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Caldo de Res, or Mexican Beef Soup, is a traditional Mexican dish made with beef shanks and loaded with vegetables. Hearty and extremely satisfying, this recipe is a well-loved classic in Mexico. By Mama Maggie’s Kitchen
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5 from 25 votes

Caldo de Res (Mexican Beef Soup)

Caldo de Res is a delicious and hearty Mexican Beef Soup with a robust broth. With bone-in portions and large vegetable chunks, a big bowl of this dish is a favorite in Mexico.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 4 -6
Calories: 257kcal


  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 3 beef shanks
  • ½ onion diced
  • 8-10 cups of water
  • 2 garlic cloves finely diced
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 jalapeño finely diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 chayote diced
  • 2 Mexican zucchini diced
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • ¼ cabbage sliced 3-inch pieces
  • 2 corn on the cob 3-inches each
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cilantro chopped (optional)


  • Remove the meat from each of the beef shanks.
  • Chop meat into 1-inch pieces.
  • Season the meat with salt and pepper.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot.
  • Add the beef and the bones to the pot.
  • Brown on all sides.
  • Add onion.
  • Stir for one minute, or until translucent.
  • Add 8 cups of water, more salt and pepper, and garlic.
  • Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until beef is tender.
  • Add jalapeño, bay leaf, chayote, zucchini, carrots, and corn.
  • Taste for salt. Add salt and pepper if needed.
  • Make sure there's enough water to cover all the ingredients. If not, add more water.
  • Cover and simmer for 50 minutes.
  • In last 10 minutes of cooking, add cabbage slices and lime juice.
  • Taste again for good measure.
  • Top each bowl with cilantro.
  • Serve along with additional lime wedges and tortillas.
  • Enjoy!



If you can't find chayote, omit altogether. 
You can substitute Mexican zucchini (or calabacitas) for Italian zucchini. 
Lime juice can be added either during the cooking to help tenderize the meat, or at the end right before serving. 
  • In the refrigerator, Caldo de Res lasts for 3-4 days.
  • The Caldo de Res will last 4-5 months in the freezer.
To reheat from frozen:
Place in the microwave, heat on high for 4-5 minutes.
On the stove, place in stock pot. Over medium-high heat, cook for 10-15 minutes. 


Calories: 257kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 121mg | Potassium: 929mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 5469IU | Vitamin C: 51mg | Calcium: 90mg | Iron: 3mg