Slow-Cooker Taco Stew

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tablespoons tomato paste

Coriander leaves, chopped, to taste

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  • 1

    Heat the oil in a frying pan. Cook the meat until it’s golden. Later, transfer to a slow cooker and add the onion, garlic, tomato paste, white and black beans, corn and taco seasoning. Combine all ingredients with a cup of water, cover and let cook on low for 4-6 hours. Once ready, sprinkle with the fresh coriander.

  • 2

    Serve in bowls and pair with whatever you like. Enjoy!

Expert Tips

  • You can use pork in place of beef.
  • Use any cut of meat that has fat to keep the stew from drying up.
  • For a complete meal, pair this stew with chopped avocado, chopped green onion, tortilla chips, sour cream to taste, shredded or Cotija cheese and lime wedges.

No nutrition information available for this recipe

More About This Recipe

  • When my kids were little, they loved this stew. Sometimes I made it with chicken or turkey, other times with pork or beef, and I always had a vegetable version for my daughter. For the vegetarian version, I loaded up on the chopped vegetables and it turned it so delicious everyone loved it as much as the meat versions.Personally, I like this dish more soupy than stew-like. Sometimes I add rice, but I always pair it with tortilla chips, avocado and chopped onion. And of course, seconds are a must.Enjoy!

Recipe Summary

  • 3 pounds boneless beef chuck roast
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • ¼ cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 (14 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup chili powder
  • salt to taste

Place the roast, onion, bay leaves, black pepper, garlic powder, and vinegar in slow cooker cover ingredients completely with water. Cover and cook on High setting until meat is very tender and falling apart, about 4 hours.

Remove meat from slow cooker and discard liquids. Return meat to slow cooker shred with fork and knife. Stir tomato sauce, chili powder, and salt into the shredded meat. Cover the cooker, and cook meat and sauce on High for an additional 2 hours.

How to make Shipwreck Stew:

  • Lean ground beef
  • Russet potatoes
  • White onion
  • Celery
  • Mushrooms
  • Canned Kidney Beans
  • Campbell&rsquos tomato soup
  • Taco seasoning packet
  • water

Brown the ground beef on the stove top in a skillet, add that to the slow cooker along with the remaining ingredients.

Set the slow cooker to the low setting and cook for 7-8 hours on low or until the potatoes are tender.

What should you serve with Slow Cooker Beef Taco Soup?

When I first shared this recipe, we always used corn chips however, I have since changed to Doritos.

They are by far the BEST with Slow Cooker Beef Taco Soup. The cheese chips just work perfectly with it and they are great for dipping too.

This recipe can be made in the Ninja Foodi, add it to your list of Ninja Foodi Recipes!

Of course, corn chips still work too if you prefer those. We actually like the scoops corn chips because they make it easy to scoop it up and eat it. A great crunchy mix.

This Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker is a great one that you can program. We also love our Ninja Slow Cooker too!

10 Quick and Healthy Freezer to Slow Cooker Recipes (NO Prep Cooking Needed!)

This is one of those blog posts that you are going to come back to again and again. I dare say it might even change your life. 10 Quick and Healthy Freezer to Slow Cooker Meals is just as convenient as it sounds, but it gets better. There’s no cooking needed on your prep day which saves you tons and tons of time, and even better, these meals are all really healthy. I have spent weeks on this post! I researched, made lots of recipes, and my family and I ate our way through every single one. The original 20 recipes I started with have gotten paired down to our very favorite 10 recipes. Four of the recipes are vegetarian, four are chicken dishes, one is pork, and two are beef. I feel like I got a lot a variety and delicious flavor without needing any exotic or expensive ingredients. Processed foods were kept to a minimum, and there’s tons of vegetables included!

Click here for the freezer to slow cooker download

Freezer meals make your night easier!

I can’t get over how easy this cooking method is! You dump all the raw ingredients into a freezer bag and pop it in the freezer. On cooking day you add the contents of the bag and maybe a little water or broth to your slow cooker and then just let it do its thing! My sister was in town a few weeks back and she helped me prep all of my freezer meals. I had no idea that my kids would end up being sick and staying sick (due to a misdiagnosis…) for the next 5, almost 6 weeks! I was so grateful to have food in the freezer that I didn’t have to think about or run to the store to get ingredients for. These meals were a lifesaver and even now, when we’ve gotten back to feeling better again, I have found myself enjoying them and feeling glad they are in the freezer when I need them. The prep day is a little long and messy but the benefit of having so much of the work done is very worth it.

About half of the meals are one dish wonders (soups and stews that can stand alone as a meal or just need a little bread on the side to round them out). The other half are parts of meals like Teriyaki Chicken and Beef Stroganoff. They need rice or noodles and a vegetable or two served with them to make them a complete meal. I like having both types of meals in the freezer. If I make too many soups and stews my family gets tired of them, and they start to moan a little when they see the slow cooker on the table. When I am adding fresh elements like the freshly cooked pasta or rice and some kind of fresh salad and steamed or roasted vegetables it makes the meal feel like less of a “slow cooker” meal. I still love making the main dish in the slow cooker though because I know it’s going when 5pm rolls around getting a little rice cooked and some veggies prepped doesn’t feel like a big deal. All the thinking is already done. Isn’t that half of the dinner time battle? Deciding what to make!?

The serving size for each meal is 6 to 8 people. They are pretty big meals but the beauty in that is that you get to cook even less. For my family of 2 adults and 4 small children who eat (I have a nursing baby too but he doesn’t get put into the food count yet) each recipe made almost 2 full meals. I love leftovers and didn’t mind at all having them around. If there wasn’t quite enough for a full supper then we ate the leftovers for lunch. A bigger family or one with kids who eat a little more than mine will love the serving size.

Before you jump on board, read the whole post! It includes 10 recipes, a shopping list, plus a big list of tips and tricks I have learned!

And because I like to make things really easy, here is a printable PDF of all of the recipes, instructions, and tips and tricks! Dinner just got easier, way easier!

The process for making freezer meals ready for the slow cooker


1. Decide how many and which meals you plan to make.

2. Make a shopping list. The shopping list provided is to make all 10 recipes but does not include any of the serving suggestions.

4. Day of freezer meal prep- collect all needed supplies, wear comfortable clothes and shoes, fun music and snacks are always smart too.

5. Print out recipes to have handy without having to worry about spills getting on an electronic device.

6. Label gallon zipper-top freezer bags with recipe name, date, ingredients that will need to be added to the slow cooker (such as water or broth and how much) on cooking day, and cook time.

7. To make the freezer meals: Place all of the ingredients that are listed under the recipe title into the corresponding labeled gallon zipper-top freezer bag. Fold the top of the bag over and freeze lying flat.

8. On cooking day, take the meal bag from the freezer, run it under warm water to loosen the contents from the bag, add the contents of the bag to the slow cooker, add additional ingredients as needed (broth or water), and cook according to directions.

9. Salt and pepper have been added sparingly, so taste and adjust seasonings before serving.

The Freezer Meal Recipes

Vegetable Beef Stew

2 cups green beans, broke into bite-sized pieces

2 tablespoons beef stock base (I like Organic Better than Bullion)

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Day of: Add 1 1/2 cups of water to slow cooker before cooking

Cook Time: 8 to 10 hours on low

Serve with: fresh bread or biscuits

Beef Stroganoff

1 pound sliced baby bella mushrooms

1 tablespoon beef stock base (I like Organic Better than Bullion)

Day of: Add 1 cup water to the slow cooker before cooking. Stir in 1 cup of sour cream just before serving.

Serve with: egg noodles or rice and green beans

Cranberry-Mustard Pork Roast

2-3 pounds pork roast (lion, butt, or shoulder)

2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries

½ cup orange juice concentrate

1 tablespoon brown or Dijon mustard

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional

Cook Time: 8 to 10 hours on low

Serve with: mashed potatoes and steamed green vegetables or side salad

Mushroom Barley Stew

1 pound Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced

1, 15-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 cup uncooked pearl barley

Day of: Add 6 cups of vegetable stock to the slow cooker before cooking.

Serve with: hot crusty bread or rolls

Black Bean Chili

3, 15-ounce cans black beans

1, 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

1 cup assorted chopped bell pepper

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

Day of: Add 4 cups stock (I used vegetable stock) to the slow cooker before cooking.

Cook Time: 6- 8 hours on low or 5-6 hours on high

Serve with: Tortilla chips and top with sour cream, cheese, and/or hot sauce

Hearty Lentil Stew

2 cups peeled and diced (1/4 inch cubes) sweet potatoes

1 tablespoon black pepper

Day of: Add 5 cups stock (I used vegetable stock) to the slow cooker before cooking.

Cook Time: 6- 8 hours on low or 5-6 hours on high

Serve with: fresh breadsticks

Lentil-Butternut Squash Curry

2 cups diced butternut squash

1, 14-ounce can coconut milk (I used full fat)

1, 15-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 tablespoon curry powder

Day of: Add 5 cups of water to the slow cooker before cooking. Just before serving add an additional teaspoon of both curry powder and graham Marsala if desired, stirring to combine.

Cook Time: 6- 8 hours on low or 5-6 hours on high

Serve with: rice, flatbread or naan and roasted vegetables

Cilantro Lime Chicken with Corn and Black Beans

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken, thighs or breast (I recommend thighs, they don’t dry out as much in the slow cooker)

1, 15-ounce can black beans

1 orange bell pepper, diced

1 yellow bell pepper, diced

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

Cook Time: 6- 8 hours on low or 5-6 hours on high

Serve with: treat this like you would taco filling – add to tacos, burritos, taco salad, nachos, or make burrito bowls with it. stir in 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro before serving. It’s very flexible.

Teriyaki Chicken

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken, thighs or breast, cut into bite-size pieces (I recommend thighs, they don’t dry out as much in the slow cooker)

1, 20-ounce can pineapple chunks

Serve with: cooked brown rice and green veggies

Butter Chicken

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken, thighs or breast, cut into bite-size pieces (I recommend thighs, they don’t dry out as much in the slow cooker)

1, 15-ounce can diced tomatoes

1, 15-ounce can coconut milk (I used full fat)

Serve with: cooked brown rice and green veggies

Tips for Freezer to Slow Cooker Meals:

•Plan ahead! If you are going to prep all the recipes provided in one day then shop one day, prepare the second.

• On prep day, wear tennis shoes and comfortable clothes. Your body will thank you that night.

• Print out the recipes so that you have them right in front of you without worry about spilling anything on them. Make notes on any changes or adaptations you made as you go. If you make them a second time you’ll know what you did and what you like.

• Write the name of the dish, date, and anything extra you need to add the day of cooking on the bag before filling it. It’s much easier to write on a clean flat bag then a full one.

• All recipes were tested with all ingredients going into the bag uncooked. You can sauté onions and sear the meat for additional depth of flavor though it adds to the overall prep time significantly.

• I don’t like fresh potatoes, cauliflower, or broccoli frozen and then cooked in the slow cooker (sweet potatoes are fine though). If you are going to use these ingredients in a freezer to slow cooker type meal, I suggest buying them already frozen (instead of fresh), it works a little better.

• I prefer to use “baby bella” mushrooms in the slow cooker. They have great flavor and texture when cooked.

• I like to fold the top of the gallon bags over (so that the bag is about half as tall as it is wide) and then lay them flat to freeze. I have found that if I lay them out completely flat then they don’t fit in my slow cooker once they are frozen.

• In my research I noticed that some people suggested thawing the freezer meal in the fridge overnight the night before they plan on cooking it. They then cooked a thawed from the freezer, freezer meal. I put my meals straight from the freezer into the crock pot during recipe testing. I assume that both methods work fine, but I haven’t tested the thaw-first approach.

• Running the outside of the plastic bag under warm water for a minute or so made it easier to get the frozen contents out of the bag and into the slow cooker.

• In general cook frozen meals on high for 5 to 6 hours or on low for 7 to 8. I generally prefer the low and slow method, but a few times if I had forgotten to get the meal in the slow cooker until lunch then I would cook it on high for an hour or two and then drop it down to low heat for the last few hours.

• Most recipes call for one onion in general, one onion is equivalent to 1 cup chopped onion.

• I don’t often buy the pre-chopped garlic in a jar, but I did for these. I made all 10 recipes in one day and having the garlic already chopped was a great time saver.

What is the best slow cooker?

I tested all recipes using this Hamilton Beach 33967 Set ‘n Forget 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker. I highly recommend it. It’s a good price point (around $60) and I love that it has a thermometer attachment that you can use! It’s a nice feature that helps me to not overcook nice roasts. It was recommended to me by a friend and I’m happy to have it. I love that the lid clamps down too! It’s a great feature that I find myself using a lot.

My second recommendation would be the Crock-Pot SCCPVL610-S Programmable Cook and Carry Oval Slow Cooker. I haven’t used this slow cooker but it is the number one selling crock pot on Amazon. It’s been reviewed over 1,800 times! I would say this would be a very safe bet, and at around $49, it’s a bargain.

Here’s that printable version of all the recipes, shopping list, and tips and tricks to make life so very convenient.

Our Best Slow-Cooker Recipes

Slow cookers are great for preparing warm and cozy comfort food, but we love them year-round. From helping to break down and tenderize tough cuts of meat, such as flank steak and chuck, to letting home cooks get a head start on dinner prep, slow-cookers truly work wonders. Prep a recipe, like Garlic Chicken with Barley pictured here, in the morning before you get your day started and it will be cooked through and delicious by dinnertime.

One of the most popular slow-cooker recipes is pulled pork. We have a recipe for Easy Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork that is delicious as a sandwich or served on its own. Another classic? Classic Pot Roast for the Slow Cooker&mdashit's a fabulous recipe for a special Sunday night dinner. The carrots and potatoes cook with the beef roast so everything absorbs the savory, rich flavors of garlic, tomato paste, red wine, chicken stock, and Worcestershire sauce.

Hosting a party? One of our favorite party starters is this Slow-Cooker Queso recipe. It's made with two varieties of cheese, cornstarch, evaporated milk, and diced tomatoes with chiles. The slow cooker keeps the queso warm and creamy and prevents it from breaking, so you get a luscious cheese pull every time you dip.

We even have a few sweet slow-cooker recipes. First, start your morning with Slow-Cooker Cinnamon Buns the pot not only thoroughly cooks the dough but keeps it super moist, too. Plus, each bun has that irresistible pull as you tear them apart. Or try fudgy and rich Slow-Cooker Triple Chocolate Brownies, which cook on low for about four hours.

Our slow-cooker recipes are flavorful, fabulous, and completely foolproof.

Slow Cooker Taco Soup

Taco Tuesday: it’s a real thing. It’s probably also responsible for the 15 pounds I gained my freshman year of college (well, at least in part…). With this recipe you can get all the great flavors of taco Tuesday with a slow cooker taco soup any day of the week and enjoy a healthy, hearty Paleo meal at the same time.

The great thing about this recipe – well, one of the great things – is that you don’t have to spend all day over a hot stove to get amazing flavor at dinner time. Prep all your veggies, toss the ingredients in your slow cooker, and let the machine do the work all day long while you get on with your life. By the time you’re ready to shred the chicken, your home will be filled with the tantalizing aromas of taco soup.

You’ll notice that the first couple of ingredients make this recipe sound a lot like chicken soup and that’s right! You could probably stop halfway through and have a tasty chicken soup on your hands. But why stop there when you can blast the flavor profile on high?

To turn chicken soup into taco soup, this recipe relies on a bunch of traditional taco flavors: tomato (from the tomato sauce), cayenne pepper and sweet paprika (so you get smoky, sweet, spicy flavors!), thyme, and oregano.

You might be wondering about the red wine vinegar. Without it, the soup might end of tasting like spicy chicken soup (not a horrible thing, admittedly). But with it, you get a bit of the tanginess that most hot sauces and taco flavors feature. It’s what you might call the secret ingredient…not so secret anymore!

I encourage you to use homemade chicken stock or hot water with homemade instant bouillon cubes because store bought chicken stock and bouillon cubes are often full of preservatives and have a lot more salt and monosodium glutamate than you want or need. Every few weeks I take the time to make homemade chicken stock and then I portion it into two or three cup containers and freeze it so I always have chicken stock when I need it.

This slow cooker taco soup is good not only any day of the week, it’s good for just about any event. I often make this soup on the weekend and bring leftovers to work for lunch. Other days I start it cooking in the morning and chow down in the evening. But it also makes a great meal when you’re having company over, as long as you can plan ahead by about a day.

Everyone loves the rich, spicy broth (you can control the spice level by how much of the cayenne and paprika you add), filled with the tender, flavorful, shredded chicken.

As a Paleo dish, it’s an A+. It’s chock full of protein from the chicken and the slow cooking keeps all the vitamins and nutrients of the veggies in the soup. That makes this a healthy Paleo dish that packs a flavorful punch. So next Tuesday, skip the tacos and instead make yourself a big bowl of slow cooker taco soup.

Did you know we have a Youtube Channel? We have hundreds of simple and delicious recipes, your family is going to love. We take you through each recipe, step by step, and show you exactly how to make them.

I am a huge soup fan. It is so easy to throw together, and it tastes absolutely amazing. This Detox Vegetable Soup is full of flavor, as well as veggies. You are going to love it. Watch how easy it is to make, here:

6. Asian Beef and Rice

This method of cooking an Asian-style beef can be used with a multitude of different veggies. Using broccoli instead of peppers will give you another meal idea to use on a different night.

  1. Place 1 pound of stew meat in a slow cooker and set it to low.
  2. Mix 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 teaspoon sesame oil and 1 teaspoon garlic powder in a small bowl.
  3. Pour soy sauce mixture over meat.
  4. Cook on low for 6 hours.
  5. Add 1 sliced green pepper, 1 sliced red pepper and 1 sliced onion.
  6. Continue to cook for an additional hour on low.
  7. Remove from slow cooker, serve with rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Skinny Slow Cooker Taco Soup

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There seems to be a theme when I talk with friends (especially bloggers) about new year’s resolutions this year: time management.

But this year, I’m one of ’em. I wrote about it a little bit in my post about choosing a “word” for the year instead of a resolution. But in a nutshell, my hope for these next few months is to figure out a plan for how to do less (meaning an actual 40 hour work week) in order to spend more time with the people in my life who I love. And also to sleep. I was guilty last year of getting way too little sleep, and frankly, it was ridiculous and I’m over it. And I happen to be quite fond of my pillow. And waking up after 7-8 hours of solid zzz’s.

One of the tools I’ve been working with the last month of so that has really helped with daily planning is this cool productivity schedule from Storyline. I especially love how it has you write out a “rest/reward” for the the biggest tasks you need to accomplish that day. After trying it out for a few weeks, I’ve noticed that (for better or worse) I am apparently a little more food-motivated than I thought. The prospect of a cup of my favorite hot tea or a trip to the coffee shop, a piece of chocolate after lunch, or even just a handful of blueberries are enough to get me plowing through a big project more quickly than usual. (Yes yes yes, I know that if food’s going to be the motivator, it needs to be at least mostly healthy.)

But I’ve also found that the prospect of having dinner ready to go after a workday is extra motivating, and really satisfying. So since I’ve been trying out the productivity schedule, I’ve also been trying out new slow cooker recipes as a bit of a motivator to finish the workday (and then stop working). And I’m loving it. I mean, who doesn’t love having your slow cooker prepare dinner for you? But especially while I’m in the zone of trying to plan ahead and be more intentional with the hours in my day, having a pot of something delicious cooking all day is pretty much just the best.

So as we’re continuing our healthy eating month on the blog, today I’m sharing another “skinny” recipe with you — my “Skinny” Slow Cooker Taco Soup.

Ok, I don’t know what lighting miracle happened, because I took these photos on the cloudiest, dreary day — which this soup was perfect for. But hey, go camera go. This taco soup was beautiful and delicious.

And it’s also super quick and easy to prepare.

All that you have to do to prep this soup is saute up a pound of ground turkey or chicken (or you can add in some shredded chicken instead, or omit the meat completely if you want to go vegetarian/vegan). Then dump in a bunch of cans of veggies and beans and seasonings. Then let the slow cooker do all of the work until it’s cooked and ready to serve.

Just look at that deliciousness!

Add on your favorite toppings (in moderation please, since this is “skinny”!). Then serve it and enjoy it, especially knowing that the quick preparation left you time to do more of the things you love. You’ve gotta love that. :)

Recipe Summary

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 6)
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup prepared tomato salsa, plus more for serving (optional)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 8 hard corn taco shells
  • Cilantro, shredded cheese, lime wedges, and sour cream, for serving (optional)

In slow cooker, combine chicken, garlic, salsa, chiles, chili powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and teaspoon pepper. Cover cook on high, 4 hours (or on low, 8 hours).

Transfer chicken to a serving bowl, and shred, using two forks moisten with cooking juices. Serve in taco shells, with toppings, if desired.


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