We’ve been having some cold, blustery days lately so hearty soups, chili and stews have been on my mind a lot. My youngest son loves all things chili. I actually think I could make chili every day and he’d never get sick of it. This Slow Cooker Chicken Chili Tortilla Soup was my way of making chili in another form, just to mix things up a bit. This recipe is so easy – you just dump everything into a slow cooker and let it cook away. I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs, frozen corn, black beans, fire-roasted tomatoes, red bell pepper, red onion, and a pack of Little’s Specialty Foods Chili Pepper Chili Seasoning (see below for more info). There’s no added fat, so it’s healthy too.
Recently, I met Angela Colabella, owner and co-founder of Little’s Specialty Foods, Inc., a local family-owned and operated company right in my town. Her company sells a flagship product line of ‘Chili Pepper Seasoning Mixes,’ which was established in 1980, based on her dad’s chili recipe she grew up eating in Wisconsin. He served his chili over beans and noodles, which is considered a Midwestern Style Chili (similar to Cincinnati Chili).
Angela gave me a few packs of her Chili Pepper Chili Seasoning Mix (both the Original and Hot versions) to try out, which are free from artificial ingredients, gluten, and contain no added MSG. Both mixes have great flavor and are an easy way to get dinner on the table in no time. The Original Seasoning Mix has a kick to it and the Hot Seasoning Mix is definitely on the spicy side. Making chili using these mixes requires nothing more than a pound of ground meat (or cooked beans) and water to make. There’s no sautéing involved – you simply put the ground meat/beans, water and spice mix in a pan and cook it for 20 minutes. I actually brought extra packs of this chili seasoning mix with me on our recent trip to Florida so I could make chili and spaghetti for my boys over Thanksgiving break – they loved it ;).
Little’s Specialty Foods is going to be adding a bunch of new products soon – Simply Tasty Taco, Chili Pepper Sweet Chili, Simmer & Serve Sloppy Joe, Red Chili Lime Seasoning Blend, and Popcorn Seasoning. You can buy Little’s Chili Pepper Chili Seasoning Mixes in Connecticut and Wisconsin, or online.
Slow Cooker Chicken Chili Tortilla Soup
- 1 pound skinless boneless chicken breasts or thighs
- 1 15 ounce can fire roasted chopped tomatoes
- 1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 packet gluten-free chili seasoning
- 1 cup frozen corn
Corn Tortilla Strips
- 4 corn tortillas
- olive oil for brushing on tortillas
- lime wedges
- fresh avocado diced
- fresh cilantro leaves chopped
- Place soup ingredients in slow cooker and mix together. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours; remove chicken and shred; return to pot.
Corn Tortilla Strips
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly brush both sides of corn tortillas with oil; cut tortillas into strips and place on baking sheet in single layer; bake 8-10 minutes until browned and crisp (be careful, they brown and burn quickly after about 8 minutes).
- Ladle soup into bowls; top with avocado, cilantro, tortilla strips and a squeeze of lime juice.