If you're a fan of the Chili's southwest chicken soup, you will love this copycat recipe. It's just like your favorite restaurant soup, but made with fresh (and gluten free) ingredients. A little Mexican flavor from spices and green chilis plus tender chunks of tender chicken make this an amazing gluten free soup to warm you up in the winter, while also being a light enough chicken soup to eat in the warmer months.
While this delicious soup makes a comforting meal that is great on its own, pairing it with corn tortilla strips, arepas my gluten free cornbread or gluten free corn muffins is a match made in heaven. If you're not a cornbread fan, tortilla chips would also be a great addition here.
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Why you'll love this recipe
- It's easy to make, with step by step instructions below.
- It's naturally gluten free and dairy free.
- It tastes just like (maybe even better) than the Chili's soup.
- Chicken - Use chicken breast or chicken thighs. Cook the chicken however you like, I usually prepare mine in the instant pot since it doesn't require much hands on time. You could also use leftover chicken for ease but make sure your rotisserie chicken is gluten free if you're following a gf diet.
- Olive Oil
- Onions, Celery & Garlic - These vegetables are the base for almost every soup and provide a flavor that cannot be replaced. Don't leave them out!
- Chili Powder & Cumin - To provide that southwest flavor.
- Tomato Paste
- Diced Tomatoes - You can use regular or fire roasted for a little extra flavor kick.
- Green Chilis
- Hominy - You can use either white or yellow hominy in this recipe. If your store doesn't carry hominy, you can replace with frozen corn kernels or a can of white navy beans.
- Gluten Free Chicken Broth - This is an ingredient which can contain hidden gluten, so if you're following a gluten free diet ensure your package is marked gluten free.
- Lime Juice - It's the finishing touch for the soup and really helps round out the flavors.
See recipe card for full ingredient list and quantities.
Substitutions & Variations
- Add more protein - Add a drained can of black beans.
- Replace hominy with frozen corn kernels.
- Make it Spicy - Use a diced jalapeno in place of green chilis.
- Make it Vegan - Use vegan chicken pieces in place of chicken and vegetable broth in place of chicken broth.
How to Make Chili's Southwest Chicken Soup
This soup is very easy to make and only requires a large soup pot. I love to use my dutch oven for soups, but any large pot with a lid will do.
STEP 1: Add the oil to a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, celery and garlic and cook until soft.
STEP 2: Add the tomato paste, cilantro, chili powder, cumin and salt to the vegetables. Stir for 1 minute.
STEP 3: Add the diced tomatoes, hominy, green chilis, chicken and chicken stock. Stir well. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Once it's done cooking, finish it off with a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
Southwest chicken soup makes great leftovers. The flavors blend together more the longer it is stored.
Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop until the temperature reaches 165 degrees.
This soup will also freeze very well. Package the soup in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator until chilled. Then transfer to a freezer bag. Lay the bag of soup flat in your freezer to store. Freeze up to 4 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Yes. To make this in the instant pot, use the saute setting to heat the oil, onions, celery and garlic until softened. Then add all of the remaining ingredients plus your whole uncooked chicken breasts. Place the lid on and seal. Turn it to high pressure for 10 minutes. Natural release the pressure for 10 minutes. Remove the chicken breasts, shred them and then return them to the soup before serving.
Yes, cook the onions, celery and garlic on the stove as indicated in the recipe card. Then add the vegetables plus all of the remaining ingredients to your slow cooker. Stir well. Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.
This soup is great just how it's made, but my family loves to top it with fresh cilantro, shredded cheese and tortilla strips or serve it with a side of corn tortilla chips.
For more great gluten free soup recipes, check out these posts:
If you try this recipe, please leave a 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 star rating and let me know how you liked it in the comments below.
(Copycat) Chili's Southwest Chicken Soup Recipe
- 2 Cups Chicken cooked and cut into bite sized pieces
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- ½ Cup Yellow Onion diced, about ½ a med onion
- ½ Cup Celery diced, about 2 stalks
- 2 cloves Garlic minced
- 4 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
- 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
- 1 teaspoon Cumin
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 3 Tablespoons Cilantro chopped
- 15 ounce Diced Tomatoes (can) do not drain
- 15 ounce Hominy drained
- 4 ounce Diced Green Chiles
- 32 ounce Gluten Free Chicken Broth
- 2 Limes
- Cilantro for garnish
- Add olive oil to a large dutch oven pot over medium heat.2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- Add the onions, celery and garlic to the oil and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes.½ Cup Yellow Onion, ½ Cup Celery, 2 cloves Garlic
- Add the tomato paste, 3 tablespoon cilantro, chili powder, cumin and salt to the cooked vegetables. Cook and stir constantly for 1 minute.4 Tablespoons Tomato Paste, 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder, 1 teaspoon Cumin, ½ teaspoon Salt, 3 Tablespoons Cilantro
- Add the diced tomatoes, hominy, green chiles, chicken broth and cooked chicken to the pot. Stir well. Bring to a simmer and cover. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring about every 5 minutes.15 ounce Diced Tomatoes (can), 15 ounce Hominy, 4 ounce Diced Green Chiles, 32 ounce Gluten Free Chicken Broth, 2 Cups Chicken
- Remove from heat. Squeeze the juice of 2 limes into the soup and garnish with additional cilantro. Serve immediately.2 Limes, Cilantro
Tiffany is the recipe developer, stylist and food photographer behind Well Fed Baker. As a lifelong baker who had to go gluten free and dairy free in 2016, Tiffany strives to share allergen friendly recipes that never feel like they are free from anything.