Spicy Chicken Soup.

spicy chicken soup with beans, corn, and salsa

Some days, this sweet baby I have just doesn’t want to be put down. She’s perfectly content to hang out in my left arm while I attempt to do all the life tasks with my right. And with the exception of chopping vegetables and using a can opener, I made this chicken soup and documented it for you while hauling her around. You can trust me when I say this is easy!

peppers garlic and onions for chicken soup

The soup starts with onions, bell pepper, and garlic in a big pot with a little olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. From there, it’s a matter of dumping in a few seasonings, a can of tomatoes and a can of beans, chicken broth, and shredded chicken! I had shredded chicken and stock in the freezer, but a rotisserie or leftover roast chicken is a nice shortcut, too.

spicy chicken soup simmering

 Sometimes even your best shot is blurry. I blame the baby.

At this point, you can simmer the soup for as long as you and the hungry people in your midst can handle. The whole pot can be ready in under an hour, or you can let it bubble on the stove all afternoon. Either way, the final step is to add corn and your favorite salsa to spice things up!

salsa for spicy chicken soup

I used a mild fresh salsa since my three-year-old doesn’t like anything too “ficy” [spicy]. Any salsa that you like on it’s own is great – this is a good time to bring in a smoky flavor with a chipotle salsa, or to amp up the heat (see the notes on the recipe for other ways to make this soup live up to its name – I actually debated changing it since I’ve toned things down so much for my girl! Kinda Not Really Spicy Mexican-y Chili-ish Chicken Soup Stew doesn’t have the same ring, though…).

spicy chicken soup in the pot

Simmer at least 15 more minutes while you bake a pan of cornbread (or open a bag of tortilla chips – you have to finish off your salsa, after all) and shred some cheese. Sour cream and avocado are good toppings, too!

I love to make soup for dinner at the end of the week so we can eat leftovers for weekend lunches…and this is one of those meals that’s even better the second day. Spicy chicken soup also does very well in the freezer! I put single servings in pint mason jars (just make sure to leave space for it to expand) since we have a chest freezer, but if space is an issue you can pour cooled soup in a freezer bag and lay it flat.

Spicy Chicken Soup.

Yield: 6 servings

Spicy Chicken Soup.


  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups chicken broth or stock (or 4 cups water + 4 teaspoons Better than Bouillon)
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 2-3 cups cooked shredded chicken (I used the meat from half of a cooked chicken - a rotisserie is a good shortcut)
  • 1 15-oz can kidney beans (or black beans), drained
  • 1 cup salsa (I used a mild fresh salsa; use any salsa you like with a heat level your diners can handle)
  • 1-1/2 cups frozen corn (or 1 can of corn)
  • optional toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream, diced avocado, tortilla chips


Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, peppers, and garlic and sauté with a little salt and pepper, 5-10 minutes. Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, parsley, brown sugar, chili powder, chicken, and beans. Simmer, covered, 15-30 minutes (or longer, if you have time). Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Add salsa and corn and simmer uncovered at least 15 minutes and up to 45 minutes more.

Serve with cheese, sour cream, avocado, and/or tortilla chips!


This recipe is my own! It's great if you can let it cook for a long time; it can also be ready in 45 minutes if you need it to be. This is a very mild version; to add more heat, add a chopped jalapeño with the veggies at the beginning, or use diced tomatoes with green chiles instead of regular diced tomatoes (ex: Rotel), or use a hot salsa! It's even better the next day and makes delicious leftovers (leftovers are also a great freezer meal - just freeze cooled soup and reheat to serve again!).


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