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.
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.
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.
- 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
- In a pan over low heat combine the four cans of soup, whisking together until smooth.
- Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, salsa, green chilies, onion powder and minced garlic to the pan.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring to keep the soup from sticking.
- Reduce the heat and simmer the ingredients together for one hour.
- After an hour of simmering add the chicken breast chunks to the mixture and simmer for another 30 minutes.
When do you add the cheese? Is it only a garnish?
I add the cheese when I add the chicken in the last 30 minutes of cooking and reserve a small amount for garnish.
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.
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?
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.
Is it the golden mushroom soup or the cream of mushroom soup?
have you ever made the soup and froze it? How did it turn out?
Yes all the time 🙂 I’m the only one who eats this so I make it and freeze in single bowls for lunches. It works great!!!!
buddwena bean says
does it have to be mushroom soup
Yes it dose
I use cream of celery.
Nice! Dont forget the cumin.
Is the shredded colby cheese for garnish or is it supposed to be in the soup?
Debra Haskell says
There are no mushrooms in the original version so I think I’ll skip this version.
Don’t knock it until you try it. ..and definitely don’t dock stars from a recipe you haven’t made. Bad form…
Delicious! I like to use the entire can of rotel because it’s wasteful and only puts a little bit more tomatoes in it. I load mine with cheese, cilantro and tortilla chips on top and it’s delicious. Even better the next day if you make enough to store. I am entirely addicted to this recipe! I also add a little more chicken and I dice the chicken up real fine.
What is the 1/2 pound of Colby for that’s listed in recipe?
Aaron D says
This seems way overly complicated to me. for a single serving prepare one can of campbells fiesta nacho cheese soup with the milk instructed on the can. Cook about 1/4 lb of diced or shredded chicken. Add the chicken and about 1/2 cup of your favorite salsa to the soup. I like Mrs. Renfro’s ghost pepper salsa to clear my sinuses but it is waaaayyyy hotter than M&E’s. Mild or medium salsa is probably closer to M&E’s. Simmer and stir for a bit. Ladle into bowl. add nice handful of Mexican style shredded cheese and Fresh Gourmet lightly salted tortilla strips. Eat it. Multiply stuff for more servings lol.
This is the closest thing to I have found. No idea where or why cream of mushroom soup or chicken broth needs to be involved. I have never found a mushroom or any cilantro in my max and ermas tortilla soup.
Please post YOUR recipe on YOUR page. Bad form to dock stars from a recipe to promote your own.
My daughter loves Max & Erma’s Chicken Tortilla soup and encouraged me to try this recipe. I didn’t use cream of mushroom soup, but used a 3rd can of cream of chicken instead. Although I like cilantro, I didn’t have any. I read the recipe wrong, and added 1/2 c cheese instead of 1/2 lb. We crushed a few Cool Ranch Doritos on top at serving. Even with the omissions and error, this soup was very good and easy to make. I might go rogue and throw some broccoli in next time 🙂
When do you add the cheese? Or is it just a garnish?
I’ve read a few recipes for Max and Ermas, ChIckes Tortilla Soup. I’ve had it a number of times when I lived in the area so finding a copycat is a challenge. Many of these copycat recipes contain mushroom soup. Not sure where their taste buts are but there isn’t a mushroom is sight in this soup! Back to the cooking drawing board!
I love this soup!!! I was a huge fan of Max & Erma’s tortilla soup as well, and til they all closed in my area I ordered that frequently. Since they’ve closed I have made several varieties of of tortilla soup and this recipe is the best and closest by far.those who flip out over the mushroom soup, do they not understand its a combination of all the soups to crew a final taste and I defy anyone to pick out a mushroom once the chicken, tomatoes, & chilies are in it. I actually don’t like them either & they’re very easy to pick out if finding a mushroom is such a big deal. I cannot find a bad word to say about this soup, so easy and great tasting.
I made this today and it certainly is very delicious!
Can’t find cheese soup at the moment so can I supplement it with Velveeta?
Made this today for the first time and it exceeded our expectations! We miss Max & Ermas!! Thanks for sharing! ***note – I mixed everything in the crockpot and cooked on high for 4 hours. Perfect meal for a snowy day!
Max and Erma’s soup doesn’t have tomatoes in it…
I worked there and it definitely does have tomatoes. Not as many as this recipe calls for though.
Love the Max and Ermas Tortilla Soup!
Snaking this now for my husband and his football buddies for this evenings game. Stuck my finger in and tasted and it is delicious!!! Will probably make this again!!!
Making this now for my husband and his football buddies for this evenings game. Stuck my finger in and tasted and it is delicious!!! Will probably make this again!!!
I love this soup and this recipe taste just like it!!!!
When do I add the shredded cheese it’s not in tbe directiond
Moe Paulsen says
Is the Colby cheese for a topper with the chips?
Scott D Seymour says
Taste exactly like the real thing only better I minced sweet onion and added it to the soup while simmering when I go to max and ermas for the soup take out its 17 dollars a quart thanks for saving me money