Make this Easy Beef Taco Soup for a quick, healthy dinner for the whole family. This soup can be prepped in under 10 minutes. It's made with ground beef, onion, corn, tomatoes, and beans and is the perfect quick lunch or easy dinner! Top this soup with cheese, avocado or jalapeños.
When I sent out my annual rate or survey to find out what kind of recipes you all wanted, I got tons of responses asking for easy soup recipes.
Then taco soup was chosen from a few that I suggested making.
Easy beef taco soup recipe
Soup is the ultimate comfort food when it's a bit chilly outside, but truthfully I love this soup all year long.
It's a go-to for us when we need a quick, easy dinner that isn't going to skip out on flavor.
This soup requires just four ingredients, plus a spice blend that you can customize for a spicier soup!
With little ones in our house, I keep the soup mild and let the adults add extra spice, top it with a splash of green chiles or garnish it with fresh jalapeño slices.
Why is it called taco soup?
It's called taco soup because it contains all of the ingredients we love in tacos, only in soup form! Some people call taco soup "Mexican soup."
If you love beans, meat, tomato flavors and tons of optional toppings like cheese, guac and salsa, then you will love this soup.
If you are watching carb intake, this soup is a great one because you don't have to include any tortillas or taco shells. Chips are optional!
Tips for Making This Soup Family-Friendly
I've been making this taco soup since before my oldest son was even eating yet. Now that I've made it for the whole family including a toddler and an infant, I've figured out how to adjust the recipe to make it totally family-friendly.
Toppings make this recipe customizable for everyone, and that goes for the little ones too. I have lots of topping ideas below!
For our infant, I leave off most of the liquid and let him pick up the rest of the soup with his hands after it has cooled in the fridge.
For our toddler, he is able to feed himself with a spoon including the liquid after it has cooled off.
They both love avocado so I am sure to load up their serving with extra!
Beef taco soup ingredients
Here is what you'll need to grab from the store to make this easy soup recipe:
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 onion
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- chili powder
- cayenne pepper
- 2 cans diced tomatoes
- 1 can corn
- 1 can black beans
And then you'll want to stock up on your favorite garnishes as well. Totally optional!
For mine, I like shredded cheese, avocado, cilantro and crushed tortilla chips. I've got some more ideas for you below.
How to make Beef Taco Soup
Here's what you'll do to make this easy soup. It comes together in one pot, for super easy cleanup.
- Brown ground beef and onions together in a large pot . Drain grease if needed.
- Add in the cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder and cayenne pepper.
- Pour in the cans of diced tomatoes (with liquid), corn (drained), beans (drained) and water.
- Simmer the soup for 25-30 minutes.
- Garnish with cheese, avocado, jalapeño and cilantro, as desired. More ideas below!
- Serve and enjoy. Once cooled, store in airtight containers in the fridge.
How to Customize Easy Taco Soup
Make this easy 30-minute taco soup your own by making substitutions that fit your family's preferences.
Make it with poultry: You don't have to use beef in this recipe! You can easily make it with ground turkey, ground chicken or shredded chicken. Sometimes I will shred up leftover Pan-Seared Chicken Thighs to use in this soup.
Make it with pork: Feel free to use ground pork sausage to mix up this soup recipe. This Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Pulled Pork would be delicious too.
Make it vegetarian: You can use meatless crumbles in this recipe to make it vegetarian if you like. You can also extra beans instead of meat.
Toppings for taco soup
Taco soup is great on its own, but it is even better because of the toppings! I love dressing up this soup.
It's a good one for a party, too, because you can set up bowls of toppings and let guests choose how to customize their soup.
- Lime wedges
- Jalapeños, diced or sliced
- Tomatoes, cherry or diced
- Pico de gallo
- Sliced green onions
- Black olives
- Crushed tortilla chips
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Cotija cheese crumbles
- A dollop of sour cream
- Avocado slices or guacamole
- A spoonful of your favorite salsa
- Hot sauce
- Fresh cilantro leaves
- Rice or Mexican rice
What kind of beans do you put in taco soup?
I use black beans for this easy taco soup, but you could add a second variety or use a different kind completely. Kidney beans, navy beans or pinto beans would all be just fine.
How do you thicken taco soup?
If you would like a thicker soup, you can stir in one can of refried beans. It not only adds more protein, but it makes the broth thicker.
Cooking the soup longer will help to evaporate more of the broth and result in a thicker soup.
Is taco soup spicy?
The base of this soup is not spicy but you can always make it spicier. Use mild chili powder to keep the chili flavor strong without the spice.
Using spicy chili powder, cayenne pepper or a pinch of red pepper flakes will make the base of this soup spicier.
You can also add diced jalapeños, green chiles or a few dashes of hot sauce to the soup. If you love spice, you might consider a few of these options!
Make sure to serve it with sour cream and cheese. The dairy will help to quell the spiciness and yield balanced bites.
This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate links support A Joyfully Mad Kitchen at no additional cost to you. I receive a commission if you choose to make a purchase through these links.
Can you make beef taco soup in a slow cooker?
Yes! Simply brown the beef, drain grease and place in the slow cooker.
Pour spices directly on top then top with remaining ingredients, add only 2 cups of water instead of three. Cook on low for 4-6 hours.
How do you freeze soup?
To freeze soup, let the soup cool to room temperature. Then pour into a plastic freezer bag and lay flat to freeze.
You can also freeze in a glass storage container — using plastic will likely stain the container.
Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating, then warm on the stovetop or in the microwave.
What do you eat with taco soup?
The best part about soup is it really is a one-pan meal. It is enough to eat all by itself. I always serve some tortilla chips and Five Minute Blender Salsa.
However, you can serve smaller portions as a starter to a bigger meal. You can serve Chicken Enchilada Sliders, your favorite tacos or burritos.
And don't forget about the Orange Lime Margarita!
More easy soup recipes
As much as I may love cooking, these days I need meals that require 5-10 minutes of prep work and can pretty much cook themselves after that.
Soup is absolutely perfect for that kind of easy prep, dump-and-go kind of meal.
I also love this Quick and Easy Minestrone Soup and this Quick Loaded Baked Potato Soup for easy weeknight meals.
This Keto White Chicken Chili is perfect for nights when we want something on the healthy side.
Beef Taco Soup
Make this Easy Taco Soup for a quick, healthy dinner for the whole family. This soup can be prepped in under 10 minutes. It's made with beef, onion, corn, tomatoes, and beans and is the perfect quick lunch or easy dinner! Top this soup with cheese, avocado or jalapeños.
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 2 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes
- 1 15-ounce can corn, drained
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained
- shredded cheese, garnish, optional
- avocado, garnish, optional
- chopped cilantro, garnish, optional
- Cook ground beef and onion in a stock pot until browned. Drain grease if needed.
- Add in spice mixture (1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon onion powder, ½ teaspoon chili powder, 1 pinch cayenne pepper)
- Add in two cans diced tomatoes, a can of corn (liquid drained) and a can of black beans (liquid drained).
- Top with 3 cups of water.
- Cook on low to medium heat for 20 minutes.
- Ladle into individual soup bowls and garnish as desired.
To make this soup spicy:
- Add ½ teaspoon extra of chili powder and cayenne pepper
- Add a diced jalapeño (with seeds) into soup while cooking or garnish with diced jalapeño
- Add a spoonful of your favorite spicy salsa to soup.
To cook in a slow cooker, brown beef and onions, then add to slow cooker and top with remaining ingredients and only 2 cups of water (instead of 3).
To freeze soup, let cool completely, then pour into a ziplock bag and freeze flat. You can also freeze in a glass freezer container (the soup will stain plastic tupperware).
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 bowl
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 345Total Fat: 10.1gSaturated Fat: 3.7gCholesterol: 74.8mgSodium: 460mgCarbohydrates: 30.1gSugar: 8.5gProtein: 31.6g
For the canned items, what size cans ie. how many ounces?
Madison | A Joyfully Mad Kitchen says
15 ounce cans
Erin Parker says
We made this recipe tonight because it?s cold as all get out here in Dallas. We invited some friends, too. One of them is currently dairy AND soy free, and this worked for her. We topped ours with avocado slices.
This soup was exactly what we needed?so comforting and delicious for a chilly night. Perfect for everyone who was eating!
Elise Laney says
Oh yum. I love Mexican food and one-pot recipes are right up my alley.
Madison Wetherill says
Me too! I need more one-pot recipes in my life!
Scott Groth says
I've had fajita and tortilla soup, but never taco soup- looking forward to trying this soon. Also, I'm putting together a buzzfeed recipe roundup for Cinco de Mayo- may I add this recipe into the mix?
amy smith says
i've made a recipe very similar to this one! <3
it's so. dang. delicious!
Laura Jean Gilleland says
Oh Madison -- coming home with no meal options is my everyday lately haha! I am excited to add this to my go-to recipe collection!
Madison Wetherill says
I hope you guys like it! I love how easy it is 🙂
chelsea jacobs says
This sounds so delicious! I'm on a huge soup kick right now, so definitely going to try this.
Madison Wetherill says
Definitely do, especially before it gets too hot to think about soup!
Jenna @ A Savory Feast says
That is such a smart idea to freeze pre-diced onions! A lot of times I don't end up using the whole onion in a recipe and then it goes bad. This way I could save them and have them on hand for a future recipe. This soup sounds so yummy, too. I love those go-to meals!
Madison Wetherill says
I always run into that problem, either the onions go bad OR I run into timing issues having to chop the onion. The soup is super yummy, you should definitely try it!