Mexican Soup and Stew Recipes to Make for Dinner

If you’ve been relying on soups and stews to keep you warm this winter, it might be time to spice things up a bit. Preparing Mexican versions of soups and stews, which often include zesty spices and spunky ingredients, is a great way to add a touch of heat and new flavors to this quintessential winter dish. From a hearty beef stew to a fiesta-worthy tortilla soup, these six recipes will kick your dinners up a notch.

1. Mexican Corn and Poblano Soup

Chopping scallions | iStock.com

In just 30 minutes, you can have Martha Stewart’s Mexican corn and poblano soup ready to serve for supper. Poblano chiles are responsible for this soup’s heat, while corn, onion, scallions, and cheese add heartiness. The recipe yields 6 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 3 scallions
  • 1 large white onion, quartered lengthwise, root end kept intact
  • 2 large fresh poblano chiles
  • 1½ pounds frozen corn kernels, thawed and drained (about 3⅓ cups), divided
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 4 cups plus 3 tablespoons water, divided
  • 2 tablespoons fine cornmeal or masa harina
  • Queso fresco cheese, crumbled, for sprinkling

Directions: Cut dark-green tops off scallions, and finely chop. Preheat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Place scallions, onion, and chiles in skillet, and cook, undisturbed, until charred on bottom, about 5 minutes. Transfer scallions to a blender. Continue turning and charring chiles and onion until charred on all sides, 5 to 10 minutes more. Remove skillet from heat. Transfer onion to blender. Transfer chiles to a bowl, cover immediately with plastic wrap, and let steam 15 minutes. Peel and discard charred skin from chiles, and remove stems and seeds. Halve chiles lengthwise, and slice crosswise into ¼-inch-thick strips.

Add 2½ cups corn, salt, and 2 cups water to blender. Purée until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer purée to skillet. Stir in remaining corn and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 8 minutes. Whisk together cornmeal and remaining 3 tablespoons water. Stir into soup along with chiles, and simmer until it has the consistency of porridge, about 2 minutes. Divide soup among 6 bowls; garnish with chopped scallion greens, and sprinkle with cheese. Soup can be refrigerated 2 days; let cool completely before refrigerating. Gently reheat in a covered pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

2. Slow-Cooker Mexican Beef Stew

Mexican beef stew | iStock.com

Chili powder and taco seasoning mix give beef stew a mouthwatering makeover. It doesn’t take much effort to prepare Betty Crocker’s recipe: Cook the beef, tomatoes, onions, and chili powder in a slow cooker for 9 to 11 hours, stir in the taco seasoning mix, beans, and corn, and cook a little bit more. For an extra special touch, serve the stew with shredded cheese and chopped cilantro.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds beef stew meat
  • 1 (28-ounce) can organic diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup frozen small whole onions
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 (1-ounce) package taco seasoning mix
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1 (11-ounce) can whole kernel corn with red and green peppers, drained

Directions: In a 3½- to 4-quart slow cooker, mix beef, tomatoes, frozen onions, and chili powder. Cover; cook on low heat setting 9 to 11 hours. With whisk, stir in taco seasoning mix. Stir in black beans and corn. Increase heat setting to high, cover, and cook 15 to 30 minutes longer or until thickened. Serve.

3. Mexican Chicken Stew

Cooking onions | iStock.com

Food Network’s recipe elevates chicken stew using cumin, jalapeño, and lime. If you’d like to add a touch more spiciness to your Mexican chicken stew, we suggest garnishing it with Southern Living’s jalapeño sour cream.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried cumin
  • 1 (28-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • Few dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 to 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 lime
  • 1 cup cooked white rice
  • Kosher salt
  • Sour cream, for garnish
  • Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish

Directions: Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes. Add garlic and jalapeño and sweat until soft and translucent. Add spices and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant and aromatic. Add tomatoes, stock, chicken, and Worcestershire. Bring to a simmer and cook 20 minutes. Cut the lime in half, squeeze juice into the pot, and then add the juiced halves as well. Add white rice and cook 5 minutes longer to warm rice through. Season, to taste, with salt. Ladle into bowls and garnish with sour cream and cilantro.

4. Mexican Taco Stew

Taco stew | iStock.com

Take a break from traditional tacos and prepare Mexican taco stew instead. Whole Food’s Market’s recipe uses lean meat, vegetables, and beans to deliver big flavors to a diet-friendly dish. One serving contains 310 calories, 8 grams of fat, 20 grams of protein, and 9 grams of fiber.

Ingredients:

  • ½ pound 85% lean ground beef or turkey
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 large zucchini or summer squash, cut into small cubes
  • 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added black beans
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 cup medium salsa

Directions: Brown meat in a large pot over medium high heat. Drain, remove and set aside. In the same pot, sauté onion and garlic until onion is translucent. Add meat back to pot and sprinkle mixture with taco seasoning to blend. Add remaining ingredients and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, 15 to 20 minutes.

5. Mexican Tortilla Soup

Classic tortilla soup | iStock.com

Simmering sautéed onions, peppers, chicken, corn, tomatoes, and beans in a tortilla-flavored broth garners delicious results. Campbell’s Kitchen’s recipe yields 8 servings. If you’d like to enhance this soup’s tortilla flavors further, we recommend topping it with Bon Appétit’s crispy tortilla strips, which can be found via Epicurious.

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1 large onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 large jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped (about ½ cup)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ cup frozen whole kernel corn
  • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained or 3 small tomatoes, diced
  • 1 (32-ounce) carton Mexican tortilla flavor-infused broth
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken

Directions: Heat the oil in a 6-quart saucepot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and peppers and cook for 2 minutes or until tender-crisp, stirring occasionally. Stir in the tomato paste, corn, beans, tomatoes, broth, and chicken and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve topped with crushed tortilla chips or strips, if desired.

6. Mexican Chicken Lime Soup

Chicken and lime soup | iStock.com

Every Day with Rachael Ray’s Mexican chicken lime soup will satisfy your spicy cravings. Chipotle chiles bring the heat, while fresh seasonings, lime juice, and avocado add creamy textures and a welcome zest. The recipe yields six servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, finely chopped, plus 2 tablespoons adobo sauce
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced lengthwise into 12 pieces
  • Crushed tortilla chips

Directions: In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, lower the heat to medium and cook until the onion begins to brown, about 7 minutes. Increase the heat to high, push the vegetables to the side of the pan, add the chicken and cook, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chipotles and adobo sauce, then stir in the chicken broth. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, skimming any foam. Stir in the cilantro and lime juice; season with salt and pepper. Place 2 avocado slices in each of 6 soup bowls and pour in the soup. Top with the tortilla chips.