After a weekend spent in a 30-something degree garage building a new kitchen island, Elliott and I needed something to warm us up. I dug around the kitchen and as soon as I saw the cream of chicken soup and salsa, I knew what I wanted to make.
Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup.
By using my slow cooker, I knew that we could continue to work on the kitchen island and dinner would be ready for us when we were done.
Our DIY kitchen island was a huge weekend project. We desperately needed a little extra storage space for our kitchen appliances and decided to make a farmhouse-style table. I’ve posted a sneak-peek on my Instagram account, but I’ll make a full post with resources soon.
We’ve been joking that nothing tests a marriage like building furniture together.
I am happy to report that it went so well that we are already planning our next project. It might be a buffet table in the living room or floating shelves in the kitchen. I’ll keep you updated.
My go-to slow cooker dishes usually have three things:
- A protein. I usually pick chicken because it’s lean and works so well in a slow cooker. However, you can also use beef or pork.
- Something creamy. That may be a can of cream of chicken or mushroom soup, or a block of cream cheese.
- Something flavorful. I like adding a spicy salsa or a few cans of diced tomatoes with spices.
If I want the dish to be a soup-consistency, then I’ll add water or broth. If I want to serve it over rice, then I won’t add anything.
When testing this recipe, I started with one can of soup. However, I found that it wasn’t quite enough with 1 1/2 pound of chicken. A second can was just what I needed to make this tortilla soup extra-creamy.
You may need to adjust the seasonings depending on the type of salsa you use. Salsas vary widely in flavor and strength. I found a spicy hatch chile salsa that was packed with flavors. For kids, you can use a mild salsa. Just taste the soup before serving and add any additional spices as needed.
Top the soup with cheese, sour cream, avocados, tomatoes, cilantro, and tortillas. For a crunch, you can add crumbled tortilla chips. However, I find that the soft tortillas hold up much better when they have soaked up the liquid in the soup. The chips just end up a little too soggy and mushy.
This dish gets even better with time. The flavors really start to meld together the longer the soup sits. I might even go as far as saying that the leftovers are better than the original.
Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container for up to a few days, then reheat individual portions in the microwave. Add the garnishes just before serving.
Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
- 2 cans cream of chicken soup with herbs
- 2 cups water
- 1 (16 oz) jar salsa
- 1½ lbs chicken tenderloins
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- soft tortillas, cut into pieces
- crumbled tortilla chips
- diced avocados
- diced tomatoes
- shredded cheese
- chopped cilantro
- sour cream
- Add the cream of chicken soup, water, salsa, chicken, corn, beans, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes to a large slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours.
- Remove the chicken from the slow cooker. Shred or chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Place the chicken back into the slow cooker and stir.
- Thin the soup with extra hot water, if needed.
- Serve the soup in individual bowls and top with soft tortillas, tortilla chips, avocados, tomatoes, cheese, cilantro, or sour cream. Enjoy!