A creamy chicken corn soup flavored with Mexican spices and fresh jalapeños is a refreshing change from regular chowder. And with just a 30 minute cook time using precooked chicken, you can have a bowl of warm and comforting soup any night of the week. This is easily made dairy free as well.
This recipe for Mexican chicken corn soup is basically a chowder that has Tex-Mex flavors added in the form of chilies and spices. We love the fun change from a typical corn chowder like this corn chowder with sausage.
I also love that this recipe is quick and easy and is great for both using up leftovers and pantry items, as well as fresh. You can use either frozen corn from last year's harvest, as well as chopped, frozen jalapenos and/or mild green chilies, or use fresh in season produce.
It's good either way, making it a great fall recipe (using fresh) as well as a winter or early spring (using frozen). And I love recipes that use up our frozen produce, don't you? It helps to reduce waste and save money, both things I know you want as much as I do.
So consider this a recipe for your seasonal master menu list recipes, especially when you're wanting to use up what's in your freezer. It's delicious enough that it will become a family favorite!
Mexican Chicken Corn Soup Recipe
Chicken Corn Soup Ingredients
Most of the ingredients for this 30 minute recipe are things you'll find in your fridge, pantry, and freezer:
- Cooked chicken from a slow cooked/Instant Pot rotisserie chicken or store bought (you can also use uncooked cut-up chicken, it will add just a few minutes to brown).
- Corn kernels, fresh or frozen.
- Peppers: jalapeños, sweet peppers, and/or mild green chilies like ancho or anaheim, fresh or frozen.
- Chicken broth (bonus points if it's homemade from your freezer) and milk or half-and-half (coconut milk is a good substitute if you're avoiding dairy or go with all broth).
- Garlic, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper.
- Flour, cornstarch, or potato starch for thickening.
- Grated cheddar cheese (more Tex-Mex) or Cojita (more Mexican), pickled jalapeños, and lime wedges for topping soup (optional, though all very good).
Note: The milk is included to make it more creamy and chowder like, though it's optional and you can use all broth if you'd prefer.
There are basically three easy steps to this easy any-night soup:
- Sauté vegetables and spices (this is where you'd brown your chopped chicken if using uncooked). If using flour to thicken, you'll add it here after the vegetables are tender (cornstarch or potato starch will be added at the end to thicken).
- Add remaining soup ingredients, boil, and then simmer for 15 minutes.
- Stir in milk, cream, or coconut milk (and the starch slurry if using), stirring for a few minutes until thickened a bit. Taste for seasoning, and serve with toppings.
You can see how this fits into a weeknight dinner - while the soup is simmering, make your salad and any sides and your whole dinner is ready in 30 minutes.
You can see in the photos that I used pickled jalapeños slices as a topping and lime wedges to squeeze into the soup bowls. I usually do add a cheese topping, too, but had decided to serve these with cheese quesadillas, so I saved the cheese for those.
This soup really is good either way - with or without cheese. If I had some cojita or queso fresco in the fridge, that would've been a good option as toppings with the cheesy quesadillas, but if you're not eating regular dairy, this soup is still very good without.
Is this chicken corn soup spicy?
Even with the jalapeños, this soup is not very spicy, which is great for our kids. Brian and I like it a bit more spicy, so we simply add hot sauce at the table. If your household likes things spicy, you can double (or triple!) the amount of jalapeños.
I like to serve this with easy oven-baked tortilla chips made by cutting corn tortillas into triangles, spraying with oil, and seasoning with salt and spices. Update: See full recipe for 10 Minute Baked Tortilla Chips here!
This soup is also great with:
- Quesadillas - simple cheese or black bean quesadillas.
- Cumin Lime Slaw
- Simple green salad
- cut up vegetables and homemade ranch dip
30 Minute Mexican Chicken Corn Soup
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 jalapeño chili chopped, fresh or frozen*
- 1 cup red bell pepper and/or mild green chili peppers** fresh or frozen
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt to taste (you'll need up to 2 teaspoons of using homemade, unsalted broth)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons flour, or cornstarch or potato starch
- 3 cups chicken broth or 4 cups if you'd prefer all broth and no milk
- 2 cups corn kernels fresh or frozen
- 2 cups cooked chopped chicken (or 1 pound of boneless chicken breasts, cubed)
- 1 cup milk, half-and-half, or coconut milk
- 1 to 1½ cups cheese jack, cheddar, cojita, or queso fresco
- 2 to 3 tablespoons sliced pickled jalapeños
- 1 lime sliced in wedges
- Heat the oil over medium high heat in a soup pot. Add the onion, peppers, garlic, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper (you can add raw chicken now if using). Sauté until tender and lightly browned, about 3-5 minutes.
- Sprinkle with flour, if using, and cook another couple of minutes (if using a starch, you'll add it at the end).
- Stir in the chicken stock, corn, and cooked chicken. Heat to a boiling, then reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.
- Stir in milk or coconut milk if didn't use all broth. If using a starch to thicken now, add 2 tablespoons corn or potato starch to a small bowl, add about 1 tablespoon of COLD water, stir until smooth, and then add to soup after adding milk. Stir a minute or two until thickened and taste for seasoning.
- Serve topped with optional shredded cheese, pickled jalapeños, and lime wedges to squeeze onto the soup bowls.
More Quick & Easy Soups To Try:
- Best Homemade Tomato Soup Recipe (You'll Never Go Back To Canned)
- Amazing Cauliflower Cheese Soup (in 30 Minutes)
- Fast & Easy Curried Red Lentil Soup Recipe
- Black Bean and Sausage Soup Recipe (Slow Cook or Instant Pot)
This recipe has been updated - it was originally published in April of 2009.
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