A Deliciously Tasty Guatemalan Chicken Soup Recipe

Guatemalan Chicken Soup

Guatemalan Chicken Soup is a delicious and hearty dish popular in many Latin American countries. It is said to have originated in Guatemala. Its unique flavor profile has become a favorite among many people.

Guatemalan chicken soup is called “Caldo de Pollo” and is a dish popular in many Guatemalan households. Guatemalan Chicken Soup consists of a broth with chicken, onions, garlic, cilantro, potatoes, and carrots. It is usually served with Guatemalan-style white rice and a side of tortillas.

This blog post will provide a step-by-step guide on how to make Guatemalan Chicken Soup Recipe authentically, using all the necessary ingredients and kitchenware. So, if you’re looking for a fantastic new soup recipe to add to your repertoire, give this one a try!

History of Guatemalan Chicken Soup (Caldo De Pollo)

Guatemalan Chicken Soup, or “Caldo de Pollo” as it is known, has been a staple in Guatemalan households for centuries. Its roots trace back to the Colonial period when native Guatemalans began making soups using ingredients such as chicken, onions, cilantro, and garlic.

Guatemalan Chicken Soup is famous in other Central American countries such as El Salvador and Costa Rica. Guatemalan Chicken Soup quickly grew in popularity due to its unique and delicious flavor that people worldwide could enjoy.

Not only that, but Guatemalan Chicken Soup is also very nutritious; it contains various vitamins and minerals that benefit one’s health. It is also very filling and can make a great meal for anyone looking for a hot and hearty dish.

Better yet, all of the ingredients used to make Guatemalan Chicken Soup are readily available, making it an excellent option for anyone looking to make a delicious and nutritious meal without breaking the bank.

Caldo De Pollo Soup Ingredient List

Caldo De Pollo is a lovely recipe and, luckily, requires ingredients readily available at any local grocery store. You won’t have to visit a Guatemalan market to make this recipe!

Here are the ingredients:

  • Whole chicken, around 2 lbs
  • 3 Russet potatoes, cut in half
  • 1/2 Cabbage, whole leaves
  • 3 Carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 Celery stalks, chopped
  • Garbonzo beans
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 5 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Optional Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup cooked white rice
  • 1/4 cup cotija cheese, crumbled

Garnishes & Sides:

  • Lime wedges
  • Tortilla chips
  • Sour cream or Mexican crema
  • Cilantro leaves
  • Queso fresco
  • Avocado

Necessary Kitchenware

The Guatemalan Chicken Soup recipe is simple but requires a few kitchen essentials. Since the soup originated centuries ago, Guatemalans have often used a traditional Guatemalan clay pot, or “olla,” to make the soup. However, if you don’t have a Guatemalan clay pot, here is the kitchenware necessary for making Guatemalan Chicken Soup.

Here are the necessary items:

  • Large pot or Dutch oven
  • Wooden spoon
  • Knife and cutting board
  • Measuring cups and spoons

Optional cooking utensils include:

  • Garlic press
  • An immersion blender (for pureeing the beans and broth to make a thicker soup)
  • Potato masher

An immersion blender is not necessary for making Guatemalan Chicken Soup. Still, it does help to create a thicker and creamier broth. However, I’ve found that smashing the beans with a potato masher is just as effective! Alternatively, you can leave the beans whole if you prefer.

Caldo De Pollo Cooking Instructions

If you’re ready to make Guatemalan Chicken Soup, here is a step-by-step guide on how to make it.

Step 1: Heat the Pot

Heat the pot or Dutch oven over medium heat and add a few tablespoons of oil (olive, coconut, vegetable, etc.). The pot will be ready after a few minutes. Make sure the oil is hot before adding the other ingredients.

Step 2: Add the Onions and Garlic

Once the pot is hot, add the onions and garlic and cook for a few minutes. You want to sautee the onions until they are soft and translucent. You’ll know when they are ready when the garlic and onion aroma starts filling the kitchen.

Step 3: Add the Chicken & Spices

Next, add the chicken and spices (paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper). Cook for 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked. You can tell when the chicken is cooked through when it turns from pink to white. Or, you can use a food thermometer to ensure the chicken’s internal temperature reads 165 degrees F.

Step 4: Add Vegetables (if using)

At this point, you can add any optional vegetables you’d like. Carrots, potatoes, and corn are commonly used in Guatemalan Chicken Soup. If added, add to the pot and cook for 5-10 minutes. You want to ensure that the vegetables are roughly chopped, as that’s part of the charm of Caldo de Pollo.

Step 5: Add Broth and Tomatoes

After the vegetables have cooked, add the broth and diced tomatoes with juice. Allow the soup to boil, and then reduce heat to low-medium. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Step 6: Add Beans and Cook

After 10-15 minutes, add the cooked Garbonzo beans. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the soup is at your desired thickness. I prefer a thicker soup, so I boil and blend the beans separately to add more texture.

Step 7: Add Cilantro and Jalapeno (optional)

Add the cilantro and jalapeno (if using). Then, adjust the seasonings to taste. Some prefer more than others, so add as much or little as you like.

How to Serve Guatemalan Chicken Soup

Once the Guatemalan Chicken Soup is finished, serve it in a bowl with warm tortillas or rice on the side. If desired, add a few lime wedges, crumbled cotija cheese, and other garnishes to your Guatemalan Chicken Soup.

I like to plate my Guatemalan Chicken Soup with lime wedges, crumbled cotija cheese, and a sprinkle of chopped cilantro. Guatemalans may add a dollop of sour cream, Mexican crema, and queso fresco to their Guatemalan Chicken Soup.

Guatemalan Chicken Soup can also be spiced up with extra jalapenos for those who enjoy spicy food. The soup is a delicious and hearty meal that your family will love!

This soup pairs particularly well with Guatemalan tortillas or Guatemalan tamales. Guatemalans enjoy this soup as the main meal at family dinners, and it’s also popular at Guatemalan restaurants.


With a little effort, Guatemalan Chicken Soup is a beautiful dish that can be enjoyed all year round. Guatemalans have been cooking this soup for centuries, and this Guatemalan Chicken Soup recipe will surely be a hit in your household. Just follow the steps outlined above, and you’ll be able to make Guatemalan Chicken Soup in no time.

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