Taco Soup

This Taco Soup is one of my family’s FAVORITE meals! I love this recipe because it’s super easy–make it on the stovetop or toss everything into your crockpot and let it simmer all day. Plus, it uses up a whole bunch of refrigerator and pantry staples: canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, corn, taco seasoning (you can even make your own in bulk!), and kidney beans. Oh, and a fresh onion and some fresh garlic. It’s cheap, packed with protein, and feeds a smally army. In fact, my oldest son, who has always been a die-hard chili fan (this Easy Weeknight Chili and Sara’s Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili are two of his favorite meals) declared this his favorite. So. That’s saying a lot.

My favorite topping is a big spoonful or two of Pico de Gallo. It adds a lot of fresh flavor with almost no extra calories. I also love adding some sour cream, shredded cheese, and some crushed tortilla chips (or, if you’re feeling fancy, you could fry your own tortilla strips.

bowl of taco soup from our best bites

 
taco soup from our best bites

Taco Soup

This family-friendly taco soup is packed with protein and fiber, uses a whole bunch of pantry staples, and feeds a small army!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. lean or extra-lean ground beef
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 4-5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1.25- ounce packet taco seasoning or make your own and use about 1/4 cup
  • 3 cups water divided
  • 2 28- ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 15- ounce can tomato sauce
  • 2 15- ounce cans kidney beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 can corn drained (or 1 cup frozen corn)
  • Toppings: Pico de Gallo light sour cream, shredded cheese, crushed tortilla chips, tortilla strips, guacamole, etc.

Instructions

  • Heat 1-2 teaspoons olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. When hot, brown the ground beef with the onion and garlic. When almost brown, add the taco seasoning and 1 cup water. Add the remaining ingredients, including the remaining 2 cups water, bring to a medium boil, then, cover and reduce heat. Simmer for at least 15 minutes. Serve with desired toppings. Makes 10 1 1/2-cup servings.

Notes

Slow Cooker Instructions: After browning the meat, place all the ingredients into a slow cooker and cook on low for about 6-8 hours.
Freezer Instructions: Because of all the canned goods, you'll just take up a lot of space in your freezer if you freeze the whole recipe. However, after it's been cooked, the leftovers freeze extremely well. You can even try freezing individual portions in 12-oz. freezer-safe containers and then reheating them for a quick lunch.
Nutritional Information (using 93% lean ground beef):
Calories: 188
Fat: 3.6
Fiber: 8.6
Protein: 15.8
Author: kate jones
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Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. Jess–Yep, it's two 28-oz. cans; I just couldn't fit another one of those big ol' boys in the picture. 🙂

  2. LOVING the weight watchers points on the recipes! I have already made a few recipes that you have posted since the beginning of the year. How much is one serving of this soup? 1 Cup?

  3. I love Taco Soup!! I make it alot during the fall and winter. I make mine slightly different, Similar to Tessy's post. I add pinto beans as well. I have to agree with her it adds a very good flavor. I'm considering joining WW, since I have a 2 mo old and need to loose the baby weight. I appreciate the point count. Thank you!

  4. We love Taco soup around here. This had been a standard recipe at my house for almost 7 years.
    To Queen of Dishing: I always make it with Crushed tomatoes instead. I'm with you; I don't care for the chunks either.
    My recipe is very similar, but I have never put garlic in it. I will have to try that! A couple things I do that I really like: I add 3 beef boullion cubes with the 3 cups of water, add 1/2 cup of salsa and throw in a can of green beans with the other vegetables and beans. Yum!!!!
    Also, if you're not counting Weight Watchers points, try this with Fritos. Very good.

  5. Is it really TWO 28oz cans of diced tomatoes? The photo only shows one and I know one has a good bit in it!! I'm putting this on my meal plan for Feb, so I'll check back for verification 🙂

  6. Keep the WW recipes coming! Just joined and really need inspiration on what to make to keep me on track! So excited to try this!

  7. My recipe for taco soup has a package of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing which gives it a zing and I use Rotel or Mexican style tomatoes for an extra zing. Not sure if that would add to the points or not. But it is good and my Taco soup is my 2nd most asked for recipe. I also use a combo of kidney beans and black beans. I love black beans.

  8. Wonder how much of a difference in taste would there be if made with chicken and a little bacon instead of ground beef?

  9. My brother makes this soup too! He makes it a bit different though. Will have to post the recipe sometime soon. His has chicken in it and chili beans.

  10. Thank you so so much for posting the WW points! i can't say it enough! I'm definitely going to tell my meeting about this recipe- they'll be stoked!

  11. I thought maybe our brain sharing was over with 2010 but I was wrong! http://betsylife.com/?p=2260 I love taco soup! I love what you wrote about rinsing the beans too. My husband always tries to rinse the beans in the can and I inevitably have to re-rinse! Happy New year!

  12. Thank You! My daughter and I just joined Weight Watchers and can't wait to try this!
    p.s. – Love, love, love your blog!!!

  13. Queen of Dishing–I haven't made it with crushed tomatoes, but I totally bet you could!

    Brandi–It has the potential to be really high in sodium, but you can buy some or all low sodium or no salt-added products, including the taco seasoning. Also, rinsing the beans and corn will help a lot with reducing the sodium.

    Jenn–I'm picky about my tomato products, too, but I really like the Great Value brand. I also really love Western Family tomato products (if you have stores that carry those).

    NikiTheo–Generally, by the time you've lost the weight you want to lose, you've kind of trained your body how to eat healthily. When I lost weight before, I maintained it without tracking anything for about 3 years (until I got pregnant the first time). But you can become a lifetime member and still track what you're eating if you want.

    1. Did not know about reducing sodium by washing. Thanks. First time to your site. Like what I am seeing. Thinking about starting WW. Your site might have just motivated me (I dread thinking of what to make for dinners, esp while doing WW).

      1. I totally get it!! That’s actually why I love Weight Watchers because for me, it’s the easiest plan to follow while still eating “real” food–I always fall off the South Beach wagon because I don’t want to make separate meals for my kids and they don’t appreciate steak… 🙂

  14. Mmm… sounds delicious and healthy! I don't need the extras, so even better.
    I've never done Weight Watchers… Can I ask, how does it work when you stop counting the points?

  15. This sounds wonderful. I might try making it with ground turkey which really accents the flavor of onions and garlic (even better than beef).

    Great recipe – thanks for sharing it.

    🙂
    ButterYum

      1. We make it with turkey a lot as well! LOVE IT!! Have never done the pico de gallo on top though so trying that today! =)

  16. Yum-a-rooni! (that's a word, right?!)

    I can't wait to make this – it sounds easy, delicious and if it makes as much as it sounds, I can freeze some for later this winter too!

    Thanks for this ladies!!!

    (I'm not doing WW but am trying to lose weight so this is truly wonderful)

    and a question …. do you all find that Great Value brand of vegetables, tomatoes/sauces, etc are just as good as name-brand? I'm funny about textures of my canned veggies (I find some store-brands too mushy) so I've always bought Green Giant or Del-Monte or Hunts.

    thanks!

  17. I have a similar recipe that calls for a pkt of ranch dressing mix as well. When I make this I usually freeze the leftovers and they always taste better than the 1st go around. Thanks for sharing! I always love to see your recipes! ~J

  18. how much sodium is in this recipe…do you know? That is the only thing I worry about using so many canned goods and taco seasoning..maybe I will try with fresh ingredients! Thanks for the idea!!

    1. You can get low/ no salt added tomato sauce and canned tomatoes, and low sodium taco seasoning. Or use fresh tomatoes. I used frozen corn and ground turkey breast instead of beef. It would also be good using less taco seasoning and subbing rotel tomatoes for regular diced tomatoes.

  19. I LOVE that you are adding the exact points for the toppings. I always hate trying to come up with the points for the little things like that! This looks super yummy!

  20. Have you ever tried it with crushed tomatoes instead of diced? I'm really weird about chunks of tomatoes in things…I'm also back on WW and appreciate the points very much!

  21. I'm loving that you are posting all these recipes with WW points. I have been using WW off and on for years to maintain and regulate my weight. I really appreciate their new point system as it actually encourages healthy eating.
    I've already made two of your recipes this week…the black bean soup and the spinach feta pasta. Both were great! Keep recipes like these coming! You will be surprised at how many women want good ww recipes!

  22. That soup looks terrific! I did WW before and am back so I appreciate the points:-)

  23. Thanks for doing the points. I'm getting started on eating better too and my husband is sure to join me with food this good!

  24. Woo hoo! Number 1! Go me! Kate, I'm excited about this recipe because I'm FREEZING up here lately! And, I have yet to find a great taco soup recipe. This one looks REALLY good! I think I just might make it tomorrow! Thanks!