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Colombian Chicken Sancocho (Sancocho de Pollo)

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Sancocho de Pollo, a hearty soup almost like a stew, is a traditional dish in the Antioquia region of Colombia that combines potatoes, yuca, corn, plantains, and chicken.

Bowl of Sancocho with rice and avocado
Colombian Chicken Sancocho

Colombian Chicken Sancocho is the ultimate comfort food for my family and me when we’re craving chicken soup. In Colombia, “el almuerzo” is the main meal eaten in the afternoon, and this soup is commonly eaten then. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do! More of my favorite Colombian recipes are Carne en Bistec (Steak with Onions and Tomatoes), Huevos Pericos (Scrambled Eggs), and Aji Picante.

Bowl of Sancocho

I have fond memories in Colombia of large family gatherings where they would get fresh chickens right from the farm and make this on an open fire in the biggest pot I have ever seen. Eating this soup in the Andes mountains with cumbia music in the background just doesn’t get any better for me. Watching Disney’s new movie Encanto made me crave this soup so I remade it (such a great movie!)

There are many different versions of sancocho as it is a popular meal in several Latin American countries, like Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Colombians typically cook sancocho with a whole chicken – feet and all – but I used skinless chicken thighs to lighten it up.

Colombian Sancocho Ingredients:

Below are the ingredients in my Colombian chicken sancocho recipe:

  • Poultry: Bone-in skinless chicken thighs, you can also use a whole cut up chicken, bone-in breasts or drumsticks.
  • Veggies: Scallions, tomatoes, potatoes, frozen or fresh peeled yuca, corn, green plantain, garlic
  • Seasonings: Cumin, chicken bouillon cubes, salt, fresh cilantro

What is yuca?

Yuca, also called cassava, is a starchy root vegetable similar to a potato and can be found fresh or frozen in many supermarkets. If you buy fresh yuca, you will need to peel and cut it before cooking. I think frozen yuca is easier to use since it comes ready to cook.

What can I use instead of yuca?

If you can’t find yuca, you can substitute it with more plantains and potatoes.

What is sancocho served with?

Sancocho is typically served with rice and avocado on the side. You could also add Aji Picante for a spicy kick.

How to Store, Freeze, and Reheat

Sancocho is perfect for freezing. I like to store it in individual containers, so I can pull it out later for an easy lunch. If you still have leftovers after four to five days, freeze the rest for up to three months. Thaw the soup overnight in the fridge and reheat it in the microwave or on the stove before eating.

Bowl of Sancocho with rice and avocado

More Chicken Soups You’ll Love:


Colombian Chicken Sancocho

4.87 from 29 votes
Sancocho de Pollo, a hearty soup almost like a stew, is a traditional dish in the Antioquia region of Colombia that combines potatoes, yuca, corn, plantains, and chicken.
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Soup
Cuisine: Colombian
Bowl of Sancocho with rice and avocado
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 1 hr
Total: 1 hr 15 mins
Yield: 6 servings
Serving Size: 1 /6th of recipe


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 6 scallions, chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 6 skinless chicken thighs on the bone
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro leaves and stems, divided
  • 3 medium red potatoes, peeled and chopped into 6 pieces (1 lb)
  • 10 ounces frozen yucca, about 3 to 4 pieces
  • 3 medium ears corn, cut in half
  • 1/2 medium green plantain, peeled and chopped into 1" pieces
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 chicken bouillion cubes
  • 8 cups water


  • In a large pot, saute scallions and garlic in oil. Add tomatoes and saute another minute.
  • Add chicken pieces and season with a little salt. Saute a few minutes, then add yucca and plantain and fill pot with 8 cups water.
  • Add chicken bullion, cumin and half of the cilantro and cover pot.
  • Simmer on low for about 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, adjust salt and add potatoes, cook and additional 15 minutes.
  • Add corn and cook an additional 7 minutes or until corn is cooked.
  • Serve in large bowls, and top with cilantro.

Last Step:

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Serving: 1 /6th of recipe, Calories: 405 kcal, Carbohydrates: 41 g, Protein: 34 g, Fat: 8 g, Saturated Fat: 2 g, Cholesterol: 140 mg, Sodium: 599.5 mg, Fiber: 5.5 g, Sugar: 10 g


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137 comments on “Colombian Chicken Sancocho (Sancocho de Pollo)”

  1. Avatar photo
    Maureen malone

    I made this the other week, it was a huge hit! But my broth became a thick cream colored stew  consistency I’m not sure why, I followed the recipe. Any ideas?

      1. Foods that have a high starch content should always be blanched separately if you prefer a brothier consistency. What you are describing is what happens when yuca, plantains, and potatoes break down and release their starch. If you do prefer a thicker soup they make for a great natural emulsifier however.

  2. Can you use homemade chicken stock instead of bouillon cubes? If so, what would be the amount? Thanks! I always love your recipes and super excited to try this 

  3. I made this previously in a large stock pot and it is FANTASTIC. I just moved and can’t find my stock pot yet (in a box somewhere) and wanted to make this tomorrow for someone. Does anyone know if you can/how to make it in the instant pot? Sorry if this was discussed already, I looked in the comments but didn’t see it. Thank you so much!

  4. Do yourself a favor… Make this recipe. From the tender chicken, to the flavorful corn, to the delicious pillows of yuca – this is one you will make over and over again! Incredibly tasty, fairly easy, and makes a lot!

  5. This was fantastic. I loved it so much that the next day I made a whole second pot for a friend who was home sick with her kids. Nourishing, tasty, and not the usual boring chicken noodle.

  6. Been cooking the potatoes on medium high (NOT LOW) for well over 15 minutes. Still rock hard. Get the times right or tell me what I’m doing wrong….

    1. Rude first of all! Second, your medium potatoes should be cut in 6 pieces. If they are bigger, then cut them smaller. Lastly, they still cook 7 min more when you add the corn.

  7. This recipe, simply put, is amazing.
    Such a healthy comfort food either on a cold January night, or refreshing on a summer evening  with fresh squeeze of lime and sprinkle of chopped cilantro.
    My Peruvian husband and sister in law had two big bowls.
    So happy this was a hit but sorry there were no leftovers for today!  Thank you!  
    Up next: Your arroz con pollo – another fantastic recipe that is on rotation in this house!

    1. You can also just add frozen corn kernels; it will still taste good. Cook for like 2 minutes instead of 7 just to heat them through.

  8. More of a question than comment… in the recipe ingredients list, it does not have onion but the first step of the instructions says to “saute scallions, onions and garlic in oil.” Can you please share how much onion to use? Thanks!

  9. I have made this soup so many times. I tend to add more yuca and extra cilantro. It’s always a winner and perfect on a cold winter night. This soup also freezes well. The yuca makes it nice and hearty,

  10. Avatar photo
    Monica M Moore

    I see there is a WW personal point button but how do I see what the points are? I am a WW member. Thank you

  11. Can’t wait to try this recipe! My mother is from Colombia and every time we visit, my abuelita makes this soup. I appreciate the other Colombian recipes, as well. Do you have a recipe for ajiaco, too? I would love to learn how to make that soup—it’s my favorite!