Paleo Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe + Why You Should Cut Dairy Out Of Your Diet

Paleo Chicken Tortilla Soup via Linda Wagner - Healthy eating is so much fun when you can eat amazing dishes like this one!!

It’s been pretty chilly here and I’ve had this relentless craving for chicken tortilla soup! I cleaned up the traditional recipe so this one is:

  • gluten free
  • dairy free
  • low carb
  • low cal
  • low fat
  • paleo

It is very clean, very healthy and VERY delicious! You will absolutely LOVE this recipe, GUARANTEED!

I’ve been wanting to talk about dairy and its effect on the body. I have recently removed almost 100% of the dairy from my diet and feel so much better for it. I eliminated cow dairy from my diet long ago but have since been a self proclaimed goat cheese junkie! I could tell that my body wasn’t functioning optimally and so I did a little experiment and cut ALL DAIRY out of my diet to see if I would notice any difference. I definitely did!

Paleo Chicken Tortilla Soup via Linda Wagner - Healthy eating is so much fun when you can eat amazing dishes like this one!!

Here are four BIG reasons to cut dairy out of your diet:

  • Cancer Prevention.  From plantpoweredkitchen.com “Prostate, breast, and ovarian cancers have been linked to dairy consumption.  And, if you’ve read The China Study, you’re aware of the link between casein (the main protein in milk) and cancer.  If not, READ it!  Dr. T. Colin Campbell, professor emeritus of nutritional biochemistry at Cornell University and author of The China Studysays casein is one of the most significant cancer promoters ever discovered.  Think about how often children are pushed to eat milk, yogurt, and cheese. Childhood diets rich in dairy products are associated with cancer in adulthood.  For more, watch this video from Dr. Colin Campbell.
  • Milk depletes the calcium from your bones. From saveourbones.com “Many scientific studies have shown an assortment of detrimental health effects directly linked to milk consumption. And the most surprising link is that not only do we barely absorb the calcium in cow’s milk (especially if pasteurized), but to make matters worse, it actually increases calcium loss from the bones. What an irony this is! Here’s how it happens. Like all animal protein, milk acidifies the body pH which in turn triggers a biological correction. You see, calcium is an excellent acid neutralizer and the biggest storage of calcium in the body is – you guessed it… in the bones. So the very same calcium that our bones need to stay strong is utilized to neutralize the acidifying effect of milk. Once calcium is pulled out of the bones, it leaves the body via the urine, so that the surprising net result after this is an actual calcium deficit. Knowing this, you’ll understand why statistics show that countries with the lowest consumption of dairy products also have the lowest fracture incidence in their population.”
  • Plant based calcium is more readily absorbed.  There are numerous plant foods that supply calcium with the essential co-factors, synergists, and essential transported needed to fully absorb and utilize the calcium. Kale, sesame seeds, broccoli, oranges (did you know one navel orange provides 60 mg of calcium?!), almonds, salmon, arugula, and sunflower seeds are all rich in calcium!

So do a little experiment on yourself and see if you notice a difference by removing dairy from your diet. In just one month I noticed an increase in energy, more easily maintained weight, clearer skin, better digestion, less mucous, easier menstrual cycles, and less little aches and pains. Removing dairy from your diet doesn’t necessarily mean you can NEVER EVER have it again it just means that it’s no longer a staple in your diet or a food group that you have often.

Instead you can add healthy, easily digested fats like avocado. Scroll through my full list of dairy free recipes here.

Paleo Chicken Tortilla Soup via Linda Wagner - Healthy eating is so much fun when you can eat amazing dishes like this one!!

Paleo Chicken Tortilla Soup

You’ll need:

  • 2 large chicken breasts, skin removed and cut into 1/2 inch strips
  • 1 28oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 32 ounces organic chicken broth
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 2 jalepenos, de-seeded and diced
  • 2 cups of shredded carrots
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 bunch of cilantro chopped fine
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced – I always use one of these
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • sea salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • olive oil
  • 1-2 cups water

In a crockpot or large dutch oven over med-high heat, place a dash of olive oil and about 1/4 cup chicken broth. Add onions, garlic, jalapeno, sea salt and pepper and cook until soft, adding more broth as needed.

Then add all of your remaining ingredients and enough water to fill to the top of your pot. Cover and let cook on low for about 2 hrs, adjusting salt & pepper as needed.

Once the chicken is fully cooked, you should be able to shred it very easily. I simply used the back of a wooden spoon and pressed the cooked chicken against the side of the pot. You could also use a fork or tongs to break the chicken apart and into shreds.

Top with avocado slices and fresh cilantro. Enjoy!

This is an easy one-pot meal that’s loaded with veggies, low in fat, and full of flavor! You don’t need to add cheese or tortilla strips the soup is full of flavor on it’s own!

Paleo Chicken Tortilla Soup via Linda Wagner - Healthy eating is so much fun when you can eat amazing dishes like this one!!

5.0 from 12 reviews
Paleo Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe
 
This healthy version of Chicken Tortilla Soup will knock your socks off! You don't need to add cheese or tortilla strips the soup is full of flavor on it's own!
Author:
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 large chicken breasts, skin removed and cut into ½ inch strips
  • 1 28oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 32 ounces organic chicken broth
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 2 jalepenos, de-seeded and diced
  • 2 cups of shredded carrots
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 1 bunch of cilantro chopped fine
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced - I always use one of these
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • sea salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • olive oil
  • 1-2 cups water
Instructions
  1. In a crockpot or large dutch oven over med-high heat, place a dash of olive oil and about ¼ cup chicken broth. Add onions, garlic, jalapeno, sea salt and pepper and cook until soft, adding more broth as needed.
  2. Then add all of your remaining ingredients and enough water to fill to the top of your pot. Cover and let cook on low for about 2 hrs, adjusting salt & pepper as needed.
  3. Once the chicken is fully cooked, you should be able to shred it very easily. I simply used the back of a wooden spoon and pressed the cooked chicken against the side of the pot. You could also use a fork or tongs to break the chicken apart and into shreds.
  4. Top with avocado slices and fresh cilantro. Enjoy!
  5. This is an easy one-pot meal that's loaded with veggies, low in fat, and full of flavor! You don't need to add cheese or tortilla strips the soup is full of flavor on it's own!

 

I hope you enjoy this meal as much as I did!! Healthy eating is so much fun when you can eat amazing dishes like this one!! xo

Paleo Chicken Tortilla Soup via Linda Wagner - Healthy eating is so much fun when you can eat amazing dishes like this one!!

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Linda

Linda Wagner is a skilled Nutrition Coach who utilizes a holistic methodology to invigorate the mind, body & spirit. It is her passion to help you know what it feels like to glow, radiate, THRIVE, and SHINE from the inside out!! Linda provides consultations both in her practice in Austin, TX and via web and phone for clients all over the US and abroad. For more information or to set up a consultation, email Linda at linda@lindawagner.net

90 thoughts on “Paleo Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe + Why You Should Cut Dairy Out Of Your Diet”

  1. Ive read the china study and followed it for awhile. After sometime i started experiencing dental problems and found dr. Weston prices book and it also study what people ate from all over the world.. His conclusion is that if the milk, butter, cheese is grass feed containing( cla or X factor) and raw it builds strong bones and teeth. Since my son and I have done raw things have improved.just wanted to know if u have read his book and your thoughts. I enjoy your blog:)

    1. Hi Eve,
      I love Dr. Weston A Price! His conclusions were more about a processed western diet including refined carbohydrates, sugars, ect. He was studying the effects of a western diet on indigenous cultures who had eaten strictly 100% natural and unprocessed foods. The conclusions, as you know, were that the processed foods caused an overall decline in health as well as physical degeneration and deformities. You are right that grass-fed is better but even grass fed dairy can cause inflammation, digestive issues, excess mucous, and acidity in the body. I’m definitely not recommending that people never eat dairy again but for most people it is a daily staple that is eaten several times a day: yogurt for breakfast, cheese as a snack, cheese, milk, butter or cream in entrees…it’s just too much! I will consume dairy from time to time but have removed it as a daily staple and feel much better for it! Thanks for your comment!

      1. As long as the Casein A2 dairy is full fat, from healthy animals, and fermented (goat/sheep/buffalo/camel kefir/yogurt/cheese/creme-fraiche), I don’t have problems. In fact, my teeth ASK for dairy. If I take 2-3 days off dairy, my teeth start to hurt. Drinking even unfermented goat milk, stops the pain within the hour.

        I don’t disagree that for you, personally, dairy might be a problem, but please don’t try to generalize. I’ve been Paleo for 2.5 years, and I’ve seen all kinds of people needing personalization instead of one-size-fits-all.

        I should add here that coconut products give me extreme indigestion, whereas dairy doesn’t. I’m ok with coconut oil, but the rest of the coconut products (e.g. milk, cream, flour etc), make me extremely sick for over 24 hours. I haven’t tried coconut sugar, aminos, or water. So, since I can’t use coconut milk/cream, I don’t see why I would stop eating dairy. I have only a minor problem with lactose, but only when the unfermented milk is heated. But since I mostly consume fermented goat products, I don’t have a problem with them at all.

        1. It’s great that you are so connected to your body! That’s what I always try to encourage, different strokes for different folks, sounds like you are right on track with knowing exactly what your body needs!
          Linda recently posted…Monday MotivationMy Profile

  2. Regarding the Paleo Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe, if using a crock pot, do you still cook on low for only 2 hours? I thought a crock pot was about cooking on low for several hours?
    Please advise, I haven’t used a crock pot much.
    Thanks, Judy

  3. What about fermented dairy? I cut all dairy out awhile ago to help with acne (and got wonderful results), but have lately been reading more and more about the benefits of kefir and other fermented foods in regards to overall health and GI/digestion in particular. Given a moderate but persistent case of IBS, I’m ready to try any diet/lifestyle intervention I can!
    Dominique recently posted…21st Century Livin’My Profile

    1. Hi Dominique,

      Fermented dairy is definitely better! I have used kefir in the past and I do like it…however, most kefir products also contain sugar which will almost counteract the benefits, especially for the skin. I’ve personally found dairy kefir to feel slightly acidic and inflammatory for me so I prefer to make almond milk kefir http://lindawagner.net/blog/2012/03/how-to-make-almond-milk-kefir or use probiotics. Also, these 80 billion probiotics changed my life! http://www.iherb.com/Renew-Life-Ultimate-Flora-Critical-Colon-Bifido-Max-80-Billion-30-Veggie-Caps/27551 I started using them 2 years ago and have used them everyday ever since! They totally regulated my digestion and I think you would really benefit from them! WAG472 will get you $10 off your first order! Stay in touch and let me know how it goes!

      1. Sorry, this is not kefir. This is indeed a probiotic drink, but it’s not kefir. Kefir is a specific family of over 40 strains, this one has 6 or so of the more common ones.

        Also, you mentioned that kefir has sugar in it. I assume you meant commercial kefir. I always do my own goat kefir at home, fermented for 24 hours. Commercial kefir only has up to 10-12 strains, and doesn’t include any of the yeasts for legal reasons. And it’s indeed bad for those who have lactose intolerance, since it’s not fermented for long. To get real kefir, you need to do it at home. It takes only 5 minutes daily. With home-made kefir, NOT ONCE I had an indigestion of it.

  4. I found your recipe on Pinterest and tried it tonight. It was delicious! I didn’t use a crock pot and I added sour cream. Yum! Thank you!

    1. yay, so glad you enjoyed it! If you are looking to lose weight or improve skin now or in the future, just omit the sour cream 🙂

  5. I made this tonight for supper. It is delicious! I added some fresh squeezed lime juice and shrimp. Also used fresh tomatoes instead of canned. Still turned out wonderfully.

  6. I made this for dinner tonight and OMG! Absolutely amazing. I must admit I was a bit skeptical because it seemed so simple as far as spices and ingredients & I thought it would lack flavor.. nope, totally wrong! The only substitutes I made was using chicken thighs instead of breast and since I don’t eat paleo I also added black beans. New favorite recipe!

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  8. Think it would be safe to add a 3rd chicken breast to this recipe without adding extra of the other ingredients? I need a yummy HIGH protein meal!

  9. I’ve made this twice- and my family loves it, as do I; thanks for the recipe!
    I make my own broth and also add zucchini.

  10. Oh my goodness! I made this for dinner tonight, an it was a huge hit. I added the avocado, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime on top, didn’t miss the tortillas or cheese & sour cream at all. I am not usually a big night time eater, light dinners usually, and I smashed two bowls. So yummy, thank you!

  11. This looks SO good. I’m not paleo or dairy free, so I may add a tiny bit of plain greek yogurt to mine. It’s on the menu for next week. Thanks!

  12. Love this recipe!! I cooked mine all in a pot over medium high heat. I added olive oil and cooked my onions and seasoning first, then added red and yellow bell peppers, jalapeños and cooked until soft. Then, added my celery, carrots, chicken broth, and hot diced tomatoes. Added a little more seasoning (cumin, sea salt, pepper, chile powder, dash of garlic salt, minced garlic) and then let simmer for about an hour on low hit. Added fresh cilantro and avocado!!! So so SO good

  13. I have made this a couple of times and it is so incredibly good! Usually do a double batch because we’ll eat it for days 🙂 it’s definitely our go to paleo soup! 🙂

  14. I made this soup last month. It was wonderful. The whole family enjoyed it. My 16 year old daughter told me this was the best thing I’ve ever made. Thank you for a great tasty recipe. Making it again today.

  15. Can’t wait to try this with leftover organic roasted chicken and homemade stock! If I am using cooked chicken, should I add the chicken near the end of two hours or just reduce the length of cooking? Any suggestions? Thanks for the recipe!

  16. I made this last night – it was DELICIOUS! I only put in 1 jalapeno because me and my kids are wimps. I am laughing because I thought I followed it exactly – except – I just noticed that I completely forgot the can of tomatoes. It was still so good. My family had it with sour cream and cheese, I had it with cilantro, avocado and green onions. Fabulous recipe. Thanks so much.

  17. 1 more thing – instead of cooking the chicken in all the ingredients – this is what I did; I put a few chicken breasts and a package of thighs from Costco in the crockpot with some EVOO and S&P on high for a few hours. It shredded beautifully, I dumped the chicken along with all the juices into the soup – yummy.

  18. I saw this recipe and just glanced at the ingredients.. looked so good and thought I had all the stuff (we are snowed in and sub zero temps at the moment) come dinner time start to read and retrieve ingredients..uhoh..short carrots and jalapeños! And didn’t read the crock pot thing..oops! So I sautéed diced chicken breast in a little ghee and olive oil and replaced the carrots with chopped cauliflower. had some sweet snacker peppers and chopped some of those up. Followed the recipe but just brought it to boil and simmered for like 20 min. So good!! Thanks for recipe!!

  19. Made this recipe over the weekend in a crock pot. It is AMAZING. Both my husband and I are lovers of the traditional version with the tortillas but you honestly don’t even miss them in this soup!

    I have often tried to make soup based on internet recipes and never have they turned out like this one.

    I used my homemade, organic, free-range chicken broth as the base.

    Could not be happier with this recipe – I have been sharing it all around since making the soup!

  20. Made this for dinner tonight. My husband and I both loved it. I used some Rotisserie chicken breast that I already had in the frig. I think it worked out just fine. Thanks for the recipe!

  21. My daughter loves chicken tortilla soup and we’ve never found a recipe that is close to her liking. This one is! She does have an aversion to all the veggies, so I removed the chicken to shred and used an immersion blender on the veggies. It was excellent. So glad I tried one more time. Thank you for a delicious, healthy recipe.

    Five Stars!

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