My Mexican chicken soup delivers zesty flavor and is loaded with chicken, corn, tomatoes, and beans. It’s wholesome, hearty, and has an amazingly flavorful, comforting broth that really makes this a stand-out dish.
I’ve been making my Mexican chicken soup recipe for decades, not years, decades! My family adores it so it’s in our regular dinner rotation fall through the end of spring.
It’s really thick and chunky, just how I like my soups. Not quite a stew, but not some wimpy soup either! This soup is budget-friendly and appeals to the crowd.
If you’re a fan of chicken soup, try my chicken taco soup, Mexican chicken tortilla soup, and my very unique, though authentic! chicken posole next! Let’s face it, you can never have too many Mexican chicken soup recipes! Ole!!
Mexican Chicken Soup Ingredient Notes:
- Chicken Breast – If you have chicken thighs on hand, they can be used in place of chicken breasts. Because thighs are denser than breasts, they may require a slightly longer cooking time.
- Yellow Onion, Garlic- Sautéing your veggies before adding them to the soup is super important. It coaxes out those sweeter, mellow flavors that give your soup great depth of flavor. You’ll also notice that you need to briefly sauté your spices until they become fragrant. This only takes about a minute, but it perks them up and brings out their complex flavors.
- Red Bell Pepper: You can use any color bell pepper.
- Jalapeño Pepper – When choosing a jalapeño, the little white cracks or striations indicate a spicier pepper. If jalapeño is too hot for some members of your family, try a milder pepper like poblano or cubanelle instead. Since my family doesn’t like a lot of heat, I remove all the seeds and ribs from the jalapeño before chopping.
- Chili powder – My family prefers meals on the milder side, so I usually go for a good commercial blend. I like McCormick brand.
- Smoked Paprika – We love the flavor of smoked paprika in this dish. You can substitute mild paprika plus a dash of smoke flavor if that’s what you have on hand. Feeling bold? Try a dash of hot paprika! Remember, paprika should be stored in the fridge for the longest shelf life.
- Chicken Broth – You can use commercially made chicken broth in this soup to keep the prep time shorter. If you cave time, I strongly urge you to make my Caldo de Pollo. It’s a rich classic chicken stock with wonderful Latin flavor.
- Canned Diced Tomatoes – You can also sub the diced tomatoes for a can of Rotel instead.
- Salsa – There are lots of delicious salsas on the market. Choose your family’s favorite, or be bold and try a new flavor. Different types of salsa will add different, subtle layers of flavor to your soup. Pace is my favorite in this soup.
Toppings for Mexican Chicken Soup:
- Fresh Cilantro
- Monterrey Jack Cheese or Pepper Jack
- Slices of Avocado
- Sour Cream
- Tortilla Chips
Crockpot Mexican Chicken Soup
To make this soup in the crockpot:
- Follow step #1 in the recipe below. Refrigerate the cooked chicken.
- Follow step #2 in the recipe below. Add the sauteed vegetables and spices to a crockpot using a rubber spatula to get all the spices out of the pan. Add all the rest of the ingredients except for the chicken to the crockpot. Cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours.
- Add the cooked chicken to the crockpot and add water, as needed, to the soup if it gets too thick. Set the crockpot to HIGH and cook for 20 minutes or until the chicken is heated through.
Storing + Freezing Tips +Make-Ahead
- How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge? Cooked soups will be at their peak freshness and flavor if eaten within 3-4 days. Soups should also be stored in glass or plastic containers with tight-fitting lids. Look for versatile containers that can go from the freezer or fridge, right into the microwave.
- Can You Freeze This? This freezes and reheats beautifully. Be sure to cool the soup completely before placing it in the freezer so the soup forms fewer ice crystals (freezer burn!) and you don’t raise the temperature inside the freezer.
- Also, omit the toppings when freezing the soup. They will get soggy if frozen. You can freeze for 4-6 months. For the freshest flavor, sprinkle the toppings on the soup after thawing and reheating.
- Make-Ahead Tips: This is a great make-ahead meal. The flavors blend and taste even more scrumptious a day or two after cooking. Make a big batch of this recipe and it will be perfect for lunches as well as a dinner entree.
- Food Safety: If you’d like more info on food safety check out this link.
Variations, Substitutes, + Additions
- Rotisserie chicken: Skip the raw chicken breasts and #1 step in the directions and use a rotisserie chicken. Shred or cube and add to the soup at step #4 in the instructions below. If you do this you’ll actually have a one-pot Mexican chicken soup!
- Spicy Mexican chicken soup: Add more jalapeños and include the ribs and seeds (that’s where the heat is in the pepper!) You can also add your favorite hot sauce along with the broth.
- Hominy: A drained and rinsed can of hominy is a great addition.
- Rice: Rice works well in the soup too. If you add it uncooked, you’ll need to add more broth to keep the soup from getting too thick.
- More Veggies: Add diced cabbage or zucchini before adding the chicken back to the soup. They add great nutritional value. Potatoes are great added to the soup. I use russets cut into 1/2-inch cubes.
How To Make Mexican Chicken Soup
- In a medium pot, add chicken and cover with 1 inch of water.
- Add 1 tablespoon of salt. On medium-high heat, bring water to a boil. Remove from heat and cover tightly for 30 minutes or until there’s no longer any pink in chicken. Remove chicken from pot, let stand until cool enough to handle, then dice.
Sauté onion, red pepper, and jalapeño in a large pot until very soft.
Add garlic and sauté for 2 minutes.
Add salt, black pepper, chili powder, oregano, smoked paprika, and cumin.
Sauté for about 1 minute.
Add all the rest of the ingredients except for the chicken.
Simmer on medium-low heat for 1 1/2 hours to allow all the flavors to develop. Add water, as needed, to the soup if it gets too thick.
- Add chicken and heat through.
- Garnish soup with cilantro, tortilla chips, and cheese.
See the full instructions below.
More Easy Chicken Soup Recipes
- Crack Chicken Noodle Soup
- Chicken Gnocchi Soup
- Italian Chicken Soup
- Chicken and Rice Soup
- Cream of Chicken Soup
- Creamy Chicken Tortellini Soup
- Chicken Vegetable Soup
Mexican Chicken Soup
- 6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut in bite sized pieces
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1/2-1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, ribs removed, and finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried ground cumin
- 64 ounces chicken broth
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (16-ounce) jar salsa, I use mild
- 1 (11-ounce) can whole corn, drained
- 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 cup Monterrey jack cheese, shredded
- tortilla chips, coarsely chopped
- In a medium pot, add chicken (6) and cover with 1 inch of water. Add 1 tablespoon of salt. On medium-high heat, bring water to a boil. Remove from heat and cover tightly for 30 minutes or until there's no longer any pink in chicken. Remove chicken from pot, let stand until cool enough to handle, then dice.
- Sautee onion (1), red pepper (1), and jalapeno (1/2-1) in a large pot until very soft. Add garlic (1) and saute for 2 minutes. Add salt (1/2 teaspoon), black pepper (1/4 teaspoon), chili powder (1 tablespoon), oregano (1 tablespoon), smoked paprika (1 teaspoon), and cumin (1 teaspoon). Saute for about 1 minute.
- Add all the rest of the ingredients except for the chicken. Simmer on medium-low heat for 1 1/2 hours to allow all the flavors to develop. Add water, as needed, to the soup if it gets too thick.
- Add chicken and heat through. Garnish soup with cilantro, tortilla chips, and cheese. This soup is even better if made and refrigerated a day ahead of serving.
- If you are in a hurry, don't worry about the simmer time. The soup is still wonderful if you heat everything through after you saute the veggies. I like the long simmer because I like the canned veggies to soften and the flavors to really merge.
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