This Mexican chicken soup is chicken soup with a kick! A great use for left-over cooked chicken or start with rotisserie chicken for a quick, hearty, flavourful and soul-soothing soup!
Why you’ll love this Mexican Chicken Soup
- It’s chicken soup, with a kick! With Mexican spices, beans, tomatoes, jalapeño and as much hot sauce as you want (or don’t).
- This soup keeps well in the fridge, as there is no pasta or rice in this soup to soak up all the broth. Perfect for lunch later.
- This soup is a great use for left-over cooked chicken, or start with chicken from a rotisserie chicken.
What you’ll need
Chicken – you can start with one large chicken breast that you cook ahead, or use left-over cooked chicken or chicken from a rotisserie chicken.
Chicken or Vegetable Broth – use either chicken or vegetable broth, as you like.
Canned Tomatoes – you’ll need one large (28oz) can of diced tomatoes and even better if they’re Fire Roasted diced tomatoes!
Ro-Tel Canned Tomatoes – you’ll need one small can of Original Ro-Tel brand canned tomatoes. (Here in Canada that is a 284ml can, which translates to about 9.6 oz.) If you don’t have any on hand, you can simply omit it, but you probably won’t need to add any additional water.
Canned Red Kidney Beans – I’ve used canned red kidney beans here, but you can use white kidney beans or black beans if you like. Any can around 19 oz (540ml), give or take, is fine.
Frozen Corn (optional) – a bit of frozen corn ups the veggie quotient, as well as adding more crunch and flavour.
Cilantro – fresh cilantro is a lovely addition to this soup, but you can substitute fresh parsley or just omit it.
Limes – this soup is finished with the juice of half a lime, which brightens up the flavours of this soup, so I highly recommend it. It’s also nice to serve lime wedges with the soup, as well.
Spices – the Mexican flavours in this soup come from Cumin, Coriander and Chili Powder (this is the spice blend that you’d typically use for a pot of chili).
Garnishes – the garnishes are where this soup really shines. Dress it up with chopped cilantro, diced green onion, sour cream and/or shredded cheddar cheese. Add some sliced avocado, if you like and maybe a few jalapeño slices, too. Serve with lime wedges, to drizzle.
How to make Mexican chicken soup
- Start by softening the onion and jalapeño in some oil, then add the spices and cook briefly.
- Add the diced tomatoes with the juices.
- Add a full can of Ro Tel tomatoes with green chilies.
- Add the chicken broth to the pot.
- Add some chopped cilantro to the soup, if using.
- Add the cooked chicken to the pot.
- Add the rinsed and drained kidney beans (can also use black beans here). If using frozen corn, add now, too. Stir it all together and let it simmer for a bit, to allow the flavours to develop. (Add additional broth or water if the soup is too thick.)
- When the soup is ready, finish with the juice of 1/2 a lime.
- Add hot sauce, to taste.
When it comes to making soups (just about any soup), salt is key! Depending on how salty the broth, beans, chicken and tomatoes are, you may need to add more or less salt at the end of cooking, but almost always, you’ll need to add some. Taste. Season. Taste again. If you find yourself saying “I think it needs something”, 95% of the time, what it needs is more salt! You’ll know you’ve got it right when all the great flavours in this soup sing!
How to serve Mexican Chicken Soup
My favourite way to enjoy this soup is with chopped cilantro, diced green onion, a dollop of sour cream and some shredded cheddar cheese. Serve with a salad or some crusty bread, if you like.
Can this soup be made ahead?
Absolutely! This soup keeps perfectly in the fridge and re-heats flawlessly to serve later.
Leftovers and storage
Store left-over soup in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
This soup should also freeze well, as it has no pasta or rice in it at all. Thaw in the refrigerator and reheat on the stove top.
Get the Recipe: Mexican Chicken Soup
- 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, or other cooking oil
- 1/2 cup onion, diced
- 1 small jalapeño pepper, cored, seeded and finely diced
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried coriander
- 1 teaspoon chilli powder, **the kind of chili powder you'd put in a pot of chili, NOT red pepper powder
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 4 cups chicken broth, plus more broth or water to thin, if needed
- 18 oz (540 ml) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 9 oz (284 ml) can Original Ro-Tel Tomatoes with Green Chilies
- 28 oz (596 ml) can diced tomatoes, Fire roasted recommended
- 1/2 cup frozen corn, optional
- 2 cups cooked chicken, *see Note 1 below
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- hot sauce, to taste
- Heat oil in a large pot on the stovetop, over medium heat. Add the onion and jalapeño and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add the cumin, coriander and chili powder and stir and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the diced tomatoes, Ro-Tel tomatoes, chicken broth and cilantro. Stir together and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the chicken, beans and frozen corn, if using and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 10 minutes. *If soup is too thick after adding all the additions, add additional broth or water to thin to desired level.
- Tip! Salt is maybe the most important ingredient in any soup. The amount you will need will depend on the saltiness of your broth, tomatoes and beans, so it will be a bit different for every cook. Be sure to taste at the end of cooking and add as much salt as your soup needs. If the taste seems a bit flat or you find yourself thinking "it needs something", what it needs is more salt! Add some more :)
- Taste the soup and add salt, as needed. Add some freshly ground black pepper. Add the juice of 1/2 of a lime and a few drops of hot sauce (or more, to taste).
- Serve with any or all of the suggested garnishes. (My favourite way to enjoy this soup is with chopped cilantro, green onion, sour cream and grated cheddar cheese. You could also add jalapeño slices, avocado slices and/or tortilla strips.
- This soup can be made ahead and reheated to serve as it holds in the fridge well. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. This soup will also freeze well.
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Hi! I’m Jennifer, a home cook schooled by trial and error and almost 40 years of getting dinner on the table! I love to share my favourite recipes, both old and new, together with lots of tips and tricks to hopefully help make your home cooking enjoyable, stress free, rewarding and of course, delicious!