This 25-minute Mexican Chicken Soup is perfect for busy families. It’s an easy recipe with a vegetarian twist & slow cooker option. Warm up with this hearty, flavorful soup.
Mexican cuisine is known for its flavors, spices, and textures and our Mexican Chicken Soup is based off of those much loved things.
With tender chicken, Rotel, black beans, and the zest of lime, every spoonful promises a smile. This soup is great comfort food, sure to be a family favorite on fall evenings or cold winter weekends. Plus, you’ll love the slow cooker and vegetarian options!
About this Mexican Chicken Soup Recipe:
Flavor: This savory chicken soup has an earthy, smoky sweet flavor. Rotel adds a spicy kick, while fresh cilantro and lime juice add a brightness to the soup.
Texture: Just like many Mexican recipes, this is recipe is full of texture. Tender chicken, crisp corn, creamy beans. And more texture comes in when you add sour cream and tortilla chips to the top.
Method: This recipe is meant to use chicken that is already cooked, so it is easy to make on the stovetop in 25 minutes. There is a slow cooker option, too, which is great if you don’t have precooked chicken.
This is a great recipe to use up leftover shredded chicken. With chicken that’s already cooked, this soup will take only 25-30 minutes to make on the stovetop.
If all you have is uncooked chicken, plan an extra 10-15 minutes to cook the chicken in a skillet. Or you can use the slow cooker to make the soup and get that perfectly shredded chicken.
Chicken broth or chicken stock will work.
Don’t have black beans? Try pinto beans instead.
If you think Rotel might be too spicy, use 1 drained can of petite diced tomatoes and diced green pepper.
Frozen corn sometimes has a sweeter flavor, but canned corn is ok, too.
If you prefer the freshness of real garlic over garlic powder, use 2-3 minced garlic cloves. Sauté the garlic with the onions until fragrant.
How to Make Mexican Chicken Soup
In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic powder, ground cumin, smoked paprika, and chili powder.
Sauté for an additional 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
Pour in the chicken broth and stir to combine.
Add the shredded chicken, diced tomatoes, black beans, and frozen corn to the pot. Stir to combine. Bring the soup to a light boil and let it cook for 10-15 mins.
Stir in the chopped cilantro and lime juice.
Vegetarian Mexican Soup
For a vegetarian soup, substitute chicken broth with vegetable broth. And substitute chicken with a suitable vegetarian alternative such as tofu or tempeh. More veggies (zucchini, celery, cabbage, carrots, etc) and beans will thicken up the soup as well.
You can even add potatoes to add more bulk to the soup.
Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken Soup
Because I’m a morning person, I love using my slow cooker to make dinner. I have more energy the beginning of the day to get something ready. This soup is excellent in the slow cooker, and you can use boneless skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs and let them simmer all day to be perfectly shreddable.
Combine all the ingredients (except for the cilantro and lime juice) and 2 uncooked chicken breasts in a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. Shred the chicken, then stir in the cilantro and lime juice just before serving.
Garnish the soup:
Sour cream. A swirl of sour cream on top of your soup can add a tangy creaminess. It’s also an excellent way to tame the soup’s spiciness.
Shredded cheese. Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese goes well on top of the hot soup. It’ll melt into gooey strings and add creaminess.
Chopped cilantro and green onions. Sprinkle on top to enhance the soup’s freshness and make it look extra pretty.
For serving alongside:
Tortilla chips. Dunk those crispy tortilla chips into the warm soup. Or even crumble them on top of the soup for an added crunch.
Guacamole. This creamy avocado-based dip is a match made in heaven for this Mexican Chicken Soup. Serve it on the side with tortilla chips.
Rice or Quinoa. If you want to make the soup even heartier, consider serving it over a bed of cooked Mexican rice or quinoa.
In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. 2 tablespoons olive oil
Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. 1 small yellow onion
Add the garlic powder, ground cumin, smoked paprika, and chili powder. Sauté for an additional 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, ½ teaspoon chili powder
Pour in the chicken broth and stir to combine. 6 cups chicken broth
Add the shredded chicken, diced tomatoes, black beans, and frozen corn to the pot. Stir to combine. 2 cups shredded chicken, 10 ounces Rotel, 14 ounces black beans, 1 cup frozen sweet corn
Bring the soup to a simmer and let it cook for 10-15 minutes.
Stir in the chopped cilantro and lime juice. ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, Juice of 1 lime
Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.
For an extra depth of flavor: Consider roasting the corn before adding it to the soup. This caramelizes the sugars in the corn, giving it a smoky, sweet flavor that complements the soup’s other ingredients.
Garnish options: Top the soup with crunchy tortilla strips, diced avocado, sour cream, shredded cheese, or sliced jalapeños for added flavor and texture.
Customize spice level: Adjust the chili powder or add diced jalapeños to increase the spiciness of the soup.
Make it vegetarian: Omit the chicken and use vegetable broth for a vegetarian version. You can add extra beans or veggies like bell peppers or zucchini for more substance.
Slow cooker option: Combine all the ingredients (except for the cilantro and lime juice) in a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. For this option you can use 2 uncooked chicken breasts, then shred them at the end of cooking. Stir in the cilantro and lime juice just before serving.
Refer to the article above for more tips and tricks.The calories shown are based on the soup serving 6, with 1 serving being ⅙ of the soup. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**