Mexican Sweet Potato Chicken Soup

DF GF

This hearty Mexican sweet potato chicken soup is loaded with veggies, lean protein and has a smoky, sweet flavor from dried guajillo Mexican peppers. It’s grain/gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo and whole30 friendly.

Okay, I’m going to come right out and admit something I’m kind of embarrassed about… cooking with dried peppers has always intimated me. I used to walk past them in the store and think, what the heck do people do with those things? This is naive, but I honestly thought that all dried peppers were super spicy and I had no clue how I could use them in my cooking.

Mexican Sweet Potato Chicken Soup // Gluten-free, Paleo and Whole30 approved

Cooking With Dried Peppers

It wasn’t until I attended a cooking demo during a yoga retreat at the Veritas Farmhouse where the chef used dried guajillo Mexican peppers in a creamy sweet potato soup that I realized they’re actually pretty easy to work with and they’re awesome for adding a unique depth of flavor and spice.

I’d never heard of guajillo Mexican peppers before, but I quickly learned that they are one of the most popular chiles used in Mexican cuisine. They’re a little on the sweeter side with a hint of tang (similar to a cranberry) and a mild smokiness. I wouldn’t consider these peppers spicy so if you’re not a huge fan of spicy foods this would likely be a good pepper to test out.

After trying the amazing soup at the retreat I decided it was officially time to conquer my unnecessary fear of cooking with dried peppers at home and ordered a bag of guajillo Mexican peppers. I remade the creamy sweet potato soup that we had at the retreat, which is thick, rich and oh so creamy.

We enjoyed it, but I wanted to experiment with making a chunky soup with more veggies and protein so that it could be eaten as a meal. And that’s how this Mexican sweet potato soup with cauliflower, spinach and chicken came to be.

CLEAN EATING Mexican Sweet Potato Chicken Soup // Paleo, Gluten-free and Whole30 approved.

Why Eat Dried Peppers

If you’re like me and haven’t really experimented with dried peppers before I highly recommend grabbing a bag and hopping to it. They’re such a great way to add a ton of flavor and spice to a dish without adding a ton of extra calories! Plus, despite their burning taste, chili peppers have long been considered a healthy spice. They are very high in antioxidant carotenoids and rich in various vitamins and minerals (Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Potassium and Vitamin A). Studies have even shown that chili peppers can help with pain relief and promote weight loss by reducing appetite and increasing fat burning. (Source)

Mexican Sweet Potato Chicken Soup with Guajillo Mexican Peppers // Gluten-free, Paleo and Whole30 approved

Sweet Potato Chicken Soup Ingredients

  • boneless chicken breast
  • vegetables – yellow onion, garlic, sweet potato, baby spinach, cauliflower
  • guajillo Mexican peppers
  • vegetable or chicken broth
  • olive oil
  • seasonings and spices – dried oregano, sea salt, ground pepper, cumin and cloves
  • optional toppings – avocado, radishes, cilantro, lime, etc.

Mexican Sweet Potato Soup with Chicken, Cauliflower and Spinach // Gluten-free, Paleo and Whole30 approved

How to Make Sweet Potato Chicken Soup

Season Chicken – Season chicken with oregano, 1 teaspoon sea salt and black pepper. Set aside.

Rehydrate peppers – Remove the stems and dump out all the seeds from inside the peppers. Place the peppers in a saucepan with water, bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes or until they’ve softened. That’s it! At this point they’re rehydrated and ready to be used!

Blend – Add peppers and ¾ cup water from saucepan into a high-powered blender. Add onion, garlic, cumin, cloves and ½ teaspoon salt; blend until smooth.

Simmer – Add oil to a large saucepan on medium heat. Add chili pepper purée into the pan and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, uncovered, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add broth, seasoned chicken cubes, sweet potato and cauliflower into the saucepan. Cover and simmer until chicken is tender and cooked through and sweet potatoes are fully cooked, this should take about 10-15 minutes. Stir in baby spinach until wilted and season with additional salt, if needed.

Serve – Portion soup into bowls and top with toppings of choice. I love serving mine with avocado, sliced radishes, cilantro and a lime wedge for squeezing over the top.

Mexican Sweet Potato Soup with Chicken, Cauliflower and Spinach // Gluten-free, Paleo and Whole30 approved

How to Serve Soup

This soup is a hearty enough recipe to be a meal in one! Having said, I love eating it with my pumpkin cornbread muffins. It’s also delicious served with bread, crackers (I love my almond crackers) or even tortilla chips. It can also be served with a salad… I have a ton of salad recipes to choose from, but something light and fresh like this garlicky kale salad would be perfect.

How to Store Leftovers

Let the soup cool completely before transferring to an airtight container. Store in your refrigerator for up to 5 days. If you need to store it longer, let the soup cool completely in the fridge and then transfer to the freezer for up to 3 months.

More Soup Recipes to Try:

If you make this sweet potato chicken soup be sure to leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how it turned out for you. Your feedback is so helpful for the EBF team and our readers!

Mexican Sweet Potato Chicken Soup

5 from 3 votes
This hearty Mexican sweet potato chicken soup is loaded with veggies, lean protein and has a smoky, sweet flavor from dried guajillo Mexican peppers. Grain/gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo and whole30 friendly.
Two bowls of Mexican sweet potato chicken soup with avocado, radishes, and cilantro. Half an avocado, limes, and cilantro on the side.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast, chopped into bite-size cubes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon + 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 5 dried guajillo Mexican peppers, stems and seeds removed
  • 1/2 yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 32 oz carton vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped into bite-size chunks
  • 1/2 small head cauliflower, broken into bite-size florets
  • 1-2 cups baby spinach
  • for topping: avocado, radishes, cilantro, lime

Instructions
 

  • Season chicken with oregano, 1 teaspoon sea salt and black pepper. Set aside.
  • Add dried guajillo peppers into a saucepan and cover with water (at least 1 cup). Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the peppers have softened.
  • Add peppers and ¾ cup water from saucepan into a high-powered blender. Add onion, garlic, cumin, cloves and ½ teaspoon salt; blend until smooth.
  • Add oil to a large saucepan on medium heat. Add chile pepper purée into the pan and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, uncovered, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add broth, seasoned chicken cubes, sweet potato and cauliflower into the saucepan. Cover and simmer until chicken is tender and cooked through and sweet potatoes are fully cooked, this should take about 10-15 minutes. Stir in baby spinach until wilted and season with additional salt, if needed.
  • Portion soup into bowls and top with avocado, sliced radishes and cilantro. Serve with a lime wedge for squeezing over the top.

Notes

Recipe adapted and inspired by this Mexican Spice Chile Soup.

Nutrition

Calories: 427kcal Carbohydrates: 26g Protein: 47g Fat: 14g Saturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 131mg Fiber: 5g Sugar: 10g

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

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Mexican Sweet Potato Soup with Chicken, Cauliflower and Spinach // Gluten-free, Paleo and Whole30 approved
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Recipe Rating




    14 comments
    1. Audrey O.
      February 10, 2021 AT 1:43 am

      Hi! I was led here by your other post that suggests swapping out the cauliflower for broccoli stems (looking for ways to use up broccoli stems). It sounds like cauliflower would be great in this Mexican soup. Have you tried it with broccoli? They have such a different taste that I want to be sure it would substitute well.
      Thanks so much.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 12, 2021 AT 12:05 am

        I haven’t tried broccoli in this soup, but I bet it would work just fine!! You’ll have to come back and let me know if you try it. 🙂

    2. Nick
      February 5, 2021 AT 11:42 am

      5 stars
      I’ve tried a few of your recipes so far. We’ve enjoyed them all. I couldn’t make it to the hispanic market in time, so I used a few chipotles in adobo sauce. I’m excited to try it as written, but the way it came out was amazing! I’m not much of a soup person, but I loved every bite of this one. If you don’t mind dairy, a dollop of sour cream will make it out of bounds!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 5, 2021 AT 2:10 pm

        Yay!! So glad you loved this soup, Nick. Thanks for coming back to leave a review. I so appreciate it!

    3. KW
      January 24, 2021 AT 8:11 pm

      5 stars
      I made this for dinner tonight and it was absolutely delightful!
      I had some butternut squash I had to use up and some left over black beans that I threw in the pot too! I think this can work as a great “clear out the fridge” soup.
      I also added half a jalapeño to the pepper purée, because I like a bit of heat.

      Looking forward to the leftovers and dropping off some for my dad on the way to work tomorrow!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        January 24, 2021 AT 8:41 pm

        So glad you enjoyed this soup, Kariee!! Thanks for making it and for coming back to leave a review. I so appreciate it. 🙂

    4. Lindsey
      February 11, 2020 AT 4:51 pm

      Do you have any recommendations for trying this in a crockpot with ground chicken?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 12, 2020 AT 9:27 pm

        Hey Lindsey! I haven’t made this in the crockpot before, but I’m sure it would work! Let me know if you end up trying it.

    5. Britt
      December 31, 2019 AT 10:09 am

      Hi, what substitute would you recommend for the chicken if you wanted the soup to be vegetarian?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        December 31, 2019 AT 11:51 am

        Hi Britt – You could just add more veggies of your choice or chickpeas if you’re looking for something with a little protein. Let me know if you try it and how it turns out.

Parchment paper lined with protein balls.

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