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Caldo de Pollo Recipe With Cabbage: A Traditional Mexican Soup with a Twist

Caldo de Pollo Recipe With Cabbage: A Traditional Mexican Soup with a Twist

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Looking for a delicious, hearty soup that is perfect for winter? Look no further than Caldo de Pollo! This traditional Mexican soup has a rich history and can be made with many different variations. Today, we will teach you how to make our Caldo de Pollo recipe with cabbage and give you a few tips on how to add your own twist to it. Let’s get started!

Caldo de Pollo Soup: A Traditional Mexican Recipe with a Twist

What is Caldo do Pollo?

Caldo de Pollo, otherwise known as Mexican chicken vegetable soup, is a traditional Latin or Mexican dish passed down for generations. It is typically made with whole chicken pieces, vegetables, and rice or pasta.

What is different here is that they use the entire chicken instead of just diced or shredded chicken. The vegetables are usually in large pieces too. It was believed to cure a hangover, help women who just gave birth, and kill the common cold. While I can’t confirm or deny those claims, it is simply a tasty dish.


This Caldo de Pollo recipe is a bit more like a stew than your typical soup but uses more bite-sized cuts as well as chicken thighs instead of the entire chicken.

Why Cabbage in Caldo de Pollo?

Cabbage is commonly used as a thickening agent in Caldo de Pollo. It helps to bulk up the soup and make it more filling. Additionally, cabbage is a great source of vitamins and minerals, making it a healthy addition to this already nutritious soup. Cabbage is also a thrifty gem – you can pick it up in March for roughly $0.25 a pound, and it keeps a long time in your fridge.

We just think it takes this classic to a heartier level.

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Why is it so Great in Winter?

Caldo de Pollo is the perfect soup for the winter months for a few reasons. First, it is hearty and filling, which makes it great for those cold nights. Second, it is packed with nutrients and vitamins that can help boost your immune system. Third, it is easy to make and can be made in large batches to have leftovers for the week – ready to warm you up on that cold day.

If you know of someone with that dreaded winter cold? The subtle heat of this helps clear out the sinuses, while the broth helps rehydrate a dry throat.

What makes Caldo de Pollo Hot?

The answer may surprise you, but Caldo de Pollo is not spicy! The “heat” in this dish comes from the cumin, which gives it a subtle smokiness. If you are sensitive to cumin, you can always reduce the amount called for in the recipe. We also like to top ours with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime, which brightens the flavors.

If you want a bit more of a kick, feel free to add some diced jalapeños or red pepper flakes.

How to Make Caldo de Pollo with Cabbage

Now that we’ve talked about the history and benefits of Caldo de Pollo, let’s get to the good stuff: the recipe! This soup is relatively easy to make and only requires a few simple ingredients.

Caldo de Pollo Ingredients

Caldo de Pollo Ingredients

  • Water – this is a broth soup that makes its own homemade chicken stock as you go without the help of chicken broth or chicken bouillon
  • Boneless skinless chicken thighs – we like to use chicken thighs because dark meat is more flavorful and tender than chicken breasts, but you can use whatever you have on hand
  • Tri-Color Cabbage Mix – as we mentioned before, cabbage is a great thickening agent for this soup. It also makes it more filling and hearty. We use bagged for a variety of color and not having to deal with an entire head of cabbage. It speeds up the prep time.
  • Garlic paste – we like garlic paste because it is more flavorful than minced garlic cloves, but you can use whatever you have on hand
  • Bay leaves – a bay leaf is a classic Caldo de Pollo ingredient that adds flavor
  • Salt – for seasoning
  • Cumin – this is what gives you a little heat, you can add more with hot sauce if that is your personal preference
  • Potatoes – we like to use Yukon gold potatoes because they are more flavorful than russet potatoes, but you can use whatever you have on hand
  • Mini frozen ears of corn – this is a great way to add some sweetness and color to the soup
  • Zucchini – we like to use zucchini because it is more flavorful than other types of squash
  • Carrots – they provide a sweetness that counters the heat
  • Lime juice – this is a classic Caldo de Pollo ingredient that adds acidity and brightness
  • Cilantro – skip this if you have that gene where it tastes like soap to you. Who wants soap soup?
  • Spanish rice – this is a great way to bulk up the soup and make it more filling

How to Make Caldo de Pollo Step-by-Step

How to Make Caldo de Pollo Step-by-Step

In a large soup pot, bring the water, salt, cumin, garlic paste, chicken, and bay leaves to a boil, and simmer over medium-high heat until the chicken is tender. 

Remove the chicken from the pot, cut it into large chunks, shred it, and then set it aside. 

How to Make Caldo de Pollo Step-by-Step

Add the potatoes, corn, zucchini, carrots, and cabbage to the chicken broth in the pot. 

Bring to a boil, then simmer over medium heat until the vegetables are tender. 

finished caldo de pollo recipe with cabbage

Add the cooked chicken back to the pot and stir in the lime juice and chopped cilantro. 

Season with salt and pepper if desired. 

Spoon the soup into bowls, including all ingredients in each serving bowl.

Place a scoop of Spanish rice into the bowl, serve, and enjoy!

ready to serve caldo de pollo recipe with cabbageserve caldo de pollo

What to serve with it

Caldo de Pollo is typically served with a side of Spanish rice, but feel free to serve it with whatever you have. Wedges of lime, black beans, crispy tortilla chips, and even a piece of crusty bread would also be delicious for dipping into the broth.

How long does our Caldo de Pollo recipe with cabbage last in the fridge?

Caldo de Pollo will last in the fridge for up to four days. We recommend reheating it on the stove over low heat until warmed through.

Can you Freeze Caldo de Pollo?

Caldo de Pollo freezes well! We like to make a big batch and then freeze individual servings for quick and easy meals later on.

finished mexican chicken vegetable soup

Can you use chicken breast instead of thighs?

Yes, you can use chicken breast instead of thighs in our Caldo de Pollo Recipe with cabbage. Chicken breast is less flavorful and drier than chicken thighs, so we recommend using chicken thighs if you want a more tender chicken cut. You could use shredded rotisserie chicken meat or boneless chicken breast.

So, the next time you hear someone with the sniffles, make them a warm bowl of Caldo de Pollo. This bowl of soup and its flavorful broth will make them feel better in no time!

¡Buen provecho! (Enjoy your meal!)”

Print off our Caldo de Pollo recipe with cabbage here

Yield: 6

Caldo de Pollo Recipe With Cabbage: A Traditional Mexican Soup with a Twist

ready to serve caldo de pollo
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 12 cups water
  • 4-6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons garlic paste
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2-3 medium potatoes, cut into bite size chunks
  • 6 mini ears frozen corn
  • 2 zucchini, cut into chunks
  • 4 carrots, cut into chunks
  • 2 cups tri color cabbage mix
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 cups Spanish rice, prepared for serving

Instructions

In a large soup pot, bring the water, salt, cumin, garlic paste, chicken, and bay leaves to a boil, simmer over medium-high heat until the chicken is tender. 

Remove the chicken from the pot, cut it into large chunks, shred it, and then set it aside. 

Add the potatoes, corn, zucchini, carrots, and cabbage to the chicken broth in the pot. 

Bring to a boil, then simmer over medium heat until the vegetables are tender. 

Add the cooked chicken back to the pot and stir in the lime juice and chopped cilantro. 

Season with salt and pepper if desired. 

Spoon the soup into bowls, including all ingredients in each serving bowl.

Place a scoop of Spanish rice into the bowl, serve, and enjoy!

Notes

Caldo de Pollo is typically served with a side of Spanish rice, but feel free to serve it with whatever you have. Wedges of lime, crispy tortilla strips, and even a piece of crusty bread would also be delicious for dipping into the broth.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 564Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 137mgSodium: 1693mgCarbohydrates: 79gFiber: 10gSugar: 12gProtein: 38g

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