Salvaged Freezer Burned Chicken Recipe: Tortilla Soup

Salvage Freezer Burned Chicken Tortilla Soup

After recently moving down to Texas from Canada to be with my husband, I found some freezer burned chicken. The use-by date was 4 months ago. This wouldn’t have been so bad, had he properly packed them in freezer bags… but he didn’t. He threw the entire product in its original packaging in the freezer.

Actually, two 1.8lbs of chicken breast packages. And two freezer gallon baggies of chicken thighs, also freezer burned because it’s been so long. Salvaged Freezer Burned Chicken RecipeWe had recently made some big financial decisions (hello new house!), so I really wanted to save the meat and find a good salvaged freezer burned chicken recipe.

There aren’t a lot of recipes out there that you can use to salvage freezer burned chicken. I’m not a professional, but even I know you have to pick a recipe carefully for freezer burned chicken. Although, most soup recipes would work fine.

I remember trying McAlister’s Chicken Tortilla Soup for the first time. It was the first time I’d ever tried Chicken Tortilla Soup, actually. Here is a copycat recipe for the Chicken Tortilla Soup by McAlister’s. I have yet to try that recipe, though. We decided to make our own and try a different kind of Tortilla Soup.Ingredients for Salvaged Freezer Burned Chicken RecipeOur recipe is quite different than McAlister’s. Ours is more tomato-based. And I don’t even like tomatoes all that much… so I was quite hesitant the entire cooking process. What have I got myself into?

Don’t worry. It didn’t taste like tomatoes.

Spices for Salvaged Freezer Burned Chicken RecipeIngredients

  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • cup diced yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup f diced red peppers (leftover from fridge so I decided to throw it in there
  • 1.8lbs to 2lbs of chicken breasts
  • 10 cups hot water
  • 10 tsp chicken powder
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 bag 16oz frozen corn
  • 1 14.5oz can of fire roasted tomatoes
  • corn tortillas (serve in soup last minute: quantity depends on preference)
  • monetary jack cheese (serve in soup last minute: quantity depends on preference)
  • limePeppers, Onion, and Garlic for Salvaged Freezer Burned Chicken Recipe


  1. Bring 6 cups of water and 6 tsp of chicken powder to a boil. Boil chicken for 5-10 minutes, turn off heat and set aside. I let it sit in the broth to let it do some soaking.
  2. Meanwhile, chop onion, poblano, and red peppers, and mince garlic. Set aside.
  3. Mix spices together in a small bowl: garlic, salt, paprika, cayenne, cumin
  4. Take chicken and pull it apart with two forks.
  5. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in medium-large pot. Add onion, garlic, and peppers. Stir until soft and fragrant.
  6. Add the bowl of mixed spices to the pot, keep stirring.
  7. Add shredded chicken and stir.
  8. Finally, add fire roasted tomatoes, tomato paste, corn, 4 cups of water, and 4 tsp of chicken powder. Stir.
  9. Simmer for at least half an hour to 45 minutes, stirring every so often.
  10. Turn off heat, and let sit for 10-15 minutes
  11. Serve with tortilla strips, cheese, and lime juice!

Salvaged Freezer Burned Chicken Recipef or Tortilla Soup

Pretty Dang Good!!

This came out way better than I thought. I was extremely hesitant on the tomatoes, especially after I opened the can of fire roasted tomatoes and had a whiff. I nearly wanted to gag. Then that extra tomato paste…and then combined with my attempt for a salvaged freezer burned chicken recipe… this just sounded like such a bad idea. I thought to myself, am I really going to be able to salvage freezer burned chicken?!

But, I tell you, this came out delicious. It does not taste tomato-y at all. I would definitely make this again for family and friends, as a regular recipe with fresh chicken. The chicken didn’t taste bad at all. It tasted a little dry at the very most.

The flavor profile of the soup itself was really tasty and quite appetizing which masked the freezer burned chicken really well!! I can’t imagine what it would taste like with fresh chicken – but I will find out soon!

Salvaged Freezer Burned Chicken Recipe for Tortilla Soup

During this time, I completely forgot to put in the corn!! So since we had the leftovers the following day during lunch, I put half of a bag of frozen corn in while I reheated it by simmering. It came out delicious and still tasted great! Maybe even better than the night before.

Something about leftover soup… it always tastes better the next day. Even a salvaged freezer burned chicken recipe for tortilla soup.

Salvage Freezer Burned Chicken Tortilla Soup


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