Green chile chicken soup simmering on the stoveWhen I moved to Georgia after college, the two things that I missed the most (other than family and friends) were mountains and chile. There are mountains in north Georgia, but they are so ancient and eroded that they don’t really count to someone from one of the Rocky Mountain states. Those are hills. Furthermore, and more importantly, there is no chile available, other than the canned Old El Paso, which is a barely tolerable substitute. It works in a pinch, but never quite satisfies the craving for fresh roasted chile. Ordering ground or dried green chile is a better alternative.

There are two clichés that become relevant when you move from your home turf; “out of sight, out of mind” and “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” For me, the latter was far more applicable. Absence instilled a passion for the culture, the history, the landscapes and the food. That passion became the impetus for launching New Mexico Nomad.

A Better Cure for the Common Cold

Whereas others advocate on behalf of chicken noodle soup to alleviate the misery of the common cold, I prefer cream of green chile chicken soup. The green chile provides a vitamin c boost, relieves blocked sinus passages, and instill a sense of well-being and coziness. I normally make a double batch of this soup, so I have leftovers for lunch. The flavor of chile changes when it has time to combine well with other spices and ingredients.

You can adjust the heat to your tastes by varying the amount, or type, of chile used. Mild Anaheim chiles or Poblanos are workable substitutes, though considerably milder. Other types of chile may not have the same impact in terms of immediate release of sinus pressure. My personal preference is hot New Mexico green chile, usually Sandia or Barker. Though these varieties are related to the Anaheim pepper, they pack more heat.

Green chile chicken soupGreen Chile Chicken Soup Recipe

Servings: 4


  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 Cup flour

Roux: Melt the butter, stirring in the flour until smooth. Stir regularly. The roux is ready when it begins turns to a light tan and smells slightly nutty. Add remaining ingredients.

  • 3 Cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 Cup milk
  • 1/2 Cup half & half
  • 1/2-1 Cup of green chile (or peppers of some sort), adjust to heat tolerance.
  • 1 Cup chicken (more if you like a lot of chicken)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Stir over medium heat until  smooth, about 1/2 hour. It has the consistency of a gravy. Serve immediately. Leftovers are also tasty. Microwave at medium heat for approximately 2 minutes.

Please leave your recipe modifications in the comments. I am a big fan of using a recipe as a baseline, modifying as I go.

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  1. DELISH!! Been looking for an authentic recipe much like what I was used to eating on Tuesdays for lunch at work eons ago. Everyone loved it! Even my ever so picky 7 year old ate a whole bowl tonight. I used heavy cream instead of half and half, Lactaid milk, added some smoky paprika, and some seasonings. I think I’ll add some potatoes, some roasted corn, onions, and yellow squash next time. Thank you for the recipe:)

  2. This is my go to cold/sinus infection meal. It’s soo good and the chile clears all the gunk out. This time we added thyme and a little extra broth and it’s fantastic

  3. This is my go-to when I have leftover chicken. I usually saute onion and garlic before adding more butter and making the roux. The last time I made it (last night) I accidentally used a bag of Sandia Hot chiles from the freezer instead of the milder Big Jims. The soup was FIERY but oh so tasty! Since it was really too hot to eat as is, we decided to make layered enchiladas the next night using the soup as a sauce. Absolutely awesome enchilada sauce too!

  4. All I can say is WOW! I have had green chile chicken stew traveling thru NM, and it was delicious. I searched many sites to find an authentic recipe for it; until I found yours. I had some hatch chile in freezer and chicken too, and thought “gotta make it”! I followed your exact recipe, as its all about the chile shining through. I did double it…want leftovers. though as a cream based soup it can’t be long simmered so I made it this morning and put it in the fridge til dinner; everything’s always better when it melds. I couldn’t stop sampling it while cooking though, I cannot wait til dinner!! Thank You for sharing your recipe. I have bookmarked your site to seek further great recipes!

  5. Made it Keto Friendly…substituted flour for Coconut Flour (guessed at the amount since it reacts differently, Milk for Unsweetened Coconut milk and Half & Half with Heavy Cream. Also, melted a little cream cheese in it for richness.

  6. I used a whole chicken, browned it then pressure cooked it. Pulled meat off bone then add it to the soup with a table spoon of thyme and some smokes paprika. Turn out great. Thank you for this recipe

  7. Wonderful basic recipe! I added onion & garlic, some cumin & Mexican oregano. Bay leaf, too. I didn’t wait for one of us to get a cold so I could make this. Thank you for the recipe; I’m adding it to our regular rotation. BTW, we moved from SE Colorado to NW Flori-duh 3 years ago. We’re growing Big Jim’s & Sandias in containers. Last summer, WinnDixie actually carried Hatch chiles. I think we bought a couple bushels-worth!

    • Jan, I brought my big suitcase back from Nebraska filled with hatch chilis. The last 2 years our local Lucky’s market has been selling them. After roasting that suitcase full myself I now buy them roasted. BTW I live in central Florida on the space coast.

      • Hatch Chile Store hosts roasts nationwide during the harvest. If you have a local grocer that is interested, they should contact them. Lot cheaper than ordering as an individual in small increments.

    • It was heartbreaking to find when we moved from Colorado to SW Florida to discover that nobody even knew what green chile is. We had it shipped from New Mexico and roasted it ourselves. That works, but the $$$!

  8. My wife makes this with pork carnitas meat that she cubes and browns before adding to the soup. She also adds onions and garlic and cumin. We grow and roast our own chillies so the heat level varies but is always delicious

  9. I’m a fan of Hatch Chilies, For most of my adult life, my MIL sent me 2 bushels in the fall, when they went out to the Chilie fields in Roswell, and gleaned them after the commercial pickers finished. I roasted them on my gas BBQ grill, steamed, peeled and froze them for the year. That whole family is gone now, most passed, a few scattered to other areas of the country, like me. It’s become more difficult for me to roast them, so I started using frozen when I could get them, or canned when I couldn’t. One day, the grocery had some fresh New Mexico chilies, and I thought I’d roast enough for stew. I did 3 over my gas burner, an ran out of energy. So, I used the 3 I’d roasted fresh, and a largish can of hatch. I was surprised at how much better the whole dish was, with just the addition of those 3 fresh chilies. So that has become my “go to” way to use chilies.

  10. On the chicken, can you used canned chicken by chance? I’m a single guy and don’t cook much with chicken. So was wondering?

  11. All of this sounds so good. Just to clarify – are you adding raw chopped chilis and letting them cook in the simmering soup, or canned?

    • I never used canned chile. Thanks to living in New Mexico, there are always other options. Fresh roasted, chopped is the best, followed closely by frozen, chopped. However, if you only have access to canned chile, that will work. Another alternative is finding other fresh chile with some heat as a substitute.

  12. Chopped red and yellow peppers for color. A few potato’s smashed or leftover mashed potato’s for thickening. Yup, garlic and onions. And of course maybe a tablespoon or two of powdered red. Because you can 🙂

  13. I used your base recipe as is with the following changes to make a Colorado Style Pork Green Chile.
    Parboil several pork chops or about 2 cups of pork stew meat in water seasoned with salt, black pepper, garlic powder and onion powder until tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool long enough to easily chop up the pork. Follow the recipe except use the stock from the parboil instead of the chicken broth. Use the chopped pork instead of the chicken. I used about 1.5 cups of the chopped pork instead of one cup as recommended. It was as good as any Pork Green Chile I’ve had out west.

  14. I made this last night, and it was fantastic. I used a grocery store rotisserie chicken to save time and mess, and added green onion, cumin and a can of green chile enchilada sauce. I also used roughly double the chile because, well, I can’t help doing that. I bought three bushels this season and they’re almost gone. Topped it with shredded cheddar and sour cream and used tortillas to scoop it up. The chile was a mix of Big Jim and Dynamite. Thanks for sharing! This is a new favorite.

  15. Added onions and garlic, like other posters. Also used Sandia Hots (Hatch green chile) as we live only a few miles from Hatch so only used half a cup – the Sandia Hots really amped up the heat. Kind of hot soup that makes your nose run and your ears itch, but so good!

  16. Love green Chile potato soup. Your green Chile chicken soup sounds delicious. Thank you for sharing. I do include Monterey Jack to the soup

  17. I’m not sure what pat of GA you moved to but I live just south of Atlanta and you are correct about finding Hatch green chiles! I used to order mine online every year and roast my own, 35# of Big Jim and 35# of Sandra Hot. I always ended up with about 5-10% loss. Two years ago I found that you can order from Fresh Market and choose your date of pickup and I have zero loss. And some locations actually will roast them and prepackage in small containers. I use Fresh Market in Peachtree City but still roast em myself.

  18. I will make this one, for sure. For years I’ve made soups and stews with hot pepper in them. Our family lived for over a decade in central Mexico and loved this kind of food. Unfortunately I don’t have experience with New Mexican cuisine. It sounds wonderful.

    As a matter of course I generally bake a chicken, rabbit or duck, when I first butcher it. When we get close to picking the bones, then I put the carcass in a crock pot of pot on the stove, set on low.I add onions, garlic, salt and pepper to this. We simmer this overnight until the remaining meat is falling off the bones. The next morning I pull it from the heat and, after it has cooled a bit, I pick out all the bones. From there I add my other ingredients and slow cook this until the evening meal.

    I usually add some hot pepper to this stew. But because some members of the household object to much heat, I have to doctor my own, afterwards. My favorite pepper is Murupi Amarela, an habanero type. My wife’s favorite is Chile Rayado, a hotter, smokey flavored jalapeño type, which we brought with us from Mexico.

  19. Oh boy! I didn’t measure the chicken, but I fork shredded it because … New Mexico. Then, in an uncharactistucally cavalier moment, I threw in a can of creamed corn. Some people might say I adulterated it, but once they had a thick and satisfying spoonful, they’d change their tune. Green Sandia hot chiles … about knocked myself out from yum yum yummy-ing. This is a keeper. Thank you!

  20. Definitely gonna try this, as I have 10 pounds of Hatch Chile’s in the freezer. I love the idea of using the roasted chicken from the supermarket, both a time saver, and the flavors are spot on.

  21. This is one of my go-to soups! It was originally chicken poblano soup, but having grown up in SW NM, you know I had to substitute Big Jims. My recipe calls for a small chopped onion and at least six chopped garlic cloves. So flavorful and comforting!

  22. Great recipe!! Comes together in 30 minutes if you use a roasted chicken from the grocery. Use half the chicken for this soup and save the other half for use in another recipe later in the week.

    I added one small onion very finely chopped and two garlic cloves, minced to the butter as it melted for the roux. When translucent, I followed the rest of the recipe, adding the juice from the roasted chicken container with the broth. HEAVENLY with flour tortillas or tortilla chips. Thank you for the great recipe!
    BTW, I am a native New Mexican from Deming, living in Minnesota.

  23. This looks scrumptious! I’d probably add garlic and fresh cilantro, with a squeeze of fresh lime juice just before serving.

  24. Garlic garlic garlic! And if you are fighting a cold or flu, I would use coconut milk in place of the dairy…less possibility of causing more congestion & also it’s anti-viral!

  25. at the end I shred a carrot for color and parsley to freshen it up … sometimes I add my homemade noodles … yum..

  26. I put:
    2 cloves garlic
    1/4 onion
    olive oil
    1/2 tsp cumin
    1/2 tsp oregano

    in a small skillet and sauteed until the onion was clear and then put it into the stockpot to simmer.

  27. I add onions and garlic and sauté. I also add potatoes. One of my favorite go to recipes on a cold snowy day with fresh tortillas!

  28. I turned this into more of a chili/stew. I added a can of cannot beans, a can of garbanzo beans, three celery ribs, one finely diced yellow carrot, and a cup og frozen corn. Instead of cream and milk, I added 8 oz. of nonfat cream cheese. It was delicious

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