Sopa Seca: Mexican Noodle Casserole

Total Time:
55 min
20 min
35 min

4 servings

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for pan
  • 12 ounces fideos (bundled vermicelli)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • 1 teaspoon New Mexican chili powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 cups canned whole tomatoes
  • 1 to 2 chipotles en adobo sauce, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth, homemade, or low-sodium canned
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups shredded smoked turkey
  • 1 cup coarsely grated cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
  • Mexican crema, or sour cream thinned with a bit of milk, optional
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

  • Brush a 9-inch square baking dish with oil. Heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the fideos and cook, turning them with tongs, until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer the bundles and any broken pieces to a plate.

  • Add the onion to the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic, coriander, oregano, chili powder, and bay leaf, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Crush the tomatoes over the pot with your hand and add them to the pot along with their juices. Add the chipotles, increase the heat to high, and cook until thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the broth, the toasted fideos, salt, and pepper, to taste. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer gently, uncovered, breaking up the fideos with a spoon, for about 5 minutes. Stir in the turkey.

  • Remove the bay leaf. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish, sprinkle the grated cheese over the top, and cover loosely with foil. Bake until the cheese melts and the casserole is hot through and through, about 20 minutes. If desired, serve with some crema drizzled over the top.

  • Copyright (c) 2003 Television Food Network, G.P., All Rights Reserved

View All

Cooking Tips
4.3 57
Yum, Yum, Yum. It takes some practice to brown the fideos just right (do not go easy on the olive oil), but other than that, this is one of those dishes you can do "some of this, some of that". I've made it enough times that I just wing it. Do not, however, miss out on the freshly ground coriander, it makes it! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I took this to a potluck and everyone raved about it. Yes it is spicy but if you have ever used chipotle peppers, you know that they are hot but you can control how much heat you give your dish. Smoky, hearty, cheesy and the smoked turkey is an exceelent meat for this dish. Of course chicken, or pork would work just as well. Anyway, great recipe! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Made this dish for my monthly book club meeting and it was a big hit. Did not use the cheddar but used only authentic Mexican cheeses and chicken vs. turkey. Used petite crushed tomatoes to save some time. Paired this dish with the Mexican chocolate cookies and the Margarita ice cream. Will make again and again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This dish is relatively easy to make and will impress your guests (or your family). Wow. Intense flavor. I'm vegetarian so I substituted the turkey for Morning Star Farms "fake meat" and it was fabulous. Wonderful! The Fideos were a bit tricky to find in the supermarket; look in the ethnic isle near the Goya products and it will be there. I highly recommend this recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I loved the flavors of this dish! My family thought it was a little strange with the noodles so I made it again with rice and they loved it. Will definately make this again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I'm a college student and I made this for some of my roommates and friends... they all loved it and are asking for the recipe! I will be making this again soon. item not reviewed by moderator and published
1. This was spicier than I expected, but in a good way. I made it exactly as the recipe stated. 2. Next time I will make it without any meat. It was delicious with the smoked turkey, but would stand up very well without any meat at all. 3. Easy to put together, and improved as the days rolled by. Yummo! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Try this recipe, it will knock your socks off! The spice is just right, even for the kids. I used rotisserie chicken, super easy preparation. I made it right before the kids' practices and set the oven at 200, when we got home an hour later and it was perfect. Makes well more than 4 servings, but no complaints here. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My husband and I enjoy cooking and trying many different recipes, most frequently from the Food Network. I came across this one, and it sounded interesting. I couldn't find the bundled vermicelli, so I bought the Italian kind, broke it in half, and browned it. I followed the rest of the recipe exactly, with the exception of using chicken rather than turkey. (the rater who used a whole can of chipotle in adobo sauce did NOT. No wonder she needed milk after- the recipe calls for 2 chipotles, not the whole can!!) The spices, while cooking, smelled wonderful! My husband and I had a hearty second helping and agreed that this would be a great dish to prepare again when our children come to visit. They will love it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
It would have been really good if it hadn't been so spicy. I will make this dish again, but way less spicy! We're Southern Californians and love spicy food! We eat hot stuff all the time. However, this recipe was much TOO spicy. I used a whole can of chipotles in adobo and all the chili powder it called for. In the future i will half both ingredients. That way it will be consumable by children. Anyone who wants it hotter can throw on some Tapatio! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I just made this tonight. Frankly, I was a bit aprehensive about this recipe after reading some of the reviews that complained this was bland. I thought it turned out delicious! I did do a couple of things differently. I used regular turkey breast, chopped up, along with about 5 or 6 strips of ready-cooked bacon crumbled up with it. That added a nice smoky flavor. I used two chipotles, unrinsed, but also used about one and a half teaspoons of Ancho Chile Powder plus about 1/4 tsp of ground chipotle. (Penzeys Spices markets a fabulous assortment of ground chile). I also upped the Oregano and Coriander to about one and a half teaspoons each. I used a 15 oz. can of Crushed Tomatoes, which made for a nice, thick sauce. The casserole came out of the oven at the perfect consistency. I didn't have any Crema, but topped my bowl with a dollop of sour cream. It was muy deliciosa! My teenagers loved it. When I can find something the whole family eats, it will definitely get made again. This one goes on the regular rotation. Plus, it's a snap to make after a busy day at work. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Ive had a version of this growing up and I will let you in on a little secret.. Mexicans use PORK FAT use a little bit of bacon drippings and the flavor will be out of this world. item not reviewed by moderator and published
IF you want to make an original Sopa Seca de Fideos.... you'd have to change some things in this recipe. Sopa Seca de Fideos is authentic mexican comfort/home food, plain and simple yet incredibly delicious. First, you'd have to omit the olive oil and use normal, flavorless oil like corn or canola. Olive oil isn't widely used in Mexico. Only in some spanish influenced recipes like "Pescado a la Veracruzana" and some others. Now, coriander???? it's never (or, almost... never??) used in mexican food ... OMIT. Oregano and bay leaf.... yes, they're used in Mexican food, but not in this particular dish.... there's just no need... But if you want to throw a small bunch of fresh cilantro at the simmering stage, that would give the Fideos a definitely homey Mexican taste. Meat and chesse: Smoked turkey is almost unknown here in Mexico and turkey itself isn't widely used (though it should). Shredded chicken would be more authentic. Cheddar cheese?? No comments.... it's just UNKNOWN. In Mexico it'd be served with Cotija Cheese and avocado sliced or cubed on top. You can substitute it with Monterrey Jack or, if available, with Mexican Manchego or Chihuhua Cheeses, if you want to try the "casserole" thing (also un-mexican, LOL !). About the Crema, don't you ever skip it! You can now visualize your authentic mexican dish, yummy fideos secos simmered with chipotle and cilantro, served with some shredded chicken, cotija cheese, avocado and a nice dollop of "crema". Now, that's authentic mexican home food. Enjoy ! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I too bought the six ounce package of fideo. However, I found that the seasonings were too tame, so I would guess that I doubled the New Mexico Chili powder and used the full teaspoon of Mexican Oregano. I also added smoked paprika and cumin, my favorite spices. I don't measure much but I'd guess a half teaspoon of each. I started out with one large clove of garlic and added another after the noodles started softening. I used a whole 14 oz can of diced tomatoes, one chipotle with 1 tblspn of adobo (my boyfriend doesn't care for very spicy foods, if it were up to me I would have added another) and probably close to 2 cups of stock. The heat was nice but could have been more for my taste. I used two chicken breasts that I baked with smoked paprika, cumin, thyme and Pappy's seasoning. I also used the full cup (at least) of cheese. I wish I had used extra sharp though. I just finished my leftover lunch and I have to say it was better than last night's dinner. The flavors really melded overnight. I want to try it with another flavor profile, maybe more Italian with basil, mozzarella and parmesan or Greek with sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts and feta. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My men like hot so I used three chipotles; two would have been fine for more sensitive palates. I agree with the reader's comments about the smoked turkey. It doesnt add anything. I thought I would try ground turkey next time and maybe a little chorizo. I think this one is going with me to my next pot luck this fall. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is one of my new favorite recipes! Everyone I have made this for loves it! I did alter the recipe slightly and used chicken instead of turkey. The presentation is beautiful with the noodle bundles. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I had to cheat and use Asian noodles as I couldn't find the kind the recipe called for...but, boy, was this meal excellent! My family raved and I will definitely keep it on hand for after TG turkey leftovers this year! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I just have to say to those that said it was a "little dry" as written--it's supposed to be! Seca means dry.... Anyway, we really liked it and I've even taken it to my school for a potluck. Everyone there who tasted it asked for the recipe. We use all the spices mentioned almost daily (as my husband is originally from Mexico City) and that made it easy. That was the only complaint my friends had--having to buy spices they don't normally use. I have made it as written and it's good. I've also substituted ground beef (ok) and browned stew meat (better) and shredded pork (probably the best). It's worth making--we never have leftovers! item not reviewed by moderator and published
My sister and family were here for the week-end, so I decided to try this recipe.My husband is a picky eater and I thought he'd be polite if we had company!!Well, when he went for seconds and then thirds, well I almost fell out of my chair. I had to double the recipe due to all the extra people and this was the first time. Had to use the vermicelli, it was fun browning it in a huge pan, pasta went flying. But with everyone in the kitchen helping(?) we had a really fun time. The only thing that I couldn't put in was the chipolties in adobo, Glad I tasted it first, I like a little heat but just a drop on my tongue, really hot. I did get the Mexican Crema, use it, it really makes the dish. My husband announced "It's a keeper". Then I fainted!! Really GREAT dish. Vicky Florida item not reviewed by moderator and published
Last January we dined at a little Spanish restaurant in New Orleans and enjoyed fideo for the first time. This is very similar but with more of a Mexican flavor to it. I couldn't find the coiled vermicelli so I used broken up vermicelli that was in pieces a couple of inches long. I just browned it turning often and it came out just fine. You break it up anyway after it's browned so it really doesn't matter. I had leftover braised short rib meat that I used instead of the turkey, but seems like just about any meat or even shrimp would do. The vermicelli didn't get done in the amount of time given and needed more liquid too, so I just kept stirring and adding liquid until it was done before baking it with the cheese. As for the cheese, cheddar was good, but I will also try cotija. I'll make this again and again either as is, or experimenting with more Spanish flavors. item not reviewed by moderator and published
We looooooved this dish! Easy to make and great as leftovers. Some of the recipes have been hit or miss, but this one was a real winner. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I substituted sausage for the smoked turkey and I truly enjoyed the flavors of the coiander and oregano together. I have been making my grandmothers fideos recipe for years. It has always been a side dish with out the protien and a bit similar to mexican rice. Please don't tell my Abuelita, but I will never make this dish her way again! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I am surprised to see so many favorable reviews for this dish. I made it once and it was so bad, I threw most of it into the trash. The flavor was so bland and boring. The texture was dry and stringy. The ingredients were hard to find, so I never tried to make it again or improve on it. I'm really shocked to see so many people say it's a family favorite or that they make it all the time. No explaining taste, I guess. I just have to say, it was really, really bad and I'd caution people not to be thrown by the description or the pictures. item not reviewed by moderator and published
some how i didnt think it would be too hot to eat. it was way to spicey an it just seemed like it was sapposed to be italian but they made it mexican the texture was off it made it seem like something from a box instead of made from scratch nothing i will make again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I wish that when a recipe is posted it has the nutritional information posted with it. It would really help to know the calorie,fat,cholestrol, and sodium content of the recipes. Cause if they are higher than you want then you can choose not to make them. Thanks item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is now our standard meal for leftover Thanksgiving turkey. It is just so good. Different, spicy and very noodly. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is my favorite new recipe in the past five+ years. The layers of flavor were amazing. I substituted tomatoes and green chilis for the whole tomatoes but, other than that, pretty much stuck to the recipe. I bought a smaller bag of fideo so I made 1/2 recipe ussing the whole recipe seasoning direction. When reheating the following day (couldn't wait for lunch) I did add some chicken broth. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I couldn't wait to try this dish after reading all the great reviews, but I found it really disappointing. I thought it was really boring, and the texture was strange. Definately agree with the person who called this "glorified spaghettios". Although it was easy to make, I won't be making it again. There are better Mexican recipes out there! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I found this to be a lot of work and it really wasn't very good. Flavor was ok but it was really dry and a strange consistency for a casserole. I was disappointed. Ate it once and threw the rest out, which I rarely have to do. :-( item not reviewed by moderator and published
This dish was delicious, although I do recommend using more chicken broth than the recipe calls for in order to boil the noodles. I have a 3 year old little girl and was afraid the chipotles would be too spicy for her. So, I just drizzled the adobo sauce in and left out the actual chiles and the flavor was still great. I also used shredded chicken instead of turkey. Yummy item not reviewed by moderator and published
I cook 7 days a week following FN's recipes and I have never wanted to write a bad review but... Followed this recipe exactly and it was awful! Anyone who actually likes this recipe obviously has no taste buds!! It doesn't even deserve the one star I had to give, took one bite and threw out the whole casserole. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was addictive! I decreased the chipotle to 1 (rinsed), or it would have overpowered the dish. I also had to add another 1-2 cups of broth in order to have enough liquid to cook the pasta. Don't leave out the drizzle of sour cream (or crema) - it adds the final touch. Also, I read in another recipe for Sopa Seca that you can add 1/2 cup or so of cream to the mixture before you top it with cheese instead of the final drizzle of sour cream on top. I can see myself dreaming about this one, it's that good! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I wanted to try this casserole because I love noodles and my family loves Mexican food. It was devoured so quickly there were no leftovers, which is unusual. And even though I am not too fond of Mexican food, even I really loved it. We will definitely make this one again, especially as it is pretty darn easy. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Even my kids ate this! And believe me, that is saying something. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was an easy dish and a good way to use leftover smoked turkey. The kids just liked it so-so. The leftovers were not worth saving. Will not make again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe was incredibly tasty. The balance of spices was spot on. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Love the flavors of this recipe-I did worry about the recipe being too spicy for my family but I rinsed the chipotles first and then added them to mixture-there is still some spice-not too much-just enough. Really nice flavor -will definately make again item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was one of the best casseroles I have ever made. I will be making this again for sure. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My family loved this easy recipe item not reviewed by moderator and published
This dish is pretty quick and easy. It is very spicy but it is nice. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My husband loved this. I susbstituted rotel for some of the tomaotes and it made it even spicier. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Having read the reviews prior to making this dish, I omitted the chipotles altogether as I find them overpowering to begin with. I was tempted to add more broth as some reviewers suggested, but I'm glad I didn't as the amount called for resulted in a wonderful texture - I just paid extra attention to stirring during this part of the preparation. My version turned out just a little bland, obviously because I skipped the chipotle. When I make this again I may brave a greatly reduced amount of chipotle or add some chopped fresh jalapeno while cooking the onion or even some crushed red pepper. I susbtituted leftover carnitas and used queso cotija instead of cheddar. This dish is one that tastes even better reheated the next day. Thanks for the great recipe! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Not how we do it back home but close enough and still yummy. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I make this twice a year - very special flavors and surprising texutres. Very, very tasty, easy to make & everyone loves it, especially with crema on top. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My 4 year old even liked it! item not reviewed by moderator and published
we love this one! item not reviewed by moderator and published
The best way I can describe this recipe is "jazzed up comfort food." My boyfriend said that it's like a new and improved version of his grandma's hamburger casserole (which he loves). item not reviewed by moderator and published
This dish is easy and absolutely delicious! My son said it was like eating out. I agree with another reviewer in that you need to add a little more liquid for the noodles to cook, but that's not a problem. And chicken would substitute just fine, I think. This will be a repeater! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this a few nights ago not knowing what to really expect. It was a "throw together" dish because it can really be made with what you have on hand if you have the right spices -- which is important to the dish. I used angel hair pasta and diced tomatoes and they worked fine. Unless a person insists on having meat as part of the meal, the turkey adds nothing to the dish. It was almost an aside. It doesn't add a lot of flavor and doesn't make that much different to bulk or texture. I would be just as pleased with the dish without it -- or would feely substitute chicken in it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Noodles, chiles, tomatoes with shredded chicken (I substituted for the turkey), cheese and spices all blended into a hearty casserole that my family loved. I topped it with chopped black olives and a dollop of sour cream. Yum, yum! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Very good, pretty easy to throw together. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was really easy to make and was a huge hit with my family except for my 3 year old - too spicy for him. Everyone who has tasted it requests the recipe. And my family now requests it for dinner often. I used left-over shredded chicken once and was still very good. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I loved this recipe. There is endless flavor in this dish. It did require more water than the recipe called for in order to bring the noodles to a boil. This will be a recipe we will add to our favorite family dishes. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was a great change for our "regular" meal routine. I would defintely cook again item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is great. Every year we get a smoked turkey for Christmas and get sick of it after a couple of days. This tastes great and is a completly different taste. YUM item not reviewed by moderator and published
Ay yi yi yi, a whole can of chipotles! The recipe only called for 1 or 2 peppers from the can. item not reviewed by moderator and published

This recipe is featured in:

Cinco de Mayo