This Pumpkin Taco Soup has been a family favorite for the last 5 years. We eat it all year-round and even my super picky kids ask for seconds. (When Milo was almost 2 he asked for seconds of soup instead of a birthday cupcake. For real.)
We’ve made it twice in the last few weeks (once to freeze), and it’s come out so great! It’s a cinch to throw together, and with the programmable options of the slow cooker, you can keep it warm all day long as soon as it’s finished. It’ll just get better with time!
WHAT MAKES THIS PUMPKIN TACO SOUP AMAZING
AMAZING FLAVOR + VELVETY SMOOTH TEXTURE. In case you’re a bit nervous about pumpkin in your savory soup, it’s not a predominant flavor here. The pumpkin adds a great silkiness, beautiful color, and a heaping dose of vitamins to the soup. The other seasonings work together to give it just the taco soup flavor you’re looking for, with plenty of punch for the adults, but not too strong for little eaters. I think it’s just right.
IT’S GOOD FOR YOU! The broth is really incredible. I think it just gets such a great flavor, and fills you right up in your happy place. An extra dose of protein from that delicious, tender chicken, and you’ve got something special. It would also make a great quick dinner for Halloween–something light but substantial and NOT sugar-filled to fuel you up for the evening. It’s the best!
GOT PICKY EATERS? TRY THESE TIPS!
TRY IT AS A SMOOTH SOUP. Particularly when they were littler, my kids MUCH preferred smooth soups to those with lots of veggies in them. When they were little,, I’d pull out the chicken, puree some of the soup, then serve the chicken on the side or stir it back in. (Baby Milo loved chicken, but prefers smooth soup, so this way he’d eat both parts.) You can also use this trick if you prefer your soup on the thicker side. Puree up to half of the soup, then stir it into the rest of the soup.
TRY THESE MAGIC KID-FRIENDLY SPOONS. I’ve shared this a lot, but we swear by Asian soup spoons. Especially little kids often get frustrated eating soup (it spills and sloshes off the spoon). If your little one doesn’t eat much soup, it may be because they’re frustrated. Asian soup spoons are flat and easier to sip or slurp from, which is perfect for little ones just learning the motion of eating soup from a spoon.
ADD SOME CHIPS. Both my kids eat more soup when they get to dip chips in it. I’m not above adding some tortilla chips to dinner if it gets my kids eating soup! Purple or yellow corn chips (obviously not paleo) or grain free cassava chips (like Siete) work well here!
FAQ + TIPS FOR THE BEST SLOW COOKER PUMPKIN TACO SOUP
WHAT TO SERVE WITH PUMPKIN TACO SOUP. This soup stands on its own beautifully, but also plays well with a good side salad (like this or your favorite green salad), or some grain free cassava chips.
For gluten free (or non-paleo folks), we love these pumpkin cornbread muffins, tortilla chips.
NEED A SLOW COOKER? We love slow cookers and own two. This one is programmable and automatically switches to the WARM setting when it’s done cooking. This one is a little less expensive, super cute, and doesn’t have quite as many bells and whistles.
CAN I MAKE THIS IN AN INSTANT POT? Yes! Pumpkin taco soup works beautifully in an Instant Pot! You can add everything, give it a stir, cook it on MANUAL for about 10 minutes, quick release the steam, then shred the chicken with two forks. Or, you can add about 1 Tbsp. olive oil and saute the onion till tender first (using the SAUTE function) before adding the other ingredients and cooking on MANUAL for 15 minutes + quick releasing steam.
CAN I FREEZE LEFTOVER SOUP? You bet! Pumpkin Taco Soup freezes like a dream (and I often make a double batch so I can freeze it). My favorite method is to put it into freezer-safe bags, press the air out of them, and lay them flat on a plate or pan so they freeze flat. Once frozen, they can then be stored upright or stacked in the freezer and thaw faster when you’re ready to use them!
LOVE A GOOD SLOW COOKER RECIPE? YOU MIGHT LIKE:
- Slow Cooker Paleo Beef Stew
- Slow Cooker Paleo Sweet Potato Chili
- Slow Cooker Thai Chicken and Butternut Squash Soup
- Slow Cooker Paleo Butter Chicken
HELPFUL FOR THIS RECIPE:
I don’t dice up my chicken here, since I like to shred it right into the soup. You can dice it if you like, but know that it’ll cook a little quicker.
PS – See the notes for Instant Pot instructions!
- 1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast or chicken thighs
- 1 (28oz) can (or two 14oz cans) fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1 (14oz) can pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp salt, or to taste
- 4 cups vegetable broth (or you could use chicken broth/bone broth)
- 1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped, plus more to serve
- Place chicken, tomatoes, pumpkin, onion, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, salt and broth in the slow cooker and stir to combine. (You don’t want a big lump of pumpkin to burn on the bottom of the slow cooker.)
- Cover and cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours or LOW for 7-8 hours.
- Shred the chicken into the soup (I use two forks to pull it apart and shred it) and serve with extra cilantro to garnish.
INSTANT POT DIRECTIONS:
DUMP-AND-GO METHOD: Add all ingredients to your Instant Pot and stir to combine. Cover, making sure valve is turned to SEALED setting. Cook on MANUAL pressure for 15 minutes. Quick release steam by carefully turning valve to VENT setting (or simply naturally release steam), then shred the chicken and return to soup. Garnish with additional cilantro.
SAUTE METHOD. Add 1 Tbsp. olive oil to your Instant Pot and press SAUTE. Add onion and saute 4-5 minutes, or until onion is tender. Press CANCEL and add all other remaining ingredients to the Instant Pot. Stir to combine. Make sure valve is sealed, then cook on MANUAL for 15 minutes. Quick-release steam or naturally release steam, before shredding chicken and returning to soup. Garnish with additional cilantro.
- Category: Soup,
- Method: Slow Cooker
- Cuisine: American, Tex-Mex
Keywords: Taco soup, slow cooker taco soup, paleo taco soup, gluten free taco soup, pumpkin soup, pumpkin taco soup, slow cooker pumpkin taco soup, crock pot pumpkin taco soup
Completely updated Sept 2019. Originally posted Oct 2014.