Monday, October 19, 2009

Chicken Taco Soup

I was once looking through a cookbook by Ina Garten in which there was a recipe for chicken breasts stuffed with goat cheese and fresh basil. She described this dish as her “easy dinner”- what she makes on those nights that she doesn’t feel like cooking.

Can I even tell you how much I would like to live in a world where my “easy dinner” consisted of chicken with goat cheese and basil? Pretty sure if I ever made that for dinner Mike would run to the police reporting spousal abuse. And, as much as I like cooking, stuffing and baking chicken just doesn’t sound that appealing on nights when I feel like being lazy.

In this age of modern technology, my definition of an easy dinner is one that is ready right when you walk in the door from work, creates minimal dirty dishes, and is a complete meal in itself. The soup recipe below meets all those requirements, plus it is relatively healthy and uses simple ingredients. It requires some assembly in the morning, but all you have to do before eating is shred the chicken and grate some cheddar cheese. Perfect for those chilly nights you would rather spend curled up on the couch than standing over a hot stove.

Chicken Taco Soup
(Adapted from the original listing at

1 (16 ounce) can chili beans*, undrained
1 (15 ounce) can black beans
1 1/2 cups sweet frozen corn
8 ounces (1 cup) tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups water
2 (10 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained (I use the mild version of Rotel brand, but use the regular if you like a little more heat).
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning
3 whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts (I only use 2)
shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)
sour cream (optional)
crushed tortilla chips (optional)

1) Place chili beans, black beans, corn, tomato sauce, water, and diced tomatoes in a slow cooker. Add taco seasoning, and stir to blend. Lay chicken breasts on top of the mixture, pressing down slightly until just covered by the other ingredients.
2) Cover and cook in slow cooker on low heat for 5 hours.
3) Remove chicken breasts from the soup, and allow to cool long enough to be handled. Stir the shredded chicken back into the soup, and continue cooking for 2 hours. (Since I work all day, I just put frozen chicken in the crock pot for about 8 hours, then shred it and let the soup cook for only as long as it takes to get the table set- I don’t think it makes a huge difference either way).

Serve topped with shredded Cheddar cheese, sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips, if desired.

*You want pinto beans in a spicy sauce, not a can of chili with ground beef in it. I only include this note because Mike has called me from the grocery store before to clarify this distinction.

1 comment:

  1. A) I love love love this soup!
    B) I think we should make the goat cheese and basil stuffed chicken one night when the boys are gone... it sounds delicious.