest for 3 minutes before baking.

  5. Bake at 375° for 25-35 minutes. The top should be firm and golden brown. Serve warm.

Helpful Hint: If you don’t have buttermilk, you can substitute 1 Tbsp of lemon juice + enough milk to equal 1 cup. Let it sit for 5 minutes before using it in the recipe.


Nutrition Facts Label for Entire Meal:

Nutrition Facts Label for Tortilla Soup:

Nutrition Facts Label for Tortilla Soup with Toppings:

Nutrition Facts Label for Cornbread:

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