Slow Cooker Taco Soup

This slow cooker taco soup with ground beef is so easy - and SO GOOD! Perfect for busy weeks. Flexible cooking times.
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Photography Credit: Lisa Lin

This slow cooker taco soup with ground beef is one of my favorite recipes to make in the slow cooker, especially in the fall and winter months.

The soup is so hearty and flavorful, and the beef gets so tender over the long hours of cooking. Let it cook all day and it just gets better.

Slow Cooker Taco SoupNote that you’ll need a few minutes to brown the beef before putting this soup into the slow cooker. Even briefly browning the beef gives it a better texture and flavor in the finished soup, and it also helps render out some of the fat before it goes into the slow cooker.

Since I’m already browning the meat, I also like to cook the onions a little bit. This draws out their sweet flavor.

You can brown the meat and onions a day or two ahead and keep them refrigerated until you’re ready to make the soup..

I love serving this soup with crushed tortilla chips for some crunch and also to complete the “taco” part of the soup. Add a healthy dollop of sour cream and it’s ready to eat!

Slow Cooker Taco Soup Recipe

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  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Slow cooker time: 6 to 7 hours

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound (450g) lean ground beef
  • 1 1/2 cups (180g) diced yellow or red onions
  • 2 to 3 cups (475ml to 710ml) chicken or beef broth (use more if you want a thinner soup)
  • 1 15-oz. (425g) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-oz. (425g) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-oz. (425g) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 4-oz. (115g) can chopped green chiles
  • 1 1/4 cups (135g) corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt

To serve:

  • Tortilla chips, lightly crushed
  • Sour cream
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Finely diced red onion
  • Lime juice
  • Chopped red onions

Special equipment:

Method

1 Brown the beef with the onions (can be done a day or two ahead): Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add beef and onions and cook 2 to 3 minutes, until the ground beef is browned but not completely cooked and the onions are starting to look soft around the edges. Use your spatula to break up the ground beef into smaller pieces as it cooks. Remove from heat and use immediately, or refrigerate for a day or two until needed.

Slow Cooker Taco Soup

2 Combine the browned beef, onions and the remaining soup ingredients in a slow cooker and stir. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours. It's fine if the soup cooks a little longer or the slow cooker switches to the "warm" setting.

Slow Cooker Taco Soup

3 Serve the soup: Serve soup in bowls and top with crushed tortilla chips, sour cream, cilantro, red onion and lime juice.

This soup will keep refrigerated for 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months.

Slow Cooker Taco Soup

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Lisa Lin

Lisa Lin is the writer and photographer behind Healthy Nibbles & Bits, where she shares simple, gluten-free recipes. She grew up in San Francisco and spent time living in China and Washington, D.C. before moving back to California. Her recipes are often inspired by her time in China and travel throughout Southeast Asia.

More from Lisa

Slow Cooker Taco Soup

Showing 4 of 20 Comments

  • hapless cook

    I followed this recipe exactly, and the taste was ok but the texture was terrible. Mushy beans, flabby tomatoes. I’ll try to make it in a cast iron pot next time, this should fix the texture issue.

  • Ana

    How long would you cook this in a pressure cooker?

  • Steorra

    This recipe was awesome! I upped the spices a little and topped with shredded Mexican cheese, fresh cilantro, crushed tortilla chips, and a generous dollop of Greek yogurt (in lieu of sour cream). Everyone in my family enjoyed it, even my father-in-law who rarely eats meat. He actually went for seconds! I’ll definitely be making it again. Thanks Lisa!

  • Sandy S

    I made this with ground turkey and dry pinto beans in place of ground beef and canned kidney beans because that’s what I had on hand. I soaked the pinto beans over night and then rinsed and cooked then for an hour in the morning before starting the slow cooker recipe. Turned out great! Love the way the broth darkens up with it’s full flavor.
    I used ground turkey that was not so lean for this recipe to pump up the flavor. It seemed worth it.
    Still looking forward to trying this recipe with TVP as Cassandra suggested above. And also the kidney beans. If there are leftovers, and I should think if there are very many people in your family there won’t be!! But, if there are leftovers, I could see adding broth, noodles and fresh/ frozen vegis like carrots and peas as an easy way to create a second meal.

  • Kira

    ohh, you could put fat white hominy in this too or instead of the corn chips too. yum!

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