Mexican Chicken Rice Soup

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This Mexican Chicken Rice Soup is anything but boring – The soup is made with fresh poblano peppers, tomatoes, chicken, corn, onions, garlic, jalapeno peppers, fresh spinach and rice.

The flavour is typical Mexican spices such as cumin, chilli powder and oregano. To finish the soup, I added fresh cilantro and lime juice. This soup to me is → happy food 🙂

Chicken and rice is a classic soup combination, perfect when you need a pick me up or feeling under the weather. This soup delivers healing properties making you feel cozy all over. It’s a perfect everyday healthy soup.


Mexican chicken rice soup, gluten free


Few things to know when making Mexican chicken rice soup.

To start, the rice has to be cooked first. You may ask why not cook it in the soup with everything else? The reason is, if you add the uncooked rice into the soup, the rice will absorb most of the broth, and you will have a risotto instead of soup.

Then again, if you added just boiled rice to the soup, although the soup broth is flavourful, the plain rice will make the soup bland. So, the rice has to be cooked in a flavourful broth first.

You can cook the rice in a chicken broth, but it is not necessary if you add cumin, bay leaf and lime zest as it calls in this Mexican chicken rice soup recipe. The rice will be so flavourful you will want to eat it without adding it to the soup.

For the soup, it is pretty straightforward, except for the poblano peppers. If you can’t find poblano peppers use green peppers.

For the poblano peppers, we must remove the skin. To do this, place the peppers under a broiler or open flame until they start to char.


poblano peppers


Then, once they are slightly cooled, the skin comes off very easily. Remove the seeds and chop. For the chicken it must have bones, I used thighs, the meat is juicier than the breast.

It is mostly bones that flavour the broth, this is why you don’t have to add store-bought chicken broth. The bones are later removed, and the chicken meat is chopped.

At the very end, the cooked rice is added. The soup is brought to a boil and then immediately removed from the heat.

Next add the cilantro, spinach and lime juice. And this is how you make the best Mexican chicken rice soup.

But, we mustn’t forget about the toppings, because this soup is a meal in a bowl once you add the various fresh toppings. Enjoy!

One of my other Mexican soup favourites is the fajita chicken soup.


  • 3/4 cup long-grain rice
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp. GF ground cumin
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1 GF bay leaf
  • 3/4 tsp. Sea salt
  • 2 large poblano peppers (if you can't get poblano use green peppers)
  • 2 Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tsp. GF chilli pepper
  • 2 tsp. GF oregano
  • 4 bone-in, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped or (13 oz. can diced tomatoes)
  • 2 cups fresh corn kernels or frozen corn
  • 1 - 3 jalapeno peppers, trimmed, deseeded and chopped. I love spicy soups, so I used 3, but 1 is sufficient
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup chopped spinach leaves
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • Juice of 1 large lime
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Optional toppings; chopped cilantro, plain Greek yogurt or sour cream, avocado slices, shredded cheese, lime wedges, corn chips
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 FORE THE RICE; place rice, 1 1/4 cups of water, cumin, lime zest and salt into a saucepan. Bring to boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 10 - 12 minutes until rice is tender.
  • While the rice is cooking, char poblano peppers all over under a broiler or over an open flame. Cool, peel, remove seeds and roughly chop. Set aside
  • Heat olive oil over medium heat, add onions and garlic and cook until onions start to soften. About 5 minutes
  • Add chilli pepper, oregano and poblano pepper until combined. Add chicken pieces, season with salt and cook for two minutes per side coating with the onion mixture
  • Add tomatoes, corn, jalapeno peppers, 8 cups of water and season with salt. Bring to boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 - 25 minutes until the chicken is tender
  • Transfer chicken pieces onto a plate and remove the bones. Roughly chop the chicken and return to the soup with the rice. Bring to boil and remove from the heat.
  • Stir in cilantro, spinach, green onions, and lime juice
  • Serve hot in bowls with your favourite toppings
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