Mexican Chicken Soup

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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.

Serve Mexican Chicken Soup with Mexican Rice, Homemade Tortilla Chips and a dollop of Guacamole for a super simple, completely satisfying family meal.

Mexican Chicken Soup in a bowl topped with fresh cilantro.

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.
  • Onion.
  • Celery.
  • Carrots.
  • Garlic.
  • 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.
    An overhead shot of Mexican Chicken Soup ingredients.

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:

  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat some olive oil over medium-high until shimmering, then add onion, celery, and carrots.
  2. Sauté everything, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables look soft and tender. Then stir in the garlic.
    An overhead shot of vegetables being cooked in a skillet.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
    An overhead shot of Mexican Chicken soup being cooked in a skillet.
  5. Serve in big, gorgeous bowls with lots of room for toppings.

How to make Mexican Chicken Soup in a slow cooker:

  1. Add the onion, carrots, celery, coriander, cumin, garlic, tomatoes, chicken broth, and jalapeño to the crock pot.
  2. Cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours.
  3. 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:

  1. Turn the pot to the “sauté” function, and heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onions, celery, and carrots and cook until softened.
  2. 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.)
  3. Next, close and seal the lid, and push the “soup” button. Once it gets up to pressure, the machine should take over from there.
  4. When the Instant Pot beeps, allow it to depressurize for 10 minutes, then quick release the pressure in order to open the lid.
  5. Add in the shredded chicken and cilantro into the soup and adjust the salt and pepper, if desired.
  6. If you cooked the chicken in the Instant Pot, take it out and shred it, then add it back in.
    An overhead shot of Mexican Chicken Soup in two bowls with toppings next to them.

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!

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Mexican Chicken Soup in a bowl topped with fresh cilantro.

Mexican Chicken Soup

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.
Author: Meggan Hill
5 from 110 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Course Soup
Cuisine Mexican
Calories 156


  • 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.

Recipe Video


Calories: 156kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 19gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 952mgPotassium: 531mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 5248IUVitamin C: 23mgCalcium: 52mgIron: 2mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @culinaryhill on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece! #culinaryhill
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Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.

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  1. I really wasn’t expecting much. I didn’t think it would taste like the authentic Mexican restaurant we go to, but I think it was just as good. I added 1 can of Rotella besides the 14 oz. of diced tomatoes and it was delicious.5 stars

  2. Really delicious. Exactly what I was looking for on a cold night. The only change I made-I used petite diced tomatoes instead of crushed tomatoes because of color. I wanted a distinct red color in addition to the green and orange.

  3. I made this almost entirely by the recipe. I added two jalapenos one was sauteed with the vegetables and the second was added with the tomatoes. I added a 1/2 cup of black beans and lime at the end with cilantro. Incredible soup served with fresh avocado and optional cheese and sour cream! Great recipe!5 stars

  4. Incredible! I was looking for the soup that I once had at an authentic Mexican restaurant. This one is better! I, like someone else mentioned, added lime and it took it over the top. Thank you so much.

  5. Excellent! I have been looking for a recipe like this for a while; so glad I found this one. Easy, warm, and healthy! I added a cup of corn but otherwise no changes to the recipe. Thank you!5 stars

  6. I made this almost exactly as written (the only thing I did differently was to cook the carrots a few minutes to soften before adding the celery and onions) and it was amazing!! I will be making this again and again!5 stars

  7. This soup is delicious!!!! I followed the recipe and added black chili beans and some lime juice. I only had dried cilantro. Served it over tostada chips topped with cheddar, avocado and sour cream. My husband and his brother had several bowls, and kept saying how great the soup is. Thank you for this recipe!!!

  8. Thank you so much for this recipe! I have never tried this kind of soup before since mexican/american food is a bit less popular here in Europe . The soup is really excellent and will definitely be part of my regular receipes!

  9. Delicious recipe! I do have a problem when stalks of celery are written down. It should be ribs, not stalks, for the celery. Ribs are the individual, stalks are the whole. As a home economics teacher this will throw off my students.
    Great recipe! The flavors are amazing and well thought out. Thanks!5 stars

    1. I 100% agree with you on that. I think it was a year ago that someone posed the question, did I mean the whole stalk or an individual rib, and that was the first time I realized I was wrong about how I was listing it. We’ve been trying to find all the instances of “stalks” on the site so we could fix them. Thank you for finding this one! -Meggan

  10. Great recipe. I added green chiles, Bay leaf, more garlic, slightly more tomatoes, less carrots. Used left over homemade rotisserie chicken. Homemade tortilla strips and added thinly sliced scallions and radishes to the cilantro, cheese, sour cream garnishes. Served it with steamed rice. Delicious!5 stars

  11. Saving this recipe forever! I loved it and will probably eat it all by myself, I topped with A little sour cream, avocado, more cilantro and jalapeños and made tortilla chips Perfect! I did make a smaller serving then the recipe called for and made my chicken stock added some mushrooms but cut them extremely small (just trying to get them out of the fridge) thank you for this recipe!5 stars

  12. Made as directed except only had fire roasted tomatoes on hand a little less jalepeno a little more garlic for my wifes taste. It was awesome I will be making again. I used rotisserie chicken leftovers to make the broth and the left over chicken meat from the most recent purchase I may never have stock in freezer as I think it will be made directly into this recipe5 stars

  13. Seriously so good… will become a staple in our home for sure!!! I could have eaten the entire pot myself! I added some fresh lime juice with the cilantro as a topping… Perfect! 5 stars

  14. I made this last night, and it was amazing! The only thing I changed was add more cumin (we love cumin!), 1 tbsp of Mexican oregano and the juice of 2 limes. The flavors today are even better (I had it for lunch) – simple, easy and delicious!5 stars