Soup Copycat Recipes

Ina Garten Mexican Chicken Soup Recipe

Whether you’re sick or just hungry, this chicken soup cures all!

Elen Rustick By Updated June 21, 2023

For any occasion, make Ina Garten Mexican Chicken Soup! Whether you’re feeling under the weather or you want to feed a crowd, this chicken soup recipe is perfect.

Ina Garten Mexican Chicken Soup

Chicken soup is the ultimate comfort food, right? Wrong! Mexican chicken soup is the ultimate comfort food!

Ina Garten’s recipe is based on a traditional soup called “caldo de pollo.” “Caldo” means broth, and “pollo” means “chicken.”

She roasts the chicken before shredding it, which gives the soup more flavor than boiling the meat. And rather than the traditional veggies like chayote squash, zucchini, shredded radish, or avocado, this recipe uses jalapeños, carrots, and celery.

The Mexican flavors and spices bring extra warmth to the rich soup, and the veggies add some freshness, making every mouthful extremely delicious. Plus, the yummy tortilla strips will fill you right up.

I’ve made a few adjustments to Ina Garten’s recipe to suit my own tastes. For example, I’ve added oregano and chili powder for some extra flavor, and chopped scallions as a garnish.

Since this Mexican chicken soup recipe is quite flexible, you can experiment with the ingredients, too!

And this recipe is really easy to make, so it’s perfect for a weeknight supper.

Tips and Tricks for Making Mexican Chicken Soup

  • Give yourself a flavor boost by marinating the chicken breasts before roasting them. Mix chopped garlic, cilantro, and lime juice, and marinate the chicken in that for a few hours or overnight.

  • To make cooking easier, you can use an Instant Pot. Simply follow the same steps for preparing the ingredients, and then cook the soup for 15 minutes on high pressure.

  • Use a meat thermometer to check when your chicken breasts are done. It should read 165 degrees F for perfect chicken. You don’t want to undercook the meat because you could get sick. But chicken breasts also dry out really quickly.

  • Save yourself some time by buying a rotisserie bird at the grocery store. This is an easy solution for cubed or shredded chicken without dirtying a roasting pan.

Ina Garten Mexican Chicken Soup recipe

Ina Garten Mexican Chicken Soup Recipe

  • Prep Time15 min
  • Cook Time50 min
  • Total Time1h5 min
  • Servings6-8
  • Yield6-8

Level: Intermediate


For chicken:

For soup:

For serving:




  1. Prepare the Shredded Chicken

    First, set your oven to 350 degrees F and let it preheat. While you wait, put the chicken on your sheet pan with the skin side up.

    Rub olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper into the meat, and put the tray in the oven. Let it cook for 35-40 minutes, and use the meat thermometer to see if it’s done.

    When the meat is cooked through, set it aside to cool. Then, shred the chicken with the hand mixer or forks, and set aside again.

  2. Cook the Veggies

    In your Dutch oven or pot, add the olive oil and set the stove to medium-low heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions, jalapeño peppers, and carrots, and cook everything for about 10 minutes.

    At this point, the onions should be browning. Then, add the garlic and cook the veggies for another 30 seconds.

  3. Add the Liquids and Aromatics

    When you start to smell the garlic, it’s time to add the chicken stock and tomatoes. Pour them in and stir everything well.

    Next, add the chopped celery, the spices, and the fresh cilantro leaves, if you’re using them.

  4. Prep Tortillas and Cook

    For the tortillas, cut them all in half. Then, cut ½-inch strips from each semicircle.

    Add the tortilla strips to the soup, and bring it to a boil. Afterward, turn the temperature down and simmer the soup for about 25 minutes.

  5. Assemble and Enjoy!

    After simmering, add the chicken to the broth and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Then, top with the chopped scallions.

    Finally, eat the soup hot, topped with your favorite ingredients, like sour cream, grated cheddar cheese, avocado, or tortilla chips.

Ina Garten Mexican Chicken Soups

Recipe Variations

Add More Veggies

You don’t have to stop at Ina Garten’s veggies. Freshen up the soup with zucchini or shredded cabbage. Or, make the dish heartier with diced potatoes or a can of black beans.

All of these will add more flavors and textures to your soup – and increase the nutritional value!

Experiment with Spices

If you don’t like cumin or coriander, you can change up the spices in this soup. For example, add extra oregano or toss in a dash of smoked paprika for complexity.

You can also experiment with different brands of chili powder because they’ll all make the soup taste slightly different.

Change the Chicken

Chicken breasts are an easy and healthy cut of meat. But for more richness, substitute chicken thighs instead.

Or, if you have extra roast turkey from Thanksgiving, shred that meat and make Mexican turkey soup!

Sub Salsa

Instead of the canned tomatoes, add salsa verde! Salsa verde (literally “green sauce”) is made of tomatillos, jalapeños, onions, and garlic.

It’ll make your soup green instead of red, but it will still taste amazing! And if you can’t find salsa verde, you can also use regular jarred tomato salsa.

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How to Serve Ina Garten Mexican Chicken Soup

This is a hearty soup, so it makes a great meal by itself. But there are also lots of garnishes that complement it, too.

  • For example, add cooked quinoa or brown rice to each bowl when serving. That will make the dish even more filling.

  • As well, you can increase the toppings for the soup. Add sliced avocado, a dollop of sour cream, grated cheddar cheese, and broken tortilla chips to each bowl – that will fill you right up!

  • To change the seasoning slightly, add a spoonful of chimichurri sauce or pesto on top of each bowl. Or for more tanginess, squeeze in some lime juice.

  • As a side, serve warm tortillas or fresh tortilla chips and guacamole. Or, for a big meal, make burritos, tacos, quesadillas, or Mexican rice and beans.

Ina Garten Mexican Chicken Soup Recipe - Pinterest

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
  • 283Calories
  • 14gFat
  • 19.8gCarbs
  • 20.3gProtein
Show Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6-8
Amount per serving
Calories 283
% Daily Value*
Total Fat14g18%
Saturated Fat2.7g 13%
Cholesterol47mg 16%
Sodium1601mg 70%
Total Carbohydrate19.8g 7%
Dietary Fiber3.8g 14%
Total Sugars5.9g
Vitamin C0mcg 0%
Calcium86mg 7%
Iron2mg 10%
Potassium492mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.