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  • Writer's picturelaurenjanowiecki

Healthy, Easy, & Cheap Family Dinners | Chicken Tortilla Soup

Updated: Jan 9, 2019

by Lauren Janoweicki

We all know the struggle. Life is busy. Between leaving work on time, picking up half the kids from school and the other half from the sitter, all while everyone’s tummies are grumbling- all anyone wants to do is hit up a drive through on the way home. Often times we resort to ordering Chinese takeout or dragging the kids to the local Fazoli’s.

Why? Because, lets be honest, life is a struggle sometimes, and quick food is just easier. Unfortunately, quick food usually means unhealthy food. Even if your headed to your local restaurant for a sit down with the family, the fats, calories, sugars, and sodium per meal is nearly double that of a homemade meal. Not to mention you have quick easy and mess free access to all the fried delights the culinary world has to offer. Its just not great.

“I don’t have time.” -I’ve heard the excuse a million times and on more than enough occasions made the excuse myself. And its true. I thought it was just me for the longest time. I recently posted on social media that I was looking for blog post ideas and this has been one of the reoccurring topics that has hit my inbox more than once. So I am on a mission & I have done my research. All of these recipes are tried and true (aka I have taste tested them hehe) so, starting in January (when we are back in the office) We will be posting weekly family dinner night recipes that are FAST, EASY, CHEAP, & HEALTHY. So stay tuned.

I have gone ahead and started with a recipe that is both family dinner night AND left overs for work worthy. This meal costs approximately $10-$15 for the whole family and was Super easy to prep. Oh, and everyone LOVED it. So, You’re welcome.

Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup with

Cilantro Lime Rice

Prep: 20 min Cook: 6-8 hr Yield: serves 4-6 (with left overs for lunch)

Soup Ingredients

6 chicken thighs (boneless skinless)

2 10-ounce cans diced tomatoes with green chiles

1 10-oz can fire roasted tomatoes

1 can low sodium black beans

2 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth

1 1/2 cups water

1 can drained golden sweet corn

1 red onion, finely chopped

5 garlic cloves, finely minced

2 jalapenos, finely chopped

1 ½- 2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 ½- 2 teaspoon chili powder

Juice of 1 lemon

Soup Toppings:

1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

2-3 whole avocados-diced

Greek yogurt (or sour cream) and crushed lime tortilla chips to top


1 cup white rice (cook in rice cooker)

1 ½ cup water

Juice of 1/2 lime to taste

1/4 cup cilantro to taste


1. Place the chicken, tomatoes (and juices), beans, broth, water, corn, onion, garlic, jalapeno, cumin, and chili powder in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or on low for 6 to 8 hours. 20 minutes before serving, start rice in rice cooker. 1 cup rice and 1 ½ cup water in rice cooker. When rice is finished mix in ½ cup cilantro and juice of 1 lime.

2. Uncover the slow cooker and use tongs to remove the chicken from the pot. Once cool enough to handle, shred, then return the meat to the pot. Stir in the lemon juice. Put a spoonful of rice into each bowl and cover with soup. Serve with Greek yogurt, avocado, cilantro, crushed tortilla chips, and grated cheese topping options. Add salt/ pepper to taste. Enjoy!

3. Per serving: Calories: 325; Total Fat: 8 grams; Saturated Fat: 4 grams; Protein: 28 grams; Total carbohydrates: 29 grams; Sugar: 11 grams; Fiber: 12 grams; Cholesterol: 56 milligrams; Sodium: 364 milligrams

ENJOY & Stay Tuned!!