Copycat Max & Erma’s Tortilla Soup

This is a max and erma tortilla soup copycat recipe. If you like this soup, then this copycat recipe is for you!

On a cold winters day nothing warms quite like a bowl of soup… especially one with a little bit of spice in it. Think of it as a bowl of chicken soup with attitude!  We LOVE Max & Erma’s and this soup is as close as a copy cat as we can get!  If you are looking for a good max and erma tortilla soup copycat recipe, this is for you.

This is a max and erma tortilla soup copycat recipe. If you like this soup, then this copycat recipe is for you!

The smooth and cheesy broth meshes perfectly with the chicken and is balanced by the subtle heat of the salsa. The tortilla chips work in two ways with this soup, the chips that sink into the soup act as a salty thickener, working to provide a more hearty meal… while the chips above the soup provide a wonderful crunchy texture.

This is a max and erma tortilla soup copycat recipe. If you like this soup, then this copycat recipe is for you!

Cilantro is an optional topping for this soup, some people love the flavor it imparts to the liquid, some people strongly oppose the idea of cilantro to anything.

Copycat Max & Erma's Tortilla Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 6
  • 1 can reduced fat mushroom soup (10¾ oz cans)
  • 2 cans reduced fat cream of chicken soup (10¾ oz cans)
  • 1 can cheddar soup
  • 2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • ½ can rotel tomatoes
  • ½ jar or 1 cup picante salsa (medium or hot variety)
  • 1 can green chilies diced and pureed
  • 2 garlic gloves minced
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 8 oz chicken cooked and diced into chunks
  • ½ lb 2% colby cheese, shredded
  • Tortila strips to garnish
  • Cilantro to garnish
  1. In a pan over low heat combine the four cans of soup, whisking together until smooth.
  2. Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, salsa, green chilies, onion powder and minced garlic to the pan.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring to keep the soup from sticking.
  4. Reduce the heat and simmer the ingredients together for one hour.
  5. After an hour of simmering add the chicken breast chunks to the mixture and simmer for another 30 minutes.


    • Anonymous says

      You are adding chicken broth which is additional liquid, so I would say no. Unless the diecrections say to follow directions on can as well, just stick the instructions they give. You can, however make a few changes or additions, like, adding some chopped cilantro or sliced green onions as a garnish, or additional cheese. I would use chicken from a rotisserie chicken, as it’s a nice texture and flavor for soup. I’d also use green tomatillo salsa instead of the mild or medium picante. I like that flavor better. You can adjust it make it to your liking, when the basic soup base is done. Interesting recipe.

  1. cydnee says

    When i combine the soups.. do i add a can of milk or water with eat can of soup 9like the directions say on the can of soup)… or do i leave it just condensed?

    • says

      Cyndee, when you prepare this soup you won’t prepare it via the cans instructions. You will be adding two cups of chicken broth to the recipe later which will give the soup all the moisture all it needs plus added flavor. Hope that helps.


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