green chile chicken and rice soup

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 ½ – 2 cups salsa verde (store-bought)
  • 2 cups chopped kale, stems removed
  • ½ cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • 2 cups cooked white rice
  • tortilla chips, for serving


  • sliced avocado
  • sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • fresh cilantro
  • shredded cheddar or cotija cheese
  • pickled onions


  • In a small bowl, combine 2 teaspoons chili powder, 2 teaspoons cumin, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 tablespoon brown sugar and a large pinch salt and pepper.
  • In a large heavy bottom soup pot or Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Sprinkle ½ spice mixture over 1 lb. chicken to coat. Sear until browned, about 3 minutes per side. Once the chicken is browned, reduce the heat to low and pour in 6 cups broth.
  • Stir in remaining ½ spice mixture, 1 ½-2 cups salsa verde, and 2 cups chopped kale. Season the soup with a big pinch salt and pepper. Cover and simmer 25 minutes or until the chicken is tender and cooked through.
  • Once the chicken is cooked though, remove from heat and stir in ½ cup fresh chopped cilantro and zest and juice from 1 lime.
  • Divide 2 cups rice evenly amongst the bowls and pour soup over the top. Finish with avocado, a dollop sour cream, cilantro, cheese and pickled onions. Add a large handful of crushed tortilla chips.


  • Alternatively you can add 1 cup uncooked rice and 2 cups water to the soup when you add the chicken broth. Allow the rice to cook no longer than 25 minutes. If you let it sit longer, it will soak up all of the broth.


  • Serve with guacamole and chips or a big green salad or slaw to complete the meal.


  • Protein: If you’re short on time, swap the chicken with a shredded rotisserie chicken. Sauté with the spice mixture in a skillet to fully coat before adding the other ingredients.
  • Vegetarian: Substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth and replace the chicken with 1 can black or pinto beans.


  • Pre-mix spice mixture.
  • Chop and store kale and cilantro in an airtight container.


Calories: 285kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 591mg | Potassium: 747mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 3073IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 91mg | Iron: 2mg