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Leftover Rotisserie Chicken gets put to work in this amazing, fresh Mexican Chicken Soup. It’s good for what ails you, even if it’s just a case of the Monday blues.
Need an easy but outstanding dinner? Go to Mexico. Or rather, let Mexico come to you by making one of the simplest, most delicious soups you’ll ever have.
It’s always a good idea to make extra Mexican Chicken Soup. Click and slide the number next to “servings” on the recipe card below to adjust the ingredients to match how many you’re feeding—the recipe does the math for you, it’s that easy.
Mexican Chicken Soup ingredients:
Everything you need at the store—right here.
- Chicken. Maybe you have leftover Rotisserie Chicken? If not, you can poach chicken breasts in mere minutes: How to Poach Chicken.
- Chicken broth. At least 6 cups.
- Crushed tomatoes. One 14-ounce can, or two if you’re making a double recipe.
- Jalapeño pepper.
- Ground cumin.
- Ground coriander seed.
- Fresh cilantro. (Optional, but so delicious. If you hate cilantro, by all means, leave it out.)
- Salt and freshly cracked pepper.
- Olive oil.
Toppings for Mexican Chicken Soup:
- Cheese. Shredded cheddar, queso fresco, or cotija
- Avocado or Guacamole.
- Sour cream. (Or yogurt if you’re being healthy.)
- Tortilla chips.
How to make Mexican Chicken Soup:
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat some olive oil over medium-high until shimmering, then add onion, celery, and carrots.
- Sauté everything, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables look soft and tender. Then stir in the garlic.
- Next, pour in the chicken broth, the tomatoes and their juice, the jalapeño, coriander, and cumin. Bring everything to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes or so.
- Just before serving, add the shredded chicken and the chopped cilantro. Give the soup a taste, and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, if needed.
- Serve in big, gorgeous bowls with lots of room for toppings.
How to make Mexican Chicken Soup in a slow cooker:
- Add the onion, carrots, celery, coriander, cumin, garlic, tomatoes, chicken broth, and jalapeño to the crock pot.
- Cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours.
- When finished, before serving, add the shredded chicken and the fresh cilantro to the soup, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Mexican Chicken Soup in an Instant Pot:
- Turn the pot to the “sauté” function, and heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onions, celery, and carrots and cook until softened.
- Then add the garlic and give it a stir. Pour in the tomatoes along with their juice, chicken broth, coriander, cumin, and jalapeño. (If you’re using raw chicken breasts, go ahead and add it at this step.)
- Next, close and seal the lid, and push the “soup” button. Once it gets up to pressure, the machine should take over from there.
- When the Instant Pot beeps, allow it to depressurize for 10 minutes, then quick release the pressure in order to open the lid.
- Add in the shredded chicken and cilantro into the soup and adjust the salt and pepper, if desired.
- If you cooked the chicken in the Instant Pot, take it out and shred it, then add it back in.
Make this Mexican Chicken Soup recipe with….
- Hominy. Pozole, or hominy— is one of the hundreds of varieties of corn out there, with a fat, meaty kernel and a wonderful nutty flavor. This soup would be fabulous with a can of drained hominy or cooked pozole added to the broth.
- Black beans. Any kind of cooked bean is great in soup, actually.
- Rice. On the side or added to the soup, rice is perfect in the tomato chicken broth.
- Lime. When a soup is a little on the spicy side, a wedge of lime squirted into the bowl takes the heat down a notch. But it also adds even more tangy flavor, thanks to the acid in the lime juice.
- Tortillas. Mexican tortilla soup uses ground day-old tortillas in the soup base for a thick and wonderful bowl of soup. This soup is on the brothy side, but you can try it…or you can serve it with crisp tortilla chips, for crumbling into the soup.
- Vegetables. This Mexican Soup is already healthy, but add diced zucchini, or any of the vegetables below. This soup can take it!
- Avocado. Silky diced avocado or guacamole…magnifico!
- Cabbage. A very fine shredding of fresh, raw green cabbage over the top of the soup is fantastic and excellent for you.
- Corn. Medallions of corn on the cob, or leftover corn cut off the cob make perfect additions to the soup.
- Potatoes. Got a leftover baked potato? Heck yes, it’s delicious. Dice it up and throw it in!
Mexican Chicken Soup
- 1 medium onion chopped (about 2 cups)
- 3 celery ribs 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 jalapeño pepper seeded and minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
- 3 cups cooked chicken diced or shredded
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped, optional
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- avocado cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips, for serving (optional)
- 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.
- Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the broth, tomatoes and juice, jalapeño, cumin, and coriander.
- Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Stir in chicken and cilantro (if using). Season to taste (I like 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper). Serve, offering avocado, cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips on the side.
Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.