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This Mexican chicken soup recipe is super easy to make and bursting with fresh flavors! Load it up with your favorite toppings to make it a tasty meal.
Why you’ll love this soup
I have a Crockpot Mexican Chicken Soup recipe that’s been on my website for years and readers can’t get enough, so I thought I’d tweak it a bit and make an easy stovetop version of this popular Mexican-inspired healthy soup recipe. It tastes every bit as bright and satisfying as its slow cooker counterpart, but it’s way faster!
Mexican chicken soup is one you’ll often see on menus, but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to replicate it in your own kitchen for a fraction of the price. Pantry seasonings and a few canned ingredients make up the base of this irresistible soup. Everyone has their own spin on it, and I hope you’ll enjoy mine the next time you’re craving soup on a chilly day.
What you’ll need
- Olive oil – for sautéing
- Onion, celery, and carrots – a classic aromatic trio that starts off many soups right. I like Vidalia (sweet) onions, but yellow work too.
- Tomatoes – we’re using diced tomatoes along with the juices. They’re canned at the peak of ripeness, so you can make this all year long.
- Chicken broth – to add depth of flavor
- Corn and black beans – I always keep several cans of both on hand in my pantry for Mexican-inspired meals
- Seasoning – my homemade spice blend includes garlic powder, ground cumin, and chili powder. Cayenne pepper is totally optional, but I find a little adds a gentle kick.
- Chicken – we’re using boneless/skinless chicken breasts
Pro tips for chicken
- You can swap the chicken breasts for chicken thighs. They’re more forgiving and less likely to dry out. I’d probably use 4-6 of them depending on their size.
- Use an instant read meat thermometer to tell when chicken is done. It can go from undercooked to overcooked in a hurry.
- If you want to use already cooked or rotisserie chicken, just add it in during the last 5-10 minutes so it doesn’t dry out too much and is warmed through.
How to make Mexican chicken soup
This is an overview, and full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
- Start by sautéing the onion, carrots, and celery in a large soup pot or Dutch oven for 5-7 minutes.
- Add in the diced tomatoes, chicken broth, corn, black beans, seasonings, and uncooked chicken breasts. Bring the soup to a boil, and then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
- Take the chicken out of the pot and cut it up/shred it, and then return it to the pot. While the soup cooks, prep the toppings. Serve right away.
Toppings for Mexican chicken soup
- I love a soup where you can add toppings. It’s a great way for everyone to be able to customize their meal to their liking, especially if you serve them in a divided bowl.
- I’m big on freshly squeezed lime juice, cilantro, and avocado for a bright and fresh pop of flavor.
- You can also add a dollop of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt for creaminess, tortilla strips for a crunch, or cheese for even more flavor. Try a shredded Tex-Mex blend or cotija.
Substitutions and variations
- You could use fire-roasted diced tomatoes instead if you’re craving more intense flavor.
- If you don’t want pieces of tomatoes, swap the diced tomatoes for tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes. It’ll be a slightly thicker soup, though. Or use petite diced tomatoes.
- Want to make this soup spicy? Sprinkle in some cayenne pepper. Start with 1/4 teaspoon and build up from there, or add in a chopped up chipotle chili pepper or two and a spoonful of adobo sauce for some smoky spice.
What to serve with this soup
- Make sure to serve this soup with toppings mentioned above! Also, some Restaurant Style Guacamole with some tortilla chips for sharing would make it a complete feast for your family.
- If you’re craving a salad, try this Black Bean Corn Avocado Salad with Rice. I also like tossing together some mixed greens with my Chipotle Cilantro Lime Ranch Dressing.
Leftovers and storage
- Leftovers of this Mexican soup will keep in the fridge in a covered container for 3-4 days no problem. I’d add fresh toppings when ready to eat leftovers.
- Reheat in a saucepan over a low heat until warmed through. You could also microwave in short increments.
- You can freeze this soup for up to 3 months. I recommend individual portions. Make sure it’s cooled before going into the freezer.
Questions about this Mexican style chicken soup? Did you make the recipe? Leave me a comment or review below! You can always show me your creations on Instagram as well.
Mexican Chicken Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion chopped small
- 3 sticks celery chopped small
- 2 medium carrots peeled & chopped small
- 1 (28 fluid ounce) can diced tomatoes with juices
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 (12 fluid ounce) can corn drained
- 1 (14 fluid ounce) can black beans drained & rinsed
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- Cayenne pepper optional, to taste
- 1.5 pounds uncooked chicken breasts boneless skinless
- Garnish (optional): lime wedges, cilantro, sour cream, tortilla strips, avocado, etc.
- Add the oil, onion, celery, and carrots to a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Sauté for 5-7 minutes (light browning adds more flavor).
- Add the diced tomatoes, chicken broth, corn, black beans, garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and chicken breasts to the pot. Give it a stir, then increase the heat to high and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat, cover the pot with the lid slightly ajar, and simmer for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
- Take the chicken out of the pot and cut it up/shred it, then add it back to the pot.
- Season the soup with salt & pepper as needed. I recommend adding a good squeeze of fresh lime juice and a handful of chopped cilantro to the soup prior to serving, but that step is optional. Serve and top each bowl as desired with any extra garnishes (tortilla strips, sour cream, cheese, etc.).
- Anything from 1-1.5 pounds of chicken will work.
- Use an instant read meat thermometer to tell if chicken is cooked. Chicken breasts can dry out quickly (it’s easy to overcook them). Chicken thighs are much more forgiving/less likely to dry out, so you could always swap the chicken breasts for thighs in this recipe.
- Check out the Crockpot version here.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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