Don’t let the name fool you, this soup isn’t overly “spicy,” at least not in the heat-your-mouth-up, Tabasco or hot sauce, kind of way. It simply has a lot of spices in it. The spice level also really depends on what type of salsa you add to it (mild, medium, or hot) to determine how spicy it will be. For mild flavor, add slightly less chili powder and choose a mild salsa. It’s a great soup to make in advance as it tastes even better over time, and you can load it with your favorite Mexican-style toppings, like cilantro, avocado, cotija cheese, and jalapeños.
How to make Spicy Chicken Soup:
1. Boil the chicken: In a large pot over medium heat, combine water, chicken, salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley, onion powder and bouillon cubes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken, but reserve broth. Shred chicken.
2. Make the soup: In a large pot over medium heat, cook onion and garlic in olive oil until slightly browned. Stir in salsa, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, sugar, chili powder, cumin, corn, chili beans, shredded chicken, and 3 ½ cups of the reserved water. Simmer 30 minutes.
3. Garnish: Stir in sour cream. Taste and add extra salt, or additional seasonings, if needed. Garnish with cilantro, cheese, avocado, crushed tortilla chips, or whatever you like!
Make Ahead And Freezing Instructions:
To make ahead: This is a great soup to make the morning of or one day ahead of time. It will stay fresh for 3-4 days in the fridge, depending on the freshness of the ingredients used.
To freeze: Don’t add sour cream to the soup and then freeze in a freezer safe container for 2-3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.
Consider trying one of these classic soup recipes:
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Spicy Chicken Soup
- 4 cups water
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 Tablespoon dried parsley flakes
- 3 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 onion , chopped
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 3 teaspoons chicken bouillon paste (or 3 bullion cubes)
- 8 ounces salsa , your favorite kind
- 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes , undrained
- 4 ounces tomato sauce
- 1/2 Tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 15 ounce can corn (or frozen), drained
- 16 ounce can chili beans
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- Cilantro, shredded cheese, and avocado for soup garnish
- In a large pot over medium heat, combine water, chicken, salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley, onion powder and bouillon.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken to a plate and shred. Reserve 3 ½ cups of chicken broth water.
- In a large pot over medium heat, cook onion and garlic in olive oil until slightly browned.
- Stir in salsa, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, sugar, chili powder, cumin, corn, chili beans, shredded chicken, and 3 ½ cups of the reserved water. Simmer 30 minutes.
- Stir in sour cream. Taste and add extra salt, or additional seasonings, if needed.
- Garnish with cilantro, cheese, avocado, crushed tortilla chips, or whatever you like!
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I originally shared this recipe November 2017. Updated October 2020.
Love! Have made it several times.
Omg followed to the tee, this was amazing! Thank you
Excellent recipe! I ended up doubling the soup but only used about 1 1/3 lbs of chicken tenderloins, which was the right ratio of meat to other ingredients for our taste. Also I had a couple good sized jalapeños that I halved, sliced and added most of that with the onions. Delicious!
Delicious!!! I used a large zucchini instead of corn, also included 1 poblano, 1/2 jalapeño and 1/2 serrano peppers for an extra kick.
Love this recipe! But I love spicy! If you don’t like the heat, adjust the spice content accordingly! This will be a staple recipe in my home!
Great taste! What pulled it all together is adding in that great reserved liquid at the end. The chicken was perfectly cooked and alltogether the spice and broth was great!
Will it be okay if I don’t add sour cream?
Sure, it just wont have that creaminess to it, but it will taste great.
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