Slow Cooker Enchilada Quinoa Chicken Soup Recipe

This delicious slow cooker enchilada quinoa chicken soup is a perfect comfort food packed with bold flavors. It's a unique blend of Mexican cuisine with a healthy twist, thanks to the addition of quinoa. The soup is hearty, filling, and incredibly easy to prepare, making it an ideal choice for a cozy family dinner or meal prep for the week.

Slow Cooker Enchilada Quinoa Chicken Soup Recipe
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Photos of Slow Cooker Enchilada Quinoa Chicken Soup Recipe

Most of the ingredients for this recipe are common pantry staples such as canned chicken broth, garlic, and onions. However, some might not have quinoa, enchilada sauce, or ancho chili powder at home. When shopping, make sure to pick up these items. Quinoa is a nutritious grain that adds texture and protein to the soup. The enchilada sauce and ancho chili powder are essential for the unique, robust flavor of this dish.

Ingredients for Slow Cooker Enchilada Quinoa Chicken Soup

Chicken broth: A fundamental base that adds a savory depth of flavor to the soup.

Enchilada sauce: Gives the soup its characteristic Mexican flavor.

Tomatoes: Adds a tangy sweetness and enriches the soup's texture.

Ancho chili powder: Imparts a smoky flavor and a hint of heat.

Cumin: A staple in Mexican cooking that gives a warm, earthy flavor.

Chicken breasts: The protein in our soup. You can also use thighs for a richer flavor.

Onion and garlic: Adds a fragrant backdrop to the soup.

Quinoa: A healthy grain that boosts the soup's nutritional value and adds texture.

Corn: Gives a sweet crunch that contrasts nicely with the other textures.

Black beans: Adds a satisfying bite and a good source of fiber.

Avocado: Creamy and rich, it balances the heat and adds a layer of indulgence.

Cilantro: A herb that lends a fresh, citrusy note to finish the soup.

One reader, Charmian Thornburg says:

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This slow cooker enchilada quinoa chicken soup recipe is a game-changer! The flavors are rich and comforting, and the quinoa adds a delightful texture. It's so easy to make, and the aroma while it cooks is amazing. This recipe has become a family favorite in our home. Highly recommended!

Charmian Thornburg

Techniques Required for Making Slow Cooker Enchilada Quinoa Chicken Soup

How to cook the chicken: The chicken should be cooked in the slow cooker with the other ingredients for about 6 hours until it is tender and fully cooked.

How to add quinoa: Quinoa should be added to the slow cooker during the last 30 minutes of cooking to ensure it is fully cooked but not mushy.

How to shred the chicken: Once the chicken is fully cooked, remove it from the slow cooker and shred it using two forks or dice it into small pieces.

How to serve: The soup should be served warm and topped with Mexican blend cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and a handful of tortilla chips for added texture and flavor.

How To Make Slow Cooker Enchilada Quinoa Chicken Soup Recipe

Quinoa chicken soup is perfect for individuals who need a quick, healthy dinner. This recipe features all the flavors you love in a chicken enchilada.

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 6 hours 5 minutes
Total: 6 hours 20 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

  • 29ozcanned chicken broth,low sodium
  • 2cupsmild red enchilada sauce
  • 14.5ozcanned tomatoes,diced
  • tspancho chili powder
  • tspground cumin
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • lbschicken breasts,boneless, skinless
  • 1onion,medium, halved, peeled
  • 2garlic cloves,pressed through a garlic crusher, or minced
  • cupdry quinoa
  • cupsfrozen corn
  • 14.5ozcanned black beans,drained and rinsed
  • 1avocado,diced
  • ¼cupcilantro,chopped

For The Toppings:

  • Mexican blend cheese,shredded
  • sour cream
  • tortilla chips

Instructions

  1. To a 6 to 7 quart slow cooker, add chicken broth, enchilada sauce, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

  2. Add in chicken, onion, and garlic.

  3. Cover and cook on Low for about 6 hours, until the chicken has cooked through and is tender while adding in quinoa during the last 30 minutes of cooking.

  4. Remove onion and discard. Remove the chicken and dice or shred.

  5. Add corn and black beans to soup and heat through.

  6. Return chicken to soup and stir in avocado and cilantro.

  7. Serve warm with cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 536.58kcal
  • Fat: 19.22g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.26g
  • Trans Fat: 0.12g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 8.95g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 4.16g
  • Carbohydrates: 56.33g
  • Fiber: 15.33g
  • Sugar: 11.85g
  • Protein: 37.94g
  • Cholesterol: 75.86mg
  • Sodium: 1753.21mg
  • Calcium: 117.97mg
  • Potassium: 1198.07mg
  • Iron: 5.83mg
  • Vitamin A: 66.43µg
  • Vitamin C: 23.62mg

Technique Tip for Perfecting Slow Cooker Enchilada Quinoa Chicken Soup

When adding the quinoa to the slow cooker, make sure to rinse it thoroughly under cold water first. This helps to remove its natural coating, called saponin, which can make it taste bitter or soapy. Using a fine mesh strainer, rinse the quinoa until the water runs clear. This will ensure that your enchilada quinoa chicken soup has the best possible flavor.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing This Recipe

Prep ahead: Chop and measure ingredients the night before to streamline the cooking process.

Use pre-cooked chicken: Utilize rotisserie or leftover cooked chicken to cut down on cooking time.

Multi-task: While the soup is cooking, use the time to prepare the toppings and set the table.

Invest in a slow cooker: A slow cooker can be a time-saving kitchen tool for busy days.

Organize your ingredients: Arrange all the ingredients and utensils in an orderly manner before starting to cook for efficiency.

Quick-release pressure: If using a pressure cooker, quick-release the pressure to save time when the cooking is done.

Opt for canned ingredients: Canned beans and tomatoes can be convenient time-savers for this recipe.

Batch cooking: Make a larger portion and freeze the extra for a quick meal on another day.

Substitute Ingredients For Slow Cooker Enchilada Quinoa Chicken Soup Recipe

  • canned chicken broth - Substitute with vegetable broth: Vegetable broth can provide a similar depth of flavor and richness to the soup without the use of chicken broth.
  • mild red enchilada sauce - Substitute with homemade enchilada sauce: Making your own enchilada sauce allows you to control the level of spiciness and adjust the flavors to your preference.
  • canned tomatoes - Substitute with fresh tomatoes: Fresh tomatoes can add a brighter, more vibrant flavor to the soup, and they can be diced or crushed to achieve a similar texture to canned tomatoes.
  • ancho chili powder - Substitute with smoked paprika: Smoked paprika can provide a similar smoky flavor and mild heat to the dish, enhancing the overall depth of the soup.
  • ground cumin - Substitute with coriander: Coriander can offer a slightly citrusy and earthy flavor, similar to cumin, and can complement the other spices in the soup.
  • quinoa - Substitute with brown rice: Brown rice can provide a similar hearty texture and absorb the flavors of the soup while adding a nutty taste and slightly chewy texture.
  • frozen corn - Substitute with fresh corn kernels: Fresh corn can add a sweet, crisp texture to the soup, enhancing its overall freshness and flavor.
  • black beans - Substitute with pinto beans: Pinto beans can offer a similar creamy texture and earthy flavor, complementing the other ingredients in the soup.
  • avocado - Substitute with diced cucumber: Diced cucumber can add a refreshing crunch and a mild, cooling element to the soup, similar to the creaminess of avocado.
  • cilantro - Substitute with flat-leaf parsley: Flat-leaf parsley can provide a fresh, herbaceous flavor without the distinct citrus notes of cilantro, making it a versatile substitute in the soup.
  • mexican blend cheese - Substitute with monterey jack cheese: Monterey Jack cheese can offer a mild, creamy flavor and melt beautifully over the soup, similar to Mexican blend cheese.
  • sour cream - Substitute with Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt can provide a tangy, creamy element to the soup, adding richness and a hint of acidity to balance the flavors.
  • tortilla chips - Substitute with tortilla strips: Tortilla strips can provide a similar crunchy texture and can be used as a garnish for the soup, adding a delightful contrast to the dish.

Best Way to Present Slow Cooker Enchilada Quinoa Chicken Soup

  1. Elevate the plating: When presenting this dish, focus on creating a visually stunning plate. Use colorful garnishes and carefully arrange the ingredients to create an eye-catching display that is both appetizing and elegant.

  2. Incorporate texture: Consider adding a crunchy element to the dish, such as homemade tortilla strips or crispy tortilla chips, to provide a delightful contrast to the soup's creamy texture.

  3. Emphasize freshness: Highlight the use of fresh, high-quality ingredients such as ripe avocado and vibrant cilantro to showcase the dish's flavors and appeal to the discerning palates of the judges.

  4. Attention to detail: Pay close attention to the placement of each component on the plate, ensuring that every element is thoughtfully positioned to create a visually appealing and balanced presentation.

  5. Artful drizzling: Use the enchilada sauce as a canvas for an artful drizzle, adding a touch of sophistication to the dish and showcasing your attention to detail and culinary finesse.

  6. Sophisticated accompaniments: Serve the soup with a side of warm, freshly baked cornbread or a delicate quesadilla to complement the flavors and elevate the overall dining experience.

  7. Refined garnishes: Incorporate delicate microgreens or edible flowers as a refined garnish, adding a touch of elegance and sophistication to the presentation of the dish.

Essential Tools for Making Enchilada Quinoa Chicken Soup in a Slow Cooker

  • Slow cooker: A slow cooker is a countertop kitchen appliance used for cooking food at a low temperature for an extended period. It's perfect for simmering soups and stews, and it allows for easy, hands-off cooking.
  • Knife: A sharp knife is essential for cutting and dicing ingredients, especially the chicken, onion, and garlic in this recipe.
  • Cutting board: A cutting board provides a stable surface for chopping and preparing ingredients, ensuring safety and preventing damage to countertops.
  • Can opener: This tool is necessary for opening canned ingredients such as chicken broth, tomatoes, and black beans.
  • Measuring cups and spoons: Accurate measurement of ingredients is crucial for the success of the recipe, and these tools ensure precision.
  • Ladle: A ladle is used for serving the soup, allowing for easy portioning and serving.
  • Tongs: Tongs are helpful for removing the cooked chicken from the slow cooker and shredding it before returning it to the soup.
  • Serving bowls: These are essential for serving the enchilada quinoa chicken soup, providing a vessel for the delicious dish.
  • Soup ladle: A soup ladle is used for transferring the soup from the slow cooker to serving bowls, ensuring neat and controlled pouring.

How To Store and Freeze Enchilada Quinoa Chicken Soup

  • Let the enchilada quinoa chicken soup cool completely before storing or freezing.
  • Transfer the cooled soup to an airtight container or a freezer-safe bag.
  • If using a container, leave about an inch of space at the top to allow for expansion during freezing.
  • Label the container or bag with the date and contents.
  • Store the soup in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.
  • To freeze the soup, place the container or bag in the freezer and store for up to 3 months.
  • When ready to eat, thaw the frozen soup in the refrigerator overnight.
  • Reheat the soup in a pot on the stove over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
  • If the soup appears too thick after reheating, add a little chicken broth or water to thin it out to your desired consistency.
  • Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed before serving.
  • Serve the reheated soup with fresh toppings like avocado, cilantro, cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips for added flavor and texture.

How To Reheat Leftover Enchilada Quinoa Chicken Soup

  • Stovetop method: Transfer the leftover soup to a pot and reheat it over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches the desired temperature. This method allows you to control the heat and ensure that the soup is evenly reheated without overcooking the quinoa or chicken.

  • Microwave method: Place the desired portion of soup in a microwave-safe bowl and cover it with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap, leaving a small vent for steam to escape. Microwave on high power in 30-second intervals, stirring between each interval, until the soup is heated through. Be careful when removing the bowl from the microwave, as it may be hot.

  • Slow cooker method: If you have a small amount of leftover soup, you can reheat it in the slow cooker. Transfer the soup to the slow cooker, cover it, and heat on low for 1-2 hours or until it reaches the desired temperature. This method is best for larger quantities of soup and helps maintain the soup's texture and flavor.

  • Oven method: Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Transfer the leftover soup to an oven-safe dish and cover it with aluminum foil. Place the dish in the preheated oven and reheat for 15-20 minutes, or until the soup is heated through. Stir the soup occasionally to ensure even heating.

  • Thawing frozen soup: If you have frozen the leftover soup, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before reheating. Once thawed, use any of the above methods to reheat the soup. If you're short on time, you can reheat the frozen soup directly in a pot on the stovetop over low heat, stirring frequently to prevent burning and ensure even heating.

Random Fact About Slow Cooker Enchilada Quinoa Chicken Soup

Quinoa is a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids, making it a great addition to this enchilada quinoa chicken soup.

Is Making Enchilada Quinoa Chicken Soup at Home Economical?

This slow cooker enchilada quinoa chicken soup recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. The ingredients, such as chicken broth, quinoa, black beans, and corn, are affordable and readily available. The use of chicken breasts can be economical when purchased in bulk. The overall verdict for this recipe is 9/10. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $20, making it a budget-friendly and satisfying meal option.

Is This Enchilada Quinoa Chicken Soup Healthy or Unhealthy?

This slow cooker enchilada quinoa chicken soup recipe is a nutritious and well-balanced meal. It contains a good mix of protein from the chicken and black beans, complex carbohydrates from the quinoa, and healthy fats from the avocado. The enchilada sauce and tomatoes provide a rich source of vitamins and antioxidants, while the onion and garlic offer additional flavor and health benefits. The use of chicken broth instead of heavy cream or excessive amounts of cheese keeps the soup light and lower in saturated fat.

However, there are a few areas where the recipe could be improved to make it even healthier:

  • Opt for low-sodium chicken broth and enchilada sauce to reduce the overall sodium content
  • Use skinless chicken breasts to minimize saturated fat intake
  • Increase the amount of vegetables by adding bell peppers, zucchini, or carrots for extra fiber and nutrients
  • Reduce the amount of cheese and sour cream used as toppings, or choose low-fat versions
  • Serve the soup with a side salad or extra vegetables instead of tortilla chips to boost the nutrient density of the meal

By making these small adjustments, you can enhance the nutritional value of this already healthy and delicious slow cooker enchilada quinoa chicken soup. The combination of wholesome ingredients and convenient preparation method makes this recipe a great choice for busy weeknights or meal prep sessions. Feel free to experiment with different spices, herbs, or vegetables to create your own unique variations and keep your taste buds excited about this nourishing soup.

Editor's Opinion on This Enchilada Quinoa Chicken Soup Recipe

The slow cooker enchilada quinoa chicken soup recipe is a delightful fusion of flavors and textures. The combination of enchilada sauce, quinoa, and tender chicken creates a hearty and satisfying dish. The addition of black beans, corn, and avocado adds a delightful contrast, while the toppings of Mexican blend cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips provide a perfect finishing touch. This recipe is a wonderful balance of savory and spicy, making it a comforting and delicious meal for any occasion.

Enhance Your Slow Cooker Enchilada Quinoa Chicken Soup Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Guacamole: Create a zesty guacamole with ripe avocados, diced tomatoes, and a splash of lime juice for a refreshing side dish.
Mexican Street Corn: Grill up some Mexican street corn with a smoky chipotle mayo and a sprinkle of cotija cheese for a flavorful accompaniment.
Churros: Finish off the meal with crispy churros dusted in cinnamon sugar and served with a side of rich chocolate dipping sauce.

Alternative Recipes Similar to Enchilada Quinoa Chicken Soup

Creamy Mushroom Risotto: This creamy and flavorful risotto is made with arborio rice, mushrooms, garlic, onion, white wine, and parmesan cheese. It's the perfect comfort food for a cozy night in.
Honey Garlic Glazed Salmon: This delicious and healthy salmon recipe features a sweet and savory honey garlic glaze. It's easy to make and pairs perfectly with steamed vegetables or a fresh salad.
Mango Coconut Chia Pudding: For a refreshing and nutritious dessert, try this mango coconut chia pudding. It's made with ripe mango, coconut milk, chia seeds, and a touch of honey for sweetness. Top it with fresh berries for an extra burst of flavor.

Suggested Appetizers and Desserts to Complement Enchilada Quinoa Chicken Soup

Appetizers:
Savory Stuffed Mushrooms: Create a delectable appetizer by stuffing mushrooms with a savory mixture of herbs, cheese, and breadcrumbs. Bake until golden and serve hot for a crowd-pleasing starter.
Crispy Coconut Shrimp: Whip up a tropical-inspired appetizer by coating shrimp in a crispy coconut breading and frying until golden brown. Serve with a sweet and tangy dipping sauce for a delightful flavor combination.
Desserts:
Chocolate Lava Cake: Indulge in a decadent, rich chocolate lava cake that oozes with molten chocolate when you cut into it. Pair it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the perfect balance of warm and cold, and top it off with a drizzle of chocolate sauce for an extra touch of sweetness.
Apple Crisp: Savor the warm, comforting flavors of a homemade apple crisp, with tender, cinnamon-spiced apples topped with a crunchy oat and brown sugar crumble. Serve it with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of caramel-swirl ice cream for a delightful autumn-inspired dessert.

Why trust this Slow Cooker Enchilada Quinoa Chicken Soup Recipe:

This recipe offers a delicious and nutritious combination of flavors and ingredients. The enchilada sauce and ancho chili powder provide a rich and authentic Mexican taste, while the use of quinoa adds a healthy and hearty element. The inclusion of chicken breasts ensures a good source of lean protein, and the addition of avocado and cilantro offers a fresh and vibrant finish. With the convenience of a slow cooker, this recipe promises a hassle-free cooking experience, making it a trustworthy and satisfying choice for any home cook.

Share your thoughts on this Slow Cooker Enchilada Quinoa Chicken Soup recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum and let us know if you have any tips or variations to suggest!
FAQ:
What can I use as a substitute for chicken breasts in this recipe?
You can substitute chicken breasts with boneless, skinless chicken thighs for a richer flavor, or with firm tofu for a vegetarian option.
Can I use fresh tomatoes instead of canned tomatoes?
Yes, you can use fresh tomatoes instead of canned tomatoes. Simply chop fresh tomatoes and use them in place of canned tomatoes in the recipe.
How can I make this recipe spicier?
To make the recipe spicier, you can add diced jalapeños or a pinch of cayenne pepper when adding the other spices. You can also use a spicier enchilada sauce or add hot sauce to taste.
Can I prepare this recipe on the stovetop instead of using a slow cooker?
Yes, you can prepare this recipe on the stovetop. Simply combine the ingredients in a large pot, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the flavors have melded, about 25-30 minutes.
How long will the leftovers last, and how should I store them?
The leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat the soup on the stovetop or in the microwave until heated through before serving.

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