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Vegetarian Tortilla Soup (With Jackfruit Chicken)

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This easy vegetarian tortilla soup will quickly become one of your all-time favorites! It is smoky, warming, and packed with so much flavor. With a variety of toppings to fully customize your bowl, this is a wonderful soup for entertaining and it’s great for the entire family.

A bowl of tortilla soup next to an avocado half, a lime slice, and tortilla chips.

Having been a vegetarian my whole life, I had never had tortilla soup. I would attend get-togethers where there were different soup options and envy those who had the tortilla soup.

I finally decided to make my soup dreams come true this year and this delicious, hearty, and flavorful soup is what I came up with. Traditional tortilla soup is made with shredded chicken, so this recipe uses jackfruit to replicate that texture. I can’t claim it is the most authentic tortilla soup recipe, but it is a delicious, hearty soup for vegetarians and omnivores alike. Once you give it a try, you’ll be craving it every snowy winter night! I especially love to make it early in the day and have a pot ready to go that evening when I know it’s going to be chilly. 

My favorite part of this tortilla soup is the toppings. It’s good on its own, but it’s incredible when you load it up with a variety of flavor- and texture-adding toppings! It’s a great crowd pleaser for serving to guests, too, because each person gets to choose what they want to put on their bowl to suit their personal preferences. 

How to Make Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

This is as easy as soup can get! All you need to do is sauté the onions and jackfruit, sauté the garlic, then add the rest of the ingredients and simmer 20 – 30 minutes. I usually prep the toppings while the soup is simmering and the whole meal comes together in 45 or so minutes. If you have the time, I do prefer the soup when it’s been slowly simmered for a longer time. The flavor really infuses the jackfruit and the beans get nice and soft, but you’ll still get a delicious soup no matter how much time you have!

A closeup of a bowl of vegetarian tortilla soup

What to Serve with the Soup

As I said, I love piling my tortilla soup high with many tasty garnishes to spice it up! I like to have cubed avocado, sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped green onions, fresh cilantro, and crunchy tortilla strips. If you want to take it even further, you could top it with fire-roasted corn, black olives, guacamole, or cotija cheese. I put all of the toppings in small dishes and serve them buffet-style so each person can top their own soup with their garnishes of choice. It makes the meal more fun and more flavorful!

As for sides, you can get creative or forgo them altogether. If I want an easy weeknight dinner, I will often serve the soup with just the toppings and maybe some warm corn tortillas. For a more robust meal, some great side options are:

  • Spanish rice
  • Refried beans
  • Tortilla chips and guacamole
  • Taco salad
  • Mexican slaw
  • Quesadillas
  • Baked tacos
  • Cornbread

Vegan Tortilla Soup

Can you make this soup vegan? Other than the sour cream and cheese toppings, it already is! The base of the soup is entirely vegan and with dairy-free toppings, it will be all set for a satisfying plant-based meal.

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Looking down on a bowl of vegetarian tortilla soup. Next to it are an avocado half, a green onion, tortilla chips, and lime slices.

What is Jackfruit?

Jackfruit is a large, tropical fruit that is grown in South America, Asia, and Africa. It has a thick, bumpy rind and yellow flesh inside. The flesh, when cooked, easily separates into shreds that resemble pulled pork or chicken. Because of this, jackfruit is an increasingly common substitute for chicken and pork in vegetarian and vegan recipes. While you can find fresh jackfruit in some grocery stores, it is a challenge to prepare because of its size and thick rind. For that reason, we are using canned jackfruit in this tortilla soup recipe.

Where Do I Buy Jackfruit?

While jackfruit has gained popularity in recent years, it still isn’t the easiest to find. I buy it canned from Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and Sprouts. If you can’t find it in your available grocery stores, I’ve found it on Amazon.

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup Ingredients

  • Yellow Onion
  • Bell pepper
  • Chipotle pepper in adobo
  • Cumin
  • Chili powder
  • Fire-roasted tomatoes
  • Tomato paste
  • Black beans
  • Jackfruit
  • Vegetable stock

Optional toppings: fresh cilantro, lime, avocado, sour cream, shredded cheese, green onions, corn tortilla strips

Don’t miss these other delicious vegetarian soup recipes:

Looking down on a bowl of tortilla soup next to an avocado half, lime slices, green onions, and tortilla chips

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

This easy veggie tortilla soup will quickly become one of your all-time favorites! It is smoky, warming, and packed with so much flavor.


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ 7-ounce can of chipotle in adobo, or to taste
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 15-ounce can of fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 15-ounce cans of black beans
  • 1 can of jackfruit (14-ounce or 20-ounce)
  • 8 cups vegetable stock


  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and sauté bell peppers and onions until soft.
  2. Add spices and garlic, then sauté another 1-2 minutes.
  3. Drain and rinse black beans. Drain jackfruit, remove seeds, and pull chunks apart into shreds.
  4. Remove the seeds from the chipotle peppers and chop them finely.*
  5. Add the chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, tomato paste, tomatoes, beans, jackfruit, and vegetable broth, and place the lid on the pot.
  6. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer over medium-low heat.
  7. Simmer soup 20-30 minutes.
  8. Serve with limes, cilantro, avocado, sour cream, shredded cheese, green onions, and crispy tortilla strips.


*If you are sensitive to spicy foods, I recommend using less chipotle peppers and tasting it before adding the full amount.

a bowl of tortilla soup

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