Slow Cooker Quinoa Tortilla Soup
Slow Cooker Quinoa Tortilla Soup- a healthy meal that’s packed with plant protein and delicious southwestern flavor. Just throw everything into the Crockpot and dinner’s ready when you come home! (vegan + gluten-free)
Slow cookers are my saving grace this time of year. There’s so much to be done with so little time to do it and the cold short days aren’t helping. The last thing I feel like doing when it’s already dark outside is cooking dinner.
On the flip side, I still want a healthy meal without having to waste money eating out. That, my friends, is where the wonderful slow cooker comes into play.
I made this black bean soup a few times earlier in the year and then put my slow cooker away and forgot about it until a few weeks ago. I guess that saying out of sight out of mind really is true, huh?
Anyway, now that I’ve managed to bust it back out let’s talk about the goodness that is quinoa tortilla soup. Outside of chopping veggies and opening a few cans, it’s super simple to make. All you have to do is throw everything into the slow cooker and let it work it’s magic.
Slow Cooker Quinoa Tortilla Soup Ingredients
- Bell Pepper and Jalapeño- Jalapeño is all that spicy so long as you remove the seeds however it is optional and can be replaced with another small bell pepper, if desired.
- Cumin, Chili Powder, Smoked Paprika and Oregano- My go-to spice combination for Mexican-inspired dishes, they add the perfect amount of flavor and mild spice, depending on the chili powder you choose.
- Quinoa- A great source of protein and fiber, the quinoa cooks in the broth absorbing all of the flavors in this dish.
- Diced Tomatoes- Using diced tomatoes adds texture and savory flavor. I prefer fire roasted for this recipe and the kind with chilies added works even better, so long as you don’t mind a little spice.
- Tomato Sauce- We’re using tomato sauce (not marinara) to create a thick tomato base.
- Vegetable Broth- A flavorful broth is key for best results. My favorite is Better Than Bouillon.
- Black Beans- Along with the quinoa, black beans also add protein, fiber and texture.
- Toppings: Feel free to jazz the soup up with your favorite toppings. I like to add tortilla strips (see notes), green onion, avocado, cilantro and fresh lime juice.
If for some reason you don’t have a Crockpot, or you prefer not to use it, you can also make this on the stovetop. I’ve tested it both ways and it turned out great. You can find notes on how to cook it that way in the directions below!
More delicious soups to try:
- Easy Vegetable Minestrone Soup
- The Best Lentil Soup
- Dairy-free Potato Soup
- Creamy Wild Rice Mushroom Soup
- Lemony Lentil and Greens Soup
- Roasted Acorn Squash and Apple Soup
Slow Cooker Quinoa Tortilla Soup
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, cored and finely chopped
- 2 jalapeños, cored and finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground chili powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
- 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 15 ounces tomato sauce
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed (no salt added)
- suggested toppings, tortilla chips/strips, green onion, cilantro, lime juice, diced avocado
In the Slow Cooker
- Place all of the ingredients (minus the toppings) into 6.5 qt slow cooker on the high setting. Stir together, cover and allow to cook for 6 hours. Keep warm until ready to serve.
- Distribute the soup into separate bowls and serve with desired toppings. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
On the Stovetop
- In a large pot, warm 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, sprinkle with salt and cook for 3 minutes. Add the peppers, garlic, and seasonings then stir to combine and cook for a few more minutes.
- Pour in the canned tomatoes with their juices, tomato sauce, vegetable broth and water. Bring to a low boil then add the quinoa and cook for about 20 minutes, until quinoa is tender. Add the black beans and cook until heated through. Serve warm with tortilla strips, lime juice, cilantro and/or avocado.
Now this looks perfect! I love the slow cooker recipes that literally just let you dump stuff in there and leave it. Getting home after dark and having to think about dinner is the worst, so yay for the crock pot!
Teach me to be obsessed with the crock pot! I mean I am, but I also tend to forget about it, which is terrible. It’s so.much.easier to just throw everything in and viola!
Love love quinoa as a base in soup–this sounds delicious!
This is the best, BEST kind of meal for cold weather! I love tortilla soups, and I love that you added quinoa to make it even more satisfying. :) I’m always trying to utilize my slow cooker more — it’s such a life saver! I’m adding this soup to my list of things to make stat. :)
This.looks.so.GOOD! You’re not going to believe this, but I’ve been meaning to get a slow cooker for about 3 years now, and I have YET to actually do it. I think what intimidates me the most is the fact that you have to make big batches of stuff, and since I’m usually only cooking or one, that means eating the same thing for days on end. So tempting, though…
In case you didn’t know, Amanda, they make cockpots for one! I throw my lunch together in it almost every morning before I leave the house and come home to a healthy warm lunch before I have to go back to work. You can find them on Amazon.
My slow cooker is my saving grace! I don’t know how i survived without one because each meal practically cooks itself! Can we just take a second to admire how incredible delicious and easy this soup is? and the fact that you can top it with ALL the avocado!!! Yum!
I love making slow cooker soups this time of year and this quinoa tortilla soup is right up my alley! It looks delicious and perfect for rainy winter days.
This soup looks seriously incredible! I love how you bulked it up with quinoa- so much protein :)
UGH yes coming home in the dark and then making dinner is the worst! That was me today. I was going to do a little at-home workout tonight but then I said “eff it” I’m hungry and tired and it is dark out.
NEED to get my slow cooker out more, seriously.
Hi, hope you had a great Thanksgiving. I’ve been so busy I haven’t had a chance to comment on your site. I’m still enjoying the tofu, it does freeze well. So tonight its coconut veggie tofu over jasmine rice with nan. Just wanted to say this recipe looks great. I’m a Santa Fe girl so I love the southwest flavors. Now I have a reason to get another slow cooker. Thanks for the inspirations. Hope your all well. With gratitude, Sara
Hey Sara, it’s so good to hear from you! I’m so happy you got good use out of the tofu. A coconut version with naan sounds delicious!
I hope you are doing well too. Try not to work too hard! :)
Crock pot meals are my saving grace over the winter..if it weren’t for the ol’ slow cooker, I’d probably be eating out a ton and/or – do I daresay it – buying canned/cartoned soup. Loving this protein-packed soup that I can whip up in minutes and eat on for days! Now if I could only get a bottomless crockpot and have this on repeat foreves…le sigh…fantasies.. :D
You might just have me sold on crock pots! I’m always scared to leave it on while I’m not home though, lol! I was literally just thinking that I wanted a delicious mexican soup for dinner tonight and this sounds so good! I could eat so many bowls!
Hi Laura! Thank you so much for the comment. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the soup! :)
I’m a little baffled as to how you ended up with so much. Was it frozen corn that you added? Frozen vegetables hold quite a bit of water so it’s possible that could have been the culprit.
So I’ve been trying to figure out why this recipe didn’t fit in your slow cooker and I just realized that it’s because mine is actually a 6.5 qt, not a 3 qt. I just thought mine was the standard size. I’m so sorry about that! I feel like an idiot. I will be sure to add to the notes that you need a larger slow cooker! Thanks again, Laura!
Quick. Easy. Flavorful. Healthy. Good leftovers. We loved it!!! I will need more recipes like this when my maternity leave will end!! Thank you so much!
This makes me so happy to hear, Isabelle! I will try to work on more like this for you to have on hand. Congrats on your new baby and I hope you enjoy the rest of your maternity leave! :)
Made per recipe. Delicious and consistency perfect. Questioned the quinoa but it added exactly the right body. With the tomato sauce, it seemed more of a chili than tortilla soup. If I wanted to bump up the flavor, would I increase the cumin or chili powder?
I agree, it is kind of like a chili! But you could always add more vegetable broth to make it more like soup. I personally like cumin more than chili powder so I would add more of that. :)
I didn’t have time this morning to get this in the crock pot so I quickly made it on the stove after work. I only changed it by adding three cloves of garlic and just went a tad heavier on the spices. I loved it! Super easy to make and only took 20 minutes to simmer. I’ll definitely make this one again.
I’m happy to hear it works well on the stovetop too! Thanks Kelli! <3
Does it have to cook for 6 hours or can it be shorter? I want to try this recipe tonight!
Hi Kristen! You can make this on the stovetop and cook it in 30 minutes. Saute the vegetables (onion and peppers) first for about 5 minutes, then add the seasonings with the broth, tomatoes, beans and quinoa. Bring to a boil then simmer for about 20 minutes, until the quinoa is cooked. Then it should be ready to go! :)
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I’ve made this twice now, once for a soup supper at church and another time for my colleagues at a meeting. It comes out great every time and even people who don’t know what quinoa is like the taste. (For the funny places to crock pot, the first time I made this in the mail room at my work since our kitchen didn’t have free plugs!) Thanks for sharing this amazing recipe!
Yay! So glad to hear that, Katie. Thank you!
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Great recipe! I made this for my lunches last week and it stood up really well all week!
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Wow, this is literally the best vegetarian recipe I’ve found. It’s superbly seasoned and has the perfect smokey flavor. I added a can of green chilis which is the only variation on it I made (which I guess isn’t really a variation since she suggested using fire roasted tomatoes with green chilis in them) and it was perfect, which is shocking because I ALWAYS feel like I have to add something when I’m cooking and never make a recipe as it’s written. I see myself making this repeatedly in the future.
I have tried this in my home but seems like I am having difficulty adjusting the salt. Can you share any tips to apply salt perfectly?
You can wait until the end then add 1/4 teaspoon at a time and taste it until it suits your personal preferences. :)
I tried this by doing on stove top method and it turned out great. I had previously prepared the quinoa so I just added it near the end and that worked out well. I did the corn tortilla strips in the oven but it took about 20 minutes to cook those till crispy light brown color. Thank you for a great recipe. My husband even liked it with the quinoa!!
As per usual, another fantastic recipe Sarah! I decided to make guac with the avocados. My partner went back twice for helpings. We played with using the chips as a way of dipping up the soup and crushed some like crackers. This recipe, like all I have tried of yours, will be working it’s way into a regular rotation.
I’m so glad to hear that! Thank you for the review, Emily. :)
I am always on the lookout for “healthy” things to cook as I have high blood pressure. This sounded like something I would enjoy making and eating as the description says “healthy meal”. When I checked the nutritional info I was shocked to see that one serving of this has almost an entire day’s worth of sodium. No wonder we are dying from heart disease, strokes and high blood pressure when our foods are brimming with sodium. Surely people who come up with these delicious “sounding” recipes could take into consideration the amount of salt in the recipe. I will NOT be making this much to my disappointment.
Thanks for bringing this to my attention, Nancy! My nutrition calculator assumes that you use beans with added salt which I forgot to adjust for when entering the ingredients. If you use beans without added salt it cuts back the sodium drastically. You can also use reduced sodium vegetable broth and tomato sauce without sodium or tomato paste if you want to reduce the salt in the recipe. I hope that helps!
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What is the serving size that the nutrition info is based on? Love this recipe and it is in my regular rotation! Thanks!
The nutrition facts are for 1/4th of the recipe! So if you get 4 servings out of the recipe then the facts are for one serving. :)
Made this recipe tonight with produce from the farmers market. It was so good with great flavor! This recipe is a keeper! Looking forward to trying more of your recipes.