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Rare is the evening when I make a meal that makes everyone happy. You know what I mean?
I’m not one of those moms who likes to cater to every individual’s needs. You eat what’s on the dinner table or not. I try not to be too exotic when it comes to our nightly spread, and in general it’s fair.
But still. Satisfying the palates of three kids (not to mention a husband who’s pretty particular?). It takes a quasi miracle.
But then there are tacos.
We have not a drop of Mexican blood in us but I think we all wish we did. My oldest son is already trying to put hot sauce on anything. Tacos bring us together. Tacos are magical. Tacos get eaten.
We eat some form of something-wrapped-in-a-tortilla almost weekly. One of my favorites is delicious and very easy. Crockpot chicken tacos take five minutes to prepare, and their bounty lasts for days. What’s more, I’ve discovered how to make a second meal out of them: chicken taco soup. You can freeze the leftover chicken you have and have a completely different meal a few weeks later from the same batch.
Behold (recipe adapted from Chocolate Therapy).
1. Crockpot Chicken Tacos (serves 4-6 if you reserve meat for soup)
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 cups salsa of your choice
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
For everything else:
- Corn or flour tortillas of choice
- Garnishes of choice: guacamole, sour cream, shredded cheese, lettuce, beans, etc.
Add all of the ingredients for the meat into the crockpot except for the dried oregano. Cook on low for about 4 hours. Add the oregano for the last ½ hour of cooking. Shred the chicken by pulling it apart with two forks. Serve the way you like it.
A couple of tips: I highly recommend cooking up fresh tortillas. We buy the Tortilla Land brand. It takes about 20 seconds per tortilla to cook and it is so worth it. I also am not a huge sour cream person so we don’t usually have it in the house. We do, however, have plain Greek yogurt, which makes an excellent sour cream substitute (less calories too!).
Depending on what kind of salsa you use, the taco meat can be pretty wet. Some people like this and others done. If you like your meat drier, serve it with a slotted spoon—you could even try straining the meat. But you might want to save the juices for the soup.
If you’re making soup, set aside two cups of the chicken
2. Chicken Taco Soup (serves 4-6)
- 2 cups of leftover taco chicken
- 4 cups chicken stock or broth (try making it homemade!)
- 1 can of corn, drained
- 2 tablespoons lime juice (about 1 lime)
- 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 1 10 oz. can diced tomatoes with green chilies
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cups black beans (about 1 can, optional)
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 handfuls cilantro, chopped
For garnish/sides (optional):
- Tortilla chips
- Shredded cheese
- Sliced avocado
- Sour cream or Greek yogurt
Put all of the ingredients in a soup pot and simmer for about 30 minutes. I highly recommend using a cast iron dutch oven for every type of soup you ever make. So. Good.
This soup is good on its own but in my opinion it’s phenomenal when you load it up. Since I have picky eaters I usually serve the beans on the side and people can add them if they want them.
I hope you enjoy these tasty and convenient family dinners!
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