This is my favorite taco soup recipe, loaded with seasoned meats, tomatoes, chilies, black beans, and all the fixings. It's thick and chunky, perfect for spicy food lovers with REAL taco flavor. Easy weeknight dinner!
Is it wrong to file this recipe under "Tacos"? I think not. We may not be wrapping tongue-pleasing deliciousness in a tortilla this time around, but what we ARE doing is taking all of those outstanding taco ingredients and turning it into a soup.
Oh baby! Yes. Taco soup. Allow me to say that again. Homemade Taco Soup! This is one of my favorite recipes, different from others, because we're really spicing things up, my friends.
Like most soups, this is a simple one-pot meal and quite easy to put together. Just let the whole thing simmer as long as you want. Let those flavors develop a bit. Let the whole house fill up with the smell of that simmering soup.
Drive everyone insane with anticipation.
See? One big pot filled with everything a taco wants, everything a taco needs.
Let's talk about how to make taco soup, shall we?
Taco Soup Ingredients
- Ground Beef. Or use ground turkey for a healthier, lower calorie option. Ground chicken or pork are great, too.
- Olive Oil. As needed
- Vegetables. Onion, jalapeno peppers, serrano peppers, bell pepper, (use red or orange for a nice color) (you can also use a can of diced green chilies), garlic, corn (frozen corn works great here).
- Taco Seasoning. Try my homemade taco seasoning recipe - it has a big chili focus.
- Tomatoes. Whole canned or diced tomatoes - I love fire roasted tomatoes, too.
- Tomato Sauce.
- Black Beans. Other options include pinto beans or kidney beans)
- Chicken Stock or Broth. Beef broth is good, too.
- Salt and Pepper. To taste.
- FOR SERVING/OPTIONAL/IDEAS
- Lime wedges, chopped green onions, chopped cilantro, jalapeno slices, lime wedges, tortilla chips, shredded cheese or crumbly white cheese, sour cream, avocado - anything you might put on a taco. Choose your favorites! Don't forget the hot sauce!
How to Make Taco Soup - the Recipe Method
First, heat a large pot to medium heat and add a couple tablespoons olive oil. A Dutch oven is great for this. Add ground beef or ground turkey along with onion and peppers. Cook about 8-10 minutes to brown the meat and soften the onion and peppers. I have made this recipe with ground beef, turkey, chicken and pork and love every single version. The choice is up to you.
Add the garlic and stir. Cook another minute or so, until you can smell that gorgeous garlic. It doesn't take long to cook garlic.
Add the taco seasoning and stir to incorporate. This helps to bloom all the spices in the seasoning.
Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, black beans, corn and chicken stock or chicken broth. Stir. Season with a bit of salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes. The flavors will develop more the longer you leave it. I usually like to simmer at least 30 minutes, but closer to 1 hour. It will smell so good in the house! It thickens up nicely as well. So thick and chunky!
Serve the taco soup into bowls and squeeze a bit of lime juice over the top, then swirl it in. Just a bit, about ¼ to ½ a lime.
Top with your desired remaining ingredients. We used some cilantro, green onions, jalapeno slices, tortilla chips, cheddar cheese and lime wedges. Today I used crumbly white cheese, spicy chili flakes, fresh chopped parsley and cilantro, and some serrano pepper slices for extra heat. So good!
Recipe Notes & Tips
- Lots of Seasonings. There is no one SECRET ingredient to making taco soup. The seasonings are highly important. You can use ground beef, ground turkey, chicken, even pork, though this time around I used ground turkey.
- Lots of Chili Peppers. It is extremely important that you DO include chili peppers, and not just because we're Chili Pepper Madness. Chili peppers carry in an outstanding layer of flavor, but also that zesty spiciness so many of us crave. I used both jalapeno peppers and serrano peppers to bring up the level of heat, but if that is too spicy for you, you can omit them. Or, just lose the serranos and up the jalapeno count. Bell peppers are good, too! I have some in there.
- Lots of Toppings. The soup alone is brimming with flavor, but half the fun is in the fixings. If I had an avocado in the house, I would have topped each bowl with some of it. Curse me for not having avocados! Still, some lime, jalapeno slices, chips and cheese will go a long way, but consider anything you'd put on a taco, like crema/sour cream, crumbly white cheese, extra hot sauce, you name it!
These flavors are the epitome of Chili Pepper Madness. Talk about perfect. This recipe is mouthwatering and truly is a taco in a bowl of soup. Amazing.
That's it, my friends! Such a quick and easy taco soup recipe! Taco night will never be the same. It's also super easy to make in a crock pot or slow cooker - Try my Crock Pot Taco Soup Recipe!
Try Some of My Other Popular Soup Recipes
- Loaded Stuffed Pepper Soup
- Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Roasted Poblano Soup
- Creamy Roasted Hatch Chile Soup
- 30-Minute Sweet Potato Soup
- Cheesy Guajillo-Potato Soup
- Sweet Pepper-Sweet Corn Chowder
- Spicy Sausage Soup
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.
My Favorite Taco Soup Recipe
- 1 pound ground beef use ground turkey for a healthier, lower calorie option
- Olive oil as needed
- 1 small onion chopped
- 2 jalapeno peppers chopped
- 2 serrano peppers chopped
- 1 bell pepper chopped (use red or orange for a nice color)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 cup corn frozen works great here
- 6 tablespoons taco seasoning Yes! I love the extra flavor, but you can dial it back to your preference
- 28 ounce can whole tomatoes
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 1 12- ounce can black beans
- 1 cup chicken stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Lime wedges
- Chopped green onions Chopped cilantro, Jalapeno slices, Lime wedges, Tortilla chips, Shredded cheddar cheese, Sour cream, avocado – anything you might put on a taco
- Heat a large pot to medium heat and add a couple tablespoons olive oil. Add ground beef or turkey along with onion and peppers. Cook about 8-10 minutes to brown the meat and soften the onion and peppers.
- Add garlic and stir. Cook another minute or so.
- Add taco seasoning and stir to incorporate.
- Add whole tomatoes, tomato sauce, black beans, corn and chicken stock. Stir. Season with salt and pepper.
- Bring to a quick boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 20-30 minutes. The flavors will develop more the longer you leave it. It will smell so good in the house!
- Serve into bowls and squeeze a bit of lime juice over the top, then swirl it in. Just a bit, about ¼ to ½ a lime.
- Top with your desired ingredients. We used some cilantro, green onions, jalapeno slices, tortilla chips, cheddar cheese and lime wedges. So good!
NOTE: This recipe was updated on 5/9/22 to include new photos and information. It was originally published on 1/15/16.