Caldo de Res (Mexican Beef Soup)

Caldo de Res aka Mexican Beef Soup – this stick-to-your-ribs healthy soup features chunks of beef, zucchini, squash, cabbage, corn, & carrots and is the perfect one pot comfort mealCaldo de Res - Mexican Beef Soup

This Caldo de Res (aka Mexican Beef Soup) has become a new favorite dish around my home.

A friend posted about making it on facebook not long ago and I was instantly drawn to it. The corn on the cob, the zucchini, the cabbage – it was unlike most beef soups that I have eaten… and of course, it being a traditional Mexican recipe – I just had to make it.

Now, I’ve made it a few times now (especially now that the weather has gotten a little cooler) and I just can’t get enough of it. This one pot meal is good fresh, the leftovers are good – it’s even good frozen and reheated. This will be the stick-to-your-ribs (in a healthy way!) soup that will get you through the cold months.

Caldo de Res (Mexican Beef Soup) cooked in a blue cast iron pot

It can be made on the stovetop, as I did – or even in the crockpot all day on low.

What do I need to make Caldo de Res?

This is how I make my version!

  • 3 pound boneless chuck roast
  • 1-2 soup bones (or use a bone in chuck roast if you’d like – or a beef shank)
  • 10 cups of water
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 and a half onions, sliced in half
  • 2 carrots, cut into 1 inch rounds
  • 2 zucchini, cut into 2 inch chunks
  • 1 yellow squash, cut into 2 inch chunks (you can also use chayote, but I just don’t like it so I use yellow squash)
  • 2 corn on the cobs, halved
  • 1/2 head of cabbage, quartered

You may want to garnish your Caldo de Res (Mexican Beef Soup) with the following:

  • lime wedges
  • hot sauce
  • cilantro
  • diced red onion
  • diced jalapeños (pickled or fresh)
  • corn tortillas or tortilla chips
  • avocado or guacamole
  • radish slices
  • tajin seasoning 
  • or anything else you like!
Caldo de Res with guacamole and corn tortillas

I like mine with lots of jalapeño and cilantro!

What do I serve with Caldo de Res?

It’s pretty much a one pot meal, so you can serve it all by itself if you like. I’m pretty partial to serving mine with warmed corn tortillas. Some other great options are:

Caldo de Res

Caldo de Res (Mexican Beef Soup) with a spoon in a bowl

After we’ve eaten on this for a bit, if we still have some left – I will add a can of drained canned corn, drained canned green beans, and 2 cans of various drained and rinsed beans. Sometimes some rice too… and serve it again as a whole other meal with a completely different flavor profile. My kids call this ‘the soup that never ends” LOL.

Caldo de Res - Mexican Beef Soup in a bowl
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Caldo de Res (Mexican Beef Soup)


  • 3 pounds boneless chuck roast cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1-2 soup bones or don't use the bones & use a bone in chuck roast - the bone marrow adds tons of richness though!
  • 10 cups water
  • 6 peeled garlic cloves
  • 1-1/2 small to medium onions, halved (so 3 onion halves)
  • 2 carrots cut into 1 inch rounds
  • 2 zucchini sliced into 2 inch rounds
  • 1 yellow squash sliced into 2 inch rounds
  • 2 ears corn halved
  • 1/2 head cabbage quartered
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Season the chunks of chuck roast with salt and pepper and sear on high heat in a little olive oil to give them some color (color adds flavor!). Add in the beef bones, the water, garlic cloves, and onion halves. Sprinkle with a litlte more salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Cover, and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Uncover and skim off any foam or grease that has accumulated at the top.
  • Add the carrots, zucchini, squash, corn, and cabbage. Cover and continue simmering for 30-45 minutes. Turn off the heat & serve hot with whatever garnishes you like such as lime wedges, hot sauce, corn tortillas, jalapenos, cilantro, red onion, radishes, avocado, etc etc etc.


I really prefer using the soup bones instead of a bone in chuck roast. The soup bones have all that marrow that make this soup as rich and hearty as it is. You can also use a shank roast, which is what is traditionally used - but they can be harder to find. 
You can also cook this in the crockpot. Brown the meat first, if desired, and put all the ingredients in the crockpot. Cook on low for 6-8 hours for high for about 4.

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Caldo de Res - Mexican Beef Soup