Southwest Chicken Barley Chowder Recipe
Southwest Chicken Barley Chowder Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Southwest Chicken Barley Chowder Recipe

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4.5 9 9
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Mashed squash helps make this chowder creamy but not heavy, and it's a favorite way to get barley on the table. My kids even ask for leftovers for lunch. —Pamela Cleghorn, Campbellsburg, Indiana
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
MAKES:8 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
MAKES: 8 servings


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 package (12 ounces) frozen mashed winter squash, thawed (about 1-1/3 cups)
  • 3/4 cup quick-cooking barley
  • 2 teaspoons reduced-sodium taco seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 carton (32 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 cup half-and-half cream
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Diced avocado and chopped tomatoes, optional

Nutritional Facts

1-1/4 cups: 298 calories, 8g fat (3g saturated fat), 46mg cholesterol, 681mg sodium, 35g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 7g fiber), 20g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 2 lean meat, 1 fat.


  1. In a 6-qt. stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and onion; cook and stir 2-3 minutes or just until onion is tender.
  2. Stir in squash, barley, seasonings and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 10-12 minutes or until barley is tender.
  3. Add beans, corn, cream, salsa and cilantro; heat through, stirring occasionally. If desired, serve with avocado and tomatoes.
    Freeze option: Freeze cooled soup in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally and adding a little broth or milk if necessary.
    Yield: 8 servings (2-1/2 quarts).
Originally published as Southwest Chicken Barley Chowder in Simple & Delicious December/January 2016

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vewebber58 User ID: 998755 263700
Reviewed Mar. 20, 2017

"Different and tasty. I think I'd increase the taco seasoning next time."

ksandjs1 User ID: 539854 260684
Reviewed Feb. 2, 2017

"Very good!"

Teresa User ID: 9019574 259263
Reviewed Jan. 5, 2017

"This is delicious!! I forgot to purchase squash and had a bag of frozen cauliflower. I cooked it, ran it in the blender to a mashed-potato consistency, and used that instead. It was amazing! I definitely want to try it with the squash, but if you are in a pinch, the cauliflower works well."

curlylis85 User ID: 3166950 241641
Reviewed Jan. 13, 2016

"I love finding nutritious recipes like this for my family. I made it with whole milk instead of the half-and-half and it was still really tasty. We also really enjoyed the avocado and tomato on top."

MoTPC User ID: 1195404 240798
Reviewed Jan. 1, 2016

"This was very good! I couldn't find frozen mashed winter squash so I made my own a week before and froze it. I also used less cilantro - just personal taste. Loved the avocado and tomato garnished on top too!"

maryannet User ID: 1456288 238478
Reviewed Nov. 30, 2015

"I like the mashed cooked squash in this soup. I used leftover Thanksgiving turkey in the soup instead of chicken. This chowder would be easy to make vegan."

dublinlab User ID: 1682119 238389
Reviewed Nov. 29, 2015

"This soup is very healthy, tasty but needs the cilantro. I went to 2 grocery stores in NY and 2 in Ontario a still can't find quick cooking barley. I ended up cooking regular in chicken broth and adding what l thought reasonable."

ahmom User ID: 3426126 238238
Reviewed Nov. 27, 2015


strueckd User ID: 4319807 237997
Reviewed Nov. 24, 2015

"Very easy and good. Next time will decrease taco seasoning a bit."

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