This Mexican Chicken Soup is easy, delicious, and accidentally healthy! It’s also ready in 30 minutes or less and a great way to put leftover chicken to work.

How great is it when your entree at a Mexican restaurant comes with soup or salad?

You’re expecting (and devouring) the endless chips and salsa, but soup? It’s rare, it’s exciting, and it’s a little bit like winning the lottery.

Kind of? Maybe?

I never met a Mexican Chicken Soup I didn’t like, but this version is my favorite by far. It’s fresh and flavorful and made with common ingredients (nothing weird) including a whole lot of ingredients you may have on hand already.

My Mexican Chicken Soup recipe is modeled after the authentic Mexican Chicken Soup I have eaten at a local restaurant in my area, La Cocina. The first time I ate there, I got the soup or salad question. JACKPOT.

They actually include chunks of potato and their soup and it’s FANTASTIC.  I don’t include it here, but if you happen to have a leftover baked potato on hand, feel free to cube it and add it with the chicken in Step 3.

PLEASE omit the cilantro if you don’t like cilantro. You have my permission. Substitute parsley if you like green in your bowl. If you like cilantro, though, you’ll love it in this soup.

If you don’t have cooked chicken on hand, you can bake some up quick (rubbed with olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper) in a 400°F oven for 30 to 40 minutes (cover the chicken in a baking dish with parchment paper for the juiciest chicken breast ever).  Both chicken breast and dark meat such as chicken thighs will work; remove and discard the skin and bones, if applicable, before shredding.  Leftover Rotisserie Chicken is a great option, too!

This is one of those legendary recipes in my household: My husband is shocked that something so tasty could be so good for you.  And when I’m about to have a melt-down from hunger, nothing is more delicious!




Mexican Chicken Soup is easy, delicious, and accidentally healthy! It’s also ready in 30 minutes or less and a great way to put leftover chicken to work.



  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 3 stalks celery, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 3 carrots, peeled and finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (14 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, optional
  • 3 cups cooked chicken, cubed or shredded (about 1 pound uncooked)
  • Avocado, cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips, for serving, optional



  1. In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion, celery, and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened and the onion has started to brown, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the broth, tomatoes and juice, jalapeno, cumin, coriander, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
  3. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Stir in chicken and cilantro (if using). Serve, offering avocado, cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips on the side.