Best Homemade Cuban Chicken Soup Recipes Sopa De Pollo

Photo Credit: Stéphan Valentin

There’s nothing quite like a spicy, flavorful mouthful of hot Sopa De Pollo. Cuban food is a culinary symphony of flavors that reflects the rich cultural tapestry of the island nation and is at the heart of the Cuban family. Bursting with authenticity, Cuban cuisine is a harmonious blend of Spanish, African, and Caribbean influences, resulting in a unique and vibrant culinary heritage and traditional Cuban flavor. Let’s explore the many aspects of Cuban chicken soup recipes!

The use of aromatic spices such as cumin, turmeric powder, oregano, and garlic infuses each dish with an unmistakable depth of flavor. From succulent slow-cooked meats like the iconic “ropa vieja” to the comfort of black beans and rice, Cuban food showcases a spectrum of taste sensations that resonate with the warmth and diversity of the country itself.

The cuisine’s authenticity is rooted in its traditional cooking techniques, time-honored recipes, and the innate passion of its people, who take pride in preserving and sharing the rich flavors of their history through every unforgettable bite. Plus, on a chilly day, there’s nothing quite like the soothing embrace of a warm bowl of soup. It’s a comfort that goes beyond physical warmth, as every spoonful carries with it a sense of nourishment and solace.

Try these easy Cuban chicken soup recipes, chock full of fresh, simple ingredients and flavors, like crisp green onion, zesty lime juice, fresh corn cobs, and herby cilantro. From Classic Cuban Chicken Soup, Cuban Style Chicken Noodle Soup, to Cuban Black Bean Soup, you’ll find the perfect comfort food to warm you to the soles of your feet.

1. Classic Cuban Chicken Soup (Sopa de Pollo)

Best Homemade Cuban Chicken Soup
Sopa De Pollo

Course: DinnerCuisine: CubanDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces or 2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced

  • 1 medium celery rib

  • 2 potatoes, peeled and diced

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 bell pepper, chopped

  • 1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)

  • 1 cup green peas (fresh or frozen)

  • 8 cups chicken broth

  • 1 teaspoon cumin

  • 1 teaspoon oregano

  • 1 bay leaf

  • Sea Salt and pepper to taste

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • Fresh cilantro, chopped (for garnish)

  • Lime wedges (for serving)


  • In a large pot or large dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Sauté until the vegetables are softened.
  • Add the soft chicken pieces and brown them on all sides.
  • Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Skim any foam that rises to the surface.
  • Add the carrots, potatoes, corn, green peas, cumin, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the soup simmer for about 40-45 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.
  • Remove the chicken pieces from the soup with a pair of tongs, shred the meat, and discard the bones. Return the shredded chicken to the pot.
  • Adjust the seasoning if needed. Serve hot, garnished with chopped cilantro and accompanied by lime wedges.


  • Optional: Add desired amount of angel hair pasta, thin fideo noodles or fidelini noodles.
  • Optional Creamy Cuban Chicken Soup Recipe (Scroll down)

2. Creamy Cuban Chicken and Rice Soup (Sopa de Arroz con Pollo)


  • 1 cup cooked chicken, shredded
  • 1 cup cooked white rice
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
  • 6 cups chicken broth or 6 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads (optional)
  • Sea Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)
  • Optional: Next time, add a dash of hot sauce


  • In a large pot or large dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Sauté until the vegetables are soft.
  • Add the shredded chicken, cooked rice, carrots, and frozen vegetables. Stir in the cumin and saffron threads.
  • Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Let it cook for about 15 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.
  • Add the heavy cream and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes.
  • Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. If desired, adjust the seasoning with more cumin.
  • Serve the soup hot, garnished with chopped fresh parsley, jalapeños, cheese, and fresh lemon juice.

Pro Tip:

An Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker is a fantastic tool for making flavorful and delicious soups in a fraction of the time it would take on the stovetop. The high-pressure environment helps to infuse flavors, tenderize ingredients, and speed up the cooking process. 


What is Sopa de Pollo Made Of?

Sopa de Pollo, a Cuban culinary delight, is a symphony of flavors and textures. Its core ingredients are:

  • Chicken: Usually, bone-in pieces for depth of flavor.
  • Vegetables: Onions, carrots, and potatoes are traditional.
  • Herbs and Spices: Cumin, oregano, bay leaves, and others.
  • Liquids: A combination of chicken broth and water.
  • Extras: Noodles or rice, and sometimes a squeeze of lime.

Why is Caldo de Pollo Good When Sick?

Caldo de Pollo, a close cousin of Sopa de Pollo, is a go-to remedy for the under-the-weather days. Here’s why:

  • Hydration: The broth helps maintain hydration.
  • Nutrients: It’s packed with essential vitamins and minerals.
  • Ease of Digestion: Gentle on the stomach, it’s ideal for those feeling queasy.
  • Warmth: The heat can help clear sinuses and soothe sore throats.

Why Do You Put Lemon Juice in Chicken Soup?

Lemon juice in chicken soup isn’t just a culinary twist; it’s a flavor enhancer. Here’s why:

  • Acidity: Balances the richness of the broth.
  • Freshness: Adds a burst of freshness and zing.
  • Vitamin C: A bonus dose of this essential vitamin.

How to Make Chicken Soup Juicy?

Achieving a juicy, flavorful chicken soup is an art. Here are some tips:

  • Slow Cooking: Gently simmer the chicken to keep it tender.
  • Quality Chicken: Opt for higher quality, free-range chicken.
  • Bone-In Pieces: They add more flavor and juiciness to the broth.
  • Don’t Overcook: Overcooking can dry out the chicken.

What is the Difference Between Caldo and Sopa?

While often used interchangeably, there’s a subtle difference:

  • Caldo: Generally, a clearer, broth-based soup often with larger chunks of ingredients.
  • Sopa: Can be broth-based but is often thicker, sometimes with pureed ingredients or added cream.
AspectSopa de PolloCaldo de Pollo
BaseBroth-based, sometimes thickerClear, broth-based
IngredientsChicken, vegetables, noodles/riceChicken, larger vegetable chunks
Spices & HerbsCumin, oregano, bay leavesVaried, less herb-heavy
Typical ServingOften with rice or noodlesUsually without rice or noodles
PurposeMeal, comfort foodHealing, often for the sick

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