Southwestern Chicken And White Bean Soup To Make You Feel Good

Journey into the heart of southwestern flavors. Picture Southwestern Chicken and White Bean Soup simmered to perfection. Imagine rich, creamy white beans melding seamlessly. Vibrant chilies and spices dance in every spoonful. Each ingredient harmoniously complements the other. 

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Southwestern Chicken and White Bean Soup

This soup doesn’t just warm the belly—it invigorates the soul. Traditional roots and modern twists converge. Every bite transports you: sun-kissed deserts, festive town squares, and lively kitchens. It’s not just a dish; it’s an experience. 

Dive into this culinary masterpiece. The Southwestern Chicken and White Bean Soup awaits your discovery. Adventure beckons. Will you answer the call?

What Is Southwestern Chicken And White Bean Soup?

Southwestern Chicken and White Bean Soup is a hearty blend inspired by the flavors of the American Southwest. Tender chunks of chicken, creamy white beans, and vibrant chilies combine in a savory broth. Seasoned with aromatic spices like cumin and oregano perfectly balances heat and comfort. 

Garnishes like avocado, cilantro, and lime elevate its richness, making it a delightful fusion of taste and tradition. It’s both nourishing and soul-warming, an ode to southwestern culinary magic.

History Of Southwestern Chicken And White Bean Soup

Southwestern Chicken and White Bean Soup traces its roots to the indigenous tribes and Hispanic settlers of the American Southwest. These communities expertly harnessed the region’s native ingredients, cultivating beans and raising poultry. 

As trade routes flourished, spices like cumin and oregano were introduced, enriching local dishes. Over time, as cultures intertwined, a fusion of flavors emerged. 

This soup symbolizes culinary evolution, uniting traditional ingredients with spices to create a flavorful reflection of the Southwest’s diverse history and vibrant spirit.

Interesting Facts About The Southwestern Chicken And White Bean Soup

  • Indigenous Origins: Native American tribes were among the first to combine poultry and legumes in their diets, laying the groundwork for this soup.
  • Bean Varieties: The white beans, usually navy or cannellini, are a rich source of protein and fiber.
  • Chilies for Heat: Different chilies, from mild to fiery, can customize the soup’s heat level.
  • Spanish Influence: The inclusion of spices like cumin and oregano reflects the culinary mark left by Spanish settlers.
  • Culinary Crossovers: Modern versions sometimes integrate corn and tomatoes, ingredients native to the Americas but popularized globally through trade.
  • Healing Properties: Many believe in the soup’s curative powers, especially during cold weather or illness.

What Makes The Southwestern Chicken And White Bean Soup Special?

  • Flavor Fusion: An artful blend of indigenous and Spanish influences.
  • Versatility: Easily tailored to desired spice levels and dietary preferences.
  • Nutritional Balance: A combo of lean protein (chicken) and fiber-rich legumes (white beans).
  • Signature Spices: Unique seasonings like cumin and oregano set it apart.
  • Texture Variety: From creamy beans to tender chicken and crunchy garnishes.
  • Culinary Tradition: A rich historical tapestry embedded in each bite.
Southwestern Chicken and White Bean Soup

Ingredients List 

Vegetable Oil1 tablespoon
Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breast (cut into 1-inch pieces)1 pound
Swanson® Chicken Broth (Regular, Natural Goodness™ or Certified Organic)1 3/4 cups
Pace® Thick & Chunky Salsa1 cup
Garlic (minced)3 cloves
Ground Cumin2 teaspoons
Small White Beans (rinsed and drained)1 can (16 ounce)
Frozen Whole Kernel Corn1 cup
Onion (chopped)1 large

Ingredient Tips

  • Oil Options: Consider olive or avocado oil for added flavor and health benefits.
  • Chicken Quality: Opt for organic or free-range chicken for superior taste and nutrition.
  • Broth Boost: Homemade broth offers richer flavor and control over salt content.
  • Salsa Choices: Experiment with varying salsa heats to adjust spiciness.
  • Fresh Garlic: Use freshly minced garlic for a more robust flavor profile.
  • Roasted Cumin: Lightly roast cumin seeds before grinding for added depth.

Can You Vary The Recipe With Other Ingredients? 

  • Keto: Substitute beans with low-carb vegetables like zucchini or cauliflower. Use bone broth for added nutrients.
  • Paleo: Replace beans with chunks of sweet potato or butternut squash. Ensure broth and salsa have no additives or sugar.
  • Gluten-Free: Confirm that the broth and salsa are gluten-free, as some brands may contain additives or thickeners with gluten.
  • Whole30: Opt for a salsa without added sugars or artificial ingredients. Avoid beans, and consider doubling up on vegetables.
  • Vegetarian/Vegan: Substitute chicken with tofu or tempeh. Use vegetable broth in place of chicken broth. Add more beans or throw in other legumes like lentils for added protein.
Southwestern Chicken and White Bean Soup

Recipe Directions 

  • In a 10-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Brown chicken pieces.
  • Transfer chicken to a 3 1/2-quart slow cooker.
  • Add broth, salsa, garlic, cumin, beans, corn, and onion.
  • Cover and cook on LOW for 8-9 hours.
  • Serve hot and enjoy!
Southwestern Chicken and White Bean Soup

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings


  • Protein Swap: Use turkey, beef, or tofu for diverse flavors.
  • Veggies: Incorporate bell peppers, zucchini, or kale for added nutrition.
  • Heat Levels: Use different chilies, from poblano to habanero, based on the desired spiciness.


  • Rice: Stir in cooked wild or brown rice for added texture.
  • Quinoa: A protein-rich grain that complements the soup’s flavors.
  • Tortilla Strips: Fried or baked strips add a crunchy element.


  • Avocado: Creamy slices or cubes elevate the soup’s richness.
  • Cilantro: Freshly chopped for a fragrant garnish.
  • Lime Wedges: A squeeze brightens flavors.

Scaling The Recipe 

  • Math First: Determine your scaling factor. If doubling the recipe, multiply all ingredients by 2; if halving, divide by 2.
  • Equipment Check: Ensure your cooking vessel, like the slow cooker or pot, can accommodate the increased or decreased volume.
  • Adjust Cooking Time: When scaling up, you may need longer cooking times, especially for meats, to ensure they’re fully cooked. Conversely, smaller quantities may cook faster.
  • Taste as You Go: Seasonings might not scale linearly. As quantities change, always taste and adjust seasonings accordingly.

What Is Used For Garnishing Southwestern Chicken And White Bean Soup?

  • Fresh Herbs: Cilantro is a favorite, adding a fragrant, new touch.
  • Avocado: Creamy sliced or diced avocado offers a rich contrast to the soup’s hearty texture.
  • Lime: Wedges or a sprinkle of zest can brighten the dish with citrusy notes.
  • Cheese: Shredded Monterey Jack, cheddar, or crumbled queso fresco melt into the warm soup, adding creaminess.
  • Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt: A dollop can provide coolness and balance the soup’s heat.
  • Tortilla Strips: Crunchy, fried, or baked strips add texture and a delightful contrast.
Southwestern Chicken and White Bean Soup

Can I Make Southwestern Chicken And White Bean Soup In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot?

Slow Cooker

  • Perfect for this soup, allowing flavors to meld over hours. 
  • Transfer all ingredients to the slow cooker after browning the chicken in a skillet. 
  • Set on LOW for 8 to 9 hours or HIGH for 4 to 5 hours, ensuring the chicken is thoroughly cooked.

Instant Pot

  • This electric pressure cooker can expedite the process. 
  • Use the “Sauté” function to brown the chicken. 
  • Then, add all other ingredients. 
  • Lock the lid, set the valve to “Sealing,” and cook on “High Pressure” for 20-25 minutes.
  •  Allow natural pressure release for 10 minutes before venting.

Can I Use Store Bought Broth, Or Should I Make My Own?

Store-Bought Broth

  • Convenience: Perfect for when you’re short on time or want a quick meal solution.
  • Consistency: Offers a predictable flavor and salt content.
  • Variety: Available in low-sodium, organic, and flavored varieties.

Homemade Broth

  • Flavor: Can have a richer, deeper flavor, especially when simmered for long hours.
  • Control: You tailor the ingredients and salt level to your taste and dietary needs.
  • Economics: Can be cost-effective, especially when using leftover bones and veggie scraps.

Can I Use Different Types Of Meat/Fish/Pasta/Vegetables For The Soup?

  • Meat: Swap chicken with turkey, pork, or beef. Each lends a distinct flavor profile.
  • Fish: Mild white fish, like cod or tilapia, can replace chicken for a lighter soup. Shrimp is another excellent option, but add them towards the end to avoid overcooking.
  • Pasta: Small pasta shapes, like orzo or ditalini, can be added for texture. Ensure they’re cooked to al dente to maintain firmness.
  • Vegetables: Introduce bell peppers, zucchini, carrots, or kale for increased nutrition and taste variations.
Southwestern Chicken and White Bean Soup

Success Tips – Tips And Tricks For Making The Recipe

Prepping Tips

  • Chicken Cut: Ensure uniform 1-inch pieces for even cooking.
  • Mise en Place: Have all ingredients measured and ready, streamlining the cooking process.
  • Beans: If using dry beans, soak overnight for reduced cooking time and better texture.
  • Garlic and Onions: Finely mince garlic and uniformly chop onions for consistent flavor distribution.

Cooking Time Tips

  • Skillet Heat: Wait for the oil to shimmer before adding chicken, ensuring a good sear.
  • Slow Cooking: Opt for slow cookers’ longer, low-heat setting to deepen flavors.
  • Check Early: Check chicken for doneness before the total time to prevent overcooking.
  • Adjustments: Remember, altitude and specific equipment can influence cooking time. Adjust as needed.
Southwestern Chicken and White Bean Soup

Nutritional Values 

Southwestern Chicken and White Bean Soup delights the palate and offers a balanced nutritional profile. Rich in protein from chicken and beans, it also provides essential vitamins and minerals.

What Are The Total Calories In The Soup? 

Considering the mentioned ingredients and their typical quantities, a rough estimate might range from 250-400 calories per serving, but this is a ballpark figure. For an accurate calorie count, you’d need to utilize nutrition calculation tools or software, inputting the exact amount of each ingredient.

Dietary Restrictions Of The Southwestern Chicken And White Bean Soup

  • Meat Content: Not suitable for vegetarians or vegans due to the chicken.
  • Gluten: Store-bought broths and salsas might contain gluten, so those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities should check labels.
  • Legumes: Contains white beans, which are not allowed in strict Paleo or some low-carb diets.
  • Allergens: Always check store-bought ingredients for potential allergens.
  • Sodium: Depending on the broth and salsa, the soup might be high in sodium. Opt for low-sodium variants if needed.

Health Benefits Of The Southwestern Chicken And White Bean Soup

  • Protein-Rich: Chicken and white beans provide quality protein, supporting muscle growth and repair.
  • Fiber Boost: Beans are an excellent source of dietary fiber, aiding digestion and promoting satiety.
  • Low Fat: Made with lean chicken breast and limited oil, it’s relatively low in fat.
  • Vitamin and Mineral Dense: Ingredients like garlic, onion, and cumin offer essential vitamins and minerals.
  • Immunity Support: Chicken broth is known for its potential cold-fighting properties.
  • Antioxidants: Ingredients like garlic and salsa offer antioxidants, which combat free radicals.

Nutrition Table 

Nutrition Table 

How Can I Make Southwestern Chicken And White Bean Soup Lower In Sodium?

  • Low-Sodium Broth: Opt for a low-sodium or unsalted chicken broth variant.
  • Rinse Beans: If using canned beans, rinse them thoroughly. This can remove up to 40% of the added sodium.
  • Fresh Salsa: Make your salsa or select low-sodium store-bought versions.
  • Limit Added Salt: Avoid adding extra salt during cooking. You can always season lightly at the end.
  • Herbs & Spices: Boost flavor with fresh herbs and spices like cilantro, cumin, and chili, which don’t add sodium.
  • Homemade Touch: Making your broth from scratch allows total control over sodium levels.

How Can I Make Southwestern Chicken And White Bean Soup Lower In Sugar?

  • Salsa: Opt for fresh homemade salsa or a store-bought variant with no added sugars.
  • Beans: If using canned beans, choose those without added sugars or syrups. Rinsing can also help.
  • Broth: Select broths without added sweeteners. Sometimes, commercial broths contain hidden sugars.
  • Veggies: Use fresh vegetables; some frozen ones can have added sugars.
  • Natural Flavors: Enhance flavor with herbs and spices instead of relying on sugary ingredients.
  • Label Check: Always read ingredient labels when shopping to spot and avoid hidden sugars.
Soup lover

How To Serve The Southwestern Chicken And White Bean Soup At Its Best?

  • Temperature: Ensure the soup is piping hot but not boiling, bringing out all its flavors.
  • Bowl Choice: Use pre-warmed bowls to keep the soup hot for longer.
  • Garnish: Add freshly chopped cilantro, a lime squeeze, or a grated cheese sprinkle for enhanced taste.
  • Accompaniments: Serve with a side of tortilla chips or a slice of rustic bread for texture contrast.
  • Toppings: Offer a variety of toppings like avocado slices, sour cream, or fresh salsa for added depth.
  • Stir: Give the soup a quick stir before ladling to ensure an even distribution of ingredients.

Perfect Side Dishes To Complement Southwestern Chicken And White Bean Soup

  • Cornbread: Its sweetness contrasts with the savory soup.
  • Tortilla Chips: Ideal for scooping and adding crunch.
  • Mexican Rice: Fluffy and aromatic, it enhances the southwestern flavors.
  • Jicama Slaw: A fresh and crunchy contrast to the soup’s warmth.
  • Guacamole: Creamy texture and rich flavor blend seamlessly.
  • Quesadillas: Cheese-filled tortillas bring heartiness.
  • Cilantro Lime Quinoa: A healthier grain alternative with zesty flair.
Soup lover

How Long Can We Store The Soup?

  • Refrigerator: After allowing the soup to cool to room temperature, transfer it to an airtight container. It can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days.
  • Freezer: For more extended storage, the soup can be frozen. Place it in freezer-safe bags or containers, leaving some space for expansion. Properly stored, it can last for 2-3 months.
  • Reheating: When ready to eat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator if frozen. Reheat on the stovetop until piping hot throughout.

Can I Make The Soup In Advance?

  • Prep Ingredients: Chop vegetables, cut chicken, and measure spices a day ahead. Store in separate containers in the refrigerator.
  • Cook: Prepare the soup and let it cool. Flavors often meld and intensify when left to sit, enhancing the taste.
  • Storage: Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate.
  • Reheat: When ready to serve, gently reheat on the stovetop until piping hot.
  • Versatility: This soup’s character often improves after a day, making it ideal for advanced preparation.

What Can We Do With Leftovers? 

  • Tostada Topping: Spread over a crisp tostada, add cheese, and broil briefly.
  • Enchilada Filling: Use the soup as a base for chicken enchiladas.
  • Quesadilla Mix: Combine with cheese between tortillas and grill.
  • Pasta Sauce: Mix with cooked pasta for a unique southwestern pasta dish.
  • Stuffed Peppers: Fill bell peppers with the soup, top with cheese, and bake.
  • Chicken Pot Pie: Use the soup as filling and cover with pie crust or puff pastry.
Soup lover

Special Tools/Equipment Needed 

  • Quality Knife: A sharp chef’s knife makes chopping ingredients efficient and safe.
  • Cutting Board: Opt for a non-slip board for stability.
  • Slow Cooker or Instant Pot: For extended cooking or expedited preparation, respectively.
  • Skillet: To brown the chicken pieces uniformly.
  • Large Soup Pot: A good-sized pot is essential if not using a slow cooker or Instant Pot.
  • Wooden Spoon: Useful for stirring without scratching pot surfaces.
  • Ladle: For serving the soup seamlessly.
  • Can Opener: If using canned beans or broth.
  • Measuring Cups & Spoons: Ensures accurate ingredient quantities.
  • Strainer: Helpful if you need to rinse beans or drain excess liquid.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can I Substitute Chicken Thighs For Chicken Breasts In The Recipe?

Certainly, chicken thighs can offer a richer flavor due to their higher fat content. Ensure they are skinless and boneless, and adjust the cooking time slightly, as thighs may cook faster than breast pieces.

What’s The Ideal Type Of White Beans For This Soup?

The most suitable types of white beans for this soup are Navy beans or Cannellini beans. However, Great Northern beans can also be employed as an alternative.

Does The Type Of Salsa Influence The Soup’s Flavor?

Indeed, it does. A medium or hot salsa will provide a spicier kick, while a mild salsa will keep the soup’s flavor more subdued. It’s advisable to choose based on personal preference.

If I Don’t Own A Slow Cooker, Can I Still Make This Soup On The Stovetop?

Absolutely. While a slow cooker offers the advantage of prolonged, even cooking, the soup can be prepared on a stovetop. Monitor the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

Is It Feasible To Prepare This Soup Using Dried Beans Instead Of Canned?

Yes, you can use dried beans. They must be soaked overnight and boiled until tender before adding to the soup. This may extend the soup’s overall preparation time. Still, it also allows for texture and salt content customization.

Southwestern Chicken and White Bean Soup To Make You Feel Good

Southwestern Chicken and White Bean Soup To Make You Feel Good

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Recipe by Hanna Barnes Course: Soup Recipe


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Southwestern Chicken and White Bean Soup is a hearty and flavorful blend of tender chicken, creamy white beans, aromatic spices, and robust salsa. This dish perfectly captures southwestern cuisine’s essence, delivering comfort and zest in every spoonful.


  • Vegetable Oil

  • Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breast (cut into 1-inch pieces)

  • Swanson® Chicken Broth (Regular, Natural Goodness™ or Certified Organic)

  • Pace® Thick & Chunky Salsa

  • Garlic (minced)

  • Ground Cumin

  • Small White Beans (rinsed and drained)

  • Frozen Whole Kernel Corn

  • Onion (chopped)

Step-By-Step Directions 

  • Preparation Steps
    Gather all ingredients: chicken, oil, broth, salsa, garlic, cumin, beans, corn, and onion.
    Cut the chicken into 1-inch pieces if not already done.
    Minimize garlic and chop the onion.
  • Cooking
    In a 10-inch skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
    Once the oil is shimmering, add the chicken pieces.
    Brown the chicken on all sides, stirring regularly to ensure even cooking.
  • Blending
    Move the browned chicken to a 3 1/2-quart slow cooker.
    Add the chicken broth, salsa, minced garlic, ground cumin, white beans, frozen corn, and chopped onion to the slow cooker.
  • Final Touches
    Gently stir to ensure all ingredients are well combined.
    Secure the slow cooker lid. Set to cook on LOW.
  • Cooking
    Let the soup simmer for 8 to 9 hours or until the chicken is tender and cooked.
    Once cooked, ladle the soup into bowls. Serve steaming hot.
  • Additional Options
    For an extra touch, consider toppings like fresh cilantro, diced avocado, or a squeeze of lime. Tortilla strips or crumbled queso fresco also add flavor and texture. Adjust the heat by adding a dash of hot sauce or fresh chili slices if desired. Enjoy your culinary journey through the Southwest!


  • The soup’s consistency can be adjusted by adding more broth or water as per preference.
  • For a creamier texture, blend half the soup and mix it back in.
  • To increase the soup’s heat, add chopped jalapeños or spicier salsa.
  • Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, making it perfect for meal prep.
  • Garnish variations like diced avocado, shredded cheese, or lime wedges can enhance the soup’s presentation.
  • If using dried beans, always check for stones or debris before soaking.
Hanna Barnes
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