Jalapeño Lime Chicken Soup

Jalapeño Lime Chicken Soup - so many bright, fresh flavors in this quick and easy recipe. | pinchofyum.com

Aaand we’re back in business.

I did a ton of cooking over this nice little holiday break, you know, the one where your kids and I get to stay home and never change out of their pajamas for two weeks because there’s no school? I’m only half sorry that I basically fall into the same category as them right now. Except to be honest about what I really did over break, it’s more like I did less of the cooking and a ton more of the eating. Which was wonderful and I needed it. <—um, what?

I didn’t really need it. But it was awesome.

Jalapeño Lime Chicken Soup - so many bright, fresh flavors in this quick and easy recipe. | pinchofyum.com

In keeping with the busy season of family time, we had lots of get-togethers this year. One of our favorite Christmas family traditions is The Extended Family Christmas. In which everyone brings way too much food, kids run rampant, gifts are “stolen”, the new babies and spouses are introduced, and the 12 days of Christmas is enthusiastically sung by extended family in small groups (I got assigned Three French Hens with Grandma this year – oheyeah). Also, it is the time during which most of us end up going home with the flu. No I’m not a gerbophobiacafreak. I’M NOT.

What I’m really trying to say here is that I did genuinely cook at least one thing over break: THIS SOUP. For that party. And it was a surprisingly big hit with my Midwestern-ly extended family members and obviously with yours truly. In Minnesooota, or maybe I should just say in my family, we’re not really known for loving spicy food. Jalapeño = no. But it was our family’s own Christmas miracle: they tried and they liked. And I scooped up all the leftovers with tortilla chips, and squeezed on extra lime juice please and thank you, and it was a Happy New Year.

Alright, soup details comin’ atcha.

First, use a food processor for the jalapeños.

Jalapeño Lime Chicken Soup - so many bright, fresh flavors in this quick and easy recipe. | pinchofyum.com

I just don’t want you to end up with watery eyes for three years because you forget to wash your hands and then, just, it’s not pretty.

Also, simmer in a Swiss Diamond pot. I swear it will taste better, especially if you can win the pot for free.

Jalapeño Lime Chicken Soup - so many bright, fresh flavors in this quick and easy recipe. | pinchofyum.com

You must squeeze lime into the soup before serving. It’s called jalapeño lime soup for a reason that involves amazing flavors that you don’t want to miss. Fresh, bright, yum.

Jalapeño Lime Chicken Soup - so many bright, fresh flavors in this quick and easy recipe. | pinchofyum.com

Finally, top with cheese.

Because you made that resolution to eat more cheese this year too, right? I thought we were doing that together.

Jalapeño Lime Chicken Soup - so many bright, fresh flavors in this quick and easy recipe. | pinchofyum.com

The soup, in a nutshell, is a delicious family-friendly (except probably not for, like, infants, but seriously, it’s just mild+ so no fears) fresh meal, full of awesome flavors, that will change up your soup routine. Chicken, white beans, and a salty/spicy kick, but with a cool and refreshing broth to simmer it all down.

I hear ya – we’ve all been stuck in that chicken wild rice soup rut for the last few weeks, and while I do love that creamy goodness, it doesn’t have the energizing powers of this green goddess. This is the one that will clear out your left over head colds from extended family holiday shenanigans and make your eyes do the googly-pop thing and give you a nice booty kick start to 2014.

Enough already. You guys put up with too much, honestly.

Jalapeño Lime Chicken Soup - so many bright, fresh flavors in this quick and easy recipe. | pinchofyum.com

PS. I used my regular slow cooker for this recipe which is a Crock-Pot that I’ve had for the last five years. SO MUCH FOOD has come out of that thing over the life of this blog which is pretty impressive for a $28 kitchen appliance.

5.0 from 26 reviews
Jalapeño Lime Chicken Soup
Serves: 12
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 pounds chicken breasts
  • 5 jalapeños, ribs and seeds removed
  • ½ large red onion
  • 4 14 ounce cans white beans (canellini or great northern)
  • 2 16 ounce jars salsa verde (I like Guy Fieri’s)
  • 4 limes
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • fresh cilantro for serving
  • sour cream for serving
  • shredded cheese for serving
  1. Bring the chicken broth and water to a boil in a large pot. Add the raw chicken breasts to the hot liquid; cover and cook for 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat but leave the lid on so that the chicken continues cooking. After 20 minutes, remove the lid and check to make sure there is no pink in the center of the chicken breasts. Remove the cooked chicken from the hot liquid and set aside to cool.
  2. To remove any unwanted chicken fat in the broth, pour the liquid through a fine sieve, reserving the liquid. Return the liquid to the pot over medium heat. Shred the chicken breasts with two forks and add them to the pot.
  3. Mince the jalapeño and onion in a food processor. Add the jalapeño, red onion, white beans, and salsa to the pot. Simmer for 30 minutes over medium heat. Just before serving, squeeze the juice of one lime into the pot. Cut the remaining limes into wedges for serving. Add the salt; taste and adjust as needed. Serve with fresh cilantro, sour cream, shredded cheese, and lime wedges.

soup nutrition

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  1. You are a genius with the jalapeno-food processor idea. I always use my hands…I have been victim of the whole watery eyes for 3 years thang way too often. Not so fun, and not so prettiful.
    This soup though. My face wants this. Needs this soup.

  2. Mmm… I might be a fan of bean soups but you got me with the Jalapenos; I am addicted to the little peppers especially in such a healthy soup. Really lovely post and recipe!

  3. That is one gigantic pot of soup. It is a snow day today and I really want to make a soup for lunch. This would be perfect!

  4. Lizabeth K. says:

    My family sings The 12 Days of Christmas with assigned parts, too! It’s the best/worst. :)

    This soup looks delicious – and warm, which we need right now!

  5. Because everything IS better with cheese!

    This looks like something the husband would like for sure but I might have to keep a seperate pan pepper free for kiddo. While we love spice, at 9, she’s not.

    It’s ok to be a germaphobe, who wants to be sick anyway 😉

  6. sara wynn says:

    On a scale of 1-10, how spicy is this soup? I like a kick, but not sweating from eating food! haha My dad and husband would definitely like this, so I’ll try it and let you know :)

    • Good question – if 1 is macaroni and cheese and 10 is … something really spicy, I’d give it a 5 or 6. I consider this mild+, bordering on medium. If you leave the seeds and ribs in the jalapeno, it will be VERY spicy. But the recipe directions are to remove them so the jalapeno doesn’t give off all that much heat IMO. It also depends on what kind of salsa verde you use, so if you buy mild, obviously, it will not be as spicy.

  7. Would have never thought to put these flavors together as a soup! Great idea =)

  8. I loveee the idea of jalepeno and lime together.

  9. Oh gosh, this sounds and looks incredible Lindsay! I tried your wild rice soup and loved it – 5 stars for sure!

  10. If there’s a jalapeno involved, I am all-in! Thanks for this great recipe. I can always find a reason to pick up a jar of salsa verde.

  11. I haven’t felt like cooking since Thanksgiving!! Hope I get the urge soon, because I have to have this!! I LOVE spicy food and although I’m in the midwest as well, jalapenos are a must!!! Fantastic recipe!

    • I just hate that, when cooking becomes blah. I had a major season of that around Christamstime since I was really sick. Hope this gets you back in the kitchen and feeling good, Tanya!

  12. So that sounds absolutely delicious and I want some in my tummy right now…especially since I think I have frost bite from this dang weather!

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

  13. FABULOUS- I am always looking for a new tasty soup. YUM.

  14. I was going to make something else for dinner tonight until I saw this photo. This tastes as great as it looks and my husband loves it!!

  15. This soup looks amazing! I’m glad your family branched out and tried it, how could you not like this?!

  16. Lindsay, are you just lucky enough to have fantastic natural light in your new kitchen, or are you using artificial lighting? The lighting in my kitchen is terrible. I am trying to decide between a speedlite or just moving one of my studio lights into the kitchen (my very small kitchen) for process shots!

    • Hi Mary! In these photos I’m using natural light, but honestly, lately 75% of what I’ve been doing is with artificial light. I just can’t seem to keep up enough to do recipes in the very short amount of time that the sun is out. And even if the sun IS out, it isn’t always angling in my window how I want. I’m thinking of doing a post on what I’m doing for my artificial lighting set up… I’ve always preached natural light but I’m changing my tune a bit. In the winter, anyways. :)

      • A post on artificial light would be awesome Lindsay. I live in Alberta and our sunshine hours are just not cooperating with me at all lately.

  17. Looks delicious. We make a chicken tortilla soup w Jalapeños (sometimes Habaneros but those can be really spicy!) This is definitely a keeper. Love your food pictures btw, gorgeous stuff!

  18. I think we all needed a nice break for the holidays! This soup looks so perfect!

  19. Bring on the Jalapenos! I love them and the little kick of lime and sprinkle of cheese. Totally my kind of bowl!

  20. Yes. I am not a huge jalapeño person either but this looks to diiiiiie for. Love the fresh-squeezed lime and I’m a huge fan of canellini and salsa verde. Pinning!

    • @erin

      I have relatives who can’t take too much spicy food

      I find that the lime cools down the heat quite a bit -the more lime the merrier in my opinion

      Another suggestion is garnish w a dallop of sour cream- that will cool the palette as well

      @lindsay – just joined FBP Lindsay excited to take your course!

  21. I know – Jalapenos are dangerous. I hate when the burnt oil gets under my fingernails. Drives me bananas! This soup looks beautiful and I will use my new food processor :)

  22. Hi! So I am not a super huge fan of white beans… sad. This soup looks amazing for sure, minus the white beans! {sorry}

    I love black beans though– do you think they would work instead or no?

  23. If I didn’t have to go out in public to walk my dog or grocery shop, I’d probably never change out of my PJs! Cozy comfort clothes >> stuffy business attire. 😉 Your soup sounds amazing! We’re big fans of spicy food at our house, but with only 2 of us, I doubt we’d want 6 days of leftovers… Does the recipe halve easily?

  24. This has my name written all over it! I’m obsessed with lime anything right now, so this totally fits the bill.

    I’ve registered for a food processor on our wedding registry…having to wait until next September is killing me!

    Erin from Live & Love L.A.

  25. Wishing the both of a fabulous year ahead. The spicy soup sounds like a great stimulation for the senses so early on :)

  26. This soup sounds (?) delicious!

    I’m hibernating at the moment (aka: my Christmas break ends on Tuesday) and I’m pretty sure this soup goes great with that!

  27. Lindsay (great name!) says:

    Haven’t made this yet but have all ingredients on hand….could this be done in the slow-cooker? Looks so yummy, thanks for sharing!

    • Definitely. It could all cook together (broth, salsa, jalapeno, onion, chicken) and then remove the chicken, shred, and add beans at the end otherwise they’ll probably get mushified. :) Good luck!

  28. Mmmmm this looks amazing! Perfect for these cold winter nights in L.A. Haha, I’m a wimp :)

  29. Hi Lindsay – we tried the soup because so many people have recommended when it’s cold. Absolutely terrific! And excellent photos.

  30. What I wouldn’t do for a batch of this to be waiting for me when I get home on this ridiculously frigid day!

  31. The calories per serving of 403 g is how much? 1/12 of the pot i assume?

    • Yes, that’s the way I usually divide it out. I don’t usually measure each serving but just divide into individual containers or eyeball (although that’s hard to do with 12). If my memory serves me right, 1 servings is about 1 heaping cup.

  32. did that make sense? :-) I see calories say 258 per serving, so how much is a serving in cups?

  33. I cannot wait to try this. My Ohio family is a little squeamish around da spices as well, but you’re good reviews have given me courage to try to sneak it in without them knowing. :) I’m in the market for a good food processor right now. Do you have a recommendation? I’m trying to figure out what size is the best to get.

  34. Also it’s driving me crazy that I used you’re incorrectly up there. ^^^^ Can you please just pretend I didn’t do that?

  35. Sandie Ordahl says:

    This is my very first review. Lindsay, there are so many of your recipes that have become our favs. This soup is really incredible. Made exactly as written. Thank you. (Nick thanks you too.)

  36. Kati Miller says:

    This looks so good — but egads! 41% Recommended daily value of Sodium???
    Wow! was this based on regular chicken broth or no/low sodium broth???

    • That’s with regular. I just put it into the label generator as written using Calorie Count, but definitely go with lower sodium broth or even dilute it with water a bit if you are watching sodium!

      • Rebecca S says:

        Really excited to try this recipe! The canned beans and salsa verde (Guy Fieri) also seem to be very (very!) high in sodium…I was going to attempt cooking my own beans and making my own salsa verde but not sure what recipe might be similar to Guy Fieri….any suggestions?


  37. It took me a while to get to this recipe, but it was SO worth the wait! The jalapeños do not overwhelm the soup, instead they deliver a nice warmth. I might try roast in the peppers and/or the chicken next time. The fresh lime juice really brightens the flavor…do not skip or skimp! Thanks for another delicious soup recipe!

  38. Do you drain the cans of beans or throw them in with their liquid?

    Thanks! Looks yummy!

  39. LOVE everything about this soup, thank you! (will have to look into cutting some sodium though – maybe in the salsa or the broth) – love its looks though & can’t wait to make it!

  40. Thanks Lindsay! I just made the soup and my husband and I loved it. Perfect for a cold Chicago evening.

  41. Lindsay, I made the soup this week and it was AMAZING. My husband even took it to work and he never takes lunch to work! This so is so easy to make. In fact, I made it after we ate dinner and that a rare, very rare thing for me to do:)

  42. This is ridiculous! Just the flavor I hoped for. Next time I make this I may leave one jalepeno unseeded. My pregnant self can’t seem to get enough spice lately.

  43. I loved this recipe! I made it this friday and OMG it was soooo delicious. My family all loved it :)

  44. I have always wanted to dabble more in cooking and baking and your blog has inspired me to do so! I have decided from now on I will cook or bake one new item per week. Hopefully I stick to it. This was my first recipe that I tried and I have to say that it was delicious!

    Thanks for the inspiration and keep blogging! I absolutely love it.

  45. infant approved. my nine-month-old is currently wolfing this down, albeit her serving is less broth and just the beans she picks up. but nonetheless, infant approved. =) great soup!

  46. We loved this soup! So easy to make and absolutely delicious, even leftovers were yummy. It was the perfect soup just in time for a cold spell that came through.

  47. We went to our friends’ home last night for a dinner party and she served this soup. It was delicious! Question: for the 2 pounds of chicken breasts the recipe calls for, do you use boneless skinless breasts or bone-in breasts?

  48. Made this soup over the weekend and it was excellent. I recommend serving with slices of avocado.

  49. This soup is fantastic! I made a vegan rendition tonight and cooked the onion first then just added the rest of the ingredients (veggie broth subbed for chicken) to the pot and let it simmer for a while. The only additional item I added was half an avocado – then I used an immersion blender to put the whole thing together. The jalapeno was minimally spicy!! Medium spicy salsa is spicier than this soup. Thanks again!!!

  50. I love this recipe, my husband loves this recipe. What is there not to like about lime and jalapeno!! I froze the leftovers so looking forward to enjoying it again soon.

  51. We just made this soup tonight and it was delicious! It’s a keeper!

  52. We made this for lunch yesterday. Delicious and easy! It reminded me of White Chicken Chili, but for me, it was infinitely better! Thanks!

  53. I tried the soup a couple weeks ago and it was absolutely fantastic!! I’m making it again right now, but this time with leftover shredded smoked chicken from the weekend’s Super Bowl party… and also with smoked chicken stock I made from the carcasses (though I hate saying that word, carcass).
    I can’t wait. Cheers!

  54. What type of cheese did you use?

  55. This soup is addicting and awesome. Mine turned out with just the right amount of kick where it gets a bit hot when you stop eating so you just keep shoving it in. It’s so good with the lime juice. I forgot to put the sour cream and cheese out to top it and it was still awesome! You have a gift, keep it up and thanks for sharing :)

  56. Tara D. says:

    Hi Lindsay! We are enjoying this lovely bowl of warm delish here this eve. We thank you for your recipes…we make them often! In fact, when we are wondering what to make, the convo runs like this, “What do you want?” ” I don’t know” “Let’s check Pinch of Yum!!!” We added corn to our soup and it’s still lovely! Thank you for all the wonderful food! Look forward to what you will come up with next!

  57. I made this last night for my family and it now ranks #2 among my soup recipes. I did add some Fideo Vermicelli just to change it up a bit. They loved it.

  58. Needed to share this hilarious picture… This was right after I added the Jalapeno/ Lime mixture. :)

  59. Claudine says:

    Finally got around to making this, decided it was going to cure or kill ( my husband has been sick) wow this is delicious I halved the beans, and chicken, omitted the cheese and sour cream added a little avocado. I will probably make my own salsa Verde next time and leave out the beans, I’m trying to remove some things from my diet. Thanks for the great recipe.

  60. I tried this… followed the recipe exactly and I can’t tell you how much I and my family love it. It is DELICIOUS!!!! Every time I come back to read this recipe and look at the pictures my mouth begins to water. So GOOD!

  61. Can you help me.
    I live in England and I have never seen tins or jars of salsa verde in the shops.
    Can I make my own for this soup and if so, can you help me with the correct recipe.

    I am really enjoying your dishes, everyone I have made so far has been a great success with my family, so nice to find a website where the recipes work and are delicious .
    Many thanks for your hard work.

  62. This was delicious! I’ve been trying one or two new soup recipes every week for the past several weeks, and this has been my favorite. I don’t normally add sour cream as a garnish, but it adds just the right amount of creaminess. Thank you for sharing your recipes!

  63. Alexandra says:

    This was delicious! I would never have thought it, honestly! I had bought lots of Jalapenos for stuffing for a party, but then didn’t need to make them and was stuck with too many of these peppers, so I searched for a recipe and found this blog. I invited friends over for what I call “guinea pig” dinner (when I cook something I never made before) and we all loved it. The Salsa Verde is the trick to the soup though – first I used only one jar, but it definitely needed the second jar to make it as yummy as it was. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!

  64. Oh my word! I did this soup a few months back and my family (of three) loved it! I’m glad I stuck to the servings on this recipe as we had enough for the weekend, no leftovers after that :( I can’t wait to try this delicious heavenly goodness again!

  65. dont forget sliced avocado and or chopped tomatoes as a garnish.

  66. What a LUCKY find. I had some jalapenos left over and was looking for a soup recipe. This was really good. I cut it in half to meet the amount of jalapeno I had. I was making something else and had cilantro which I put in with the onions and jalapeno – very good. I have added this to my “MUST MAKE AGAIN” list! Thank you!!!!!!

  67. This recipe is fan-freakin’ tastic! I made it in the slow cooker. Took 5 hours, $0.86 per serving! Can’t complain about that.

  68. I thought I lost this recipe! Thank God I shared it. This time it is bookmarked. It’s also in my crockpot! Can’t wait for din din.

  69. What are the directioms for making it in a crock pot?

  70. What kind of cheese do you use in this? Sorry if I missed that detail in the blog!

  71. Hi! How do you make his recipe in the crockpot? All ingredients in on high for 3 hours or low for 6?

    • Hi, Raigen! I think either would work. You could add all the ingredients, cook for 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low, and then just shred the chicken breasts at the end. Enjoy!

    • Hey Raigen – I’ve made this (similar version – much smaller batch) in the slow cooker and cooked it on low for 5 hours. Another time I left it in there for 6.5 hours and it was still perfect. If you’re doing a slow cooker, I do recommend dark meat because it doesn’t overcook as easily (though I’ve done it with both and white meat was fine). I also recommend using either canned or pre-salted beans in the slow cooker. The salt helps them stay firm. When they were unsalted, they got a bit mushy in the slow cooker.

      (You can see what I did here if you want: http://www.frugalnutrition.com/jalapeno-salsa-verde-soup-slow-cooker-version/)

      I hope you make this soup though, it’s one of my FAVORITES!

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