Mexican Chicken Soup
This easy Mexican Chicken Soup is flavored with lime and cilantro, and the delicious soup is made from leftover rotisserie chicken! You can make it with pinto beans, or omit the beans and add frozen cauliflower rice for a low-carb version.
For this week’s Friday Favorites pick, I’m recommending this easy recipe for Mexican Chicken Soup that combines commonly-used Mexican ingredients in a delicious soup to make with leftover rotisserie chicken. You can make the slightly-spicy soup with pinto beans, or replace pinto beans with cauliflower rice for a low-carb version. And I love this for a quick and easy soup to make on the stove.
And this soup has lime and cilantro to bump up the flavors! I love to eat this soup with plenty of chopped fresh cilantro added at the table, but see notes below if you’re not a cilantro lover.
What ingredients do you need for this recipe?
(This is only a list of ingredients; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- chopped garlic or Minced Garlic (affiliate link)
- Olive Oil (affiliate link)
- homemade chicken stock or canned chicken broth (affiliate link)
- dried oregano, preferably Mexican Oregano (affiliate link)
- ground cumin (affiliate link)
- ground Chipotle chile pepper (affiliate link), or use your favorite hot sauce
- canned pinto beans (or cauliflower rice for low-carb option)
- diced, cooked chicken
- canned diced green chiles
- fresh-squeezed lime juice
- chopped fresh cilantro (see notes)
How can you make the Mexican Chicken Soup lower in carbs?
Of course you can make a lower-carb version of this recipe by simply cutting down the pinto beans to one can of beans. Or to make a similar and equally delicious soup that’s low in carbs, replace the 2 cans of Pinto Beans with about 2 cups of frozen cauliflower rice, for a variation with about 8 net carbs per serving. Add the cauliflower rice after the soup has simmered about 30 minutes.
Is this an authentic Mexican recipe?
I’m not claiming this Mexican Chicken Soup is an authentic Mexican recipe, but ingredients like onion, garlic, chicken stock, Mexican oregano, ground cumin, ground Chipotle pepper, pinto beans, green chiles, lime juice, fresh cilantro, and of course chicken are traditional in Mexican cooking.
What adds the spicy flavor notes to this Mexican Chicken Soup?
The diced green chiles plus a small amount of ground chipotle chiles adds a spicy flavor to this soup. I wouldn’t skip the green chiles, but if you don’t have ground chipotle you can use a dash of your favorite Mexican hot sauce, or something like Green Tabasco Sauce (affiliate link) would also be tasty in this soup.
What if you’re not a cilantro fan?
If you’re someone with the anti-cilantro tastebuds, simply replace the chopped cilantro with thinly-sliced green onion and the soup will be just as tasty!
More Soup with Mexican Flavors:
How to make Mexican Chicken Soup:
(This is only a summary of the steps for the recipe; please scroll down for complete printable recipe. Or if you use the JUMP TO RECIPE link at the top of the page, it will take you directly to the complete recipe.)
- I cooked the onions and garlic right in the soup pot, which saved dirtying another pan!
- Then add chicken stock or broth, dried Mexican Oregano, ground cumin, and ground Chipotle chiles (or hot sauce) and simmer for about 15 minutes to blend flavors.
- Add the pinto beans with juice from the can and diced chicken. (If you’re making the cauliflower rice version, don’t add that yet.)
- Let soup simmer on very low heat about 30 minutes or a little longer, until flavors are well combined, and beans are quite soft. If you’re using cauliflower rice, add it for the last 20 minutes of cooking time.
- If you’re not a cilantro fan, use thinly sliced green onions to add some color to the soup. Chop the cilantro or green onions just before you’re ready to serve.
- Stir in the chopped cilantro or thinly sliced green onions, turn off the heat, and let soup sit for a minute or two.
- Serve hot, with extra lime to add at the table for those who like a lot of lime. I like to add a little fresh chopped cilantro when I serve it as well.
Weekend Food Prep:
This recipe has been added to a category called Weekend Food Prep to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!
- 1 onion, diced small
- 1 T chopped garlic (see notes)
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 8 cups chicken broth (see notes)
- 2 tsp. dried Mexican Oregano
- 1 T ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. ground Chipotle chile powder (or use your favorite hot sauce)
- two 15 oz. cans pinto beans (see notes)
- 4 cups diced, cooked chicken
- one 4 oz. can diced green chiles (see notes)
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro (see notes)
- Heat olive oil in frying pan or in the soup pot, then cook onion 2-3 minutes.
- Add garlic and cook a couple of minutes more.
- In large soup pot combine homemade chicken stock or canned chicken broth, onions, garlic, oregano, ground cumin (affiliate link), and Chipotle chile powder and let simmer on low about 15 minutes.
- Add pinto beans with juice, cooked chicken, and diced green chiles and simmer 30 minutes or a little longer, until flavors are well combined, and beans are quite soft.
- If you're using cauliflower rice, add it for the last 20 minutes of cooking time.
- Turn off heat and stir in lime juice (I use my fresh-frozen lime juice) and chopped cilantro or sliced green onion.
- Serve hot, with more chopped cilantro and lime juice to be added at the table if desired.
You can use minced garlic from a jar if you prefer.
If you don't have homemade chicken stock use 4 1/2 cans chicken broth, or put the whole 5 cans and just simmer a bit longer.
Be sure to buy Anaheim chiles, not Jalapenos unless you really like it hot!
Nutritional information is for the version with two cans of pinto beans. Use one can of pinto beans for a lower-carb soup, or replace pinto beans with 2-3 cups cauliflower rice for a low-carb soup.
You can substitute thinly sliced green onion if you’re not a cilantro fan.
Recipe created by Kalyn.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 460Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 91mgSodium: 1303mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 14gSugar: 4gProtein: 38g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Pinto beans are too high in carbs for the original version of this Mexican Chicken Soup to be suitable for low-carb eating plans, but you can make this lower in carbs by using only one can of beans or make a soup with only 8 net carbs by replacing the beans with 2 cups of frozen cauliflower rice. Pinto beans are considered a “good” carb for the original South Beach Diet and this Mexican Chicken Soup would be approved for all phases of South Beach.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Soup Recipes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest, on Facebook, on Instagram, on TikTok, or on YouTube to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This recipe was first posted in 2007! The photos were updated in 2014 and the recipe was last updated with more information and the option for a lower-carb version in 2023.