Quick Southwest Chicken Soup (Gluten Free)

Easy Southwest Chicken Soup Recipe, gluten free (or not)

Yesterday was one of those days when I just had no idea what I was going to make for dinner,  so I decided to throw together something with things I had on hand and just wing it.  (That last sentence sounds as if that is an unusual thing for me, doesn’t it?  It actually happens more often than I’d like to admit…)

The ingredients are minimal, but it didn’t really take a lot of ingredients to make a really quick, satisfying soup.

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Here’s What I Used:

  • 2 Chicken breasts (Mine were boneless and skinless. Chicken with skin will make the soup a little more flavorful, but I usually have skinless breasts on hand.)
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • Penne pasta (Use any pasta you have in the pantry. Doesn’t have to be penne! (It’s my favorite though.)  I love Tinkyada gluten free brown rice penne pasta, by the way. I also really love Trader Joe’s gluten free Corn Penne Pasta.
  • Cumin
  • Garlic Powder
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Salsa 
  • Mashed avocado and/or shredded cheddar cheese as toppings (Optional.)
  • I didn’t have any corn or black beans on hand, but they would have added some texture and flavor, too.  Drain the corn, and drain and rinse the black beans.

NOTE: I’m not sure this is a “recipe” per se, because my measurements are approximate.  This is more of a suggestion of how you can easily throw together a delicious soup with just a few simple ingredients that you have on hand.

Here’s How I Made Quick Southwest Chicken Soup

  • First, I generously seasoned a pot of water with salt and pepper, brought the chicken breasts to a boil (in enough water to cover them), and then simmered them for roughly 25 minutes to half an hour, covered. Keep in mind, the time to simmer the chicken breasts will vary with the size, so check after about 15 minutes, and then every 5 minutes until they are done. (Using chicken broth to partially or completely replace the water would have made the chicken more flavorful, but I didn’t think of it…) The insides should not be pink, and the temperature on a meat thermometer should be at least 165 degrees.
  • When the chicken was cooked through, I removed it, cut it up into bite sized pieces, and set it aside for the moment.
  • Next, I added some penne pasta and the chicken broth to the liquid in the pot.  
  • I added enough pasta (maybe slightly less than half a package, roughly 6-8 oz.?) to make a thick soup and cooked it until tender.  (It will seem like a lot more pasta when cooked.)  At first  I was thinking I would make some dumplings, but I decided on pasta for a change.  (I do love my mom’s chicken and dumpling recipe, though. A lot.)
  • Then, I returned the chicken to the pot and added some cumin (the cumin gives it that southwest flavor), garlic powder, salt, pepper, and some salsa.  (Maybe half a jar of salsa?  You can’t really make a mistake here.)
  • I repeat, I didn’t measure anything!  I made it strictly to taste.  How brave, right? (Not really, but until my daughter was a teenager, I rarely veered from a recipe.  She thought that was unbelievably uncreative!)
  • Some frozen or drained canned corn and some canned black beans (drained and rinsed), at this point, would add a lot to this recipe, (but I didn’t have those on hand when I made mine…) Note to self – always have some black beans and corn on hand.
  • Mashed avocado and/or shredded cheddar are nice toppings for this soup.

Quick gluten free drop biscuits took just a few minutes. (I used Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix.  It’s gluten free and tasty, and I always have some in the pantry.)

We enjoyed our “what’s in the pantry” dinner. Do you wing it or always follow a strict meal plan?

Easy Southwest Chicken Soup Recipe

This post was originally published in 2012 and was updated in 2023.

Linking to:

Mostly Blogging, Pit Stop, Keeping it Real, A Pinch of Joy, Sum of Their Stories, Jenerally Informed, Tuesday Turn About, Wonderful Wednesday, Fluster Buster, Thursday Favorite Things, Creative Crafts Link Party, Life as a Leo Wife, Pam’s Party and Practical Tips, Home Matters, Pit Stop

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  1. Yummy soup! I love cumin too – it's great in everything. Such a cute puppy and cat too (I have three cats just like that). And of course, you have a beautiful family.

    Peace. 😉

  2. The soup looks yummy and sounds it too! It is after 5 and I still have no idea what is for supper–glad to know that I'm not the only one that doesn't always have a plan. 🙂 Hope you have had a wonderful day; you brightened mine with your sweet comments this morning!

  3. I have a Yorkie also! He is not a mini, though, he is regular size. Came by and followed you on Linky from Create with Joy's blog hop. I would love a follow back when you get the chance. Thanks so much and have a great day!


  4. Yummy..That looks delicious. I have to give this a try. There are days where I'm just clueless on what to make for dinner. This really helps.

  5. Wow, this looks delicious! I am awful at just "whipping something up". 😛

    Dropping by from the Linky hop to spread some linky love. Come on over to Happy Hour Projects and say hello – and feel free to link this up while you're there! My Freestyle Friday link party is open all weekend!

    Hope you're having a fantastic Friday!


  6. This looks delicious! I'm always looking for new and easy recipes! Thanks for sharing! Thank you also for your sweet comment on my blog! I am following you back via Linky Followers! Have a great weekend! xo, Reannah

  7. Thanks so much for visiting my blog! Yours is beautiful! Just love your little furbaby. What a precious little Yorkie!
    Take care,

  8. Whoops! I should have said "thanks for following me … I'm following you back!" I'm easily confused these days. Thanks for visiting Cottage and Creek. Nice to "meet" you.

  9. This soup looks amazing! This is just the kind of comfort food that my husband loves. I am definitely going to try this recipe.

    I am following you through Linky Followers. Hope you will visit and follow back. Thanks! Have a great day!

  10. Yummy! This recipe looks good! I love having you link up to the "Rock 'N Share.” I hope to see you this week!

  11. It has been so cold and nasty where I live that I could use a little southwest in my life. Thanks for the great soup idea.

  12. This does look nice and tasty. I would love to try your recipe 🙂 Thanks for sharing at Creative Mondays.

  13. Thanks so much for linking up with me at #AThemedLinkup 28 for Soup Recipes, open until September 27.

  14. Love any soup that's quick. Saw your recipe at the Linkup party and had to take a look. I'm saving this recipe to make ASAP. We are really into soups and with the cooler weather it's going to taste so good.

    1. I'm glad you popped over here, Marisa! Yes, give the soup a try. It's a quick, warm dinner for these cool evenings.

  15. I do have corn and black beans in the pantry, so I might try it with those additions for a full blast Southwestern flavour; What a yummy suggestion, thank you, Pam!

  16. CONGRATS! Your post is FEATURED at #AThemedLinkup 29 for Pumpkin Crafts and Decor from my previous linkup for Soup Recipes.

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