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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.  
Lime juice can be added either in the cooking process or at the end, right before serving.
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