Southwest Chicken Barley Chowder

Total Time

Prep/Total Time: 30 min.


8 servings (2-1/2 quarts)

Updated: Mar. 09, 2023
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
Southwest Chicken Barley Chowder Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 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


  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.

Can you freeze Southwest Chicken Barley Chowder?

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.

Nutrition 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.