Chicken Tinola

Chicken Tinola

Chicken Tinola is a Filipino Chicken soup that’s flavored with ginger and garlic, and it’s delicious. I first tasted this soup with a Filipino co-worker shared some with me, and I fell in love with it. I asked her for her recipe, but we were assigned different schedules, so I never got the recipe for her delicious Chicken Tinola.

Time passed, and I kept trying to figure out how to prepare this delicious soup. I looked at recipes on different web sites. I found some really good recipes for Chicken Tinola on these sites.

I carefully studied all of these recipes, tested them, and even made a version of Chicken Tinola using a seasoning packet that I purchased at the local Asian grocery store.

Chicken Tinola

All of the versions that I tried were good, including the one made with the packet in the photo above, but none of them were exactly what I was looking for. I went back to the drawing board, and tried to come up with a completely homemade version using the recipes listed above as guides, tweaking things to create the taste I was looking for.

Chicken Tinola

The final result was a delicious recipe that had just the right balance of flavors. Most of the recipes call for malunggay or chili leaves, but I wasn’t able to find them in my area, so I substituted a small amount of spinach in my version of the recipe. I realize that this isn’t authentic, but it was good. The secret ingredient in this soup is the green papaya. It’s delectable.

Chicken Tinola tastes like it could cure whatever ails you and goes well with a side of rice to make it a complete meal. I am in love with this soup, and I know you will be, too.

What do you need to prepare this recipe?

From the Pantry:

  • Oil (corn or canola or…)
  • Fish Sauce
  • Chicken Bouillon Cubes

From the Refrigerator/Freezer:

  • Ginger
  • Chicken
  • Green Papaya
  • Spinach

From the Root Cellar:

  • Onion
  • Garlic
Chicken Tinola

Give our recipe for Chicken Tinola a try and let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Thanks for visiting Patty Cake’s Pantry.

Chicken Tinola

Chicken Tinola

A bright and delicious chicken soup flavored with garlic, ginger, and fish sauce makes a delicious meal or appetizer. Using chicken legs and thighs keeps the cost down, and the dark meat adds depth of flavor. The total cost of the recipe is $4.36 or about $0.73 per serving.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Servings 6


  • 1 tbsp corn or canola oil ($0.04)
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped ($0.11)
  • 3 cloves garlic minced ($0.08)
  • 1 1/2 inch piece ginger cut into thin strips ($0.12)
  • 8-12 pieces chicken legs and thighs about 3 pounds ($1.41)
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce ($0.37)
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes ($0.04) (optional)
  • 1 small to medium green papaya peeled, seeded, and cut into wedges ($1.04)
  • 1 bunch spinach (stems trimmed) ($0.50)


  • Heat oil in deep pot over medium heat.
  • Add onion and ginger to oil and sautee for two to three minutes.
  • Add garlic to pan and sautee for one more minute.
  • Add chicken to pan, and brown on both sides for five to seven minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add water, fish sauce, and bouillon cube and stir.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • If foam forms on top, skim it off with a spoon.
  • Reduce heat and cover pot.
  • Simmer for 30 – 35 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
  • Add papaya to pot and cook for about 5 minutes, or until crisp tender.
  • Add spinach to pot and submerge it into soup broth to allow it to wilt.
  • Serve

Nutrition information is for a serving of Chicken Tinola consisting of 1/6th of the recipe as written above.

Chicken Tinola

Disclaimer:  Nutritional information is calculated using online tools such as those available at or  We make every attempt to ensure that this information is calculated correctly, but this information should be considered estimates.   Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe.  In addition, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition-fact sources, databases, and the algorithms used.   You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.  Under no circumstances will be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information provided. 

6 thoughts on “Chicken Tinola

  1. This looks like such a wonderful comforting soup with a clear broth. Green papaya is one ingredient I would never have guessed is in this soup. Very interesting!!

    1. Bernice, I know what you mean. I would never have considered green papaya as an ingredient in soup. The first version I tried used chayote squash. I chose it because squash was a more “normal” soup ingredient (to this caucasian girl), but it wasn’t as good. This soup is very comforting and refreshing. I love it, and I hope you try this recipe.

    1. I had never used green papaya in soup before I tried tinola, and I love it. It’s a delicious and comforting soup, but I’m not a huge fan of soup in the summer. I love your recommendations in your post for choosing the right chicken for the Tinola, but I noticed one thing that is very different between where each of us lives. Chicken wings are not inexpensive here in the US. They cost $2.99/lb. Chicken drumsticks/legs are inexpensive at about $0.99/lb. Thighs are also less expensive than wings, and they are my favorite because they add so much flavor to things. Even boneless, skinless chicken breasts cost less than wings most of the time. It’s weird, don’t you think?

  2. Thanks for the reply! I’m kinda jealous because your prices there aren’t as expensive as the ones we have here. Especially during and after the quarantine period that happened here. And believe me, some people would drink a steaming hot cup of coffee in broad daylight no matter how hot it gets, so a bowl of this kind of soup wouldn’t bother us too much haha. Anyways, always looking forward to more great recipes from your site. Cheers!

    1. Here, it’s all about where we shop. Some stores charge more than others, and I like to save money, so I choose the less expensive stores and shop sales.

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