This Taco Soup recipe is a fall and winter staple! It’s an easy, protein packed soup full of zesty, crave-worthy flavor, plus it’s perfectly hearty and filling. It’s like chili’s soupier cousin and it’s loaded with all the best taco style ingredients!
Easy Taco Soup Recipe
I first shared this recipe exactly 5 years ago and it’s still a family favorite! I think it’s safe to say this is the BEST Taco soup! It’s just one of those recipes everyone loves, picky eaters included!
I mean how could you go wrong with a soup that tastes similar to chili but has added mix-in upgrades like corn, avocado and tortilla chips? Plus you get the extra flavor of a ranch mix or cilantro and lime (see my notes on that in the recipe). It really is one of the best soups, plus it’s easy to make!
Nothing fancy here, just homestyle comfort food at it’s best! Perfect for cozying up to on those chilly rainy and snowy days.
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 sautéing 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 like a 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!
How to Make 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).
- 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. If using cilantro and lime add it now.
- Serve warm topped with desired toppings.
Can I Make it 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?
Yes, ground turkey or pork would work in this taco soup recipe. If you wanted to make it vegetarian you could use lentils or another can of beans.
Can I Freeze This 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.
Tips for 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. Then 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.
Other Easy Soup Recipes You’ll Love:
- Black Bean Soup
- Chicken Fajita and Rice Soup
- Roasted Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili
- Broccoli Cheese Soup
- Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
Follow Cooking Classy
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.
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 1/4 lbs lean ground beef
- 1 medium yellow onion chopped (1 1/2 cups)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp)
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped (optional)*
- 2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes with green chiles
- 1 (14 oz) can low-sodium beef broth
- 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 3/4 tsp ground paprika
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1 1/2 Tbsp dry ranch dressing mix, or 1/3 cup chopped cilantro and 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice (see notes**)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
- 1 (14.5 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (14.5 oz) can can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- Shredded Mexican blend cheese, chopped green or red onions, diced avocados and corn tortilla strips/chips
Heat a largr 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.
*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.
**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.