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Simmer a pot of easy taco soup on the stovetop or in the Crock Pot for a cozy, satisfying dinner with just 10 minutes of prep! The ground beef, beans, corn, and zesty Rotel tomatoes come together in a flavorful broth. Garnish each bowl with your favorite toppings (like cheese, sour cream, and green onions), and serve the hearty soup with a side of crunchy tortilla chips for scooping and dipping!

Close overhead image of a bowl of the original taco soup recipe

Original Taco Soup Recipe

The original taco soup recipe is a delicious way to embrace cooler temperatures and the changing seasons! Each pot boasts the zesty flavors that you love from a classic plate of tacos, with the rich, hearty texture of a bowl of warm chili.

Make it your own by using ground turkey or chicken instead of ground beef, by throwing in an extra can of beans to make it even thicker, or by adding more veggies like zucchini or diced green bell peppers. Prepare it on the stovetop or in the Crock Pot (whichever is more convenient); and don’t forget the toppings! Just like tacos, you can finish off each bowl with grated cheese, sour cream, sliced green onions, and chopped fresh herbs.

Side shot of two bowls of taco soup on a table

What’s the difference between chili and taco soup?

While we call this taco soup, it definitely resembles chili! In fact, you might consider it “taco chili,” depending on how thick you prefer your recipe. Just like chili, this taco soup has a fairly thick texture, plenty of ground beef, and lots of corn and beans. The seasoning is a little bit different, however. While there is certainly overlap in the spices, taco soup is made with two seasoning shortcuts: a packet of taco seasoning mix and a packet of Ranch salad dressing and seasoning mix. Chili, by contrast, often includes spices like chili powder, paprika, cumin, oregano, and cayenne.

How do you thicken taco soup?

This taco soup thickens as it simmers, uncovered, on the stovetop. If you’re using a Crock Pot, you have less control over the thickness of the soup. That said, you can remove the lid towards the end of the cooking time to allow your slow cooker soup to release some extra liquid through evaporation.

Another great way to thicken the taco soup is to add an extra can of beans. Using three cans of beans, rather than two, will give it a texture that’s even more like chili. Finally, the taco seasoning mix includes thickening agents that help to bring the soup together.

What kind of cheese do you put on taco soup?

Just about any cheese that you enjoy will work well on this soup. Good options include sharp cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack, Cheddar Jack, Colby, and Pepper Jack.

Ground beef and onion in a Dutch oven

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for our favorite taco soup recipe. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step cooking instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Ground beef: or substitute with ground turkey, ground pork, or chicken.
  • Onion: for savory flavor.
  • Beans: Pick two cans of your favorite beans — no need to drain them first. The liquid in the cans help to flavor the broth. Try black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, white beans, pink beans, or even garbanzo beans. Any combination will work!
  • Corn: don’t drain the can of corn before adding it straight into the pot.
  • Rotel diced tomatoes with green chiles: add zesty kick to the soup.
  • Tomato sauce: creates a rich, thick, tomato-based broth.
  • Taco seasoning and Ranch dressing mix: these seasoning packets are convenient shortcuts that add major flavor to your pot of soup!
  • Water: start with one cup of water, and add more to thin towards the end of the simmering time if necessary.
Adding canned corn to a pot

How to Make Taco Soup

Each hearty, satisfying bowl of this easy taco soup recipe tastes like a plate of tacos in scoopable form! I prefer the stove top method, which allows me to control the thickness of the broth and the simmering time; however, the Crock Pot instructions are included below as well. Best of all, you only need a handful of pantry staples to bring this meal together.

  1. Brown the ground beef and onion in a Dutch oven or other large soup pot until the meat is no longer pink. Drain off the fat.
  2. Stir in the remaining ingredients.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low.
  4. Simmer gently, uncovered, for 30-45 minutes. This simmering time allows the flavors to come together and helps to thicken the soup.
  5. Taste and season with additional salt and black pepper, if desired.
  6. Ladle into bowls and garnish with your favorite taco toppings.
Square overhead image of taco soup

What do you eat with taco soup?

If you’re looking for some additional sides to round out the meal, try one of these options:

Hands eating a bowl of taco soup with a spoon

Storage

Leftover soup will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. The flavors just get better as the soup sits! If you prefer, store the cooled soup in a freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Thaw the soup in the refrigerator overnight and then reheat gently on the stovetop over low heat until warmed through.

Close up shot of a bowl of taco soup

Crock Pot Taco Soup

If you prefer to make a Crock Pot taco soup, start by browning the ground beef and onion in a skillet or Dutch oven. Drain off the fat. Transfer the beef and onion to a slow cooker.

Add the remaining ingredients, but only use ½ cup of water instead of 1 cup. Cover and cook on LOW heat for 6-8 hours or on HIGH heat for 3-4 hours. If you want a thinner soup, you can always add extra water to the pot as the soup is cooking. Ladle into bowls and garnish with your favorite taco toppings.

Overhead shot of ground beef taco soup with a side of chips

Recipe for Taco Soup – Variations

  • Substitute ground turkey for the ground beef.
  • Add 1-2 minced garlic cloves to the pot with the ground beef and onion. Garlic powder and onion powder are also nice additions.
  • Chicken Taco Soup: sauté the onion as instructed, and add 2 cups of cooked, shredded or diced chicken to the soup pot along with the rest of the ingredients.
  • Add an extra cup of water if you like a thinner soup (this soup has a thicker, chili-like consistency).
  • Make it thicker by adding an extra can of beans, or by simmering the soup uncovered for a little bit longer.
  • For a less-spicy flavor, use a can of regular diced tomatoes rather than the Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies.
  • For a richer flavor, swap out the water for low-sodium beef broth.
  • Use a homemade taco seasoning mix and some dried herbs in lieu of the prepared seasoning packets.
Square side shot of taco soup in two white bowls

Tips for the Best Taco Soup Recipe

  • Start with just 1 cup of water, and then gradually add more at the end of the simmering time, if necessary, until the soup reaches your desired consistency.
  • Stir the pot occasionally while it simmers in order to prevent anything from sticking or scorching on the bottom.
  • Wait to season the soup with additional salt and pepper until the end of the cooking time. The seasoning packets include plenty of salt, so you probably won’t need too much more.
  • Garnish with your favorite toppings, or set up a “toppings bar.” The options are endless, including: sour cream or Greek yogurt, sliced green or pickled red onions, grated cheese, sliced black olives, fresh cilantro, guacamole or diced avocado, and corn chips.
Overhead image of taco soup in a white bowl with tortilla chips on the side

More Soup Recipes to Try

Large square overhead image of taco soup

Easy Taco Soup

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
0 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 316 kcal
Simmer a pot of easy taco soup on the stovetop or in the Crock Pot for a healthy and satisfying dinner with just 10 minutes of prep! 

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cans (15.25 ounces each) beans of choice, not drained (try a combination of pinto beans, white beans, kidney beans, pink beans, black eyed peas, or garbanzo beans)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can corn, not drained
  • 1 (10 ounce) can Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies, not drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (1 ounce) packet taco seasoning
  • 1 (1 ounce) packet Ranch seasoning and salad dressing mix
  • 1 cup water
  • Optional garnish: sour cream, diced avocado, grated cheddar cheese, sliced green onion; fresh cilantro; Fritos or tortilla chips

Instructions

  • Brown the ground beef and onion in a large Dutch oven or other heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Drain off the fat.
  • Add the remaining ingredients to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer gently, uncovered, for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Ladle into bowls and garnish with toppings of choice.

Notes

  • Crock Pot Taco Soup: brown the ground beef and onion in a skillet or Dutch oven. Drain off the fat. Transfer the beef and onion to a slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients, but only use ½ cup of water instead of 1 cup. Cover and cook on LOW heat for 6-8 hours or on HIGH heat for 3-4 hours. If you want a thinner soup, you can always add extra water to the pot as the soup is cooking. Ladle into bowls and garnish with your favorite taco toppings.
  • Start with just 1 cup of water, and then gradually add more at the end of the simmering time, if necessary, until the soup reaches your desired consistency.
  • Stir the pot occasionally while it simmers in order to prevent anything from sticking or scorching on the bottom.
  • Wait to season the soup with additional salt and pepper until the end of the cooking time. The seasoning packets include plenty of salt, so you probably won’t need too much more.
  • Garnish with your favorite toppings, or set up a “toppings bar.” The options are endless, including: sour cream or Greek yogurt, sliced green or pickled red onions, grated cheese, sliced black olives, fresh cilantro, guacamole or diced avocado, and corn chips.
  • Substitute ground turkey for the ground beef.
  • Add 1-2 minced garlic cloves to the pot with the ground beef and onion. Garlic powder and onion powder are also nice additions.
  • Chicken Taco Soup: sauté the onion as instructed, and add 2 cups of cooked, shredded or diced chicken to the soup pot along with the rest of the ingredients.
  • Add an extra cup of water if you like a thinner soup (this soup has a thicker, chili-like consistency).
  • Make it thicker by adding an extra can of beans, or by simmering the soup uncovered for a little bit longer.
  • For a less-spicy flavor, use a can of regular diced tomatoes rather than the Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies.
  • For a richer flavor, swap out the water for low-sodium beef broth.
  • Use a homemade taco seasoning mix and some dried herbs in lieu of the prepared seasoning packets.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/6 of the soupCalories: 316kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 22gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 812mgPotassium: 953mgFiber: 9gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 378IUVitamin C: 12mgCalcium: 110mgIron: 5mg
Keyword: crock pot taco soup, taco soup, taco soup recipe
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan

This post was originally published in September, 2018. It was updated in August, 2022.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    1st taco soup recipe tried, very easy and good with tortilla chips dipped in. Just the right amount of ingredients too. I added green onions, and shredded cheese too!

  2. Hi Blair,

    I have made so many of your recipes, and they never disappoint! I was making the taco soup tonight, but I did not see how much corn to add. The flavors are awesome!!!

    1. Thanks for catching that typo, Lyn-Anne! It’s one can of corn (15 ounces). I just fixed the recipe card to show that. Thanks for letting me know!

  3. Hi Blair, I’m looking for the Easy Taco Soup that had bell peppers, cumin, 7oz of green chili’s and 8oz cream cheese added, no mention of beans. I am going too try these on page but finally have all ingredients for the other. Do you by chance have that recipe available to send me? My printer only printed half the instructions. Thank you kindly