Sopa Seca de Fideo with Tomatillos


Tomatillo salsa verde version of sopa seca de fideo, thin noodles cooked in broth and salsa, garnished with chorizo and goat cheese.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Are you familiar with sopa seca de fideo?

It’s a classic Mexican side dish, made much like Mexican or Spanish rice, but instead of browning rice and cooking it in broth, you brown thin pasta noodles (fideo) and cook them in broth.

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“Sopa seca” means “dry soup” which describes the result of noodles absorbing all of the stock.

It is one of my family’s favorite dishes of all time. Which is why when my friend Garrett popped by one day with a sopa seca de fideo that he had just made with our mutual friend Peg, a version that used tomatillo sauce instead of a tomatoes, and garnished it with goat cheese and chorizo, I couldn’t wait to try it. 

Crazy good! Smooth and rich from the homemade stock, tangy from the tomatillos and goat cheese, and spicy from the chorizo niblits scattered over everything, this sopa seca I could eat every day.

Peg and Garrett created this recipe for Garrett’s (and co-author Stephanie Stiavetti‘s) brilliant, cheese-tastic cookbook Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese. Melt is a cheese-lover’s dream with creative takes on pasta and cheese pairings of all sorts, including this fabulous sopa seca de fideo with angel hair pasta and goat cheese.

You wouldn’t normally think of fideo as a macaroni and cheese dish, but that is exactly Garrett and Stephanie’s intention, to broaden our minds and tastes, appreciating the classics while taking on new culinary territory. Bravo!

Sopa Seca de Fideo with Tomatillos Recipe

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 4

If you want, you can substitute a cup of prepared tomatillo salsa verde for the sauce you make in step one. The original recipe calls for using Hoja Santa cheese, which is goat cheese wrapped in aromatic Hoja Santa leaves. It's a lovely cheese to use if you can find it, otherwise regular goat cheese will do.


  • 3/4 pound tomatillos (about 6 medium sized), husks removed
  • 1 to 2 serrano chiles
  • 1/4 medium onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, plus extra for garnish
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 ounces fresh Mexican chorizo, casing removed, crumbled
  • 8 ounces capellini, or angel hair pasta, broken into 1 to 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 avocado, seeded, peeled, diced
  • Crema fresca or sour cream


1 Broil tomatillos, chiles, onion: Place the tomatillos, serrano chiles, an quarter onion on a baking sheet lightly greased with olive oil. Broil for about 15 minutes until somewhat charred and blistered. Remove the stems from the serranos.

2 Make tomatillo sauce: Working in batches if necessary, purée the chiles, tomatillos, onion, a clove of garlic, and 2 tablespoons of the chopped cilantro in a blender, making sure not to fill the blender more than halfway. Once blended you should have about a cup of sauce.

3 Cook the chorizo: Heat 2 Tbsp of oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. Add the chorizo and cook 3 to 4 minutes until cooked through and crispy. Use a wooden spoon to crumble up the chorizo as it cooks.

Use a slotted spoon to remove the chorizo to a paper-towel lined plate, keeping the fat and oil in the pan.

4 Brown the dry noodles: Place the broken up dry pasta into the pan and increase the heat to medium high. Lightly brown the dry noodles in the chorizo oil. Remove the pasta from the pan and set aside.

5 Cook the tomatillo sauce: Add the remaining 2 Tbsp of oil to the pan and heat on medium high heat. Add the tomatillo sauce and the salt. The sauce should bubble up from the heat of the pan. Cook for about a minute, allowing the sauce to reduce by about a quarter cup. Dragging your spoon through the sauce should leave a trail for a second or two.

6 Add pasta: Add the pasta back to the pan with the tomatillo sauce and cook it until it has absorbed the liquid.

add pasta to tomatillo sauce in pot

7 Add stock, simmer and cook: Add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Let cook undisturbed for about 15 minutes, or until the pasta is soft and the stock absorbed. The pasta will be past "al dente" but shouldn't be cooked to a mush.

8 Serve: Place in serving bowls and garnish with crumbled chorizo, goat cheese, avocado, cilantro, and crema fresca or sour cream.

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Recipe adapted from and published with permission of authors from Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese.

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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19 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Rebecca Long

    This is one of my favorite recipes of all time! I started making it a few years ago when my bosses had waaaaaay too many tomatillo plants, and sometimes (like now) I get to craving it like proper comfort food. I think when I initially found the recipe I went back and forth between yours and this one:
    Thanks so much for posting this deliciousness!


  2. Shagen

    Hi Elise! I’ve had this recipe on my pinterest board for a few months now and finally had a chance to make it last night! WOW! I’m a HUGE fan of Mexican food and this is now one of my new favorites! The flavors mixed together are out of this world! I also used some Cotija cheese along with the goat cheese. Everything else I followed to a T. I actually doubled the recipe since my parents are staying with us for the holidays and it turned out great! Thank you so much for the recipe!!


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  3. Laura

    This looks so good! Growing up, my mom used to make fideo with cut up pork chops, or plain as a side dish. It was my brother’s favorite.

  4. Heather

    Hi Elise. Question…if I were to use an alternatively made salsa verde (I made your amazing recipe), how much would I use?
    I love your recipes! Thank you so much!

    Show Replies (1)
  5. Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures

    I ate this at a Mexican restaurant a few years ago and loved it! It looks great!

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