30-minute taco soup is packed full of flavor. The quick and easy prep makes it perfect for those busy evenings, and in just half an hour you can create a dish that combines the rich, savory taste of ground beef, the wholesome goodness of beans, and an array of spices that create a symphony of flavors in every spoonful. Each ingredient in this soup contributes to its hearty texture and robust aroma, ensuring that every bite is as satisfying as the last.

Why You’ll Love Taco Soup

  • Quick and easy to prepare, perfect for busy evenings.
  • Versatile – easily adaptable with different toppings or substitutions.
  • Satisfying and filling, ideal for a wholesome family dinner.
  • Nutrient packed, full of protein and veggies.
30 minute Taco Soup topped with grated cheese, jalapeno and sour cream

Taco Soup Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Ground Beef: Adds richness and depth. Substitute with ground turkey or chicken for a lighter option, or a plant-based substitute if desired.
  • Chicken and Beef Broth: Provides the soup base. Vegetable broth can be used for a vegetarian alternative.
  • Diced Tomatoes: Adds acidity and texture. Fresh tomatoes can be used if canned are not available.
  • Beans: Black and pinto beans add protein and heartiness. Feel free to use kidney or navy beans as a substitute.
  • Corn: Brings sweetness and crunch. Frozen or fresh can be used interchangeably.
  • Green Chilies: Offer a mild heat. Substitute with bell peppers for less spice.
  • Taco Seasoning: A blend of spices for the perfect taco flavor. For convenience, a 1-ounce packet of taco seasoning mix can replace the individual spices.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this soup in a slow cooker?

Yes, combine all ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Can I use a store-bought taco seasoning packet?

Taco seasoning is something you can easily make at home which is why we’ve written this recipe with a homemade blend! The great thing about homemade taco seasoning, is that you can customize it to your tastes. Prefer low sodium? No problem! Kids don’t like spice? Just omit the cayenne!

If you prefer to use a packet seasoning, a 1-ounce packet is the amount that you’ll need to replace the seasonings listed in this recipe. 

Is this soup freezer-friendly?

Absolutely! Freeze in airtight containers for up to 3 months.

Is taco soup spicy?

The soup has a mild spice level, but you can adjust the green chilies and cayenne pepper to your preference.

How long does it take to make taco soup?

Taco soup is ready in about 30 minutes, and most of that time is hands off cooking on the stove. Once you’ve browned the beef and cooked the onions and garlic, it’s just a matter of mixing the rest of the ingredients together and allowing them to simmer. You can simmer the soup for as little as 15 minutes and as much as 30 minutes which will allow you some flexibility for when dinner will be ready. 

Soup Toppings

The right toppings not only add texture and taste but also allow each person to tailor their bowl to their preferences. Here are some popular and delicious topping options:

  • Cheese: Shredded cheese, such as cheddar, Monterey Jack, or a Mexican cheese blend, is a classic choice. It melts beautifully into the warm soup, adding a creamy and rich texture.
  • Sour Cream: A dollop of sour cream on top of the taco soup can introduce a cool, creamy element. It also helps to balance out the spices and adds a slight tang.
  • Avocado: Slices or cubes of ripe avocado add a buttery texture and a subtle, creamy taste. They’re also a great source of healthy fats.
  • Fresh Cilantro: Chopped cilantro provides a burst of freshness and color, enhancing the overall flavor profile with its unique, herby taste.
  • Lime Wedges: Serving lime wedges on the side allows individuals to squeeze fresh lime juice into their soup, adding a zesty, bright flavor that complements the spices well.
  • Tortilla Chips or Strips: Adding crunch to your soup, tortilla chips or crispy tortilla strips can be sprinkled on top for an extra texture. You can crush them for a sprinkle or leave them whole for more substantial crunch.
  • Chopped Onions or Green Onions: Finely chopped onions or green onions add a sharp, pungent flavor that contrasts well with the rich soup.
  • Jalapeños: For those who like it hot, sliced jalapeños are a great way to add some heat. They can be fresh or pickled, depending on your preference.

Make Taco Soup a Complete Meal With…

This soup tastes great with a side of cornbreadMexican rice, or tortilla chips and guac. Really, this soup goes great with just about everything!


  • If the soup is too thick, add more broth to reach your desired consistency.
  • If it’s too spicy, add a bit of sour cream or yogurt to tame the heat.
  • For a less chunky soup, blend some of the beans before adding them to the pot.

Tips From the Chef

  • Brown the ground beef thoroughly for richer flavor.
  • Rinse the beans to reduce sodium and improve texture.
  • Garnish with your favorite toppings like sour cream, chips, shredded cheese, sliced jalapeños, and cilantro for added flavor and texture.
A pot of taco soup

Make-Ahead Instructions

30-minute taco soup is an excellent option for make-ahead meals. You can prepare the soup up to two days in advance, which allows the flavors to meld and intensify. Simply follow the recipe instructions, let the soup cool to room temperature, and then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to serve, reheat the soup over medium heat until it’s thoroughly warmed.

Storage, Freezer & Reheating Instructions

Storage Instructions: For storing leftovers, allow the soup to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container. It can be refrigerated for up to 4 days. Be sure to stir the soup before reheating to ensure even distribution of heat and flavors.

Freezing Instructions: This taco soup freezes exceptionally well, making it a great option for meal prep or for those busy nights when you need a quick dinner. To freeze, cool the soup completely and then portion it into freezer-safe bags or containers. It’s advisable to leave a little space at the top of the container as the soup will expand when frozen. Label the containers with the date, and the soup will keep well for up to 3 months.

Thawing Instructions: When you’re ready to enjoy the frozen soup, the best method is to let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight. This slow thawing process helps maintain the soup’s texture and flavor integrity.

Reheating Instructions: To reheat, transfer the soup into a pot and warm it on the stove over medium heat, stirring occasionally until it’s heated through. If the soup seems too thick after thawing, you can add a bit of broth or water to adjust the consistency. For a quick reheat, you can use the microwave. Place the soup in a microwave-safe dish, cover it, and heat on high for 2-3 minutes, stirring halfway through the heating time.

Remember, when reheating, you only want to warm the soup to the appropriate eating temperature; avoid bringing it to a boil as this can affect the texture and taste, especially of the beans and vegetables.

Soup’s On…

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.