The best soups don’t come out of a can or in a box, they come from hours of slowly simmering and stirring so all the flavors mingle together. But really, with everything else happening in the fall and winter months, who has time for all that? This is why slow cooker soup recipes are amazing; they replicate the taste of a meal you’ve labored over all day, without having to put in too much effort. Plus using a slow cooker means you're not trying to throw dinner together at witching hour, when your toddler is melting down in the kitchen because they can't watch one.more.show.
I look forward to October when I reintroduce soup back into my meal repertoire (I refuse to acknowledge summer's gazpacho as soup unless salsa, too, gets the recognition it deserves). The best thing about these bowls of goodness? They're a full meal and you don't need a side dish (except for maybe some crusty bread).
Plus you can take it in so many directions. From comforting chicken noodle, to spicy ramen, or healthy minestrone, here are 16 of the best slow cooker soups that are soup-er filling (I'm so sorry) and will warm your family up during these cold months ahead.
1. Chicken Gnocchi Soup
Apparently this chicken gnocchi soup from Five Heart Home is a lighter version of a tasty soup from Olive Garden (come for the breadsticks, stay for the soup, as they say). This has garlic, spinach, and carrots plus the creaminess comes in part from corn starch, so it's not loaded with heavy cream, even if it tastes like it is.
2. Pork Ramen
There's nothing quite like a noodley, spicy bowl of ramen on a fall day. This ramen recipe from Jelly Toast is made using pork shoulder, and I have a feeling the white miso is what gives it that savory taste. The guy who works at my local ramen place is going to wonder what happened to me.
3. Italian Meatball Soup
Simply Scratch's Italian meatball soup is assembled months in advance and frozen it in a ziploc. Thaw it for it for 24 hours before putting it all in the slow-cooker. Couldn't be easier! I love how the light, spicy tomato broth offsets the heartiness of the meatballs.
4. Tomato Soup
Grilled cheese, anyone? This creamy tomato soup from No. 2 Pencil is sure to be a family favorite. You can easily make this a vegetarian meal by using vegetable broth instead of chicken.
5. Chicken Enchilada Soup
This chicken enchilada soup from Your Cup Of Cake tastes just like the real thing. It even has a bit of flour in it for that doughy taste of the tortilla. Topped with avocado, olives, and shredded cheese, this will be a winter go-to.
6. Loaded Potato Soup
Baked potatoes are the perfect canvas for your favorite toppings, so I'd imagine it's the same deal with The Cocina Monologues' loaded potato soup. Topped with cheese, sour cream, scallions, or anything else you'd like, this is a meal your kids will love.
7. Lentil Cauliflower Stew
Tori Avery's lentil cauliflower stew is perfect when you feel like you're coming down with something and need a dose of nutrients ASAP. You can add less spice if your kids aren't into "picey" foods. Or you can stir a bit of sour cream or even plain Greek yogurt in to cool it off.
8. Butternut Squash Soup
My favorite fall food is roasted delicata squash drizzled with honey, but this butternut squash soup from Taste And Tell may end up being my new fave. It has that distinctly nutty fall flavor offset by the slight natural sweetness. The secret ingredient? Cream cheese.
9. French Onion Soup
French onion soup always seemed like one of those foods that was reserved for restaurants only, but this slow cooker recipe from Cook Nourish Bliss actually looks pretty easy. You will have to stir this one occasionally and add ingredients in cycles, so it's a good recipe to try when you're snowed in all day.
Okay, so you will have to do a few things on the stove to make Steamy Kitchen's Vietnamese pho dish really pop ( toasting the spices, for example, and charring the onion) but it's worth it because these quick steps make for the most flavorful broth. Pho, a traditionally Vietnamese soup of noodles, thinly sliced steak, and a whole bunch of warming spices is the ultimate comfort food.
11. Italian Wedding Soup
This Italian wedding soup from Recipes That Crock uses cauliflower rice in place of the grain and I bet you won't even notice the difference. Cris, the brains behind the blog, says she uses her air fryer to make the meatballs low carb, but you can make them on a skillet too. Yum!
Minestrone was the only food (besides waffles) that one of the boys I used to nanny for would eat. I wish I'd had Two Peas And Their Pod's minestrone recipe back then. The soup is the perfect blend of fiber, carbs, and protein, plus it just tastes really good.
13. Chicken Tortilla Soup
This soup is so easy and would be great to serve to hungry guests because it's so filling and looks impressive. I love this chicken tortilla soup from Table For Two because all the ingredients, (besides the cheese and tortilla strips) get added in at the same time. Then eight hours later, you have dinner ready to go.
14. Cannellini Bean Soup
I can't wait to try this slow cooker cannellini bean soup from A Beautiful Plate. It uses leeks, bacon (for a smoky taste), rosemary, and of course cannellini beans for an end product that is both delicious and healthy. It's so easy, too, and you'll finally have a use for all those dried beans you have thoughtfully stored in mason jars (I can't be the only one, right?).
15. Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken noodle soup is like a much-needed hug and this comforting soup from 101 Cooking For Two is no exception. It brings me back to childhood and makes me want to curl up and watch a nostalgic movie. It's simple and comforting all winter long.
16. Lasagna Soup
I typically think of lasagna and soup as being mutually exclusive foods, but apparently I am incorrect. This lasagna soup recipe from Wholefully fuses the richness of lasagna with the ease of soup. No noodle layering required.