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Earlier this week, I mentioned how we had a little party for my mother-in-law this past weekend. It was her birthday, and I can’t remember the last time that we all got together for the occasion. The hubby and I played host, which is always fun. He grilled out while I chopped veggies and entertained the kids. I have to admit, one of the best things about hosting a cook out are the left overs. Our family– that’s all six of us– ate for two days from the left overs from that one event. I always try to get creative with cook out left overs, or any left overs for that matter. This time around I used the left over chicken for a delicious dinner soup packed with flavor. Wait, what? Soup in the summer? Yep, and I even cooked it in the slow cooker. Most of the time, I pull out the slow cooker around October. The thing works overtime until March, and then it disappears under the counter for seven months. But why not use the slow cooker in the summer? It saves on heat– no hot oven heating up the house and making the AC work extra hard. And it increases time with my kids. Why sweat over the stove cooking when I could be having fun with the kids while dinner cooks for me?
This Grilled Chicken Tuscan-Inspired Slow Cooker Soup soup packs protein and veggies, and is portable enough to throw in a bowl and go! Since it’s a slow cooker meal, the kids can help throw the ingredients into the slow cooker. Everyone pitches in for dinner followed by family time while dinner cooks.
- Left Over Grilled Chicken OR 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken
- 1 Red Pepper, diced
- 1 Jar Heinz Classico Family Favorites Parmesan and Romano
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 can Great Northern Beans, drained
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 5 ounces of baby spinach– I purchase the boxes of fresh spinach, and used about half
- Half a can of low-sodium chicken broth
- Optional: cheese to sprinkle on top
For this recipe, you’ll notice that I do not use any diced tomatoes or tomato paste. Instead, I’ve opted for Heinz Classico Family Favorites Parmesan & Romano. The sauce gives the soup a hearty Tuscan flavor.
I purchased the Heinz Classico Family Favorites Parmesan & Romano sauce in the pasta aisle at my local Walmart. If another flavor, like Family Favorites Meat Sauce or Traditional, is a more appropriate flavor for your family, know that there are plenty of sauces from which to chose. Head over to this site to grab a coupon for $1.00 off Classico family favorites when you buy two jars.
Click here to save $1 off Classico favorites when you buy two jars!
The “recipe” for this soup is as simple as it gets. Toss all the ingredients except for the spinach into the slow cooker. Simmer it on high for three hours and forty five minutes. Add the spinach and cook for 15 more minutes on low. If you are indeed using left over grilled chicken and are afraid that it may get too tough in the slow cooker for three hours, chop the chicken and place it in the slow cooker for the last hour. If using raw chicken, place the chicken in the slow cooker from the beginning.
When the soup is finished, simple place the bowls on the counter and let the family go to it! I found my daughter hanging out on the back deck with hers.
So pull out that slow cooker and crank it up for the rest of the summer! Combining fresh ingredients along with pre-made sauce saves time and still gives those home-cooked flavors. Everyone in the family will be happy!