Mexican Chicken Soup (Caldo De Pollo)

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This Mexican chicken soup recipe (sometimes called a caldo de pollo recipe) combines the comforting flavor and fresh veggies in chicken detox soup with zesty Mexican seasonings and toppings. It’s the perfect dish when you want a light, nourishing soup that doesn’t skimp on flavor!

What Is Caldo De Pollo?

Caldo de pollo (which means chicken soup in Spanish) is a flavorful Mexican chicken soup made with chicken and vegetables. It’s also common in Latin America. Traditional versions often include chicken, carrots, celery, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and sometimes beans or corn.

Why You’ll Love This Mexican Chicken Soup Recipe

  • Fresh, comforting flavors
  • Tender meat and vegetables with rich spices in smoky broth
  • Basic, natural ingredients
  • No special tools needed
  • Gluten free, dairy free, low carb, and whole30
  • Stores and freezes well
Caldo de pollo with ladle.

Ingredients & Substitutions

This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for chicken Mexican soup, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.

  • Olive Oil – For sauteing the vegetables. I like extra virgin olive oil, but you can use any cooking oil you prefer.
  • Fresh vegetables – Including onion, carrots, celery, and bell peppers. These will need to be cut into bite-sized pieces. My caldo de pollo recipe does not include potatoes, which many other recipes have, but you can definitely add them in if you like.
  • Garlic – Fresh garlic tastes the best in this Mexican chicken soup, but you can also use jarred minced garlic.
  • Chicken Broth – I used a reduced sodium broth, but you can use any variety you prefer (or make your own chicken bone broth).
  • Diced Tomatoes – We’re using a canned version and including the liquid in this soup.
  • Chicken Breasts – Some caldo de pollo recipes use a whole chicken or chicken pieces, but I find it easier to use boneless skinless chicken breasts and shred them once cooked. Chicken thighs will also work if you prefer them.
  • Seasonings – My simple caldo de pollo seasoning includes sea salt, black pepper, ground cumin, and optional fresh cilantro.
  • Toppings – Including avocado, sour cream, lime wedges, and cilantro. These garnishes are optional, but great for extra fresh flavor!
Mexican chicken soup recipe ingredients in bowls.

How To Make Caldo De Pollo

This section shows how to make Mexican soup with chicken, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.

  1. Saute. Heat oil in a dutch oven or large pot, until shimmering. Add onion, carrot, celery, and bell pepper and saute until tender. Add garlic and saute for an additional minute, or until fragrant.
  2. Simmer. Add broth, tomatoes with liquid, chicken, cumin, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, until the chicken is cooked.
Vegetables sauteing in a pot with garlic on top.
Soup with broth and chicken added.

  1. Shred. Remove the chicken, shred, and return to the pot. Simmer the Mexican chicken soup for an additional 5 minutes.
  2. Season. Add chopped cilantro, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Chicken shredded on a plate.
Finished Mexican chicken soup with cilantro garnish.

  1. Finish. Pour caldo de pollo soup into bowls and serve with any desired garnishes.
Bowls of caldo de pollo with garnishes next to lime wedge.

Recipe Variations

  • Add or swap vegetables – Other popular options include corn (fresh or frozen, on the cob or off), cabbage, potatoes, or zucchini.
  • Try other garnishes – A sprinkle of cheddar cheese, squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice, or a scoop of homemade guacamole would add extra freshness and flavor to this soup.
  • Include beans – If you lifestyle allows, you can easily include drained and rinsed beans (or even hominy) into this caldo de pollo recipe.
  • Make it spicy – A sprinkle of hot sauce to garnish or sliced jalapeno peppers (added with the rest of the vegetables) can turn up the heat!

Storage Instructions

  • Store: Cover in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
  • Meal prep: Peel, dice, and chop veggies ahead of time and store in the refrigerator until ready to cook. You can also finish the Mexican chicken soup recipe ahead of time and keep in individual containers for ready-to-eat meals.
  • Reheat: Heat on the stove over medium heat or in the microwave, until warm.
  • Freeze: Cool soup completely, transfer to a freezer-safe container or freezer bags, and freeze for up to 3 months.
Bowl of Mexican chicken soup with sliced avocado and sour cream scoop.

What To Serve With Mexican Chicken Soup

Try your soup with these easy sides:

More Healthy Soup Recipes

Soups are some of my favorite healthy meals! Try these comforting classics next time (or check out my full selection of healthy soup recipes).


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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.

  1. Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat, until shimmering. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and bell peppers. Saute for 5-7 minutes, until browned and tender.

  2. Add the garlic and saute for 1 more minute, until fragrant.

  3. Add the broth, canned tomatoes, chicken, cumin, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, until the chicken breast is cooked through.

  4. Remove the chicken from the pot and shred it using two forks. Add the shredded chicken back to the pot and simmer for 5 more minutes.

  5. Stir in the chopped cilantro. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste.

  6. Pour soup into bowls and garnish with toppings, if desired.

Recipe Notes

Serving size: 1 1/2 cups

Nutrition Facts

Amount per serving. Serving size in recipe notes above.

Calories 235

Fat 11g

Protein 22g

Total Carbs 13.7g

Net Carbs 9.6g

Fiber 4.1g

Sugar 4.3g

Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.

© Copyright Maya Krampf for Wholesome Yum. Please DO NOT SCREENSHOT OR COPY/PASTE recipes to social media or websites. We’d LOVE for you to share a link with photo instead. 🙂

Mexican chicken soup recipe pin.

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