Healthy Taco Soup

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Healthy Taco Soup is packed with chicken breast, beans, corn, tomatoes, and tons of taco flavor. Cooked in the slow cooker or on the stovetop, this healthy dish will feed a crowd and couldn't be easier to make.

306 CAL 44g CARBS 3g FAT 28g PROTEIN 0
81 Comments

This Taco Soup just may be the easiest soup recipe you ever make! It can be made in your crockpot or cooked in just thirty minutes on the stovetop with all the flavor of a traditional taco soup, but packed with nutritious ingredients!

When you need something quick, healthy, and universally loved - this taco soup is the answer! Either dump everything in the slow cooker before heading to work or whip it up on the stove in just 30 minutes.

Why We Love This Healthy Taco Soup

  • Nutritious and filling: This soup is made with lean chicken breast, fresh veggies, beans, and homemade taco seasoning. It's packed with protein, fiber, and nutrients to keep you full and satisfied.
  • Versatile: This soup can be made with chicken breast, chicken thighs, ground turkey, ground chicken, or ground beef. Make it vegetarian with just beans. Use any type of beans and add any veggies you like. Then choose whatever toppings you like - baked tortilla chips, shredded cheese, avocado, cilantro, sour cream, and more. It's the ultimate pantry meal.
  • Meal Prep and Freezer Friendly: Taco soup only gets better after a night in the refrigerator and can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months.

We also love this Easy White Chicken Chili and Ground Turkey Chili for cozy soup recipes.

Chicken taco soup in a bowl with beans, chicken, corn, avocado, cheese, and cilantro.

Ingredients and Swaps

Here is everything you will need for this easy taco soup recipe!

  • Chicken: Chicken breast is most often used in taco soup, but much like tacos - you can use all types of proteins. Use any type of chicken, ground meat, pork, or even a chuck roast or beef round. Just adjust the cooking time depending on the protein you are using. For ground meat, always brown it first.
  • Onions and garlic: These aromatics are important to build flavor in the soup. You could swap in onion powder and garlic powder, but the flavor won't be as deep. For a faster option, use frozen diced onions (or onions and peppers) and minced garlic.
  • Beans: Any type of bean works in this recipe but make sure it is canned. Black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, and chili beans are the most common. If you use chili beans, adjust the seasoning since they are pre-seasoned.
  • Corn: Canned, frozen, and fresh corn all work in this soup.
  • Diced tomatoes: This is an easy place to adjust the soup to your personal preference. Like things spicy? Use Rotel tomatoes, diced tomatoes with green chiles, or diced tomatoes with jalapenos. Like things smoky? Use fire-roasted tomatoes.
  • Taco seasoning: Taco seasoning is a combination of chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, salt, and pepper. Use a packet, make your own, or simply add in the individual spices.
  • Chicken broth: Normally I use low-sodium chicken broth since the soup is slightly high in sodium from the canned products and taco seasoning. Vegetable broth or beef broth also can be used.
  • Toppings: This is one of the best parts of serving this soup. Set up toppings for everyone to customize their bowl. Favorite toppings include chopped fresh cilantro, sour cream or Greek yogurt, tortilla chips, shredded cheddar or jack cheese, avocado, sliced jalapenos, and radishes.

For a full list of ingredients and amounts, see the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

Ways to Customize Taco Soup

There are many ways to customize this healthy taco soup using different proteins, beans, and vegetables. Check out some of our favorite options below.

  • Protein: You can use chicken breast, ground chicken breast, or lean ground turkey. You could also use chicken thighs, ground beef, ground turkey sausage, or vegetarian ground meat.
  • Vegetarian option: Leave out the meat and use a combination of pinto beans and black beans.
  • Taco seasoning: Store-bought taco seasoning is fast but it is packed with sodium. Consider making a homemade version to cut back on the sodium in this recipe.
  • Cut back on sodium: Look for low-sodium beans, diced tomatoes, and chicken broth to cut back on the sodium levels in the recipe. Also, make the homemade taco seasoning referenced above.
  • Veggies: You can definitely add lots of extra veggies to this recipe. Bell peppers are a good option. I have also added zucchini, spinach, and cauliflower. You can also double the diced tomatoes.
  • Traditional Taco Soup with ranch: Many people also like to add a packet of ranch seasoning to their taco soup. Feel free to add that as well if that is how your family enjoys it. Here is an easy homemade ranch seasoning to add.
  • Thicker soup: To thicken up the broth, consider adding an extra can of refried beans. It will make the soup thick and creamy. You can also stir in sour cream or Greek yogurt.

Slow Cooker Taco Soup with shredded chicken, cilantro, cheese, beans, corn, and baked tortilla chips.

How to Make Taco Soup: Cooking Options

This soup can be made in the slow cooker, instant pot, or on the stovetop. It is a really versatile recipe. My personal preference is the slow cooker since the flavors have the most time to combine and deepen, but they all work great.

  • Slow Cooker / Crockpot: This can be made in the slow cooker and cooked on low for 4-8 hours. The longer it cooks, the deeper the flavor will be.
  • Instant Pot: To cook this in the Instant Pot, just use the soup setting (8 minutes) and then let the pressure release naturally.
  • Stovetop: It takes about 30 minutes to cook this taco soup on the stove top but it can simmer much longer than that to deepen the flavors. Just make sure to remove the chicken breast so it doesn't overcook.

Storage and Leftovers

This soup keeps very well in the fridge and freezer. Make sure to let it fully cool before storing the leftovers. Keep in the fridge for 4-5 days. Freeze it for up to 3 months. Naturally, defrost overnight in the fridge or defrost slowly in a large soup pot on the stove.

Best Toppings

The best part of this soup is loading it up with all the toppings! Think of it like a tasty taco, and don't be afraid to pile on all the delicious fixings.

  • Avocado or guacamole
  • Shredded cheese or queso fresco
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Diced onion
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Sour cream, Mexican crema, or Greek yogurt
  • Tortilla chips
  • Sliced fresh or pickled jalapenos

Make Taco Soup with Ground Beef or Ground Turkey

Traditionally Taco Soup is made with ground beef since it is meant to be a soup version of a classic ground beef taco.

If you prefer to make it with ground beef (or ground chicken), start by sauteing the onions until they are beginning to soften. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.

Add the ground beef (or ground turkey) and the taco seasoning. Brown until no longer pink. Drain off any excess fat.

Add that to the slow cooker with the remaining ingredients and cook over low heat for 4 hours. Or add the remaining ingredients and simmer on the stove for at least 20-30 minutes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most common questions about making this easy taco soup recipe.

Generally speaking, taco soup is more similar to chili with a thick broth packed with beans and meat. Tortilla soup tends to be a bit thinner with tomato and chicken broth. 

With that said, in the United States, taco soup and chicken tortilla soup tend to be very similar. Both are made with beans, shredded chicken, corn, and tons of toppings.

In Mexico, tortilla soup is significantly different. Normally it is a tomato and chicken broth thickened with corn masa or day-old corn tortillas. It is served with cilantro, lime juice, dried chili peppers, and queso fresco. 

There are two main ways to thicken taco soup. The first option is to remove some of the soup (not including the chicken) and add it to a blender. Blend it and then add it back to the soup to thicken the broth. Additionally, you can add a can of refried beans to the soup to thicken it. Stir until the beans dissolve into the soup, thickening the broth. 

While some soups can be thickened by boiling them, this will cause the chicken to overcook. Only use this method if you remove the chicken first.

Taco soup made with shredded chicken, beans, corn, onion, and cilantro in a bowl.
The Recipe
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Healthy Taco Soup

306 CAL 44g CARBS 3g FAT 28g PROTEIN 0
PREP TIME: 5 Min
COOK TIME: 4 Hours
TOTAL TIME: 4 Hours, 5 Min
81 Comments
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Ingredients

US METRICS
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 14.5 oz. canned pinto beans, drained
  • 14.5 oz. canned black beans, drained
  • 14.5 oz. canned corn, drained
  • 14.5 oz. canned diced tomatoes with green chilies (not drained)
  • 2 cups fat free chicken broth
  • 1.25 oz. taco seasoning

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Instructions

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1

Slow Cooker Option: Add everything to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 4 hours (up to 8 is fine). Remove the chicken and shred or chop.

Chicken breast, beans, tomatoes, corn, and onions in a slow cooker for taco soup.
2

Stovetop: Add a touch of olive to a large soup pot. Cook the onions for 6-8 minutes until tender. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes. To keep the chicken as tender as possible, I like to remove it after 12-15 minutes when it is cooked through. Then I shred or chop it and add it back to the soup before serving.

Shredded chicken on a plate next to a pot of taco soup.

Equipment

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Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1,.5 cups
Amount Per Serving
Calories 306
Calories from Fat 16
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3g
2%
Saturated Fat 0g
0%
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
0%
Cholesterol 37mg
12%
Sodium 1573mg
68%
Total Carbohydrate 44g
11%
Dietary Fiber 7g
24%
Sugars 4g
Protein 28g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

Notes

To make with ground beef or ground turkey: Saute the onions until they are beginning to soften. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the ground beef (or ground turkey) and the taco seasoning. Brown until no longer pink. Drain off any excess fat. Add that to the slow cooker with the remaining ingredients and cook over low heat for 4 hours. Or add the remaining ingredients and simmer on the stove for at least 20-30 minutes.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
81 Comments
On Healthy Taco Soup
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Kathy Gorkis
January 29, 2024 - 07:43
Add a Rating:
5
Love this easy, flavorful soup!
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Anne isbell
August 25, 2023 - 19:51
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4
Oh, and low sodium chicken broth!
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Anne Isbell
August 25, 2023 - 19:49
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4
The sodium level is very high at 1500. I use low sodium beans and frozen corn. And rinse the beans. Otherwise the recipe looks great.
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Valda Jacobs
January 24, 2023 - 14:01
I’m the instant pot version, just throw all ingredients in at once and pressure cook for 8 minutes?
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January 25, 2023 - 10:50
Yes! It's really easy to make in the Instant pot.
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Jeannette
October 16, 2022 - 14:11
When should I put the chicken in if I’m using precooked chicken?
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October 18, 2022 - 13:22
Add it in the last 10 minutes if the chicken is already cooked.
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Mo
September 4, 2022 - 10:33
Is the serving size .5 cup or 1.5 cups?
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Brooke Lossing
May 28, 2022 - 07:41
Add a Rating:
5
This soup is amazing! I am very skeptical about "healthy" recipes tasting amazing, but I am not above trying. This was so amazing! And I'm not a big soup person at all! I'm a really big gal and I love flavor, if it tastes "healthy" I'm the one who will tell ya. This tastes sooooo good! Must try!
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Kim
January 16, 2022 - 09:39
Add a Rating:
5
Hi, love love love this recipe. I’ve made this soup many times. I could have sworn I did it in the instapot but i don’t see the instapot instructions. How long do I cook this in the instapot?
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Meg
November 9, 2021 - 09:07
Add a Rating:
5
I like my soup with a little more liquid so I add almost two more cups of chicken broth and extra taco seasoning and it always turns out great. Love this recipe—esp now that it’s getting colder. Thank you!!!
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Carrie
October 18, 2021 - 09:31
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5
Love this soup! Great for freezing.
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Yael S
August 4, 2021 - 06:10
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5
The best Taco Soup recipe ever!
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Brenda
May 17, 2020 - 06:06
Loved it, so did my family - I have been making a crockpot "Soup of the Week, and this is the family's favorite! Thank you for sharing.
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Linda Pinsky
February 22, 2020 - 10:14
Love this soup!
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Lisa Duncan
February 13, 2020 - 19:54
Add a Rating:
5
Very yummy!
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Candy Jaeger
January 4, 2020 - 06:50
How much of your homemade taco seasoning do you use?
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Dawn Mae
February 1, 2020 - 11:56
i make a big batch & save it and end up using 2 tablespoons.
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Diane Miller
August 22, 2020 - 08:59
Could I get the taco seasoning recipe?
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Alyse
December 16, 2020 - 12:15
Try this (it makes just over 2 tablespoons and I like it just fine for soups like this!):
1 tablespoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon paprika
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
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Jill Walker
February 12, 2021 - 08:05
I have used this taco seasoning recipe for years and it is the best!
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Diane Miller
August 20, 2020 - 15:37
Can you share your recipe for the taco seasoning?
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Patti
December 5, 2019 - 13:44
Add a Rating:
5
This has become my go to meal- I make a pot each week! My kids love it too! Thanks for sharing!
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Prakriti
October 30, 2019 - 09:53
Slender Kitchen is literally the BEST weight loss community anywhere, I read it every day, & I’m also grateful I found it. It helped me not only lose weight but keep it off, hope it helps some others too! Happy losing weight :)
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Jo Anne
October 10, 2019 - 13:58
Add a Rating:
5
My new favorite WW soup - SO GOOD! Used McCormick Taco Seasoning and let it simmer 8 hours on low. Perfect for a brisk fall day in the Midwest. Thank you!
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Jorge
September 27, 2019 - 13:30
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5
so delicious and easy!
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Nicole
August 1, 2019 - 10:21
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5
Yes, as everyone says, this is so delicious and easy! I used 2 cans of pinto because I have a sensitivity to black beans. The overall flavor is wonderful! Thank you for this great recipe! I can't wait to try the beef stew recipe tonight :)
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Jennifer
May 10, 2019 - 17:19
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5
Made this tonight and both my husband and I loved it! Very tasty.
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Carroll Boyer
April 29, 2019 - 10:48
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5
My husband liked the Taco soup too!!
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Kim
April 13, 2019 - 13:36
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5
DELISH!! Made this today in the instant pot. Doubled the recipe. Used 1 can of rotel original diced tomatoes and green chilies and 1 can of mild diced tomatoes w green chilies. Was quite spicy. Added a dollop of Greek yogurt to tame the spice. Will definitely make this again. Thanks for sharing.
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penne hart
December 14, 2019 - 15:25
how long did you cook it in the instant pot?

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Sandi
March 14, 2020 - 18:46
It says 8 minutes and full release.
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Tricia
January 15, 2020 - 14:18
Yes. I would love to know how long in an instapot please
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Ellen
March 24, 2019 - 10:31
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5
Made it and it was delicious
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Sara
March 21, 2019 - 18:26
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5
everyone in my family LOVED it!
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John
March 18, 2019 - 15:53
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5
I love this recipe! The best soup I’ve ever made! I give it 10 stars. My family loves it! Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe!
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LISA WOOD
February 28, 2019 - 17:32
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5
WHY dont you use ranch dressing, like regular taco soup?is it high in calories?
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Debbie Chavis
May 15, 2019 - 15:51
I added ranchdey dressing and taco seasoning. It was delicious!
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Bonnie
February 5, 2019 - 14:39
Sounds good, but the sodium is so high. It must be the spice mix and the broth. I think those could be reduced and maybe even rinse the beans.
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Sharon
September 25, 2019 - 18:23
Definitely rinse the beans, I used homemade chicken broth, check the spice pkg for salt. You may have to make up you own spice mix.
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Aubrey
February 27, 2019 - 18:22
Also look for "no-salt-added" canned beans and canned tomatoes. Even generic brands like Safeway have them now. Canned beans and tomatoes are high in sodium as well.
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Aubrey
February 27, 2019 - 18:20
When a recipe says "drained" next to beans, I usually mean it as drain and rinse. I just do it automatically. The author also said in the article that commercial taco seasoning is high in sodium. Find a recipe for taco seasoning and omit the salt. I use a homemade sodium-free fajita seasoning for soups like this, it tastes amazing.
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Patricia
July 24, 2019 - 19:09
I agree there are other options for seasoning and rinse the beans. I always get no salt for beans and low sodium chicken broth. This could be brought way down to under 500 or less sodium
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Donna
January 30, 2019 - 17:07
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5
I love good soup! I added cilantro, celery & peppers an hour before serving. Yummm.
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Stephanie
January 28, 2019 - 10:24
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5
Made this last week but I used ground chicken (because that's what I had) and I did it on the stove. I added a can of fat free refried beans as suggested and WOW. That move right there is a game changer for me. Made the soup so creamy and more filling. All still 0 points! I didn't use taco seasoning packet I just threw some randoms in there and I had a couple adobo peppers leftover so I diced those too. I like heat. Will be making again monthly. Thank you!
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Lori
February 25, 2019 - 08:10
Hi Stephanie,
I am preparing this recipe in my slow cooker and was wondering when I should add the can of fat free refried beans? Thanks :)
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Rina Raverty
July 30, 2019 - 11:46
Was wondering the same thing. What did you end up doing?
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Sheila Beal
February 28, 2020 - 09:22
I agree that the refried beans are an excellent addition. Gives it a little more body and flavor.

The best way I've found to use it in the recipe is to stir the chicken broth together with the refried beans until it's fairly smooth.

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Shannon Harvey
January 22, 2019 - 09:59
How many servings? Using the recipe builder in my app. Thanks
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Ali
January 21, 2019 - 07:48
hello! Making the soup today, I scanned in all of the ingredients through the recipe calculator, and it is still coming out to one point per serving, do you think that the taco seasoning is what is making the difference? Also I am doubling the recipe so that I can have a ton to freeze, I’m thinking low on six hours and high on one hour, what do you think ?
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NJ
January 20, 2019 - 14:52
Should I rinse the beans?
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Rosemary Korn
January 17, 2019 - 12:37
I forgot to mention in my previous question. Can I put the chicken breasts in frozen in the Instapot? Would it be the same cook time?
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Rosemary Korn
January 17, 2019 - 12:32
Can I put the chicken breast in frozen?
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Nicholas
January 10, 2019 - 17:12
Added some sour cream to my bowl and it was a game changer! To much corn which I’m not a fan of. Is there a other veg option?
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Ellen T
May 20, 2019 - 21:02
Haven't made yet but I was going to use a can of Mexicorn which is only 11 oz. I'm not a big fan of corn either.
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Christine MacQuarrie
January 8, 2019 - 21:16
Hi sorry I literally JUST used my instant pot for the first time on Sunday and I've had it since July :) Anyways I see it's got the soup setting but so I just put the chicken breast in the pot with the ingredients and it will cook it all the way thru? I have no idea how long the soup setting cooks for. Thanks!
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Liliana Gomez
January 15, 2019 - 14:12
I used my instant pot and set the timer for 8 minutes, I placed all the ingredients at once. The chicken was fully cooked once done. I was worried too, but totally delicious and super simply.
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Emily Patrick
January 15, 2021 - 15:38
This was helpful because I scrolled a lot to find this answer. I am cooking it for the first time and was worried about the chicken cooking. Thank you!
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Mickey Parrott
January 7, 2019 - 16:45
If I use ground beef instead of chicken, should I use beef broth instead of chicken? Won't that drastically change the flavor?
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January 8, 2019 - 10:44
It's totally up to you. Personally, I always find beef broth really strong so I use chicken broth for most "beef" flavored soups. But either would work great.
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Jennifer
May 21, 2019 - 14:59
What is the serving size for the whole thing?
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Skye
December 19, 2018 - 16:35
Dumb question...when you make this with ground turkey do you put it in the slow cooker raw or do you brown or first?
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December 20, 2018 - 18:45
Not a dumb question at all! Personally I always brown the meat first before adding it to the slow cooker. I find the flavor and texture comes out better.
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Rita
February 11, 2019 - 11:46
You can actually put it in raw. You just have to chop it up when it's finished cooking. I find if you do this with ground beef it is more "burger" tasting which is a nice change up.
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Lillian
January 16, 2019 - 08:17
I just made this using ground chicken
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Lindsey
January 7, 2019 - 18:10
Dumb question here too. (I’m definitely not a cook) When using the chicken breast, do you put it in the crockpot raw? WIth the other ingredients?
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January 8, 2019 - 10:47
Yes! The chicken goes in raw. There is a video at the top of the post that can help as well :)
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Vicki
December 3, 2018 - 07:55
Add a Rating:
5
This is delicious!
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January 8, 2019 - 10:47
So glad you enjoyed it! It's a favorite WW soup in our house.
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sharon wickersheim
November 23, 2018 - 12:37
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4
It looks real yummy, cant wait to make and enjoy tasting it. I love chili, it is one of mt favorites.
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Anna
September 22, 2018 - 06:46
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5
Thank you so much for this recipe. I made it last night and my husband had a second bowl- yum!
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January 8, 2019 - 10:47
We love it too! And I always love WW recipes that my husband will eat too!
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Glenys Aitken
August 20, 2018 - 15:00
Add a Rating:
5
My husband and I have this soup for dinner almost every night. I'll often add spinach or another leafy green, but we never tire of this recipe and we are both gradually losing weight. Thank you Slenderkitchen!
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Rita
February 11, 2019 - 11:47
ooh spinach, great idea!
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January 8, 2019 - 10:48
Love the idea of adding spinach or leafy greens for some extra nutrition!
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Christine
August 19, 2018 - 11:17
Add a Rating:
5
Very tasty. Just started my own WW diet, only making meals and eating foods from the free food list. Great soup recipe for zero points. Thanks!
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January 8, 2019 - 10:48
So glad you enjoyed it :) Zero point meals are the best.
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Dolores Mcgee
April 22, 2018 - 17:35
Family loved it
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January 8, 2019 - 10:48
So happy to hear that! My kids gobble this up.
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Brian
March 27, 2018 - 23:21
Add a Rating:
5
This was delicious. We aren't on weight watchers, but the calories were reasonable. This is going to make it into our rotation.
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Denise
October 30, 2019 - 14:21
How much can a person have??
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