Hearty Sunkist® Lemon Chicken Tortilla Soup

Serves 6

Using plenty of fresh citrus helps to reduce the salt content of this warming gluten-free soup.


  • 1½ pounds bone-in, skinless chicken thighs, fat removed
  • 5⁄8 teaspoon salt (¼ teaspoon on chicken, ¼ teaspoon in broth, ¹⁄8 teaspoon at the end)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 cup diced yellow or white onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 3 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • ¹⁄3 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 5 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 cups broken corn tortilla chips*
  • 1 large avocado, diced
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, torn or roughly chopped
  • 6 lemon wedges


Rinse chicken and pat dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle chicken with ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper.

Heat a large pot on high heat and add oil. When oil is shimmering, carefully place chicken in the pot and brown on one side, about 10 minutes. Turn and brown on the other side, about 5 minutes. The chicken will probably not be cooked all the way through. Transfer the chicken to a plate.

Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the onions and garlic to the pot, scraping the brown bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Cook the onions until translucent, about 10 minutes, reducing the heat as needed. Add the tomatoes and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.

Place the chicken and juices back in the pan and pour in the broth. Add ¼ teaspoon salt, lemon zest, cumin and oregano. Simmer 25 minutes, until the chicken is cooked all the way through. Stir in the lemon juice and ¹⁄8 teaspoon salt.

Transfer the chicken to a plate and shred the chicken off the bones using two forks. Remove the garlic cloves. Place the chicken meat back into the pot. For added flavor, you may store the bones in the soup until ready to serve.

To serve, divide the chips among wide shallow bowls. Ladle soup and sprinkle with avocados and cilantro. Serve with lemon wedges.





Nutrition Analysis (with no salt chips): 270 cal, 12 g fat, 85 mg chol, 400 mg sodium, 18 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 23 g protein.


*The sodium content of chips can vary greatly, so be sure to read the label. Look for those with 140 mg of sodium or less per serving.



Michelle Dudash, michelledudash.com, is a registered dietitian nutritionist, Cordon Bleu-certified chef and best-selling author of Clean Eating for Busy Families.