How to Make Mexican Chicken Soup – Easy Recipe

Mexican chicken soup, also known as caldo de pollo, is a hearty and comforting meal that is perfect for cold days or when you need a nourishing meal. 

The post has extra tips to make sure the recipe comes out amazing on your first try. If you're in a rush, use the link above to jump to the recipe card at the end! 👩‍🍳🔝
thick soup with diced avocado and shredded chicken

Mexican Chicken Soup

Reasons to make this recipe

There are so many reasons to love this hearty soup. 

  • Family-friendly: this chicken and black bean soup tastes very similar to Sopa de tortilla – traditional Mexican tortilla soup and is guaranteed to be loved by your whole family including the smallest ones.
  • Easy to make: this soup is done in 1 hour if cooking the broth or can be done in 30 minutes from start to finish if using ready-to-go stock. It makes a perfect meal for a weeknight when there is just no time to cook.
  • Simple ingredients: this recipe requires only a handful of ingredients and is very budget-friendly.
  • Comforting: what can be better than a warm bowl of soup on a cold winter night? It is also a great way to incorporate some vegetables into your family’s diet. 

Ingredients for Mexican Chicken Soup

This delicious soup is made with shredded chicken, black beans, quinoa, herbs, and spices. You will need:

  • Chicken: We will cook the soup with fresh bone-in chicken thighs. They cook quickly and make flavorful broth in no time.
  • Veggies: We will need onion, carrot, potato, and fresh tomatoes (or canned diced tomatoes). Feel free to add any other vegetables you like, such as fresh corn or red bell pepper.
  • Black beans: I use tinned organic beans.
  • Spices: Mexican cuisine is known for its beautiful flavors. We will use a range of different spices to give this nourishing soup as many traditional flavors as possible. We will need ground cumin, ground paprika, smoked paprika, bay leaves, and black pepper. If you are not cooking for little ones, add 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder to add some heat.
  • Quinoa
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Crispy tortilla strips

See the full ingredient list in the recipe card below.

Ingredients needed to make Mexican Chicken Soup
  • See the full ingredient list in the recipe card below.

A word about chicken stock

This recipe shows you how to make the chicken stock and shredded chicken from scratch, but if you already have some chicken stock and some cooked leftover chicken on hand, feel free to use it. It will save you a lot of time too. 

ingredients to poach chicken thighs

How to make Mexican chicken soup

To make the soup, start by cooking the chicken.

  • Place all the stock ingredients in a soup pot and bring to a boil. Gently simmer the chicken pieces for 30 minutes or until the meat comes off the bone very easily. Take the chicken out to cool down. Set it aside.
  • For a more detailed recipe, see my how-to-cook chicken legs post.
  • Remove the meat from the chicken thighs. Using two forks or simply your hands, shred the chicken.
  • While the chicken is cooking, prepare all the required ingredients, peel and chop onions and potatoes, and rinse quinoa.
  • In a large saucepan or a Dutch oven, heat some extra virgin olive oil over medium heat and add diced onions. Cook the onions, stirring frequently, for 5 to 7 minutes until they have softened but are not browned. Add the spices and cook for a minute or two. Add diced tomatoes and mix well.
  • Next, add diced potatoes, stir to combine, and add chicken stock and black beans. Bring the soup to a boil and immediately reduce the heat to low. Simmer the soup until the potatoes are cooked.
  • Add the shredded chicken to the soup and mix.

Find the full recipe in the recipe card below 👇

view from above onto Mexican chicken soup in a grey bowl, garnished with avocado, coriander and sour cream

How to Serve Mexican Black Bean Chicken Soup

This soup is a perfect main dish for a busy weeknight, and there are various ways to enhance its presentation and flavor. Here are a few ideas on how to serve it:

  • Garnish: Start by ladling the hot soup into bowls. Garnish the soup with fresh ingredients such as cilantro, creamy avocado, shredded cheese (like Mexican queso fresco or cheddar), and a dollop of sour cream. Add sliced green onions and some lime wedges for a burst of color.
  • Add Texture: For additional texture, top the soup with crunchy tortilla chips or strips just before serving. You can also add some cooked shell pasta to make the soup even heartier.
  • Serve with Sides: Offer traditional Mexican sides like warm tortillas or cornbread. These can be used for dipping or as an accompaniment to the soup.
  • Spice: If you enjoy spice, provide additional condiments such as hot sauce or jalapeño peppers.
  • Fresh Greens: A side of fresh, crisp salad with a zesty lime vinaigrette can complement the richness of the soup and provide a balanced meal.

💡 HELPFUL TIPS: If you are in a hurry and want to save even more time, feel free to use store-bought rotisserie chicken and chicken broth.

VEGAN VARIATION: Simply use nice vegetable stock instead of chicken stock, it will be just as delicious as the one with chicken.

More easy Mexican recipes for you to try

How to store

This classic Mexican chicken soup can be easily prepared in advance and stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days. In fact, it tastes the best on the next day. To reheat, bring it to a boil, lower the heat to low, and let it simmer for a couple of minutes. Enjoy!

Have you tried this recipe? If so, I’d greatly appreciate it if you could leave a star rating and share your thoughts in a comment. Your feedback means a lot to me, and it can also help others who are interested in trying it out. Thank you! 🌟👩‍🍳

Mexican soup with black beans and shredded chicken garnished with sour cream and coriander

Mexican Black bean and Chicken Soup Recipe

Elena Elliott
This Mexican chicken soup recipe is a delicious and easy-to-follow guide to making a hearty and comforting soup at home. Made with chicken, quinoa, black beans, and flavorful spices like cumin and smoked paprika, this soup is both satisfying and nutritious. Serve it with your favorite toppings like avocado, cilantro, and lime wedges for an extra burst of flavor.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Cooking chicken stock 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4 serves


Poached chicken

  • 4 Free-range or organic skinless chicken thighs, bone-in
  • 1 small onion finely diced
  • 1 bay leave
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4-5 black peppercorns

Mexican Chicken Soup Ingredients

  • 1 brown onion finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground paprika
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 large tomatoes, skinned and diced or use 1/2 tin of organic diced tomatoes, use BPA-free variety
  • 1 tin organic black beans always use BPA-free variety
  • 1 large potato diced
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa well rinsed, see note

Optional garnishes:

  • Fresh cilantro (coriander)
  • Lime juice
  • Tortilla chips
  • Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • Shredded cheese
  • Avocado slicces


How to cook chicken thighs

  • Place the chicken thighs, onion, carrot, salt, bay leaves, peppercorns, and approximately 8 cups of water in a medium-sized saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a minimum and let it simmer for 30 minutes or until the chicken meat is very tender and easily comes off the bone. Set aside.
    raw chicken legs in a dutch oven ready to be boiled
  • Once the chicken has cooled down enough to handle it, shred it using two forks or simply your hands.
    shredding chicken with two forks

How to cook Mexican Chicken Soup

  • Heat some olive oil in a large saucepan or large Dutch oven, on medium heat, and add diced onions and garlic. Cook the onions for 5 to 10 minutes stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, but not brown.
  • Add spices (cumin, ground paprika, smoked paprika and chili powder if using). Cook for another minute.
  • Add diced tomatoes and let it cook for a minute stirring frequently. 
  • Add diced potatoes along with chicken stock and black beans.
  • Rinse the quinoa in a mesh colander for a minute or two and add to the soup.
  • Bring the soup to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes or until potatoes are cooked.
  • Add the shredded chicken to the soup and stir.
  • Serve with your favorite toppiongs and enjoy!


This soup can be cooked with vegetable stock. You can add some cooked (or canned) chickpeas instead of chicken meat for extra protein.
Make sure you rinse the quinoa properly under running water. If not rinsed properly quinoa has a bitter taste to it. 
This soup can be refrigerated and frozen. You might need some extra stock or water if it becomes a little too thick.
Keyword Mexican chicken soup
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Similar Posts

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating