Chicken & Lime Soup

$6.39 recipe / $1.07 serving

It’s soup season and I couldn’t be happier. Soup is tasty. Soup is filling. Soup freezes well. Soup is where it’s at.

This is kind of a remake of my old caldo xochitl recipe, but better. A recent trip to a Mexican restaurant made me want to redo this recipe and add more lime, among other things. What we have here is the perfect mix between spicy, salty, and sour – that same famous combo that makes Chinese hot & sour soup so delish. I highly suggest adding a few cubes of avocado because the creaminess perfectly balances the other sharp flavors. If avocados aren’t affordable, try sour cream or some cheese.

This soup really doesn’t need a whole lot of chicken because it’s shredded, which means that you’ll have a little chicken in every spoonful. I used only one chicken breast that was about .75 pounds. And before you ask, I bought the chicken breast on special for $1.87 per pound. These sales aren’t always around, but when they are you have to take advantage and just stock up your freezer. Keep your eyes peeled for deals, they’re out there!

Chicken & Lime Soup

Chicken & Lime Soup

4.9 from 57 reviews
chicken & lime soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Total Cost: $6.39
Cost Per Serving: $1.07
Serves: 6
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.24
  • 1 medium yellow onion $0.28
  • 2 stalks celery $0.45
  • 1 medium jalapeno $0.09
  • 4 cloves garlic $0.32
  • ¾ lb. chicken breast $1.46
  • 6 cups chicken broth* $0.42
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes w/chiles $0.95
  • 1 tsp oregano $0.05
  • ½ Tbsp cumin $0.08
  • 1 medium lime $0.33
  • ½ bunch cilantro $0.43
  • 1 medium avocado $1.29
  1. Dice the onion, celery, and jalapeno (scrape the seeds out of the jalapeno before dicing). Mince the garlic. Cook the onion, celery, jalapeno, and garlic in olive oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until tender.
  2. Add the chicken breast, chicken broth, canned tomatoes with chiles, oregano, and cumin to the pot. Bring the whole pot up to a boil over high heat then reduce the heat to low, place a lid on top, and let simmer for one hour.
  3. After simmering for an hour with a lid on, carefully remove the chicken breast from the pot and use two forks to shred the meat. Return the meat to the pot. Squeeze the juice of one lime into the soup. Get as much juice as possible from the lime by using a spoon to scrape the inside of the lime.
  4. Rinse the cilantro and then roughly chop the leaves. Add to the pot, give it a quick stir, and serve. Dice the avocado and add a few chunks to each bowl.
*I use Better Than Bouillon chicken soup base to make my broth because it is less expensive than buying canned or boxed broths.

Chicken & Lime Soup

Step By Step Photos

onion celery garlic jalapenoDice the onion, celery, and jalapeno. Mince the garlic. Add all four to a pot with olive oil and saute until tender. I actually forgot the jalapeno until a little bit later, so you won’t see it in the picture just yet :P

add chickenAdd the chicken breast. I only used one chicken breast that weighed about .75 lbs. Not at lot, but there is so much flavor in the soup that it doesn’t matter!

diced tomato with chilesI used a generic brand of diced tomatoes with green chiles. If you can’t find this at your store, you can use a can of diced tomatoes and a small (4 oz.) can of diced green chiles. You can usually find the green chiles in the Hispanic foods section of most grocery stores. They’re mild, but have a LOT of flavor.

soupSo, along with that chicken breast and canned tomatoes with chiles add the chicken broth, oregano, and cumin. Bring the whole pot up to a boil over high heat then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for one hour with a lid on top to hold in the moisture.

shred chickenAfter simmering for an hour, the chicken should be tender enough to shred. Just use two forks to pull it apart into shreds. Return the shredded chicken to the soup.

cilantroRinse the cilantro to make sure there’s no sand hiding in there then roughly chop it. It’s okay if you get a little stem action, they’re not rough.

add limeAdd the chopped cilantro and the juice of one lime. You want a good amount of lime juice so make sure you squeeze that sucker dry. You can roll it around on the counter top (with pressure) a bit before cutting it open to help the juices flow. I also like to twist a spoon into the flesh to break it up and squeeze even more juice out.

Chicken & Lime SoupServe with some cubed avocado… and maybe some tortilla strips or sour cream or Mexican cheese. It’s up to you!


  1. Miruku says:

    Just made this for the first time yesterday and I have to say it came out perfect. I had to log in here and say something about it. I’m new to cooking and it was the perfect entry level dish with lots of flavor. My boyfriend who isn’t much into Mexican style dishes really enjoyed this soup. I will definitely be making this again.

  2. Cassy says:

    This soup is so good! The best soup I have ever made! I added egg noodles because my kids and husband love pasta. Everyone loved it! Thanks so much!

  3. This was so so good. I normally wouldn’t try anything like this but it was great! However I used one lime but I think it was a bit too strong for me :/ The leftovers were better! I added in enough pasta that it could be classified as a pasta dish (due to me not knowing how much pasta per person, then halving it :’)) but I think it made the soup.

    Added sour cream at the end too and it was equally good :) I also never expected avocado to go so well with it.

    Will definitely make this again!

  4. Sanne says:

    SO good! Thank you for posting this recipe, it’s amazing

  5. GayLynn Standlee says:

    What is the nutritional value please ? Calories particularly. Thank you

  6. vladimir says:

    One word: heavenly.

    I have made this soup a dozen times in the past few months and it is delicious every time! I add 1-2 cups of cooked-from-dry black beans and serve over crushed tortilla strips with a dollop of crema and a bit of monterey jack. So delicious, and the beans make it even cheaper & heartier. I usually make a double batch, it’s even tastier as leftovers.

  7. johana says:

    This was AMAZING YUMM

  8. I was worried that adding a full lime’s worth of juice to the soup would ruin it. I was very wrong. My implementation of this soup turned out very tasty:

  9. Claire says:

    Oh my gosh… this soup is truly a gift from God!! After the first bite, this soup became my favorite ever (along with my Mom’s vegetable sausage soup)!!!! You are an amazing cook/chef and I hope you start a restaurant or something:) thank you for this soup!

  10. I made this is delicious! I’d had it in restaurants and this is as good as what I’ve had out. Seriously. The only changes I made were adding a little more lime juice and cilantro because I love those flavors and I added 1/2 cup long grain rice. Very good soup. Thank you.

  11. I saw this on Pinterest and made it the next day! I love lime & cilantro, and I like that this recipe is low on processed ingredients. My only changes were to use regular diced tomatoes (since that’s what I had) and to add 1/2 cup orzo at the end (to add bulk & appeal to my 3 kids). I loved it and will certainly be making this again- thank you!!

  12. Jenni says:

    Just made this tonight. It’s SO good. My husband really loved it too.

  13. Sherri says:

    I made this yesterday for a baby shower. The mom to be is diabetic, so I went looking for low card soups. So glad I found this. It was wonderful & extremely easy to make. I took some shortcuts (pre-chopped veggies) that weren’t budget friendly but I was under a time constraint. The soup came together quickly and was delicious; it is even better today! Thanks!

  14. I was wondering if you had a calorie count for this yummy soup…. I tried calculating it my self but I gave up lol. Very yummy!

  15. Sarah says:

    This is so flavorful and delicious. I lost my jalapeno but I had some habanero hot sauce that I substituted which was good. Who knew such a simple to make meal could be so delicious! Oh I also added some white rice while everything was simmering to add some extra substance and it worked out very well.

  16. This was amazing! The broth I used was really salty, but it did bring out the flavors of everything. Another awesome recipe!

  17. Can you add pasta like a rotini to the soup to make it a bit heartier? I’ve made it several times as is and it’s awesome! I’m wondering if adding pasta might throw off the flavors.

  18. Kate says:

    What is a serving size? Thanks.

  19. M.H. says:

    I made a double batch, since I need to make lunch of a week in advance. Only thing is, don’t use twice the Cilantro. I did and it looked weird. I know, it’s only an aesthetic thing, but still. Other than that, it turned out great.

    Oh, also smashed a piece of avocado and added it to my bowl to see what it’d be like. IT WAS AWESOME!! The zesty lime. The tomatoey tomato. The buttery avocado. MMM.

  20. Katy says:

    I made this for dinner tonight and it is delicious! I only had regular diced tomatoes on hand so I doubled the jalapenos. It was really good, and now I have leftovers for the rest of the week.

  21. Home-Slice says:

    This is a fantastic soup! well done.

    I really love roasting a chicken for dinner the day before then using the bones and left over old root veggies in a crock pot ($15 from value village) over night to make chicken broth then make soup the next day. Nothing like a super low sodium home made chicken or beef broth :) Healthy, makes your house smell delicious and a great way to use up those wilting old onions, celery, potatos, garlic etc. :)

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