Cafe Rio Tortilla Soup Copycat

5 from 7 votes

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If you love Cafe Rio’s Chicken Tortilla Soup, but don’t want to go out, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with this AMAZING copycat recipe!

Overhead shot of a bowl of Chicken Tortilla Soup

Cafe Rio Chicken Tortilla Soup

Cafe Rio Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe tastes just like the Cafe Rio favorite, if not better! This is by far my most favorite chicken tortilla soup so I’m so excited to share this copycat recipe with you. It’s fresh, fragrant and full of chicken and spices, I just know you’re going to love it!

A Few Twists on the Original

  • You can throw the chicken in the crock pot with the broth and it will taste rich and delicious, but personally I LOVE the smoky grilled chicken taste. Grill it if you can!
  • I added pinto beans (not the Cafe Rio original way of doing things but it is totally worth doing). The meaty beans give it a deeper flavor and actually makes the soup go further. If you want to keep it EXACTLY like Cafe Rio feel free to leave them out.
  • Instead of adding scoop of guacamole (as I know Cafe Rio does), I just diced avocado which just saves time having to make a separate little thing of guacamole. Plus I love having the chunks of cool avocado in there.
Cafe Rio Tortilla Soup in a white bowl with salsa, avocado, and tortilla strips on the side

Cafe Rio Copycat Recipes

Can’t get enough Cafe Rio or Costa Vida? Neither can we. That is why we have created a whole collection copycat recipes so we can enjoy all the flavors we love from these restaurants in our own homes. Here are links to more of our favorites:

How to Make Cafe Rio Tortilla Soup

Cafe Rio Soup in a bowl with tortilla strips and limes

Our Version of Cafe Rio’s Chicken Tortilla Soup

5 from 7 votes
If you love Cafe Rio’s Chicken Tortilla Soup, but don’t want to go out – don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with this AMAZING copycat recipe!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Simmering time 2 hrs
Total Time 35 mins
Course Soup
Cuisine Mexican/Spanish
Servings 6 servings



  • Skillet
  • Crockpot Slow Cooker



  • In a small skillet, saute onion in 1 Tbsp. oil until onions become slightly soft. Stir in cumin, cayenne, and chili powder and saute an additional minute or two.
  • Transfer seasoned onions to a small crock pot (or medium-sized saucepan). Add chicken broth, cliantro, lime juice, pepper and pinto beans to onions and simmer on low-heat for at least 2-3 hours.
  • In the meantime (when you are close to serving), combine taco seasoning and paprika. Brush chicken with oil and rub with taco seasoning/paprika mixture. Grill chicken over medium-heat until cooked through (try to turn only once during the grilling process). Remove from grill and shred.
  • In individual bowls layer chicken, about ⅓ c. pico de gallo, ⅓ c. diced avocado, and ⅓ c. pepper jack cheese. Ladle about 1 cup of soup directly over the layers. Top with tortilla strips and garnish with cilantro and lime wedges.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 642kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 44gFat: 39gSaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 118mgSodium: 1647mgPotassium: 1243mgFiber: 13gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 3057IUVitamin C: 29mgCalcium: 659mgIron: 4mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her beautiful three girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

More about Erica Walker

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How many stars would you give this recipe?


  1. 5 stars
    This was so delicious! And it turned out exactly like your pictures. It looks so appetizing and it was filling and healthy. Thanks for this delicious recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    I have always loved this soup. Come cooler temps, it’s all I order. I had no idea it was so easy to make. It tastes even better!

  3. 5 stars
    I love their tortilla soup, so making it at home makes me so happy!! I love that I can bring Cafe Rio in my kitchen!

  4. 5 stars
    Thanks a lot for this awesome and really delicious recipe! Will surely make this again, highly recommended! It’s super easy to make as well!

  5. 5 stars
    I make this all the time. My family loves it and actually refers to it as “MY” Tortilla Soup recipe. Of course I give credit to this receipe.

    1. Thank you for commenting. I just looked at the nutritional information and it was set for 4 servings. This recipe makes 6 servings and the nutritional information now reflects the amount per serving.

  6. Has anyone put all the ingredients together except the garnishes in one pot, ,after grilling the chicken, for easier freezing?

  7. 5 stars
    We are not near Cafe Rio, so, I am so glad you made these copycat recipes. They all look so inviting and delicious. The tortilla soup sounds like its right up my alley.

  8. Oh gosh, I cannot wait to make this. I am so looking forward to the cooler weather and this will be at the top of my “to make” list!!

  9. why do you need beans in this recipe? the cafe rio soup doesn’t have beans. would the taste be altered If I don’t add the beans?

    1. You can totally take the beans out if you would like. It won’t alter the taste at all. 🙂

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