Crockpot Chicken Quinoa Veggie Soup

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Dump it and forget about it (NO pre-cooking anything) crockpot chicken, quinoa, and vegetable soup. A great way to use leftover veggies! Recipe via chelseasmessyapron.com

An “empty out the fridge” kind of soup — use your favorite veggies, add some quinoa + chicken, and finish it with a delicious spice blend. Healthy and hearty with all the ease of being slow cooked (dump it and forget about it meal).Dump it and forget about it (NO pre-cooking anything) crockpot chicken, quinoa, and vegetable soup. A great way to use leftover veggies!You know those vegetables that are left over from the last soup or dinner you made? The ones that tend to sit in the bottom drawer of your fridge just *waiting* to be made into something delicious?

Because you always have good intentions for the leftover vegetables right? I always have those good intentions and then somehow I seem to find a few completely wilted celery stalks and some less than firm avocados (okay fine. squishy and brown beyond any desire to eat) in the bottom of the fridge. And honestly I hate wasting food. I mean who doesn’t, right? And that is why this soup has become a favorite as of late. It’s totally customizable to keep any of your vegetables going to waste. It’s one of those recipes that makes you feel good in the “I just used the last bits of random veggies in the fridge” kind-of-way.

And THEN, you taste the soup, and it’s a whole new level of excitement. Because this soup is not only keeping you from wasting any small amounts of veggies, but it’s also tasty, filling, and very healthy.
Dump it and forget about it (NO pre-cooking anything) crockpot chicken, quinoa, and vegetable soup. A great way to use leftover veggies!Dump it and forget about it (NO pre-cooking anything) crockpot chicken, quinoa, and vegetable soup. A great way to use leftover veggies!

We’ve made this soup a few times now always using different vegetables. You can pretty much chop up and add just about whatever you have on hand or whatever you like.

My favorite combos always start with celery, carrots, and onion (chopped super fine and the husband can’t even tell there are in there (he’s not an onion fan)). If you add in the carrots slice them thin and small to get them tender in time with the other ingredients. And basically any other vegetable you add — make sure it’s chopped or sliced into pretty small bits so it can get cooked through in the time the chicken and quinoa is cooked in.

We’ve also tried both chicken breasts and thighs. The thighs result in a more tender (and a bit more flavorful) meat, but both will work. If you use chicken breasts, slice them into large chunks (about 3 chunks per breast) to help the chicken cook evenly with everything else.

Since quinoa absorbs liquid like crazy, I’ve found it’s best to only use the high setting when cooking this soup. Cook this soup on low and it turns into more of a stew (also good, just depends on what you like.) For a very brothy soup, you can always add in more broth and make sure to cook it just until the vegetables are tender and the chicken is cooked through.
Dump it and forget about it (NO pre-cooking anything) crockpot chicken, quinoa, and vegetable soup. A great way to use leftover veggies!

And (when will I ever stop making excuses for my videos? ?) just because the video is missing a few ingredients (the tomato paste and minced garlic) don’t leave those out ingredients out! Sometimes (okay pretty much every single video) I think I hit record and then find out later I never did. Either that or my memory card suddenly filled up and it stopped recording. OR my battery died. Or, I just don’t even know. Sometimes recording myself adding things to the crockpot is harder than it sounds. ?

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Crockpot Chicken Veggie Quinoa Soup

5 from 7 votes
Dump it and forget about it (NO pre-cooking anything) crockpot chicken, quinoa, and vegetable soup. A great way to use leftover veggies!
Print Recipe

Crockpot Chicken Veggie Quinoa Soup

Dump it and forget about it (NO pre-cooking anything) crockpot chicken, quinoa, and vegetable soup. A great way to use leftover veggies!
5 from 7 votes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword Crockpot Chicken Quinoa Soup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6 -8
Author Chelsea

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (~2 large) boneless skinless chicken breasts or 4-6 thighs
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 can corn
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery 2 stalks
  • 1/3 cup diced yellow onion
  • 3/4 cup quinoa I use garlic infused packet
  • 1/2 cup orange juice or extra broth
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 5 cups chicken broth or stock
  • Seasoned salt and pepper

Seasonings

  • 1-2 leaves bay
  • 1 teaspoon chicken seasoning blend or 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon
  • 2 teaspoons cajun seasoning*
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • Toppings: low-fat sour cream, fresh cilantro, fresh lime wedges or lime juice

Instructions

  • Trim the fat off the chicken breasts or thighs. If using breasts, cut each breast into 3 large even pieces.
  • Place the chicken breasts or thighs in the bottom of a large crockpot. I use a 6 quart crockpot.
  • Add in the drained and rinsed pinto beans, drained corn, thinly sliced carrots, sliced celery, diced onion, quinoa (rinse if not pre-rinsed to remove the bitter saponin coating), orange juice (or extra broth), undrained can of diced tomatoes with green chiles (such as Ro-Tel), tomato paste, minced garlic, and chicken broth or stock.
  • Add about 1 teaspoon seasoned salt (or to taste) and 1 teaspoon pepper (or to taste), bay leaves, chicken seasoning blend, cajun seasoning, oregano, ground cumin, and paprika.
  • Stir and then cover and cook on high for 3-5 hours or until the chicken easily shreds and the quinoa has "popped." My crockpot takes about 3 hours. The longer it cooks, the more liquid the quinoa absorbs which is why I don't recommend cooking on low unless you are fine with a stew 🙂
  • Remove the chicken and shred. Return to the crockpot.
  • Remove the bay leaves and then enjoy the soup topped with optional toppings such as fresh cilantro, fresh lime, sour cream (we use low fat), and additional cajun seasoning, salt, pepper.

Recipe Notes

For a "brothier" soup just add a few extra cups of chicken broth to desired preference! *I use McCormick cajun seasoning which tends to be a bit more mild than others. Scale up or down to personal preference.

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Here are some more delicious crockpot soup recipes:

 

Easy Slow Cooker Mexican Tortilla Quinoa Soup

 

 Easy Crockpot Italian Chicken and Quinoa Soup

 

Crockpot healthy chicken, butternut squash, and quinoa soup

 

Crockpot healthy quinoa minestrone

 

 
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50 Comments

  1. This was so good!! Thank you thank you for your slow cooker recipes– and love that you showed us how to do soup in a slow cooker!! I subbed in black beans for corn (we don’t like corn around here) and made a couple of other tweaks, but the base of the soup is so good and filling! With tons of cilantro and tortilla chips, my husband and I liked our bowls clean last night. 🙂

    1. I am so thrilled to hear you’ve been enjoying my slow cooker recipes! 🙂 So glad this soup was enjoyed!! Thank you so much for the comments Rachel 🙂

    1. Thank you Sara!! Chicken seasoning is just a dry mix of herbs and spices that really season chicken well 🙂 I like to use a pre-made blend usually; right now I use a chicken seasoning made by Mrs. Dash (just near all the other seasonings in the store). If you want, you can also make your own. Here is a recipe I have used before and love: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/174452/chicken-seasoning-blend/

  2. Hi Chelsea. This looks so yummy. I’m wondering… is it freezable? I’m guessing yes, but maybe leave the quinoa out and add it to the crockpot…?

    1. Hi Randi! I’ve never frozen this so I can’t say for sure, but I think it should be just fine if the quinoa is kept separately 🙂 Enjoy!

  3. Hi, I’m just wondering what sized cans you used for the pinto beans, corn and diced tomatoes as our grocery store has different sizes for each. Thanks.

    1. Of course! Beans – 15 ounces, tomatoes – 14.5 ounces, and corn 15 ounces. Anything similar to those amounts should be fine. 🙂

  4. Hi Chelsea! This soup looks amazing, especially with colder weather now thankfully here. I was wondering if this would work in a dutch oven as well? Would you recommend cooking the quinoa and everything the same way? Thank you 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Jen! 🙂 I definitely think it would do well in a dutch oven. If you want a quick soup, I’d cook the quinoa and chicken separately, saute the veggies in the dutch oven and then add it all into the dutch oven at once, heat, and enjoy.

  5. Hi! If I wanted to cut the recipe in half do you think that would work or should I adjust it differently than just straight in half?

  6. Hello Chelsea,

    I follow you on Pinterest and added this to my To Try board. My mom went on vacation so my fiancé and I are bringing the ingredients to cook for my father tomorrow. I’m excited to try it! Thanks for all great recipes ?

  7. Just wondering. I have some left over chicken and would love to make this. How should I go about cooking this. Should I still put in the chicken first or wait because it’s already cooked chicken??!!

  8. 5 stars
    This is a FABULOUS recipe! I have literally shared this with a dozen friends and family so far. This will for sure be in the regular rotation of winter meals!

  9. 5 stars
    I have meal prepping since Jan. 2016 for my work lunches. Hands down this is the best healthy and filling recipe that I have used. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Has this recipe been modified or removed. I’m trying to PIN it to my board in Pintrest and I keep getting an error, This is not a valid image.

    1. No, it hasn’t. I know Pinterest just updated a bunch of things and also changed their pinning extension so it might just be some of those things still working out. If you try clearing your cache that could help too 🙂

  11. 5 stars
    making this tomorrow.. in the slow cooker do you cook the quinoa first? or put it in dry? Might be a silly question but I’m new to cooking!

    1. Not a silly question! You can put the quinoa in dry for this recipe and it will cook in the slow cooker. Enjoy!

  12. I am interested in the nutritional components of the soup. What are the calories, fat, carbs and protein, if you know. Thanks. I made it yesterday, just tasted it, delicious.

  13. Hi Chelsea! What a delicious-looking recipe! I’m planning on making it soon but need to cut the recipe in half. How would the cooking times vary, if they would? TIA!

      1. 5 stars
        I finally made it tonight after following the recipe to a T. It turned out to be absolutely bowl-licking delicious! This recipe will definitely be family fave from on!

  14. 5 stars
    This was AMAZING! Thank you so much! I made it for my in-laws and husband. They all loved it. It was super easy too. I put it in the crockpot for 2 hours and it came our perfect. I love the cilantro, lime, and sour cream to add for garnish. Am saving this recipe for sure!

  15. Wondering if the cooking time would change if I used chicken breasts instead of thighs? Also, since the quinoa is already mixed in, will it not freeze well?

    1. Yes unfortunately not a great candidate for freezing; the quinoa will continue to bloat and expand. Chicken breasts will take longer; I’d recommend cutting them down (3-4 pieces per breast) first so they’ll cook in time.

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