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Kak ik Guatemalan turkey soup in a pottery bowl on a board.
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4.69 from 16 votes

Kak'ik - Guatemalan Turkey Soup

This traditional Guatemalan Kak'ik Turkey Soup features dark turkey meat in a delicious, lightly-spiced red broth. One of the most famous Mayan dishes in Guatemala, it's perfect for a hearty fall meal. Or enjoy it as a spicy Latin-inspired alternative to plain roast turkey during the holiday season!  
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Guatemalan
Servings: 4
Calories: 1163kcal
Cost: 20


  • Skillet
  • large pot
  • Knife
  • blender or food processor


  • 4 turkey drumsticks or thighs excess fat and loose skin removed
  • 6 Roma tomatoes
  • 2 onions
  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 cup tomatillos husks removed
  • 4 cups turkey stock or chicken broth
  • 1 dried chile guaque
  • 1 dried chile pasa
  • 1 teaspoon cobanero chile powder or chipotle to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves ground
  • 2 heads garlic
  • 1/2 cup cilantro fresh
  • 1/4 cup mint fresh
  • ½ teaspoon achiote dissolved in a little water


  • Cut the turkey into serving size pieces. Add enough chicken or turkey stock to cover the turkey pieces, the garlic, cilantro and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes until tender. Remove and reserve the garlic and cilantro.
  • Meanwhile, char the tomato, tomatillos, onion and sweet pepper in a dry skillet or over a gas flame or grill. Remove and set aside
  • Remove the seeds from the dried chiles and char in the same skillet until fragrant but not burned. Soak the charred roasted dried chile peppers in one cup of the warm turkey broth until softened.
  • Combine pan roasted vegetables with the soaked chile pasa and chile guaque in a food processor, with one cup of turkey stock and reserved garlic. Process until smooth and velvety.
  • Add achiote, cinnamon, cloves and powdered chile de coban (if not using dried in previous step) and process once more. Add more turkey broth as needed to make a smooth puree.
  • Add the puree to the turkey and simmer until the soup is thickened to almost a stew. Around 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste
  • Sprinkle with chopped mint and cilantro just before serving.


  • Serve with white rice, small masa (corn flour) tamales or crusty bread and slices of avocado. Place a bottle of hot sauce or crushed chiltepin or cobanero pepper in a small bowl on the side so people can customize their own spice level.
  • Kakik can be prepared up to two days in advance, stored in the refrigerator and reheated on the stove at a low-medium heat. Sprinkle with cilantro or mint before serving. 
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed to be accurate. It is created by online calculators and although we attempt to provide accurate nutritional information, the figures are only estimates.


Calories: 1163kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 142g | Fat: 50g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 488mg | Sodium: 864mg | Potassium: 2760mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 3956IU | Vitamin C: 103mg | Calcium: 181mg | Iron: 14mg