Featured gluten-free lunch soup soup sunday vegan vegetarian

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup Recipe

March 24, 2020

Swap the chicken for quinoa in this healthy Vegetarian Tortilla Soup Recipe! Quinoa is high in fiber and protein and makes a great non-meat alternative in this spicy Mexican soup.

If you’ve been a blog reader for awhile, you know I’m a soup lover. A few years ago, I shared a new soup recipe every single Sunday. If that isn’t commitment, I don’t know what is. I love soups because they’re amazing for meal prep! Make a big batch of this vegetarian tortilla soup recipe on the weekend and enjoy all week long.

I also believe that soups are one of the easiest recipes to make for people of any cooking level. Mostly because you really can’t go wrong. Even if the measurements aren’t 100% perfect, there’s a pretty good chance your soup will turn out anyway… unless you accidentally add cinnamon instead of cumin – been there…done that!

Swap the chicken for quinoa in this healthy vegetarian Quinoa Tortilla Soup recipe! Quinoa is high in fiber and protein and makes a great non-meat alternative in this spicy Mexican soup.

Here’s What You Need:

This vegetarian tortilla soup recipe is actually super easy to make and uses fresh ingredients mixed with pantry staples:

  • olive oil
  • vegetables – yellow onion, garlic cloves and a bell pepper.
  • pantry staples – diced tomatoes, vegetable stock, diced green chiles, white quinoa, black beans and corn kernels.
  • seasonings and spices – chili powder, cumin, sea salt and pepper.
  • lime juice
  • fresh cilantro
  • corn tortillas – for making crispy tortilla strips
  • optional toppings – avocado, tortilla strips, cilantro or green onion.

Why quinoa?

I love using quinoa in vegetarian and vegetarian dishes because it’s an amazing source of plant-based protein! It contains all nine essential amino acids and adds a hearty texture to the soup. I always try to get a mix of protein, fiber and fat in my meals and this soup packs in all three thanks to the vegetables, quinoa and beans, and avocado.

Swap the chicken for quinoa in this healthy vegetarian Quinoa Tortilla Soup recipe! Quinoa is high in fiber and protein and makes a great non-meat alternative in this spicy Mexican soup.

Make This Soup Your Own

If you’re like me, you’ve been auditing your pantry and trying to meal plan from what you have! I want to encourage you to get creative in the kitchen and make this soup your own! Here are a few suggestions:

  • Use whatever canned beans you have – don’t let a lack of black beans confine you
  • No vegetable stock? Replace with water or any kind of stock
  • Throw in whatever veggies you have – seriously! This soup is super forgiving.
  • No tortillas? Just use whatever chips you have on hand or skip them entirely

Feel free to get creative! That’s what cooking is about.


Vegetarian Tortilla Soup Recipe

Swap the chicken for quinoa in this healthy Vegetarian Tortilla Soup Recipe! Quinoa is high in fiber and protein and makes a great non-meat alternative in this spicy Mexican soup.

  • Author: Davida Lederle
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 bowls 1x



  1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, add olive oil.
  2. Add in yellow onion and saute until translucent (about 3-4 mins).
  3. Add in garlic cloves and cook for 1 more minute.
  4. Add in bell pepper and cook for another minute.
  5. Top with diced tomatoes, vegetable stock, green chilis, quinoa, black beans and corn.
  6. Add in spices and bring soup to a boil.
  7. Once boiling, cover with lid and simmer for 20 minutes.
  8. Remove lid and simmer for an additional 20 minutes.
  9. Top with lime juice, cilantro and cayenne if using.
  10. Add to bowls and sprinkle with toppings of choice.

*For Homemade Tortilla Crisps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Slice corn tortillas in half and then into thin crisps.
  3. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 mins or until browned.
  4. Sprinkle on soup or store in a paper bag on counter top for several days.

Like this recipe? Here are other soup recipes you might enjoy:


Join 20,000+ members of the THM Community to get access to exclusive recipes, healthy lifestyle tips and behind-the-scenes news from our team!

Powered by ConvertKit
  • Reply
    She Rocks Fitness
    January 3, 2016 at 9:18 am

    I have yet to make a soup that has quinoa in it…I am definitely eating a lot more quinoa and growing to love it more. HA! This looks so yummy and perfect for a cold winter night…I bet the leftovers are great too! Happy New Year friend!

  • Reply
    Les @ The Balanced Berry
    January 3, 2016 at 10:33 am

    Tortilla soup is one of my favorite kind of soups! This version looks delicious – I love the quinoa addition. Really I love any kind of soup because I’m a huge baby and can’t handle being cold.

    On another note, sometimes people are pretty bad at reading directions and/or substituting ingredients until it is a completely different recipe. I know nearly every blogger who shares recipes can relate to that!

    • Reply
      The Healthy Maven
      January 6, 2016 at 10:49 am

      YUP! Sometimes it’s hilarious to see what people come up with haha

  • Reply
    Hannah @CleanEatingVeggieGirl
    January 3, 2016 at 11:55 am

    Yum!! I would love it if you made some Paleo soups!

  • Reply
    Katie | Honestly Nourished
    January 3, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    Most. BEAUTIFUL. Bowl. Of. Soup. Ever. Like Les, I love your substitution for the chicken — quinoa is legit and I can’t wait to try this soup, especially since the forecast here is rain x7 days. These photos are also stunning. Well done, Davida! XX

    • Reply
      The Healthy Maven
      January 3, 2016 at 5:48 pm

      Aw thank you gorgeous! Supposed to rain for all 7 days of our trip in Malibu so there’s that. Hoping there’s soup on the menu 🙂

  • Reply
    January 3, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    Oh I will most certainly be making this! Maybe even tonight although I don’t have a pepper on hand, I think it would be just fine without. Looking forward to your soups…hope many are vegetarian!

    • Reply
      The Healthy Maven
      January 3, 2016 at 5:46 pm

      90% will be veg since I’m eating more veg this way 🙂 Get ready! Also will be totally fine without the pepper!

  • Reply
    January 3, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    Anything with butternut squash or kabocha! My mother makes this delicious butternut squash soup with veggie or chicken broth, butternut squash or kabocha, some coconut milk, salt and pepper and a little olive oil, blends it all up, cooks everything and bam! PERFECTION.
    I am so excited for this new Soup Sunday series! I cannot wait to see what else you’ll whip up! This soup, in particular looks DELICIOUS. I love a good Mexican soup with beans and tortilla chips!

    • Reply
      The Healthy Maven
      January 6, 2016 at 10:45 am

      oooooh I’ve never tried Kabocha squash in soup! You’ve given me a great idea for soup Sunday!

  • Reply
    Lindsey Bomgren
    January 3, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    This it too funny — I literally had this for lunch! Fresh lime and cilantro topped with avocado…mmmm good! Love your recipes!

  • Reply
    Stella @ Stellicious Life
    January 4, 2016 at 10:17 am

    Davida, it’s times and posts like these when I conclude once again that we are long lost soul (and food) sisters 😉

    I fanaticly LOVE soup, crave it daily (especially from September till April), and if I can (and have a big pot full of soup on hand) I eat it at least twice (for lunch and dinner) or even for a third time late night as a warming comfort (but healthy) food.

    I LOVE how easy they are (basically you just throw everything in a pot and let it simmer for some time), that they are healthy, hearty, satiate your hunger without making you feel too full.

    Another sign that great minds think alike is that just during the Christmas holidays when I was making soup one evening told Boyfriend that I definitely should post a soup recipe every Monday on the blog since I eat so much soup 😀 (Posted the first one yesterday, which was basically still Sunday, but whatever.)

    My affection for soup is even funnier, because as I kid I wasn’t that big on eating soups, I wanted to get to the main meal and dessert straight away and found soup more of an unnecessary filler in the menu…)

    This soup looks amazing! I love tortilla soup but haven’t made it at home yet, as most recipes I saw called for a slow cooker, which I don’t have. So glad to see this can be made without one, will have to make it soon! 😀

  • Reply
    January 12, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    I’m a bad recipe follower… I cooked the quinoa first and I don’t think I was supposed to. 🙁 Will that destroy the recipe?

    • Reply
      The Healthy Maven
      January 12, 2016 at 2:30 pm

      haha no worries! Just add it in at the end and use less liquid than is called for since the quinoa is supposed to absorb a lot of the liquid! Should still taste great though 😉

  • Reply
    December 6, 2016 at 9:43 pm

    I accidently through in the lime juice while it was coming to a boil.. Is that going to affect the taste?? I’m so upset because this soup looks amazing! Also I’m leaving out the quinoa, will that affect it?

    • Reply
      December 6, 2016 at 9:43 pm

      Threw* gosh

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      December 8, 2016 at 7:37 pm

      Nope! Won’t make a difference with the lime. I wouldn’t recommend leaving out the quinoa though. You can but your liquid to solid ratio will be way off!

  • Reply
    December 4, 2017 at 1:35 am

    This recipe used to include green onions but it appears to have changed. Am I right?

    I make this as a staple in my house and today after making it I realized something was missing! Green onions. I swear the recipe used to list green onions… and today I felt it was lacking without them (but still really great).

    Why the reason for the change? You can see green onions in your soup photos even.

    I will modify to add green onions going forward =) My husband says this is my best dish and always asks for it!

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      December 4, 2017 at 9:38 am

      Hey there! Nope, no changes to the recipe! The green onions were just used as a topping (it’s still there under toppings!). Feel free to modify and use green onions instead of yellow. Love that you’re making the recipe your own. That’s what it’s all about! Happy cooking 🙂

  • Reply
    April 6, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    Nice recipe. I would like to try this. It looks tempting. Thanks

  • Reply
    March 20, 2020 at 12:10 am

    I love this recipe! With everything going on right now, I can’t find quinoa. Can I sub rice for the quinoa? If so, how much should I use? Thank you!!

    • Reply
      Davida Lederle
      March 27, 2020 at 8:39 pm

      Yes! I’d recommend 3/4 of a cup of rice in place of quinoa. Enjoy!

  • Reply
    Stephanie D Bowman
    April 12, 2020 at 7:26 pm

    I have this soup simmering right now. We love vegetarian anything’s. This is a good find. Can’t wait to serve it up! Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Join 5000+ members of the THM Community and get my free 10 Day Guide to Busting Your Stress.