Published Oct 14, 2022, Updated Jul 24, 2023
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This easy taco soup recipe combines all your favorite taco ingredients in one pot – ground turkey, beans, corn, tomatoes and taco seasoning. It’s packed with flavor and a hint of spice and is perfect for meal prep.
I love anything that has to do with tacos! I have a taco salad, spaghetti squash taco bake and many different taco recipes on the blog, including these cauliflower tacos. That said, since soup season is officially here I figured it would be fun to create a taco soup recipe! And if I do say so myself, this soup doesn’t disappoint. It has all the flavors of traditional tacos but in soup form. Plus, it’s made in one pot, which means fewer dishes to clean than if you were to make regular tacos. Yes please!
Why You’ll Love This Soup
- It’s hearty and packed with a ton of flavor!
- It’s a one-pot meal that can be made in the slow cooker or on the stovetop!
- Enjoy the flavors of tacos in soup form!
- olive oil – to sauté the vegetables and ground meat in for the stovetop method. Avocado oil works as well.
- onion & garlic – helps create a flavorful base for the soup.
- ground chicken or turkey – the main source of protein in this soup! I prefer to use ground turkey or ground chicken for this soup, but ground beef will also work.
- taco seasoning – can’t have taco soup without taco seasoning! Taco seasoning is usually a blend of chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, oregano, red pepper flakes (or cayenne pepper), salt, pepper and sometimes a touch of sugar. You can use your favorite store-bought brand or make homemade taco seasoning. If you’re going the store-bought route, my favorite brand is the Siete mild taco seasoning as it’s made with minimal ingredients.
- red bell pepper – adds a slightly sweet flavor to this soup. Any color bell pepper will work.
- jalapeño – I used half of a de-seeded pepper, but feel free to add a full one with seeds if you want extra spice.
- beans – one 15 oz can of pinto beans, and one 15 oz can of black beans are what we’re using for this recipe but feel free to use your favorite type of beans. Kidney beans or chili beans would be great alternatives.
- tomato sauce – adds a creaminess to the base of the soup and of course a rich tomato flavor!
- tomatoes – we’re using one 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes and one 10 oz can of diced tomatoes with green chilis.
- broth – chicken or vegetable broth are great options. I recommend using low sodium so you can control the saltiness of the soup. If you like a thicker soup, I recommend starting with 2 cups of broth while adding more as desired.
- lime – a touch of acidity to balance out the flavors.
- cilantro – adds a fresh addition to the soup. Be sure to save some for extra toppings as well!
- salt & pepper – brings all the flavors together.
- toppings of choice – feel free to use your favorite taco toppings for this soup! My go-to toppings are shredded Mexican cheese, avocado, tortilla chips, cilantro and sour cream.
How to Make
On the stove
- Begin by heating oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook onion until tender and translucent, then add garlic and cook for an extra 1-2 minutes.
- Add in your ground turkey or chicken and cook until browned, about 5-7 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to break up the meat while cooking. Add the taco seasoning and cook for an additional minute.
- Add in the remaining ingredients, mix well and bring the broth mixture to a boil. Once bubbling, reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. At this point the veggies should be cooked through. Reduce heat to low, stir in lime juice and cilantro, taste and season accordingly with additional salt and pepper.
- Portion soup into bowls and top them off with shredded cheese, avocado, tortilla chips, cilantro and sour cream if desired.
In the slow cooker
- Begin by heating oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, stir and cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until tender and fragrant. Add ground beef and cook until browned while breaking the beef into crumbles as it cooks with a wooden spoon, about 8 minutes.
- Add all your ingredients (except for the lime juice and cilantro), including the cooked turkey, onions and garlic to your slow cooker/crock pot and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 7-8 hours until veggies are cooked and tender.
- Stir in lime juice and cilantro. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Serve warm and add your favorite toppings.
Taco Soup Variations
- Vegan – Ditch the meat and add an extra can of beans or lentils instead to make this a vegan taco soup!
- Add rice – Make this soup heartier by adding a cup or two of brown, white or cauliflower rice. You can stir frozen or fresh cauliflower rice or cooked white/brown rice directly to the soup once it’s done cooking and warming in the slow cooker. Stir and let warm until soup is warm throughout.
- Spice – The spice level of this soup will depend on what taco seasoning you use and how hot your jalapeño is, but if you wish to add more spice you could chop up a whole jalapeño with the seeds inside or if you want to go the extra mile you could add a serrano pepper as well. On the other hand if you don’t want it spicy at all then simply skip the jalapeño, make sure you’re using a mild taco seasoning and use more plain diced tomatoes instead of the can with green chilies.
How to Serve
I recommend topping this soup with shredded cheese, cilantro, sour cream, avocado and tortilla chips but you can top it with anything you’d like! It’s a filling meal on its own, but if you want to pair it with some sides here are some suggestions:
- Chips & guac: a side of guacamole with your favorite tortilla chips (my two favorite tortilla chip brands are Late July organic chia & quinoa chips and Zack’s Mighty, which are organic).
- Side salad: garlicky kale salad or avocado salad.
- Bread: vegan cornbread or sourdough bread.
- Quesadilla: a corn or flour tortilla with melted cheese to dip in the taco soup would be delicious!
How to Thicken Taco Soup
This taco soup is primarily broth-based, so it doesn’t get super thick. If you like a thicker soup you can add a third can of beans, but mashed up. This is a great trick for thickening up any broth-based soup! Another option is to add some flour or cornstarch. The best way to go about this is by placing the flour in a separate bowl, adding some broth to the bowl, mixing together, and then pouring it in your soup at a low temperature. If you add the flour or cornstarch directly to the soup it may cause unwanted clumps.
How to Store Leftovers
This soup is perfect for meal prep! I love making a batch on the weekend so I have lunch or dinner ready to go for the week. For storing, allow the soup to cool and then carefully transfer to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You could also freeze for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container.
More Soup Recipes to Try
- Chicken Enchilada Soup
- Chicken Wild Rice Soup
- Mexican Sweet Potato Chicken Soup
- White Bean Chicken Chili
- Chicken Fajita Soup
- Vegetable Soup
- Butternut Squash and Turkey Chili
- Vegetarian Chili
- Classic Minestrone Soup
- No-Bean Chili (Beef Chili)
- Chicken Tortilla Soup
Be sure to check out all my soup recipes here on EBF!
- ½ Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb ground turkey or chicken
- 2 Tablespoons taco seasoning
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- ½ jalapeño pepper, de-seeded and chopped
- 1 15 oz can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 ½ cups frozen corn, or 15 oz can of corn
- 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
- 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 10 oz can rotel tomatoes with green chiles
- 2-3 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
- juice of 1 lime
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro, plus more for topping
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Toppings: shredded Mexican cheese, avocado, tortilla chips, cilantro and sour cream
- Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often until tender and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 1-2 more minutes.
- Add ground turkey or chicken and cook until browned, about 5-7 minutes. Use a wooden spoon or meat masher to break up the meat while cooking.
- Add taco seasoning and cook for an additional minute. Add bell pepper, jalapeno, pinto beans, black beans, corn, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, rotel tomatoes and broth to the pot. Stir to combine.
- Bring mixture to a boil. Once bubbling, reduce heat to medium and simmer the soup uncovered for about 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. At this point the veggies should be cooked through. Reduce heat to low, stir in cilantro and lime juice, taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
- Portion soup into bowls, top each bowl with shredded cheese, avocado, tortilla chips, cilantro and sour cream.
- Begin by heating oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, stir and cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until tender and fragrant. Add ground turkey and cook until browned, while breaking the turkey into crumbles as it cooks with a wooden spoon, about 8 minutes.
- Stir in lime juice and cilantro. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed. Serve warm and add your favorite toppings.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.