Sopa de Fideos con Pollo or Caldo de Fideo con Pollo, is a Mexican version of chicken noodle soup. Served warm and packed with bright flavors, this is the perfect comfort meal and a classic family favorite.

Sopa de Fideos con Pollo, a Mexican version of chicken noodle soup in a Mexican blue bowl with a side of lemons

This one-pot recipe is effortless with pantry staples, ensuring a nutritious homemade meal is ready to grace your table on any weeknight.

Sopa de fideo (Mexican vermicelli soup) is one of those pure comfort foods that transports me back to childhood with one bite. This version tastes similar to caldo de pollo – it is loaded with chicken and chock full of spring vegetables. It’s a soup that tastes equal parts Italian minestrone and classic American chicken noodle soup – how can you go wrong with that?

For this recipe, I’ve opted to use inexpensive chicken drumsticks. Not only are they budget friendly, they’re also made of dark meat. In my opinion, dark meat is not only more flavorful, but is also unlikely to get overcooked and dry. I call that a win-win-win!

Finally, this yummy soup gets made in just one pot, making clean up a real snap. On those nights when I’m frayed at the edges and running on fumes, I’m all about making dinnertime as easy as possible. Less dishes equals a happy mama, and I’m pretty sure you’ll agree.

Being the mom to two kids while working from home is no easy task, which is something I’m sure many of you can relate to.

What is Sopa de Fideo con Pollo

“Sopa de fideos con pollo” or “caldo de fideo con pollo” is a traditional Mexican dish that translates to “Chicken Noodle Soup” in English. It’s a comforting and flavorful soup made with chicken, thin noodles (often referred to as “fideos” in Spanish), and a variety of vegetables and seasonings.

The dish typically involves simmering chicken in a broth until tender, then adding the noodles and vegetables to cook until they’re softened and infused with the rich flavors of the broth.

It’s a beloved dish that’s both hearty and soothing, perfect for warming up on a chilly day or when seeking some comforting, homemade goodness.

carrots, onion, garlic, potato, and in a wooden bowl on a brown surface.

Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Fideos or vermicelli noodles: If these noodles are challenging to find in your area, substitute with spaghetti or angel hair pasta, cut into 2-inch pieces.
  • Fresh Veggies: You’ll need carrots, potatoes, onions, zucchini, and garlic. 
  • Chicken: As a personal preference, this Mexican chicken soup recipe generally tastes best with dark meat like drumsticks or thighs. If you are trying to adhere to a lower-fat diet or you only have boneless, skinless breasts on hand, you can certainly make do. 
  • Pantry Staples: The remaining pantry ingredients are also quite simple to find: olive oil, canned tomato sauce, or in a pinch, you can even use roasted marinara sauce, salt, and lemon pepper or plain ground pepper.
  • Chicken Broth: Feel free to use homemade or store-bought chicken broth.
  • Cilantro: If you don’t care for cilantro, feel free to omit it or replace it with fresh parsley. 

How to Make Sopa de Fideos con Pollo

Step 1: Brown chicken. Heat two tablespoons oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Generously season chicken with salt, pepper, and lemon pepper, if using. Brown skins of drumsticks on both sides until golden, about 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside.

NOTE: Chicken will not be fully cooked at this point.

Brown skins of drumsticks on both sides until golden in a stockpot

Step 2: Sauté veggies. Add the other tablespoon of oil to the pot and add the carrots. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes. Add potatoes, onion, and zucchini. Cook and stir for about 5 minutes. Set aside.

carrots, potatoes, onion, and zucchini chopped and cooking in white stock pot

Step 3: Toast noodles. Add cut pasta to pot and stir for 1 to 2 minutes until pasta is slightly toasted, but not burned. Set aside.

toasting pasta in a white pot to make Fideo

Step 4: Simmer. Add the sauce and garlic to the pot and stir. Lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Step 5: Cook soup. Place chicken, chicken broth, sautéed veggies, and bring to a boil, lower heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.

Step 6: Add pasta and a couple of stalks of green onions and simmer for 3 to 5 more minutes.

tight shot of fideos con pollo in a pot with green onions on top

Step 7: Season and Serve. Check the salt and adjust to taste before serving. Serve in bowls and garnish with chopped cilantro and lime or lemon wedges if desired. Enjoy!

Optional Variations

One of my favorite things about making soups and stews is how easily customizable most recipes are, this easy Mexican chicken soup included. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Veg it up! Feel free to add additional veggies you like. I love chayote, Mexican zucchini, but just about any veggies you have on hand will do beautifully.

Serving & Topping Suggestions

As with many of my favorite dishes, I love to serve my sopa de fideos con pollo with corn tortillas. I also top mine with salsa casera or my favorite hot sauce, and a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice.

Expert Tips & Tricks

  • Bone-in, skinless dark meat is your best option for making a rich, flavorful broth for your soup. You can always peel the skin off of chicken drumsticks and chicken thighs if needed. 
  • Mind your veggies: Make sure to cut your vegetables into roughly the same-sized pieces to ensure even cooking.

Storage & Heating Instructions

  • Sopa de fideo will refrigerate, covered, for up to one week. 
  • I don’t recommend freezing this soup because of the pasta.
  • Reheat soup in the microwave or in a small saucepan on low heat. Pasta will absorb a lot of the liquid. To reheat leftovers, you may want to add additional broth.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is difference between sopa de fideo and fideo seco?

Sopa de fideo is a noodle soup where the noodles are cooked in a broth, while fideo seco is a dish where toasted noodles are cooked with various ingredients but not in a soupy broth. The key difference lies in the preparation and texture of the noodles in each dish.

Can I make sopa de fideos con pollo ahead of time?

Sure! Just note that the pasta will tend to absorb a lot of the liquid. You may want to add more water or some chicken broth while reheating to get it to the proper soup-y consistency.

What can I substitute for the chicken drumsticks?

As long as the chicken is cooked and cut, shredded or chopped, you can swap in any kind that you’d like! To make this meal even easier, there’s no shame in grabbing a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken and using that instead.

More fast and easy meals:

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large pot of Fideo con pollo on a white and blue runner
Sopa de Fideos con Pollo, a Mexican version of chicken noodle soup

Sopa de Fideos con Pollo

4.34 (6 ratings)
Sopa de fideos con pollo or caldo de fideo con pollo, is a Mexican version of chicken noodle soup. Served warm and packed with bright flavors, this is the perfect comfort meal and a classic family favorite.

Ingredients

  • 14 ounces vermicelli noodles, or spaghetti or angel hair pasta cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce, or fire roasted marinara sauce
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 pounds chicken drumsticks
  • lemon pepper, optional
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 potato, peeled and chopped 
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 2 green onions
  • cilantro to garnish (optional)
  • lime of lemon wedges for serving (optional)

Instructions 

  • Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Season chicken with salt, pepper, and lemon pepper, if using, and brown skins of drumsticks on both sides 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside (Chicken will not be fully cooked at this point.)
  • Add the other tablespoon of oil to the pot and add the carrots. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes. Add potatoes, onion, and zucchini. Cook and stir for about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  • Add pasta to pot and stir for 1 to 2 minutes until pasta is slightly toasted, but not burned. Set aside.
  • Add the sauce and garlic to the pot and stir. Lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Place chicken, chicken broth, sautéed veggies, and bring to a boil, lower heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Add pasta and a couple of stalks of green onions and simmer for 3 to 5 more minutes. 
  • Check the salt and adjust to taste before serving. 
  • Serve in bowls and garnish with chopped cilantro and lime or lemon wedges if desired.

Notes

  • Pasta will absorb a lot of the liquid. To reheat leftovers, you may want to add additional broth.
  • This dish can be made adding cooked shredded or chopped chicken.
Calories: 380kcal, Carbohydrates: 36g, Protein: 26g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 84mg, Sodium: 1010mg, Potassium: 967mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 2307IU, Vitamin C: 26mg, Calcium: 74mg, Iron: 4mg

Photography: Jenna Sparks
Originally published: June 2021.