Easy Taco Soup Recipe

  You haven’t had Taco Soup until you try this CHEESY, creamy Taco Soup version!  It’s the ultimate comforting, hearty soup that readers call, “wonderful,” “a hit,” “fantastic,” and “LOVED” thanks to a flavorful broth infused with salsa, green chilies, enchilada sauce and cheese! This 30 minute, ONE POT recipe is a dump-and-simmer dinner perfect for weeknight dinners or is easy to double or triple for crowds. 


Watch How to Make TACO SOUP RECIPE

up close of a a bowl of easy taco soup piled with toppings


Easy Taco Soup Recipe

  • CREAMY AND CHEESY!  This recipe delivers all the cozy comfort of classic Taco Soup AND THEN SOME thanks to melty cream cheese, cheddar cheese and Pepper Jack.  
  • FLAVORFUL BROTH. It’s infused with salsa, enchilada sauce, green chilies and homemade taco seasoning for a warm, aromatic, creamy masterpiece.
  • DUMP AND SIMMER. After you brown the beef and onions, the rest of the ingredients are dumped into the pot for an easy peasy win!
  • VERSATILE. Make the recipe as written or switch up the protein, vegetables, beans, etc., make it more or less spicy, creamy or cheesy.   
  • MAKE AHEAD FRIENDLY. It tastes even better the next day!
  • ENTERTANING MADE EASY. Add it to your slow cooker and keep warm until ready to serve.
ingredient icon

Taco Soup Ingredients

The majority of ingredients in Taco Soup are either pantry staple cans or spices you dump into the soup so you can make this meal-in-one Taco Soup any night of the week! Let’s take a closer look at what you’ll need (measurements in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post):

  • Ground Beef: Use lean ground beef or see substitutions below.
  • Aromatics:  You may substitute with 1 teaspoon garlic powder and 1 teaspoon onion powder for those extra lazy days – but fresh is best!
  • Homemade Taco Seasoning:  The adept seasoning is made with chili powder, ground cumin, dried oregano, smoked paprika, salt and pepper.  This custom blend adds the perfect punch of flavor. You may substitute with 1 pouch (2 tbsp.) taco seasoning  and then adjust seasonings to taste.
  • Canned Mild Diced Green Chilies:  Make sure you purchase mild green chiles – I have accidentally used the hot chilies before and they are HOT!  Mild green chiles, however are more tangy than hot so you don’t have to worry about them making your soup spicy. 
  • Salsa:  This Taco Soup recipes uses your favorite salsa instead of just diced tomatoes to give your soup another dimension of flavor. 
  • Canned Beans:  I like pairing both kidney beans and black beans together for added texture but you may substitute with additional black beans.
  • Canned Sweet Corn:  I use canned corn for this Taco Soup for convenience but feel free to use corn fresh off the cob if you prefer.  You can also use frozen corn but add it toward the end of cooking, just so it has time to warm through, otherwise it can disintegrate.  
  • Mild Enchilada Sauce:  Canned for convenience or use your favorite homemade enchilada sauce.
  • Chicken Broth:  Use low sodium so you can salt to taste. 
  • Cream Cheese:  This makes the soup wonderfully creamy.  You may use ⅓ fat cream cheese but it will not melt quite as well.
  • Cheese:  Sharp cheddar cheese and pepper Jack make our CHEESY Taco Soup.  Take care you use freshly shredded cheeses so they melt easily.  You can omit the cheeses and add cheese to individual servings if you prefer.
top view of recipe for taco soup showing how to serve with tortilla chips, jalapenos and sour cream

How to Make Taco Soup

Let’s take a closer look at how to make easy Taco Soup with step-by-step photos (full recipe in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post):

  • Step 1: Brown Beef.  The almost dump and run recipe begins by browning the beef with the onions until the beef is cooked through and the onions are softened.
a collage showing how to make Taco Soup by browning beef with onions, then adding spices, and cooking for briefly
  • Step 2:  Add Seasonings. Add red bell pepper and garlic. Sprinkle in flour and cook, stirring constantly for 3 minutes.
showing how to make taco soup recipe by adding red bell pepper, garlic and flour to the ground beef
  • Step 3: Add Remaining Ingredients. Stir in kidney beans, black beans, corn, green chilies, salsa, enchilada sauce and chicken broth.
showing how to make taco soup recipe by stirring in black beans, kidney beans, corn, enchilada sauce, salsa and chicken broth into the soup pot
  • Step 4: Simmer. Bring to boil then reduce to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes or until slightly thickened.
showing how to make taco soup by simmering until slightly thickened
  • Step 5: Add Cheese. Melt in some cream cheese, followed by sharp cheddar and pepper Jack cheese for creamy, Cheesy Taco Soup!
showing how to make taco soup by stirring cheese into the soup pot

Taco Soup REcipe TIPS

  • Add cheese in handfuls: This helps the cheese melt beautifully without dramatically reducing the soup temperature.
  • Use full fat cream cheese:  I don’t recommend swapping the cream for a lower fat alternative because lower fat is more likely to curdle.
  • Use soft cream cheese. In order for your cream cheese to melt seamlessly, it needs to be very soft. Cube the cream cheese and microwave it for 20-30 seconds, until you can easily stick your finger in it.
  • Make it less thick. I love my soup thick and creamy BUT the consistency is totally up to you!  For a thinner soup, simply add additional chicken broth.
  • Season to taste.  Spice it up with hot sauce or cayenne pepper, add lime juice for some tanginess, etc.
  • Scale up or down: This recipe can easily be scaled up or down by using the sliding scale next to the servings in the recipe card.
  • Leftovers: This recipe tastes even better the next day as the flavors continue to meld, so consider making a large batch for easy leftovers or meal prep.

Taco Soup Recipe Substitutions & Variations

  • Add extra veggies: Add whatever veggies you like such as sweet potatoes, carrots, celery, mushrooms, zucchini, etc. and adjust the cooking time as needed. If you add veggies, you may also need to add additional broth and seasonings to compensate. You may also need to increase the spice level if using sweet vegetables such as sweet potatoes and/or carrots.
  • Swap beans: Use all black beans, all kidney beans or swap in pinto beans, cannellini beans, garbanzo, beans, etc.
  • Make it spicy: Use medium salsa (Mateo’s is my favorite), then add hot sauce, cayenne pepper or chipotle pepper to taste at the end of simmering.
  • Add rice.  Add 1 cup of long grain and simmer for 8-12 minutes.  You will need to add additional chicken broth to accommodate the rice.
  • Non-Creamy Taco Soup: Omit the flour and cream cheese. After the soup simmers, you can decide if you want to add the cheeses directly to the soup or to individual servings.
  • Tukey Taco Soup: Substitute the ground beef with ground chicken or ground turkey. I like to add 1 teaspoon beef bouillon, reduce the salt and salt to taste.
  • Chicken Taco Soup: Swap the ground beef with 3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken.
  • Vegetarian Taco Soup: Replace the meat with plant-based protein sources like lentils, beans, or textured vegetable protein (TVP). Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
  • Gluten Free Taco Soup: Use gluten flour or 2 tablespoons cornstarch whisked with some chicken broth to make a slurry.
up close of a ladle of creamy taco soup showing how creamy it is

What to serve with Creamy Taco Soup

There is no right or wrong when it comes to toppings –  the option to customize your soup with whatever toppings fit your mood is part of the fun!   You can create a toppings bar and let everyone pile on their favorites of:

  • Tortilla chips:  The taco shell in Taco Soup!   We also love to use Fritos.
  • Cheese:  We’ve already the soup creamy and cheesy but that doesn’t mean it can’t benefit from a little more cheese! Use freshly shredded for superior taste and melting ability.
  • Sour cream:  A must in my book!  Sour cream adds a wonderful creaminess and its refreshing tanginess cuts through and compliments the robust, rich flavors.  You can also use fat free sour cream or Greek yogurt.  
  • Cilantro:  Chopped cilantro adds a fresh, zesty flair. 
  • Avocado:  Chopped or sliced avocados add a wonderful creaminess.  I prefer chopped so I can get a bite of avocado in every spoonful.  
  • Pico de gallo:  A spoonful of  pico de gallo isn’t necessary but adds a depth of freshness I love. You can also use chopped fresh tomatoes.
  • Sliced jalapenos:  A fabulous topping for those who want to add some heat.
  • Lettuce:  We even add shredded lettuce to our soup!  It reminds me of adding cabbage to soup and adds a fabulous texture.

Recipe for Taco Soup FAQs


This Taco Soup has a ton of flavor but is not spicy.  That being said, the spice level can change depending on how spicy your salsa is.  You can spice up the Taco Soup by adding hot sauce to individual servings if you like it spicier.

up close of scooping a spoonful of taco soup showing how creamy it is


Pin it to your recipe BOARD TO SAVE FOR LATER!


©Carlsbad Cravings by CarlsbadCravings.com

up close of a a bowl of easy taco soup piled with toppings

Recipe for Taco Soup

  You haven’t had Taco Soup until you try this CHEESY, creamy Taco Soup version!  It's the ultimate comforting, hearty soup that readers call, "wonderful," "a hit," "fantastic," and "LOVED" thanks to a flavorful broth infused with salsa, green chilies, enchilada sauce and cheese! This 30 minute, ONE POT recipe is a dump-and-simmer dinner perfect for weeknight dinners or is easy to double or triple for crowds. 
Servings: 6 servings
Total Time: 30 minutes
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes

Save This Recipe To Your Recipe Box

You can now create an account on our site and save your favorite recipes all in one place!


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp EACH chili powder, ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp EACH salt, dried oregano, smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 15 oz. can kidney beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 15 oz. can sweet corn rinsed and drained
  • 1 4 oz. can mild diced green chilies
  • 1 cup mild salsa (or medium for heat)
  • 1 10 oz. can mild enchilada sauce
  • 5 cups reduced sodium chicken broth

Add later:

Garnish (Pick your Favs!)

  • tortilla chips or Fritos
  • sour cream
  • tomatoes
  • lettuce
  • avocados/guacamole
  • hot sauce to taste
  • fresh cilantro


  • Brown Beef: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat in a large Dutch oven or soup pot. Brown the meat with onions until meat is cooked. Add all spices/seasonings and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add Flour: Add red bell pepper and garlic. Sprinkle in flour and cook, stirring constantly for 3 minutes.
  • Add Remaining Ingredients: Stir in kidney beans, black beans, corn, green chilies, salsa, enchilada sauce and chicken broth. Bring to boil then reduce to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes or until slightly thickened.
  • Add Cheeses: Reduce heat to low and stir in cream cheese until melted, followed by pepper Jack and cheddar cheese until melted. Add milk to thin to desired consistency if desired. Season with additional salt/pepper/hot sauce to taste.
  • Toppings: Serve with tortilla chips/Fritos and additional garnishes as desired.



  • Salsa: If you like spicy, heat it up with medium salsa! I use medium Kirkland brand salsa from Costco.
  • Make Ahead: Once prepared, you can keep soup warm in your slow cooker until ready to serve if desired.
  • Storage:  Taco Soup tastes even better the next day!  It will last in the refrigerator for up to 5 days in an airtight container.  You may need to add a little water to the soup when reheating.

Crockpot Taco Soup

1. Follow step 1 and 2 in which you brown the beef with onions, add spices/seasonings, red bell pepper and garlic and cook with flour for 3 minutes.
2. Transfer beef mixture to lightly greased slow cooker followed by all remaining ingredients up to the cheeses.
3. Cook on LOW for 4-6 hours.
4. Add very soft cream cheese and stir/whisk until melted, followed by pepper jack and cheddar cheese until melted. Add milk to thin to desired consistency if desired.  Season with additional salt/pepper/hot sauce to taste.
5. Serve with desired toppings. 

Did You Make This Recipe?

Tag @CarlsbadCravings and Use #CarlsbadCravngs

Leave a Review, I Always Love Hearing From You!

Reader Interactions

leave a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Kristin says

    I made this a few days ago, but I wanted to let you know how much my husband and I are enjoying this soup! I love the creaminess. The flavor of the soup is so good! You really do a great job mixing all those herbs and spices together. The only thing I did differently was make a homemade enchilada sauce, but other than that, I followed the recipe. This is very delicious and definitely one we’ll remake. Thanks so much for sharing your recipes! I appreciate what you do.

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for taking the time to make my day! I’m so happy you both are loving this soup and I’m sure your homemade enchilada sauce made it that much more delicious!

    • Carol says

      Your recipes are amazing and I love that you are so culinary knowledgeable. I’m in the process of collecting all of your wonderful soup recipes for when I have some serious dental surgery.
      Since it will be a great time to diet, I would love to have an idea of the calories in your recipes.
      Thank you for your recipes and any calorie help you may have.

      • Jen says

        Thanks so much Carol, I’m honored you’re enjoying my recipes! I don’t include calories because of all of the variables but you can calculate calories for any recipe at: https://www.myfitnesspal.com/recipe/calculator Good luck on your dental surgery!

  2. Jequila says

    Made this soup tonight and it was a hit. The kids loved it and even the husband went back fur 2nds. I will be adding this to my list of recipes!

    • Jen says

      yesssss! I’m so happy it was a hit with everyone, thanks so much Jequila!

      • Janet says

        The typed recipe is missing the corn….

        • Jen says

          I don’t have corn in my recipe but you are welcome to add it!

          • Fern says

            Confused. A can of corn is in the list of ingredients and the directions. Do I add it or omit? Can’t wait to try this!

          • Jen says

            Hi Fern, I love it with corn, so I would add it. Enjoy!

  3. Stephanie S. says

    I made this a couple days ago for a do-ahead dinner, leaving out the cheeses and cream cheese until adding when I reheated it last night. Some good comfort food here when served with all the toppings, we all loved it! I make the cheater chili cheese dip with canned chili, mexican cheese blend and cream cheese in the micro so will have to try yours from scratch.

    • Jen says

      Hi Stephanie, what a delicious idea for a make-ahead dinner! I’m so happy everyone loved it! Your cheater chili dip also sounds delish – I’m interested to see how they compare!

  4. Iris says

    I’ve made this about 8 times for my boyfriend. He has a hard time choosing his favorite requests for me to make, but he raves that this is easily in his all-time favorite 3. It turns out perfect every time! I’ve even tried it with ground turkey instead of beef, and other reduced-fat versions of the ingredients, and it still tastes the exact same – a totally scrumptious flavor bomb! Kudos to such an infallible, customizable recipe!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for your awesome comment Iris! I’m thrilled it is such a customizable favorite!

  5. Bill says

    I first saw this recipe on Facebook a few months ago. I’ve been waiting for cooler “soup” weather here in the Midwest to make it. I did so last night. It was absolutely Fantastic! Everyone in the house couldn’t get enough. I followed the recipe dead-on but held back 1 cup of chicken broth until the end to see how thick it was. Didn’t need it. I served it with fresh chopped cilantro, diced green onions, sour cream and tortillas for dunking. Thanks for this recipe! It’s a “Keeper”!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for your awesome comment Bill! I’m thrilled the whole house “couldn’t get enough!” And all your topping sound like perfection!

  6. Tanvi says

    I wish I could leave picture/ video comments to show you how much everyone LOVED this soup! I used ground turkey and pre made taco seasoning since that’s what I had on hand and added yellow & white hominy as well. I took some of the meat/beans mixture out before adding the liquids and used it for tacos couple days later- so good! I wouldn’t have thought about adding enchilada sauce or salsa to the soup but a total game changer!! Thank you for another great recipe

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much Tanvi, I’m thrilled everyone loved the Taco Soup and =what a great idea to use some of the meat/bean mixture for tacos!

  7. Middy says

    Hi. I came across this recipe on facebook today and I want to try and make it for me and my parents. I am learning how to cook and they are my guinea pigs lol. Problem is, my mom doesn’t like kidney beans. Is there something you would recommend as a substitute for it?

    • Jen says

      Hi Middy, you can use pinto beans or cannellini beans instead or leave them out completely if she doesn’t like beans at all 😉 Good luck!

  8. Katie says

    Can I convert this to a croc pot recipe? Maybe brown the beef and add all the ingredients except the cheese and wait until the end to add it?

    • Jen says

      Hi Katie, I have a section on how to make this recipe in the crockpot listed in the post – between the second to last and last photo. Good luck!

  9. Cody W Walton says


    I love all of your recipes that I’ve ever tried and this looks great for a dinner party we are hosting tonight. Question – one of the guests at the party eats a gluten-free diet…are there any modifications I need to make to this recipe for her? Or is it ok as-is? Thanks in advance and keep up the great recipes.

    Cody W.

    • Jen says

      Thanks Cody! The flour is the only ingredient that contains gluten. I would substitute the flour with 2 tablespoons cornstarch (half the flour) by whisking it into some of the broth until smooth before adding the broth to the soup to simmer. With that one change you are good to go! Have fun!

  10. Michelle says


    I am low-carb these days, but am craving this soup! Do you think subbing another pound of meat in place of the beans and corn and maybe adding some canned diced tomatoes would make up for it? What do you suggest?

    • Jen says

      Yes, that would absolutely work or you could swap the beans and corn for lentils instead.

  11. Cheryl Duncan says

    I made this soup last night. It was a hit with ALL five kids. Not an easy feat. My picky twelve year old gave it a scrumptious out of ten. We will definitely add this to our soup rotation. YUM

    • Jen says

      Thanks Cheryl, I’m so pleased everyone loved it!

  12. Chalene says

    This is absolutely delicious! It came together pretty fast which is nice on a busy night! I try so hard but I can’t seem to make anything in 30 minutes…lol. Maybe if I had a more organized kitchen. If you are debating on making this because it looks like a lot of ingredients, please just try! It is just a little bit more effort than the dump taco soup recipe, but the taste is ALOT of delicious. Taco-ey and creamy. My picky girls ate it and rated it a 4/5 and 5/5. For reference, the 4/5 daughter loves plain buttered noodles, so her rating is HUGE!

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for the awesome review, Chalene! I am so happy it was such a hit and worth your time!! I know it can be hard to get food on the table on a busy night!

  13. G Baker says

    I make this soup a lot, and it never fails!
    I always double the recipe so we have plenty of leftovers.
    This is the only Taco Soup recipe I ever use. Super yummy!

    • Jen says

      Thank you! I’m so happy to hear that it is your go-to!

See More Comments