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 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 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 89 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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201 Comments

  • Nancy Prokop

    I live in Vienna , Austria and we don’t have canned pinto beans so I used kidney beans instead. With the cilantro and lime and some tortilla chips it was so good! Warning: it makes A Lot! Thank goodness I have freezer space.

    • Bob

      Any bean normally used for chili in the U.S. works, there are a few/several. It depends on what is available, cheapest or preferred.

  • Lori

    What does the “large” mean in this instruction? large what?
    “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”

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      It’s a large pot, sorry that wasn’t showing up correctly for you.

  • Jamie

    Definitely a 5-star recipe in my opinion! Pretty much followed the recipe exactly how it was written but I didn’t have a fresh jalapeno so I used a tablespoon of my homemade pepper flakes instead. For toppings we used a taco cheese blend, avocado chunks, sour cream, red onion chunks, and cheesy chipotle tortilla strips. Absolutely fabulous! If you follow the recipe as written it is very thick which I like! I suppose you could add more beef broth if you like it thinner.

  • Lisa

    I made this here in the UK so I had to make a few changes. One jalapeño plus two tiny hot finger chillis as I couldn’t get chopped tomatoes with chillis. I hadn’t any chilli powder so I substituted one teaspoon of cayenne powder. I used a stock pot (concentrated jellied stock) with water and tomato purée with water. Absolutely delicious with all he suggested toppings! Thank you.

  • Brooke

    This is so good!! I love it so much! Thank you for all of your recipes they are all so good!

  • Valerie

    Instead of all the herbs and spices, I used a packet of taco seasoning. My can of green chilies was bigger than what the recipe called for. It was really salty and super spicy until I added in a big serving spoonful of yogurt to it. That seemed to calm it down.

  • Ronnie

    I’m definitely going to make this tonight, I am sure my boys are going going to enjoy it, I am going to use plain Fritos as my chip , kinda see how it goes.