Simple Taco Soup

Published September 11, 2019. Updated October 11, 2023

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This Simple Taco Soup recipe is a fall and winter staple! It’s an easy, protein-packed soup full of zesty, crave-worthy flavor and veggies. Plus, it’s perfectly hearty and filling—no more complaining that you’re still hungry after soup for dinner. My Simple Taco Soup is like chili’s soupier cousin, and it’s loaded with all the best taco-style ingredients for a balanced meal. 

Two servings of taco soup in white bowls over a white platter.

Easy Taco Soup Recipe

I’ve perfected this simple taco soup recipe over the years, and it’s a major fall favorite for my family. It has all the cozy comfort of chili, but just a little lighter and healthier (thanks to all the veggie upgrades!).

One thing that makes this easy taco soup such a crowd-pleaser is the ability to customize your soup with delicious mix-ins. Every person can make their own unique taco soup by adding any combination of toppings, like avocado, corn, red onion, tortilla chips, sour cream, cheese, hot sauce, and more! It’s always fun to try new combinations of taco soup toppings.  I would love to hear what your family adds to your taco soup!

Taco Soup Video

 

Nothing fancy here—just homestyle comfort food at its best! Perfect for cozying up to on those chilly rainy and snowy days. This Easy Taco Soup is also perfect for feeding a crowd. Try this for football season, Halloween parties, or other winter gatherings.

Overhead image of pot full of easy taco soup.

Taco Soup Ingredients

  • Ground beef – use lean ground beef for best results. I go for 85% or 90% Angus.
  • Olive oil – this is used to help brown the beef.
  • Yellow onion and garlic – red onion can be substituted.
  • Jalapeno – if you want to make it mild I’ve also made it with 1/3 cup chopped bell pepper instead.
  • Canned diced tomatoes with green chilies – alternately you can just use 2 cans of tomatoes and add 1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Low-sodium beef broth – chicken broth will work fine too.
  • Tomato sauce – in a pinch you can make your own by mixing 1/3 cup tomato paste with 2/3 cup water (tomato sauce does have added seasonings like garlic powder and onion powder but we already add those flavors here).
  • Chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, salt and pepper – these spices add that classic taco flavor. If you’d like you can bloom them first buy sautĂ©ing with the garlic for a hint of deeper flavor.
  • Dry ranch dressing mix – so this ingredient I actually don’t normally use anymore but since this is an old recipe that readers have loved I didn’t want to alter it. If you’d like to make it how I do now then add 1/3 cup chopped cilantro and 1 Tbsp lime in at the end instead of using the dressing mix.
  • Frozen corn – I love to use fresh corn in the summer instead of frozen. If using fresh add it during the last 10 minutes of cooking.
  • Canned black beans and pinto beans – when I don’t have pinto beans I use great northern beans. Or you could just use 2 cans of black beans.
  • Toppings – this taco soup is just like a taco, load it up how you like. I always serve it with lot of crumbled tortilla chips, cheese and sour cream – then an avocado too if I’ve got one.

Okay, that list of ingredients kind of looks daunting, but a lot of it is pantry staples like spices and canned ingredients. Once you get making it you’ll see it really isn’t complicated. It’s such an easy soup!

Taco Soup ingredients

How to Make Simple Taco Soup

  • Cook ground beef in a large pot along with chopped onion, crumbling and stirring occasionally until browned and adding jalapeno and garlic during last few minutes of browning. Drain excess fat (I use tongs and paper towels to soak it up).

Browning beef, garlic, onion and jalapeno in a pot to make taco soup.

  • Stir in tomatoes with chiles, beef broth, tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, ranch dressing mix and season with salt and pepper to tastes.
  • Cover pot with lid and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Adding tomatoes and spices to pot to make taco soup.

  • Add in corn, black beans and pinto beans and cook until heated through.
  • Add 1/2 cup water to thin soup if desired. If using cilantro and lime add it now.
  • Serve warm topped with desired toppings.

Adding beans and corn to taco soup.

Can I Make Simple Taco Soup in the Crock Pot?

Yes! To make it in the Crock Pot just brown the onions and beef, and then garlic, drain fat and add mixture to the slow cooker. Then add tomatoes, broth, tomato sauce and spices. Cover and cook on low heat 5 – 6 hours. Stir in corn and beans and heat through (then add cilantro and lime if using).

Can I Use Ground Turkey Instead of Ground Beef in Taco Soup?

Yes, ground turkey or pork would work in this taco soup recipe. If you wanted to make it vegetarian taco soup, you could use lentils or another can of beans.

Can I Freeze Taco Soup?

Yes, taco soup freezes incredibly well. I recommend freezing this soup in jars or individual containers so it’s easy to thaw out exactly how much you need.

White pot full of taco soup.

Tips for Simple Taco Soup

  • Be sure to drain and rinse beans so soup isn’t overly salty (if you need to reduce sodium in the recipe for dietary restrictions, then you can omit the ranch seasoning, use unsalted tomato sauce/canned tomatoes and unsalted beans. And of course, keep track of the salt you season the soup with).
  • If you don’t like spicy soup, omit the jalapeño pepper or use bell pepper as noted. Like it extra spicy? Add 2 – 4 jalapenos!
  • Make sure to drain the excess fat from the ground beef for the best flavor.

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Two servings of taco soup in white bowls over a white platter.
4.98 from 93 votes

Taco Soup Recipe

This easy taco soup recipe is so hearty, filling and just the perfect comfort food. And the deliciously spiced, beefy flavor will have everyone craving more! Makes about 10 1/2 cups.
Servings: 7 Servings
Prep10 minutes
Cook35 minutes
Ready in: 45 minutes

Ingredients

Toppings

  • Shredded Mexican blend cheese, chopped green or red onions, diced avocados and corn tortilla strips/chips

Instructions

  • Heat a large pot over medium-high heat drizzle lightly with oil.
  • Add ground beef in a large along with chopped onion, crumbling and stirring occasionally until browned. Add jalapeno and garlic and saute 1 minute longer.
  • Drain excess fat from beef mixture. 
  • Stir in tomatoes with chiles, beef broth, tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, ranch dressing mix and season with salt and pepper to tastes. Cover pot with lid and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add in corn, black beans and pinto beans and cook until heated through. Add 1/2 cup water to thin soup if desired. Stir in cilantro and lime if using.
  • Serve warm finished with desired toppings.

Notes

  • *This is also good with 1/3 cup chopped bell pepper in place of jalapeno if you want it more mild. Or just omit and don't replace and it will be fine.
  • **For a stronger spiced flavor double up all of the spices.
  • ***I first shared this recipe 5 years ago and since people have loved it as is I didn't want to tweak it. But personally I now omit the ranch mix and add 1/3 cup chopped cilantro and 1 Tbsp lime in at the end and I like it better this way.
  • Nutrition estimate does not include toppings.
Nutrition Facts
Taco Soup Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 387 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 53mg18%
Sodium 804mg35%
Potassium 1326mg38%
Carbohydrates 49g16%
Fiber 14g58%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 31g62%
Vitamin A 759IU15%
Vitamin C 20mg24%
Calcium 105mg11%
Iron 6mg33%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.
Recipe originally shared September 11, 2014. Photos have been updated.

 

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209 Comments

  • Moon

    My little sister loved ever thing in this recipe and my mama! Being 15 I love cooking so I wanted to make something I love to eat and I thought of Taco Soup and your recipe was amazing! I hope to see more and make this one more for my family when it’s my turn to cook! Thank you!

  • Shelley

    I made this last night, sticking mostly to the recipe while also using up some leftovers & scraps from the refrigerator. It was easy and delicious! The whole family enjoyed it & repeatedly gave compliments! Thank you for such a good recipe ~ we will be making this one regularly.

  • Marty Mattias

    We made this taco soup tonight in the crockpot, we used ground turkey and made broth ( 14 oz) using chicken “Better than Boullion” paste.
    Changed absolutely nothing
    else. Really perfect. Everyone
    agreed we’ll be making this one alot more in the future.

  • Bets

    Family cleaned up every bit of this easy, tasty recipe. The only changes I made were to sub a cup of medium salsa for the tomato sauce, because I had no tomato sauce on hand. It still came out great. I will double this the next time and hope there are leftovers for later.

  • Tina Bale

    While I used some leftover rotisserie chicken I had, letting it simmer in the pot an hour or so, this was an amazing soup!! I tossed in some chopped up carrot and used chicken broth instead of the beef. Will definitely be making this again!! Thank you!!

  • AFarron

    Loved it! Made it really spicy and it was a hit! Topping it with fresh avocado, sour cream and tortilla strips is the way to go!

  • Nicole Martin

    Could I do put all this in the crockpot and let it cook for the day? Any changes in ingredients, maybe use dry beans instead of canned?

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      I would still use canned beans. And pre-cook the beef and saute onion and garlic. Then cook on low for 5 hours adding beans during last 30 minutes, unless you want them quite soft you can add them at the beginning.