Slow cooker chicken tortilla soup

Slow cooker dinners are the best, because they're so simple. Gather your ingredients, set your slow cooker, and head out the door. There's nothing better than coming home after a rough day to the smell of dinner already cooked. The problem is that I keep coming across slow cooker recipes that have more steps than any other recipe. When a recipe has 12 steps before I can put my ingredients in the slow cooker, it's really not making my life any easier.

Enter slow cooker chicken tortilla soup. It's hearty, comforting, and oh so easy. You only need a handful of ingredients, and you probably already have most of them in your kitchen right now. The soup can be cooked quickly on high heat if dinner is in a couple hours, or slowly on low heat if you need more time. Either way, you're going to be adding this recipe to your weekly staples. 

Gather your ingredients

Start by gathering your ingredients. We'll start with chicken breast and chicken stock. The soup gets its flavor from taco seasoning and salsa — I told you it was easy. We'll also be adding corn, diced green chiles, and onion for a nutritious flavor punch. 

A full list of ingredients and step-by-step instructions can be found at the end of this article.

Cook the chicken

Spray your slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray and place the raw chicken breast down. Pour in enough chicken stock to just cover the chicken. The remaining stock will be used later in the recipe when we assemble the soup.

If your chicken breasts are large, feel free to cut them into smaller pieces to ensure quicker and more even cooking.

Add the spice

Open your packet of taco seasoning and sprinkle it over the chicken and stock. Using the back of a spoon, pat the seasoning into the chicken for better, more intense flavor. Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for two hours, until the chicken breast is completely cooked through and no longer pink. The chicken could also be cooked on low heat for about four hours.

If you don't have a packet of pre-made taco seasoning, you could make your own by combining spices such as cumin, red chili pepper, oregano, and garlic powder.

Saute the onions

Here's the one extra step in the recipe, but it's well worth it. While the chicken is cooking, place a large saucepan over medium heat and add two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the chopped white onion and saute until the onion is fragrant and translucent, about five minutes, then set them aside.

Sauteing the onion before adding it to the soup will bring out its sweet flavor and cut any bitterness. It will also make your kitchen smell amazing.

Shred the chicken

Once the chicken is cooked through, using two forks, shred the chicken into small pieces. It may be easier to remove each piece of chicken from the slow cooker and shred on a clean cutting board. Once the chicken has been shredded, return it to the slow cooker, keeping the heat at the high level.

Start the soup

Now add the remaining chicken stock. There should be a total of six cups in the slow cooker now. You could also use chicken broth for this recipe, but chicken stock works just as well and is lower in sodium. Stir to combine.

Add the chiles

Open both cans of diced green chiles and dump them into the slow cooker. I used the mild variety for this soup, but if you like some extra heat, choose medium or hot peppers. You could also heat things up by adding in a chopped jalapeno pepper. Remember, the seeds will add the most heat.

Add the onions

Scoop the now-cooled sauteed onions into the slow cooker — be careful not to leave any behind. They add a ton of flavor!

Mix the ingredients

Stir in the bag of frozen corn and mix the soup well. The chicken is fully cooked, so it's safe to taste the soup at this point and add salt if needed.

Stir in the salsa

Once the soup is mixed, stir in the two cups of medium salsa. Feel free to use mild or hot as well, depending on your tastes. Stir the soup well and cover the slow cooker with the lid. Allow to cook on high for two additional hours or on low for four additional hours.

Once the soup is cooked, spoon it into individual bowls and top with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips. Enjoy!

Directions

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 4 to 6 hours

Servings: 12

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast

  • 6 cups chicken stock, divided

  • 1 packet taco seasoning

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 2 (4.5-ounce) cans diced green chiles

  • 1 bag frozen corn

  • 2 cups medium salsa

  • Shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

  • Sour cream (optional)

  • Tortilla chips (optional)

Directions:

  1. Spray a large slow cooker pot with nonstick cooking spray. Add the chicken breast and cover with chicken stock. Sprinkle in the taco seasoning over the top. Set to high heat and heat until the chicken is cooked through, about two hours.

  2. Meanwhile, heat a large saucepan over medium heat and add extra virgin olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the chopped onion and saute until translucent, about five minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

  3. Once the chicken is fully cooked, shred it using two forks. To the slow cooker, add the remaining chicken stock, diced green chiles, cooked onions, and frozen corn. Mix to combine. Stir in the two cups of salsa and cook on high for two hours.

  4. Remove from heat and stir to make sure all the flavors are combined. Spoon into individual bowls and top with garnishes. Enjoy!