This taco soup recipe is so easy to make, comes together quickly, and with a few garnishes, makes a complete, healthful meal in 60 minutes, especially if you have a helper for chopping.
Nearly a one-pot dish, just brown the ground beef and then let the soup ingredients simmer for 30 minutes.
With a soup recipe this easy, you will be making this dinner recipe over and over again.
Taco soup is what it sounds like, a soup made out of the ingredients of a tex-mex taco.
It is all of the ingredients of a taco but in a soup instead of a taco shell.
This recipe is one of the “kitchen sink” recipes that I tend to make when I am tired or didn’t plan ahead for dinner.
We are big fans of tacos in this house.
We love taco bars and like to mix up sides for tacos, depending on our mood.
We even did a taco-themed Christmas brunch a couple of years ago.
Sometimes though, a taco soup is just comforting.
It doesn’t have to be cold out for me to crave soup.
When I have a craving for soup and need a simple ground beef recipe, this is the best possible recipe.
While we do traditionally use ground beef in our taco soup recipe, you can substitute other types of meat.
You could use ground turkey or even ground pork in this recipe if you prefer.
Or use cubed or diced beef steak, roast, or poultry.
I’ve even diced a leftover steak dinner for this recipe and it comes out yummy this way too.
Tips for making taco soup
- If you like to add heat to your dishes, dice up some fresh jalapeno and cook it with the ground beef.
- Consider adding the juice of a lime to the pan when you add in all of the other ingredients. It will simmer and add a layer of citrus flavor.
- I don’t drain the green chiles in this recipe but if you are worried about too much spicy heat, drain away the chiles before adding them to the pot.
- We make homemade taco seasoning, but you can also buy any brand from the store that you prefer.
- Some people like to add some ranch seasoning to their soup. If you would like to try this, just add one tablespoon along with all of the other ingredients.
Supplies to gather
Here’s a list of tools and ingredients you will need to gather before putting your taco soup recipe on the table.
- Cutting Board
- Measuring Spoons
- Measuring Cups
- Can Opener
- Skillet to cook ground beef
- Wooden Spoon
- Large Pot or Stockpot
- Oil – we use olive oil, but vegetable oil works too
- Onion – yellow is best, but white works too
- Can of Green Chiles – adds flavor without a lot of heat
- Chicken or Beef Stock – we combine this with Better Than Bouillon
- Can of Stewed Tomatoes – stewed tomatoes have added sweetness
- Taco Seasoning – make it yourself or use packets
- Can of Black Beans – any canned beans will work, so use whatever you have on hand
- Can of Whole Corn Kernels – not creamed corn. Frozen will work too.
- Red Bell Pepper – any color will work, but red is sweetest
- Minced Garlic – you can mince fresh garlic, but we keep it in a jar for speed
- Better Than Bouillon (beef, vegetable, or chicken) – I have this on hand all the time and I hope you love it too
- Water – you can use less or another ½ c, depending on how thick or “brothy” you like your soup.
Ideas for taco soup toppings and sides
Even the best taco soup recipe needs some flair and panache!
Add a bit of this and a bit of that to top off everyone’s bowl.
Make it a taco soup bar and offer up some delicious options and everyone can make their own!
- Diced Ripe Avocado
- Diced Green or Purple Onion
- Diced Tomato
- Shredded Cheese: Tillamook Mexican or four-cheese blend
- Queso Fresco
- Sour Cream
- Chopped Cilantro
- Tortilla Chips (like Tostitos Scoops)
- Warm Flour Tortillas with Butter
- Cheese Quesadillas
- Cornbread, either on the side or crumbled on top
How to make taco soup
This taco soup recipe is adding whole, healthful ingredients reminiscent of Mexican beef tacos and turning them into a robust taco soup!
You’ll feed the whole family something hot and hearty, with just a garnish or two and some tortilla chips on the side.
Step 1: Prep the ingredients. Drain the black beans and the corn with the strainer. Dice the onion and bell pepper. Set aside.
Step 2: Brown the ground beef. Halfway through browning the beef, add in the diced onion and pepper and continue to cook.
Step 3: Add in all of the soup ingredients to a large pot and simmer on low for 30 minutes.
Step 4: While the soup is simmering, prep all of the garnish ingredients by grating the cheese, dicing the avocado, and chopping the cilantro. Set aside.
Step 5: Ladle soup into bowls. Divvy up the garnish for each bowl and add to the top of each. Serve hot.
The bottom line
I cannot emphasize enough how easy this recipe for taco soup really is.
It’s a long list of relatively inexpensive ingredients (and leave out the ground beef altogether if you’d like) but they all come together in a snap and meld into a delicious, healthful soup.
- Olive Oil
- 1 lb Ground Beef
- 1 Small Yellow Onion
- 4 oz Can of Green Chiles
- 1 ½ c Chicken Stock
- 14 oz Can of Stewed Tomatoes
- 4 T Taco Seasoning (or 2 Taco Seasoning Packets)
- 14 oz Can of Black Beans (Drained)
- 15 oz Can of Whole Corn Kernels (Drained)
- 1 Red Bell Pepper
- 1 t Minced Garlic
- 2 t Better Than Bouillon (beef, vegetable, or chicken)
- 2 c Water
- Finely dice the yellow onion and red bell pepper. Set aside.
- Heat a large skillet with high sides over medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil. Brown the ground beef using a wooden spoon to break it up and stir as it browns.
- When the beef starts to brown, add in all the diced yellow onion and half of the diced red bell pepper.
- Drain any grease from the cooked ground beef.
- Now add the ground beef to a large stockpot, and lower the heat to a simmer.
- Add in all the remaining ingredients, and stir.
- Simmer for 30 minutes.
- Garnish as desired with diced avocado, shredded cheese, cilantro, and sour cream.
- Serve it while it's hot with your choice of Fritos or tortilla chips, and enjoy!
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Le Creuset Toughened Nonstick PRO Stockpot With Glass Lid, 6.3 qt.
Cast Iron Skillets - Pre-Seasoned 2-Piece Pan Set: 10" + 12"-Inch + 2 Heat-Resistant Silicone Handle Covers - Dual Handle Helpers - Oven Safe Cookware - Indoor/Outdoor, Grill, Stovetop, Induction Safe
KitchenAid Classic Multifunction Can Opener / Bottle Opener, 8.34-Inch, Black
Nutrition Information:Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 576Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 90mgSodium: 1221mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 13gSugar: 11gProtein: 37g