Southwestern Chicken Soup

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This flavorful southwestern chicken soup is so easy to make! It’s a hearty combination of chicken, corn, red pepper, and black beans in a salsa-based chicken broth.

Southwestern chicken soup in a bowl

Weeknights call for quick, easy dinner recipes, and this southwestern chicken soup is just the thing. It’s simple to make, and it’s very flavorful. 

This soup is a one pot meal that’s on the table in 35 minutes. If you use leftover cooked chicken, you can get it ready even faster. After chopping the onion and red pepper and cutting the corn off the cob, there isn’t much work to do. Just measure a few other ingredients, and you’re on your way to a crowd-pleasing meal.

Southwestern Chicken Soup Tips

If you don’t have leftover chicken on hand, follow the instructions in the recipe to poach the chicken in the chicken broth. This makes it juicy and tender.

After the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pot and shred it on a cutting board using two forks. Or take a shortcut and use an electric mixer to shred the chicken.

Southwestern chicken soup in a pot

I like to make this southwestern chicken soup quite thick and hearty. For a thinner consistency, add another cup or two of broth.

Each brand of chicken broth and salsa verde has its own unique flavor. Depending on the amount of salt in your broth, you may want to add a bit more salt. You can use my homemade tomatillo salsa for this recipe, or use your favorite jarred salsa verde. I like the versions from Trader Joe’s and Late July. Adjust the seasonings of the soup as needed, and add a bit of hot sauce if you’d like a spicier soup.

Try my Crock Pot taco soup and Mexican frittata for other great taco night meals.

Southwestern chicken soup

Southwestern Chicken Soup

This southwestern chicken soup is an easy, healthy meal.
Print Recipe
Southwestern chicken soup full of veggies
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:25 minutes
Total Time:35 minutes

Recommended Equipment


  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 red pepper diced
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 ½ lbs chicken breast
  • 2 ears of corn kernels cut from the cob (1 ½ cups)
  • 3 cups cooked black beans rinsed
  • 1 cup tomatillo salsa (salsa verde)
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cumin


  • In a large pot, saute the onion and red pepper in the olive oil over medium heat until the vegetables begin to soften (about 5 minutes).
  • Add the chicken broth and chicken breasts to the pot. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low to simmer, and cook, covered, for 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes of simmering, check the chicken with a meat thermometer to make sure that it’s reached a temperature of 165 degrees. Remove the chicken from the pot and shred it with a fork (or use a mixer).
  • Return the shredded chicken to the pot. Add the corn kernels, black beans, salsa, salt, chili powder, and cumin. Stir the soup, then cover the pot and simmer over medium low heat for 10 minutes. Taste the soup and add additional salt or seasonings as desired.
  • Serve warm, topped with cilantro, jalapeno, lime, sour cream, cheese, avocado, or any of your favorite southwestern toppings.

Approximate Nutrition Info

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 249kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 1140mg | Potassium: 836mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 784IU | Vitamin C: 34mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 2mg
Servings: 8
Calories: 249kcal
Cost: $1.26 per serving

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Price Breakdown

This recipe costs $10.06 to make, or $1.26 per serving. Try this easy southwestern chicken soup for a delicious weeknight dinner.

Note: This post was originally published in 2013, and it was updated in 2020.


  1. This looks delicious and simple, my favorite kind of dinner! I love the idea of tomatillo salsa in the soup (I just pinned your recipe as I don’t work with tomatillos too often). Can’t wait to try it.

    1. Thanks, Sherri. I hope you enjoy it. I get tomatillos from my farm share during a short period of time every summer, and I love to turn it into salsa so I can keep enjoying it for months after.

  2. Annemarie,
    How timely! I have about 2 cups of chicken meat left over from my latest roasted chicken. After the original meal, we had chicken and asparagus sushi, then I used a soup pack and made chicken jelly, today’s lunch was a chicken salad, and . . . . soup sounds good to me. I love how a roasted chicken can be such a variety of meals.

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