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This taco soup is filled with all of the yummiest ground beef taco ingredients and topped with the best garnishes, making it the most delicious, flavorful, and comforting soup!
This taco soup falls into the “packed with flavor + comfort but still healthy” recipe category. That’s really the best category, isn’t it? It’s actually where I try to stay with my food choices most often. While skimping on flavor in the name of “healthy eating” isn’t an option for me, I do like to reach for meals that will nourish me (and my family) more often than not. This recipe is truly the best of both worlds, and because it’s also super easy to throw together, it’s become a go-to dinner around here.
Easy Taco Soup Recipe
This taco soup is just what it sounds like: ground beef tacos in soup form! It might sound odd if you haven’t had it before, but it is truly so delicious! If you’re into tortilla soup (the classic or creamy variety), then I can almost guarantee you’ll be into this taco soup. Some of the reasons we love it so much…
- It’s easy – once the ground beef is browned, it’s really just a matter of throwing the rest of the ingredients into the pot, stirring it all up, and letting it simmer so that the flavors can really come together.
- It’s healthy – because it’s made with wholesome ingredients like grass-fed beef, beans, and broth, you can really feel good about feeding this to your family!
- It saves well – this taco soup makes the *best* leftovers, y’all. Simply save the soup itself in an airtight container in the fridge and reheat either in the microwave or on the stovetop before topping with the leftover toppings!
- It freezes well – if you know you won’t be able to enjoy your leftovers within 4-5 days, simply freeze them instead! We really like freezing the soup into individual containers so that you can pull out and reheat exactly what you need. Also, if you’re entering into a busy or chaotic season of life, making a double batch of this soup and freezing it for later is a really great idea.
Taco Soup Ingredients
The ingredients here are simple and delicious. Here’s what you’ll need:
For the Soup
- Olive Oil – to start, you’ll want to grab 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Yellow Onion – you’ll also need 1 small diced yellow onion.
- Garlic – 4 cloves of minced garlic add some real depth to the soup.
- Ground Beef – ground beef serves as our main source of protein here. You’ll need 2 pounds here. If you are vegetarian, vegan, or just want to have a meat-free meal, feel free to add more beans in place of the ground beef.
- Taco Seasoning – we actually used 3 tablespoons of our homemade taco seasoning here, but feel free to use a store-bought taco blend if you already have it on hand. If you prefer a bold flavor with a little kick of spice, use 3 tablespoons, and if you prefer a more mild flavor, use 2!
- Salsa – to add some extra flavor, we also used a 16-ounce jar of mild salsa.
- Diced Tomatoes – 2 cans of diced tomatoes (with their juices!) add a ton of flavor to the soup.
- Canned Beans – we used 2 drained and rinsed cans each of pinto and black beans here. Feel free to use all black or all pinto beans if that’s what you have on hand, though!
- Canned Corn – to jazz up the taco soup even more, we also added 2 cans of rinsed corn.
- Broth (Chicken or Veggie) – you’ll also want to grab 2 cups (16 fluid ounces) of chicken or veggie broth.
This is the really fun part! Feel free to add ANY garnish that you love on your tacos. Here’s what we used:
- Shredded Cheese
- Crushed Tortilla Chips
How To Make Taco Soup
The process is easy, y’all! Here’s how you’ll bring this meal together:
- Saute the onions and garlic. Start by adding the olive oil to the soup pot over medium-high heat followed by the diced onions and minced garlic. Saute until the onions are translucent.
- Add the ground beef. Add the ground beef to the pot with the sauteed onions and garlic. Break up and brown the ground beef until fully cooked.
- Add the rest of the ingredients. Once the ground beef is cooked through, add the rest of the ingredients to the soup pot and stir everything together.
- Let simmer. Let the soup simmer for about 20 minutes, until all of the ingredients combine and the soup is heated through.
- Garnish and enjoy!
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Taco Soup Frequently Asked Questions
This soup really doesn’t need to be thickened! We really balanced the amount of dry and wet ingredients so that the soup has a really perfect consistency.
This soup actually isn’t too spicy, but if it still has more of a kick than you would like, omit the jar of salsa, add 2 more cups of broth, and try to find a more mild taco seasoning (or make your own so that you can control the amount of spice that goes into it).
This soup is really wonderfully balanced, so you really don’t *need* to serve anything alongside it. If you want to, though, a side of guacamole and tortilla chips would be really yummy, as would a simple side salad.
That really depends on the exact ingredients you’re using. For this recipe, we used 85-15 ground beef and topped our soup with cilantro, sour cream, shredded cheese, and crushed tortilla chips, and it comes in at about 758 calories per bowl.
Because this soup is packed with fiber, protein, and veggies, we definitely consider it a healthy dinner option. If you’d like to lighten it up further, use ground beef with a lower fat percentage, or swap the ground beef for ground turkey!
If you’d like to make this taco soup in your slow cooker, you’ll simply need to brown the ground beef on your stovetop first, transfer it to the slow cooker, add the other ingredients, and set the slow cooker to cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-4 hours. Because the meat goes in already cooked, the slow cooker cooking time is a little bit less than typical.
In order to make this soup in the Instant Pot, you’ll need to start by browning your beef. You can do this in a pan on the stovetop, or using the “saute” function on your Instant Pot. Once the beef is browned and in the Instant Pot, add the rest of the ingredients, secure the lid on the Instant Pot, and set everything to cook on high pressure for 7 minutes. Once the time is up, go ahead and release the pressure manually, open, garnish and top, and enjoy!
It can! Taco soup freezes REALLY well actually. We recommend freezing your taco soup in individually portioned containers so that you can pull out and reheat only the amount you’ll need. To reheat, simply let the soup thaw enough to get it out of the container, and then heat it in a pot on the stovetop until warmed through.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 pounds ground beef – I used 85/15
- 3 tablespoons taco seasoning – store-bought or homemade
- 16 ounces mild red salsa
- 2, 14.5 ounce cans diced tomatoes with juice
- 1, 15.5 ounce can black beans drained and rinsed
- 1, 15.5 ounce can pinto beans drained and rinsed
- 2, 15 ounce cans corn drained and rinsed
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- Shredded cheddar cheese for garnish
- Crushed tortilla chips for garnish
- Cilantro for garnish
- Lime wedges for garnish
- Add the olive oil to a large pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the diced onions and minced garlic. Saute for 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent.
- Add the ground beef to the pot with the sauteed onions and garlic. Break up and brown the ground beef and cook for 7-10 minutes, until the beef is browned and no pink remains.
- Once the ground beef is cooked through, add the taco seasoning, salsa, diced tomatoes, beans, corn, and broth to the soup pot and stir everything together.
- Turn the heat to medium-low and let the soup simmer for about 20 minutes, until all of the ingredients combine and the soup is heated through.
- Spoon the soup into bowls, then garnish with cheese, crushed tortilla chips, cilantro, and lime wedges and enjoy!
Cathleen Pierce says
How many does this serve, please?
Brandi Schilhab says
6! I’ll add that in there, Cathleen – so sorry about that!
elise cushman says
We love this at my house. Kid approved! This soup is in my meal rotation and asked for.
Brandi Schilhab says
Wahoo! So glad to hear that, Elise! Thanks for sharing this with us.
Made this recipe but cut the onion, corn, and beans down by half and added a full box of chicken stock. Delicious!
Brandi Schilhab says
YUM! Thanks for sharing, Brook!
Emily B. says
Delicious and easy! The kids devoured it!
Melissa Guevara says
We’re so glad to hear this recipe was a hit, Emily! Thank you for taking the time to share with us. -Team FF
In the beginning you mention bell peppers but it’s not in the recipe. Do you normally add one bell pepper too? Thanks!
Brandi Schilhab says
We don’t, Liz! I actually have no idea how bell peppers made their way into this article. Apologies for the confusion!