Mexican Chicken Soup

Mexican Chicken Soup is great on a cold winter’s day. A touch of cinnamon gives Mexican Chicken soup it’s unique flavor. You can spice it up with extra jalepeños if you’re under the weather or just like it spicy or tone it down if you like less spice.

A white bowl of Mexican Chicken Soup on a woven mat. There are slices of zucchini, pieces of tomato and corn kernals. The broth is red.

This weekend a cold from blasted through Austin. My Northern friends and relatives laugh at how a little cold weather completely shuts down the South. But temperature swings in Austin can be extreme and winter is a temperature roller coaster here. It can be 80° at lunch and 40° an hour later.

This weekend was like that. It was 70° and then the wind picked up. You could feel the temperature dropping fast. I love soup on a cold day and there’s nothing better when you’re sick.

This Thanksgiving I boiled our turkey carcass for stock. There were 2 large ziplock bags of stock sitting in my freezer just waiting to be made into soup.

This is the top view of a bowl of Mexican Chicken soup. There are slices of zucchini, corn kernels, pieces of chicken and bits of onion floating in the red broth.

I found this recipe for Mexican Chicken Soup in Cooking Light a number of years ago when we were cutting back on fat. I couldn’t find it on their website so this is my version with a few tweaks.

The original recipe called for pickled jalapeño peppers. Fresh jalepeño peppers are plentiful here and they’re a bit more spicy than pickled. I also use diced tomatoes instead of whole tomatoes. It just saves time.

My kids aren’t fond of vegetables so when I make this for them, I leave out the corn and zucchini. You can also easily substitute other vegetables or poultry. I used turkey for this version instead of the chicken thighs in the recipe. You can even substitute peppers. When I was in Cambodia, I couldn’t find jalapeño peppers so I used local ones.

Yield: About 12 cups of soup

Mexican Chicken Soup

This is the top view of a bowl of Mexican Chicken soup. There are slices of zucchini, corn kernels, pieces of chicken and bits of onion floating in the red broth.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 ¼ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 ½ cups slivered onion (1 large)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 ½ cups low fat, no salt chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinega
  • 1 ½ cups frozen whole kernel corn
  • 1 tablespoon minced jalepeño (no seeds) for mild soup, Increase to 2 tablespoons for medium spice
  • ¾ teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 14 ounces no salt diced tomatoes with juice
  • 4 cups chopped zucchini
  • Shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese (optional for topping)


  1. Heat oil over medium high heat and add chicken, onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder, and cinnamon. Saute 5 minutes.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.
  3. Garnish with grated Monterrey Jack cheese.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 229Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 109mgSodium: 357mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 3gSugar: 8gProtein: 25g

Nutrition information is provided as a guide only. Please consult a dietician for specific dietary needs.

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