I no longer feel like I am prematurely partaking in fall foods – the autumn chill has arrived! If you like easy crock pot meal + tasty + eating a warm bowl of soup on a chilly day, take a gander. When I entered it into a chili contest (even though it’s a soup technically?) I called it Ashlie’s West Coast Chili. You can call it whatever you want!



  • 1 lb ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 packet taco seasoning (or you can make your own)
  • 1 packet ranch seasoning (or you can make your own)
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes with chilis
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can or corn
  •  1/2 – 1 cup water (just depending on how much or how little liquid/”broth” you like.)

Our favorite toppings

  • sour cream or greek yogurt
  • cheese
  • fried tortilla strips


Brown meat and follow taco seasoning directions (which usually are add 1/2-1 cup water and cook until water reduces). Add ranch seasoning + 1/2 cup water. Cook down. Put meat into crock pot. Add the rest of the ingredients (including juices from the cans). Cook on low until heated through. Serve and enjoy! Share your favorite fall recipes and soup recipes in the comments, por favor!


  1. I’ve been working my way through “The Make Ahead Cook” by America’s Test Kitchen. It’s an interesting cookbook…some of it is crockpot recipes, some of it is recipes you prepare the day before and then cook, some of it is a recipe for a big dinner plus repurposing the leftovers…but all the recipes that have been sweetly calling for me to try them are ones that involve leaving the oven or crockpot on for a long time so I’ve been waiting for the heat to break. Last night I made their crockpot beef stew and it was a winner–instead of browning the meat, you just sautée the aromatics with some tomato paste, and you put the potatoes and carrots in a foil packet on top of the meat so they don’t get mushy. I may have eaten just about all of the leftovers for lunch. It was a welcome break from sun butter sandwiches (ugh).

    Now I’m debating running to the grocery store after I wake up Sir Toddler to buy a whole chicken before the sale ends…so I can roast it and use the leftovers in another Make Ahead Recipe! 🙂

  2. Chili sound good. Made red lentil soup yesterday and making beef stew today. Freezer meals for dinners when I don’t feel like cooking . (most days!) Beautiful fall weather here in Oregon. Pray for the students at Umpqua Community college. I am.

  3. Yellow Squash Soup! Saute 1 diced (all) onion till wilted, 4 carrots add 4 yukon gold potatoes, 4 squash, cover with chicken or veg stock or water, season with salt, pepper, simmer for 15-20 min until everything is tender. Reserve 3 cups, with the rest, puree 3/4 at a time, making sure not to over fill blender and leaving a steam release cause that’ll come back at ya. Serve with zucchini chips. Life looks good and happy. Lil Mister is adorable!

    1. Shelly! Great recipe, I can’t wait to try it! I meant to comment a while back on the strawberry picking post…I had no idea you have Lyme disease. Thanks for sharing – the struggle is real! How are you feeling these days? We’re still working on getting out more, but seeing how much JP LOVES being around other kids makes it easier to get motivated.

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