Cuban Chicken Soup (Sopa De Pollo)

5 from 4 votes

Made with chicken, noodles, vegetables, and spices, this easy-to-make Instant Pot Cuban Chicken Soup (Sopa De Pollo) comes together in under 30 minutes. Try my easy recipe here.

Try some more Caribbean recipes at home: Jamaican Cornmeal Porridge, Haitian Plantain Porridge, Jerk Marinade, and Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken.

Cuban chicken soup served in a bowl.
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About Cuban Chicken Soup

Cuban Chicken Soup (Sopa De Pollo) is a comforting soup famous in Cuba and other Latin American countries. It is loaded with the goodness of chicken, vegetables, chicken stock, spices, and angel hair noodles.

It has a rich and hearty broth; the veggies add a sweet and savory dimension.

Sopa De Pollo is popularly made in Cuban homes and restaurants and is often served with Cuban sandwiches.

My easy recipe shows how to make this hearty and flavor-packed soup in under 30 minutes in an instant pot (electric pressure cooker) or on the stovetop.

Enjoy this Cuban-style chicken noodle soup on its own for a light meal on cold days or if you feel under the weather.

Ingredients

Cuban chicken soup ingredients -carrots, onions, extra virgin olive oil, garlic and boneless chicken breasts.
Cuban chicken soup ingredients - chicken broth, chili powder, corn, potatoes and turmeric.
Cuban chicken soup ingredients - salt, oregano, bay leaf, pepper powder, cumin powder and lime juice.
Cuban chicken soup ingredient - Angel hair pasta.

Chicken – This soup is traditionally made using skinless bone-in chicken pieces. Bones make the broth very rich and hearty. I like to use boneless skinless chicken breasts, but you can also use chicken thighs.

Onions – Red or yellow onions work best in this recipe.

Oil – Use good quality extra virgin olive oil.

Veggies – I have used carrots, potatoes, and corn cobs. You can also use other vegetables like pumpkin, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, celery ribs, etc.

Seasoning – To season the soup, you will need dried oregano, cumin powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder, salt, and pepper.

Chicken Stock – Make it at home or use a store-bought one.

Noodles – Use Angel Hair Pasta or Fidelini noodles (Fideo noodles), which are thin vermicelli-type noodles that come dried and coiled and are usually in a bag.

Others – You will also need garlic cloves, bay leaf, and freshly squeezed lime juice.

Add some tomato paste or tomato sauce to the soup for added flavor.

You can also add some black beans to this recipe.

How To Make Cuban Chicken Soup

Press the SAUTE button on the instant pot.

Add 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil to the pot.

Olive oil added to the pot.

Once the oil is hot, arrange 1 pound (500 g) of rinsed boneless skinless chicken breast in the pot in a single layer.

Brown the chicken by searing for 3-4 minutes per side.

Chicken breast arranged in the pot.

Remove the chicken from the pot and set it aside on a plate.

Seared chicken breasts.

Add ½ cup chopped onions and 2 teaspoon minced garlic to the pot and saute for 3-4 minutes until the onions start to brown.

Onions and garlic added to the pot.

Add the following ingredients and cook for 2-3 minutes.

  • 1 cup of cubed carrots (¼-inch cubes)
  • 1 cup of cubed potatoes (½-inch cubes)
  • 1 piece of corn (cut into 4 pieces)
Veggies added to the pot.

Now add the following ingredients and stir until combined. 

  • 5 cups of chicken broth
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 whole bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper powder
Chicken broth, herbs and spices added to the pot.

Place the chicken breasts back into the pot and close the lid.

Set the valve to the sealing position.

Chicken breast placed back in the pot.
Lid of the instant pot secured.

Press CANCEL and then press PRESSURE COOK.

Set the timer to 8 minutes at high pressure.

Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes.

Release the remaining pressure manually and open the lid.

Discard the bay leaf and take out the chicken breasts on a chopping board using a pair of tongs.

Shred the chicken using a fork.

Note – If using bone-in chicken, discard the bones after shredding the meat.

Add the shredded chicken back to the pot.

Discarding the bay leaf.
Shredded chicken.
Chicken added back to the pot.

Press the SAUTE button once again.

Add 2 oz (60 g) Angel hair pasta noodles and 1 tablespoon lime juice to the pot.

Pasta and lemon juice added to the pot.

Cook for 6-7 minutes or until the noodles are just cooked (al dente).

Transfer the soup to serving bowls. Garnish with chopped scallion (green onions) or cilantro and serve hot.

Ready Cuban chicken soup.

Pro Tips By Neha

Add a dash of hot sauce or Sriracha for a spicier Cuban soup.

Don’t add noodles if you are not planning to serve the soup immediately. Noodles must be added before serving the soup; otherwise, they will soak up the broth and become soggy.

If you can access Sazon (a Cuban spice mix), add a sachet for a traditional Cuban flavor.

Replace fresh chicken with leftover rotisserie chicken.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to make Cuban-style chicken soup in a pot over the stovetop?

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat to make Cuban-style chicken soup on the stovetop. Once the oil is hot, arrange the chicken breast in a single layer.

Brown the chicken by searing for 3-4 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the pot and set it aside on a plate.

In the same pot, add onions and garlic and saute for 3-4 minutes until the onions start to brown.

Add carrots, potatoes, and corn, and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Now add broth, oregano, cumin powder, turmeric powder, chili powder, bay leaf, salt, and pepper powder, and stir until combined. 

Place the chicken breasts back into the pot and reduce the heat to low.

Cover the pot with a lid and cook until the veggies are cooked (20-25 minutes).

Once done, discard the bay leaf and take out the chicken breasts on a chopping board. Shred the chicken using a fork.

Add the shredded chicken back to the pot.

Add pasta noodles and lime juice to the pot. Cook for 6-7 minutes or until the noodles soften.

Transfer the soup to serving bowls. Garnish with chopped scallion (green onions) and serve hot.

Can I make this soup in a slow cooker?

Yes, you can. Sear the chicken breasts in a pan until browned from both sides. Now add them to a slow cooker along with all the other ingredients except the noodles. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Discard the bay leaves and shred the chicken breasts. Add the chicken back to the cooker along with the noodles and lime juice. Cook on low for 1 hour. Garnish and serve.

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Made with chicken, noodles, vegetables, and spices, this easy-to-make Instant Pot Cuban Chicken Soup comes together in under 30 minutes. Try my easy recipe here.
5 from 4 votes

Instant Pot Cuban Chicken Soup Recipe (Sopa De Pollo)

Made with chicken, noodles, vegetables, and spices, this easy-to-make Instant Pot Cuban Chicken Soup comes together in under 30 minutes. Try my easy recipe here.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 people

Ingredients 

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts (500 g)
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup cubed carrots (cut into ¼ inch cubes)
  • 1 cup cubed potatoes (cut into ½ inch cubes)
  • 1 piece corn (cut into 4)
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 whole bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper powder
  • 2 ounces dried angel hair pasta noodles
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
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Instructions 

  • Press SAUTE button on the instant pot.
  • Add olive oil to the pot.
  • Once the oil is hot, arrange chicken breast in the pot in a single layer.
  • Brown the chicken by searing for 3-4 minutes per side.
  • Remove the chicken from the pot and set it aside on a plate.
  • Add onions and garlic to the pot and saute for 3-4 minutes until the onions start to brown.
  • Add carrots, potatoes, and corn and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Now add broth, oregano, cumin powder, turmeric powder, chili powder, bay leaf, salt, and pepper powder, and stir until combined. 
  • Place the chicken breasts back into the pot and close the lid.
  • Set the valve to the sealing position.
  • Press CANCEL and then press PRESSURE COOK.
  • Set the timer to 8 minutes at high pressure.
  • Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes.
  • Release the remaining pressure manually and open the lid.
  • Discard the bay leaf and take out the chicken breasts on a chopping board using a pair of tongs.
  • Shred the chicken using a fork.
  • Note – If using bone-in chicken, discard the bones after shredding the meat.
  • Add the shredded chicken back to the pot.
  • Press SAUTE button once again.
  • Add pasta noodles and lime juice to the pot.
  • Cook for 6-7 minutes or until the noodles soften.
  • Transfer the soup to serving bowls. Garnish with chopped scallion (green onions) and serve hot.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

Add other vegetables like pumpkin, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, etc., to this soup.
Add a dash of hot sauce or Sriracha for a spicier soup.
If you are not planning to serve the soup immediately, don’t add noodles. Noodles must be added just before you serve the soup; otherwise, they will soak up the broth and become soggy.
If you can access Sazon (a Cuban spice mix), add a sachet for a traditional Cuban flavor.
You can use bone-in chicken pieces instead of boneless chicken for a more decadent soup.

Nutrition

Calories: 191kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 19g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 52mg, Sodium: 1028mg, Potassium: 448mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 3649IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 35mg, Iron: 1mg
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5 Comments

  1. Question if you don’t have an instant pot can you use a crockpot on other directions about the same please advise

  2. 5 stars
    This doesn’t taste like Cuban chicken soup. At least not what I’m used to. The main ingredients are the same but the spices are different. That being said, this soup is AMAZING! This version is incredibly flavorful. It was a huge hit with me and my daughters. No extra salt and pepper is needed. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe!

    1. Hi Sandra, I am glad you like the recipe. Each home has a different recipe to make this soup and the taste might be different from home to home 🙂