How To Make Jamaican Chicken Soup: Simple Step-By-Step

When it’s a cold morning, there’s nothing better than a pot of hot soup to warm you up! One of my favorite soups to eat on chilly days is Jamaican chicken soup. This hearty soup is full of delicious ingredients that fill you up...and warm you up!

The recipe for Jamaican chicken soup has quite a few steps, but they’re easy to follow. Once you’ve made this soup once, you’ll find yourself wanting to make it every week!


What You’ll Need

  • ½ Chicken (cut in 8 pieces)

You can buy a whole chicken, half a chicken, or chicken that is already broken down into pieces. It’s best to buy fresh, but if you prefer to use frozen chicken pieces, make sure they are bone-in pieces. The bones are essential to add extra flavor to the dish.

  • 2 sprig Thyme

While traditionally used in French cooking, time is an ingredient fragrant herb that is great to add to soups and stew. It gives a rich, hearty flavor to meats like chicken that take on the flavor of thyme very well.

  • 1 tbsp Salt

Salt is an essential ingredient in, well, everything! While salt is often made out to be the bad guy, it’s key to awaken the flavors of a dish and give flavor to starchy ingredients like the potatoes and yams in this soup.

  • 1 stalk scallion

Scallions, also known as green onions, are a great way to impart mild onion flavor to your dish without overwhelming it. Jamaican chicken soup needs this touch of onion flavor, so make sure to add a stalk of scallions to your grocery basket.

  • 4 Pimento Berries

Have you ever heard of pimento berries before? Whether or not you realize it, pimento berries are the base form of allspice! They got the name because they were thought to carry the best of all spices, and thus, they became allspice in ground form!

  • ½ lb Yellow Yam


Yellow yams are a Jamaican specialty, and they’re used in dozens of famous Jamaican dishes! Yellow yams are true yams (not sweet potatoes) and they have a dense yet still sweet flavor that works perfectly as a base starch in soups.

  • 2 Irish Potatoes

Any potato will work, but Irish potatoes are the best choice for this dish. If you want a sweeter flavor, you can substitute the potatoes with sweet potatoes instead. Potatoes add thick, starchy flavor to the dish.

  • 2 lb. Pumpkin (cut up into 1 inch pieces)

Believe it or not, pumpkin is a huge ingredient in Jamaican cuisine! If you can get it, choose a Caribbean pumpkin. This pumpkin is more like squash than North American pumpkins, and the flavor is probably most comparable to butternut squash. If you can’t find Caribbean pumpkin, choose a butternut squash or regular pumpkin.

  • 1 Chayote (cut up into 1 inch pieces)

Chayote is not a commonly used fruit, but you could describe it as a cross between a cucumber and a potato in flavor. While it looks like an avocado in some ways, the flavor is nothing like that of the creamy avocado!

They are common in Caribbean cooking and are a key ingredient in this dish. Sometimes it’s even referred to as cho-cho!


These packets of thin, small-cut noodles and dehydrated carrots are what give the dish so much flavor! You need to have this ingredient if you can find it. True Jamaican chicken soup just isn’t the same without it.

If you do not, you should substitute it with a can of dehydrated chicken noodle soup.

  • 1 oz. Butter

What dish is complete without a little butter? You know I love to put butter in my dishes! Butter is used as a finishing ingredient in this soup to help tie the flavors together. Choose a non-salt variety of butter and use salt-to-taste in the soup instead. Otherwise, you might end up with a salty flavor that you won’t be able to get rid of!

  • 2 carrots, sliced

While there are dehydrated carrots in the chicken soup mix, it’s not enough! Carrots are a vegetable that are perfect for soups because they are very hard, but soften nicely for a soft crunch in each bite of soup. Clean and peel carrots before using them.

  • 3 ears of corn, chopped in half

While not often seen in ear form in soups, you can indeed add this kind of ingredient! Corn is often cooked by boiling it on the ear, and when you do this in a soup, the corn will take on the best of the flavors of the soup that you are preparing.

  • (Optional) Small dumplings

While optional, adding flour dumplings like these to any soup is a great way to make them more filling. Dumplings cook quickly and are easy to make at home, if you choose to! Otherwise, you can find them in the freezer section and keep them on hand whenever you want to starch-up a soup.

How To Make Jamaican Chicken Soup

Step 1: Prep Ingredients For Soup Base

The first thing you’re going to be making is your soup base, so you’ll want to start by preparing those ingredients:

Cut Up Your Chicken

Wash your chicken and then cut it into 8 pieces. You can buy pre-cut chicken pieces if you prefer to avoid the work of breaking up the half chicken, but either way is acceptable. You want to break the chicken up into the main pieces: breasts, legs, thighs, and wings.

Cut Up The Pumpkin

Pumpkin is a key part of this dish. Rinse your pumpkin, then peel and cut the pumpkin into squares. Each square should be about one inch.

Cut Up The Chayote

Wash and cut your chayote into pieces that are the same size as your pumpkin pieces. You want the pieces to be equal in size so that they cook evenly.

Step 2: Start Cooking Your Base


Now that you’ve prepared the ingredients, you can cook the base of your soup. Add three quarts of water and salt to taste to a big stock pot. Bring water to a boil, and then add your prepared chicken, chayote, and pumpkin.Let boil for 30 minutes.

Step 3: Prepare Yellow Yam and Potatoes

While your base is boiling, prepare the yam and potatoes.

Peel the skin off of each of these vegetables. Then, wash them in cold tap water to remove any dirt or impurities. Cut each vegetable into four or five slices. If your vegetables are large, cut them into thinner slices. The thinner the slices, the faster your soup will cook.

Step 4: Add Vegetables & Increase Boil

Add the cut yams and potatoes to the soup base. Raise the heat to high and let boil for 15 more minutes.

If you are adding dumplings to your soup, you should add them at this time as well so they have enough time to fully cook.

Step 5: Add In The Final Ingredients

Now, it’s time to add the following ingredients:

  • 2 sprig Thyme
  • 1 tbsp Salt
  • 1 stalk scallion
  • 4 Pimento Berries (Allspice)
  • 1 pk Jamaican Chicken Noodle or Cock Soup
  • 1 oz. Butter
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 3 ears of corn, chopped in half
  • (Optional) dumplings

You don’t want to overcook these ingredients, so we are adding them later in the cooking process. Add all of these ingredients and mix thoroughly while adding them, so nothing sticks to the bottom.

You can omit any of these ingredients except for the cock soup mix! This is key to getting the right flavor for Jamaican chicken noodle soup, so you should not leave it out. If you don’t have it, replace it with one can of condensed chicken noodle soup.

Step 6: Finish Cooking The Soup

Now that all of the ingredients are in the pot, reduce the heat to medium, and let cook for 10 minutes. After that, reduce the boil to a simmer and let simmer for an additional 5 minutes.

Tip: If the water level ever seems to be getting lower, you can add some extra water to the pot during the cooking process.

You can figure out if your soup is done by checking the yams, as they will take the longest to cook. Pull a yam piece out of the soup and see if it is soft. If you can, it’s ready! If not, cook a little bit longer.

Step 7: Enjoy!

For an overview of what the entire cooking process looks like, check out this video:

You can see that there is some variation in how she makes the soup. You can mix it up like she did and experiment with adding celery or other vegetables instead of those mentioned in my recipe today!


Are you hungry yet? I know I am! I love Jamaican chicken soup so much that I can’t wait to make it again. It’s the perfect, easy soup to make that will give you that homey, warm feeling that we all love to enjoy on chilly days.

Did you enjoy the recipe? Please let me know, and make sure to share this recipe with any friends who might love this recipe!

Sophia Gardner

I'm Sophia, food blogger, dog lover, homemade cooking and travel passion. I really hope you enjoy my blog, i'll do my best to share great recipes, healthy living tips and just general 'food' thoughts!

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