Authentic Caldo de Pollo Recipe (Chicken soup)

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Caldo de pollo soup is a heartwarming chicken soup with lots of vegetables that make it the perfect soup for the upcoming winter days. Easy to make and delicious to eat.

caldo de pollo recipe

This soup is my staple food when I get a cold. It’s like medicine for the stomach and heart.

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What is caldo de pollo?

Caldo de pollo is a chicken soup with a lot of Latin flavor (you can check the meat version here). In the US the Mexican caldo de pollo version is widely known.

Today, I bring you the Venezuelan version. It’s pretty similar, though. We just don’t add any spice to the soup.

In Venezuela, if you go to eat caldo de pollo in a restaurant, it’s usually served with small arepas and a lime.

I highly recommend you to add some lime drops before eating. The acidity will magnify the flavor of the soup.

What part of the chicken is the best for caldo de pollo?

For the maximum amount of flavor in the soup, it’s best to choose bone-in pieces of chicken. Bone it’s where the flavor resides and it will be released while the soup is simmering.

Of course, you don’t want to eat only bone. So, pick a piece of chicken that has a lot of meat.

If I want extra flavor I choose chicken thighs or chicken drumsticks (my favorite).

My mom usually uses bone-in chicken breast because it has a larger amount of lean meat and it was the best option to stretch the soup for more people. After the soup is fully cooked, my mom takes the chicken breast out and shreds the chicken. This way the soup only contains the shredded meat and no bones.

When using a chicken drumstick, I usually like to calculate one chicken drumstick per portion. This way everybody has a good piece of chicken in their soup.

Chicken stock or bouillon cube?

Here comes the heated debate.

In my house, the bouillon cube is the go-to for soup. Actually, in Venezuela, you can’t get chicken stock in the stores. If you want chicken stock, you have to make it at home from scratch.

So, for saving time and convenience, we cook with bouillon cube most of the time.

I know that this option is less popular in the US.

For this recipe — and for all my recipes, really — I make a swap using chicken stock measures.

For this big pot of chicken soup, you will need 4 cups of chicken stock. If you use bouillon cubes, use one. For both options, try to find a low-sodium version.

It’s best to have a bland soup where you can adjust salt at the end than a salty soup.

What vegetables do you need?

As you can see in the pictures, this recipe is not only chicken. It’s vegetable loaded. This is what makes it a healthy dinner option.

You can add a variety of vegetables, but my favorites are:

  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Carrot
  • Onion
  • Zucchini
  • Bell Pepper

I think this is a winning combination. In just one dish you get several portions of vegetables

Can you make caldo de pollo in the slow cooker?

Of course.

It’s my favorite method for this recipe because I can set the timer to end the cooking process just right for dinner. Nothing better than getting home after a cold day outside to a big, warm and cozy Caldo de pollo plate.

I like to start on the stove. I make a “sofrito” with onion, garlic, bell pepper and a bit of oil. Then, I add it to the slow cooker.

Then I add all the vegetables cut into cubes (except the zucchini that I cut into half moons), the chicken, cilantro, chicken stock, and water. I let it cook for 7 hours in low or 4 hours in high.

5 from 2 votes
caldo de pollo recipe
Caldo de Pollo
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
50 mins
Caldo de soup is a heartwarming chicken soup with lots of vegetables that make it the perfect soup for the upcoming winter days. Easy to make and delicious to eat.
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Venezuelan
Keyword: caldo de pollo, mexican chicken soup
Servings: 5 people
  • 5 chicken drumsticks without skin
  • 4 cups chicken stock preferably low in sodium (or 1 bouillon cube)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 300 gr pumpkin
  • 2 medium-size carrot
  • 1 medium-size potato
  • 1 medium-size zucchini
  • 1 onion
  • ½ bell pepper
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 handful cilantro
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil (I use sunflower oil)
  • 1 lime (optional)
  1. In a big pot, heat the oil and add the onion and bell pepper cut into slices. Cook for a couple of minutes, then add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Stir to avoid burning the garlic.
  2. Cut the pumpkin, potato and carrots into cubes of about 1 inch thick. Cut the zucchini into thick half-moons.
  3. Add the vegetables to the pot (except the zucchini). Add the chicken drumsticks. Cover with chicken stock and water (note 1). Let it boil for 15 minutes without a lid.
  4. Add the cilantro and the zucchinis. Let it simmer for 20 minutes and cover with a lid.
  5. Serve and add a lime juice to taste.
Recipe Notes

1. If you use the bouillon cube, use 6 cups of water in total.

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