Now that school is back in session after winter break, we need some easy dinner ideas for these cold, busy nights. Simple soups are our answer! We regularly make these three meals on busy nights. Bonus–the leftovers are just as good!
I have a trusty Dutch oven, but any saucepan would work. You could also use a crock pot on low for a few hours. This method would take pre-planning and I don’t typically remember to start my crock pot at lunch. An Instant Pot would also work well if you did a quick cook for 5 minutes, natural release.
These are good “starter” recipes. You can easily adapt these to what you have on hand. Do you have extra carrots to use up? Put them in the chicken and wild rice soup. Does your family like extra spicy foods? Add some chili peppers to the tortilla soup!
Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
This one is the easiest of all soups! I bet you could even have your kids help you make this one.
1lb cooked chicken (we use Kirkland canned chicken from Costco or rotisserie chicken from a grocery store)
1 bag Uncle Ben’s Wild Pre-Cooked Rice packet
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup (or any “Cream of”)
2 empty soup cans of Milk plus a little extra (I add enough milk until all ingredients are covered.)
Directions: Combine all ingredients in a pan or Dutch oven. Cook over medium heat until heated through. Serves 4.
I know there’s debate about whether Chili is a soup. For the sake of this post, I have included it in the soup category.
1lb Cooked Hamburger (or other ground meat)
2 cans Chili Beans in Mild Sauce (do not drain)
2 cans Tomato Sauce
1 can Kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
2 Tbsp Chili Powder (or more to taste)
Directions: Mix all ingredients in a saucepan or Dutch oven. Cook until heated through. Add more chili powder if you need more flavor. Serves 4.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
This is one of my favorite soups to eat! My all-time favorite Chicken Tortilla Soup is from Joan Lunden but this is my shortcut recipe if I’m in a hurry.
1lb Cooked Chicken (Canned Chicken or Rotisserie Chicken)
15oz can Fire Roasted Tomatoes (do not drain)
32oz chicken broth
15oz can Mexi-corn
15oz can black beans
1 Tbsp taco seasoning
1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
1 cup cheddar cheese
Directions: Mix the chicken, broth, tomatoes, corn, beans, and taco seasoning together in a saucepan or Dutch oven. Cook until boiling and simmer for 10 minutes. Immediately before serving, stir sour cream into the pot. Top with cheese and tortilla chips before serving. Serves 4.
I hope these give you some quick dinner ideas this week to enjoy! I also love to include warm rolls (Pillsbury Crescent rolls work!) and fresh fruit (whatever we have available).