Tortilla soup is a dish I really, really love.
It’s so richly flavored with spices and tender vegetables, with that delicious and satisfying crunch from tortilla chips.
It’s scrumptious comfort food that’s also packed with nutrition from the variety of fresh vegetables and antioxidant-rich spices.
My one and only concern with tortilla soup is that it tends to have a lot of ingredients, which means extra time and work.
But I’ve solved that problem by cooking by whipping up slow cooker tortilla soup.
My slow cooker tortilla soup recipe allows me to break up the preparation into three steps throughout the afternoon (1. soften the vegetables, 2. then add spices, broth, and rice, 3. then prepare the toppings right before serving).
So it never feels like an overwhelming amount of work that needs to be done right before dinnertime, when I’m already growing hungry.
My version of slow cooker tortilla soup is richly flavored but also healthy (about 350 calories per serving) and vegetarian (or vegan if you skip the Monterey Jack cheese).
I love to cook this up on a cold, wintry Sunday for a comforting evening meal – and the leftovers are perfect for reheating for lunches throughout the week!
Here’s the complete, printable recipe for Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup:
- Serving size: 6
- Calories: 344
- Fat: 19.4g
- Saturated fat: 6.0g
- Carbohydrates: 32.5g
- Sugar: 4.8g
- Sodium: 670mg
- Fiber: 5.6g
- Protein: 12g
- Cholesterol: 17mg
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 4 hours
Yield: 6 servings
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 small organic zucchini, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 orange bell pepper, diced
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 14 ounces chopped tomatoes (or diced tomatoes)
- 32 ounces organic vegetable broth
- ⅓ cup uncooked long grain brown rice
- ¾ cup frozen organic sweet corn
- 1 cup organic shredded Monterey Jack cheese (optional)
- 1 lime
- 1 avocado
- 30 organic tortilla chips
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped (optional)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Add the olive oil, garlic, onion, zucchini, and bell pepper to a slow cooker set to low heat. Season with salt and pepper, and stir until well combined. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, about 1½ hours.
- Add the cumin, oregano, paprika, chopped tomatoes, vegetable broth, and rice. Stir until well combined. Increase the heat to High, cover and cook until rice is tender, about 2½ hours.
- Add the frozen corn, and stir until well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Squeeze all of the juice from the lime. Peel, core and thinly slice the avocado, and pour the fresh lime juice all over the avocado slices.
- Ladle the soup into serving bowls. Top with cheese (optional) and a few avocado slices. Crush several tortilla chips to top off each bowl, and add fresh cilantro (optional). Serve.
* I calculate nutrition information at Calorie Count.
And for the step-by-step instructions for slow cooker tortilla soup…
Here are the key ingredients you’ll need for this slow cooker tortilla soup:
This recipe is packed with healthy, fresh ingredients!
Begin by prepping some veggies.
Grab a few cloves of garlic, hold your knife over them and smash down, breaking apart the cloves.
Peel off the skin, pile up the cloves, and run your knife in every direction, mincing up the garlic.
Next, grab an onion and chop off the root end.
Cut it in half end-to-end and peel off the skin.
Then place each half flat-side-down on the cutting board for stability.
And dice up the onion.
Next, chop both ends off an organic zucchini and cut it in half lengthwise.
Place each half flat-side-down on the cutting board for stability and thinly slice it.
Last, place an orange bell pepper upright on the cutting board and slice down around each side of the pepper, cutting it into four quarters.
This makes it easy to discard the stem and seeds.
Then dice up the pepper.
Next, it’s time to being cooking your slow cooker tortilla soup
Grab your slow cooker, set it to low heat, and add a bit of olive oil.
Toss in all of the veggies – garlic, onion, zucchini, and bell pepper – and season it all with salt and pepper.
Stir until it’s all well combined, cover and cook, stirring every once in a while.
When the vegetables are softened, it’s time to add seasonings (the key to giving the tortilla soup lots of rich flavor): cumin, oregano, and paprika.
Also add some chopped or diced tomatoes, lots of organic vegetable broth, and some uncooked brown rice.
Stir until everything is well combined, and increase the heat to High.
Cover and cook for a couple of hours.
When the rice is fully cooked and tender, toss in some organic frozen sweet corn, and stir until it’s well combined.
Then season the soup to your taste with salt and pepper.
Last, prepare the toppings!
Grab a fresh lime and squeeze all of the juice from it (twisting a fork through the fruit will help squeeze all of the juice out).
And slice an avocado in half end-to-end.
You’ll feel a large pit in the center of the avocado, just cut around it.
Then grab the two halves and twist in opposite directions to pull the avocado apart.
Use a spoon to scoop out the pit.
Then cut the avocado into thin slices and use the spoon to scoop the avocado from the skin.
Immediately pour all of the fresh lime juice all over the avocado slices.
The lime juice is a key ingredient for this slow cooker tortilla soup, to not only add a really delicious hint of acidity to the soup but also to help keep the avocado a nice, bright, vivid green color.
Final step: serve and enjoy!
Use a ladle to transfer the slow cooker tortilla soup to serving bowls.
To add extra delicious richness, top with some shredded monterey jack cheese, which will melt right into the hot soup (this step is optional – the avocado adds lots of creamy richness to the soups well).
Top with a few of the avocado slices, then crush several organic tortilla chips to top off each bowl.
Add a bit of freshly chopped cilantro if you’d like (also optional, the soup already has plenty of flavor), and enjoy!
This satisfying slow cooker tortilla soup is definitely a cold-weather favorite of mine.
It’s so richly flavored with the savory vegetables, sweet corn, and Southwest-inspired spices.
The avocado adds so much creamy richness (with a hint of tartness from the lime) and the tortilla chips add that oh-so-important addictive crunch to every bite!
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