So I guess it’s time to get back to real food instead of sharing desserts all week. December was nice with the cookies nearly every day and the sweets galore but I guess it’s a good thing it only happens one month out of the year. Now to get back to easy, healthy dinners. Lately I’m loving this Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Quinoa Soup! I’ve made it probably 6 times already (mostly in December to help balance out all the cookies I was eating, plus I didn’t have a lot of time to make dinner since I was baking so much). The first few times I made it with chicken thighs and corn tortillas then I decided I didn’t love the texture of the chicken thighs so I switched to chicken breasts and I wanted to make it even healthier so I swapped the corn tortillas for quinoa. I also added in some avocados because avocados always go well in Mexican soup.
This is one of the easiest soups ever! It requires minimal prep it’s mostly a dump and cook kind of recipe. You don’t even need to chop the onion (and I actually recommend that you don’t because not only does it save time to just split it in half but after only 6 hours of cooking the onions didn’t seem to be fully softened yet when I did chop them up. So by halving it you still get all the nice depth of flavor from the onion without the extra effort or added crunch). If you’ve already got cooked quinoa on hand you can use that instead of using dry, I’d add 2 cups and also I’d reduce the broth by 1 cup. Do note that even by using a mild enchilada sauce some of you may still find it a little spicy, some are more sensitive to chili powders than others. My family still loves it, even my kids it’s not to spicy for them but I thought I better note just in case.
I hope you love this soup and maybe it will even become a regular in your rotation. I kind of forgot about quinoa for like a year but I’m totally back on a quinoa kick again. I’m wanting to add more of a variety of grains into my diet too like eating more farro, barley, bulgur, millet etc. Baby steps to a healthier diet :). I don’t think I’d ever be fully considered one whose on a healthy diet though as I’m eating dessert every day. Oh well. It’s just one of those things I enjoy in life and don’t want to give up. I can go down to like one snack size candy bar for dessert but I draw the line there. I’m glad though that this healthy soup is full of so much goodness that I feel okay about a little dessert afterwards.
Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Quinoa Soup
Yield: About 5 servings
- 2 (14.5 oz) cans low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups canned mild red enchilada sauce*
- 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
- 1 1/2 tsp ancho chili powder**
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/4 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 medium onion , halved from root to tip and peeled (also barely chop root off so onion stays intact)
- 2 cloves garlic , pressed through a garlic crusher
- 2/3 cup dry quinoa
- 1 1/2 cups frozen corn***
- 1 (14.5 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 avocado , diced
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- Shredded Mexican blend cheese , sour cream and tortilla chips
To a 6-quart slow cooker add chicken broth, enchilada sauce, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add in chicken, onion and garlic. Cover and cook on low heat until chicken has cooked through and is tender, about 6 hours, while adding in quinoa during the last 30 minutes of cooking (so at about 5 1/2 hours add quinoa). Remove onion and discard. Remove chicken and dice or shred.
Add corn and black beans to soup and heat through. Return chicken to soup and stir in avocado and cilantro. Serve warm with cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips.
*I've tested La Victoria and Las Palmas since they were chili based sauces. I liked La Victoria but not Las Palmas it tasted almost bitter. Next I'd like to try Old El Paso, if you do try it please let me know how you like it. I think it may need more chili powder though as it is tomato based.
**Adjust this to taste. You may want a little more depending on the brand of enchilada sauce used some are more chili pepper based than others.
***You can warm this in the microwave in water first then drain if you don't wait to wait for it to warm in the soup.
Recipe source: Cooking Classy