Our neighbors from where we used to live come over to help us decorate and put up lights over the holidays. They are more hands-on than we are and their kids are grown up so they’ve been there, done that. They are also friends we love to hang out with. And without them, our large blow-up Santa wouldn’t exist. But it can be tough to keep him upright and little people often have to adjust him.
Because we are all working on the house, I usually make something ahead of time in the Instant Pot. I love it because my friends go on and on about how good it is (and healthy) and that feeds my fragile cook ego. And it reminds my kids that other people enjoy the meals I make. One of those magical meals is Chicken Tortilla Soup.
I prefer soups that are more like a one-dish meal, so I add more beans than most recipes call for to make it extra hearty. I also use a combo pressure and slow cook for this one. I add the chicken, tomatoes, onions, peppers and liquid and pressure cook for 15 minutes. I usually saute the veggies first but that’s an optional step.
When the chicken’s done, I shred it and then add the beans and lime and slow cook it on low until we are ready to eat. Of course, this can be made in the slow cooker by cooking it on high 4 hours or low 6-8.
I serve it with avocado, cilantro, chips, and Mexican blend cheese. It’s perfect for those cold weather days and even better the next day for lunch. But when my friends come over there are usually no leftovers. But that’s okay, the nice comments, company, and help more than make up for it.
I loved serving these types of meals to my kids when they were 2 and under. The beans and meat are soft, just be sure they are cut up depending on the stage of eating. Older kids can eat with chips, tortillas and add whatever they want to it.
- 1 onion, chopped
- ½ jalapeno pepper, minced
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1Tbsp olive oil
- 1-1.5 pounds of chicken breasts or thighs
- 4 cups broth
- 1, 15-ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp oregano
- ½ tsp salt
- 2, 15-ounce cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 1, 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
- one lime juiced
- avocado slices
- tortilla chips
- Chop the onion, jalapeno, and red pepper and set aside. Add 1 Tbsp oil to instant pot and saute veggies for about 5 minutes, adding the garlic the last minute of cooking (sautéing is optional).
- Add chicken, broth, tomatoes, and spices. Pressure cook on high for 15 minutes (20 minutes if using frozen chicken).
- When done, do a quick release and carefully take out the chicken and shred it with a knife and fork.
- Add the shredded chicken, beans, and the juice of a lime. Slow-cook on low cook until you are ready to eat.
Another similar meal is White Chicken Chili. What is your favorite soup or stew to make this time of year?
For more easy recipes and tips on how to serve meals to kids, check out Maryann’s book The Family Dinner Solution: How to Create a Rotation of Dinner Meals Your Family Will Love