Low carb mexican chicken soup – recipe

low carb mexican chicken soup Low carb mexican chicken soup

It’s the middle of winter in Iceland and I´ll admit that the 24 hour darkness (we get a little daylight between 11 am and 3 pm if we’re lucky) is really getting to me these days. I decided I needed a little color and spice to brighten my days and what’s better for that than a delicious low carb mexican soup!

Disclaimer: The closest I’ve been to Mexico was a trip to New Orleans, Icelandic food is mostly pretty bland and until recently we didn’t have a lot of variety in groceries, so I guess we´ll call anything that has chili powder in it Mexican. I’m terribly sorry if I offend anyone by calling this Mexican food if it isn’t 😉 Whatever it is, it’s very, very, very good!

I made a double recipe in a HUGE pot because I wanted to freeze it in portions and heat up for lunch later.  I let it sit outside overnight after cooking before I freeze it because it gets even better that way.

I love cooking this recipe when I have guests and even for bigger parties because I can have my low carb dinner and the guests can add nachos to the soup or have a piece of bread with it. Everyone loves the soup and wants the recipe so here it is:

Low carb Mexican chicken soup

Ingredients (for 5-6 people or so)

3 tbsp butter (or oil)

1.5 medium onions- chopped

3 cloves garlic

1/2 big leek – chopped

1 big zucchini – chopped into small pieces

(optional – red and green peppers, finely chopped)

1 can tomatoes – diced is good

(optional if you can have the extra carbs – 1 small jar salsa (watch for added sugar)

1 small (the tiny ones) can tomato purée

1 chicken stock cube (I use Knorr)

1 vegetable stock cube

2.5 liters (2.69 quarts) Water

1 teaspoon sea salt (more or less to taste)

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)

1/2 teaspoon chili powder (more or less to taste)

1/2 teaspoon cumin powder

700 grams (1.5 pound) chicken thighs, boneless. (You can use also cook and shred a whole chicken or use  3 cooked medium chicken breasts but the thighs have the most fat and flavour and are usually cheap) – Also note that this soup isn’t exact science, if you want more (or less) chicken or veggies, just add some.

200 gr (7.7 ounces) cream cheese

For each bowl of soup before serving:

1 tbsp Sour cream

3 tbsp or so shredded cheese (cheddar is good)


  1. In a large enough pot melt the butter over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions, garlic, leek and zucchini. Swish around for a few minutes until soft. the point isn’t to brown them, just soften up a little bit.
  3. Add the canned tomatoes and tomato purée. Stir.
  4. Add the water, stock cubes and spices. You might want to hold back on some of the spices and add the rest towards the end of cooking the soup in case it’s too spicy for your taste.
  5. Let the soup simmer for an hour.
  6. Meanwhile you can prepare the chicken. Cook it in a pan or in your oven and chop into bite size pieces.
  7. After the soup has simmered for an hour, add the chicken and let is simmer for 15 more minutes, then add the cream cheese. When the cream cheese is mixed into the soup, taste it and make adjustments if needed.
  8. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a handful of shredded cheese in each bowl (or have people help themselves with that)
  9. Enjoy your hearty and healthy low carb mexican chicken soup!

Approximate nutritional info for a portion without sour cream and cheese:  Calories – 330, carbs – 9, fiber 1.2 – net carbs – 8.2, protein – 30, fat – 18.

Approximate nutritional info for a portion with 18% sour cream and cheddar cheese: Calories – 497, carbs – 10, fiber 1.2 – net carbs – 9.2, protein – 38, fat – 32.


22 Comments Add yours

  1. yulaffin says:

    Thanks. I can’t wait to try this!

    1. Lilja says:

      I hope you like it! 🙂

  2. Nick says:

    Thank you for this recipe! I just made this last night and it was AWESOME. It will become a staple in my house. The heat is really subtle which was nice!

    A few notes:
    – I cooked the chicken the day before in a slow cooker, then shredded it. I used plain boneless skinless chicken breast.
    – 1.5 L translated to 6 and 1/3 cups of water for us here in the US.
    – For tomato purée, I used Tomato Paste
    – I cut up the cream cheese into cubes and added them a little at a time. Only ended up using 75% of what the recipe calls for.
    – I think next time I will add one or two diced up Jalapeno peppers to give it an additional dimension of spice, and make it a little hotter overall.
    – I added about 1/4 tsp more of cayenne

    Thanks again 🙂


    1. Lilja says:

      Oh yes, the Jalapeno is a great idea! I sometimes have them laying around when I’m in the mood for cream cheese stuffed jalapeno wrapped in bacon. I think I have enough soup to last me a while but I´ll try it in the next batch 🙂 Thanks for the idea.

  3. Gladys says:

    Just discovered your recipe, it sounds so delicious! I am truly attempting to learn more ways to cook fabulous low carb dishes.

    Keep warm,
    Regards from Canada.


    1. Lilja says:

      Hi Gladys 🙂 I hope you like the recipe. I’ve been learning to cook low carb for over a year now and it’s not hard at all. The rest of my family eats carbs and I can usually make a low carb version of our regular menu for me. Good luck!

  4. Rebekah says:

    This recipe is SO FREAKING AWESOME!! I made it yesterday and cooked it even longer (because I forgot to cook the chicken separately). It is SO rich and tasty. It’s the perfect addition to my keto meals for the week!! Very satisfying! Thank you sooooooo much for posting this!! Keep the recipes coming! I like your taste! 🙂

    1. Lilja says:

      Woohooo I’m happy you liked it 😀 It think it’s time to make another batch for myself, I recently ate the last frozen portion and I miss it already.

  5. Michelle says:

    Hello from Indiana in the US! I cannot wait to try this recipe!! I started doing low carb a couple months ago and love learning new recipes! This soup sounds awesome and I like your idea to freeze in portions for lunch. I feel silly asking, but what is a stock cube? How much stock comes in a cube? Thanks for the recipe, will be trying it next week for sure!

    1. Lilja says:

      You’re not silly 🙂 1 stock cube is like a tiny (inch) square of condensed flavour and comes in a different variety of flavour. If you can’t find one at the store, you can buy stock cartons (we don’t have those here) and replace the cube but remember to subtract some of the water if you do. Some popular brands of cubes are Knorr and Oxo, you can google pictures so you know what you’re looking for, they might be near the spice rack or soup packets at the store.

      1. Michelle says:

        Thanks! I am headed to the store right now and plan to make this today!

        1. Helena says:

          Sorry! Just found answer. Many thanks for your recipes.

  6. Helena says:

    I love your recipes! How many portions does this make, please?

  7. Ann says:

    This looks so delicious, I’m very excited to try it, and by virtue of growing up in San Jose, California, I feel I can say “YES INDEED” this is a Mexican Chicken Soup! Thank you so much for making such a cool blog.

    1. Lilja says:

      Oh wow, by far the biggest compliment 🙂 Just made my day.

  8. Anicée says:

    Will try tonight here in Belgium! 🙂 A part with chicken and a part with veggie “chicken like” 🙂 Can’t waiiiit! Thank you!

  9. Michelle says:

    I LOVE this recipe! It is so versatile so you can use whatever veggies you have on hand. I usually have all of base ingredients at home and change the veggies and sometimes the meat (if no chicken thighs on hand, I use chicken breast, pork or beef). The salsa makes a great addition (I use a kind from Costco with very little sugar) and I like the veg. plus and chick. stock mix. This soup has become a cold weather staple in our Indiana, USA home!

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