As the autumn leaves fall and the new frosts tops the grass, there’s nothing more that calls its name in the kitchen more than this easy taco soup recipe.
In fact, it’s quite possibly the most requested meal by our kids, and the fact that it takes less than 10 minutes to throw together makes me “Mother of the Year” quite often.
There’s nothing I love more than lighting the candles on the table and cozying up as a family, although right now, the weather is ideal, so the front porch is our magical gathering place for letting our soul breathe. So much Life happens around the table and memories are made.
I’m all about less time around the stove, so we can enjoy more time around the table and this recipe tops the list. What’s wonderful about this meal is that it gets better with time. The seasonings deepen as they mix, so making extra to serve later is something that’s a given.
They always remind me though, “Make sure you make lots, Mom. It will be even better tomorrow.”
It’s one of my three top choices when entertaining large groups, along with my Mom’s Homemade Lasagna. Everyone loves Taco Soup (and it’s very easy to make it vegetarian for special guests), plus it freezes perfectly, so it meets just about everyone of my criteria.
It’s a foolproof recipe with room for “self expression”so know that you can swap seasonings and ingredients based on family preference.
For instance, while my base recipe calls for Dry Ranch Dressing, many times I do not add it, thereby substituting an additional package of Taco Seasoning. If I have green peppers on hand, I will add them to the meat mixture. If you are veggie lover, add more corn, peppers, or zucchini.
One of our goals in the kitchen, is to get to the point where we can mix, taste test and improvise. That is difficult for many in the kitchen, but Taco Soup is a perfect recipe to start implementing that creativity.
10 Minute Tip: if you are following the 10 minute dinner philosophy, you will already have the Taco Meat pre-cooked and ready to grab from your fridge or freezer. This will significantly cut down on the prep time of this meal, making it as quick as five minutes to whip together. I always have Bulk Ground Beef options which have the onion and garlic already added.
C.O.S.T Cooking ideas: Use the leftover soup, add a few more beans to thicken the consistency up and use as filling for an Easy Taco Ring or as stuffing for the Mini Biscuit Meatloaves.
Recipe: Dump & Run Easy Taco Soup
Summary: This quick and easy Taco Soup is a crowd pleaser each and every time served.
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 small onion (optional)
- 2 garlic cloves (optional)
- 1 package of Taco Seasoning
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 cans undrained beans, 15 ounce, your choice (I typically use black beans and Pintos, but Great Northern, Ranch Style, Mild Chili Beans are all great options)
- 1 small bag of frozen corn, (I love Shoe Peg), or 15 oz. can whole kernel corn, drained
- 1 can stewed tomatoes, 14 oz.
- 1 can Rotel (or Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles)
- 1 can chopped green chiles, 14 oz (optional for those who love a slight kick to it)
- 1 package of dry ranch salad dressing mix
- Cheese, Tortilla Chips, Sour Cream (optional garnishes)
- In large pot or Dutch Oven, fry ground beef, chopped onion, and minced garlic, drain grease.*
- Add taco seasoning into beef mixture, and mix well.*
- Dump and Stir in the remaining ingredients.
- Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally. The more time it has to simmer, the deeper the flavors. The Longer = the better.
- If your preference is a “soupier” consistency, add a bit more water. (Note differences in pictures below.)
The recipe may also be made in a crock pot. Just dump all the ingredients in the morning (only with cooked taco meat option), run your errands and let it cook all day. If you have it on low, you can easily cook it for 6-8 hours. If you put it on high, cook for 3 hours and then turn to low. Since all meats is cooked, it’s just about heating thoroughly and letting flavors meld.
Preparation time: 5 – 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15+ minutes
Number of servings (yield): 6