Easy Mexican Chicken Soup in the Slow Cooker

by Andie Mitchell on January 17, 2013

mexican chicken soup-1

I made this recipe for my family two weeks ago and, silly me, figured that by doubling it, there would be enough leftover the following day that I’d be able to photograph it for a recipe post. You know, because I’m neurotic and will only make lovey dovey food pictures in the light of day,

when everyone can see my crazy in plain sight.

mexican chicken soup-3

The next morning I set up my small, make-shift food photography studio by the window in the living room, only to open the refrigerator to find—surprise! There were no leftovers.

I took it as a sign.

The soup was that good.

[or everyone threw the rest in the garbage, but let's pretend.]

mexican chicken soup-5

This is a twist on tradition. A bolder, zestier chicken soup that can satisfy a craving for comfort food and Mexican at the same time.

mexican chicken soup-4

There’s so little effort required in throwing it together, and better yet—you probably have all of the ingredients on hand already.

It also justifies the use of an excessive toppings bar, with bowls of shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, fresh cilantro, and hot sauce. And that alone is reason enough to make a meal.

mexican chicken soup-2



Mexican Chicken Soup in the Slow Cooker

makes 6 servings


1 large onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts

4 cups chicken broth

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons dried oregano

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

½ teaspoon chili powder

½ teaspoon salt

2 cans (15 ounces each) Great Northern beans (white beans), drained and rinsed


Scatter the onion and garlic about the base of your slow cooker. Arrange the chicken breasts evenly over the top.

In a medium bowl, whisk the chicken broth, cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, chili powder, and salt. Pour over the chicken. Cook on low for about 6 hours.

Remove the lid and shred the chicken using two forks and pulling against the grain of the meat. Stir in beans. Add more broth or a little water if you think that the soup is too thick for your liking, and then return the lid to cover. Continue cooking for an additional 30 minutes to allow the beans to warm.

Serve with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, fresh cilantro, and an additional dusting of smoked paprika.

Nutrition Information for 1 Serving (1/6th of full recipe): Calories 365, Total Fat 4.2 g, Total Carbohydrate 37.6 g, Dietary Fiber 8.1 g, Sugars 0.7 g, Protein  42.4 g

{ 62 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy January 17, 2013 at 7:49 am

This recipe looks great! Could you tell me if the nutrition information includes the cheese, sour cream, etc. Thanks!


Emma January 17, 2013 at 9:04 am

it will depend on what cheese you use, so it’s probably easier to just look up the calorie count the day you make it!

I agree, it looks awesome! I get huge mexican cravings and this will definitely be an easy fix!


admin January 17, 2013 at 10:39 am

Hey Amy,

Sorry, I should have been more clear. No, the nutrition information does not include toppings—it only includes the exact ingredient list above. Thanks for asking!



Olivia January 17, 2013 at 8:53 am

I LOVE the idea of adding cumin to a mexican dish! I bet it adds the best flavor. Can’t wait to go buy my own TJ Cumin and try out this recipe. :)


Rachel (Two Healthy Plates) January 17, 2013 at 9:43 am

I love mexican-style soups and even better when they come out of a crock pot! This looks delicious =)


andrea @ my kinda perfect January 17, 2013 at 11:38 am

that sounds sooo good! i love mexican flavors like cumin and cilantro — this will be a must try recipe! i’ve seen a lot of mexican soup recipes — but so many contain lots of canned items, which makes me afraid of the sodium content…but this recipe is fabulous!

i actually made a delicious soup the other night and had enough for lunches the rest of the week. it’s called brazilian shrimp soup…i altered the recipe by replacing rice with quinoa and it turned out awesome. i love making healthy and yummy recipes. (here’s my blog post about it: http://www.mykindaperfect.com/2013/01/a-pinspired-recipe.html)


admin January 17, 2013 at 11:43 am

Andrea, that soup sounds fantastic, but…I just checked out your post and there were so many delicious things happening that I couldn’t focus. Nutella bread?!

Come over.



Cinnamon Vogue January 17, 2013 at 12:04 pm

I like that you added the Oregano which has a ORAC value of 175,295 µmol TE/100 ml. That makes it one of the best anti-oxidants in the world at number 4, even ahead of Cinnamon. While many Trader Joe’s products are great I am not sure their spices are great. I find, like their Tea which is just terrible, their herbs and spices are nothing special. You get a better quality of spices at your local Indian store, often at a much cheaper price.


admin January 17, 2013 at 12:41 pm

I can always count on you to know these things, my friend. And I thank you for it. I’ve been thinking about going out and replacing lots of my spices, as some of them have been in my cabinet for a loooooong time and I doubt their potency at this point.



Cinnamon Vogue January 17, 2013 at 10:36 pm

The problem is these spices are so expensive Andie. The Chinese stores are also a great place to buy spices. I used to do a lot of shopping for one of my businesses. (I used to cook for a lot of kids and wanted fresh and tasty as possible but also had to watch my costs very carefully). The best way was to take photos with the cell phone so I could compare prices and quality.


Diane @ Vintage Zest January 17, 2013 at 12:29 pm

This sounds so good but still easy. I’ve been looking for a reason to use my slow cooker, it gets lonely when I don’t use it.

I think everyone is in a soup mood, because Handle the Heat just posted a lentil soup, and I posted a minestrone & beef, mushrrom and barley on my blog too! It’s contagious!



admin January 17, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Ooo, two soups on your blog today! Both great :)



paula January 17, 2013 at 2:32 pm

This soup sounds wonderful! I can’t wait to try it.


Deborah H. Bateman January 17, 2013 at 2:41 pm

Sounds delicious. I am making a Mexican Chicken Soup for supper tonight as well. Check out my recipe on my blog Recipe for Life at http://deborah-bateman.blogspot.com
Deborah H. Bateman-Author


Addy @ Six-Kick Switch January 17, 2013 at 4:50 pm

This looks so warm and cozy and delicious! I think I have to haul out that Crock Pot…


Mrianka January 17, 2013 at 5:10 pm

So tasty! Thank You:) MY BLOG


Emily January 17, 2013 at 5:36 pm

I read this post this morning, realized I had all the ingredients, and it’s cooking away in my slow cooker right now!

I do have to cook it for 8 hours instead of 6 due to my work schedule, so hopefully that won’t mess with it at all!


admin January 17, 2013 at 6:58 pm

Should be fine for 8 hours–in fact, I bet yours will be even better after having cooked a bit longer. Hope you like it as much as I do, Emily!



Emily January 17, 2013 at 10:15 pm

I just finished eating it – it was great! I needed to add more broth after cooking it an extra couple hours, but the chicken (which I was worried about drying out) was great!


Ali January 17, 2013 at 5:54 pm

Yum, looks delicious!


Misti January 17, 2013 at 9:54 pm

This sounds so good! A question… We’re not big fans of beans around here… if you were to make it with noodles, would you just cook those separately & add when you serve?


admin January 17, 2013 at 10:13 pm

Hey Misti,
Thanks! Yes, I’d cook noodles separately and then add them in just before serving, otherwise they’d absorb too much of the broth if they were cooked in the soup itself. Good question, though, and I’m sure they’d be a great addition!



Laura January 18, 2013 at 8:52 am

I like to cook the noodles seperately, and when the soup is ready I’ll put noodles in my bowl then spoon the soup over them.

I find that if I add them into the soup, even at the end, they soak up all the broth overnight. Assuming you have leftovers :)


Bek @ Crave January 18, 2013 at 3:15 am

I love how many of your dishes are simple yet look like they are just SO flavourful and delicious.


Laura January 18, 2013 at 8:58 am

Hi Andie,

I’m fairly new to “internet things” and my new obsession is Pintrest. I’ve noticed other blogs that have a pinning icon at the bottom of their recipes, but you don’t. Is this because you’d rather not be pinned, or is there just another way to do it?


Tamara January 18, 2013 at 10:28 am

This looks fantastic and easy!


Nancy @ Rivertreekitchen January 18, 2013 at 10:34 am

Yum! This is right up our alley. I love the idea of the smoked paprika–I never would have thought of that. I have a stash of dried pasilla chilies in my pantry–one of those, rehydrated, would be tasty too.


Morgan January 18, 2013 at 11:45 am

Hey Andie,
Host the Toast just featured this recipe in today’s Link Love post.
You can see it at http://blog.hostthetoast.com/link-love-10-crock-pot-recipes-you-will-love/
This sounds so delicious… I’m going to have to make it ASAP. Who can resist a good new soup recipe in the Winter?
-Morgan from Host the Toast


Julia January 18, 2013 at 4:24 pm

I love a good slow cooker soup–perfect for winter & for weekends! This looks so tasty.


Cassie @RedLetterDaye January 18, 2013 at 4:28 pm

Yum! Cumin has become one of my favorite spices!


Penny January 19, 2013 at 8:08 am

What’s not to love about all of these ingredients. And I love it when I can pull out my slow cooker. Thanks Andie. I just found your blog and I am really enjoying it.


Christina January 19, 2013 at 8:12 pm

Andi, this looks incredibly delicious! I absolutely love your blog. Thank you for sharing your journey and all of these amazing recipes!!


RBee January 19, 2013 at 11:59 pm

Thanks for this recipe; I’m a major soup lover. I made it yesterday and it was delicious! Since I rarely buy canned beans, but was lucky enough to have a bag of dry northern beans on hand, I poured 1/2-3/4 of the beans into the mix and cooked it all together for the 6 hrs. The beans were perfectly soft by the time the crockpot went off. Served with sour cream, this soup hits the spot!


admin January 20, 2013 at 12:06 am

Thanks so much for telling me, RBee! I’m happy to hear it :)



emma green January 20, 2013 at 4:25 pm

what a lovely blog with gorgeous photography :-) my hubby would love this dish :-)


Lynn January 20, 2013 at 4:55 pm

This sounds so good and I already have all the ingredients. My sister is coming to visit in a few days and will arrive later in the evening. This will be perfect for something warm and delicious when she gets in.


Mandi January 20, 2013 at 6:59 pm

This soup looks delicious! I can’t wait to try it! It says that it makes 6 servings. Do you have an approximate size for a serving? Is it a cup? Thanks for the recipe. I’ll be making it soon!


admin January 20, 2013 at 8:07 pm

Thanks Mandi! The serving size is about 2 cups.



Roberta January 21, 2013 at 4:57 am

Hi, I tried the recipe tonight and even after doubling the amount of stock there wasn’t a lot of liquid left in the end. 2 cups doesn’t seem like much broth for a soup that serves 6. Was there something else to be added?


Roberta January 21, 2013 at 5:36 am

Looks like I should have done some homework before posting! I noticed a lot of comments for slow cooker recipes say to use less liquid since it doesn’t evaporate but my slow cooker does evaporate the liquid and burns recipes so that’s why I questioned the ingredients. After looking into this, I know now that it’s a common problem with the newer programable crock pots, even on the low setting. Any suggestions on a slower cooker that doesn’t do this? The reviews seem to be mixed online. Thanks!


admin January 21, 2013 at 8:50 am

I’m sorry. It was my mistake in the recipe writing, or the typing up of the recipe I should say. I do apologize and I hope that your dinner wasn’t a total bust because of it. I just edited the recipe to call for 4 cups of broth. Also, yes, I see in your comment below that you don’t need as much liquid as you might think because none of it should evaporate/burn off–which is true, and I should also note that I’ve generally found that the long cooking time with slow cookers tends to yield a lot of juice from the chicken as well.

Again, still a mistake on my part for not calling for more broth. I appreciate you writing me to let me know so that I could edit it for others!



Roberta January 21, 2013 at 9:04 am

Luckily I noticed the situation before too much liquid had evaporated. I had some left over canned tomatoes in the fridge so I added those to increase the fluid without watering down the flavor. Seems to have done the trick and I’m looking forward to having some for lunch. Thanks Andie!

P.S. I’m really enjoying reading your posts and trying some recipes. :-)


Jill January 21, 2013 at 1:33 pm

I have this in the crock right now – smells delish!!


Naomi January 22, 2013 at 9:28 pm

I made this for dinner tonight, except I used black beans since it’s what I had in my pantry. Loved it!


Amie January 25, 2013 at 6:26 pm

Making a big batch of this Monday night! Can’t wait! Its got me googling all sorts of recipes I can use with the leftovers.


Lanise January 27, 2013 at 6:49 pm

I just came across your website yesterday thru Pinterest. When I saw this recipe I knew I had to try it. It is absolutely fabulous. Keep the healthy, simple recipes coming. I plan to try many more of your recipes. Thanks for sharing.


Katie January 30, 2013 at 9:31 am

Have this going in the crockpot now! love your recipes and website, I relate so much to your weight loss journey so wanted to say thanks! I just hit my 100 pound weight loss on Friday!!!


Jamje February 1, 2013 at 9:32 pm

A great place in Seattle for inexpensive spices is World Spice Merchants on Western down from the Market. They are cash only & I’ve been buying my spices there exclusively for the past two years!


admin February 1, 2013 at 10:29 pm

So true! I’ve been there once and loved it. Great selection.



Kristin February 8, 2013 at 3:03 pm

yum, this is right up my alley. i will definitely be trying it soon!


Jaclyn February 8, 2013 at 7:46 pm

The smell wafting through my kitchen at the moment is THIS soup in my crock pot! Making it for two little girls who are sick with winter colds…can’t wait. Per my usual absent-minded cooking attempts, I was out of paprika and oregano, so I used Mrs. Dash. I’m sure it will be delicious. :)


Christy February 21, 2013 at 9:52 pm

Tasty…although I do think spices make a difference and mine weren’t strong enough. I also used frozen chicken breasts (4) to help with the overcooking factor and it helps a lot to have the chicken just right by the end of the 6 hours. Still plenty cooked but not over cooked. Thanks for the tasty recipe! Yum!!


Sara March 31, 2013 at 12:27 am

I don’t have smoked paprika- would it taste ok without it?


Andie March 31, 2013 at 8:15 am

Hey Sara,

Yes, it will be absolutely fine without it!

Hope you like it :)



Twyla April 2, 2013 at 7:04 pm

Thanks so much for this delicious recipe. I made it today but I added green chili to it. It’s amazing. All three of my kids are scarfing it down with no complaints!


Kristin May 16, 2013 at 5:40 pm

Hi Andie! I’m not sure what I did wrong, but mine didn’t turn out great. I read the recipe again and couldn’t find anything I did wrong. I even doubled and tripled the spices and this soup tasted pretty bland to me. Everything else I have made of yours has always been fantastic. Could it be lacking flavor because I used a low-sodium broth?


Katie G May 23, 2013 at 8:51 am

I missed this one! I have every ingredient at home except the beans. Picking them up on the way home. MUST. MAKE. THIS. SOUP.


Bonnie July 30, 2013 at 4:08 am

I am loving the recipes, but do not find a method to copy just the recope.


Elaine November 27, 2013 at 9:02 am

This was really delicious. We did add more spices to suit our tastes though. Loved it served with a dollop of salsa and some cheddar cheese – plenty for two meals. Thanks so much for this recipe. We will do this again!!!


Stacy Deason December 26, 2013 at 4:21 am

WOW! Such an awesome soup recipe. This looks perfect for this cold weather. Thanks for sharing this crock pot recipe with us :)


Shelby January 14, 2014 at 6:19 pm

This was such a easy but yummy supper! I ended up adding some Cholula hot sauce to my serving for some more zip though (I love spicy!). It was nice to come home from work today to the wonderful smell of this soup. :) I’ll be making it again for sure!


Rachel April 3, 2014 at 1:57 pm

I put this in the crockpot yesterday before I left for work ad it was delicious! I followed your recipe except I used bone in chicken thighs (free range, veg fed…..you get the idea) and left out the chicken broth using only water. I cut the bones which allows the marrow to cook and creates its own broth.
My family discovered Marrow broth after my Mom was diagnosed with cancer. My grandma adds all parts of the chicken if she used a whole chicken but that grosses me out so I just use the bones. Its a very health alternative to using premade chicken stock.
I normally will let the chicken and bones cook for a good 24 hours and then strain and freeze…that way I have the stock when a recipe calls for it.


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