How many calories in a bowl of caldo de pollo?

Quick Answer

The number of calories in a bowl of caldo de pollo can vary greatly depending on the specific ingredients and portion size. However, on average, one bowl of caldo de pollo contains around 300-500 calories. The chicken, vegetables, and broth provide most of the calories, while additions like rice, pasta or potatoes can significantly increase the calorie count. Making homemade caldo de pollo and controlling portions and ingredients is the best way to monitor your calorie intake.

Calories in Common Caldo de Pollo Ingredients

Ingredient Serving Size Calories
Chicken breast, cooked 3 oz 140
Chicken thigh, cooked 3 oz 180
Carrots, chopped 1/2 cup 25
Potatoes, cubed 1/2 cup 67
Rice, white, cooked 1/2 cup 103
Pasta, cooked 1/2 cup 100
Onion, chopped 1/2 cup 64
Tomatoes, chopped 1/2 cup 12
Chicken broth 1 cup 10

Factors That Affect Calorie Count

The ingredients used and serving size have the biggest impact on the calories in caldo de pollo. Here are some factors that can increase or decrease the calories:

Type of Chicken

Dark chicken meat like thighs and legs is higher in fat and calories than white breast meat. A 3 oz serving of chicken thigh contains about 180 calories while the same amount of chicken breast has 140 calories.

Amount of Chicken

The more chicken in the soup, the higher the calorie count. A bowl with 6 oz of chicken could have double the calories of one with 3 oz of chicken.

Starchy Additions

Ingredients like potatoes, rice, pasta and corn add a significant amount of carbohydrates and calories. Just 1/2 cup of rice or pasta can add 100-150 calories.

High Calorie Vegetables

Some vegetables like corn, peas and squash are higher in natural sugars and calories than non-starchy veggies.

Fats and Oils

Adding olive oil or other fats when sauteing aromatics can increase the calorie density of the soup. One tablespoon of oil is around 120 calories.

Sodium Content

Store bought and canned chicken broth can be very high in sodium, while homemade broth is lower. Excess sodium can lead to water retention and increased calorie consumption.

Serving Size

Larger portion sizes mean more calories. Calorie counts are usually based on a 1 cup serving. Eating 2-3 cups would increase the calories significantly.

Ingredient Variations

The specific amounts of each vegetable or add-in changes the nutrition profile. More rice or pasta and less broth and veggies creates a higher calorie soup.

Calorie Ranges for Different Types of Caldo de Pollo

Here are rough calorie estimates for different variations of caldo de pollo based on common ingredient proportions:

Regular Brothy Caldo de Pollo

– 3 oz chicken: 140 calories
– 1 cup broth: 10 calories
– 1/2 cup mixed veggies: 50 calories

Total: About 200 calories per serving

Caldo de Pollo with Potatoes

– 3 oz chicken: 140 calories
– 1 cup broth: 10 calories
– 1/2 cup potatoes: 67 calories
– 1/2 cup veggies: 25 calories

Total: About 240 calories per serving

Caldo de Pollo with Rice

– 3 oz chicken: 140 calories
– 1 cup broth: 10 calories
– 1/2 cup rice: 103 calories
– 1/2 cup veggies: 25 calories

Total: About 280 calories per serving

Hearty Caldo de Pollo

– 6 oz chicken: 280 calories
– 2 cups broth: 20 calories
– 1 cup mixed veggies: 100 calories
– 1 cup rice: 205 calories

Total: About 600 calories per serving

As you can see, the calorie count can range quite a bit based on the exact recipe. Lighter versions focus on broth and vegetables while heartier versions include more high-calorie add-ins like starch, protein and fat.

Calorie Comparison to Other Soups

Compared to other common soups, caldo de pollo is moderate in calories:

– Chicken Noodle Soup: 175 calories per serving
– Minestrone Soup: 200 calories per serving
– Beef Stew: 300 calories per serving
– Baked Potato Soup: 330 calories per serving
– Clam Chowder: 335 calories per serving
– French Onion Soup: 370 calories per serving

Since it is broth-based, caldo de pollo is lower in calories than cream or cheese-based soups which can range from 400-700 calories per serving. Choosing homemade preparations with lots of vegetables over canned, condensed or restaurant soups is the best bet for light caldo de pollo.

Calorie Estimates for Restaurant Versions

The calorie count can increase significantly if dining out and ordering caldo de pollo. Here are some estimates for restaurant preparations:

– Chipotle Mexican Chicken Soup (16oz): 500 calories
– Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup (12oz): 320 calories
– Panera Bread Chicken Noodle Soup (16oz): 300 calories
– Noodles & Company Chicken Tortilla Soup (16oz): 510 calories
– Chili’s Chicken Tortilla Soup (8oz): 310 calories

Restaurant soups are often higher in fat, salt, and larger portion sizes. Ordering a cup instead of a bowl or splitting a bowl can help reduce calorie intake.

Tips to Reduce Calories in Caldo de Pollo

Here are some easy ways to lighten up caldo de pollo and cut back on calories:

– Use lean chicken breast instead of thighs. Remove skin to further reduce fat.
– Bulk up on non-starchy vegetables like carrots, celery, tomatoes, spinach.
– Limit high-calorie add-ins like rice, pasta, corn, and potatoes.
– Use broth and tomatoes for the base instead of cream or milk.
– Avoid adding extra fats and oils when cooking.
– Season with herbs and spices instead of salt.
– Make a large batch and portion into individual servings to control amounts.
– Refrigerate or freeze for easy reheating instead of take-out.
– Choose lighter preparation methods like grilling, baking or poaching chicken.

Nutrition Tips for Caldo de Pollo

While caldo de pollo can be high in calories, it does provide many important nutrients:

– Protein – Chicken and legumes provide lean protein to help build muscle.
– Fiber – From vegetables, beans and whole grains. Fiber improves digestion and heart health.
– Vitamin A – Carrots and tomatoes supply this immune-boosting vitamin.
– Vitamin C – Bell peppers and tomatoes offer a dose of vitamin C.
– Iron – Spinach and other greens add iron to help deliver oxygen.
– Zinc – Chicken and corn contain zinc to aid wound healing.
– B Vitamins – Potatoes and parsley provide B vitamins for energy metabolism.

To maximize nutrition, choose recipes loaded with vegetables and easy on starchy, high-calorie ingredients. Pay attention to portions and enjoy caldo de pollo as part of an overall balanced diet.


In summary, the number of calories in caldo de pollo can vary widely from 300 to 600 calories per serving depending on preparation methods and exact ingredients used. Lighter broth-based versions focus on lean protein, lots of non-starchy vegetables and minimal additions like oil, starch, salt and heavy creams. While higher in calories, homemade caldo de pollo made with whole food ingredients provides more nutrition than fat and sodium-laden canned, condensed and restaurant preparations. Control portions, fill up on veggies and lean protein, and enjoy caldo de pollo in moderation as part of healthy lifestyle.

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