Gallina Pinta

Discover the Rich Cultural Heritage of Sonora, Mexico with Gallina Pinta Soup

 Travel down south to Mexico's Sonora region to experience the flavorful and vibrant Gallina Pinta soup. Despite its name implying a painted hen, the soup's true beauty lies in its colorful and diverse range of ingredients.

Gallina Pinta in bowl

When winter chill sets in, cozy up with a steaming bowl of Gallina Pinta. The warm, terracotta-colored broth brims with tender beef chunks, oxtails, hominy, and pinto beans, teasing your taste buds with every spoonful. Whether you're famished or just in search of comfort, this hearty soup is sure to hit the spot.

What is Gallina Pinta?

Gallina pinta (Painted Chicken) is a soup from the northern Mexican state of Sonora and has a name that makes no sense as the soup lacks the chicken (Gallina). But everything else about this soup, from its beefy flavor to the mixture of beans and hominy, freshened with the flavor of cilantro makes sense. 

 It is often served during celebrations and family gatherings, and every region has its own unique spin on the recipe. Some versions incorporate vegetables like carrots and potatoes, while others include spicy chilies for an extra kick. Regardless of the specific ingredients, the result is always a rich, satisfying dish that warms you from the inside out. So the next time you're craving something hearty and delicious, give Gallina Pinta a try. It's a surefire way to beat the winter blues and bring a little bit of Mexican flavor to your kitchen.

For This Recipe You Will Need:

Beans - Cooked homemade pinto beans or store-bought canned beans

Meat - Oxtail & chuck roast, or stew meat

Vegetables - Cilantro, Mexican hominy, garlic, onion, and Roma tomatoes

Spices - Mexican oregano, salt, and bay leaves

Chile peppers - Anaheim chile pepper, dried guajillo peppers

Liquids - Beef broth, and water

How to Make This Recipe
  • Place chuck roast chunks, oxtail, beef stock, and water in a large stockpot. Cover; bring to a boil. Skim off any foam that rises to the top. Reduce heat to simmer.
Oxtail for Gallina Pinta
Beef Oxtail - Gallina Pinta

  • Stir in bay leaves, garlic head, whole onion, one cored plum tomato, Anaheim pepper, cilantro, and guajillo chilies. Cover. Simmer for 2 hours or until meat is tender.

Gallina Pinta ingredients

  • Remove onion, garlic, tomato, Anaheim pepper, guajillo chilies, and bay leaves from the pot. Squeeze garlic cloves out from the root end, discarding any remnants of the peel. Place garlic cloves in a blender.

  • Add onion, tomato, Anaheim pepper, guajillos, the remaining 2 tomatoes, and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt to the blender. Cover. Blend on high speed until completely smooth. Set aside.
  • Drain and rinse canned pinto beans.
  • Stir in hominy, beans, oregano, and 1 tablespoon of the salt. Add the blended sauce that was set aside*. Cook 30 minutes longer or until hominy is tender.
  • Salt to taste.
  • Place soup in serving bowls, and top with salsa and chiltepins.

Topping Ideas

Sliced radishes
Sliced avocados
Chopped cilantro
Lime slices

  • Oxtails - Beef shanks or beef short ribs can replace oxtails.
  • Beans - 1 lb dry pinto beans for homemade beans
  • Poblano pepper can replace Anaheim chile pepper.

Storing Gallina Pinta
  • In the fridge: Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week in the refrigerator
  • Freeze: Place in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.

Other Recipes You'll Love:

Gallina Pinta in blue bowl


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Gallina Pinta