Taco Soup

Warm and filling with a bit of spice, taco soup will take you to your happy place.

Taco Soup

When faced with the unending question of “What am I going to make for dinner?”, tried and true family-style recipes win out nearly every time. At least they do at my house.

How often do you ask yourself, “What am I going to make for dinner?” and the answer is, “Oh, I know! I’ll make something complicated with ingredients that I’m pretty sure I don’t have on hand and that I would likely only eat in a restaurant.”

Practically never, right?

For me, whenever the dinner question needs an immediate answer, my favorite go-to recipes usually either center on simple Mexican or Italian. That usually equates to tacos or spaghetti.

Taco Soup

In winter, I often gravitate towards thoughts of soup. I think that you’ll agree that soups are simply the best of wintertime meals. Again, Mexican to the rescue.

I have three—count them—three different recipes on this blog for Mexican-style chicken soups, but no recipes involving beef. There is Chicken Tortilla Soup, Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup and Easy Mexican Chicken Soup. Do you see any beef in any of those titles?


That’s easy enough to remedy. Welcome, taco soup! Family dining at its best.

Taco Soup

Taco soup is the antithesis of real life—simple, uncomplicated and patient. Once cooked, it will happily hang out in the pot waiting on you and your family to gather around the dinner table. It can also be assembled early in the day and then transferred to a slow cooker and kept warm for whenever the family gathers…or filters in by onesies and twosies.

This recipe seemingly comes with a long list of ingredients. There are reasons for this:

  1. The listed ingredients provide maximum flavor—very important.
  2. It is soup. Soup frequently has a bit longer list of ingredients because of the herbs and the spices and all of the mix and match additions. If you want to skip the spices that I have so graciously listed for you, they can be substituted with a packet of taco seasoning mix. Pick your favorite; I don’t have any suggestions.
  3. Soup is the food equivalent of a warm, beloved quilt in winter and quilts are made up of lots of pieces all sewn together with luuuuuv.
  4. Taco soup can be dressed up or down with various toppings. Choose what you like or skip the toppings and get down to some serious eating.


Taco Soup

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 65 minutes | Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes | Yield: 6 quarts–twelve 2-cup servings

Warm and filling with lots of Mexican-style flavors, taco soup is like having a fiesta in your mouth. Because you are in charge of the spices, you get to control the heat level!


For the Soup:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1-2 tablespoons chili powder, per taste preference
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • ½ teaspoon chipotle chile powder or 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional—see notes)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 large onion, medium dice
  • 2 poblano chiles, medium dice
  • 2 carrots, shredded or finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups frozen corn or 1 (15 ounce) can corn
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 tomato sauce can full of water

Toppings (optional)

  • Cheese (suggestions: crumbled cotija; shredded Monterrey Jack, pepper jack, cheddar or Colby-jack)
  • Pico de gallo
  • Guacamole
  • Sour cream
  • Crushed tortilla chips or tortilla strips
  • Cilantro


  1. In a large stock pot, over medium high heat, break up the ground beef well and cook for about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the chili powder, Mexican oregano, cumin, granulated garlic, granulated onion, chipotle chile powder or smoked paprika (if using), salt and pepper. Lower heat to medium; cook and stir for 1 minute until spices and herbs are well mixed into the beef.
  3. Add the onion, pepper, carrots and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently until the onion is translucent.
  4. Add the remaining soup ingredients. Bring to a boil, cover pot, reduce heat to medium low and simmer soup for 45 minutes.
  5. Serve as desired, with or without suggested toppings.


  • The spices may be replaced by 1 package of taco seasoning mix.
  • The chipotle chile powder provides heat and a smoky flavor. The smoked paprika provides a smoky flavor without the added heat. Both are optional.
  • The black and pinto beans may be replaced by 1 (28 ounce) can mild or hot chile beans (do NOT rinse and drain).

Recipe by Terri @ that’s some good cookin’

Taco Soup

You may also like:

Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup
Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup
Minestrone Soup
Minestrone Soup
New England-style Clam Chowder
New England-style Clam Chowder



    • says

      Hmmm…where I have heard that question before? Where was that? Oh yes. Now I remember. I asked you the very same question and your answer was something to the effect that I should move to VA. I’m guessing that answer still applies. Right? Sigh.

      However, after deep consideration, it could be a possibility under certain conditions: 1) the guarantee of health, wealth and overall prosperity; 2) gainful employment for the following–my husband, me, my adult children and my son in-law; 3) a house (next door to you, of course); 4) great schools for the grandkadiddles + good friends; 5) a housewarming gift in the form of smoked Boston butt roast, oven roasted Brussels sprouts, buttermilk biscuits, and banana cake with vanilla bean frosting. I believe that you are very familiar with the recipes for all of the requested foods. 🙂

  1. Rie says

    Funny, while leaving for work today, and seriously freezing my hind end off walking to the car (It was 1 degree, not counting the wind chill factor), I was thinking about soup today too. I was even thinking of Mexican chicken soup, but then I really wanted Italian wedding. Good thing I am making home made chicken stock this weekend.

    • says

      Clearly we were thinking along the same lines. I was actually considering doing a post on Italian wedding soup, but decided to save it until the first of next month. Sorry it is so cold where you live. Temps like that suck the breath right out of a person.

  2. says

    We are having below freezing temperatures here… soup is definitely on the menu. I love the hearty look of this taco soup. 🙂 Hope you’re keeping warm. 🙂

    • says

      I’m sorry that you are having such miserable weather. Eat soup, keep warm! Normally we are in the throws of below freezing weather here in the Salt Lake area, too, but the past two winters have been very mild. I’m actually missing the snow!

  3. says

    Soup—that’s what it’s all about in the wintertime, huh? Well, your taco soup looks absolutely delicious—photos are grand and really makes me hungry! It’s quite a bit like my tortilla soup, yet…different, so I’ll have to give it a whirl. Thanks!
    By the way, have a great website!

    • says

      Well, soup–and bread. That’s pretty much it. Otherwise, hunker down and wait for Spring…or June. Whichever comes first. It’s tricky in northern Utah. 😉

      Thanks for the compliment. I recently visited your website as well and love that you get to blog with your daughters and daughters’ in-law. How wonderful for you! ~Terri

  4. Dalila G. says

    I am a big time soup person, LOVE my soups!
    This is a new one for me, where have I been ??!! LOL!
    I will definitely be making this soup this weekend.
    I am lucky enough to have most of the ingredients in my pantry, yay me. 🙂
    By the way, love the reference ~ “3.Soup is the food equivalent of a warm, beloved quilt in winter and quilts are made up of lots of pieces all sewn together with luuuuuv.”…..sooo true!

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