I don’t know about you, but I have been moving into a major soup mood these past couple weeks.
Perhaps it’s the stress of everything going on in the world? Or maybe it’s as simple as the change in temperatures as we head into November?
Either way, this chicken taco soup is a big bowl of comfort. It’s warm-you-up food, and that applies physically and emotionally. How many of us want a warm, cozy meal after a long or stressful day? I don’t know many who would turn it down.
Not only is this soup delicious and cozy, but it’s (1) easy to throw together, and (2) fairly good for you. AKA, we are WINNING on this Tuesday. I love when things come together like this.
Now, you could make your life even easier here and use a taco spice packet from the store. Absolutely zero judgement from me on that front – I use them all the time in a pinch. For the sake of providing a recipe to those who do NOT want to use the packets, I developed this using a homemade blend of spices, but seriously, DO YOU.
In our pot here, we have a lovely mix of onions, garlic, bell pepper, and jalapeños. The spices are my classic mix for “taco” flavor: cumin, coriander, ancho chili powder, garlic powder, and onion powder. If you want a little smokiness (I usually do), add in a little smoked paprika as well. This is my go-to blend for homemade taco seasoning and I use it ALL THE TIME.
You can make your own and keep a mix of it in the pantry, or you can adjust the amounts as you see fit. I love the flavor of cumin and coriander and usually want a little less chili powder than a lot of people (it’s often overpowering for me), so I adjust my spices accordingly. You can do the same!
The rest of the ingredients are fairly standard when it comes to a taco soup. We have beans, diced tomatoes, cooked chicken (I love a Rotisserie for soups like this), broth, corn, and lime juice. I add a little half-and-half at the end to give this an extra cozy feel, but it’s optional and you can leave it out if you want to.
The absolute best way to serve up this soup is with some cooling toppings, like avocado and yogurt/sour cream, and a gooey cheese quesadilla! Yes. We’re doing quesadillas with this soup instead of grilled cheese. Trust me, it works and is a wonderful way to meet our cheese and carb quotas for the day.
I keep the quesadillas VERY simple. It’s just butter, tortillas, and cheese. We love a mix of shredded cheddar and Jack cheeses, but you can do whatever you love! Just make sure you’re using melty cheeses. The last thing we want is a quesadilla with hard chunks of cheese on the inside, right? Right.
And that’s pretty much it!
A quick and easy meal that the whole family will love. Comforting, delicious, and healthy!
It’s everything a weeknight calls for.
Chicken Taco Soup with Quesadilla Dippers
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
This Chicken Taco Soup with Quesadilla Dippers is cozy, healthy comfort with tons of flavor and spice. Serve these up with cheesy quesadillas on the side or on top – they are the perfect dipper for this taco soup!
For the Soup:
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
- 2 teaspoon ancho chili powder
- 2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 (15-oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed well
- 1 (15-oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed well
- 1 (15-oz) can diced tomatoes
- 5 cups shredded cooked chicken (leftover or Rotisserie works great here!)
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup frozen corn (no need to defrost)
- Juice of 1 lime
- ½ cup half-and-half
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Sour cream
For the Quesadilla:
- Butter, for the pan
- 12 small flour tortillas (I love the “mini” 4-inch size for this)
- 3 cups grated cheese (we love a mix of cheddar and Jack)
For the Soup:
- Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and jalapeno and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Stir in the garlic and spices and cook for another 1 minute.
- Add in the tomato paste and stir around until it is melted and coating all the vegetables in the pot.
- Add the beans, diced tomatoes, chicken, stock, and salt and pepper (to taste).
- Bring the soup to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring frequently. After 20 minutes, stir in the frozen corn, lime juice, half-and-half, and more salt and pepper, as needed.
- Adjust the seasoning as needed and serve hot with your preferred toppings and the quesadillas for dipping.
For the Quesadillas:
- Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat and add a little butter.
- Place one tortilla in the pan once the butter is melted and top with a handful of the shredded cheeses. Top with another tortilla and cook, undisturbed, for about 1-2 minutes on the first side.
- The quesadilla is ready to flip when the bottom tortilla is golden and crisp and some of the cheese has started to melt.
- Flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes on the other side or until the tortilla is golden and the cheese is completely melted and gooey.
- Set on a cutting board for a few minutes to cool slightly before slicing into quarters for serving – this keeps the cheese from oozing out all over the place when you cut into the quesadilla.
- Serve with the hot soup.
The spices here are what I use to create my favorite version of “taco spice.” Feel free to adjust the quantities to make your perfect mix OR use a store-bought “taco spice” packet from the store. Whatever works for you!
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: soup
Keywords: healthy chicken taco soup, chicken taco soup recipe, taco soup with quesadillas, healthy soup ideas
Ellen Takas says
Hi Molly! This is Jim Frejofsky talking. I just retired from a 45 year career as a graphic designer working on many national and international accounts. I did tons of advertising for Nestle products. They own many companies like Stouffer’s, Digiorno pizza and Buitoni products. I was supplied with hundreds of food shots over the past few decades. Nestle’s has nothing on you! I don’t know anything about cooking, but I do know about advertising. I think your food shots are beautiful! They really make you want to try the meals … which is exactly what food shots are supposed to do. Great job, Sweetheart!
I love you! Jim
Thank you so much, Jim! That means a lot! I hope you and Ellen are doing well! 🙂
Made this for meal prep this week and it is soooooo good. Hearty without being too heavy. We love it for lunch warmed up or dinner. It’s good even without the quesadillas.
It’s perfect for meal prep! I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed it. Thank you for taking the time to leave feedback!