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Chicken Sweet Potato Soup

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You won’t believe how easily this Chicken Sweet Potato Soup comes together! Throw everything into a slow cooker and be rewarded with a comforting and nutritious meal. This soup is loaded with good-for-you and tasty ingredients: succulent shredded chicken, fire-roasted diced tomatoes, tender sweet potatoes, savory black beans and chewy quinoa.

Pair this hearty soup with some crusty bread or crushed chips and this simple kale salad recipe!

 

Chicken Sweet Potato Soup

 I love a hearty slow cooker meal and creamy soups are my ideal comfort food, but you don’t see very many healthy, broth-based, slow-cooked soup recipes on the internet.

And this is where Chicken Sweet Potato Soup comes in! Not only is it a very healthy soup, but it’s also broth based. And best of all, it’s anything but bland! This soup bursts with texture and flavor. It has plenty of protein, thanks to the black beans, quinoa, and chicken, and the tomatoes and sweet potatoes provide lots of veggies. Seasoning the soup with a chili seasoning mix means this soup is prepped in nothing flat. Seriously, you won’t believe how quickly this meal is ready to eat!

Chicken Sweet Potato Soup notes

  • Chicken: Originally this recipe called for chicken breasts and they work great in this soup. However, lately, we’ve been into boneless, skinless chicken thighs. The meat is extremely tender, easier to shred and more forgiving (meat doesn’t dry out) if the soup cooks all day.
  • Rinse: Make sure to rinse the quinoa before adding it to the slow cooker. Quinoa has a natural coating called saponin which can make it taste bitter. Pour the uncooked quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse under cold water thoroughly for 30 to 60 seconds to remove any bitterness.
  • Cook time: As quinoa cooks, it expands and “pops” into the tender grain it’s meant to be–kind of like popcorn. That said, as quinoa continues to cook, it will keep absorbing liquid. The quinoa becomes mushy and soaks up so much liquid that this soup is more of a stew consistency than a soup. Tested in our slow cookers, this soup is done around 3-1/2 hours to 4 hours. If your cooker runs hot, it could be done even quicker than that.
  • High heat: I haven’t had much success cooking this soup on the low setting. The quinoa doesn’t cook evenly and takes on too much liquid. The sweet potatoes and black beans also tend to get too soft.
  • Small pieces: In order for the sweet potatoes to be cooked through in time, they need to be diced to 1/2-inch size. The smaller size means these dense vegetables will be as tender as everything else.
  • Spice levels: This soup can be mild or downright spicy, depending on the ingredients used. As written, I’d say this recipe is extremely mild. To add some heat, add in 1-2 tablespoons diced jalapeños and stir in some extra chili powder.
  • Seasoning: As with all recipes, salt and pepper can make or break the dish. If you feel the soup is missing anything, add a pinch or two of salt and pepper, taste, and continue to add until the flavors sing. (More tips for seasoning soup here.)

Homemade Chili Seasoning

We shorten prep time by using a packet of chili seasoning. I’ve tried a lot of chili seasoning packets in this soup and highly recommend McCormick’s® Chili Seasoning packet (not sponsored). Some chili seasoning packets can lack a lot of flavor and result in a less flavorful chicken sweet potato soup. This is a case where it pays to buy the national brand!

Of course, homemade is always best, so if you prefer to add your own seasoning blend to this soup, here are the ratios I recommend:

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder (McCormick is very mild)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon roasted garlic powder
  • Optional: 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (add slowly; cayenne pepper adds a lot of spice!) Alternatively, 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes could be used.
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I add 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper)

QUICK TIP

Looking to save even more time on the prep? Buy pre-diced sweet potatoes. Many stores sell peeled and diced sweet potatoes in the produce section of the grocery store.

Toppings

While this soup is great as is, toppings add a lot of flavor and texture to this soup. Here are our favorite additions:

  • Sharp or extra-sharp Cheddar cheese. We like to grate the cheese right onto each bowl and let it melt for a minute before stirring it throughout the soup.
  • Ripe avocado or guacamole. For an additional element of creaminess, we love a ripe avocado sliced on top. Not sure about avocado, but still want a creamy element? Try plain Greek yogurt or sour cream!
  • Fresh lime juice. A few squeezes of fresh lime heighten all the flavors in this soup and add a burst of brightness.
  • Chips. Crushed tortilla chips (or strips) add a nice crunch to Chicken Sweet Potato Soup.
  • Fresh cilantro. If you’re a cilantro fan, you’ll love how this herb adds freshness and a nice citrusy flavor. And if you’re not big on cilantro, try adding chopped parsley instead.

More quinoa recipes

  • Quinoa Chili with sweet potatoes
  • Southwest Quinoa Salad with a cilantro-lime vinaigrette
  • Avocado Orange Quinoa Salad with a citrus vinaigrette
  • Quinoa Salad with avocado and a lemon vinaigrette
  • Quinoa Enchilada Bake with sweet potatoes

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Chicken Sweet Potato Soup

4.78 from 71 votes

You won't believe how easily this Chicken Sweet Potato Soup comes together. Add everything to a slow cooker and be rewarded with a comforting and nutritious meal! This soup is loaded with good-for-you and tasty ingredients: succulent shredded chicken, fire-roasted diced tomatoes, tender sweet potatoes, savory black beans, and chewy quinoa.

Print Recipe

Chicken Sweet Potato Soup

4.78 from 71 votes

Print Recipe

You won't believe how easily this Chicken Sweet Potato Soup comes together. Add everything to a slow cooker and be rewarded with a comforting and nutritious meal! This soup is loaded with good-for-you and tasty ingredients: succulent shredded chicken, fire-roasted diced tomatoes, tender sweet potatoes, savory black beans, and chewy quinoa.

Course Dinner, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American
Keyword Chicken Sweet Potato Soup
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 404kcal
Cost $6.59

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 pounds (24 oz. 679g) boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1 cup (181g) quinoa
  • 3 and 1/2 cups (1004g) diced sweet potatoes (~2-3 large sweet potatoes)
  • 1 can (15.25 oz., 432g) black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (14.25 oz.; 411g) fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 packet (1.25 oz.; 35g) chili seasoning mix (See Note 1)
  • 5 cups (1160g) chicken broth or stock
  • Optional: fresh cilantro or parsley
  • Optional toppings: tortilla strips, sharp cheddar cheese, fresh lime, sour cream, diced avocado

Instructions

  • PREP: Spray the slow cooker with nonstick spray. Remove the fat from the chicken breasts or thighs. If using large chicken breasts, cut them into 3-4 pieces so they'll cook more evenly. Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh sieve. Peel and dice the sweet potatoes into small 1/2-inch cubes.
  • ADD TO CROCKPOT: Add the chicken thighs or cut chicken breasts into the slow cooker. Add the rinsed quinoa (See Note 2), diced sweet potatoes, drained and rinsed black beans, undrained diced tomatoes, minced garlic, packet of chili seasoning, and chicken broth or stock to the slow cooker.
  • COOK: Cover and cook on high for 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 hours (See Note 3)
  • SHRED CHICKEN: Using tongs, remove the chicken to a small bowl. Using two forks, shred the chicken and then return to the slow cooker. Taste the soup and adjust for seasonings; I typically add an additional 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper here, but add until the flavors sing.
  • SERVE: Ladle soup into bowls and top with your favorite toppings. I love fresh cilantro, fresh lime juice, and ripe avocado. My boys love sour cream and lots of Cheddar cheese.
  • STORAGE: The quinoa continues to absorb liquid making it a thick stew, so if you store leftovers, add broth when reheating to keep the soup consistency.

Video

Recipe Notes

Note 1: We love McCormick’s chili seasoning packet. Cheaper packets have resulted in a bland soup. Of course, you can always make your own chili seasoning blend; check out the post for a homemade chili seasoning recipe. Don’t forget to taste the soup several times at the end to adjust for needed salt and pepper. If it tastes bland, that might be all you’re missing!

Note 2: Quinoa has a natural coating called saponin which can make it taste bitter. Pour the uncooked quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse under cold water thoroughly for 30 seconds to one minute.

Note 3: I haven’t had much success cooking this soup on the low setting. The quinoa does not cook evenly and takes on too much liquid. The sweet potatoes and beans also become too soft. Watch carefully to avoid the quinoa taking on too much liquid and becoming bloated. As soon as the quinoa has popped and chicken shreds, it’s ready!

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 404kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 931mg | Potassium: 1264mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 19696IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 3mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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