Taco Soup

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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!

A bowl of taco soup topped with avocado chunks, shredded cheese and sour cream with tortilla chips.

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!
Ingredients measured out to make taco soup: ground turkey, salt pepper, onion, rotel tomatoes, pinto beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, garlic, black beans, cilantro, corn, olive oil, taco seasoning, lime, bell pepper, jalapeño and broth.

Ingredients Needed

  • 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.
Collage of five photos showing how to make taco soup.

How to Make

On the stove

  1. 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.
  2. 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. 
  3. 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. 
  4. Portion soup into bowls and top them off with shredded cheese, avocado, tortilla chips, cilantro and sour cream if desired.

In the slow cooker

  1. 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. 
  2. 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.
  3. Stir in lime juice and cilantro. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Serve warm and add your favorite toppings.
A pot of taco soup with a wooden spoon.

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.
A bowl with a bite of taco soup hovering over a bowl of soup.

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:

A wooden spoon ladling out a serving of taco soup from a pot.

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. 

A bowl of taco soup topped with avocado chunks, shredded cheese and sour cream with tortilla chips.

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

Be sure to check out all my soup recipes here on EBF!

5 from 12 votes

Taco Soup

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.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients  

  • 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

Instructions 

Stove Top

  • 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.
    Sautéing garlic and onion in a pot.
  • 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.
    Cooked and seasoning ground turkey in a pot with garlic and onion.
  • 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.
    Soup ingredients added to pot.
  • 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.
    Taco soup simmering in pot.
  • Portion soup into bowls, top each bowl with shredded cheese, avocado, tortilla chips, cilantro and sour cream.

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 turkey and cook until browned, while breaking the turkey into crumbles as it cooks with a wooden spoon, about 8 minutes. 
  • Add all of the ingredients (except for the lime juice and cilantro), including the cooked turkey, onions and garlic to your slow cooker 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 salt and pepper if needed. Serve warm and add your favorite toppings.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/6 recipe | Calories: 421kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 966mg | Potassium: 870mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 13g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Lunch/Dinner, Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: taco soup
Did you make this recipe?Mention @eatingbirdfood and tag #eatingbirdfood!

About Brittany

Hey there, I’m Brittany, the creator of Eating Bird Food, cookbook author, health coach and mama of two littles. Here you’ll find quick and easy recipes that make healthy fun and enjoyable for you and your family!

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Recipe Rating




14 Comments

    1. Ah! That is such a great substitution, Kendra. I am so happy that this recipe was a hit! Thank you so much for your review & star rating, I so appreciate it!

  1. 5 stars
    I agree with your Instagram post that is a must-make! It’s easy to put together and has a great flavor! I used the taco seasoning recipe on your website to add to it. I also added extra beans instead of adding meat to make it vegetarian. I will be making this again!!

    1. WOO! I am so excited that you are loving this recipe and that you were able to successfully make it vegetarian, Tanya. Thank you so much for sharing your review + star rating, I so appreciate it!

  2. 5 stars
    This recipe was a huge hit in my household, We like our soups thicker rather than brothy, so I used 2 c. of veg broth. I used your recipe for the taco seasoning, and 1 whole jalepeno without the seeds. Awesome recipe and will definitely be making this soup again. Thanks!

    1. YUM! I am so happy that this recipe was a hit, Linda. Thanks you so much for your review + star rating, I really appreciate it!

    1. Yum! I am so happy that you enjoyed this recipe, Deb. Thank you so much for sharing your review + star rating, I really appreciate you being here!

  3. Made this tonight and it was a hit! Added in zucchini just because I had it on hand. Will definitely make again! Thanks!!

    1. AH YUM! Adding zucchini is SUCH a great addition! Thank you for sharing, I am so happy you enjoyed this recipe, thank you for sharing your review + star rating, I so appreciate it!

  4. 5 stars
    Made this tonight and it was sooooo yummy. I’m in Australia and couldn’t find the ‘rotel tomatoes with green chiles’ so just used a can of tomatoes with chillie. I was also worried about the tomato sauce (as lots of sugar & wasn’t sure we were talking the same thing. I got the most ‘natural’ tomato sauce I could find, and it was great). W

    1. YAY! Welcome from Australia, I am so happy you’re here. I am excited to hear this recipe turned out great. Thank you so much for coming back and leaving your review + star rating, I really appreciate it.

  5. 5 stars
    This was such a hit with my husband (who is very picky!) and my 3-year-old! Will definitely be adding it to the rotation. Very flavorful and easy to throw together for a quick weeknight meal.

    1. Amazing! I am so glad to hear that this recipe is a hit for the whole family, Kelsey! Thank you for coming back and sharing your review + star rating, it means so much to me!