Thursday, March 18, 2010

Crock Pot Taco Soup (Just for you Lara!)

I don't know about the rest of you, but I *heart* my crock pot.  It gets used and abused a lot around here.  Today, the crock pot was kind enough to cook a pork roast for me so that I could turn it into Cuban Sandwiches. 

At 5:00 I arrived home to a cranky husband and two hungry kiddos.  Because I had taken 5 minutes earlier in the day to load the crock pot, I had homemade Cuban Sandwiches on the table within 15 minutes of arriving home.  (It would have only taken 10, but there were a couple meltdowns and one poop incident.)  And as a bonus.... I have leftover pork for tomorrow night!

One of my favorite crock pot soups to make is Taco Soup.  Quick, easy and cheap.  And if that's not good enough -- it freezes great.  Freeze any leftovers in individual servings for when you need a quick lunch or hearty snack. 

***** This is one of those meals that I consider a "pantry meal", meaning I almost always have all of these ingredients in my pantry.  Having about a dozen pantry meal recipes at the ready is crucial for every home kitchen.  You never know when you might get sick and not want to shop, have a sudden pay loss, or even a natural disaster.  This meal could easily be made over a camp stove (just omit the perishable garnishes).  As someone who grew up in the land of hurricanes, it is a survival instinct to have food on hand to feed my family in any situtation.  I'll step off my soapbox now.  :)

TJ's Favorite Crock Pot Taco Soup
Serves 8


1 can pinto beans
1 can white beans or kidney beans
1 can yellow corn
1 can Rotel tomatoes & chilies (I like the one with lime)
1 big (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes ** in the summer time, dice up a few overripe tomatoes from the garden
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chilies
1 packet taco seasoning mix
1 packet hidden valley ranch dressing mix
1 lb shredded chicken, ground beef or any meat you have hanging out in the fridge

handful of chopped cilantro
handful of chopped green onions

*** Optional Garnishes:  tortilla chips, shredded cheese, sour cream, salsa, avocados, guacamole, etc.


1.  Cook meat and drain, if not using leftovers from fridge.

2.  Add all ingredients to crock pot except cilantro and green onions.  Do NOT drain cans of veggies.  Just open the cans and dump the entire contents of cans into the crock pot. 

3.  Stir it & cover it.

4.  Cook on low for 4 hours, or high for 2 hours. 
     Do NOT take the lid off!  Every time you take the lid off, it takes up to 30 mintues for the crock-pot to resume the temperature.

5.  If it's done before dinner, keep it on Warm or Low until serving time. 

6.  When ready to serve, add in cilantro and green onions.  yummy!  Let everyone add whatever garnishes they like to their bowls, and enjoy.  :) 

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