Easy Mexican Chicken and Rice Soup


This Mexican Chicken and Rice Soup takes classic chicken soup to a spicy, tomatoey new place. Serve with cilantro, lime wedges, and tortillas on the side.

Photography Credit: Sally Vargas

Featured in 13 Quick & Easy Weeknight Meals with Chicken Broth

This is my mother-in-law’s chicken soup. She is of Mexican descent and her soup is held in high esteem in our household.

Our Favorite Videos

As soon as the cold weather arrives, this soup goes into the weekly rotation. We never get tired of having it on the menu!

I’ve simplified and streamlined my mother-in-law’s recipe a bit. She usually starts by poaching a whole chicken and then makes Spanish rice to add to the soup, but in our busy world, it’s nice to be able to get dinner on the table in 20 minutes.

A key component to making this a “quick” dinner is having pre-cooked chicken that you can use for the base. I almost always have some leftover chicken hanging around, and if I don’t, I make sure I do by adding it to my weekly meal prep. I’ll either roast a whole chicken for Sunday supper and set aside some of the meat specifically for this recipe, or I quickly cook a few chicken breasts on their own so they’re ready to go into this soup.

With your chicken already done, you are on easy street. Cook some diced onion in olive oil, add a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes, some frozen corn, and a little rice, and stir in some chicken stock. Wait 20 minutes and dinner is ready. You have just enough time to check your email or read that article you’ve been saving.

What elevates this soup from boring to enticing are the garnishes, so don’t leave them out. A squeeze of lime, some cilantro leaves, and a pile of warm tortillas will make you almost as happy as my better half when he smells this soup on the stove.

Mexican Chicken Soup


I like to serve this soup with warm corn tortillas to dip and nibble between bites. There are two ways you can heat them up:

1 Heat over a gas burner: Turn a gas burner to medium-low. When the burner grate is hot, place a tortilla directly on the grate for about 20 seconds, or until it starts to puff slightly. With tongs, turn it over and let it heat for a few more seconds on the other side. A little charring at the edges adds flavor.

2 Heat in a skillet: Set a dry skillet over medium heat and heat until hot. Lay one tortilla at a time on the hot pan and turn, as above.

Once warmed, wrap the tortillas in a tea towel or cloth napkin to keep them hot at the table and let everyone take tortillas from the pile as they want one.



Easy Mexican Chicken and Rice Soup Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 (15-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1/3 cup medium- or long-grain white rice (not cooked)
  • 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken (See Recipe Note)
  • Leaves from 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro sprigs, for garnish
  • 1 to 2 limes, quartered, for garnish
  • Corn or flour tortillas, to serve


1 Cook the onion: In a large pot over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and oregano. Cook, stirring often for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the onion begins to soften. Stir in the salt and pepper.

Mexican Chicken Soup

2 Simmer the soup: Add the tomatoes, chicken broth, corn, and rice. Bring to a boil over high heat. Turn down the heat and simmer for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender.

3 Add the chicken: Add the chicken and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the chicken is hot. Taste, and season with more salt and pepper, if you like.

Mexican Chicken Soup

4 Serve the soup: Ladle the soup into bowls and serve hot with the cilantro and lime wedges on top, and warm tortillas on the side.

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. Thank you!

This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links can benefit Simply Recipes. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.

Sally Vargas

Sally Pasley Vargas is a freelance writer and the author of three cookbooks (Food for Friends, The Tao of Cooking, Ten Speed Press, and The Cranberry Cookbook). She currently writes the column The Confident Cook for The Boston Globe along with seasonal recipes for the Wednesday Food Section.

More from Sally

20 Comments / Reviews

No ImageEasy Mexican Chicken and Rice Soup

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Ali

    Hi, could I make this ahead in a large pot and reheat it on the stove? Will the rice turn soggy if kept in the soup? Thank you!!

    Show Replies (1)
  2. C.

    I would like to replace the white rice with pre cooked brown rice. How much rice would I add and would I decrease the amount of broth?
    Thank you.

    Show Replies (1)
  3. Susan

    Wow … one of the best soups I’ve had. great flavor. My family loved it,

  4. Pam

    The only difference in my recipe and this is I mix my meatballs with ground beef and chorizo,Excellent


  5. Wiggy

    Vegetarians could try using lentils as a base, say a cupful of dry lentils for a batch of soup. Let them cook to the point of disintegration before adding the other ingredients.

View More
Easy Mexican Chicken and Rice Soup