Chicken Taco Soup

After indulging a bit too much over the holidays, I'm taking a break from sweets and focusing on savory dishes this week. While I experiment significantly with desserts, I maintain a more limited repertoire when it comes to savory recipes. During the week we tend to get stuck in a culinary rut of a few standby dishes. There are plenty of dishes we enjoy cooking (hibachi and bourbon ancho chili pork chops are among are favorite), but most of them require a significant amount of time and energy. It's difficult to find dishes that are flavorful, but simple enough to cook after a tiring day of work.

One way around the dilemma is to use recipes that allow for some prep work, or key components, to be prepared ahead of time. This week I'm sharing a series of recipes that all contain one ingredient in common - taco seasoned chicken. Prepare a large batch of chicken seasoned with your favorite taco seasoning, and you will be well on your way to creating three different, but equally delicious, meals to eat throughout the week.

Why taco seasoned chicken you might ask? I enjoy all kinds of flavors, but southwestern spices and seasonings are at the top of my list! While taco seasoning may be more commonly used with ground beef, it is a delicious way to spice up chicken. The three meals I'm sharing could be made with regular grilled chicken, but the seasoning take the flavor to the next level.

This week I will be sharing my take on a taco soup, southwestern chicken quesadillas, and a delicious, yet simple, salad. These may all have the same main ingredient and spices, but the dishes are anything but boring. They will allow you to save some time, yet still have a variety in your meals.

First up, is my take on a chicken taco soup, based on a Pioneer Woman recipe. If you've read my blog much, you know The Pioneer Woman's recipes are among my absolute favorite. I even got to meet her recently!!

It's getting chilly outside, so what's better than soup on a cold winter's night? This soup is not only warm in temperature, but it is also packs some heat with the spices. If spicy is not your thing, you can definitely make a milder version by using a mild taco seasoning and not adding additional spices. I tend to be heavy handed with cayenne pepper and chili powder, to me the spicier the better! The soup is scrumptious on its own, but is also perfectly paired with cornbread (or even corn chips).

Chicken Taco Soup ingredients:
  • 1 lb taco seasoned chicken, shredded
  • 1/2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 packets taco seasoning
  • Additional spices: salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, chili powder, etc
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 can Rotel Tomatoes and Green Chilies
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tbs tomato paste
  • 3 cups hot water
  • 1 small can whole kernel corn, drained (~10 oz)
Chicken Taco Soup directions:
  • Dice onions and peppers
  • Heat olive oil in pot over medium heat
  • Saute onion, peppers, and garlic for a few mins
  • Add drained corn 
  • Season veggies and with one packet of taco seasoning
  • Shred seasoned chicken and add to veggies
  • Add chicken stock, Rotel tomatoes, tomato paste, and water
  • Mix second taco packet and additional seasonings to taste (cayenne pepper, chili powder, etc)
  • Heat mixture until boiling
  • Reduce to simmer
  • Simmer at least 15 mins
  • Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed
  • Enjoy!
Check back later this week for southwestern quesadillas and a flavor packed salad!

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