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Caldo de Pollo, or Mexican Chicken Soup served in a white bowl and surrounded by lime and spoons.
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5 from 13 votes

Caldo de Pollo, or Mexican Chicken Soup

Caldo de Pollo, or Mexican Chicken Soup, is the best comfort food. No penicillin needed after you eat a bowl of this delicious soulful goodness. Enjoy!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr 45 mins
Total Time2 hrs 5 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 6
Calories: 499kcal


  • 5 lbs chicken
  • 4 celery sticks chopped (divided)
  • 1 onion diced (divided)
  • 4 garlic cloves finely minced (divided)
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 4 Mexican squash or zucchini, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño finely diced
  • 2 ears of corn chopped into 3-inch pieces
  • 8 cups water
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Handful of cilantro chopped


  • In a large stock pot, add 8 cups of water, chicken, 2 celery sticks, ½ onion, 2 garlic cloves, salt, pepper.
  • Cover and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and let simmer for 1 hour.
  • Skim the fat off the top of the liquid.
  • Reserve the liquid.
  • Discard the other ingredients from the pot except for the chicken.
  • Set the chicken aside and let it cool.
  • Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove meat from the bones.
  • In the same pot, add the remaining celery, onion, garlic, carrots, squash, jalapeño, corn, reserved liquid from the cooked chicken, salt and pepper, bay leaves, lime juice, and chicken.
  • Make sure the liquid is 2 inches above everything in the pot.
  • If not, add water and more salt.
  • Cover and cook for 45 minutes on low heat.
  • Serve and top with cilantro.
  • Enjoy!



Use pre-made chicken broth and leftover chicken. Then skip to step 9. 
If you can't find calabacitas, you zucchini instead.  
For Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken Soup:
Yes, you can make this chicken soup in the crockpot. Yay!
  • Skip to Step 9. Just add all the ingredients in the slow cooker.
  • Set on low for 6 hours, or high for 4 hours.
For an Instant Pot Mexican Chicken Soup
This comes together really, really fast!
  • Skip to Step 9. Add all the ingredients to the instant pot.
  • Place lid on. Press Pressure Cook. Set timer 10 minutes.
  • Full natural release. Enjoy.


Calories: 499kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 83g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 242mg | Sodium: 487mg | Potassium: 1927mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 3865IU | Vitamin C: 36mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 2mg