Taco soup is a delicious and easy family favorite, and you can make it in the Instant Pot, slow cooker or on the stove top.
I have made taco soup in the slow cooker and on the stovetop for years. I just recently made it in my Instant Pot (Amazon affiliate), and it was a hit!
If you haven’t jumped on the Instant Pot bandwagon yet, see my full Instant Pot review here. There are pros and cons, but overall I have loved mine!💞
But back to this taco soup! No worries if you don’t have an Instant Pot because I include instructions for stovetop and slow cooker taco soup as well.👌🏻
All the well-known TV cooks have their own version of taco soup: Pioneer Woman, Paula Deen, etc. Well, this is my version.😉👌🏻
It is super easy to make, and it is one of our go-to family dinners – especially perfect for football-watching food. 🏈🙌🏻 And much like any soup or chili, I think it is even better leftover.
Use quality ingredients
If you want the soup to taste best, use the best quality ingredients you can find.
We love ButcherBox ground beef. I am an affiliate, but I purchase a box each month. We try to go organic with most of our ingredients, but we are not perfect or stressful about it over here.
Seasoning taco soup
I give you options here, people. This is a diverse audience with many different needs and preferences.
If you love homemade seasoning, (Hi! That’s me.🙋🏼♀️) then you will be so happy to know that I season this with a few simple pantry ingredients to make my own homemade seasoning. It is an offshoot of my homemade taco seasoning, which I use to make ground beef tacos, chicken fajitas, beef nachos supreme and so many other things!
Clearly we like TexMex and Mexican food at our house. 😍👌🏻 But I digress.
Taco Seasoning Packet
But, hey, what if you are one of those people who just needs convenience and speed to get dinner on the table? I see you, friend. 😎👊🏻
Sometimes life is hard, and you just need a short cut. You might prefer to use one of those pre-made taco seasoning packets. I’ve got you covered. I made this for years with a packet of taco seasoning before I learned to season it myself. So by all means, please feel free to do that in place of my seasoning blend.
If you are all about tons of flavor, I know lots of people who also make taco soup with a ranch packet as well (in addition to the taco seasoning). We don’t do that over here, but feel free to try it.
The only thing I would suggest is to check the salt content of your packet first to make sure you don’t over-salt.
Can I freeze it?
Yes! This soup freeze’s beautifully. I would estimate it would be good for one to two months, possible more in a well-sealed, freezer-safe container.
How big of a batch does it make?
This makes a fairly big batch. It should easily feed 6 people, and possibly up to 8. And if you are feeding fewer than that, the leftovers are delicious too, of course. They will last in the fridge for about 5 days in well-sealed container.
Sometimes double this in my crock pot to have extra to freeze. I have a really large one, so make sure the capacity is big before you try that. Heads up: I would not recommend doubling this recipe in the Instant Pot. The pot will get too full and may not come to pressure.
Toppings for taco soup
Also, I am alllllll about some great toppings on soup.😋👌🏻 And the options are endless here. I showed mine here with a side of tortilla chips, plus some chopped green onions and a sprinkle of cheese. Maybe a dollop of sour cream never hurt anything either.🙃
Some people fry up little tortilla strips. We are perfectly content to open a bag of tortilla chips over here. But if you want to make your own, knock yourself out!👊🏻
Other fun options: diced avocado, cilantro, guacamole, jalapeños…the possibilities are endless!
Another easy side item to make with this is my southern skillet corn bread. 👌🏻😋
Tools Used to Make Taco Soup
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- Instant Pot, slow cooker or large pot like this enameled cast iron dutch oven.
- Cutting board
- Measuring spoons and cups
- Can opener
Taco Soup Recipe (Instant Pot, Slow Cooker OR Stovetop)
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Taco Soup (Instant Pot, slow cooker or stovetop)
- cooking spray
- 1.25 pounds ground beef (anywhere from 1 lb-1.5 lbs will work)
- 1 onion, diced (I used yellow onion)
- 2 cup corn kernels (I used frozen, but fresh is fine too)
- 1 10-ounce can Ro'tele tomatoes with green chilis, undrained
- 1 16-ounce jar of mild salsa
- 1 14-ounce can pinto beans, undrained
- 1 14-ounce can black beans, undrained
- 1.5 cups water
Seasoning (you can substitute a packet of taco seasoning)
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (or more to taste)
Spray the inner pot with some cooking spray.
Using the sauté mode (medium), brown the ground beef and onions until fully cooked, about 7 to 8 minutes.
Drain the fat off beef, if desired, and return to pot. (I have skipped this step if I have used leaner meat or grass-fed beef).
Add the remaining ingredients, and place the lid on, lock it.
Cook on manual high pressure for 12 minutes. (Note: it will take a while to get up to pressure)
Allow the pot to depressurize naturally, indicated by the pressure indicator pin drop. (not using the quick presser release lever - mine took about 25 minutes to fully release).
Spray a large pot or dutch over with some cooking spray.
Brown the beef and onions over medium high heat until fully cooked, about 7 to 8 minutes.
Drain excess fat, if desired, and return to pot. (I have skipped this step if I have used leaner meat or grass-fed beef).
Add seasoning and water to the meat and stir to combine.
Add remaining ingredients, and stir to combine.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 1 to 1.5 hours partially covered, stirring ocassionally to prevent scorching. (Note: you may see more evaporation of liquids with the stovetop method. Keep and eye on it, and feel free to add a little extra water (1/2 cup to 1 cup), if needed.
Using a stovetop pot or pan sprayed with cooking spray, and brown the ground beef and onions on the stovetop over medium high heat.
Drain excess fat, if desired. (I have skipped this step if I have used leaner meat or grass-fed beef).
Add to slow cooker, along with all other ingredients, stirring to combine.
Cook on high for 4 hours, or on low for 8 hours. (This may vary slightly if your slow cooker temperature differs from mine).
Nutritional information is approximate and was calculated using a recipe nutrition label generator.
I would not recommend doubling this in the Instant Pot due to it making too full of a pot. It may not come to pressure. I have doubled this in a large stockpot on my stove, or in my (large capacity) slow cooker.
You can freeze this up to a couple months in an airtight container. It will last in the fridge up to 5 days.
Feel free to sub out my homemade seasoning blend with a packet of taco seasoning if you need a little added convenience.
This post originally appeared on A Pinch of Healthy October 2, 2017. It was recently updated with new photos. Here is what it used to look like.