Cilantro Lime Chicken Stew

Cilantro Lime Chicken Stew recipe, inspired by the classic Seco del Pollo. And, it is a hearty stew with plenty of fresh citrus, herbs. and hot and mild peppers.

This soup is a cure-all for what ails you. With a brightness from the lime and the fresh herbs, warmth and depth from the chicken stock, heft from the starches, this is the only soup you’ll want to make.

Cilantro Lime Chicken Stew

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Author Tania Van Pelt


  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 white onion diced
  • 1 leek diced
  • 2 carrots diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 medium heat chile pepper Anaheim or Poblano, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves of grated garlic 1 tablespoon of grated garlic for the soup, and 1-2 cloves of garlic for the cilantro mixture
  • 1 tablespoon powdered cumin
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 2 tablespoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 4 cups warmed chicken broth plus 2 cups warmed broth
  • 6 small to medium yukon gold potatoes halved or cut into large chunks
  • 2 cups of frozen peas
  • 3 cups of shredded cooked chicken
  • 1 bunch of fresh cilantro chopped, plus a few sprigs for garnish
  • 1 hot chile pepper Jalapeño or Serrano, diced
  • 3 limes plus lime wedges for garnish
  • 3 scallions green and white parts, diced


  1. In heavy bottomed pot, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion, leek, carrots, and medium-heat chile pepper. Sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt, cook, and allow vegetables to become soft. About 5 minutes.
  2. Add grated garlic, cumin, coriander, and oregano. Sauté until very fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add 4 cups warmed chicken broth. Stir, then add in potatoes, shredded chicken, and peas.
  4. While the soup simmers, combine the following in a blender: 1 bunch of cilantro, 1 hot chile pepper, 1 medium clove of garlic, juice from 1 lime, and 2 cups warmed chicken broth. Once blended, add mixture to soup pot.

  5. Squeeze juice from 1 lime into soup.
  6. Once everything is cooked through, taste, and add salt and pepper. Taste again and adjust as needed. Add more lime juice (about half a lime) as desired for a brighter soup. 

  7. Serve with lime wedges and garnish with chopped scallions and cilantro.