Slow cooker chicken taco soup is an easy, homemade meal that comes together entirely in your slow cooker. This chunky, broth-based soup is filled with tomatoes, corn, beans, peppers, and shredded chicken.
Using the slow cooker is a great way to make a large, filling meal without spending hours working in the kitchen. Nothing beats tossing in your ingredients and walking away while dinner cooks!
This slow cooker chicken taco soup is spicy, hearty, and filled with nutritious ingredients. Two types of beans, tomatoes, corn, bell pepper, jalapenos, and boneless, skinless chicken breasts make this soup filling and perfect for the whole family.
It's easy to customize with your favorite taco toppings - add a handful of shredded cheese, a dollop of sour cream, or crushed tortilla chips to the top of your soup for a flavorful finishing touch. If you like this recipe, then you may also enjoy my beans and rice taco soup!
Ingredients and substitutions
- Boneless chicken breasts - Can be substituted with boneless chicken thighs. If your chicken breasts or thighs are particularly thin, they may need less cooking time. Conversely, if your chicken breasts or thighs are particularly large, they may need additional cooking time.
- Aromatics - Garlic, onion, jalapeno pepper, and bell pepper add depth of flavor to your soup. I don't recommend omitting any of these ingredients. Minced garlic can be substituted with ½ teaspoon of garlic powder if desired.
- Taco seasoning - I used my homemade taco seasoning for this recipe but a packet of store bought taco seasoning would also work.
- Frozen corn - Can be substituted with canned corn or fresh corn cut off the cob.
- Canned tomatoes - One can of diced tomatoes can be substituted with a jar of salsa or rotel for a spicier soup. For smoother soup, substitute one can of diced tomatoes with a can of tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes.
- Chicken broth - Can be substituted with vegetable broth. I recommend using regular broth, not low sodium or no sodium broth. The broth adds flavor to the soup so using low sodium broth would result in a less flavorful end result. If you need to use low sodium broth in this recipe, then I recommend seasoning to taste with additional taco seasoning or a bit of salsa.
- Beans - Black beans and pinto beans can be substituted with any beans you have on hand, like kidney beans.
- Lime - An optional addition to squeeze over your finished soup just before serving. Adds a hint of brightness and acidity.
Tips and tricks
Use low heat - I highly recommend cooking this soup on low heat only. Chicken breasts are a low fat cut of meat. Fat helps to keep meat juicy and tender as it cooks. Chicken breasts are particularly easy to overcook, resulting in tough, dry meat. For these reasons, I do not recommend trying to cook this soup over high heat.
Want a smoother soup? - This soup is chunky as written. For a smoother soup, substitute one of the cans of diced tomatoes with a can of crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce.
Test with an instant-read thermometer - Test your chicken for doneness using a meat thermometer. This ensures that your chicken doesn't accidentally get overcooked and dry. Chicken is done when it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit in the center.
Frequently asked questions
Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator in a sealed container for 2-3 days.
To freeze leftovers, allow soup to cool to room temperature, then pour into a freezer safe container. Soup will keep for 4 to 6 months in the freezer in ideal conditions. Thaw your soup overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Reheat on the stove top over medium-low heat until warmed through, stirring occasionally.
Substitute the bell pepper with more jalapeno or poblano peppers, substitute one of the cans of tomatoes with your favorite salsa or rotel, or add ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper along with the rest of the seasoning.
Substitute the jalapeno peppers with an additional bell pepper (or omit entirely) and use a mild taco seasoning. Serve your soup with a dollop of sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese.
Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Soup
- 16 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 15 ounces canned black beans, drained and rinsed
- 15 ounces canned pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 30 ounces canned petite diced tomatoes
- 2 cups frozen corn
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 2 jalapeños, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 16 ounces chicken broth
- 1 lime, optional
- In a 6 quart slow cooker, add beans, tomatoes, corn, onion, bell pepper, jalapenos, garlic, taco seasoning, and chicken broth. Stir to combine. Nestle the chicken breasts into other ingredients to mostly cover chicken. Cover with a lid and cook on low heat for 3 ½ to 4 ½ hours, depending on thickness of your chicken breasts.
- Once chicken is cooked through, remove chicken breasts from the slow cooker and shred with a fork. Add shredded chicken back to your soup and stir to combine.
- Portion soup into bowls and serve with a wedge of lime or squeeze lime over each bowl before serving. Optionally, top with a handful of shredded cheese, a dollop of sour cream, or crushed tortilla chips.
- Chicken breasts can be substituted with boneless chicken thighs.
- Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days and reheated over medium-low heat on the stove top until warmed through.
- Leftover soup can be frozen for 4 to 6 months. Transfer frozen soup to the refrigerator to thaw overnight before reheating.