This Chicken Tortilla Soup gets topped with avocado, pico de gallo, greek yogurt and tortilla chips making it a must-have recipe for the season and giving you the perfect reason to break out your slow cooker!
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Weeknight meals can be a challenge. We all want something that's healthy, easy to make and tastes great. But at the same time something that doesn't take hours to prepare. Enter this Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup. Pop all the ingredients in your slow cooker in the morning, set it and let it cook all day while you are working! When you arrive home you just need a little bit more prep and a quick 20 minutes of cooking time before you can spoon the soup bowls, add some toppings and you are ready to eat. The ultimate weeknight meal is ready without a lot of muss and fuss!
I don't use my slow cooker nearly enough. I mean a slower cooker and small batch recipes don't really seem to go together but here's the thing about most things that come from a slow cooker - they usually freeze pretty well and this soup is no exception! That means you can cook once and eat multiple times - always a big plus in my book!!
I've been making this soup for years and it has always been one of my favorite lunch options in the winter. There is nothing like a warm, hearty bowl of soup and a nice piece of freshly baked bread on a cold winter day. Cooking up a nice pot of soup is a great addition to your weekly meal prep routine. It gives you several days of lunch or dinner ready when you want to eat.
One of the great things about this recipe if that it has 6 hours of straight cooking time so you can actually "set it and forget it" - dinner will pretty much be waiting when you get home!
You start by simply tossing most of the ingredients into your crockpot and setting it for 6 hours on low. When it's done cooking you'll shred the chicken at the very end and then add a few things for another 20 minutes of cooking time before it's ready to serve.
With only 15 minutes of prep time, this is sure to become one of your new go-to weeknight dinner recipes!
Instant Pot Variation
If you want to make this in the Instant Pot you can either use the slow cooker function and make as described in the instructions or if you prefer you can use the pressure cooker function. Follow step 1 as described in the recipe instruction except set your Instant Pot to high pressure for 12 minutes. Once done, let the pressure release naturally for 10-15 minutes then use quick release. Follow the rest of the instructions as written below.
Additional notes from the kitchen
- This soup is very freezer friendly. I almost always freeze half of this each time I make it. I like to keep some of these Ziplock containers on hand for freezing. They come in different sizes so you can freeze one, two or four servings in each, which makes for easy defrosting!
- I use frozen sweet corn in this recipe. You will toss it in at the very end so you are basically just waiting for the kernels to unfreeze. If you happen to live in a climate where you grill all year long you could grill some corn then strip it off the cobs and toss it into the soup. It will change the taste slightly but it's a nice flavor addition.
- I like to top this with lots of avocado, pico de gallo and tortilla chips along with a dollop of greek yogurt. I typically squeeze in some additional lime juice just before serving too. You can definitely customize with our favorite Mexican inspired toppings.
things you may want for this recipe
Programmable Slow Cooker – Since I'm typically cooking for smaller groups I prefer a smaller slow cooker. This 3.5-quart size is perfect for making 4-6 servings of soup, chili and other slow cooker dishes.
Immersion Blender - This is a super handy kitchen tool and at just about $30 it's well worth the investment. I use it all winter long to puree soups. For an extra $10 you can get a version that includes a whisk attachment which is super handy for making salad dressing.
Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
- 1 ¼ cups chopped yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 6 " corn tortillas, sliced into strips
- 1 teaspoon jalapeño, seeded and minced
- 1 14- ounce can petite diced tomatoes
- 8-10 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 32 ounces chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels
- ⅓ cup shredded Mexican-blend cheese, plus more for serving
- juice of one lime
- salt and pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
- 1 avocado, chopped
- ⅓ cup pico de gallo
- ¼ cup plain greek yogurt
- 2 handfuls of tortilla chips
- Make the soup base. Add onion, garlic, tortillas, jalapeño, tomatoes, chicken and spices to a 3.5-quart or larger slow cooker. Pour the chicken broth over the other ingredients. Cook on low for 6 hours.
- Shred the chicken. Turn off the slow cooker and remove the chicken. Using an immersion blender blend the soup, making sure the tortillas get pureed. Shred the chicken and return it to the crockpot.
- Add the corn. Add the corn and cook on low for 20 - 30 minutes. You can also leave it on warm for an hour or so if you are not going to be ready to eat in 30 minutes.
- Finish the soup. Squeeze in the lime juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add cilantro and cheese, stir to combine.
- Add the toppings. Spoon into bowls and top with avocado, pico de gallo, yogurt and tortilla chips.