Super healthy, savory and ultra delicious, this cilantro chicken soup ticks all the boxes and is sure to become your next favorite comfort food.
This soup is light, refreshing and filling at the same time, making it a great lunch or dinner choice for the warmer months of the year.
This delicious immunity boosting soup has now become an absolute staple in my household, and once you give it a try, you’ll know why.
I always have some fresh cilantro in my refrigerator (and I’ve been thinking about planting it in my own herb garden now).
Naturally, I had to put it to use, and that’s when I experimented with this easy recipe that's also gluten-free. It's a step up above the traditional chicken soup, and packs in the flavors of ginger and cilantro,
The flavors of cilantro and lemon work together beautifully, and that’s what makes this soup so bright and fresh.
- What's So Great About the Recipe?
- Ingredients For the Cilantro Chicken Soup Recipe
- How to Make the Cilantro Chicken Soup
- Substitutions & Variations
- 💭Top Tip
- How to Store the Leftover Cilantro Chicken Soup
- Tips & Tricks to Nail the Recipe
- How to Serve the Cilantro Chicken Soup
- Related Recipes
- Cilantro Chicken Soup
- Food Safety
What's So Great About the Recipe?
I’m a big chicken soup person. I love how its simplicity and versatility leaves so much room to bring about variation, and that’s exactly what I did with this recipe too!
To put this flavorful cilantro chicken soup, you’ll need just a few pantry staples, and you’re good to go- it is actually a great budget friendly meal too!
I also love the fact that I can actually prep this recipe in advance and freeze it for whenever I want to enjoy a home cooked meal without too much effort.
Ingredients For the Cilantro Chicken Soup Recipe
Ready to make this healthy soup? Here's a quick list of everything you'll need.
Chicken breast: I’ve used raw chicken breast for this recipe, and cooked it in the broth. You can use any other cut of chicken you like. Chicken thighs are a good choice because they have a lot of flavor and are tender too.
Chicken broth: I’ve used homemade chicken broth, but you can use the store bought version if you want to. To make it healthier, use the low sodium variety.
Ginger and garlic: Ginger and garlic are the key aromatics that add tons of flavor to this Asian soup. Use them fresh or start off with a packaged version- just pick what works for you.
Jalapeño: I love adding lots of jalapeño peppers to the soup- the kick of heat you’ll get from them works wonderfully with the lemon and cilantro in the recipe.
Cilantro stem & leaves: These are an absolute must. The younger portion of the stems are super flavorful and adding them to the broth will make the soup more flavorful.
Lemon juice: A dash of freshly squeezed lemon juice really balances out the other flavors and ties the dish together. You can use the bottled variety if you don’t have fresh lemon juice- that’s completely okay too!
Whole spices: I’ve used a bay leaf and some whole peppercorns to make the soup more flavorful. You can skip adding these if you don’t have them.
Cornflour: I use cornflour mixed with water to create a slurry, which I then use to thicken the soup. You can skip this if you don’t mind a broth-style soup.
Cabbage: I had some cabbage in my refrigerator, so I added it in. You can use almost any veggie of your choice. The veggies will add a nice bit of texture to the soup too!
Orzo: I’ve used orzo to make the soup more filling. If you don’t have it, you can use any other pasta of your choice.
Oil: While you can use practically any cooking oil for this recipe, I would recommend olive oil or avocado oil to get some good fats into the picture.
Seasonings: Salt and pepper are what I’ve used for this recipe, but you can also add red pepper flakes if you want a bit of that kick to the dish.
Garnishes: I’ve used sliced lemon, jalapenos and some chopped cilantro stems and leaves to garnish. You can add a drizzle of olive oil or some red pepper flakes if you want to!
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make the Cilantro Chicken Soup
Start by chopping the ginger, garlic, coriander stem and jalapeno roughly.
Heat oil in a large soup pot and add these in along with the whole peppercorns and bay leaf and sauté for a minute or two.
Next add the chicken breast, chicken broth, salt and water and let this simmer on low heat for 15 minutes.
Allow this to cool down, remove the chicken breast and set it aside. Strain the soup and discard the chopped bits and pieces.
Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a pot and add the chopped cabbage and cook for a few minutes. Now add the stock and the orzo and cook on medium heat until the orzo is done.
Prepare the cornflour slurry and add it in, stirring it continuously until the soup thickens and bring to a boil.
Next, add the shredded chicken into the soup along with some lemon juice or lime juice and ladle the soup into individual bowls.
Top with some chopped jalapeños, crushed black pepper, lime slices and chopped cilantro stems and leaves.
Substitutions & Variations
- I’ve used orzo to make this cilantro chicken soup more filling. If you want to make it a lighter meal, just skip adding the orzo.
- You can also choose to add some udon noodles or egg noodles into the soup if you’re looking for an alternative to orzo.
- Cornflour is great as a thickening agent, and that’s what I’ve used for this recipe. If you don’t have it, you can use arrowroot powder instead
- You can also add a dash of cumin powder into the cilantro and lime soup if you want to bring a bit of earthiness and flavor to it.
- While I used a large pot to make this delicious chicken soup, you can also choose to use a pressure cooker or a slow cooker to make it.
To cut down the cooking time for the recipe, you can use rotisserie chicken or leftover grilled chicken and packaged or store-bought stock.
How to Store the Leftover Cilantro Chicken Soup
Your leftover cilantro chicken soup can be refrigerated for 2-3 days, and then reheated in the microwave or over the stovetop.
I would highly recommend using an airtight container for storage. This will help keep the soup fresh and prevent it from catching any unwanted refrigerator smells.
This summery soup freezes well too. You can prepare the soup base days in advance, allow it to cool down and freeze it for months.
Tips & Tricks to Nail the Recipe
- You can give this cilantro chicken soup an upgrade by adding in some chopped or diced veggies of your choice.
- Veggies like carrots, celery, mushrooms, onion, bell peppers, broccoli and green beans are great choices which work well with the flavors of this recipe.
- I also think these flavors would work wonderfully as a vegetarian soup too. You can skip the chicken completely and add in lots of veggies instead, and swap the chicken broth for mushroom or vegetable broth and try a vegan, gluten free version of the lemon cilantro soup.
- If you have an Instant Pot, you can totally use it for this recipe! In fact, you’ll be able to speed up the process too!
- I would also recommend using bone-in chicken for this recipe if you want your broth to have more flavor, and if you’re making this soup as an immunity boosting soup.
- Another great idea is to add a dash of light soy sauce to the soup to lend it a bit of that umami goodness.
- Don’t forget to top the soup with chopped cilantro and other herbs of your choice. Scallions can be another great addition to the soup as a garnish and as an add-on too!
- You can also choose to cut down the cooking time of the recipe by using some shredded chicken or rotisserie chicken instead.
- To bring some creaminess to the soup, you can also add some cheese and sour cream into it and cook over medium heat for a few more minutes.
How to Serve the Cilantro Chicken Soup
This flavorful and delicious soup can be enjoyed in so many different ways thanks to its versatility. Here are a few good ideas to get you going.
As a Meal
This comforting soup can be a great meal all on its own. It has protein from the chicken, fiber and vitamins from the veggies and the carbs from the orzo.
With a Salad
A nice green salad with lots of raw veggies can be a great side to this cilantro chicken soup. I recently made this beet cucumber salad that I think will work nicely with the flavors of this soup.
With Crusty Bread
If you’re making this soup without the orzo, you can team it up with some crusty bread to make it more filling and delicious. If you have a few extra minutes, I would highly recommend sprinkling a bit of homemade garlic bread seasoning over the bread.
If you love chicken noodle soup, you can swap the orzo in the recipe for some noodles, and enjoy a nice and comforting version of the cilantro chicken soup.
With Grilled Veggies
Grilled and sauteed veggies can be a great teammate to this flavorful soup. You can try my saucy and savory teriyaki veggie stir fry or simply grill some veggies in a sheet pan with some olive oil and your favorite seasonings to go with the soup.
Yes, you can! This soup is actually a great meal prep recipe. Just prepare the soup without the cornflour slurry and allow it to cool down before transferring to freezer safe containers.
You can then freeze this soup for months.
This soup is super versatile, which means you can add a lot of other add-ons of your choice.
I think tortellini could be an incredible addition to the soup instead of the orzo. In fact, you can also make a nice chicken and rice soup by adding 1 cup of rice into the soup towards the end, and giving it a quick stir until it is well combined.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
Cilantro Chicken Soup
- 50 lbs chicken breasts
- ¼ cup Cabbage
- ¼ cup orzo
- 2 teaspoon jalapeno
- ¼ cup Cilantro
- ½ cup Cilantro stems
- 1 tablespoon Garlic
- 1 tablespoon Ginger
- 2 cups Chicken broth
- 2 tablespoon Lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon cornflour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon Pepper fresh ground
- 12 Peppercorns black
- 2 tablespoon Oil
- 2 cups Water
- 2-3 bay leaves
- Start by chopping the ginger, garlic, coriander stem and jalapeno roughly.
- Heat oil in a pot and add these in along with the whole peppercorns and bay leaf and saute for a minute or two.
- Next add the chicken breast, chicken broth, salt and water and let this simmer on low heat for 15 minutes.
- Allow this to cool down, remove the chicken breast and set it aside. Strain the soup and discard the chopped bits and pieces.
- Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a pot and add the chopped cabbage and cook for a few minutes. Now add the stock and the orzo and cook until the orzo is done. Prepare the cornflour slurry and add it in, stirring it continuously until the soup thickens.
- Finally, shred the chicken and add it into the soup along with some lemon juice, and ladle the soup into individual bowls. Top with some chopped jalapenos, crushed black pepper, lemon slices and chopped cilantro stems and leaves.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove