Mexican Chicken Rice Soup is made with chicken, brown rice, tomatoes, onion and lots of garlic. This nourishing chicken and rice soup is one of my favorite Mexican soup recipes to make and it rivals any restaurant Mexican chicken rice soup there is!

bowl of chicken and rice soup

If you’re a soup person, you’re going to love this Mexican Chicken Rice Soup! And if you’re a soup person, you know we eat soup all year round – it doesn’t matter what the weather is doing outside. This soup is so rich and flavorful and so completely satisfying! Your whole family will love it!

chicken and rice soup ingredients

My family is a big fan of Chicken Tortilla Soup (who doesn’t love chicken tortilla soup, right!?), but we also love a good Mexican Chicken and Rice Soup like the one served at Avila’s El Ranchito restaurant. They serve their richly flavored soup in large bowls with big chunks of avocado and lots of chopped cilantro and a side of warm flour tortillas. This Mexican Chicken Rice Soup my friends, rivals their soup! 

Mexican Chicken and Rice Soup Recipe

This Mexican chicken and rice soup recipe is made with simple ingredients.

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8-10 cloves garlic (I always use 10 medium-size cloves – it gives this soup the most incredibly flavorful broth!)
  • 1 onion, peeled, cut in half then thinly sliced
  • 1 pound cooked chicken meat, chopped or shredded (you can use store-bought rotisserie chicken or Poached Chicken for this recipe)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 6-8 cups chicken broth
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 4 thin slices of jalapeno, seeds removed
  • 2-3 cups Brown Spanish Rice (you can use boxed rice if you’re short on time, but it’s so good with homemade)

How to Make Mexican Chicken and Rice Soup

As far as Mexican chicken soup recipes go, this one is a breeze to make!

  1. Make Spanish Brown Rice.  Made your pot of Spanish rice, and while the rice is cooking you can prepare the soup.
  2. Chop or shred chicken. Chop or shred your poached or store-bought rotisserie chicken and set aside.
  3. Saute onions and garlic. Heat oil in large saucepan or Dutch oven and saute the onion for 2 to 3 minutes, then add in the minced garlic and saute for another 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Chicken, tomatoes and seasoning. Add in the torn pieces of chicken, chopped tomatoes, jalapeno slices and cumin with the onions and stir.
  5. Add broth. Pour in chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Place lid on pot and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes. If you’re adding 1/3 cup lime juice, you’ll turn off the heat and stir in the lime juice.
  6. Serve. Spoon 1/4 cup Spanish Brown Rice in each bowl, then ladle soup over rice. 
  7. Garnish. Garnish each bowl of chicken rice soup generously with avocado, chopped cilantro, and lime wedges.

Spanish brown rice ingredients for chicken and rice soup

Spanish Brown Rice Recipe

This Spanish rice adds a lot of flavor to this soup!

  • Extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil
  • Long-grain brown rice
  • Tomato sauce
  • Chicken broth (or vegetable broth of you want it vegan)
  • Onion (brown or yellow – don’t use sweet)
  • Celery
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Dried parsley

How to Make Spanish Brown Rice

  1. Rinse. This step is important for removing starches on the outside of the rice which will cause the rice to clump and stick together as it cooks. Add rice to a fine mesh strainer and run under cold water until the water runs clear.
  2. Saute:  Heat oil in saucepan. Add onion, celery and cook for about 2 minutes, then stir in the brown rice with the onion and celery and cook another 3-4 minutes or until the rice starts to turn golden.
  3. Tomato Sauce:  Stir in the tomato sauce, onion powder, garlic powder and dried parsley.
  4. Chicken Broth:  Pour in the chicken broth and stir.
  5. Cook:  Bring pot to a boil then reduce heat to a low simmer. Place lid on pot and simmer rice for 25-30 minutes or until the liquid has absorbed. It will still look a little moist with the tomato sauce on top. This will settle after the rice sets for 10 minutes.
  6. Rest  Remove pot from heat, and leave the lid on the pot and let the rice finish steaming in the pot for about 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork.

pot of Mexican chicken soup

Tips for Making Chicken Rice Soup 

  • Cooking. Cook the rice separately and don’t add the rice to the pot while the soup simmers. You want to keep the rice separate from the soup just until you’re ready to serve it.
  • Serving. For serving, spoon about 1/4 cup of rice into each individual bowl then ladle the soup over the rice and garnish with avocado, cilantro and lime wedges. You can also add the rice to the pot of soup just as you about to serve it, but just be sure you don’t simmer the rice in the broth, because the rice will absorb a lot of the broth, and you’ll be left with a less brothy and less flavorful soup.
  • Storing left over soup. Keep the rice and the soup in separate containers in the refrigerator.
  • Reheating leftover soup. When reheating the soup, add the rice to the pot during the last minute or two just long enough to heat the rice through.

Serving Suggestions

  • Garnish this soup generously with avocado and cilantro.
  • Serve with warm flour or corn tortillas 
  • Add a little grated Jack cheese to the bowls of piping hot soup
  • Sprinkle a few broken tortilla chips to the top of each bowl of soup

pot of Mexican soup

Variations

  • Chicken.  You can’t go wrong with which part of a chicken to use. Whether you use chicken breast (for a leaner choice) or thighs, or a combination of both. As for how the chicken is cooked – you can use store-bought rotisserie chicken or poached chicken then chop or shred the meat to add to your soup.
  • Rice. We use Spanish Brown Rice for this recipe, but you could also use Spanish Rice (using long-grain white rice) or Spanish Quinoa instead. I love this soup best made with brown rice because, not only do I like the texture best, but it makes a more nourishing and filling soup. If you’re short on time, you can also use a good boxed Spanish rice soup. Just be sure to make the rice separately and not add it directly into the soup while it simmers.
  • Broth. We use low sodium chicken broth for this recipe, but you could easily use a vegetable broth instead.
  • Jalapenos. If you want your soup to have more of a kick to it, you can adjust the heat by adding more jalapeno slices (with or without the seeds) to simmer in the broth as it cooks.
  • Lime juice. You can either add 1/3 cup of freshly squeezed lime juice to the pot of soup just as you’re about to serve it, or serve the soup with lime wedges so everyone can add as much lime to their bowl as they like.

bowl of soup

Looking for more Mexican soup recipes to make?

Want more ideas? Check out all my healthy soup recipes.

bowl of soup
Yield: 6-8 servings

Mexican Chicken Rice Soup

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Mexican Chicken Rice Soup is made with chicken, brown rice, tomatoes, onion and lots of garlic. This nourishing chicken and rice soup is one of my favorite Mexican soup recipes to make and it rivals any restaurant Mexican chicken rice soup there is!

Ingredients

Spanish Brown Rice

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1 cup long-grain brown rice, rinsed under water
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 2-1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth of you want it vegan)
  • 1/4 cup brown onion, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup celery, finely minced (mince a tablespoon of celery leaves to add as well if you have any - they add a ton of flavor)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley

Chicken Rice Soup

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8-10 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion, peeled, cut in half then thinly sliced
  • 1 pound cooked chicken meat, chopped or shredded
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 6-8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 4 thin slices of jalapeno, seeds removed
  • 2-3 cups Brown Spanish Rice

Instructions

Spanish Brown Rice

  1. Add brown rice to a fine mesh strainer and run under cold water until the water runs clear. (This step is important for removing starches on the outside of the rice which will cause the rice to clump and stick together as it cooks).
  2. Heat oil in saucepan. Add onion, celery and cook for about 2 minutes, then stir in the brown rice with the onion and celery and cook another 3-4 minutes or until the rice starts to turn golden brown.
  3. Stir in the tomato sauce, onion powder, garlic powder and dried parsley.
  4. Pour in the chicken broth and stir. Bring pot to a boil then reduce heat to a low simmer.
  5. Place lid on pot and simmer rice for 20 minutes or until the liquid has absorbed.
  6. Remove pot from heat, and leave the lid on the pot and let the rice finish steaming in the pot for about 10 minutes before fluffing. 
  7. Fluff rice using a fork and serve.

Chicken Rice Soup

  1. Make Mexican Brown Rice (recipe above)
  2. Chop or shred chicken. Chop or shred your poached or store-bought rotisserie chicken and set aside.
  3. Heat oil in large saucepan or Dutch oven and saute the onion for 2 to 3 minutes, then add in the minced garlic and saute for another 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in the chicken, tomatoes and seasoning. Add in the torn pieces of chicken, chopped tomatoes, jalapeno slices and cumin with the onions and stir.
  5. Pour in chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Place lid on pot and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes. If you're adding 1/3 cup lime juice, you'll turn off the heat and stir in the lime juice
  6. Spoon 1/4 cup Spanish Brown Rice in each bowl, then ladle soup over rice.
  7. Garnish each bowl of chicken rice soup generously with avocado, chopped cilantro, and lime wedges.

Notes

Tips for Making Chicken Rice Soup 

  • Cooking. Cook the rice separately and don't add the rice to the pot while the soup simmers. You want to keep the rice separate from the soup just until you're ready to serve it.
  • Serving. For serving, spoon about 1/4 cup of rice into each individual bowl then ladle the soup over the rice and garnish with avocado, cilantro and lime wedges. You can also add the rice to the pot of soup just as you about to serve it, but just be sure you don't simmer the rice in the broth, because the rice will absorb a lot of the broth, and you'll be left with a less brothy and less flavorful soup.
  • Storing left over soup. Keep the rice and the soup in separate containers in the refrigerator.
  • Reheating leftover soup. When reheating the soup, add the rice to the pot during the last minute or two just long enough to heat the rice through.

Serving Suggestions

  • Garnish this soup generously with avocado and cilantro.
  • Serve with warm flour or corn tortillas 
  • Add a little grated Jack cheese to the bowls of piping hot soup
  • Sprinkle a few broken tortilla chips to the top of each bowl of soup


Variations

  • Chicken.  You can't go wrong with which part of a chicken to use. Whether you use chicken breast (for a leaner choice) or thighs, or a combination of both. As for how the chicken is cooked - you can use store-bought rotisserie chicken or poached chicken then chop or shred the meat to add to your soup.
  • Rice. We use Spanish Brown Rice for this recipe, but you could also use Spanish Rice (using long-grain white rice) or Spanish Quinoa instead. I love this soup best made with brown rice because, not only do I like the texture best, but it makes a more nourishing and filling soup. If you're short on time, you can also use a good boxed Spanish rice soup. Just be sure to make the rice separately and not add it directly into the soup while it simmers.
  • Broth. We use low sodium chicken broth for this recipe, but you could easily use a vegetable broth instead.
  • Jalapenos. If you want your soup to have more of a kick to it, you can adjust the heat by adding more jalapeno slices (with or without the seeds) to simmer in the broth as it cooks.
  • Lime juice. You can either add 1/3 cup of freshly squeezed lime juice to the pot of soup just as you're about to serve it, or serve the soup with lime wedges so everyone can add as much lime to their bowl as they like.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 541Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 99mgSodium: 6558mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 2gSugar: 10gProtein: 32g

theharvestkitchen.com attempts to provide accurate information, however, this nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. The nutritional information provided comes from online sources and calculations.