Every season can be soup season, especially when you have a healthy option that is packed with veggies and protein. Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup checks all the boxes for simple prep, flexible cooking time, and amazing flavor enveloped in a creamy mix.
This combination of ingredients is the perfect combo of fresh items and pantry staples. Easy to throw together quickly for a comforting meal at home!
- Boneless skinless chicken thighs – Chop into bite-sized pieces. I used chicken thighs for added flavor, but you can substitute chicken breasts if you prefer.
- Onions and garlic – Dice the onion into small pieces, and mince the garlic or use a jarred minced variety.
- Jalapeño pepper – Remove the seeds and very finely dice.
- Homemade taco seasoning – My premade blend is the perfect mild flavoring to balance the spice of jalapeño and green chile peppers. You can also use your favorite packaged taco seasoning.
- Zucchini – Dice into bite-sized pieces for a fresh veggie element.
- Diced tomatoes and green chilies – Use canned options for each. You might even find a canned mix of the two in the ratio needed. If you prefer, you can use fire-roasted tomatoes instead of plain diced tomatoes for added flavor and depth.
- Chicken broth – Broth adds rich flavor to the soup.
- Cream cheese – Adds the perfect tangy creaminess at the end! Set the cream cheese out to allow it to reach room temperature prior to using. Cream cheese will thicken the soup broth right before serving!
How To Make Chicken Taco Soup In The Slow Cooker
Prep your ingredients by chopping the chicken thighs and dicing the jalapeño pepper, onion, and zucchini. Bonus – this step can be completed earlier in the day if needed!
Add all the ingredients, except the cream cheese, to the slow cooker.
Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours – perfect for cooking while out and about. (If you do plan to be away from your slow cooker, I recommend using a slow cooker with a timer feature.)
Next, ladle about ½ cup of hot broth from the slow cooker into a bowl or measuring cup. Whisk the ½ cup of broth with the cream cheese until smooth, then stir the mix back into slow cooker until all ingredients are combined well together.
Serve a hearty bowl of chicken taco soup topped with any of your favorites such as crushed chips, avocado, cilantro, or a dollop of sour cream.
Advantages to Using A Slow Cooker To Make Soup
You can probably guess by now that my slow cooker “pros” list is very long! Here are a few advantages to using your slow cooker for hearty soups and stews:
- Your soups become so flavorful when they simmer for much longer than the typical time on the stovetop variations. This extra time, along with the enclosed top, allows ingredients to meld, reduce evaporation, and release deep rich flavor!
- Convenience may just be reason enough to use a slow cooker for soup. No more standing over the stove or staying nearby to keep it from burning! Set it and come back and check on it near the end of cooking time.
- There is nothing more comforting than the smell of a delicious soup cooking away throughout the day. Your hot-and-ready meal is ready to serve when you are.
- The slow cooker easily allows you to cook large quantities of soup. If you use a large enough slow cooker, you can even double your recipes and have plenty of leftovers.
What to Serve With Chicken Taco Soup
A creamy taco soup recipe like this can be garnished with so many options! You could set up a buffet of toppings and have countless combinations. Some ideas are sliced avocado, shredded cheese, sour cream, and chopped cilantro or green onion.
On the side (or in the bowl), serve corn chips or fluffy white rice. If you have a little extra time as the soup finishes cooking, whip up an easy cornbread mix and bake it in a cast iron pan.
Is this taco soup recipe spicy?
Even with added peppers and chilis, this recipe is not spicy and suitable for everyone. If you’d like it to be spicier, you could leave the seeds in the jalapeño. Another option is to add a bit of cayenne pepper or a spoonful of the sauce from a can of chipotle chili peppers.
To make this soup less spicy, leave out the jalapeño pepper. Add more cream cheese or top with sour cream as desired.
Storing and Reheating
When you store your leftover taco soup, let it cool completely. Store soup servings in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat with a saucepan on the stove or in the microwave.
Most soups with dairy are not the best for freezing since the dairy tends to separate once frozen. For this reason, I don’t recommend freezing leftovers.
Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup FAQs
- Can I use different meat for this recipe, like beef or pork? If you prefer, you could use boneless pork loin chops instead of chicken. If you would like another meat option, try my variation of Slow Cooker Taco Soup which uses ground beef along with a few other special ingredients!
- Can this recipe be made vegetarian or vegan? You can make a vegetarian option by using a can of chickpeas or white beans (drained from the can) and vegetable broth.
- Can I use fresh tomatoes instead of canned? Yes! If available, use a cup of freshly chopped garden tomatoes in place of canned tomatoes for an extra fresh flavor.
- Can I prepare this dish ahead of time? Another bonus to this recipe – it can be prepared ahead and makes for a great meal prep option.
- Simply add all ingredients except cream cheese to a freezer-safe container or zipper bag.
- Store in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Thaw before cooking and continue with instructions as written.
Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup
- 5 quart slow cooker
- 1 pound boneless chicken thighs chopped
- 2 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning
- 1 jalapeno pepper seeded and diced
- 1/2 cup diced sweet onion
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 cup diced zucchini
- 4 oz canned green chiles
- 14.5 oz canned diced tomatoes
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 8 oz cream cheese room temperature
- Add all ingredients – except cream cheese – to slow cooker
- Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours
- Ladle about ½ cup of hot broth from slow cooker into a bowl or measuring cup
- Whisk with cream cheese until smooth then stir back into slow cooker until combined
- Serve topped with crushed chips, avocado, cilantro, or as desired
- Cool leftovers completely, and store in airtight containers in fridge for up to 3 days.
- Reheat in a saucepan on the stove or in the microwave.
- To make on the stove, sauté onions and garlic in olive oil and cook diced chicken until it is no longer pink. Add all ingredients, except cream cheese, and cover and cook on medium heat until chicken is cooked. Add cream cheese per original recipe instructions, garnish, and serve.
- Cream cheese can sometimes separate if added to hot liquids too soon. This will require some extra stirring to thoroughly mix. Temper the cream cheese by mixing it with a small amount of the broth first, then adding the mixture to the soup.