Chicken Taco Soup

Providing my family with a healthy home-cooked meal every night is extremely important to me, so anything to make dinners a little easier is always on my radar.  My family relies on our crock pot at least twice a week.  With my husband and I both working full time, and most days of the week the family being pulled every which way, it is nice to come home to dinner already in motion, and very little meal prep in order to put a nutritious meal on the table.

My husband happened upon this recipe last year while helping me build the meal plan for the week. I altered it a tad (because I alter almost every recipe I touch), but it quickly became one of our favorites, and most requested by the kids. Hey, if even your kids like it, then you know it has to be good! And it’s easy (no tricks, I promise!)!! The most that is going to happen, is a wrist sprain by opening all of the cans. Unless, of course, you are way more modernized than I am, and actually have an electric can opener. Then, you are golden.

First chop one large onion, and add it to the slow cooker.

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Next, (and here is where the electric can opener comes in handy) add one can of chili beans, one can of black beans, juice and all, one can of whole kernel corn, drained, one can of tomato sauce, and two cans of diced tomatoes, juice and all.  If you are feeling a bit feisty, and want to spice it up a tad, replace the two cans of diced tomatoes with two cans of diced tomatoes with green chilies.  Either way, it is going to be delicious!

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Next, add one can or bottle of beer, a splash of lemon juice, and a packet of taco seasoning.  Stir until well combined.  Settle three chicken breasts into the mixture so that they are covered but not touching the bottom of the crock pot.  I prep my taco soup the night before, so all I have to do is pull it out of the fridge and turn it on in the morning.  I usually just throw frozen chicken breasts in.  I figure they have all night to thaw in the fridge, and quite frankly when we use the crock pot, that bad boy is  going for about eleven hours from the time I turn it on in the morning until the time we eat that night.  I think the original recipe stated that it needed to cook for seven hours.  If you are worried, use thawed chicken breasts to be safe.  I’m talking to you Mama.

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Throw on your lid, turn the crock pot on low, and cook for at least seven hours.  After the allotted cooking time (or you finally get around to it), pull the chicken breasts out and place on a plate.  Using two forks, shred the chicken.  After cooking all day long, they are going to fall apart.  Stir the shredded chicken back into the crock pot and continue to cook while prepping the rest of your meal.

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This soup is fan-freaking-tastic, and really doesn’t need many garnishments. If desired, you can serve it with shredded cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt (which is what my family uses… ever since the beginning of the Greek yogurt craze), and crushed tortilla chips.  Enjoy!

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Chicken Taco Crock Pot Soup

1 large onion, chopped

1 (16 ounce) can chili beans

1 (15 ounce) can  black beans

1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained

1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce

1 (12 ounce) can or bottle of beer

2 (15 ounce) cans of diced tomatoes

1 (1.25 ounce) package of taco seasoning

1 teaspoon of lemon juice

3 whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts

Greek yogurt/sour cream (optional)

Shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Avocado slices (optional)

Crushed tortilla chips (optional)

1.) Place onion, chili beans, black beans, corn, tomato sauce, and diced tomatoes in crockpot.  Stir in one beer, lemon juice, and taco seasoning.

2.) Settle chicken breasts into mixture so they are covered, but not touching the bottom of the crockpot.  Cook on low for a minimum of seven hours.

3.) Remove chicken and shred with two forks.  Add the chicken back to the crockpot and continue to cook for an additional 30 minutes.

4.) Serve with a dollop of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, shredded cheddar cheese, avocado slices and crushed tortilla chips, if desired.

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