Mexican chicken soup

Warm up cold nights with this savory Mexican chicken soup.

Mexican Chicken Soup
(Image credit: Unsplash)

We've got a long winter ahead of us, so you know what that means — soup season! This Mexican chicken soup is savory, filling, and incredibly easy to whip up. It has comforting flavors that will warm your belly and just enough spice to keep things interesting.

The best part about Mexican chicken soup? All the extras. Garnish with your choice toppings — avocado, cheese, tortilla chips, cilantro, sour cream, and lime wedges — to customize the flavor. Serve family style right out the pot, with garnishes arranged around the table. And if you're feeding a larger crowd or want to make an extra batch to freeze, you can easily double or even triple this recipe. 

Hungry? Browse more hearty winter recipe ideas in our Real Food hub. 

Diet and nutritional information

For those trying to eat more fiber, this soup gets five stars. It's great for those on a high-fiber diet (which the FDA defines as providing 20% or more of the daily value of fiber per serving). That's thanks to its fiber-packed vegetables like carrots, chiles, and avocado. 

If you are on a dairy-free diet, this soup is fair game! Just skip the cheese and sour cream on top or replace with your favorite dairy-free options. See the complete nutritional information for this Whole Foods Mexican chicken soup recipe below: 

Per serving: 210 calories (60 from fat), 7g total fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 40mg cholesterol, 510mg sodium, 20g carbohydrates (5g dietary fiber, 5g sugar), 20g protein.

Mexican chicken soup recipe

Mexican chicken soup

(Image credit: Whole Foods)


  • 2 dried ancho chiles, stemmed
  • 1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, mashed into a paste
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small strips
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 teaspoons crumbled feta or grated Monterey Jack cheese
  • 8 tortilla chips, lightly crushed
  • 1/4 cup diced avocado
  • Lime wedges
  • 1 cup boiling water

Mexican chicken soup method

1. Put chiles into a medium heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water and set aside to let soak until softened, about 10 minutes.

2. Transfer chiles and about 1/2 cup of soaking liquid to a blender and purée, adding more soaking liquid, if needed, to make a smooth, thin paste. Set aside.

3. Put broth into a large pot and bring just to a boil.

4. Add carrots, garlic, tomatoes and 2 to 3 tablespoons of the reserved chile purée and simmer until carrots are almost tender, 15 to 20 minutes. (Reserve leftover chile purée for another use. It keeps well in the refrigerator for up to a week or the freezer for up to two months.)

5. Add chicken and simmer over low heat until just until cooked through.

6. Remove soup from heat, season with salt and pepper and serve garnished with avocado, cheese, tortilla chips, cilantro, sour cream, and lime wedges.

Can I make Mexican Chicken Soup in the crock pot? 

Pinched for time? Yes, you can easily make this Mexican chicken soup in your slow cooker. After preparing your chile purée, add all remaining ingredients to your crock pot. To keep the chicken from drying out, it is preferable to cook the chicken breasts whole. 

Add all ingredients (except for garnishes) to your slow cooker and let simmer for about three hours. Remove the chicken breasts and shred them with two forks. Replace shredded chicken in crock pot and cook for an additional 30 minutes. 

How to freeze Mexican chicken soup

It's easy to make this soup in big batches, so why not cook up some extra to freeze and enjoy later? Since this Mexican chicken soup is broth based, it freezes extremely well. The process won't cause the soup to separate or change in texture.

Simply scoop into your choice of Tupperware or Ziplock freezer bag and seal tightly. When you're ready to eat, take the soup out of the freezer and let it begin to defrost on the counter for one hour. Once you can remove the contents from the package, heat thoroughly on the stovetop or in the microwave. Enjoy!