Smoked Salsa Verde Chicken Soup Recipe

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A quick, easy, soul-soothing, cold-calming, delicious Smoked Salsa Verde Chicken Soup for when you’re not feeling well, or just an average Wednesday night dinner. And three variations to prepare this dish in advance of cold season.

Two bowls of Smoked Salsa Verde Chicken Soup on a serving platter with wedges of lime and avocado

There’s something to be said about a warm chicken soup when you’re sick. It’s the time-honored thing to eat when you’re under the weather, right? My mom is the queen of soup in my family. She’s the soup expert with her green chili turkey soup and the person I seek out for inspiration. And as you may know she’s the salsa queen too, which is why she’s the perfect inspiration for this soup.

A bowl of smoked verde chicken soup topped with avocado and jalapeño slices


The goal of this salsa verde chicken soup is to keep it easy and, yes, we do smoke a few of the ingredients. But you can also adapt this with non smoked flavors too. Because everything is already cooked you just simmer it all together and add your favorite toppings.

  • Smoked Chicken Stock – We have a recipe from our cookbook but you can also use regular (low sodium) chicken stock or bone broth.
  • Smoked Whole Chicken – We shred up a smoked chicken and use it in this recipe. You can also use a store bought roaster chicken as well.
  • Beans – We like Northern (or white) beans for the flavor, size, and texture. You can use kidney or black beans as well.
  • Salsa Verde – The real flavor and acidity come from jarred salsa verde. It’s usually a tomatillo based salsa with vinegar. We have our own salsa verde as well if you wanted to make that to up the flavor. But for simple – we just buy a jar of store-bought salsa verde.
  • Limes – We juice one lime and cut up a second into wedges. The juice adds more acidity. Want to really shine? Make grilled limes and then use the juice.
  • Kosher Salt – Add salt to your desired taste after the soup simmers.


We also add some fun toppings to give more flavor. All toppings are optional and you can add anything else you like.

  • Sour Cream – It adds a creamy flavor to the chicken verde soup.
  • Cheese – We like Cotija or Oaxacan cheese, or you can use cheddar.
  • Avocado – A few slices add some hearty flavor.
  • Fresh Cilantro – If you love cilantro it’s a great add. Roughly chop a 1/4 cup for topping in the bowl.
  • Crushed Tortilla Chips – A little crunch is fun or you can fry up from corn tortilla strips.
A large dutch oven filled with smoked chicken verde soup

How to Make Smoked Chicken Verde Soup

There are three ways to prep this soup in advance. And remember, great ingredients going in, means great flavor coming out.

Ingredients for smoked chicken verde soup
  1. Use Smoked Chicken Stock. Much like preparing for a cold by having all of your cold meds ready to go, I also prepare by making sure I’m fully stocked with smoked chicken stock so it’s ready when I need it! Whenever I smoke a chicken I make stock with the leftovers. It’s pretty easy to do, and a great way to salvage the smoky flavors of that chicken carcass. Just make the stock in advance and freeze in batches of 2-cup increments. I always have smoked chicken stock in my freezer for soup days! You can find our smoked chicken stock recipe in our cookbook, Fire + Wine.
  2. Use our Smoked Tomatillo Salsa. This salsa is DA BOMB! It’s so good. And it works so perfectly in this soup. If you use this then you don’t need to have any smoked stock. This gives you all the smoky flavor you need. Then use the chicken of your choice (store bought rotisserie works well if you don’t have time to smoke a chicken on your own).
  3. Smoke a Whole Roaster Chicken. Start by smoking a whole roaster chicken, using this Smoked Whole Chicken recipe, then mix it with your favorite store bought salsa verde. This will take the longest, but you can use any kind of stock and any verde salsa.
smoked whole chicken on a pellet grill

So, if you’re feeling up for it (and for best results!), smoke the chicken you plan to use for the soup. But again, if you’re sick you’re all, “Mary, I ain’t got time to smoke a whole chicken, you silly girl!” then use any of the above shortcuts and the soup is just as delicious!

All the rest of the ingredients are easy and you likely always have them on hand. Finish with some fresh lime and creamy avocado and you’ve got my favorite soup ever, inspired by my salsa-loving soup-making mama who used to take good care of me when I would get sick as a child.

Making in Advance and Leftovers

This soup can be made up to two days in advance. The broth will thicken and it’s best to warm up the soup again prior to serving.

Leftover Verde Chicken soup will last up to 4 days in the refrigerator.

Other Soup Inspirations

About Vindulge

Mary (a certified sommelier and recipe developer) and Sean (backyard pitmaster) are co-authors of the critically acclaimed cookbook, Fire + Wine, and have been creating content for the IACP nominated website Vindulge since 2009. They live in Oregon on a farm just outside Portland.

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5 from 1 vote

Smoked Salsa Verde Chicken Soup Recipe

Recipe for Smoked Chicken Salsa Verde Soup. A quick, easy, soul-soothing, cold-calming, smoky delicious soup for when you’re not feeling well. And three variations for this easy soup during cold season.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 -6 servings


  • 4 cups smoked chicken stock, (Recipe from our cookbook Fire + Wine, or regular chicken stock, see notes)
  • 4 cups smoked chicken, shredded (or other chicken, see notes)
  • 2 cans white beans, sometimes called Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 jar verde salsa (8-12 oz, depending on the brand)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 limes, (Juice one and cut the second into wedges for garnish)
  • Optional toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream, avocado, fresh cilantro, crushed tortilla chips


  • Simmer: Bring a large stock pot to medium heat. Add the stock, then shredded smoked chicken, beans, and verde salsa. Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Add salt to taste.
  • Add Lime: Before serving, squeeze the juice of one lime into the pot and stir together.
  • Add Toppings: Serve with your favorite toppings; shredded cheese, sour cream, avocado, fresh cilantro, crushed tortilla chips, more lime, you name it.


See post for alternative methods, using smoked stock, smoked whole roaster chicken, Vindulge Smoked Tomatillo Salsa, as alternatives. This is a very adaptable recipe. You can mix and match based on what you have at your convenience.


Calories: 332kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 92mg | Sodium: 715mg | Potassium: 477mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 171IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Course: Entree, Soup
Cuisine: Mexican, Mexican American, Tex-mex
Servings: 4 -6 servings
Calories: 332
Keyword: Chicken Soup, salsa verde chicken soup, verde chicken soup
Like this recipe? Leave a comment below!

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About Mary

I'm Mary, a wine/food/travel writer, Certified Sommelier, mom of twins, former vegetarian turned BBQ fanatic, runner, founder of Vindulge, and author of Fire + Wine cookbook. Thanks for stopping by!

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  1. As the season grows colder, savory comfort is where it’s at as far as I’m concerned. This sounds delicious, and that Slow-Cooker Chile Verde Sauce is such a great time-saver, too!

  2. This soup looks incredibly tasty and healthy too! I am a big fan of Salsa Verde Burritos, so I can easily imagine the delicious flavor that would be added to the chicken soup. I can’t wait to give this a try!

  3. Uh! I’m trying my hardest to avoid getting sick, but if I do (and even if I don’t!) this soup really looks like it will bring comfort! Love the salsa verde! Stay well!

  4. This looks incredible! Every time I start to feel bad I immediately make a big batch of chicken soup to last me through the week 🙂

  5. WOW! This looks delicious! My husband and i love soup in the winter so I will be saving this and trying it in a few weeks!!

  6. This looks like a fantastic soup to fight back against cold season! Love trying different versions of chicken soup – so comforting and filling on chilly fall/winter days!