Mexican Chicken Soup

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Make the most out of your leftover rotisserie chicken with this Mexican chicken soup! It’s a great way to stretch leftover chicken, easily feeding your family lunch or dinner for a second or sometimes third day.

Close up of Mexican chicken soup in a bowl.

Stretch Your Leftover Rotisserie Chicken for Soup

Transform your leftover rotisserie chicken into a healthy and budget-friendly soup that’s perfect for family meals.

I love soup because it’s both filling and satisfying. You can serve it as is, or consider topping it with “the works”; diced avocado, sour cream, and shredded cheese.

mexican chicken soup with striped cloth.

Diced avocado adds a creamy texture and a punch of color, sour cream introduces a tangy richness, and shredded cheese melts beautifully into the hot broth for an extra layer of flavor.

I like to serve tortilla chips and the extras on the side and let everyone add their own.

This Mexican chicken soup recipe is one of our favorite ways to use rotisserie chicken. I used to call this a “chicken tortilla soup recipe”, but that’s a bit of a misnomer, as I serve the tortilla strips on the side. This prevents them from becoming soggy but also keeps the recipe a bit lower in carbs if some prefer to eat just the soup on its own.

Top shot of Mexican chicken soup in a bowl.

Ingredients For Mexican Chicken Soup

To make this Mexican chicken soup, you’ll want to start with onions, celery, and carrots.

carrots, onions and celery in glass bowls.

Tomatoes, beans, and green chilies, along with the broth, herbs, spices, and garlic all add to the delicious flavoring.

herbs and spices in bowls.
tomatoes and beans in bowls.

Next comes corn, either frozen or fresh (not canned), and chicken. Turkey can be substituted for the chicken if desired. Shred it, chop it, or dice it.

Corn and shredded chicken in glass bowls.

Don’t forget the condiments! Once the soup is done, you can add ingredients like cilantro, avocado, sour cream, and more to enhance the leftover chicken soup.

How Do You Make Mexican Chicken Soup?

Easily make this chicken tortilla soup dish in under 45 minutes from start to finish! If you don’t have leftover chicken (or turkey) already cooked, you can poach a couple of breasts while you’re preparing the rest of the ingredients.

Start by cutting up the onions, carrots, and celery. While cutting, Heat the olive oil over medium heat until it’s shimmering in your favorite stock pot or Dutch oven.

Add the onions, carrots, and celery cooking for about 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent.

vegetables in stock pot.

Next, come the spices and garlic. Cook for just another minute or two so they can “bloom”.

Add tomatoes, chicken broth, chiles, and beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until veggies are tender, about 20 minutes.

Tortilla soup in a stock pot.

Finally, add corn and shredded chicken and cook for another 5-10 minutes or until the corn is cooked and the chicken is hot.

Can You Freeze Leftover Chicken Soup?

Don’t let your leftover chicken soup go to waste! This Mexican chicken soup will freeze well for up to 3 months.

Freezing your soup makes it an easy option for future meals, so you’ll always have a homemade meal option available!

tortilla soup in green bowl with napkin.

Mexican Chicken Soup

This Mexican Chicken Soup recipe makes 10-12 generous servings.
5 from 54 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 10 servings
Calories 159 kcal


  • 2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 stalks celery sliced
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder, (or more) depending oh how spicy you like it
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 28 ounce can Peeled diced tomatoes with juice
  • 6 cups chicken broth homemade or canned
  • 2 cans pinto beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 4 ounce cans mild green chiles (or spicy green chilies)
  • 3 cups corn fresh or frozen
  • 3 cups chicken breast (or thigh meat, shredded or diced)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  • In a large pot, heat olive oil over a medium heat until shimmering. Sauté onions, carrots, and celery until translucent, 5 minutes or so.
  • Add garlic, cumin, oregano and chili powder and sauté another minute or two.
  • Add tomatoes, broth, beans and chilies. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer until veggies are tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  • Add corn and shredded chicken and cook another 10 minutes or until corn is cooked and chicken is hot.
  • Serve with strips of corn tortillas or chips, sliced green onions, cilantro, cheese and sour cream.


Condiments to serve with Mexican chicken soup can include, but are not limited to:
  • shredded cheese; cheddar, Monterey jack, cotija or fresh Mexican cheese.
  • chopped green or white onions
  • additional chopped or sliced chiles
  • sour cream
  • guacamole
  • Tortilla strips or chips


Serving: 1servingCalories: 159kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 13gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 1043mgPotassium: 594mgFiber: 4gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 2527IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 56mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Expanding Your Budget-Friendly Recipe Collection!

White chicken chili is a recipe I love to use with leftover chicken or turkey. It’s a great game day dish and is perfect for the crock-pot or slow-cooker.

white chicken chili in a bowl.

Leek and potato soup is another delicious soup that is little more than potatoes, leeks, and broth. Add shredded cheese and a hunk of bread and you’ve got a hearty meal!

Potato leek soup in a bowl.

Pappa al Pomodoro is Tuscan comfort food at it’s finest. It’s not exactly a “soup”, but more of a tomato and bread stew.

pappa al pomodoro.

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  1. I love the $5 chickens! I always take the carcass and boil it for a few hours. Strain it, and wallah, chicken broth! Store bought broth isn’t cheap, and it’s loaded with salt. I end up freezing about three cups of broth per chicken. 🙂

    1. Heather, any roasted chicken will do. I usually roast my own, but it’s hard to pass one of theirs for $5, when I know I can stretch it to last us for 3 meals!

  2. Damn $5 for a chicken! We sometimes get them for $11 if they are on a super sale but they are tiny and only feed us for one meal! I love the use of chicken in a soup as it makes it go a lot further for less $!

  3. My mom always did the same, making a soup and it was always delicious. Love chicken and rice soup along with tortilla soup. I will not step foot in Costco can’t stand it, I force myself there twice a year for vitamins, I know they have great deals but I can’t handle the size and the amount of people!

  4. 5 stars
    You are a star! When I hear people complain and say, “I can’t eat healthy and have no choice but to eat junk food because I’m poor!” I think about meals like this. No excuses! Eating homemade is ALWAYS cheaper than buying pre made and processed “food”. Great post and fab recipe!

    1. Are you sure you’re not using cayenne pepper? My chile powder is not that hot. 1 Tablespoon is just the right amount of spice, even for the kids.

  5. Hi Cynthia,

    When you make the chicken stock….how much water in the crock?
    BTW….the sushi was great….you’ve taught your daughter well……

    1. 5 stars
      A,question..had this soup last week and loved it…first time I finished bowl an had seconds. My question:would like to make in crockpot. Suggestions?

  6. I know everyone loves that Costco Chicken!! It is a great deal, unfortunately, I can’t eat it–but I can eat this chili with my own chicken. And yum! Cute dog by the way!

    1. I’ve noticed they’ve changed how they prepare them. They seem less salty than they used to. But any chicken will do! Annabelle says thank you!

  7. Love how many meals you can get out of that $5 rotisserie chicken, plus the homemade chicken broth! This chicken tortilla soup looks so warm and delicious! Perfect dinner to warm up with on a cold night!

    1. It’s listed right after the canned tomatoes; 6 cups. But you can use less or more depending on how thin or thick you like it. I find that after refrigerating it over night, I need to add more broth…It’s almost as if it “grows” overnight!

  8. I just bought a whole chicken for a quick dinner tonight and will have leftover chicken tomorrow. My husband loves this soup but I’ve made it only once (my own improvised recipe). I will try yours tomorrow! Thanks!

  9. So I found this when I searched for what to d with leftover chicken. I bought a chicken at the farmers marked for $15!!!! Sticker shock for sure. But I made it in the crockpot and it turned out so dry. Do you think this will do well in the soup? I’m thinking of freezing it until I find a recipe, can’t bring myself to throw out $10 of chicken, we didn’t eat much of it at all!

    1. I always freeze my carcasses and when I have 2 or 3, I pop them in a stock pot or the crock pot and make broth. I’m with you on not wanting to toss away a perfectly good chicken!

    2. Sorry I didn’t read your whole question. I’m guessing that you cooked the $15 chicken in the slow cooker? Did you add liquid? I can’t imagine it would be dry as usually slow cooking increases moisture. But, yes, the chicken would be perfect in the soup as all the liquid should help make it moist!

  10. 5 stars
    Absolutely Delicious. I love it. I did substitute chipotle chilies in adobo sauce for the green chili. This will become a permanent recipe in my collection. Thank you.

  11. 5 stars
    This has become one of our favorite recipes!!
    It all comes together easily and perfect with Costco chicken!

  12. 5 stars
    This has become one of our very favorite recipes !
    We have it often and never get tired of it!
    All the good ingredients come together beautifully!

  13. I have fixed this soup numerous times. My -family loves it, even ny picky grands. I love the green teacup. I would love to enter the contest.

  14. 5 stars
    This has become one of our favorite recipes and we make it often and never tire of it! Easy and delicious!
    Enter gift card!

5 from 54 votes (47 ratings without comment)

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