Easy Taco Soup With Ground Beef

Taco Soup
Photo: Diana Rattray
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 65 mins
Total: 80 mins
Servings: 8 to 10
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
406 Calories
17g Fat
31g Carbs
32g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 10
Amount per serving
Calories 406
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 22%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 81mg 27%
Sodium 743mg 32%
Total Carbohydrate 31g 11%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 32g
Vitamin C 8mg 42%
Calcium 79mg 6%
Iron 5mg 27%
Potassium 916mg 19%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

If you believe this recipe will make too much for one meal, you'll be happy to hear that this flavorful taco soup freezes well. The easy soup is made with ground beef, and it's flavored with ranch dressing and taco seasoning. Vegetables include tomatoes, corn, and onions, and pinto beans for added extra protein. Feel free to lighten it a bit with ground turkey instead of beef.

Your family will love the topping of crispy tortilla strips, but feel free to garnish the soup with cheese. Take a look at the variations for other possible garnishes and toppings.

Serve this well-seasoned soup with cornbread or muffins for a delicious everyday family meal. If you don't have pinto beans, you can use black beans or Great Northern beans. 

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped

  • 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, undrained

  • 1 (15-ounce) can corn, drained, or 1 1/2 cups frozen corn

  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can stewed tomatoes, preferably Mexican style

  • (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chiles

  •  (1-ounce) packet taco seasoning mix

  • 1 tablespoon Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing (dry)

  • 2 1/2 cups water, or unsalted beef stock

For the Optional Tortilla Strips:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 8 medium corn tortillas

  • Salad or cornbread, for serving, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. In a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat, brown the ground beef in the oil. Cook, stirring until the beef is no longer pink.

  2. Add the chopped onion, pinto beans, corn, canned tomatoes, taco seasoning, ranch dressing, and water or beef stock to the ground beef.

  3. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 1 hour. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cut the tortillas into 1/4-inch strips. When the oil shimmers, fry the tortilla strips until golden and transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.

  4. When the soup is ready, top it with tortilla strips and serve it in big soup bowls.

  5. Serve with a simple tossed salad and hot baked cornbread wedges, if desired.

Tips

  • Make fried tortilla strips using corn tortillas. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, stack a few corn tortillas and cut into strips. Cut as many strips as you need for your guests. Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large skillet and fry the strips (in batches) to crispy perfection. Drain them on paper towels. 
  • Popcorn is another popular garnish for soup. 

Recipe Variations

  • For a quicker topping, use corn chips or the crispy seasoned tortilla strips available in the salad aisle.
  • Garnish with shredded cheddar, Monterey Jack, or pepper jack cheese.
  • Use a can of black beans (rinsed) instead of pinto beans.
  • Make the soup with all or part ground turkey.
  • For a vegetarian version, increase the vegetables and double the beans or add a can of drained black beans or navy beans.

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