Prepare to fall in love with easy cheesy chicken taco soup! It’s a great way to use up taco night leftovers and even tastes amazing the next day!
When there’s a slew of leftovers in the fridge, or we can’t figure out what on earth to eat, this default dish has our back! With so many combinations possible, every night can be taco night!
Or in this case, taco soup night!
I’m notorious for making enough food to feed a small army even though there are just 3 of us in the house. Taco night, for example, always gets out of hand around here!
Luckily I’ve become a pro at revamping tasty leftovers into even tastier new dishes.
It saves time, saves money, and makes crazy busy days just a little bit easier. There’s really only one rule: No boring leftovers!
Of course this soup couldn’t be boring if it tried, especially since it’s a glorified fiesta in a bowl!
It all starts with taco night. As inevitable as breaking my tacos into a million pieces within the first bite, is the fact that we’re going to have some serious leftovers. I know how much I should cook for the fam, but honestly if I’m in the kitchen anyways, I might as well make enough for two or three meals, right? It’s a total lifesaver when lunch rolls around the next day and I’m still in stretchy pants and covered in neon pink paint, stickers, and copious amounts of peanut butter. Leftovers to the rescue!
I hereby dub this leftover-rescuing superhero of a soup Taco Night 2.0 and it’s officially what I’ll be doing with all my taco night leftovers from here on out! Nachos were the former go-to (because YUM!) but this soup is a waaaaay healthier option plus I still get to let a few tortilla chips in on the action. Done deal!
Much like it’s crunchy hand-held counterpart, taco soup is one of those super simple, easily customizable meals that can be made a million and one ways and taste great every time.
You can mix and match the veggies and beans used based on what you have handy and even add extras like bell pepper or fresh tomatoes.
As for the toppings, the options are endless! Here are a few of my favorites to get you started:
Tasty Taco Soup Toppings
- pico de gallo
- fresh sliced jalapeños or pickled jalapeños
- minced red onion or pickled red onion
- sour cream or Greek yogurt
- sliced avocado or guacamole
- grated cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
- fresh cilantro
- tortilla chips or strips
Cheesy Chicken Taco Soup
I love making this taco-inspired soup whenever I have salsa chicken leftover from taco night, which I often plan for on purpose to make this soup, nachos, or even chicken quesadillas. We are constantly mixing things up to keep things interesting!
You can use leftover chicken from the previous night’s dinner or from weekend meal prep, or grab a rotisserie chicken and shred it up for this tasty soup.
You can also add raw 1 chicken breast (or 2 thighs) during step 5 and simmer until cooked through. Then simply remove with tongs, shred/chop, and return to the pot.
Cheesy Chicken Taco Soup
- 2 tsp avocado oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 jalapeño pepper, diced
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ¼ tsp salt plus any extra to taste
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 cups chicken broth or stock
- 15 oz crushed fire toasted tomatoes (1 can)
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 3 oz cream cheese
- 15 oz black beans (1 can) drained and rinsed
- 2 cups chopped/shredded cooked chicken (great use for leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken)
- 1 cup freshly grated medium cheddar cheese
- ½ cup favorite salsa (verde or regular)
- Measure out all your ingredients and prep your veggies for speedy soup assembly.
- Finely chop onion and jalapeño. Peel and mince fresh garlic.
- Bring a large pot to medium-high heat with avocado oil or olive oil.
- Sauté onion and jalapeño until tender, approx. 5 minutes. Next add garlic and spices and cook for an additional 30-60 seconds until fragrant, stirring often to prevent sticking.
- Next add broth/stock and fire-roasted tomatoes, and frozen corn. Mix well and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.
- Stir in the cream cheese, chicken, and drained/rinsed black beans. Cook for an additional 5-10 minutes until warmed through then remove from heat. Stir in a cup of shredded cheddar cheese (optional but delicious!) until it melts into the soup.
- Give it a taste and add any additional seasoning as desired. The amounts of cumin, chili powder, and salt can all be amped up to taste.
- Top with all your favorite taco toppings and dig in! It's fantastic right away and fabulously flavorful the next day too. Enjoy!
Have you ever saved leftover rice, pasta, meat, or veggies with zero clue what to even do with them? Or maybe you panic and toss them, knowing very well that the back of the fridge is where leftovers go to grow legs and googly eyes… Well I’m totally here to change that!
This deliciousness is part of my Love Your Leftovers blog series.
Past installments include:
- Vegetarian Chili Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
- Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowls
- Spicy Sriracha Lime Chicken Zoodle Soup
- Buffalo Chicken Taco Salad
- Recipes to Make with Leftover Spinach Dip
If you get a chance to try this cheesy chicken taco soup recipe, let me know!
You can leave me a comment here (LOVE checking those daily!) or tag @PEASandCRAYONS on Instagram so I can happy dance over your creations. I can’t wait to see what you whip up!