Taco Soup Slow Cooker Recipe
This Crockpot Taco Soup recipe has layers of flavor, and isn’t just one-note like many other slow cooker recipes. Includes variations for large batch, small batch, freezing and stovetop.
There used to be a restaurant chain here in the Midwest called Max & Erma’s that had delicious chicken tortilla soup. It was creamy, lightly spicy and so comforting on a cold day.
Sadly, I think the chain mostly went out of business a few years ago, and the only one still around is at the airport, I think.
This Crockpot Taco Soup is inspired by, but quite a bit different than that restaurant soup. My version is a little lighter (less creamy) and uses ground beef instead of chicken.
Unlike many other crock pot soup recipes out there, this one doesn’t just have a dull, one-note flavor. Deeply browned ground beef, tomatoes, two types of beans, green chiles and lots of seasoning give this soup layers of comforting flavor.
Why you will love this Crockpot Taco Soup
- Full of fiber! If you’re like me, and always looking for delicious ways to get more fiber into your diet, this soup with two different kinds of bean is a no-brainer.
- Comfort in every bite. The perfectly browned ground beef and rich broth makes this soup a go-to for nights where you need something cozy.
- Tailor to your liking. Especially with the toppings! Put out things like onion, cilantro, lime wedges, sour cream, shredded cheese and tortilla chips, and let each person make the bowl of their dreams.
Taco Soup Recipe Crock Pot Ingredients
- ground beef – this is the meaty element of the soup, adding protein and texture. You could also use ground chicken or ground turkey.
- onion – chopped yellow onion serves as an aromatic base for this soup.
- canned diced tomatoes (and their liquid) – these add vibrant, tangy tomato flavor to the soup liquid.
- black beans (and their liquid) – adds fiber and protein and makes the soup more filling.
- pinto beans (and their liquid) – similar to black beans, but they bring their own distinct flavor and texture to this soup.
- beef broth – this provides most of the liquid base for the soup. I like to use a less-sodium kind since there is quite a bit of sodium in taco seasoning.
- tomato sauce – this concentrated tomato product helps thicken the soup.
- green chiles (and their liquid) – this bring a mild heat to this dish.
- corn -either frozen or canned corn will work here to add a touch of sweetness and vibrant color.
- taco seasoning mix – this is a convenient blend of various spices such as chili powder, cumin and cayenne for seasoning the soup with classic taco flavor. Store bought is great, or you can make homemade taco seasoning.
How to make Taco Soup in Slow Cooker
- BROWN. If you have a slow cooker with a stovetop-safe insert, you can use it to brown the beef for this recipe. If not, just use a large skillet. Cook the beef and onion on the stove until the beef is browned.
- ADD. Add the diced tomatoes, black beans, pinto beans, broth, tomato sauce, green chiles, corn, water and taco seasoning mix to the bowl of your slow cooker. Then, drain the excess fat from the beef and stir in the beef.
- COOK. Cover the slow cooker and cook.
- SERVE. Serve the soup topped with onion, cilantro, lime wedges, cheese, sour cream and/or tortilla chips.
How long to cook Taco Soup in Crock Pot
Cook taco soup in the crock pot for either 8 hours on low heat, or 4 hours on high heat.
Making this Taco Soup Crock Pot Recipe on the Stove
If you’d like to make this soup on the stove instead of a slow cooker, you can! Simply brown the beef and onion in a 5 quart or larger pot. Drain the excess fat from the meat, then stir in the remaining soup ingredients.
Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 30 minutes to let all of the flavors come together.
Taco Soup Slow Cooker Small Batch Option
If 12 cups of taco soup crock pot is way too much for you, I get it. I’m not a fan of having a half a can of beans left over, so I would adapt the recipe to use black beans OR pinto beans, not both.
I would also use all broth and omit the water, in order to use the entire can of broth.
To make 6 cups of soup (4 servings), please use the following ingredient amounts:
- 1/4 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1/2 pound ground beef
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes with liquid
- 1 can (15.5 ounces) black beans OR pinto beans, with liquid
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) less sodium beef broth
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 1/2 to 1 can (4.5 ounces) chopped green chiles with liquid
- 1/2 cup frozen or canned corn
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning mix
Home Chef Tips for Taco Soup in Slow Cooker
- When cooking the beef, take the time to get it nice and brown. This is going to enhance the overall depth of flavor of the soup so much!
- Opt for a high-quality, low-sodium beef broth. This allows you to control the salt content (because canned beans can be salty, too), which ensures a rich flavor.
What to serve with Crockpot Taco Soup
No side dishes are really needed – this is a meal in a bowl! However, the toppings might be my favorite part of this soup.
I like to top my taco soup with sour cream, shredded cheese, crushed tortilla chips, chopped red onion, fresh cilantro and lime wedges for squeezing over.
Other ideas would be shredded lettuce, chopped fresh tomatoes and diced avocado.
How to store Crockpot Taco Soup Recipe
Can Taco Soup be frozen?
So, not gonna lie – the taco soup crock pot recipe below makes a LARGE batch of soup. It makes 12 cups (3 quarts!). I wasn’t originally planning to make this much, but once I dumped all of the cans in, that’s how much it ended up making.
Now, I don’t like to make recipes using half of a can of black beans (seriously, what am I going to do with the other half a can?), so personally, I would make the entire batch of this soup and then freeze at least half of it for future meals.
Wait for the soup to cool and then transfer to gallon freezer bags or other freezer-safe containers. Transfer to freezer and freeze up to 3 months.
How long is Taco Soup good for?
When stored properly in an airtight container, taco soup will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. Or, freeze it for up to 3 months.
How long to reheat Taco Soup?
If necessary, thaw frozen soup in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
Reheat on the stove over medium heat, stirring frequently. Depending on the amount you are reheating, this should take about 8 to 10 minutes.
Or, reheat in the microwave on high power for about 3 to 5 minutes until hot, stirring every minute.
Taco Soup Slow Cooker FAQs
Usually this is due to insufficient cooking time. Crockpot taco soup needs either 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low to allow the flavors to meld together and the liquid to reduce. If you don’t simmer the soup for long enough, it might be more watery than desired.
- 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes with liquid
- 1 can (15.5 ounces) black beans with liquid
- 1 can (15.5 ounces) pinto beans with liquid
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) less sodium beef broth
- 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
- 1 can (4.5 ounces) chopped green chiles with liquid
- 1 cup frozen or canned corn
- 1 cup water
- 1 (1 ounce) packet taco seasoning mix (2 tablespoons)
- Chopped red onion
- Lime wedges
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Sour cream
- Tortilla chips
- Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and beef; cook 8 to 10 minutes or until beef is browned, breaking up meat with side of spoon and stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, add diced tomatoes, black beans, pinto beans, broth, tomato sauce, green chiles, corn, water and taco seasoning mix to bowl of 5-quart slow cooker.
- Drain excess fat from beef mixture and transfer beef mixture to slow cooker; stir well. Cover and cook on high 4 hours or low 8 hours.
- Serve soup topped with onion, cilantro, lime wedges, cheese, sour cream and/or tortilla chips.
For stovetop directions, freezing instructions, and an ingredient list to make a half batch, please see post above.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1.5 cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 235Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 507mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 3gSugar: 7gProtein: 19g
Nutrition information includes soup only (not toppings).