Hearty Chicken and Rice Soup Recipe

Welcome to my kitchen, where I specialize in creating delicious dishes that blend Brazilian and American cuisines. With this recipe, I bring you the warmth and comfort of a classic Sopa de Pollo Con Arroz, also known as Chicken and Rice Soup. This hearty soup is popular not only in Latin America but also in the United States, where it has gained a reputation as a staple comfort food.

The flavor profile of this dish is so rich and comforting that one cannot help but feel at home with every spoonful. The combination of juicy chicken, tender rice, and vibrant vegetables creates an explosion of flavors in your mouth that will leave you feeling satisfied and nourished.

What I love about this soup is its versatility; it’s perfect for warming up on cold winter days, soothing a sore throat or even curing a hangover. It is also easy to make and requires only some basic ingredients that most pantries readily stock. Join me in making this beloved soup today and let’s enjoy its warmth together!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Sopa De Pollo Con Arroz (Chicken and Rice Soup)
Sopa De Pollo Con Arroz (Chicken and Rice Soup)

Are you looking for a hearty, flavorful soup that’s easy to make and will please your taste buds? Look no further than Sopa De Pollo Con Arroz, or Chicken and Rice Soup! This recipe is perfect for any occasion, whether it’s a cozy dinner at home or preparing a meal for a big gathering. Here’s why you’ll love this recipe:

Firstly, it’s packed with protein and nutrients from the whole chicken, vegetables, and rice. Chicken is a lean source of protein that is essential for building and repairing muscle tissue in the body. Additionally, the vegetables used in this recipe such as celery, tomatoes, carrots and cannonball cabbage are full of essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that will boost your immune system.

Secondly, the combination of aromatic spices such as ground cumin, cilantro and white pepper adds depth to the dish and creates a delicious scent that will fill your kitchen while cooking. The broth made from simmering the whole chicken in water is infused with all these flavors which makes it even more mouth-watering.

Thirdly, this recipe is versatile and can be adapted to suit different preferences. You can adjust the spiciness levels by adding different types of pepper or chili flakes depending on your liking preference. It can also be made vegetarian by using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

Lastly, this sopa de pollo con arroz is easy to make which means you don’t have to worry about spending hours in the kitchen preparing it. All you need are some basic cooking tools such as a large pot and wood spoon to get started. With just 15 minutes of prep time and an hour of simmering the ingredients together on low heat you will have created one of the most comforting soups easily enjoyed by everyone!

Overall, sopa de pollo con arroz is a winning recipe that will leave your stomachs feeling full and satisfied, while also providing essential nutrients to your body. So, roll up your sleeves and get ready to cook, because this recipe is definitely one you’ll want to add to your collection!

Ingredient List

 A heartwarming bowl of Sopa de Pollo con Arroz to comfort your soul.
A heartwarming bowl of Sopa de Pollo con Arroz to comfort your soul.

To make the Sopa De Pollo Con Arroz (Chicken and Rice Soup) you will need:

Chicken and Broth

  • 1 whole chicken (skin and bone-on ideally)
  • Water to cover the chicken in a large pot
  • 1 white onion, quartered
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Salt to taste


  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 Russet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cabbage head, cut into bite-size pieces

Seasonings and Spices

  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • White pepper to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish

Rice Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • Water according to package instructions

Pro tip: For an extra flavor boost, cover your chicken with Maggi Sopa de Pollo con Arroz mix!

The Recipe How-To

 A spoonful of love in every spoonful of this delicious chicken and rice soup.
A spoonful of love in every spoonful of this delicious chicken and rice soup.

Now, let’s dive into the heart of this recipe and learn how to make traditional Sopa De Pollo Con Arroz. Follow these step-by-step instructions and you will soon be enjoying a hearty and flavorful meal.


  • 1 whole chicken (skin and bone on)
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/4 head of cannonball cabbage, shredded
  • 2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt to taste
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 cup white rice

Step One: Cook the Chicken Broth

Place the whole chicken in a large pot, add water just enough to cover the chicken. Add garlic, onion, carrots, and celery. The vegetables will give the broth an extra flavor. Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower it to simmer for one hour.

Step Two: Remove Chicken and Vegetables

Remove chicken from pot once it’s done cooking. Pull meat from bones and chop or shred the meat into bite-size pieces, set aside.

Strain broth over a bowl or pitcher to remove all particles. Toss away vegetables, except for chopped carrots that can be added back into the soup later on.

Step Three: Return Chicken Broth to Large Pot

Return the broth to the pot with tomatoes, shredded cabbage, diced potatoes, ground cumin, and white pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat for about 10 minutes.

Add cooked chicken and chopped carrots back into the soup. Lower heat to a simmer and let it cook for 15-20 minutes.

Step Four: Cook Rice

Meanwhile, in a separate pot cook white rice according to the directions on the package. Usually, it takes about 18-20 minutes to cook perfectly.

Step Five: Serve

Once both soup and rice are done cooking, separate the rice in each bowl and ladle hot soup on top. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve immediately with warm corn or flour tortillas.

Enjoy your homemade Sopa De Pollo Con Arroz!

Substitutions and Variations

 Nothing beats a homemade soup, particularly a Chicken and Rice Soup!
Nothing beats a homemade soup, particularly a Chicken and Rice Soup!

Let’s be honest: sometimes we don’t have every ingredient listed in a recipe or we just want to switch things up. Fear not! There are several substitutions and variations you can make for this sopa de pollo con arroz recipe without sacrificing flavor.

Firstly, if you don’t have cannonball cabbage, feel free to use regular green cabbage. The taste doesn’t change much so no worries there. You can also substitute canned tomatoes for fresh ones if you are unable to find good quality fresh tomatoes.

If you want to add more vegetables, you can try adding some corn or green beans for extra color and taste. It will add more texture to the soup as well.

For those who want to cut down on carbs, you can swap the rice with cauliflower rice or quinoa. Alternatively, you can eliminate it altogether making it a healthier low-carb option. Adding grated carrots at the end of cooking the soup will create a similar texture as rice if you prefer warm bowl comforting meals during cold weather.

If you’re vegan or vegetarian, meat substitutes such as tofu or tempeh would also be great alternatives for the chicken in this dish.

To mix up the flavors, try adding spices such as paprika, chili powder or turmeric. Trust me when I say that these flavors compliment the chicken quite well and give your meal an extra zing.

In summary, sopa de pollo con arroz is a versatile dish that can be tweaked based on your preferences while still maintaining its comforting taste. Have fun experimenting in the kitchen and let us know if any of our suggestions worked out for you!

Serving and Pairing

 Revitalize your body with this nutritious and delectable chicken and rice soup.
Revitalize your body with this nutritious and delectable chicken and rice soup.

When it comes to serving this comforting and hearty soup, you can elevate the experience by pairing it with the right sides and garnishes.

First, I suggest serving the “sopa de pollo con arroz” with some warm crusty bread or cornbread. The bread not only acts as a vessel for soaking up the flavorful broth but also provides a contrasting texture to the tender chicken and rice.

As for garnishes, you can be creative with the ingredients you used in the recipe. Chopped cilantro is always a great option to add a fresh herbed flavor, while sliced avocado provides a creaminess that balances out the acidity of the tomato and lime juice.

If you want to add some heat to your soup, try adding hot sauce or chopped jalapeños. Just be careful not to overpower the other flavors.

This soup pairs well with a refreshing salad as well. I recommend serving it with a side of roasted sweet potatoes or grilled vegetables that provide a subtle sweetness that complements the savory flavors of the soup.

Finally, when it comes to drinks, this “sopa de pollo con arroz” is perfect for pairing with light-bodied red wines like Pinot Noir or Merlot. However, if you prefer beer, try pairing it with a light-bodied lager or pilsner that won’t overshadow the bold flavors of the dish.

Remember, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to pairing food and drinks. The most important thing is to experiment with different flavors and textures until you find what works best for you.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Perfectly cooked rice, tender chicken, and aromatic herbs come together in an unforgettable soup.
Perfectly cooked rice, tender chicken, and aromatic herbs come together in an unforgettable soup.

One of the best things about Sopa De Pollo Con Arroz is that it can be made ahead of time, making it a convenient and time-saving option for busy weeknights. You can prepare the soup in advance, store it in the refrigerator or freezer, and reheat it when you’re ready to eat.

To make this soup ahead of time, let it cool off to room temperature before storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days or in the freezer for up to two months. When it’s time to reheat, simply transfer the soup to a saucepan and heat over medium heat until it starts to boil, then let it simmer for a few minutes until heated through.

One thing you’ll want to keep in mind when reheating this soup is that the rice may absorb some of the broth as it sits in the fridge or freezer. You may need to add more water or chicken broth to achieve your desired consistency when reheating. To avoid this problem, you can also cook the rice separately and add it to each bowl before serving.

In terms of storage tips, remember to always use clean utensils when taking out portions of the soup to avoid contamination. If you’re storing leftovers in the refrigerator, make sure they’re stored on a shelf near the top where they’ll stay at a consistent temperature.

Overall, Sopa De Pollo Con Arroz is a fantastic make-ahead meal that’s easy to store and reheat when needed. With these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy its delicious flavors anytime, without having to worry about spending too much time in the kitchen.

Tips for Perfect Results

 A favorite soup recipe that has been passed down through generations.
A favorite soup recipe that has been passed down through generations.

Now that you have learned how to make a delicious chicken and rice soup, I am happy to share with you some tips that will help you achieve perfect and consistent results every time you make this soup.

Firstly, to get the best tasting soup, use the ingredients specified in the recipe as much as possible. Although it may be tempting to improvise and use different ingredients, it is important to adhere to the recipe’s ingredients properly.

Rice is the most important aspect of this soup recipe; thus, ensure that you wash it thoroughly before cooking. It is ideal to soak it in warm water for 20-30 minutes before adding to the pot to soften it up. Although it might seem a bit time-consuming, your efforts will pay off in the end as it gives you fluffy and tender grains of rice.

Once the rice is cooked, take care not to over-stir the soup too much or let it reduce too much. Over-stirring can cause the rice or vegetable pieces to break down while reducing too much can cause the rice to lose its texture and firmness.

To make sure your soup is seasoned well, add salt and pepper towards the end and do more taste tests before serving into bowls. Seasonings add depth of flavor to a dish when used correctly.

Lastly, remember that chicken broth is essential in making flavorful soups. Consider using homemade broth instead of store-bought as they contain high levels of sodium and preservatives which isn’t healthy for ingestion. You can buy pre-made chicken broth cubes such as “Maggi Sopa” (Chicken Flavored Soup Mix) at your local grocery stores. These pre-made cubes are convenient for busy days but natural stocks support longer simmering times required in stews and soups.

With these tips, I believe that you will now be able to cook a delicious pot of sopa de pollo con arroz consistently every time!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, Sopa De Pollo Con Arroz is a delicious and highly recommended recipe that offers a unique flavor profile that will impress any crowd. With its rich and comforting texture, this soup is perfect for cold winter nights or whenever you’re craving something warm and satisfying.

I hope this recipe article has been helpful, and I encourage you to try it out for yourself. Whether you’re a fan of chicken soup or looking for a new and exciting dish to add to your menu, Sopa De Pollo Con Arroz is sure to please. So gather your ingredients, follow the instructions carefully, and enjoy the warm and comforting flavors of this classic Brazilian-American soup.

Sopa De Pollo Con Arroz (Chicken and Rice Soup)

Sopa De Pollo Con Arroz (Chicken and Rice Soup) Recipe

This Mexican soup recipe cheerfully stolen from: Mario's La Fiesta Mexican restaurant in Berkeley, CA.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 3 hrs
Course Soup
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 2 Quarts
Calories 912.4 kcal


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 large russet potato
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 large tomatoes
  • 2 stalks celery (with leaves)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon salt (or more)
  • 1/2 white onion (do not use red onion)
  • 1/2 cup rice, washed
  • 1/4 head cannonball cabbage
  • 1/8 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 dash Crystal hot sauce
  • 1 -2 quart water or 1 -2 quart chicken stock


  • Extract giblets from chicken and remove the liver.
  • Place chicken in a pot of water just large enough to hold it.
  • Cover with 1-2 quarts of water and add the giblets.
  • Add salt and bring to a boil, skimming off any foam.
  • Reduce heat, cover pot, and simmer for 20 or more minutes.
  • Chicken should fall apart after cooking.
  • Completely bone out the cooked chicken.
  • Separate white meat for use in the finished soup.
  • Crack the bones and return them to the stock with the skin.
  • Add all other non-meat parts of the chicken back to the stock.
  • Bring stock and giblets back to a fast simmer.
  • Cook stock for 1/2-1 hour longer.
  • Begin washing rice.
  • Strain stock and remove most, but not all of the fat.
  • Peel the potato, tomato and carrots.
  • Bring stock to a boil and reduce heat.
  • Cut carrots into coins, dice potato into 1/2" cubes and add with cabbage cut into 1" chunks.
  • Chop onion coarsely and add along with pressed or finely minced garlic.
  • Remove strings by breaking the top of the stalk backwards and pulling down to strip them out, slice celery into medium pieces and add.
  • Peel and seed tomato, strain tomato juice from seeds and add with chopped cilantro leaves.
  • Chop some of the celery heart's leaves and add with diced chicken white meat in 1/2" chunks.
  • Finish washing rice and add to soup.
  • During last half hour of cooking add all other spices.
  • Adjust salt to taste (this recipe can take a lot of salt).
  • Avoid adding too much cumin, it will spoil the flavor.
  • DO NOT let the soup boil, it will turn to mush.
  • DO NOT use the chicken liver in the soup.
  • When the rice begins to "bloom" turn off the heat.
  • Elbow macaroni, stars or alphabet pasta may be used.
  • If using pasta, omit or reduce the amount of rice.
  • If the stock is made right it will gel when chilled.
  • Note: This recipe took years to figure out.
  • DO NOT use chicken bullion cubes or paste when making this.
  • They will cloud the soup and destroy its delicate bouquet.
  • Tinned broth is acceptable but will not compare to using the stock described above.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 402gCalories: 912.4kcalCarbohydrates: 42.6gProtein: 61.8gFat: 53.4gSaturated Fat: 15.2gCholesterol: 243.8mgSodium: 2026.2mgFiber: 4.4gSugar: 4.3g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Chicken, Meat, Mexican, Poultry, Weeknight
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Dora is a chef well-versed in Brazilian and American cuisine. After a hard day's work in the kitchen of her restaurant, she finds the time to jot down recipes for her food blog. Her recipes are sure to delight foodies everywhere, as she strives to make each one unique and enjoyable to read.