Mexican-Style Shredded Chicken Soup

Mexican-Style Shredded Chicken Soup

The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Total: 60 mins
Servings: 16 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
92 Calories
3g Fat
7g Carbs
10g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 92
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 4%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 22mg 7%
Sodium 197mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 10g
Vitamin C 6mg 30%
Calcium 20mg 2%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 274mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This easy and brightly flavored chicken soup recipe is inspired by the classic Mexican tortilla soup. The recipe calls for two jalapeños, and the instructions tell you how seed them, which makes them less spicy and more suitable for a family dinner.

But you can make this chicken soup as mild or spicy as you like by adjusting the number of hot peppers, or by mellowing the spiciness of the peppers in other ways. If you like it really spicy, you can also use a different kind of hot pepper altogether.

This is a filling soup. Garnished with broken tortilla chips, cheese, and sour cream, it can be served as a main course for dinner or lunch.

This recipe uses both dried ground coriander and fresh cilantro, which are both widely used in Mexican cooking and have very different flavors. The addition of cilantro is optional. If you are one of the people who dislike cilantro, just leave it out.

The soup is also a great way to use leftover cooked chicken breast or any other white poultry meat. Since the chicken is already cooked, the soup will need less cooking time. Add the shredded chicken directly to the soup and cook it as described until the vegetables are tender. 

If you have leftovers of the soup, refrigerate it promptly in an airtight container and use within three to four days. You can also freeze the soup in an airtight container and use it within three months.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 1/2 cup chopped celery

  • 1 cup chopped carrots

  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

  • 6 cups chicken stock

  • 1 (14-ounce) can whole tomatoes in puree

  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded, minced

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, chopped, optional

  • Sour cream, grated cheddar cheese, and broken tortilla chips, for optional garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Mexican-Style Shredded Chicken Soup ingredients

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

  2. Heat olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add onion, celery, and carrots and cook over medium-low heat for 8 minutes or until the onion starts to turn golden. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

    garlic, onions, celery, and carrots in a pot

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

  3. Add chicken breasts, chicken stock, tomatoes with their puree, jalapeños, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, and cilantro, if using.

    Add chicken breasts, chicken stock, tomatoes with their puree, jalapenos, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, and cilantro to the vegetables in the pot

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

  4. Bring soup to a boil, then lower heat and cook at a low simmer.

    soup cooking in a pot

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

  5. After 15 minutes, remove chicken breasts from the soup with tongs and cool on a plate. When chicken is cool enough to handle, shred the meat and add back to the soup. Continue simmering soup until vegetables are tender.

    shredded chicken in a pot of soup

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg

  6. Serve soup hot, garnished with optional toppings.

    Mexican-Style Shredded Chicken Soup served with cheese, sour cream and chips

    The Spruce / Eric Kleinberg