Copycat Max and Erma’s Chicken Tortilla Soup

Copycat Max and Erma’s Chicken Tortilla Soup

Winter is in full swing, cold temperatures are here to stay, and EVERYONE is sick. So… soup it is! I’ve been dying for Max and Erma’s Chicken Tortilla Soup (RIP Max and Erma’s *tear*). I went on the hunt for a copycat recipe with the best reviews and landed on this one from Now, I will say that I’m using the term “recipe” loosely here because the canned soup game is strong in this one. I mean STRONG. This also means that you can uncheck the “healthy” box on this recipe. However, if you have a craving for Max and Erma’s Chicken Tortilla Soup, this one comes fairly close, so I’ll take it! If you plan on feeding this recipe to less than an army, I suggest halving the recipe because it makes enough to feed an entire neighborhood. I also skipped making my own tortilla strips because… ain’t nobody got time for that! If you’d like to make your own, go for it… I will be impressed by your dedication to this recipe!


  • 2 cans Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 2 cans Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 2 cans Cream of Celery Soup
  • 2 cans Cheddar Cheese Soup
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans chicken broth
  • 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup picante salsa (Pace brand medium hot)
  • 1 (4 1/2 ounce) can green chilies
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 fresh garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 14 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 4 cooked chicken breasts, cut into small chunks
  • shredded Colby Jack cheese, for serving


  1. In a large (8-10 quart) stockpot combine and whisk together until smooth all eight cans of soup.
  2. Add chicken broth, tomatoes, salsa, green chiles, onion, garlic, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Bring all ingredients to a full boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 1 hour.
  3. Add cilantro and chicken breast chunks. Simmer another hour.
  4. Serve with tortilla strips, shredded cheese, and cilantro.

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