Why Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup Is The Perfect Recipe For Busy Weeknights

Here's how I rate easy weeknight soups: Do I already have the ingredients? Put me in front of a cutting board and a stove (or, in this case, a slow cooker), and I'm happy. I love cooking things like this:

Chicken Tortilla Soup I
Photo by bvwdesign.

What I don't love is grocery shopping—figuring out what I need and how much and which brand to buy is not my strong suit.

That's what makes Slow Cooker Tortilla Chicken Soup so good. It's easy to make, and you can always find simple ingredient subs without going to the store. That's why it's the perfect recipe for busy weeknights.

The Must-Have Ingredients

Every recipe has a few non-negotiables. But I bet you'll be surprised at how few there are in Tortilla Soup:

  • Tomatoes. It really needs these, but it's no problem switching to different types; you can even just dice them yourself.
  • Onions and Garlic. As a flavor base, these just add so much, you don't want to skip them, especially in a slow cooker.
  • Broth. It calls for chicken broth, but you can use veggie broth if you want. That way, it's halfway to being vegetarian (see below to get it all the way there).
  • Mexican-style seasonings. Again, the recipe has some specific recommendations, but you can branch out, either because you want to, or because of what's in your spice drawer.
  • Crispy tortillas. Well, it is in the title, after all. But if you don't want to make your own strips, corn chips are just fine.

The Easy Substitutions

The "must have" list is not exactly exhaustive. That's because all the other items have feature easy substitutions, depending on what you've got on hand.

  • Chicken. Yes, it's in the title, but this soup is just 2 ingredients from being vegan, let alone vegetarian—just use the veggie broth, as noted above.
  • Enchilada sauce. If I've got it, I use it, but I've often had tomato puree on hand. It works: just bump up the spicy seasonings.
  • Chopped green chiles. The fact is, I usually buy canned tomatoes with chopped chiles in them. So I take care of two ingredients in one can.
  • Frozen Corn. First, it doesn't have to be frozen. Fresh is amazing, and second, it doesn't have to be corn. Again, check your freezer. You won't regret adding frozen carrots to this, or roasted red peppers, or simply whatever your heard desires.

Just Make It Your Own

If you've spent any time on Allrecipes, you know that this is exactly what cooks do. Give the reviews a look (I mean, there are over 3,300 of them!) and see what works for you. Then make it delicious.

Watch It All Come Together

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