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Caldo de Pollo (Mexican Chicken Soup)

Caldo de Pollo (Mexican Chicken Soup) is a beautiful recipe of heartwarming soup that will make you and your family very happy. The combination of simple kitchen staples, like rice, cilantro, and chicken make the soup a comforting meal.

Caldo de pollo served on white bowl with radishes

We love soups. I do not know about you, but there is no week in our household without a pot of soup that we enjoy for lunch or dinner. 

Also, we live in Minnesota, where the winters are so cold that all we want to eat is homemade soup.

What is Caldo De Pollo:

Caldo de pollo is a Mexican chicken soup made with different parts of chicken and vegetables. It is nutritious, delicious, and comforting.

Caldo means soup, while pollo means chicken.

Every Mexican household has its own version of Caldo de Pollo. However, any Caldo recipe has chicken, lots of different vegetables, and a little rice or pasta. The soup is served perhaps with a slice or two of avocado and fresh cilantro(coriander), and there are always wedges of lime on the side.

This Mexican soup is healthy and perfect for all ages.

This classic Mexican chicken soup is one of our favorites and is in heavy rotation from November to April. It has some incredibly devoted fans.

The combination of simple ingredients and also kitchen staples, like chicken, rice, cilantro, and vegetables, make the soup an authentic comfort meal. 

Tip: When you serve it, add some sliced avocado to the bowl of soup, squeeze some lime juice and serve it with warm corn tortillas.

Your meal will be perfect.

Remember the series of books “Chicken soup for the soul”? When I look at this recipe, it reminds me of that book.

Chicken soup is supposed to be good for you by warming you up from inside out and making you feel safe, happy, and cozy. 

When you are sick, each spoonful tastes like soothing relief and healing.

The grandmothers say that a good chicken soup can heal anything, from a bad cold to a broken heart, and I think they are right.

You might not believe me, but even the medical field recognizes that chicken soup does miracles for your immunity and well-being.

Also, there is something magic about a bowl of chicken soup on a cold day.

This caldo de pollo is also a very friendly recipe for children, so feel free to make it for everyone. It is a great main dish for dinner and an excellent lunch.

Related:

Authentic Mexican Tinga de Pollo – Chicken in Chipotle Tomato Sauce.

Caldo de Pollo Or Chicken Soup Mexican Style- close up

What parts of the chicken are suitable for this Caldo de pollo?

I used chicken drumsticks and thighs for this soup, but any chicken part is good. Go for the wings, the back of the bird, or the legs.

Chicken meat on a wooden board for Caldo de pollo or Chicken Soup Mexican Style

I do not recommend skinless, boneless chicken breast, as the meat will not infuse the broth with many flavors, but go for it if this is all you have.

Traditionally, the best “Caldo de pollo” or chicken soup is made with chicken parts that are not deboned. Sometimes, an entire chicken is used to make a good broth.

I like the meat with bones and skin on it. They bring so much flavor to the dish! If you have to use ordinary chicken, buy extra back and giblets to strengthen the flavor.

What ingredients do you need for an authentic Caldo de pollo:

Vegetables– good soups always make use of vegetables. This recipe will need carrots, onions, potatoes, green celery, Roma tomatoes, and garlic.

All these items are easy to store in your kitchen, in a cool place. They are also perfect for making a lot of soups and stews in the winter.

You can add more vegetables if you want. Cabbage, zucchini, and Mexican chayote are generally the traditional vegetables added to the Caldo de pollo.

Ingredients for caldo de pollo

My two words about the potatoes used in this soup:

You need a potato that holds well in the soup and doesn’t fall apart during cooking. Waxy potatoes are a good option. Yukon gold or red potatoes work well too.

Cilantro– This is a truly popular herb in Mexican cuisine.

Some people have a love or hate relationship with it, so I will say this: if you want an authentic taste of this Mexican soup, use it. If you absolutely hate it, use parsley. I am not going to watch.

cilantro for Chicken soup Mexican style

Pantry items:

  1. Tomato sauce– I used canned tomato sauce. You can also use tomato paste instead of sauce(You will need about 1-2 tablespoons of paste).
  2. Olive oil(or vegetable oil)– use what you have
  3. Rice– I used long grain rice
  4. Salt

Water- you do not need chicken stock for this recipe. You will flavor the soup with vegetables and meat and make your own broth.

Lime– brings an extra layer of flavor to the soup. Cut it into wedges and squeeze some juice over it.

Avocado– Slice and add it on top of the soup as a garnish. Yum!

Corn tortillas– warm corn tortillas are the way to go for an authentic taste of this Caldo de pollo recipe.

Spices and what is different about this Caldo de pollo recipe:

This Caldo de pollo/chicken soup is made with rice and tomatoes cooked separately from the broth. This is what sets this soup apart from other Caldo de pollo recipes.

Cooking the rice, tomatoes, and onions together, separate from the broth, adds tremendous flavor to the soup, so I encourage you to follow the recipe as I wrote it.

In Mexico, chicken soup or Caldo de pollo is served simple or with different toppings added at the time of serving, like lime wedges, slices of avocado, jalapenos, or sliced radishes.

Do you want it spicy? Add some hot sauce to it. Salsa Valentina is traditional and really tasty.

However, the base of the soup is made simple, without adding spices. 

How to make Caldo de pollo or Mexican chicken soup:

Start with the chicken.

Place the water, chicken, salt, and garlic in a large pot. Bring the ingredients to a boil, then reduce to medium heat and allow everything to simmer for about 15 minutes.

Chicken boiling in the pot(Caldo de Pollo Or Chicken Soup Mexican Style)

Skim the foam that forms on top of the soup using a spoon.

Rice.

While the chicken is simmering, in a separate pan, heat the oil and cook the rice until the color is golden brown, without burning. 

rice cooking with oil in the pan(Caldo de Pollo Or Chicken Soup Mexican Style)

Add chopped onions and cook them until translucent.

rice and onions cooking with oil in the pan(Caldo de Pollo Or Chicken Soup Mexican Style)

Bring the tomatoes to the rice and cook together for a few minutes.

rice onions and tomatoes cooking with oil in the pan(Caldo de Pollo Or Chicken Soup Mexican Style)

This mixture goes into the soup pot together with the chicken.

caldo de pollo simmering on the stove(Caldo de Pollo Or Chicken Soup Mexican Style)

The combination brings another layer of flavors to the soup, making it delicious.

Add the vegetables to the soup.

carrots and celery chopped(Caldo de Pollo Or Chicken Soup Mexican Style)

Add carrots, celery, and potatoes to the soup and allow them to come to a boil. Reduce heat. Let it simmer until vegetables cook through, about 20-30 minutes.

At this point, your chicken should be cooked enough.

You can leave the chicken pieces in the pot as they are, or you can remove them from the soup and shred the meat for easier serving.

caldo de pollo simmering(Caldo de Pollo Or Chicken Soup Mexican Style)

Add tomato sauce and cilantro during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Check again for salt.

caldo de pollo in the pot(Caldo de Pollo Or Chicken Soup Mexican Style)

Serve.

Ladle soup into bowls, including chicken for each serving, and serve with lime wedges and warm corn tortillas.

Optional: Add slices of avocado to your soup.

caldo de pollo served on white bowl with avocado (Caldo de Pollo Or Chicken Soup Mexican Style)

How to store this Caldo de Pollo:

This homemade caldo should be covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. Warm it up on the stove or microwave.

caldo de pollo served on white bowl (Caldo de Pollo Or Chicken Soup Mexican Style)

You can also freeze it for up to three months, and these containers are great for storing the soup.

Are you interested in more Mexican recipes? Try some of these 15 authentic Mexican recipes.

More recipes to love:

Authentic Mexican Fajitas

Papas con Chorizo

Chicken Soup With Sour Cream And Garlic

Instant Pot Beef Vegetable Soup

Learn how to make this recipe of Caldo de Pollo in an Instant Pot.

Enjoy!

Come visit my community on Facebook, where people share their interests and love for cooking or baking: The Bossy Kitchen Group.

Yield: 8 servings

Caldo de Pollo Or Chicken Soup Mexican Style

caldo de pollo served on white bowl Featured picture0

Caldo de Pollo Or Chicken Soup Mexican Style is a beautiful recipe of heart warming soup that will make you and your family very happy. The combination of simple ingredients, the rice, the cilantro and the chicken drumsticks make the soup a comfort meal.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 8 cups water
  • 8 chicken thighs or drumsticks
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 4 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white long grain rice
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tomatoes chopped( Roma tomatoes)
  • 2 carrots sliced
  • 3 potatoes quartered
  • 1 green celery chopped
  • 1/3 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 Lime sliced wedges for serving
  • Corn tortillas for serving
  • optional 1 avocado sliced

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, place the water, chicken, salt, and garlic. Bring the ingredients to a boil, then reduce to medium heat and let simmer for 15 minutes. While the broth is simmering, skim the foam that forms on top of the water.
  2. In a separate pan, heat up the oil on medium heat, add rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 2-3 minutes. Be careful not to burn it.
  3. Add chopped onion and continue cooking until onion is translucent, for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add chopped tomato and cook for another 3 minutes.
  5. Add this mixture to the chicken pot.
  6. Stir in the carrots, celery, and potatoes to the soup and let come to a boil. Reduce heat. Allow it to simmer until vegetables cook through, about 20-30 minutes.
  7. Add tomato sauce, cilantro during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Check again for salt.
  8. Ladle soup into bowls including a piece of chicken for each serving, and serve with lime wedges and warm corn tortillas.
  9. Optional: Add slices of avocado to your soup.

Notes

What kind of chicken meat to use for this caldo de pollo:

I used chicken drumsticks and thighs for this soup, but any part of the chicken is good. I do not recommend chicken breast, as the meat will not infuse the broth with a lot of flavor.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 451Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 181mgSodium: 1111mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 5gSugar: 3gProtein: 37g

Did you make this recipe?

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Vanessa

Sunday 12th of June 2022

My husband and I love this soup. I add cabbage and chayote squash along with Maggi seasoning. Great recipe! Thank you

Kay Bee

Wednesday 25th of May 2022

Just wanted to comment that I really enjoyed this soup. Its simple and uncomplicated and sometimes that's all we need!

The Bossy Kitchen

Wednesday 25th of May 2022

Thank you for your kind, lovely comment and for taking the time leave a message!

Jessica Weiss

Tuesday 12th of April 2022

Let me start off by saying— I don’t cook. Cooking has never called to me. But my mom had surgery over the weekend and I just made this for her. It’s really good! The only thing I added extra was a little bit of cumin and chayote(it’s her fav). Otherwise I followed the directions to a T, and it came out delicious. Thank you!

The Bossy Kitchen

Tuesday 12th of April 2022

I am so happy when I receive little notes like yours! Thank you for taking the time to come back and comment on the recipe. It is indeed a good recipe and so easy to make! ❤️

Samantha C.

Monday 11th of April 2022

This is so good! I made this because I have a horrible cold and just wanted something warm with a lot of veggies. I didn’t have any celery on hand though so I decided to add some sliced Brussels sprouts instead. Sometimes you just have to work with what you’ve got, and I have to tell you that I wasn’t disappointed. Thank you for this recipe!

Angel

Sunday 30th of January 2022

I made this soup. I made changes to it. I added half the salt it asked for and I used chicken broth instead of water. It really upped the flavor. I also used a basil/garlic tomato sauce, again for more flavor. I had read the reviews prior to making it and I saw one that said there wasn't much flavor and that is why I made a few adjustments. It was very tasty!

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