Maddy Douglass

Knitter, lawyer, and safer beauty advocate in San Francisco. 

Loves coffee, crafting, and cheese plates.  


Chicken without-Tortilla Soup | Recipe

Chicken without-Tortilla Soup | Recipe

So, I'll be perfectly honest - it feels a bit odd to be writing this post considering I just decided this morning to stop eating meat and poultry. Ha. Fish is still up in the air but will be limited, and eggs and butter are never going to be something I can fully give up... but plain dairy like yogurt, milk, creamer, cheese, those are all gonna go for a while.

I do this every few months, let's be real, but after watching the new Netflix documentary What the Health (and revisiting prior research I'd heard about, and talking with others, and continuing to read Salt Sugar Fat which I highly recommend) I think this may be the time it sticks. It's just not good for us to eat overly processed animal proteins and even though I live in a very clean-food-organic-sustainably-farmed area, it's not always fiscally feasible to shop at the local butcher every week even if I'd wanted to. 

Anyway! I made this a week or so ago and it lasted for several meals and was delicious. So I'm not poo-pooing meat eating at all, I just am going to try to do a lot less of it, and that'll probably show on here. But we can get creative, right? *crickets* *doors slamming* *follower count plummets* Har har. 


This is a modified version of the Pioneer Woman's slow cooker chicken tortilla soup, made entirely with items found at Trader Joe's but that means these can probably be found most grocery stores or local markets. I used my InstaPot slow cooker function (on high), but you can use any slow cooker or probably even a conventional stovetop pot but you'll have to watch it more and adjust the timing to depend on how fast the chicken strips are cooking to make sure they're really done. 


  • About 1-2 pounds of chicken, depending on how chickeny you like your soup. I used two packages of TJ's chicken tenders, which mean they were raw but precut into strips that are easily shredded. I got one normal package and one smaller package for about 15-20 strips. 
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes in juice.
  • 1 can black beans, with juice.
  • 1 package roasted frozen corn
  • 1 diced onion
  • 2 bell peppers, any color you want, diced. I went with orange and green. I could have diced them smaller. 
  • Tomato paste, about 2/3 of one of the little cans. 
  • 1 can of the green tomatillos in sauce/juice.
  • About 3-4 cups chicken broth. 
  • spices: cumin, chili powder (I ended up using the chile lime seasoning from TJs which Charlie says is not real chili powder but it still tasted REALLY FRIGGIN GOOD so I'm like hey go with your gut here), salt, and pepper. Taco seasoning is optional if you really want to white people it up - I used TJ's taco seasoning (this is not an ad, I just am very deliberate with my grocery runs these days) and added only about half the package. 
  • optional toppings: cheese, lime juice, sliced avocado, dollop of yogurt or sour cream. 

How To:

  1. Rinse your chicken breasts or chicken tenders and place them in the slow cooker. 
  2. Season with about 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon chili powder, salt and pepper to taste. I just eyeballed this, a few good dashes should do you if your spice bottle is relatively full. 
  3. Add your diced onion, bell peppers, diced tomatoes in juice, tomatillo peppers in juice, black beans in their juice, corn, and tomato paste. 
  4. This is when I added about 1/2 the bag of taco seasoning to the "soupy" mixture. 
  5. Add your chicken broth and stir a bit to get the veggies mixed in, but it's fine to leave the chicken breasts undisturbed on the bottom. 
  6. Set your slow cooker to high for about 3.5 hours - this will ensure the chicken tenders are properly cooked through, and any extra cooking time will allow the flavors to combine even further. If you're going to be out all day you can probably set it on low for 7-8 hours? To be honest, I only "slow cook" on high. Oops. 
  7. Once your time is up and you've checked your chickens but bringing them to the top, pull them out while still hot and use two forks to shred them. They should pull apart easily. Add back to your soup. 

Serve with any desired additional toppings (here you see a lovely dose of Mexican Cheese blend) and keep the remainder for lunches. This will keep for up to a week in the fridge!

Oh, and it should be noted, that I completely forgot to add tortilla strips to this soup and it was just fine without it if you're going "low carb." Otherwise I would recommend adding some about 2/3 of the way through the cooking time or just on top for some extra crunch. 

Are you a fan of slow cooker soups? What's your favorite recipe you've tried? Share in the comments, I love recipe swaps!

Wednesday Wins: The one about food

Wednesday Wins: The one about food

Wednesday Wins: so, like, welcome and stuff!

Wednesday Wins: so, like, welcome and stuff!