This spicy chicken soup is satisfying, with a perfect balance of warmth and flavor. In under 30 minutes, you can enjoy a hearty, delightful soup, effortlessly(with simple ingredients).
Why We All Love this Spicy Chicken Soup Recipe
Jalapeno's flavors and the heat: The jalapeno heat in this best spicy chicken soup ideal for those who love a flavorful kick in their meals(like this spicy butternut squash soup).
Customizable heat: The good news is that the spiciness of this spicy recipe is highly adjustable to your heat tolerance(similar to this jalapeno spaghetti).
Perfect for Cold Weather: On a cold winter day, there's nothing quite like a bowl of spicy chicken soup to warm you up from the inside out.
Make Ahead and Freeze: This soup is an excellent freezer-friendly recipe. Cook a lot at once and freeze. When you need a quick meal, warm it up, and it's ready to eat.
How spicy is this chicken soup?
This spicy chicken soup has a pleasant heat, does not taste fiery hot. The jalapeno pepper and spices like chili powder and cumin add moderate heat. However, it's well balanced by carrots, corn kernels, and shredded chicken.
You can also alter the heat by adjusting jalapeño(or try jalapeno subtitutes) and cayenne pepper amounts. For milder soup, remove jalapeño seeds and reduce cayenne pepper.
Add extra jalapeños or a pinch of cayenne pepper for the intense heat.
Ingredients and possible substitutions
Chicken Breast: I have used skinless chicken breasts in this spicy chicken soup recipe. Feel free to substitute it with boneless, skinless chicken thighs or leftover rotisserie chicken(cuts down the prep time a lot).
Chicken broth: Use this as the soup's base. You can choose either store-bought bone broth or homemade chicken broth.
Olive Oil: Good to replace with vegetable or canola oil.
Onion & Garlic: Provides a depth of flavor. Leeks and shallots are equivalent alternatives in this soup. Freshly minced are always the best.
Jalapeno Pepper and Cayenne Pepper: The jalapeno and cayenne peppers make this spicy chicken soup recipe unique. They add heat and a rich flavor, making this spicy soup taste excellent. Remove the seeds and the white membrane inside the jalapeno pepper if you want the soup to be less spicy.
Veggies: Red bell pepper, carrots, celery, and corn kernels have a rich sweetness that counterbalances the soup's spiciness.
Diced Tomatoes: I have used canned diced tomatoes; fresh tomatoes are perfect additions, too.
Ground cumin: Provides warmth and earthiness.
Fresh Cilantro: Provides a refreshing flavors and appetitive look.
How to make Spicy Chicken Soup?
Prepare the Chicken: Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pot. Then, using tongs, place the chicken breasts. And sear each side for 4-5 minutes or until slightly browned. Then, take the chicken breast out and keep it aside.
Saute the Vegetables: In the same pot, sauté the chopped onion, minced garlic, jalapeno pepper, chopped red bell pepper, carrots, and celery—Sauté for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables soften.
Add the Broth and Tomatoes: Pour in the chicken stock and add the canned diced tomatoes. Stir well to combine.
Season the Soup: Add the cayenne pepper, paprika, cumin, and salt. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
Cook: Return the chicken breasts to the pot and bring the soup to a boil. Then, turn the heat low and cook for 20 minutes or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked.
Shred the Chicken: Now remove the chicken from the pot. Use forks to pull it apart into smaller, bite-sized pieces. Then, toss the shredded chicken back again into the pot.
Add Corn Kernels: Stir in the corn kernels and cook for 5 minutes.
Serve and Garnish: Serve the spicy chicken soup hot in bowls. Optianly sprinkle crushed black pepper and garnish each bowl with chopped cilantro(or red chili flakes to enhance the heat).
What to Serve with?
Bread: This savory bread variety, like garlic(have you tried this jalapeno garlic bread?) or cornbread, is an excellent addition to any soup.
Crackers & Chips: For a fun and crunchy side, serve with tortilla chips or crackers.
How do you store the leftovers?
In the refrigerator: Transfer the spicy chicken soup to an airtight container for 3-4 days.
In the freezer: Transfer to the freezer-safe containers or resealable plastic bags. And freeze for up to 3 months.
Thawing: To thaw, place the spicy chicken soup in the refrigerator overnight. To speed up the process, gently thaw the soup in the microwave.
Reheating: To warm it up on the stove, heat it on medium until it's hot. In the microwave, put what you need in a bowl that's safe for microwaves. Heat it for 1 minute, stir, and repeat until it's hot.
Garnish: Add a touch of fresh cilantro or a dollop of sour cream as garnish before serving to enhance the freshness of this soup.
Spicy Chicken Soup Variations
Extra spicy: Add more cayenne pepper or swap with habanero or serrano pepper for different flavors.
Creamy Spicy Chicken Soup: For a creamy, rich texture, stir in a cup of coconut milk or heavy cream just before finishing the cooking.
Extra protein: To increase protein content in this spiced up chicken soup, stir in a can of black beans, kidney beans, or chickpeas(after draining and rinsing).
Mexican-Inspired: Stir in lime juice and garnish with avocado slices, lime wedges, and tortilla strips.
Tools needed for spicy chicken soup
Soup pot: A large pot allows for even heat distribution, making this soup taste perfect.
Cutting board: More room to cut vegetables.
Tongs: Provide a better grip for the chicken.
Cooking Tips for Best Results
Instant Pot: Use an Instant Pot or slow cooker to save time in making this soup.
Customize the heat: Alter the amount of cayenne pepper and paprika to adjust the heat level in this recipe.
Customize the texture: Stir in coconut milk or heavy cream.
Garnish: Serve this spicy chicken soup with freshly chopped cilantro, green onions, and tortilla chips for added texture and freshness.
Printable recipe card
Spicy Chicken Soup
- 1 pound chicken breast boneless and skinless
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 jalapeno pepper seeded and diced
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 2 carrots peeled and diced
- 2 celery stalks diced
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 8 oz diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon Salt to taste
- 1 cup corn kernels
- 2 tablespoon Fresh cilantro chopped (for garnish)
- Over medium-high heat, place a large pot. Cook the chicken breasts in it until they're brown on both sides. Then, take the chicken out of the pot and keep it aside.
- Add onion, garlic, jalapeno, red bell pepper, carrots, and celery to the same pot. And saute until they turn soft.
- Now stir in chicken broth and diced tomatoes. Add the cayenne pepper, cumin, and salt. Stir well until all the ingredients combine.
- Then, bring it to a rolling boil.
- Then, add the chicken breasts(that were kept aside) to the pot.
- Turn the heat low, and cook for 20 minutes or until the chicken is thoroughly done.
- Then, take the chicken breasts out of the pot and shred it using forks.
- After that, add the shredded chicken to the pot.
- Add the corn kernels and let the soup simmer for 5 minutes.
- Serve the spicy chicken soup hot, garnished with fresh cilantro. Enjoy!