dinner lunch

Cilantro Lime Chicken Soup

Perfect for using up Mexican night leftovers without it tasting like leftovers soup!

Okay people here’s the thing: I love Taco Tuesday. But then, I have all these Mexican food ingredients and don’t quite know what to do with them so end up finding rejected, wilted cilantro in the far back of my fridge a few weeks later. Not ideal for me, and definitely not ideal in terms of food waste. Enter: my solution to most things in the winter, soup!! Throw those ingredients in a pot and you’ll have yourself a wonderful, post-taco night meal that doesn’t taste a bit like leftovers!


(Makes: 4 servings | Total time: 40 min (15 of “work”)

  • 1 yellow onion, minced
  • 1 tbs minced green onion (~1-2 stalks)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 5 ribs celery, sliced*
  • 1/2 cup carrots, cut in small circles
  • 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 32 oz chicken broth (I use low sodium)
  • 1 cup halved grape tomatoes (or a 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 2 tbs lime juice (~1 lime, save a few wedges for garnish)
  • 1 cup frozen or canned corn
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves


  1. Chop everything first! Then, heat oil over medium heat in a large soup pot for one minute. Add onions, garlic, and celery, cooking for ~5 minutes or until softening and fragrant. Add chicken, carrots, chicken broth, tomatoes, cumin, red chili flakes, and ginger powder. Cover, and cook on low heat for 25 minutes.
  2. After 25 minutes, remove chicken breast and let sit for 5 min before shredding with two forks (continue to let soup simmer). Return chicken to pot and stir in lime juice and corn. Let simmer for 2 more min, then add salt and pepper to taste if needed. Enjoy with fresh cilantro and any extra lime wedges topping each bowl!


Remember, this recipe is only your guide so…

  • Want spicier? You could add a jalapeño. I’d remove most of the seeds, mince it, and add it in with the onions and garlic.
  • Want more protein? Add black or pinto beans or avocado at the end
  • Want more carbs? Throw on some crushed tortilla chips or rice when you serve it– don’t add these to the main bowl because they’ll soak up all the liquid as they sit.

What if I want a yummy soup but not this one? Don’t worry– I won’t be offended! Check out these other ideas below:

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