The BEST Taco Soup Recipe | foodiecrush.com (2024)

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This easy taco soup recipe can be made in 30 minutes on the stovetop, Instant Pot, or slow-cooked in the Crock Pot for a healthy Mexican-inspired, make-ahead, one-bowl meal.

I’m a big fan of soups inspired by my favorite meals. Case in point? Recipes like my crockpot lasagna soup, cheeseburger soup, and turkey pot pie soup. My taco soup was inspired by my mother-in-law’s homemade Taco Bell Tacos. Unlike many taco soup recipes on the web, I skip the ranch dressing packet flavoring (I prefer to top with real sour cream at the end) and the taco seasoning packet and use real food Mexican spices instead. Beans, ground beef, and spicy tomatoes give this soup the same signature flavor. We all have different cooking styles and different needs. Fast. Slow. Later. That’s why I’m giving you this recipe with 3 sets of directions. Crock Pot. Instant Pot. Just one pot. This taco soup is perfect for fast weeknight eats, make-ahead party feasts, or double it and freeze half for later meal-planning feats.

What’s in This Taco Soup Recipe

I grew up with a dad who always had backups. And back-ups for back-ups. I’ve become a clone of my stock-the-pantry dad so when it comes to making meals on the fly, it’s a relief to know I can head to the cupboard and freezer and turn nothing into something because I have just about everything already on hand.

Here’s what’s in this taco soup recipe:

  • Ground beef. I use 85% ground chuck or 90% lean ground sirloin (feel free to use ground turkey instead, if you prefer)
  • Yellow onion
  • Tomato paste
  • Canned tomatoes with green chiles
  • Canned black beans
  • Canned chili beans (or plain pinto beans)
  • Frozen corn kernels (or canned work too)
  • Ground chile powder, cumin, and garlic powder
  • Kosher salt

How to Make This Taco Soup Recipe

The ingredient list remains the same whether you make this easy taco soup on the stovetop, in the Crock Pot, or in the Instant Pot. The only variance will be how much water you add to the soup (less liquid for IP and slow cooker since the steam doesn’t escape), and when to transfer ingredients to the other cooking vessel.

To make this recipe in the Instant Pot or slow cooker, scroll down for the instructions below.

To start, I use 85% lean ground beef. Feel free to use leaner meat if you like. I like the flavor the extra bit of fat imparts. Brown the beef on the stovetop (or SAUTÉ in the Instant Pot), then add the onions to soften.

Add tomato paste adds depth, a bit of acid, and umami to this soup. I keep a squeeze tube of tomato paste in my fridge for small additions to recipes like this. Cook it for a minute or two with the onions and ground beef to take away the raw flavor and sweeten its flavor just a bit more.

Use canned spiced tomatoes. I used two varieties of canned Rotel tomatoes in this soup, one mild and one spicy to get that medium chile heat.

Rinse and drain the black beans before adding to your soup. To keep the broth red and clear, rinse the juice away from the beans which will muddy the broth. The chili beans are fine to add with their juice.

Taco Soup Recipe Toppings

Just like any taco, the toppings are the best part of the dish, so everyone can make this soup their own.

To serve, set out a variety of toppings in small bowls and let everyone help themselves. Word to the wise, always have more cheese than you think you’ll need. Because what taco doesn’t love cheese?

  • Tortilla chips
  • Shredded cheddar cheese, Mexican cheese, or crumbled Mexican cotija
  • Chunky guacamole or diced avocado (here’s how to ripen avocados perfectly)
  • Chopped onion or quick pickled onions
  • Sour cream, Mexican crema, or plain Greek yogurt
  • Cilantro
  • Lime wedges
  • Chopped jalapeño

How do you thicken Taco Soup

This taco soup has what I consider an ideal thickness because you bring it to a boil and then simmer it for a while. However, if you’d like it to be thicker, simply cook it a bit longer.

How to Make Crock Pot Taco Soup

To make Crock Pot Taco Soup: In a skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef, breaking into smaller chunks, until no longer pink. Add the onion and cook until it softens about 3 minutes, then stir in the tomato paste, chile powder, cumin, garlic powder, and kosher salt, and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring often. Transfer the meat mixture to a slow cooker and add the tomatoes, black beans, chili beans, corn, and spices and stir to combine. Stir in 3 cups water. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours. Taste for seasoning and top with your favorite taco toppings before serving.

This is the slow cooker I use.

How to Make Instant Pot Taco Soup

To make Instant Pot Taco Soup: Sauté the ground beef, onions, and tomato paste in the insert of the Instant Pot. Add the spice seasonings and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, corn, and 3 cups water and bring to a boil. Lock the lid into place and seal. Set to Pressure Cook for 8 minutes. Allow the soup to Naturally Release for 15 minutes, then quickly release the pressure valve with the handle of a wooden spoon until the soup has vented all the way. Stir, taste for seasoning, garnish, and serve.

This is the Instant Pot I use.

What to Eat With Taco Soup

This soup is all about the toppings:

  • Skillet Cornbread
  • 5-ingredient Chipotle Chicken Taquitos
  • Quick Pickled Onions
  • Easy Mexican Coleslaw Recipe

How Long is Taco Soup Good in the Fridge?

This soup can be made ahead of time or frozen for later. It’s good for 4-5 days in the refrigerator or frozen in freezer-safe ziploc bags for up to 2 months.

More Easy Soup Recipes

  • Broccoli Cheese And Potato Soup
  • Tomato Basil Soup
  • Easy Hamburger Vegetable Soup
  • The Best French Onion Soup
  • The Best Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
  • Slow Cooker Tortellini Soup With Sausage And Kale

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4.92 from 122 votes

Easy Taco Soup (Stove Top, Instant Pot or Crock Pot)

With most of the ingredients already in your pantry, this easy ground beef taco soup recipe takes just 30 minutes to make on the stove top, or prep and cook in the slow cooker for later.

Course Soup

Cuisine Mexican

Keyword taco soup

Prep Time 10 minutes minutes

Cook Time 20 minutes minutes

Total Time 30 minutes minutes

Servings 6

Calories 156kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 10-ounce cans Mexican flavor diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans , rinsed and drained
  • 1 15-ounce can chili beans , with juice
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 4 cups water
  • Shredded cheese, tortilla chips, avocado, cilantro, chopped onion, sour cream, and lime for serving

Instructions

To Make On the Stove Top

  • In a large stock pot over medium heat, cook the ground beef, breaking into smaller chunks, until no longer pink. Add the onion and cook until it softens, about 3 minutes, then stir in the tomato paste, chile powder, cumin, garlic powder, and kosher salt, and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring often. Stir in the tomatoes, black beans, chili beans, and corn. Add the water and bring to a boil, then reduce to a rolling simmer. Cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you like a thicker soup, cook it longer. Garnish with your favorite taco toppings and serve.

To Make In the Crock Pot Slow Cooker

  • In a skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef, breaking into smaller chunks, until no longer pink. Add the onion and cook until it softens, about 3 minutes, then stir in the tomato paste, chile powder, cumin, garlic powder, and kosher salt, and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring often. Transfer the meat mixture to a slow cooker and add the tomatoes, black beans, chili beans, corn, and spices and stir to combine. Stir in 3 cups water. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours. Taste for seasoning and top with your favorite taco toppings before serving.

To Make In the Instant Pot

  • Sauté the ground beef, onions, and tomato paste in the insert of the Instant Pot. Add the spice seasonings and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, corn, and 3 cups water and bring to a boil. Lock the lid into place and seal. Set to Pressure Cook for 8 minutes. Allow the soup to Naturally Release for 15 minutes, then Quick Release the pressure valve with the handle of a wooden spoon until the soup has vented all the way. Stir, taste for seasoning, garnish, and serve.

Notes

This soup can be frozen for up to 2 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 156kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 882mg | Potassium: 468mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 449IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 3mg

More Mexican Recipe Ideas

  • Just Like Taco Bell Tacos Recipe
  • The Best Mexican Stuffed Peppers
  • Beyond Easy Chicken Mole Enchiladas
  • The Best Steak Fajitas
  • Quick And Easy Homemade Chile Verde Burritos
  • Chipotle Shrimp Burritos With Simple Avocado Crema

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The BEST Taco Soup Recipe | foodiecrush.com (2024)

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