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.
Mexican Chicken Soup
This Mexican chicken soup recipe might not be the most authentic one out there, but it is definitely one of the most delicious soups I have cooked to date. This delicious soup has layers of flavors and can be done in under 30 minutes. This easy recipe is certainly a keeper.
Ingredients for Mexican Chicken Soup
This traditional 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 a flavorsome broth in no time. If you prefer using chicken breast instead, here is how to poach chicken.
- 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 healthy 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, try to add ½ teaspoon of chili powder to add some heat.
- Quinoa. You can use Mexican rice instead.
- Extra virgin olive oil. Please don't use vegetable oils in your cooking, they are proven to be inflammatory and harmful to our bodies.
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.
How to make Mexican chicken soup
To make this easy 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. Set it aside.
- In a large saucepan or large dutch oven heat some extra virgin olive oil over medium heat and add diced onions. Cook the onion stirring frequently for 5 to 7 minutes until the onions 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.
- Bring the soup to a boil and immediately lower the heat to low. Simmer the soup until the potatoes are nearly cooked but are still a bit firm.
- Add shredded kale and cook for another 5 minutes.
- While the soup is cooking take the chicken thighs out and take the meat off the bones. Using two forks or simply your hands, shred the chicken. Add shredded chicken to the soup and mix.
Toppings for Mexican chicken soup
You can add any of your favorite toppings. Here are a couple of ideas to try out:
- Crispy tortilla chips for some crunch
- Fresh cilantro leaves for freshness
- Avocado slices for creaminess
- Freshly squeezed lime juice to balance the flavors
- Jalapeno peppers for an extra kick.
- Cheese. Shredded cheddar cheese, queso fresco, or cotija
- A dollop of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
This simple soup is a complete meal. Thanks to chicken and quinoa it is packed with proteins and the veggies provide a great amount of fiber.
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 to 4 days. Reheat it, let it simmer for a minute, and enjoy.
You can easily make this Mexican soup vegetarian or vegan. Simply use nice vegetable stock instead of chicken stock, it will be just as delicious as the one with chicken.
I hope this caldo de pollo will become your new favorite soup and that you enjoy it as much as we did. If you made this healthy Mexican chicken soup please let me know in the comments below. I love hearing from you!
Mexican Chicken Soup Recipe
- 4 Free-range or organic skinless chicken thighs, bone-in
- 1 small onion finely diced
- 1 bay leave
- 1 small carrot
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4-5 black peppercorns
Mexican Chicken Soup Ingredients
- 1 brown onion finely diced
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 3 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground paprika
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 large tomatoes, skinned and diced or use ½ tin of organic diced tomatoes, use BPA-free variety
- 1 tin organic black beans always use BPA-free variety
- 1 large potato diced
- ½ cup uncooked quinoa well rinsed, see note
- Fresh cilantro (coriander)
- Lime juice
- Tortilla chips
- Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
- Shredded cheese
- Avocado slicces
How to poach 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.
- Once the chicken has cooled down enough to handle it, shred it using two forks or simply your hands.
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 poatoes along with chicken stock.
- 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!