If you love King Ranch chicken, then this Crockpot King Ranch Chicken Soup is for you! Easy crockpot chicken soup is spiked with tomatoes, chilies, cream cheese, and spices for a perfect Tex-Mex meal.
An Easy, Cheesy, Tex-Mex Soup
As many of you know, the spicy, cheesy goodness of Tex-Mex cuisine is one of my favorites, and this recipe takes that flavor to the max! Each scrumptious bite is loaded with tender chicken and spicy Rotel tomatoes. Topped with your favorites (I like extra cheese, crispy tortilla chips, and cilantro!) it’s in the same ballpark as chicken chili, but with an added creamy tang.
Plus, this soup is so easy to make! It truly is a set-it-and-forget-it meal. All you have to do is throw everything in the crockpot, let it go for a couple of hours, and then stir in some cream cheese for the perfect finishing touch. Trust me, this is a recipe that every busy family can appreciate!
Why Is It Called King Ranch Chicken?
King Ranch Chicken is named after the famous King Ranch in Texas, which is an enormous ranch (bigger than Rhode Island!). The ranch has a long and interesting history, but just how it is related to this spicy dish is unclear. It’s possible that there’s no connection at all, other than the fact that it makes a memorable name!
However it came to be invented, King Ranch Chicken is a beloved recipe in Texas and beyond. And this cozy soup version of King Ranch Chicken is the perfect cold-weather comfort food!
Like King Ranch chicken casserole, this creamy soup is made simply with just a few flavorful ingredients that are easy to find! Let’s take a closer look:
- Butter: Salted or unsalted is fine.
- Onion: I usually dice up a small yellow onion, but you can use any type of onion.
- Garlic: Mince up some fresh garlic, or use jarred or powdered if you prefer.
- Bell Pepper: Seed and dice your bell pepper. Any color will work. I typically go for red bell pepper, which is a little sweeter than green or yellow.
- Rotel: Two cans of mild Rotel tomatoes add tangy flavor, and a gentle, spicy kick.
- Mushroom Soup: Classic cream of mushroom soup brings savory creaminess to the soup, nono need for making a roux or adding extra seasoning!
- Chicken: This is a great way to use leftover shredded chicken, or turn rotisserie chicken into something special.
- Broth: Chicken broth or veggie broth is fine.
- Cumin and Chili Powder: These Tex-Mex standbys are essential for adding that taco-style goodness to the soup.
- Cream Cheese: Cut the cream cheese into cubes, and let them come to room temperature while the soup is cooking.
- Optional Toppings: Shredded Mexican cheese blend, fresh cilantro, tortilla chips, etc.
How to Make It
There’s no need for fancy cooking techniques or complicated steps here! Just a basic crockpot method that works like a charm.
- Slow Cook the Main Soup Ingredients. Place all of the ingredients except the cream cheese and the toppings into the crockpot insert. Cook this mixture on HIGH power for 2 hours (or on LOW for 4 hours).
- Add Cream Cheese. Add the cubed, softened cream cheese to the hot soup, and stir until the cheese is melted and combined.
- Serve. Serve their soup with cheese, cilantro, and tortilla chips for a festive and satisfying meal!
Tips and Hacks
This easy recipe is basically foolproof, but I do have some special tips and variations to share! Here’s to a happy dinner!
- Control the Heat: You can use whatever type of Rotel tomatoes you like: mild, medium, or hot. The hot Rotel is very spicy, and will definitely turn up the heat! We use mild in my house, because my kids are not fans of spicy dishes.
- Skip the Cans: If you prefer to avoid canned soups and veggies, you can skip those entirely! Substitute fresh salsa for the tomatoes, and make a quick cream sauce by cooking a tablespoon of flour in one tablespoon of butter for about one minute. Stir well to break up any little lumps, and then whisk in a cup of milk to make a thick, creamy paste/sauce. Use this in place of the cream of mushroom, adding some salt to taste.
- Make It on the Stove: You can also make this recipe on the stove by combining all of the ingredients in a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Stir and bring to a rapid simmer. Then reduce the heat and cook at a gentle simmer for 20 minutes or so, until the veggies are very soft.
- Substitutions: This is an easy soup to make with leftover shredded turkey, or even pork roast, for a different spin! You could also make a vegetarian version using your favorite veggies, like cauliflower, spinach, and mushrooms. Yum!
What Goes with this Creamy Chicken Soup?
To serve, I recommend setting out the same toppings you might use for taco salad or burrito bowls:
- Tortilla Chips or Strips
- Shredded Mexican Cheese
- Pico de Gallo
- Chopped Fresh Cilantro
- Sliced Black Olives
- Chopped Fresh Tomatoes
- Chopped or Sliced Jalapeños
King Ranch chicken soup also goes well with a green salad, like this easy Greek Salad.
Storing and Reheating Leftover Soup
To refrigerate leftovers, allow the soup to cool down until it’s warm, but not steaming hot. Pack into food storage containers (big mason jars also work well!) and refrigerate for up to five days.
Alternatively, you can freeze the soup for up to three months. Be sure to leave an inch or so of room in the container for the liquid to expand as it freezes. Thaw in the fridge before reheating.
Reheat on the stovetop in a saucepan, over low heat.
Crockpot King Ranch Chicken Soup
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 2 10 oz cans Rotel tomatoes
- 1 10 oz can cream of mushroom soup
- 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 1 oz packet taco seasoning
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 8 oz package cream cheese, cubed, at room temperature
- Fresh chopped cilantro
- Shredded Mexican cheese blend
- Tortilla chips/strips
- Sour cream
- Add the butter, onion, garlic, bell pepper, Rotel tomatoes, mushroom soup, chicken, chicken broth, taco seasoning, cumin, and chili powder to the crockpot.
- Cook on high for 2 hours, or on low for 4 hours.
- Add the cubed cream cheese and stir until melted and well-combined.
- Serve with cheese, cilantro, and tortilla chips as desired.
- Store leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 5 days.
- Freeze soup for up to three months. Be sure to leave an inch or so of room in the container for the liquid to expand as it freezes. Thaw in the fridge before reheating.
- Reheat on the stovetop in a saucepan, over low heat, or microwave till hot.
More Easy Dinner Recipes
- Homemade Hamburger Helper
- Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta
- Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings
- Crockpot BBQ Chicken
- Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo
- Crockpot Salsa Chicken
- Crockpot Cabbage Roll Soup
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.