Salsa Verde Chicken Soup

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Salsa Verde Chicken Soup is packed to the brim with flavor and so many great ingredients — shredded chicken, tender beans, crisp corn, and tangy salsa. Throw everything into your slow cooker and forget about it — no prep required beforehand!

We also have directions for preparing this soup in a pressure cooker (Instant Pot)!

Try some of our other favorite soups with similar flavor profiles like this Healthy Chicken Tortilla SoupCrockpot White Chicken Chili, or Chicken Taco Chili.

Overhead view of Salsa Verde Chicken Soup

Salsa Verde Chicken Soup

This chicken soup with green salsa is one of the easiest recipes to assemble — simply dump everything into a slow cooker and forget about it! No chopping veggies at all, just open up the cans and a jar of salsa verde and throw it all in!

Salsa Verde Chicken Soup is a total family favorite. Everyone loves it and each person can customize this meal to their own tastes with the toppings they add to their own bowl.

Serve this soup buffet style with topping options and let everyone fix their dinner just how they want it! In mine — loads of pepper-jack cheese, a scoop of sour cream, a diced avocado, and all the tortilla strips! 

Process shots: add trimmed chicken thighs to slow cooker; add remaining ingredients

Let’s Chat Salsa Verde

The salsa verde is arguably the most important ingredient in this salsa verde soup recipe — it’s responsible for the majority of the flavor and the spice in the soup.

  • Use a salsa verde you enjoy. You can make this soup very mild or quite spicy, depending on the salsa verde used. 
  • Of course I’m partial to homemade salsa verde, but store bought is great too!
  • Spice levels: For a mild chili, use a mild salsa verde sauce (one you know is mild or taste it first to ensure mildness). We use Herdez® Mild Salsa Verde and the kids love this soup! This particular brand of salsa verde does have a little heat, but with the creamy cool toppings, we think it’s perfect.
    • For a spicier salsa verde soup, use medium or hot salsa verde, and/or add in 1-2 tablespoons diced jalapeños. 

Process shots: stir ingredients together and cook; remove chicken and shred.

Salsa Verde Chicken Soup Notes

  • Chicken: Boneless, skinless chicken thighs are our meat of choice in this soup. The meat is extremely tender, easy to shred, and more forgiving (meat doesn’t dry out) if the soup is cooked longer. The fat in the thighs adds a nice richness to the soup.
  • Use a high-quality, flavorful stock that adds loads of flavor and allows us to cut down on spices or other additions. We highly recommend Swanson® chicken stock — it’s our favorite! The stock makes a huge difference in the end flavor of this soup recipe.
  • Don’t leave out the cilantro and lime juice: Both add a nice flavor complexity, needed acidity, and good vibrancy.
  • To make a creamy Salsa Verde Chicken Soup, add 4 ounces of very soft cream cheese (full fat) to the pot, after pulling out the chicken to shred. Let it melt for a few minutes and then briskly whisk to incorporate. Add the chicken, lime, and cilantro back in after cream cheese is fully melted and incorporated.
  • To make this soup keto-friendly, reduce the black beans, leave out the corn, and leave off the tortilla strips.

Our Favorite Salsa Verde Soup Toppings

  • Cheese: Our favorite is pepper-jack cheese. A Mexican blend or sharp Cheddar are also great choices. Whatever cheese you use, we recommend freshly grated so it will melt nicely into the soup instead of clumping or becoming greasy– which pre-shredded cheese has a tendency of doing. 
  • Avocado: A diced fresh avocado adds a nice and healthful creaminess. We also have done scoops of guacamole, which is delicious! 
  • Fresh cilantro and/or lime juice: Both of these ingredients are added to the soup, but if you love these flavors, feel free to add a touch more to your individual bowls.
  • Fried tortilla strips or pre-packaged tortilla strips: We love a handful of tortilla strips in this soup. It makes it taste more like a salsa verde chicken tortilla soup with this addition!
  • Sour cream: Fat-free or low-fat is typically what we add (great flavor, less fat), but regular works well too. Mexican crema is also delicious in this green salsa soup.

QUICK TIP

Making your own tortilla strips is simple! Take some extra-thin corn tortillas and cut them into thin strips. Add in a single layer to hot oil (375 degrees F) and fry until golden brown, about 20-30 seconds per side. Remove with a slotted spoon onto a paper-towel-lined plate. Immediately add a light sprinkle of salt and let stand to firm and cool.

A bowl of Salsa Verde Chicken Soup

STORAGE

Salsa Verde Soup Recipe Storage

This soup (without the toppings) stores well for 3-5 days in an airtight container in the fridge. Reheat gently over medium heat on the stovetop. You’ll likely need to add in an additional splash of chicken stock to slightly thin the soup. It does thicken as it sits and is stored.

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Salsa Verde Chicken Soup

4.91 from 10 votes
Salsa Verde Chicken Soup is packed to the brim with flavor and so many great ingredients -- succulent shredded chicken, tender beans, crisp corn, and tangy salsa. Throw everything into your slow cooker and forget about it -- no prep required beforehand!
Print Recipe

Salsa Verde Chicken Soup

4.91 from 10 votes
Salsa Verde Chicken Soup is packed to the brim with flavor and so many great ingredients -- succulent shredded chicken, tender beans, crisp corn, and tangy salsa. Throw everything into your slow cooker and forget about it -- no prep required beforehand!
Course Dinner, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword Salsa Verde Chicken Soup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Chelsea Lords

Equipment

  • 5 or 6-quart Slow Cooker OR Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot)

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. (16 oz.) boneless skinless chicken thighs (or breasts -- Note 1)
  • 3 cups (660g) chicken stock or broth (Note 2)
  • 1 cup (240g) salsa verde, (Note 3)
  • 1 can (15 oz.; 432g) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz.; 432g) southwestern or fire-roasted corn, undrained
  • 2 teaspoons each: ground cumin, chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon each: paprika, onion powder
  • Fine sea salt and pepper
  • Optional: 2 teaspoons minced garlic

Add later

  • 2-3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • Toppings: sour cream, additional fresh lime or cilantro, fresh avocado, pepper-jack or sharp Cheddar cheese, tortilla strips

Instructions

  • PREP: Spray a 5-6-quart slow cooker or Instant Pot insert with nonstick spray.
  • ADD TO CROCKPOT: Trim the fat from chicken thighs or breasts (if using breasts, cut each breast into 3-4 pieces). Add to slow cooker along with the rest of the ingredients up until the "Add later" ingredients. Season to taste with salt & pepper (I add 1 tsp salt & 1/2 tsp pepper). Stir and cook on high for 3-5 hours or low for 5-7 hours or until chicken is cooked through and shreds easily.
  • OR INSTANT POT: Trim the fat from chicken thighs or breasts (if using breasts, cut each breast into 3-4 pieces). Add to the pot along with the rest of the ingredients up until the "Add later" ingredients. Season to taste with salt & pepper (I add 1 tsp salt & 1/2 tsp pepper). Stir and add the lid. Make sure valve is set to sealed and cook on manual for 10 minutes. Let pressure release naturally for 7 minutes; then manually release the rest of the pressure.
  • FINISH SOUP: Remove chicken to a separate bowl and shred with two forks. Add shredded chicken back into the soup, along with the lime juice and cilantro. Stir through and then taste, adjusting any seasonings to taste (salt, pepper, more cumin or chili powder -- there's a bit of variance based on the salsa verde used).
  • SERVE: Ladle soup into bowls. Top soup bowls with your desired toppings - freshly grated pepper-jack or Cheddar cheese (we love lots of it!), a dollop of sour cream, extra lime, extra cilantro, a chopped avocado, and/or tortilla strips.

Video

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Chicken: We definitely prefer chicken thighs --the meat is much more tender and flavorful plus it adds a nice richness to the soup. That said, breasts will work too. Cut breasts into smaller pieces so they'll cook in time. (We have only tested thighs in the instant pot.)
Note 2: Chicken stock: Chicken stock has more flavor than broth, but either will work. We love and highly recommend Swanson's chicken stock in this soup!
Note 3: Salsa verde: You can use homemade or store bought. If you're worried about heat, choose mild. We use Herdez Mild Salsa Verde and the kids love this soup! The salsa verde is a big component for flavor and the major contributor of heat, so be sure to use a tasty salsa verde with a heat level you enjoy!

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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This healthy crockpot salsa verde chicken soup is mega flavorful and takes less than 10 minutes prep! | chelseasmessyapron.com
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40 Comments

  1. Salsa verde is one of my favorite things because those tomatillos are SO delicious! I’ve been under the weather and this soup is just what I need, and I love that it’s made in a slow cooker! Pinning. 🙂

  2. I’m always looking for new fall soup recipes and love the combination of flavors in this one. And the fact that it is slow cooker is even better!

  3. THis just reminds me I never use a slow cooker, and have NO idea why!? Salsa verde is a great flavor for soup! Added to soup collection. Hope all the soup helps everyone get better 😉 Thanks, Chelsea!

  4. Yay, I love finding new slow cooker recipes especially during this time of year. The flavors in this soup sound so good, such an awesome idea to add the salsa verde in here! And that picture is stunning and makes me want to dive right in! Pinning 🙂

  5. I love no brainer soups like this, and I love salsa verde! I’ve been putting it on my eggs every morning lately. SO good. also Chelsea, “optional toppings of avocado, sour cream, cilantro, and lime juice”?? not optional. 🙂 🙂

  6. This looks delicious, so perfect for fall! I love salsa verde. It’s such a great thing to have in the pantry, it adds so much to recipes!

  7. Qdoba has THE BEST salsa verde. It’s too spicy for me but I still practically drink it. I love it. I’m definitely making this when my husband gets home. I know he’ll love it!

  8. oh my gawd!! I was *this* close to trying to make this yesterday but I could not find my salsa verde! I had to clean out my pantry today and I still can’t find it. . anyway, ended up making chili without it but I love salsa verde. . and love soup!! Pinning this one!!

  9. Yummmm! We love salsa verde at our house! And this soup looks awesome – I love anything I can make in my crockpot! I hope you all feel better soon! Being sick is no fun!

  10. Slow cookers for the win! We are on a Mexican kick and I’m all about chicken dinners right now. You always take a classic and give it a new fresh twist! Awesome job Chelsea, pinning!

  11. I loove salsa verde, and I really love that this is made in the slow cooker! So perfect for a lazy fall day 🙂 pinned!

  12. I could definitely go for a bowlful of this gorgeous-ness right about now! I have a thing for salsa verde and I’m thinking I would love it in soup form even more! Love that it’s all made in the slow-cooker. 🙂 Pinned!

  13. What a flavorful and delicious soup Chelsea! Tomatillos are one of the things I love, but don’t cook with enough. I definitely need to go get some so I can make this!

  14. I love tomatillos and the zesty zing they bring to recipes! The only thing I don’t like is how sticky they are under the husk. But, once you get a taste of that fabulous-ness ~ they’re hard to resist.

    This Salsa Verde Soup looks amazing and I love that it’s made in a Slow Cooker. Great recipe! 🙂

  15. Looks great Chelsea! I’m definitely putting my slow cooker to work this Fall, and this recipe looks so simple and healthy. Love!

  16. I am ready to take full advantage of my slow cooker at this busy time of year! This soup looks so delicious! And I think the toppings are completely non-optional. 🙂

  17. I totally agree with you on the salsa verde, I have never really gotten over my fear of its ‘green-ness’, but it sure tastes amazing! This soup looks just perfect, I’m always looking for great slow cooker recipes 🙂

  18. I puffy heart love slow cooker recipes! Especially when they look as good as this does! We definitely love salsa verde in my house! 🙂

  19. This looks delicious! I tried to make a verde soup with chicken the other day and it was a miserable failure! I will be trying your recipe the next time! 🙂

  20. 5 stars
    Tried this tonight and my husband and I loved it!! Going in the recipe book so I can use it over and over!

  21. I tried this this tonight and my husband and I loved it!!! Going in my recipe box to use over and over!!

  22. Just put this together in the crock pot!!! Looking forward to having a bowl when I get home from work… On this snowy Monday!!!!

  23. 5 stars
    I made this soup by the recipe last fall… And it was an INSTANT hit. I have since altered it a little… Doubled the lthe liquids and spices… And added peppers… Red Onion… Carrots and celery. It is a staple meal in our house now!!! Thank you for sharing this recipe with everyone!!

  24. 5 stars
    My family loved this soup. Once everyone had a bowl there was chicken left, but not much broth. Do you have any suggestions on how to double the liquid? Double stock, seasonings,and salsa verde? Thank you!

    1. Happy to hear that! You can double the rest of the ingredients, or reduce the amount of chicken 🙂 Enjoy!

  25. 5 stars
    I’ve made this probably a dozen times now because it’s such a big hit with everyone. The only thing I deviate on is the broth/stock – seems the last couple servings are almost brothless, so I use 2 full cans which is almost 4 cups. I like to think my fresh homemade salsa verde is what makes it so good, but I’d bet even with store-bought junk this will still be awesome.

  26. Your recipes are delicious and I enjoy them so much. It was beginning to be difficult to navigate the website and I congratulate you for its neatness now. Thumbs up on both accounts!

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