Easy Slow Cooker Tex-Mex Minestrone is a simple soup with complex flavors. Made with some basic pantry staples, it comes together easily and tastes amazing.
This recipe is sponsored by Banza as part of #SlowCookerMonth. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures possible.
There is nothing like a good, hearty bowl of minestrone to warm you up during these cold days of winter. The broth, vegetables, and beans are perfectly warming and comforting. Not to mention is a totally budget friendly meal made with some simple ingredients that you usually have on hand.
That’s sort of how this recipe came about. I initially was going to make a slow cooker mac and cheese, but I overestimated the cooking time. Total fail. And no, it has nothing to do with the pasta. It has everything to do with me not checking it sooner and being more diligent about not overcooking the pasta.
Yes, food bloggers have total fails sometimes. We just don’t usually write about them. I do, because, well, I just want you to know I’m a human and mess things up sometimes. I think this was only the third or maybe fourth completely total fail of my blogging career. We did eat it and it tasted good. Just a bit mushier than I planned.
So, there I was without a fourth recipe for #NationalSlowCookerWeek. I started looking around the kitchen to see what I could easily whip up. And there it was on the shelf; a can of pinto beans and some green chiles. I knew I had celery and carrots from the Greek gigantes I made.
I had chicken broth because I always have chicken broth and I had some leftover tomato juice from chili. And finally, a can of petite diced tomatoes. Because you always need tomatoes in a minestrone. My favorite minestrone from a local restaurant had a tomato based broth. It was so delicious. One of these days I’ll have to try to recreate that.
Yes, I know that green chiles and pinto beans don’t go into a minestrone. But, they do go into an easy slow cooker Tex-Mex minestrone. Because, who says minestrone has to always be Italian? Yes, I also realize that minestrone is an Italian soup. I’m not completely daft ya know!
Minestrone predates almost Roman times. Though it was the Romans that made it a staple dish. It goes back as far as 30AD if not farther. That is one old soup recipe! Fast forward a few centuries and potatoes and tomatoes were added around the 1600’s making it more of the soup we know today.
It’s probably safe to say that back in those times, minestrone wasn’t a recipe they gathered the ingredients to make. There’s a reason minestrone fits into the cucina povera category; it’s made with whatever is on hand. That means in season vegetables, maybe some meats, and a few beans, pasta, or rice to give it some body.
It’s interesting to me how the most comforting and delicious recipes are made from necessity.
And you can see how this Tex-Mex minestrone can easily be called a minestrone. It has ingredients on hand, fresh vegetables, and some pasta for a well rounded bowl of hearty goodness. It just happens to have chili powder and cumin in it instead of basil and oregano. Oh, and pinto beans instead of kidney or cannellini.
Doesn’t that look like one spoon full of yummy? Those noodles, the broth, the carrot; it’s all part of this hearty and easy slow cooker Tex-Mex minestrone. Don’t have pinto beans and have black beans? Use those! Don’t have green chiles but green peppers? Use those! Seriously, this is just an idea I’m planting for you to make your own minestrone out of whatever you have on hand.
Because that’s the spirit of a minestrone – whatever you have on hand!
I’m going to admit that I always struggle with photographing soups. Even the spoon shot. I just see the tomato around the neck of the spoon not the delicious pasta and bite of soup on the spoon. How horrible is that? Sometimes, I just have to let it all be what it is and just explain how delicious the soup really is.
Because, it really easy slow cooker Tex-Mex minestrone really is delicious. Packed with vegetables, pasta, spices, and some love! Yes. I made it with love so it tastes awesome. Doesn’t everything made with love taste that way?
- 4 cups unsalted chicken stock
- 2 cups low sodium tomato juice
- 14 ounces petite diced tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups diced carrots
- 1 cup diced celery
- 7 ounces green chiles
- 1 cup cooked pinto beans
- 1 tablespoon onion flakes
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 8 ounces Banza rotini
- Combine the first 12 ingredients (everything but the pasta) in the liner of a slow cooker.
- Cook on high 2 to 3 hours or until the vegetables are crisp tender.
- Add the pasta and cook 30 to 45 minutes or until the pasta is tender.
- Top with cheese, sour cream, tortilla strips, or jalapenos before serving.
Nutrition InformationYield 8 servings Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 95Total Fat 1gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 7mgSodium 181mgCarbohydrates 17gFiber 5gSugar 6gProtein 6g