Chicken Tinola


Tinola is an easy, one-pot soup from the Philippines. Chicken, chayote squash (or papaya!), bok choy, and spinach are simmered with fresh ginger in a savory broth that's often served with white rice.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
50 mins

Get ready for a fragrant chicken soup loaded with fresh vegetables and bold seasonings. This top-rated recipe boasts an intensely savory flavor that makes it stand out from the pack. Try your hand at this terrific chicken tinola and make tonight's dinner one to remember.

looking down at a large bowl of chicken tinola.

Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

What Is Chicken Tinola?

Tinola is a traditional Filipino comfort food that usually consists of broth, chicken, leafy greens, papaya, and ginger. Fish sauce is a key ingredient that lends a deliciously pungent taste. Chicken tinola is often served with rice to make a hearty meal.

This version features chayote squash and bok choy for a fresh, vibrant spin on traditional chicken soup.

How to Make Chicken Tinola

Make this warming Filipino chicken soup a part of your regular rotation. You'll find the full recipe below with step-by-step instructions, but here's what you can expect when you make this top-rated recipe:

Begin gently cooking the onion and garlic in a large pot over medium heat until fragrant. Add the ginger, fish sauce, and chicken, and cook for about five minutes. Stir in the broth, squash, and seasonings before simmering until the chicken is white in the center.

Add bok choy and spinach, cooking the mixture just until the greens are wilted. Serve the soup hot by itself or paired with rice.

How to Store Chicken Tinola

Refrigerate the leftover chicken tinola in an airtight container for up to three days. If you'd like to freeze chicken tinola, use a heavy-duty bag or large, tight-lidded container for best results. Reheat on the stovetop.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"This soup is soo good!" raves Yum Yum Betty. "I substituted zucchini and yellow squash for the chayote squash and added an extra can of chicken broth, mushrooms, and hot chili oil. I will definitely make this again."

"I was actually very afraid making this because it's out of my comfort zone but my husband is Filipino & I really wanted to make this for him," shares kaylaem. "It came out perfectly – thank you so much for sharing the recipe!"

"Delicious and great for a rainy day," says Raivyn. "Tasted like my mom's, and was very easy to make."

Editorial contributions by Rai Mincey


  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 (1 1/2 inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce

  • 3 pounds chicken legs and thighs, rinsed and patted dry

  • 2 (14 ounce) cans chicken broth

  • 1 chayote squash, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces

  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

  • 1 head bok choy, chopped

  • 1 (8 ounce) package fresh spinach, chopped


  1. Gather all ingredients.

    All ingredients gathered to make chicken tinola.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  2. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

    Onions and garlic cooking until fragrant.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  3. Add ginger and fish sauce; cook and stir for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in chicken and cook for 5 minutes.

    Ginger, fish sauce and chicken added to pot.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  4. Pour in chicken broth and cook for 5 minutes. Add squash and simmer until chicken is no longer pink in the center, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

    Chicken broth and squash added to pot, cooking until chicken is no longer pink.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  5. Add bok choy and spinach; cook until spinach is just wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve hot.

    Spinach and bok choy added to the pot, cooking until just wilted.

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios


You can use a green papaya instead of chayote squash if preferred.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

532 Calories
23g Fat
14g Carbs
66g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 532
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 23g 29%
Saturated Fat 6g 29%
Cholesterol 208mg 69%
Sodium 1551mg 67%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 66g
Vitamin C 76mg 379%
Calcium 227mg 17%
Iron 6mg 33%
Potassium 1207mg 26%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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