Max and Erma’s Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe!


I was browsing around on and noticed acoupon for Ro*Tel® tomatoes and chilies . I thought I would repost my Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe because you can use the coupon when making this delicious soup.  I plan to make it this week.  With the weather cooling down I’m excited to start making soup and this one is a meal instead of just an appetizer.  Especially when you add crusty rolls and salad = YUM!

As I told you guys I was a domestic Goddess last week (not really, but I made some kickin’ recipes).  One of the recipes that I promised to share is this recipe for Max and Erma’s Chicken Tortilla Soup.  It’s a copycat recipe and tastes exactly like the restaurant version.  My hubby doubted that I could pull it off, but had to admit that this soup was just like the pricier version. Let me know what you think if you make it!

Serves: 8 (or 5 in my family~hubby is 7 ft. tall and eats his soup out of a serving bowl LOL!

Prep. Time: 20-30min.
  • 1/4 cup butter OR margarine
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 8 oz. Velveeta process cheese food – cubed
  • 10 oz. can Ro*Tel® tomatoes and chilies (I used the store brand and it was great)
  • 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1  1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • salt and pepper – to taste
  • flour tortillas – as needed, about 4 – 6
  • shredded Colby Jack cheese OR Mexican blend cheese – as needed
  1. -In a pot, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes.
  2. -Slowly whisk in small amounts of chicken broth at a time, then whisk in milk.
  3. -Reduce heat to low and stir in Velveeta cubes; stir until melted.
  4. -Stir in Ro*Tel, chicken, and spices.
  5. -Once soup is heated through, it is ready to serve at this point. However, if you wish to make tortilla strips, it can sit over low heat while they are made. Stir the soup occasionally.
  6. -For tortilla strips, cut tortillas into strips and deep-fry in 350 degree vegetable or peanut oil until golden, then drain on cooling racks.
  7. -Spoon a ladleful of soup into a bowl, add a handful of shredded cheese, then spoon another ladleful of soup over cheese. Sprinkle tortilla strips over top. Repeat for remaining servings.

Notes: If you want to save a lot of time, use crumbled tortilla chips instead of tortilla strips. I personally took the time to make the tortilla strips.  I think it really adds to the restaurant experience.
* This meal is very hearty and was the meal for us when combined with a salad and cornbread (if I can do that with a 7ft. tall hubby, your family should be satisfied too~he he!).  When you consider that, it ends up being  a reasonably priced, home cooked meal :)

Karen Young from mommyluvs2save.comI am a mom who has paid off $111,500 in debt in less than 4 years by saving money at the stores and putting all of our extra $ on debt. Subscribe to my FREE Daily Newsletter so that you can get my free updates and NEVER miss a deal. Thanks for visiting!


  1. Destiny says

    I absolutely loveeee his recipe! It tastes identical to Max & Erma’s. I’ve actually bookmarked your page & I’ve made it 4 times so I figured I’d leave a comment for you :) thank youuuu!

    • Karen says

      AWWW, thanks you made my day. I’m so glad you love it. I love it too and our Max & Erma’s just closed down boo! At least I can reproduce the soup because we LOVE it too!
      I do appreciate you leaving a comment about it because it’s nice to hear ! Thanks~

  2. Jamie Lynn says

    Awesome recipe! This recipe taste just like what Max n Ermas serves…maybe even better! Thank you so much for sharing this, made my hubby and I very happy : )

  3. SheShe says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! My family and I love this soup! Instead of going to the restaurant when the craving hit we can enjoy the same thing at home. It is exactly spot on. Delicious!

  4. Tammy says

    Must say this recipe is pretty darn close to the original! Wish it were a little thicker but it was pretty delicious:)

  5. Kealy says

    I just found this recipe and I am so excited to try it out! I have been searching for this for years. I just moved out of state and I haven’t seen a Max&Ermas anywhere! As soon as I try it I will bow to you and give thanks!!!!lol

    • Karen says

      Oh, you’ll love it :) Our Max & Erma’s closed down. My hubby was skeptical about this recipe, but says it tastes just like it. Let me know what you think!

  6. Chelsea says

    Do you think you could just throw it all in the crockpot? Also do u think this would be freezer friendly?? Thanks so much!!

  7. queenofqueens07 says

    Great recipe! It was a hit in our household tonight. I have been wanting to try to duplicate Max & Erma’s soup for sometime now and never got around to it., but thought I would have to give it several tries before even coming close. Thank you for helping get me there sooner. :)

    A few notes of my own: I only had skim milk on hand which is really no good when it comes to cooking, so I used a combination of half & half and cream of chicken. I added a few more spices because my family likes things very seasoned and spicy. What a hit!

    To the reviewer that noted she wished hers had come out thicker, I would suggest adding more flour in the beginning. And make sure you let it cook and bubble a bit and watch it thicken as you slowly add the remaining liquids. You may also consider using some cream of chicken souop to help thicken. But if you do, I would caution you not to add any additional salt until you’ve tasted it as cream of chicken soup is usually high in sodium.

  8. Molly says

    This was FANTASTIC! We have a 4, 2 and 2 year old so I was concerned about the spice. I modified to 1 t of both cumin and chili powder rather than the 1.5 and it was great!

  9. Sarah says

    I really do love this and think it is delicious, and it is close to Max and Erma’s but I am still on the hunt for the exact recipe. I had Max and Erma’s just yesterday and made this today, and it’s just not the same, but very close. I repeat, it is very delicious, and will for sure make it again.

  10. Trish says

    Wow! So awesome! Great job. So glad I now have this. Both Max and Ermas in our area closed. I can now make at home. I can’t thank you enough.

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