How to Make Taco Soup

Three Parts:Preparing the Ground BeefPulling the Soup TogetherFinishing the Soup

Tacos can definitely be delicious, but they're often messy to eat. Imagine combining all the tasty flavors of a taco in a warm, hearty soup that's mess-free to eat. Made popular in Texas and the southwestern U.S., taco soup is a perfect meal for a cold day when you something a little spicy to warm you up. Best of all, you can prepare the soup quickly and easily even if you're not an expert cook.


  • 2 pounds (approximately 907 g) ground beef
  • 2 cups (approximately 473 g) onion, diced
  • 1 cup (approximately 237 g) green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup (approximately 237 g) red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 packet (approximately 1 ¼ oz. or approximately 35 g) taco seasoning
  • 1 16-ounce (approximately 454 g) can mild chili beans
  • 1 15-ounce (approximately 425 g) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-ounce (approximately 425 g) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 4-ounce (approximately 113) can diced green chilies
  • 1 14.5-ounce (approximately 411 g) can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 14.5-ounce (approximately 411 g) can diced tomato with green chilies
  • 1 packet (approximately 1 ¼ oz. or approximately 35 g) ranch salad dressing mix
  • Shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips, corn chips, chopped green onion, diced jalapenos, and other desired toppings for garnish

Part 1
Preparing the Ground Beef

  1. 1
    Brown the ground beef. Place 2 pounds (approximately 907 g) of ground beef in a large skillet on the stove, and brown it on medium-high heat. Use a wooden spoon to break up the meat into pieces that are equal in size so they’ll cook evenly. Cook for approximately 10 to 15 minutes to ensure that all of the meat is brown, with no traces of pink.[1]
    • Make sure that your skillet is large enough to hold 2 pounds of meat. If the ground beef is crowded in the pan, it may not cook evenly.
    • You can substitute ground turkey for the beef if you prefer.
  2. Image titled Make Taco Soup Step 1 preview
    Add the onion and peppers to saute. Once the beef is browned, mix in 2 cups (approximately 473 g) of diced onion, 1 cup (approximately 237 g) of diced green bell pepper, and 1 cup (approximately 237 g) of diced red bell pepper. Keep the skillet on medium-high heat, and saute the mixture for 3 to 5 minutes or until the onion and peppers become tender.[2]
    • Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon periodically to ensure that the vegetables cook evenly and don’t stick to the pan.
  3. 3
    Stir in the taco seasoning. When the beef, onion, and pepper mixture has sauted for several minutes, mix a packet (approximately 1 ¼ oz. or approximately 35 g) of taco seasoning into the skillet. Make sure to stir the contents well so the seasoning is fully incorporated into the beef mixture.[3]
    • If you prefer to use homemade taco seasoning, spoon in approximately 2-3 tablespoons (30-35 g), depending on how spicy you want your soup, in place of the packet.

Part 2
Pulling the Soup Together

  1. 1
    Transfer the meat mixture to a pot. Once the taco seasoning is completely mixed into the ground beef, onion, and peppers, transfer the mixture to a large stock pot or dutch oven and set at medium heat.[4]
    • Make sure the pot is large enough to not only hold the ground beef and vegetables, but the other ingredients that you’re going to add. It should hold at least 3.5 quarts (approximately 3.3 L).
    • If you prefer, you can cook your taco soup in a large slow cooker instead of on the stove.
  2. 2
    Add the beans, corn, and green chilies. After you place the ground beef mixture in a pot, stir in 1 16-ounce (approximately 454 g) can of mild chili beans, 1 15-ounce (approximately 425 g) can of pinto beans that have been drained and rinsed, and 1 15-ounce (approximately 425 g) can of whole kernel corn that’s been drained, and 1 4-ounce (approximately 113) can of diced green chilies. Stir well to combine the ingredients.[5]
    • You can also add olives to the pot. Try mixing in ½ cup (approximately 118 g) green olives and/or 1 4.5-ounce (approximately 128 g) can of black olives that have been drained and sliced.
  3. 3
    Mix in the tomatoes and ranch dressing. The soup really starts to come together when you add the tomatoes. Stir in 1 14.5-ounce (approximately 411 g) can of stewed tomatoes and 1 14.5-ounce (approximately 411 g) can of diced tomato with green chilies. Once the tomatoes are incorporated, add 1 packet of ranch salad dressing mix and stir well.[6]
    • If you want your soup to have a thinner consistency, you can substitute 1 15-ounce (approximately 425 g) can of tomato sauce for the stewed tomatoes.

Part 3
Finishing the Soup

  1. 1
    Bring the soup to a boil. Once all of your ingredients are combined in the pot, turn up the heat to high. Allow the soup to come to a boil, which should take approximately 10 minutes. Look for bubbling in the pot to know that it’s boiling.[7]
    • If you’ve used a slow cooker to make your soup, allow it to cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
  2. Image titled Make Taco Soup Step 3 preview
    Simmer the soup for an hour. After the soup has come to a boil, reduce the heat to low. Let it simmer for approximately 1 hour, so the ingredients have time to break down and the flavors can fully meld.[8]
    • If you’re in a rush, you can eat the soup after it’s simmered for as little as 15 minutes, but the flavor will be better if you wait the full hour.
  3. Image titled Make Taco Soup Step 7 preview
    Serve the soup in bowls with toppings. When you’re ready to serve the soup, spoon it into bowls and garnish with the usual taco or chili toppings. Shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped green onions, diced jalapenos, and tortilla or corn chips all make delicious toppings for taco soup.[9]
    • The recipe usually yields approximately 8 to 10 servings, depending on how large the bowls that you serve are.


  • You can freeze any leftover taco soup that you may have. Cool it completely, and place it in an airtight container. Make sure that there’s approximately 1-inch (25.4 mm) of space at the top to account for expansion. It will last for 2 to 3 months in the freezer.
  • Cornbread or corn muffins are an ideal companion to taco soup.

Things You Need

  • Large skillet
  • Wooden spoon
  • Stock pot or dutch oven

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