Mexican Tomatillo Soup

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chicken tomatillo soup | Recipe via DisplacedHousewife

| mexican tomatillo soup |

I know, I’ve been on a MAJOR sweet bender. Please forgive me. I hear from my friends that they want more quick, savory dinners, so this is for you…just in time for Cinco de Mayo. And it’s healthy. And quick. Did I say that already? It’s ticking all the boxes on the type of meal I need this week. I’m hella crazy busy, how about you?

Let me make this quick… We start with chicken. I recommend thighs because they’re so juicy and moist (there’s that word), but you could easily use a mix of thighs and breasts or just breasts. Your call. We coat them in spices and then brown to start building some flavor into the tomatillo soup. A quick sauté of onions, garlic and tomatillos, some broth and bam, we throw the whole lot in the oven for just over a half hour. You could leave it on the stovetop, but I want to put it away, forget about it, know the temperature is consistent, put my feet up and drink a beer. Are you with me?

This meal is all about the toppings. I’m in love with Trader Joe’s organic blue corn tortilla chips. So you need those. Cheese…you could get some sort of Mexican cheese, but I want this to be quick and easy so we’re going sharp cheddar. We already have that in the fridge, don’t we? Beer. Lots of beer. Avocado. Always and forever. Lime…this meal loves a healthy squeeze of lime just before serving. Shove a wedge in your beer while you’re at it.

OK, let’s make this tomatillo soup. I’m ready to relax. Are you?

chicken tomatillo soup | Recipe via DisplacedHousewife

chicken tomatillo soup | Recipe via DisplacedHousewife

chicken tomatillo soup | Recipe via DisplacedHousewife

mexican tomatillo soup

Serves 4 With Hella Leftovers


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 whole garlic cloves, chopped
  • 5 pounds tomatillos, husks removed and quartered
  • 1 poblano chili, cut in chunks with the seeds and membranes removed (this adds flavor, but not spice…if you want to kick it up a notch, you could add 1-3 teaspoons of minced jalapeño)
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 3 teaspoon dried oregano (Mexican if you can get your hands on it)
  • 2 limes, 1 to juice over the tomatillo soup before serving and the other cut in wedges for serving
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cracked pepper

To Serve Tomatillo Soup: tortilla chips, sliced avocado, plain greek yogurt or sour cream, fresh cilantro, sharp cheddar cheese + chopped green onions


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Have a rack in the center of the oven. This is an easy dinner, so I hope you’ve opened us a beer.
  2. In a large bowl mix together the chili powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne and salt + pepper to taste (about 1 teaspoon of each). Toss the chicken in the bowl with the spices to coat.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat in a large cocotte or dutch oven.
  4. Once the oil is shimmery, add the chicken. You may need to do this in batches, adding more oil as needed. You want a bit of a sizzle when the chicken hits the oil. Cook 2-3 minutes per side or until a nice, brown crust forms. We’re just browning the chicken, not cooking it through.
  5. Set the chicken on a plate once it’s nicely browned. Lower the heat to medium.
  6. Add the onions to the pot and sauté for 4-5 minutes or until softened. Try to scrap up some of the brown bits on the bottom of the pan.
  7. Add the garlic, tomatillos and chopped poblanos to the pot and stir with onions; sauté for about 1 minute.
  8. Add the 5 cups of chicken stock to the pot, scraping up what bits remain on the bottom of the pan.
  9. Add the chicken and juices back to the pan, along with the oregano. Bring the pot to a boil. Once it’s at a boil, throw it into the oven (with the lid on) for 35 minutes or until the tomatillos have softened and the chicken is cooked through.
  10. Take out of the oven and carefully, using two forks, shred the chicken. I just do it in the pot, but you could take the chicken out, set it on a cutting board and do it that way if you find it easier and then add it back to the pot.
  11. Squeeze a lime over the top of the tomatillo soup, add your cilantro and taste. Season with salt and pepper and taste again. Add more lime, cilantro and or salt + pepper until you get the seasonings just right.
  12. To serve, ladle into bowls (I’m obsessed with these mini cocottes for soup) and top with cheese, greek yogurt/sour cream, avocado, more cilantro, more lime, tortilla chips…done. Yum. I’ll take a bowl, thanks.

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Leave a Comment


  • Traci | Vanilla And Bean May 9, 2016 at 1:44 PM

    Climate change.. I know Rebecca. I know. Oh we could have a long discussion about this, I’m certain. I love to see soup still being made around the blog-o-sphere… I’m a little surprised to already see corn being grilled on the barbie.. It’s May for crying out loud (does it seem early?)! LOL – perhaps it’s just where I live but after a short heat wave, we’re now back to soup weather (thank god). Soup is my go to year round and this one… OMGeee, Rebecca! All you have to do is put tomatillos, pablano and those spices together and I am in heaven. Our local pablanos don’t come in till early September. I usually can’t wait that long! Looking forward to your chocolate chip scones! xo

    • DisplacedHousewife May 9, 2016 at 2:16 PM

      Hi Traci! We are already so warm that it feels like it’s summer. And my poblanos will come in soon…everything seems to be ready sooner these days. My cherry trees will be ready for picking this week…and it’s early May?!?! So interesting how just a couple states away, same coast, different weather, different produce. I’m rambling. Global warming. I think we could have a very long discussion about it and I think living in China has made me particularly sensitive to this entire issue. Complete sidebar, but those scones will be coming up soon!! xoxo

  • MB@Bourbon and Brown Sugar May 5, 2016 at 10:00 AM

    Yummy soup Rebecca… and I love those Trader Joe’s Blue Tortilla Chips as well… have you ever tried the black bean and quinoa ones? They’re surprisingly awesome. Happy Cinco de Mayo!!

    • DisplacedHousewife May 5, 2016 at 2:12 PM

      Black bean and quinoa?! No! How did I miss those? Definitely getting them next time. Happy 5th!! xox

  • Laura | Tutti Dolci May 5, 2016 at 5:24 AM

    I could easily live off this soup and it is so what I need for Cinco de Mayo!

  • Cathy | May 5, 2016 at 2:59 AM

    Yum! This is Cinco de Mayo perfection. Can’t wait to try it and slurp it up with a nice cold beer.

  • Amisha May 4, 2016 at 8:15 PM

    Love the complexity in flavors and simplicity of the recipe! Bravo! :) and your tips at the end are so useful! Go Rebecca!!

  • Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen May 4, 2016 at 7:23 PM

    Love how easy this one is Rebecca. I’ll go with the juicy, moist chicken thighs too. This will be perfect for the weather we’ve been cursed with lately! Need something to keep me warm. Thanks for sharing and Happy Cinco de Mayo!

    • DisplacedHousewife May 4, 2016 at 7:32 PM

      Funny I’ll spend three days working on a bread project…but when it comes to dinner, I need it quick!! I wish we were having cold weather…I feel like early summer hit several weeks back. Happy Cinco Mary Ann…I hope you have a fun one!! xoxo