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Quick & Hearty Taco Soup: Two Ways

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Nothing hits the spot quite like a warm & savory bowl of soup. And this taco soup recipe from Backyard Texas Grill will do just that! Packed with a hearty blend of ground beef, beans, tomatoes, corn, peppers & seasonings, it’s the perfect balance of flavors in one delicious bowl. And it’s such a simple recipe!

Quick and Hearty Taco Soup by Backyard Texas Grill

What is Taco Soup?

Taco soup is believed to have originated in the Southwestern United States in the 1950’s. It usually features a combination of broth, beef, beans, corn, tomatoes, green chilies and seasonings. Sometimes it is served over tortilla chips or rice. The flavor is very similar to chili, but with a more soup-like consistency.

Why Taco Soup?

I was first introduced to the best taco soup recipe by a co-worker many years ago. She happened to have extra leftovers and offered to make me a bowl on our lunch break. And the rest was history.

One bite had me hooked! The warm, delicious broth was the perfect backdrop to the hearty, savory ingredients. And the flavors were amazing with just the perfect amount of spice. Was it a chili? Was it a soup? Whatever it was, I needed the recipe immediately. And boy, was I surprised to find out how easy it was to make!

Needless to say, it’s been a regular in our household menu ever since. It’s like a taco in soup form, and it’s one of the easiest soup recipes out there! And the best part is, not only are we going to share our recipe with you, we’re going to show you how to make it on the stovetop AND on the pellet grill!

Quick & Hearty Taco Soup Ingredients

These ingredients are pantry staples you might already have in your kitchen. If not, you can pick them up at your favorite grocery store. You’ll find a full recipe card with measurements at the bottom of this post but here’s a quick look at what you’re going to need. 

  • Ranch style beans
  • Whole kernel corn
  • Stewed tomatoes 
  • Diced tomatoes with green chilies (original or mild)
  • Ranch salad dressing/dip mix 
  • Taco seasoning 
  • Ground beef 
  • Water

Taco Soup Toppings:

  • Tortilla chips (or corn chips)
  • Shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • Cilantro
  • Sour cream

How to Make Quick & Hearty Taco Soup on the Stovetop

Brown the ground beef, strain the grease and return ground beef to the pot.

Open corn (strain and set aside).
Open ranch style beans, stewed tomatoes and diced tomatoes (do not strain).

Add beans, stewed and diced tomatoes (juice and all) to ground beef and stir. 
Add ranch and taco seasoning packets to beef/bean/tomato mixture and stir.
Add corn to the mixture and stir well.


Add 20-30 ounces of water, depending on desired consistency of soup (tip: use the ranch style bean and stewed tomato cans for your water, which will help you get just the right measurement and not waste any of the bean & tomato juices in the process).

Cans of water

Heat over medium heat until just simmering.

Finished taco soup in the pot

Ladel soup into bowls, season with salt & pepper, and top with tortilla or corn chips, cheese, cilantro & sour cream and any other favorite toppings of your choice.

Enjoy the hearty flavors of your warm & delicious taco soup!

Bowl of taco soup

How to Make Hearty Taco Soup on the Pellet Grill

Some of the prep for this method will still take place on the stovetop, but the biggest difference is that the soup will be heated slowly on the pellet grill, giving it a rich, smoky flavor.

First, preheat your pellet grill to 165 degrees. Then follow these easy steps!

  • Brown ground beef (we still recommend doing this step on the stovetop for this method).
  • Strain the grease and pour the cooked ground beef into a dutch oven or large cast-iron pot.
  • Open your corn, strain and set aside.
  • Open ranch style beans, stewed tomatoes and diced tomatoes. Do not strain. Add them (juice and all) to the ground beef and stir. 
  • Open the ranch and taco seasoning packets and pour onto to beef/bean/tomato mixture. Stir well.
  • Add corn to the mixture and stir well.
  • Transfer your cast iron pot to the grill (do not add water to the mixture just yet).
  • Cook beef/bean/corn/tomato mixture at 165 for about 30 minutes to get the smoky flavor going.
  • Fill your bean and stewed tomato cans with water and add it to the pot.
  • Increase grill temperature to 350 degrees and continue to cook for about 10-15 minutes or until the soup is boiling.
  • Carefully remove your cast-iron pot from the grill.
  • Ladel soup into bowls and top with crunchy tortilla chips, a dollop of sour cream, shredded cheese & cilantro. Enjoy!

This method takes just a bit longer, but it’s still simple! And the added smokiness you will get from using the pellet grill method is well worth the extra few minutes of cook time.

What to Expect from this Recipe

This savory homemade taco soup is a dish your whole family will enjoy! The hearty soup blend of beans, beef, corn & tomatoes and the spicy Southwest flavors create the perfect combination. It’s taco Tuesday: soup edition!

We love to serve it over crunchy tortilla or corn chips and load it up with extra cheddar cheese, sour cream and cilantro. Sometimes, we even add rice and green onions to give it a thicker & heartier feel. There are many different ways to serve this bowl of soup. Either way, it’s delicious!

If you like things extra spicy, add some chili powder, jalapeños or hot sauce to your taco soup garnishes and get to sweatin’!

One of our favorite things about this easy taco soup recipe is that it’s fully customizable, loaded with amazing flavors and so simple to make. You won’t believe how easy the process is!

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator and eat within 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove.

Make it Your Own

We love this taco soup recipe just as it is, but here are some taco soup variations to make it your own next time:

  • Serve over white or brown rice for a thicker, chili-style soup.
  • Use chicken broth or beef broth instead of water for extra flavor.
  • Instead of using store-bought taco seasoning, try making your own homemade taco seasoning, like this recipe from The Pioneer Woman.
  • Add a variety of beans to expand your flavors! (Black beans & light or dark red kidney beans would be great in this soup).
  • For a vegetarian taco soup, simply take out the ground beef and add more pinto beans!
  • For a lighter calorie soup, try using ground turkey instead of ground beef.
  • Sauté the corn and tomatoes in a hot skillet before adding them to the soup for a fresh-roasted flavor.
  • Add more favorite taco toppings like avocado, jalapeños, pico de gallo, green chilis or even bell peppers to create a spicy taco soup with even more kick! Lime wedges would also be great!
  • You can easily turn this into crock pot taco soup or instant pot taco soup. Just brown the ground beef separately, then add all your ingredients (including water) and cook. For the instant pot, use the soup setting and cook for 2-3 minutes. For the slow cooker, cook on high for approximately 1 hour.

Thanks for Stopping By!

We hope you enjoy the savory, Southwest flavors of this hearty & quick taco soup! This family-friendly taco soup is so simple to make and it’s one of our family’s favorites meals. We recommend pairing it with our cheesy garlic bread for the perfect complement.

If you’re needing a delicious dessert to serve with this soup, consider our Cast-Iron Peach Dump Cake, which we love.

We also have our eye on this Million Dollar Fudge recipe from Back to my Southern Roots.


Give this delicious soup a try and let us know what you think!

Why Not Pin a Few Pictures While You’re Here?

See this recipe at:

Full Plate Thursday

Weekend Potluck

What’s For Dinner

About the Man Behind the Grill

Zach Morrow from Backyard Texas Grill

Zach Morrow was born and raised in Texas and has always had a passion for great barbecue. He’s at home behind the grill and loves to feed his friends and family home-cooked favorites as often as he can. He especially loves trying new things and is excited to produce recipes like this one for Backyard Texas Grill.

Yield: 5

Quick and Hearty Taco Soup

Quick & Hearty Taco Soup by Backyard Texas Grill

This taco soup recipe from Backyard Texas Grill is packed with a hearty blend of ground beef, beans, tomatoes, corn, peppers & seasonings. It's the perfect balance of flavors in one delicious bowl. And it's such a simple recipe!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • One 26 oz. can ranch style beans 
  • One 15.25 oz. can whole kernel corn 
  • One 14.5 oz. cans stewed tomatoes 
  • One 10 oz. can diced tomatoes with green chilies (original or mild)
  • One 1 oz. packet ranch salad dressing/dip mix 
  • One 1.25 oz. package taco seasoning 
  • One pound ground beef (80/20)
  • Water (20-30 ounces, depending on desired consistency)

Instructions

1. Brown the ground beef, strain the grease and return ground beef to the pot.
2. Open corn (strain and set aside).
3. Open ranch style beans, stewed tomatoes and diced tomatoes (do not strain).
4. Add beans, stewed and diced tomatoes (juice and all) to ground beef and stir. 
5. Add ranch and taco seasoning packets to beef/bean/tomato mixture and stir.
6. Add corn to the mixture and stir well.
7. Add 20-30 ounces of water, depending on desired consistency of soup (tip: use the ranch style beans and stewed tomato cans for your water, which will help you obtain just the right measurement and not waste any of the beans & tomato juice in the process).
8. Heat over medium/high heat until just boiling.
9. Ladel soup into bowls, season with salt & pepper, and top with tortilla (or corn) chips, cheese, cilantro & sour cream.

TOPPINGS:
1 oz. tortilla chips
1/4 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
1 tsp. cilantro
1 tbsp. sour cream

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

5

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 510Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 2614mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 9gSugar: 13gProtein: 34g

Toppings will add additional calories

Helen at the Lazy Gastronome

Saturday 18th of November 2023

Thanks for sharing at the What's for Dinner party! Have a great weekend.

Helen at the Lazy Gastronome

Friday 27th of October 2023

I think I need to make both versions!! Yum! I'd be honored if you shared this at our What's for Dinner party! https://lazygastronome.com/whats-for-dinner-sunday-link-up-442/

Backyard Texas Grill

Tuesday 31st of October 2023

I absolutely will! I missed it this past Sunday, but I will definitely share it on the next one. Thank you so much for featuring our drunken chicken and the other wonderful recipes this week :) Let us know how you like the taco soup!

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