Chicken Tinola

Chicken Tinola is a popular Filipino dish and a real comfort food. This is definitely on the top of Filipino recipe favorites and one of our top three to cook at home- Tinola, Sinigang, and Adobo. This is one easy, tasty, and nutritious dish. The meat is slowly simmered in garlic, onions, and ginger- the longer the cooking time, the richer the broth. The simmering will cook out a lot of oil from the chicken, so make sure to skim this off to make it healthier. We like to cook then cool and refrigerate until the oil solidifies and easily scooped out. Chayote and malunggay leaves are added at the last few minutes of cooking to keep the vegetables perfectly cooked and crunchy.  The usual Tinola uses sili leaves which you can also use as an alternative, but we love using malunggay for its health benefits. It is high in calcium and vitamin C among others. We cook this very simple recipe at least once a week and the kids love it!

Chicken Tinola

Print Recipe
Serves: 5 Cooking Time: 50 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, pounded
  • 1 kilo chicken, cut into pieces
  • 1” ginger, chopped into matchsticks
  • 1.5 liters chicken broth
  • 2 cups chayote, sliced
  • ½ cup malunggay leaves
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste



Season chicken pieces in salt and pepper, set aside.


Sauté onion, garlic, and ginger in oil until onions are translucent.


Add chicken pieces and lightly brown.


Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Once it boils, lower the heat to simmer.


Low simmer for 40 minutes.


Add chayote and continue simmering until fork can easily pierce through the vegetables.


Lastly, add malunggay leaves and fish sauce.


Season with salt and pepper.


Serve hot.


1. Some prefer to brown the chicken a bit more to make a deeper flavored broth. 2. Make sure to clear away scum that floats to the surface while simmering to keep a clean broth.

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