Sopa de Coditos (Mexican Macaroni Soup)

This hearty sopa de coditos is extra-cozy, satisfying, and seriously flavorful! Mexican macaroni soup is perfect for a family meal any day of the week.

Sopa de coditos, aka Mexican elbow macaroni soup, with ground beef.

About The Recipe

Sopa de coditos is a Mexican recipe made of elbow macaroni pasta, tomato sauce, and vegetables. Sometimes it might contain meat such as ground beef, pork, or chicken.

This macaroni soup is a comforting and budget-friendly meal under the sopas category from Mexico that consists of short pasta cooked in a flavorful tomato-based sauce and served as entrée.

Recipes like sopa de fideo or conchitas soup are also under that category. Also, coditos soup can be found with various names such as coditos con carne molida or sopa aguada con carne.

Mexican sopa de coditos soup with ground beef, served in a plate with some lime wedges on the side.

Why You Should Make It

  • It is delicious: The broth is simple but flavorful, and the meat and vegetables add so much richness to this soup.
  • Is cozy and comforting: This hearty macaroni soup is the cozy antidote to the coldest winter days. 
  • Budget-friendly: Pasta and ground meat is often used to bulk up soups and turn them into satisfying and delicious meals for the family.
  • Easy to make: It comes together quickly and you don’t need special cooking skills to prepare it. Perfect for busy people.
  • Highly customizable: You can use any type of minced meat, vegetables, or even seasonings you prefer. Also, change the pasta type to whatever you have available!
  • Is nutritious: A nice fulfilling meal with lots of vegetables, protein, and carbs. It has everything for nourishing your body and soul. This soup is really well-balanced.

Ingredients Needed

  • Coditos pasta: Known in English as elbow macaroni, there are various sizes in the market, use a small one if possible.
  • Ground meat: You can use ground beef, pork, chicken, or even turkey for a change.
  • Mixed vegetables: Use fresh or frozen vegetables like carrots, zucchini, celery, potatoes, peas, green beans, spinach, corn, etc. Add anything seasonal available to you.
  • Tomatoes: Fresh tomatoes or swap for 1 can of tomato sauce.
  • Onions: Use any type of onion available.
  • Chipotle peppers (optional): This is an optional ingredient, if you want to serve this soup to children I suggest leaving it out. You can also swap it with your favorite chili pepper or with chili powder for some heat.
  • Seasonings: Garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper.
  • Cilantro: This is also optional, you can blend it into the sauce or add it chopped or whole to the soup.
  • Oil: I prefer using olive oil, but feel free to swap for your favorite oil.
Ingredients for sopa de coditos displayed with names on a marble kitchen countertop.

How To Make Sopa de Coditos

Start by making the tomato sauce. Place tomatoes, onion, cilantro, chipotle peppers (optional), and garlic cloves, in a blender.

Ingredients for sauce in a blender.

Add 1 cup of water and blend until smooth. You can strain the sauce if you want to. Set aside.

Tomato sauce for sopa de coditos in a blender.

In a large pot heat about 4 tablespoons of olive oil and fry the elbow pasta mixing continuously until nicely browned.

Coditos pasta, aka elbow macaroni, fried on a pot.

Remove the pasta from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add ground meat to the pot and season with salt, pepper, and cumin to your liking.

Ground beef on a pot with powdered spices over.

Break the meat with the back of a spoon and cook until slightly browned over medium-high heat.

Ground beef slightly browned in a pot.

Stir in the vegetables and cook for one minute. Add the tomato sauce and 6 cups of water (read notes).

Collage with two photos of sopa de coditos preparation. Meat and vegetables cooking in a pot and adding sauce.

Bring to a boil. Return the elbow coditos pasta to the pot. Season with salt and cover the pot.

Adding fried coditos pasta to the pot.

Cook everything for about 10 minutes or until pasta and vegetables are nicely tender.

Fully cooked sopa de coditos in a pot.

Adjust seasonings and turn off the heat. Serve sopa de coditos as suggested below.

Recipe Notes

  • I don’t find it necessary to add stock to this soup because it gets its flavor from the meat and vegetables, but this is a personal preference. Feel free to swap water with beef stock, or vegetable/chicken stock if you want.
  • If you want to cut down on the calories in this recipe, do not fry the pasta. But take in mind it will slightly change the soup texture.
  • Make sure you stir continuously when frying the macaroni, so it will get a nice and evenly golden color.
  • This is a brothy soup, so you need lots of liquid to make it like that.
  • If you want to add a smoky flavor without adding the chipotle chilies, roast the tomatoes, onions, and garlic before blending.

How To Serve Mexican Macaroni Soup

You can serve sopa de coditos as it is with just a squeeze of lime, or you can add some toppings like:

  • Mexican crema. Add a nice creamy touch, or you can add regular cream or sour cream if you want.
  • Queso fresco. Or you can add other types of cheese like Feta, Paneer, or farmer’s cheese.
  • Avocado. Add it sliced or cubed.
  • Lime juice. Is a must!
  • Pickled peppers. Chiles en vinagre are a popular topping for sopitas, try them.
  • Chopped cilantro. For more freshness, not a typical topping but if you love the flavor, why not?
Cose-up of sopa de coditos con carne.

How To Store And Reheat

Allow to cool down completely and store sopa de coditos leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. We don’t recommend freezing.

Note: Take in mind that this pasta soups absorb lots of the liquid as they sit.

Reheat over medium heat on the stove or use the microwave in 1-minute intervals until heated up.

More Mexican Soups

Sopa de coditos Mexican recipe.

Sopa de Coditos (Mexican macaroni soup with ground beef)

author Maricruz
6
Sopa de coditos is a Mexican macaroni soup with ground beef perfect for family meals. It is rich, flavorful, and cozy.
prep 10 minutes
cook 20 minutes
total 30 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 -7 oz package coditos pasta (elbow macaroni)
  • 1 lb ground beef (or pork, chicken, turkey.)
  • 3 ½ cups mixed vegetables (carrots, zucchini, potatoes, peas, etc.)
  • 1 lb tomatoes (cut into quarters)
  • 1 small onion (halved)
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil (as needed)
  • 2 chipotle in adobo peppers (optional)
  • 1 small bunch cilantro (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic (peeled)
  • powdered cumin (to taste)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

Instructions
 

  • Place tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and garlic cloves in a blender. If you want, add also 1 or 2 chipotle in adobo peppers.
  • Add 1 cup of water and blend until smooth. Strain and set aside.
  • In a large pot heat the olive oil and fry the elbow pasta mixing continuously until nicely browned.
  • Remove the pasta from the pot with a slotted spoon and set it aside.
  • Add ground meat to the pot and season with salt, pepper, and cumin to your liking.
  • Break the meat with the back of a spoon and cook until slightly browned over medium-high heat (8-10 minutes).
  • Stir in the vegetables and cook for one minute.
  • Pour in the tomato sauce, cook for one minute, then add 6 cups of water (or beef stock).
  • Bring to a boil and then return the elbow pasta to the pot. Season with salt and cover the pot.
  • Cook everything for about 10 minutes or until pasta and vegetables are nicely tender.
  • Adjust seasonings and turn off the heat.
  • Serve sopa de coditos with your favorite toppings (read notes for ideas).

Notes

  • Feel free to swap water with beef stock, or vegetable/chicken stock if you want.
  • If you want to cut down on the calories in this recipe, don’t fry the pasta. But take in mind it will slightly change the soup texture.
  • Make sure you stir continuously when frying the macaroni, so it will get an even golden color.
  • This is a brothy soup, so you need lots of liquid to make it like that.
  • If you want to add a smoky flavor without adding the chipotle chilies, roast the tomatoes, onions, and garlic before blending.
  • Serve with: Crumbled queso fresco, a squeeze of lime, pickled chilies, avocado, and chopped cilantro.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 489kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 495mg | Potassium: 708mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 6046IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 3mg
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