Mexican Seafood Soup

Replete with fresh, healthy ingredients, this healthy Mexican Seafood Soup features shrimp and fish, vegetables, and a savory broth flavored with lean Mexican chorizo and beer… This easy shrimp and fish soup recipe can be on your table in about 30 minutes!

A bronze pot with Mexican seafood soup on a marble background with spoon.

👩🏻‍🍳 Tamara Talks – About Mexican Soup Recipes

A chill in the air? Even in McAllen, Texas we’ve had soup weather… Lol. The last couple of days, we’ve not made it out of the fifties. I love a comforting bowl of soup on a chilly day!

There are times I just feel desperate for a healthy bowl of soup or stew. My only recourse, then, is to make my pot of soup, and stay indoors with the almost-year-round air conditioning. We really don’t have seasons in south Texas!

What comes to mind when I mention “Mexican soup recipes?” Growing up, my only experience with Mexican soups was the fabulous albondigas (Mexican meatball soup) my dear mother made. This steaming, healthy bowl of goodness always made me happy, and my own version is almost identical.

Our move to McAllen brought with it access to fresh seafood, and I’ve wasted no time incorporating it into our meals on a regular basis. This healthy Mexican soup is one I’ve been making for over 4 years without a recipe… it’s that simple!

🐖What is Chorizo?

Don’t confuse Mexican chorizo with Spanish chorizo. Though both originate in the Iberian peninsula (Spain and Portugal), Mexican chorizo is a raw sausage, and Spanish chorizo is a cured sausage. Both have a characteristic red color, but the similarity ends with the color.

Spanish chorizo gets its red color from smoked paprika; Mexican chorizo gets its flavor from red chiles and ground annatto powder.

Chorizo (both varieties) is typically made with pork, and can range from extremely fatty to very lean. Unless I know the brand, I avoid chorizo in a tube as it is often the fatty variety. Our local markets have chicken and pork bulk chorizo that hasn’t a drop of fat when it’s cooked up.

If you’re into making sausage (I am when I have the time), try homemade chorizo. Otherwise, go for dark red, firm bulk chorizo in a tray so that you can see the fat.

Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.

  • lean chorizo – You need Mexican chorizo for this soup, not hard Spanish chorizo. Look for bulk chorizo or chicken chorizo. If you’re really motivated try my recipe for homemade chorizo.
  • onion
  • garlic
  • tiny tomatoes – I like to blister tiny tomatoes, but you can substitute chopped fresh tomatoes or canned diced tomatoes.
  • bell pepper – Any color or a combination is fine!
  • beer – Beer is totally optional, but we love the flavor added. I use Coronitas as they are the perfect size for a pot of soup. Choose a clean lager. You don’t want strong flavored IPAs or ales that will throw off the flavors of the soup. Also, beer is usually not gluten free, so if gluten is an issue, replace it with broth.
  • seafood or chicken broth
  • butternut squash – You can substitute pumpkin, kabocha, etc. Zucchini squash is good too, but you’ll want to add it about 10 minutes before the soup is done.
  • potatoes – I halve baby potatoes to expedite the cooking time. You can use your favorite variety and dice or cube them. Don’t add the seafood until they’re tender.
  • Mexican oregano
  • seafood – We like a mix of shrimp and firm white fish (barramundi, cod, snapper, etc.). You can change it up with clams, musses, scallops, etc.
Ingredients for healthy Mexican Seafood soup: Tiny tomatoes, chopped red pepper, jalapeno, onion, potatoe, butternut squash along with lean chorizo, peeled and deveined shrimp, and cod.

Start with gathering and preparing your ingredients – mis en place. I cannot stress this enough… especially when making a quick soup recipe like this one!

Once your ingredients are prepped, you’re ready to get started. While the vegetables simmer, pour yourself a glass of wine or a beer, and put some tortillas in the warmer. The seafood requires only a few minutes!

Tomatoes, onion, chorizo in a soup pot with a spatula.
  • Brown the chorizo – Add the chorizo to the pot over medium-high heat. As it begins to brown and break up, add the tomatoes and onion.
Butternut squash and potatoes added to the pot with the chorizo.
  • De-glaze and add vegetables – As the tomatoes begin to burst, and the chorizo is browned and crumbled, add the beer to the pot. Scrape up any loose bits. Add the butternut squash, potatoes, and bell pepper.
Seafood stock is added to the soup pot and simmered.
  • Cook the vegetables – Add the chicken or seafood broth, and the Mexican oregano to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook covered until the vegetables are tender but not mushy.
Shrimp and fish added to the soup pot with the vegetables and broth.
  • Cook the seafood – Add the shrimp and fish to the soup. Bring back up to a boil, then simmer it just until both are opaque. Keep an eye on it! This usually takes less than 5 minutes (depending on the size of the pieces).

Keep in mind:

  • Shrimp require only 2-3 minutes simmering in the soup to be fully cooked! If using very thick fish, add the fish a couple of minutes ahead of the shrimp.
  • Leftover fish and seafood dishes aren’t great IMHO. Try to make just what you’ll eat at the time.
  • Allow about 6 ounces of seafood per person, and about 3/4 to 1 cup of liquid.
  • Keep in mind the size of your dice with vegetables. You want to get them tender together and then add the seafood.
  • You can save your shrimp shells in a zip bag in the freezer until you save enough to make a pot of stock!

What is “lean” chorizo?

Lean chorizo may be made from lean ground pork, turkey, or chicken. The color will be deep red, and contain minimal flecks of fat. Avoid chorizo in a casing as it’s impossible to see the contents. We have a local business that makes a delicious chicken chorizo that is very lean, and it is the exception rather than the rule.

Can I substitute something else for the chorizo?

Unfortunately, no. The mix of chiles, garlic, annatto are the flavor foundation for Mexican Seafood Soup. You could get close with adding some garlic, red chile powder, paprika, ground annatto, and cumin.

What other seafood can I use?

Most fish/shellfish cook very quickly. Scallops, clams and mussels, calamari rings will all work well.

What is the best fish to use?

I keep sustainable barramundi fillets in my freezer, and they’re my “go to” fish for a recipe like this one. Cod, halibut, sea bass are excellent as well. Use a firm, mild white fish.

Do I have to use seafood stock?

It is preferable, but not required. You can substitute chicken broth. I try to save shrimp shells, and periodically make a pot of homemade soup stock. There are good ones available commercially. I like Kitchen Basics Seafood Stock.

I’ve tried to anticipate your questions, but I may have missed something. Please feel free to send questions via my comment box below or with an email to

I hope you’ll give my Healthy Mexican Seafood Soup a try! I know you’ll find it “checks all the boxes” on a chilly evening – hot, comforting, healthy, delicious.

Signature in red and green with chiles and limes. Healthyish Latin cuisine.
A bronze soup pot with Mexican Seafood Soup garnished with cilantro on a marble background with a sprig of cilantro.

A bronze soup pot with Healthy Mexican Seafood Soup - full of fish, shrimp, vegetables, and a cilantro broth.

Healthy Mexican Seafood Soup

Replete with fresh, healthy ingredients, Healthy Mexican Seafood Soup features shrimp and fish, vegetables, and a savory broth flavored with lean Mexican chorizo and beer… This cozy, comforting soup recipe can be on your table in about 30 minutes!
4.58 from 7 votes

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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dinner, Posts
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4 servings
Calories 313 kcal


  • 2 ounces lean chorizo - see notes
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon garlic - minced
  • ½ cup tiny tomatoes
  • 1 12 ounce beer - see notes
  • 2 cups diced butternut squash
  • 2 cups diced potatoes
  • 1 medium bell pepper - diced
  • 2 cups seafood or chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
  • 12 ounces shrimp - peeled and deveined
  • 12 ounces fish - cut into chunks
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste


  • In a soup pot over medium-high heat, cook the chorizo until crumbled.
  • Add onion, garlic, tomatoes. Sauté until tomatoes begin to burst (about 5 minutes).
  • De-glaze with beer, then add vegetables and Mexican oregano. Stir to combine.
  • Add the seafood stock, cover, and simmer until vegetables are tender (about 10-15 minutes depending on size of dice).
  • Add seafood, cover, simmer just until seafood is opaque (about 5 minutes). Season with salt and pepper.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with warmed tortillas.


As explained in the post, "lean" chorizo is a thing. If your chorizo leaves a lot of fat in the pan, drain off the fat before proceeding.
You want a light-colored, clean tasting beer like a Mexican lager for this dish. I use Corona.


Calories: 313kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 4g

NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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🥘 A Few of our Favorite Soups

When it’s “soup season,” there is nothing more satisfying than a hot bowl of soup. I LOVE soup, and these are a few of my favorites that take 30-45 minutes to prepare. Check them out!

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One Comment

  1. Hey Tamara, just wanted to let you know this soup was a real hit with my family. I had to sub the fish for chicken for one person (fish hater), but we all enjoyed the robust flavour of this soup. Also, it was so easy to put together – thankyou.