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Food & Recipes

Caldo de Res: The Mexican Beef and Veggie Soup That’s So Comforting + Good for You

Plus, chef tips for cooking beef shank and more on the benefits of bone marrow.

We love a big bowl of hearty soup to warm us up on a chilly day. So when we found this seriously satisfying Caldo de Res recipe, we knew it deserves a spot as one of our favorites. Tender vegetables, fresh herbs and bone-in beef shank come together to create a comforting bowl that’s as nutritional as it is tasty. That’s right! One serving packs a ton of protein and vitamins with a little help from bone marrow. We’re sharing our favorite fuss-free recipe that cooks nice and slow in a dutch oven. Here’s everything you need to make Caldo de Res.

What is Caldo de Res?

Caldo de Res is a traditional Mexican soup made with beef, broth and vegetables. In Spanish, caldo means “broth” and res means “beef.”

“Caldo de Res is one of those comfort dishes a lot of Latinx families love to have around when needing a pick-me-up for a warm belly on a cold day,” says Chef Alejandra Serna-Cardona, or Chef Ale, at Tyson Foods. You’ll need a lot of ingredients, including bone-in beef shank, carrots, potatoes, cabbage, corn, celery, onion, garlic, cilantro and bay leaves. And that’s just one version! Other variations call for additional vegetables like chayote, tomatillos and jalapeños, all popular in Mexican cooking. Before serving, many finish this soup with garnishes like cilantro or lime wedges.

The key to a great Caldo de Res is patience. Like many soups or stews, it takes around two hours to prepare. But don’t worry — this recipe requires minimal prep, and once it’s done, it’ll be worth the wait. Everything cooks in the broth, even the beef shanks. Caldo de Res also requires a large pot to hold everything.

Storage tips

For any leftovers, you’ll want to refrigerate them in an airtight container for up to five days. If you want to save your Caldo de Res for longer, store it in a freezer-safe container or bag for up to three months.

When reheating from the freezer, it’s best to thaw it completely in the refrigerator. Then, place the soup in a pot and cook it on the stove until warmed. Alternatively, you can reheat Caldo de Res in the microwave a serving at a time in 1-minute intervals, about 3 minutes.

Related: This Microwave Hack Will Reheat Your Leftovers Much More Evenly — and in Less Time

Cooking bone-in beef shank

caldo de res: bone-in beef shank

Bone-in beef shank might not be part of your everyday kitchen adventure, but its role in Caldo de Res is essential for richness and depth. “The shank comes from the leg [of the cow] just below the brisket,” explains Chef Ale. “It’s very tough and full of connective tissue, so it is perfect for long-cook applications such as Caldo De Res where the meat really tenderizes as it cooks low and slow.” Beef shank usually tastes very meaty and savory. It also has a gelatinous texture from the high amounts of collagen, a type of protein, in the connective tissues.

To prepare bone-in beef shank properly, opt for braising or simmering. This helps break down the tough fibers and render the meat tender to eat. Chef Ale also advises to “cook with cold water so [the] max amount of flavor is extracted from meat.”

Is Caldo de Res healthy?

It may look unassuming, but Caldo de Res boasts an impressive nutritional profile. These fresh, unprocessed ingredients offer your daily dose of protein, vitamins and minerals. Learn more about the nutritional benefits below with dietitian Claire Rifkin, RDN.


“Caldo de Res is typically made with vegetables like carrots, potatoes, zucchini and corn, all of which add nutritional benefit like vitamins, minerals and fiber to the soup,” says Rifkin. “Many American’s do not meet their daily fiber needs, and this soup would certainly be a delicious way of increasing your daily fiber intake!”


Beef offers high-quality protein, essential for muscle repair and growth. Other essential vitamins and minerals include iron, zinc and B vitamins. Iron, in particular, helps transports oxygen throughout the body and prevents iron deficiency. Additionally, protein in beef promotes satiety and may aid in weigh management by reducing cravings.

Bone marrow

caldo de res: bone marrow

Often referred as “nature’s butter,” bone marrow is a nutrient-dense, gelatinous substance found within the hollow center of bones. When cooked, it imparts a luxurious richness and flavor. But more important, “bone-in shanks are typically rich in collagen, amino acids and minerals like calcium and phosphorus, which can support healthy joint function and bone health,” explains Rifkin. “Additionally, the bone marrow is also nutritious, as it contains minerals such as iron and vitamin B12, which are required for energy production and brain health.”

Hearty Caldo de Res recipe

While traditional recipes call for just the meat off the beef shanks, it can’t hurt to add more. This delicious recipe from Kevin is Cooking adds pieces of beef chuck. You can also substitute beef short ribs.

Dutch Oven Caldo de Res

caldo de res recipe
Roberto Galan/Getty


  • 2 lbs. bone-in beef shanks, ox tails or short ribs also work
  • 1 lb. beef chuck, cubed
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbs. kosher salt
  • 2 yellow potatoes, cut into eight pieces
  • 2 ears corn, shucked and cut into 2″ pieces
  • 4 carrots, sliced into thick coins
  • 1 large jalapeño, sliced into rings
  • ½ head cabbage, cut into quarters
  • 2 zucchini, cut into thick coins
  • 2 mint sprigs


  • Active Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings
  1. In a large dutch oven or soup pot, add 10 cups water, beef shanks, beef chuck, garlic, bay leaves and the salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 90 minutes, or until the meat is tender. Skim off any brown foam floating at the top.
  2. Remove the beef shank/bones. Then, with a slotted spoon remove the pieces of cooked beef chuck, bay leaves and garlic cloves. Transfer cooked beef shank/bones to a bowl, and set aside to cool. Transfer cooked beef chuck pieces to a small bowl. Discard bay leaves and garlic cloves.
  3. Add potatoes, corn, carrots, jalapeño and 2 cups water to the pot. Bring to a boil, then add the cabbage, zucchini and mint. Cover and turn heat to low; cook until vegetables are tender (check with a fork), about 15 minutes.
  4. While vegetables are cooking, remove any bits of meat from the bones, then discard bones. Add meat to the bowl with beef chuck. Chop the meat into small bite size chunks, then add to soup pot. Cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Remove mint sprigs and discard. Season with salt and pepper, stir everything thoroughly. Serve soup in large bowls. Top each bowl with cilantro and freshly squeezed lime juice.

What to serve with Caldo de Res

Complimenting the hearty goodness of Caldo de Res with the perfect side dishes can elevate your dining experience to new heights. Here are some tasty ideas to pair with your soup.

1. Warm tortillas

Whether you choose corn or flour, these soft, pillowy wraps are perfect for scooping up tender beef and vegetables.

2. Mexican rice

A classic side dish that’s fragrant, fluffy and infused with tomato, onion and spices. Chef Ale recommends also trying it in the soup: “Have it absorb the rich bone broth as it cooks. So when served, a spoonful of rice is put in the bowl and the Caldo poured on top with all the vegetable and beefy goodness complimenting the tomato/umami forward rice.”

3. Tortilla chips and salsa

For a crunchy contrast serve up a side of salty tortilla chips and bright salsa. This works well for a bigger crowd.

4. Mexican cornbread

Indulge in a slice of homemade Mexican cornbread that’s cheesy, moist and a little spicy thanks to jalapeños. Watch this video recipe for how to make it.

For more comforting soup recipes, click through these:

This Hamburger Soup Recipe Is Hearty Comfort in a Bowl + Preps in Just 15 Minutes

Escarole and Beans Soup Is Pure Comfort in a Bowl — Easy Recipe Preps in Just 20 Minutes

For Tastier (and Healthier) Tomato Soup, Use Tofu Instead of Heavy Cream — Here’s How

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