Best Vegan Tortilla Soup

Learn how to make the best vegan tortilla soup with this easy recipe. Enjoy it for lunch or dinner with plant-based shredded cheese, fresh cilantro, avocado, and a squeeze of lime juice.

Kirsten Nunez, MS

By Kirsten Nunez, MS

2 Ratings

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A bowl of vegan tortilla soup, garnished with shredded vegan cheese, avocado, crispy tortilla strips, and fresh cilantro.
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

What’s hearty, nutritious, and oh-so-easy to make? This vegan tortilla soup recipe, of course.

Featuring a base of canned fire-roasted tomatoes and homemade vegetable broth, this chunky soup tastes like a deconstructed vegan taco.

It also uses many ingredients traditionally found in Mexican cuisine, including beans, chili powder, and cilantro. The real stars of the show, however, are the tortillas.

In this recipe, soft corn tortillas are mixed into the actual soup, which adds thickness and texture. The soup is also topped with crispy tortilla strips.  

Serve this vegan and vegetarian Mexican recipe as part of your vegan Cinco de Mayo spread (or whenever you’re craving a mouthwatering meal).

Key Ingredients

Vegan tortilla soup ingredients: vegetable broth, canned tomatoes, tomato paste corn, beans, onion, tortillas, and spices.
Photo: Kirsten Nunez
  • Canned diced tomatoes. We recommend fire-roasted tomatoes for maximum flavor, but regular canned tomatoes work just as well. 
  • Vegetable broth. For the best flavor, use homemade vegan vegetable broth.
  • Beans. The protein in this recipe comes from beans. You can use white, red, or black beans, or even a combination of all three.
  • Chili powder. Of course, no tortilla soup is complete without chili powder.
  • Corn tortillas. Both white and yellow corn tortillas work well in this dish. For a shortcut, use tortilla chips.

How to Make Vegan Tortilla Soup

This hearty and delicious soup comes together in about an hour. What’s more, as with any other vegan soup, you can customize the ingredients based on what you have on hand.

Read on for the step-by-step instructions for making vegan tortilla soup.

1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons oil. 

Add the onions, jalapeños, spices, and tomato paste. Stir and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for another 1 minute.

Cooking onions and vegetables with tomato paste in a large pot.
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

2. Add the canned tomatoes, broth, beans, and corn. Stir and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, partially covered, or until slightly reduced. To thicken the soup, simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes.

A large pot with broth, beans, corn, and canned tomatoes added.
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

3. While the soup is simmering, prepare the corn tortillas. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Next, stack 2 tortillas on a cutting board and slice into squares. Set aside.

A corn tortilla on a cutting board cut into squares.
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

4. Stack 4 corn tortillas on a cutting board. Cut into strips.

Corn tortillas on a cutting board cut into thin strips.
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

5. Add the thin strips of tortilla to a bowl. Drizzle with oil and toss well.

Strips of corn tortillas in a bowl, drizzled with oil.
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

6. Transfer the tortilla strips to the baking sheet in an even, single layer.

Tortilla strips arranged on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

7. Bake for 10 minutes, flipping once half way.

Baked tortilla chips on a baking sheet.
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

8. After the soup is done simmering, give it a taste. Add more salt, black pepper, cumin, or oregano, depending on your preference. When it’s ready, add the tortilla squares and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring constantly. 

Vegan tortilla soup in a large pot with the tortilla squares added.
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

9. Spoon the soup into bowls. Garnish with your favorite Mexican food toppings, such as diced avocado, fresh cilantro, vegan sour cream, and vegan cheese. Finish it off with baked tortilla strips and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

A bowl of vegan tortilla soup, garnished with shredded vegan cheese, avocado, crispy tortilla strips, and fresh cilantro.
Photo: Kirsten Nunez

Recipe Tips, Variations, and Substitutions

  • Use your favorite plant protein. If you don’t have or like beans, try tempeh or plant-based meat crumbles.
  • Add more spices. Elevate the soup’s flavor with 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika or cayenne. 
  • Mix in greens. For even more vitamins and fiber, add a few handfuls of baby kale or spinach. The leafy greens will easily cook down without significantly altering the recipe. 
  • Use store-bought chips or strips. If you’re pressed for time, replace the soft tortillas with broken chips or pre-packed crispy tortilla strips. 

How Do You Store Vegan Tortilla Soup?

Store leftover vegan tortilla soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Enjoy within 3 to 4 days. You can reheat the soup on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Serving Suggestions

Best Vegan Tortilla Soup

Learn how to make the best vegan tortilla soup with this easy recipe. Enjoy it for lunch or dinner with plant-based shredded cheese, fresh cilantro, avocado, and a squeeze of lime juice.
Click stars below to rate, or leave a full review in the comments
2 Ratings
Print Rate it Now Pin Recipe
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Diet: Vegan
Keyword: mexican food, vegan soup, vegan tortilla soup
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 234kcal
Author: Kirsten Nunez, MS

Ingredients

Vegan Tortilla Soup

Toppings

Instructions

  • In a large pot over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons oil. Add the onions, jalapenos, spices, and tomato paste. Stir and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for another 1 minute.
  • Add the canned tomatoes, broth, beans, and corn. Stir and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, partially covered, or until slightly reduced. To thicken the soup, simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes.
  • While the soup is simmering, prepare the corn tortillas. Preheat the oven to 400° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Next, stack 2 tortillas on a cutting board and slice into squares. Set aside.
  • Stack 4 corn tortillas on a cutting board. Cut into strips. Add the thin strips of tortilla to a bowl. Drizzle with oil and toss well.
  • Transfer the tortilla strips to the baking sheet in an even, single layer. Bake for 10 minutes, flipping once half way.
  • After the soup is done simmering, give it a taste. Add more salt, black pepper, cumin, or oregano, depending on your preference. When it’s ready, add the tortilla squares and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring constantly. 
  • Spoon the soup into bowls. Garnish with your favorite Mexican food toppings, such as diced avocado, fresh cilantro, vegan sour cream, and vegan cheese. Finish it off with baked tortilla strips and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

Notes

  • If you don’t have or like beans, try tempeh or plant-based meat crumbles.
  • Elevate the soup’s flavor with 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika or cayenne. 
  • For even more vitamins and fiber, add a few handfuls of baby kale or spinach. The leafy greens will easily cook down without significantly altering the recipe. 
  • If you’re pressed for time, replace the soft tortillas with broken chips or pre-packed crispy tortilla strips. 
  • Store leftover vegan tortilla soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Enjoy within 3 to 4 days. You can reheat the soup on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Recommended Tools & Products

Large bowl

Nutrition

Calories: 234kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Sodium: 1281mg | Potassium: 452mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1133IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 101mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @CleanGreenSimple or tag #CleanGreenSimple!
Kirsten Nunez

About the Author

Kirsten Nunez

Contributing Writer

Kirsten is a journalist who focuses on healthy food and cooking. Her vegan and plant-based recipes have appeared on VegNews, eHow, Shape, and more. When she’s not creating and photographing vegan recipes for Clean Green Simple, you can find her experimenting in the kitchen and sharing plant-based meals with friends and family. More articles by Kirsten.

Kirsten Nunez, MS

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