5.0 from 5 votes

Sopa de pollo (Mexican chicken soup)

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YouTube VIDEO tutorial on how to make caldo de pollo.

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Sopa de pollo-Mexican chicken soup

Recipe by Villa Cocina
5.0 from 5 votes
Course: SoupsCuisine: MexicanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




Total time



Making a traditional Mexican Caldo de pollo is easier than you think. The soup is characterized by its golden broth, tender chicken pieces, and the vegetables of your choice. This comforting and delicious dish is a go to in Mexican cuisine, offering a unique and satisfying experience when flavor is the goal.


  • Roast the bones 
  • 2.5 – 3 lbs chicken bones

  • Avocado oil, drizzle 

  • Salt, generously 

  • Ground black pepper, generously 

  • Instant pot stock
  • * Veggies *

  • 3 ea celery stalks 

  • 2 ea carrots 

  • 2 ea tomatoes, large  

  • 4 ea green onions 

  • 1/2 ea white onion

  • 1 head of garlic

  • * Spices *

  • 1 tsp black peppercorns

  • 1 tsp allspice, whole

  • 5 ea cloves, whole

  • * Herbs *

  • 3 ea bay leaves

  • Bunch oregano, fresh 

  • Bunch thyme 

  • Bunch rosemary 

  • 1/4 bunch cilantro 

  • * Broth *

  • 12 cups water  

  • 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar 

  • Protein 
  • 3 lbs chicken thighs, bone-in (8 pieces)

  • Soup Veggies 
  • 1 ea chayote, diced 

  • 3 ea corn on the cob, cut in three pieces 

  • 2 ea carrots, sliced

  • 1 ea russet potato, diced

  • 1 ea calabacita, diced  

  • 8 oz green beans, cut into three sections 

  • 1/4 head of cabbage, diced 

  • Season at the end
  • Salt to taste

  • Toppings
  • Cilantro, chopped  

  • Onion, diced 

  • Radishes, sliced 

  • Lime juice 

  • Chiles de arbol, broken

  • Corn tortillas


  • Roast the bones: Preheat oven to 425ºF.Place the bones over a rack with a half sheet-pan under it. Drizzle both sides of the bones with the oil. And, season with salt and ground black pepper. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes or until brown. 
  • Instant pot stock: All veggies should be roughly cut into large pieces, no need to peel the carrots. Slice the end off the garlic to expose the cloves and roughly chop the cilantro. Once the bones are ready, remove from the oven. And, add them to your 8 qt instant pot with all the prepped veggies, spices and herbs. Pour in the water and apples cider vinegar.
  • COVER, secure the lid and cook on HIGH PRESSURE for 45 MINUTES, with a 10 MINUTE  NATURAL PRESSURE RELEASE.
  • Soup Veggies: Meanwhile prep the veggies by cutting them into medium bite size pieces. Try to keep them as uniform in size as possible. That way, they cook evenly. If desired, keep the skin on the potato for its fiber content. 
  • Back to the instant pot: When done, QUICK RELEASE the remaining pressure.Press CANCEL, uncover and carefully remove the pot insert. 
  • Time to make the soup: add the corn, carrots and chayote to a large 10 qt pot. Strain the stock into the pot. Then, add the chicken thighs. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower to medium-low. Cover and cook on a gentle simmer for 10 minutes or until the veggies are half of the way cooked. 
  • Now, add the green beans, calabacita, potato, and cabbage. Cover and cook on a gentle simmer for another 10 minutes or until both the veggies and chicken are fully cooked. Mix in the salt and serve. 
  • Feel free to top the bowls of soup with cilantro, onion, radishes, lime juice, Chile de arbol, and a side of corn tortillas. ENJOY. 

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