Slow Cooker Chicken- Tortilla Soup

Southwest Slow Cooking, Copyright 2004 – Northland Publishing-            Slow Cooker Chicken-Tortilla Soup

We had friends visiting recently, and my friend volunteered dinner duty one night to deliver Chicken-Tortilla Soup to all of us. It was homemade, and it was delicious. I haven’t been able to get that soup out of my head, so I thought it was about time to try this version of Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup from the cover of the cookbook, Southwest Slow Cooking by Tammy Biber and Theresa Howell.  The book features 101 kitchen-tested Southwest-themed recipes for the slow cooker.

The book includes recipes for appetizers, soups, main dishes (including vegetarian), side dishes, breads and desserts.  It begins with a chapter on stocking a Southwest kitchen as well as tips for slow cooking.  The book contains many photos, and it’s artistically colorful and pretty.  One thing to note is that the sidebars are all done in a colorful print- with the ingredients listed in white on top.  That makes it a little hard to read.  All instructions are short and simple.  Read my notes below to see what I thought of the cover recipe…

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup #recipe

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Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 5 hour


1 onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
One 16-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 green chiles, roasted and chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon cornmeal
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 cups red chile sauce
2 boneless chicken breasts
1 avocado, pitted, peeled and diced
2 limes
Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
tortilla chips


1. Saute the onions in a skillet with the olive oil (I actually skipped this part, and just added raw onions to the slow cooker).

2. In the slow cooker, combine the sauteed onions, garlic, jalapeno, tomatoes, tomato paste, chiles, cumin, cayenne, cornmeal, chicken stock, red chile sauce, and chicken. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours. Remove chicken, shred with a fork, and return to the slow cooker. Add avocado, cover and cook on low until soup is thoroughly heated (I skipped this part and used the avocado as a garnish on top).

3. Spoon soup into bowls and garnish with lime juice, cilantro, cheese and chips.


*I didn't bother to saute the onions as I knew they'd cook just fine in the sauce. I omitted the olive oil and just added the raw onions to the slow cooker.
*I left out the jalapeno since my 12-year old would have objected to the extra spicy flavor.
*I used canned fire-roasted chopped mild chiles in place of fresh roasted chiles.
*I used the avocado as garnish on top rather than adding it to the slow cooker.
*For my "chips," I sliced up pieces of corn tortillas and toasted them in the oven.

The results:

You’ll see from my notes in the recipe that I made a few changes to the recipe as I was preparing it (that actually made the recipe easier to make). I threw the onions in the slow cooker (instead of dirtying a pan to saute them), I used canned chiles (instead of roasting fresh) and I used avocado as a garnish (instead of heating it into the soup). The recipe (as I prepared it) was REALLY easy to make in the slow cooker. The result was awesome- it was delicious and completely family friendly. I was a little worried about being able to find the red chile sauce, but it was sitting on the shelf right next to the enchilada sauce. The soup wasn’t too spicy either, which is sometimes a problem for my family.

Did this recipe deserve the cover spotlight?

Yes! It was a delicious and EASY soup recipe for the slow cooker, and it highlighted flavors of Southwest Cooking too.

Lori is the founder of She's a professional recipe developer and food writer, and she's the author of The Recipe Girl Cookbook (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: April 2013). Beyond food, Lori enjoys traveling, being outdoors, running, and maybe even singing a little karaoke. The mountains near Lake Tahoe are home for Lori and her husband of 18 years. They have an 12 year-old son who blogs at

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One Response to “Slow Cooker Chicken- Tortilla Soup”

  1. 1

    Jeanette | Jeanette's Healthy Living — March 27, 2014 @ 12:19 pm

    I love this soup, especially with avocado on top!

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