Taco Soup

It’s time for one of those quick-fix, week night dinner ideas that come together in about thirty minutes. It seems like I’ve been making a lot of complicated items lately, mostly due to my need for a challenge. But, sometimes even I get tired and just need something quick, delicious and (of course) inexpensive. I was first introduced to this recipe by my former roommate, Ashley waaaay back in 2005. Since becoming an avid “reader” of Tastespotting.com I realized that this is one of those tried and true recipes that has made its way around the country and into most American kitchens. Upon first glance this recipe may seem a little domestic with all of its canned ingredients but if you spruce it up with some fresh cilantro and add a couple garnishes it can end up looking fairly classy. I like to use tortilla chips with this soup as you would oyster crackers with other soups. Also try garnishing with a dollop of sour cream or a sprinkle of cheddar cheese!

Taco Soup

Taco Soup

4.75 from 12 votes

Taco Soup

Taco soup is the fastest, most flavorful, and most filling soup you'll ever make. 

Total Cost $9.18 recipe / $1.15 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 8


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.10
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced $0.07
  • 1 lb ground beef $3.88
  • 1 packet taco seasoning $0.36
  • 1 packet ranch dressing mix $1.18
  • 28 oz can rotel tomatoes w/chiles $1.82
  • 15 oz can pinto beans $0.66
  • 15 oz can black beans $0.62
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels $0.32
  • 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro, optional $0.17


  1. Cook the minced garlic in a large pot over medium/high heat with one Tbsp of olive oil for 1-2 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook until thoroughly browned. If you are using a high fat beef (more than 10% fat) you’ll want to drain it before moving on to step two.
  2. Add the taco seasoning and ranch dressing mix to the browned meat and stir until they have dissolved in the meat juices. Add the can of rotel (diced tomatoes with chiles), black beans and pinto beans including all of the juices in the cans.
  3. Add the frozen corn kernels and about a handful of chopped cilantro leaves. Add one cup of water if desired (I preferred a more soupy consistency). Stir well and heat through (10 minutes or so). Serve with tortilla chips, corn bread, sour cream, cheddar cheese or by its self!


Taco Soup

Step By Step Photos

browned ground beef
Cook the minced garlic for a minute or two in olive oil then add the ground beef. Cook until thoroughly browned. Drain the fat off of the beef if you are not using 97/3, 96/4 or 90/10 beef (that is the lean to fat ratio).

seasoning packets
Add the two packets of seasoning powder to the meat and stir…

seasoned ground beef
Stir the seasoning in until it “dissolves” into this nice gravy.

rotel (tomatoes with chiles)
If you are unfamiliar with Rotel, it is just diced tomatoes with green chiles. Most supermarkets will also usually have a generic brand. If you can not find Rotel or its equivalent, you can substitute regular canned diced tomatoes and a separate can of diced green chiles. Use either one large 28 oz. can of rotel or two smaller 15 oz. cans.

add beans and corn
Add the rotel and beans with all of their juices from the can. Add the frozen corn as well.

Take about a handful of cilantro, chop it and add it to the soup.

finished taco soup
I added one cup of water at the end to make it more soupy and to mellow out the strong seasonings. If you like a thicker, more chili like texture, skip the water.

taco soup