Butternut Squash Tortilla Soup

It seems as though the Fall ingredients and soup trend continues over here. It’s not that I want to overload you with squashes and harvest fruit, buy it’s that I just can’t help myself. This tortilla soup has become an instant favorite at my house. It’s got sweet, treatment roasted butternut squash and shredded chicken simmered in a chili powder-spiked broth with crumbled, salty blue corn tortilla chips. I’m such a sucker for anything sweet, spicy and salty.

The star here really is the roasted butternut squash. While I’m all for shortcuts, canned and frozen squash won’t give you the same roasted flavor as fresh. Now, I know a whole, fresh butternut squash is an intimidating thing. Unless you’ve got a hacksaw or cleaver in the house, splitting this thing open may be a bit more than you’re willing to take on. My suggestion? Ask the supermarket to halve it for you. Most markets will willing do it for no charge, then all you have to do is roast the halves on a cookie sheet with olive oil and salt. Once it’s done, simply scoop the roasted squash out with a spoon and use it anyway you’d like. (Can anyone say roasted butternut squash pizza?)

I like my butternut squash in all forms, but this tortilla soup might emerge as the favorite. Healthy, hearty and satisfying, it makes a perfect lunch or weeknight dinner. A great, seasonal twist on a classically delicious soup.

Related: Chorizo and Blue Corn Tortilla Soup

Butternut Squash Tortilla Soup

6 cups chicken stock
1 rotisserie chicken, shredded (skin and bones discarded)
1 1/2 tbsp. Medium Hot Chili Powder (I love my Penzeys)
1/2 large butternut squash, roasted* (or a whole small one)
zest and juice of 1 small lime
4 cups blue corn tortilla chips, crumbled (4 cups before you crumble)

More tortilla chips for garnish
2 tbsp. plain yogurt or sour cream
3/4 cup cilantro leaves for garnish

Set a large pot over medium heat and add the stock, chili powder and chicken. Scoop the roasted squash out of its skin and mush with the back of a fork, then add to the pot. Once the liquid comes to a slow bubble, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in the lime zest and juice and the crumbled tortilla chips. Serve immediately and top with more tortilla chips, a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream and a hefty sprinkling of cilantro leaves.

Makes 4 dinner-sized portions or 6-8 small servings.

*Preheat the oven to 375°. Place the squash halves on a lined cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil (about 1 tbsp.) and sprinkle with salt (about 1 tbsp.). Pop in the oven for 1 – 1.5 hours, or until the flesh is tender all the way through.


  1. roasted butternut squash on pizza with balsamic-dressed arugula and gorgonzola–yum!! :) but this sounds like another tasty way to use it! another trick for the squash is to put the whole thing in the microwave for a few min to soften enough so you don’t kill yourself cutting :)

  2. ttfn300 – So close on the pizza! We’re actually doing blue cheese (I have a rather large hunk of it I’ve got to use up) and regular salad greens :)

  3. This looks delicious. I just blogged about Ina Garten’s Mexican Chicken Soup and it was out of this world. I would have never thought butternut squash would go with the flavors but it sounds interesting!

  4. I never would have thought of this combination. Sounds fantastic!

  5. This is quite the butternut squash soup. Quite a departure from the “regular” butternut squash soup, so I’m hoping to give it a try. Thanks!

  6. Holy Mole batman does that look good! Healthy too! I think I am going to make it this weekend. Thanks for the good idea.
    Dana Zia

  7. Is it possible for me to have a craving for this when I’ve never tasted butternut squash before? Apparently it is, all thanks to your lovely enticing photo! :P

  8. This looks great, and it’s a really interesting take on a very popular recipe. Do you think it would freeze well?

  9. Thanks everyone!

    Fearless Kitchen – It would freeze very well! Just don’t add any of the tortilla chips, cilantro or sour cream until you thaw it out.

  10. Roasted butternut squash would go really well in this soup.

  11. i love the addition of the squash, very unexpected!

  12. heelsonbricks says:

    This soup is incredibly good! I used acorn squash instead, because it’s what I had, and added some green onions. I don’t like sweet squash recipes, so this was a great savory preparation.

  13. I’m a novice soup maker. I found your recipe & tried it. Delicious! We had a soup contest at work today, and guess who won! Thanks!!!

  14. Tracy – That’s GREAT news! Congrats on the Win :)

  15. Pingback: Tortilla Soup Recipe Blitz

  16. Best soup ever! I just made it last night and left out the lime (I didnt have any at home). This soup is amazingly good, hearty and flavorful! Thank you for combining my favorite flavors. I put half an avocado in my bowl with the low fat sour cream and it was amazing!

  17. Tried this recipe out today and added ground chicken instead of cubed and a little cumin and crushed red pepper. Outa this world!! Definitely going in the monkey chow portion on my site and passing it on to everyone who will listen. Thanks for sharing!

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