Thursday, January 18, 2018

Instant Pot (or slow cooker) chicken tortilla soup

To say my children love tacos is an understatement. If it was an option, they would eat them every night, so I try to find variations so us adults don't get bored eating the same ol' thing. This warm "taco" soup was just the thing to get us through the latest cold spell.

And with the exception of the cilantro and ground chicken, most of the ingredients are kitchen staples. It doesn't get much easier than this.

I used a pressure cooker for this recipe, but you can certainly use a slow cooker. If you’re on the fence about investing in an Instant Pot, send me a message and I'll give you all the compelling reasons to buy one today. I love a slow-cooked meal as much as the next person, but these days we don't have time for “slow” in our house, especially when it comes to meal prep.

1 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb of ground chicken (or substitute 3-4 cups of shredded chicken)
1 T olive oil

1 1/2 t cumin
1 t chili powder
1/4 t paprika 
1 1/2 t salt

14.5 oz. can tomato sauce (be sure it's salt-free or reduce added salt in the recipe)
14.5 oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
4 oz. can fire roasted green chilis
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
1 lime
Tortilla strips or chips
Optional toppings: avocado, cheese or sour cream

Heat the olive oil in a pan or the Instant Pot set on saute. Add onion and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes until translucent. Add ground chicken and cook almost through, breaking up into small pieces. If you are using rotisserie or leftover chicken, there's no need to cook it again. 

Add the seasoning, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, green chilis and broth. Give it a quick stir and set the Instant Pot to "manual," "15 minutes." If you are not using a pressure cooker, add all the ingredients to the slow cooker and set on high for two hours.

When the cooking is complete (do a quick release of the pressure cooker), remove the lid and stir in the cilantro and juice of one lime. Season with additional salt as needed.

If you're really going for it, you can slice 4-5 tortillas into strips, put them in a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil and salt. Bake them at 400 in a single layer on a cookie sheet for 5-10 minutes until lightly brown. Top soup with tortillas and other optional toppings. 


*For a thicker soup, blend one can of pinto beans with the tomato sauce and reduce chicken broth to one cup.

**One jar of salsa can be used in place of the green chilis and diced tomatoes.

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