Sopa de Pollo – Mexican Chicken Soup [Video]

horizontal view of delicious Mexican Sopa de Pollo dish.

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This classic recipe for Mexican chicken soup is just what the doctor ordered to nourish your body. Low in fat and loaded with veggies, this Sopa de Pollo is tasty, healthy, gluten-free, and Keto and Paleo approved. If that’s too healthy for your taste, add shredded cheddar cheese and tortilla strips.


We’ve included instant pot and slow cooker instructions below.



Mexican chicken soup in a colorful bowl, with a hand holding a spoon - with text overlay

Update Notes: This recipe was originally published in December 2014. It was updated in March of 2020 with new photos, a video, and extensive recipe tips.


Homemade Sopa de Pollo


When it comes to making soups, I tend to stick with the old, tested, familiar recipes. You know the soups which, while cooking, fill the house with the soothing aroma of your childhood. Yeah, those!


This time I decided to venture out of my comfort zone and make a soup I haven’t had the pleasure of tasting before. The classic Mexican soup with chicken breast in tomato-based broth is one of those soups.


Although it filled my house with someone else’s childhood aroma, this chunky nourishing dish was still delightful. Besides being low in fat, chicken is rich in vitamins and minerals and contains the essential amino acids that the body needs.


Homemade soups are those things that the body craves when we are sick and that taste like blessed glory. Also, it couldn’t be easier to prepare.


Ingredients for chicken soup Mexican-style


This authentic Mexican chicken soup recipe is packed with freshnatural ingredients, giving it an exceptional flavor. 


Simple ingredients for Mexican soup with chicken.


How to Make Stovetop Sopa de Pollo:


*Keep scrolling to get the full (printable) recipe, ingredient amounts, and more tips.


1. First, we cook onions, carrots, and celery in oil until they just begin to soften.

2. Then we stir in minced garlic and crushed red pepper flakes and cook until garlic is fragrant.

3. Next, we place chicken breast on top of veggies and season with chili, cumin, and salt and pepper.

4. To the chicken, we add tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, and water; then cover the pot and cook until chicken is tender, about 30-40 minutes.

5. When chicken is done, we remove it from the pan and shred it or cut it into small pieces.

6. Finally, we return the meat to the pot and test for seasoning. Serve hot. 


Six easy steps to making sopa de pollo.


Frequently asked questions:




  1. Press the “Sauté” button to pre-heat your Instant Pot. When the word “Hot” appears on display, add two tablespoons olive oil, 1 diced onion, 1 cup shredded carrots, and 1 cup chopped celery: sauté, often stirring, until vegetables soften. Stir in 2 minced cloves of garlic and 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes.
  2. Place chicken breast on top of vegetables. Season the chicken with 1 teaspoon of each chili powder and cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. Add 1 tablespoon tomato paste and pour in 1 can crushed tomatoes, 2 cups chicken broth, and 1 cup water.
  3. Close and lock the lid of the instant pot (follow the manufacturer’s guide for instructions on how to close it). Set the Instant Pot to the “Soup” setting and set the timer to 8 minutes.
  4. Once the instant pot cycle is done, wait until the natural release cycle is complete (takes about 10 minutes). Remove the chicken breast from the soup and shred with two forks. Return the chicken to the pot. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.




This soup is very easy to make from scratch in a crockpot:


  1. In a crockpot/slow cooker, combine all ingredients in the order listed.
  2. Cover and cook on low, 6 to 8 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove chicken from slow cooker and shred with two forks. Return chicken to slow cooker and taste for seasoning.


Low in fat and loaded with veggies, this Mexican Sopa de Pollo is tasty, #healthy, gluten-free, and Keto and Paleo approved. #glutenfree #chickensoup #MexicanClick to Tweet




Serve this chicken soup hot and accompany it with avocado slices, lime wedges, and fresh cilantro.




It will keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Microwave the individual portions in bowls or a pot on the stovetop over low heat.  




Yes, above all, double the recipe and freeze the leftovers for up to 3 months, so you have it on hand whenever you need it. 


Overhead photo of two bowls with soup serving on a white background.


Variations/Make it your own:


  • Make it spicier: add seeded, and membrane removed diced jalapeno pepper if you like it extra hot.
  • Use leftover chicken or turkey meat.
  • Instead of crushed/diced tomatoes, use fresh (about six Roma tomatoes, skin removed).
  • Add chopped leeks, frozen peas, or green beans to the soup.
  • Top the soup with chopped green onions, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, and corn tortilla chips.
  • It is an excellent idea to add spices and herbs to your liking to give it a different flavor tone each time, for example, thyme or rosemary are exceptional, and also oregano.


Servings for two of sopa de pollo with avocado slices, lime, and cilantro with a red towel and a pot.


Recipe Notes/Pro Tips:


  • Cut the chicken up before adding it to the vegetables for faster cooking. You can also dice it small and skip shredding to save even more time.
  • If the soup turns out too spicy, add more lime or lemon juice. It reduces the level of spiciness.
  • Use chicken thighs instead of breast, just remove the skin, bones, and extra fat before or after cooking.



Don’t forget to post a photo on my Facebook page, share it on Instagram, or save it to Pinterest with the tag #ALLTHATSJAS.


Dipping a spoon into delicious chicken soup from Mexico.


NOTE: For your shopping convenience, this post contains affiliate links.



for Mexican Chicken Soup



More chicken soup recipes to try:







Watch how we make Sopa de Pollo right here: 

Red and green bowl with chunky chicken soup and a spoon - overhead
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Print Recipe

Gluten-Free Mexican Chicken Soup [Sopa de Pollo]

This easy Mexican chicken soup is made from scratch using chicken breast, crushed tomatoes, onions, garlic, carrots, celery, and warming spices. It's a cozy and nourishing dish your whole family will love!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 4
Author: Jas


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 16 oz. can crushed tomatoes (we like Pomi - not an affiliate)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup water

To serve:

  • Cilantro
  • Lime or lemon juice
  • Avocado


  • In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add 1 chopped onion, 1 cup shredded carrots, and cup chopped celery. Saute, often stirring, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 3 minutes.
  • Mix in 2 minced garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, and sauté until garlic is just fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Place chicken breast on top of vegetables and season with 1 teaspoon chili powder and 1 teaspoon cumin; season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • To the pot, add 1 tablespoon tomato mark and pour in the can of crushed tomatoes, 2 cups chicken broth, and 1 cup water. Cover the pan and let cook on medium-low for 30-40 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken from the pot and using two forks, or your preferred method, break the chicken apart and into shreds.
  • Place the meat back into the pot and taste for seasoning, adjusting as necessary. To serve, sprinkle with lime or lemon juice, chopped cilantro, and top with fresh avocado slices.


  • Cut the chicken up before adding it to the vegetables for faster cooking. You can also dice it small and skip shredding to save even more time.
  • If the soup turns out too spicy, add more lime or lemon juice. It reduces the level of spiciness.
  • Use chicken thighs instead of breast, just remove the skin, bones, and extra fat before or after cooking.
  • For the best results, read additional tips in the post above. 
  • Check the cooking methods for Instant Pot and crockpot in the post above. 
  • Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary significantly based on products used.


Tried this recipe?Snap a photo and mention @all_thats_jas or tag #allthatsjas on Instagram for a chance to be featured!


Nutrition Facts
Gluten-Free Mexican Chicken Soup [Sopa de Pollo]
Amount Per Serving
Calories 331 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 3g15%
Cholesterol 107mg36%
Sodium 609mg25%
Potassium 1007mg29%
Carbohydrates 9g3%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 40g80%
Vitamin A 5817IU116%
Vitamin C 14mg17%
Calcium 50mg5%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Featured on Tidy Mom.



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13 Comment

  1. Reply
    Ghulam Mohyudin
    March 26, 2020 at 8:38 am

    5 stars
    It was perfect the first time. I learn so much from you as well! Keep it up great post.

    1. Reply
      March 26, 2020 at 11:43 am

      Thank you! 🙂

  2. Reply
    Miz Helen
    May 2, 2017 at 5:57 pm

    Your recipe was featured on Full Plate Thursday and has been pinned to our Full Plate Thursday Features board. Thanks so much for sharing with us and have a great week!
    Miz Helen

    1. Reply
      May 2, 2017 at 8:40 pm

      Thank you, Miz Helen, that’s quite a nice surprise! 😀

  3. Reply
    April 28, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    This soup looks amazing! Thanks for linkin’ up with What’s Cookin’ Wednesday!

    1. Reply
      April 28, 2017 at 7:02 pm

      Thank you, Karly! Have a great weekend ahead!

  4. Reply
    Marie|The Interior Frugalista
    April 27, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    I should have known this delicious sounding recipe was from you! It’s really chilly here today and I’m bundled in a sweater. A bowl of this would hit the spot about now. Pinned

    1. Reply
      April 27, 2017 at 10:12 pm

      Marie, the temps here are up and down too, no wonder I’m sick. The soup is my go-to cold remedy 🙂 Thanks for pinning. Stay warm! XOXO

  5. Reply
    April 20, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    We LOVE Mexican food, but tend to stick to the basic taco/enchilada recipes. This one will be a fun one for us to try! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Reply
      April 22, 2017 at 10:41 am

      I usually do too, Heather! 🙂 I made this soup during one of my Paleo phases, ha!

  6. […] SOPA DE POLO by your truly […]

  7. Reply
    [email protected]
    December 15, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    Yum! This is a local favorite in my neck of the woods (ok, desert!) Can’t wait to try this version! Thanks so much for sharing at Talented Tuesdays!

    1. Reply
      December 18, 2014 at 10:23 am

      Lol, have yet to visit a desert. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs

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