Slow Cooker Vegetarian Taco Soup (With Vegan Option)

Slow cooker vegetarian taco soup

The Spruce

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Slow cook time: 8 hrs
Total: 8 hrs 5 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
339 Calories
9g Fat
53g Carbs
14g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 339
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 3g 17%
Cholesterol 16mg 5%
Sodium 1303mg 57%
Total Carbohydrate 53g 19%
Dietary Fiber 13g 46%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 14g
Vitamin C 10mg 50%
Calcium 158mg 12%
Iron 5mg 26%
Potassium 842mg 18%
*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.)

This Mexican-inspired vegetarian taco soup recipe with kidney beans, pinto beans, and black beans is easy, deliciously satisfying, and quick to prepare (you really just dump everything in the crock pot).  It's a set-it-and-forget-it kind of recipe packed with fiber, protein, and low-glycemic carbohydrates that is nearly fat-free and perfect for busy lifestyles. Plus, it's a great vegetarian and vegan option for families on a budget. Keep it vegan by omitting the optional cheese and sour cream toppings or use dairy-free and vegan substitutes.

This is a terrific tailgating or party food especially when you're uncertain of your guests' eating preferences and dietary restrictions—it's always nice to offer something for everyone. Try one of the tofu, seafood, and meat variations below.

Ingredients

  • 1 (14-ounce) can corn, drained

  • 1 (14-ounce) can kidney beans, or navy beans, drained

  • 1 (14-ounce) can pinto beans, drained

  • 1 (14-ounce) can black beans, drained

  • 1 (7-ounce) can green chiles

  • 1 (14-ounce) can stewed tomatoes, undrained

  • 1 (1-ounce) package taco seasoning mix

  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin

  • 3/4 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 2 cups tortilla chips or corn chips

  • 1/4 cup grated cheese

  • 1-2 medium green onions, chopped

  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Vegetarian crockpot taco soup ingredients
    The Spruce
  2. Place the drained corn, kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, optional green chilies, and undrained stewed tomatoes in your crock pot and give it a quick stir.

    Vegetarian taco soup ingredients in slow cooker
    The Spruce
  3. Next, add the taco seasoning mix, cumin, onion powder, salt, and garlic powder and quickly stir again.

    Vegetarian taco soup ingredients in slow cooker
    The Spruce
  4. Cook on low setting for 8 to 10 hours. Alternatively, if you're in a hurry, you can set this on high for 3 hours.

  5. Taste and adjust the seasonings before serving. If the soup is too thick for your liking, add vegetable broth to thin it out. If it is too thin, cook it a little longer with the cover off.

    Vegetarian taco soup in slow cooker
    The Spruce
  6. To serve, set out bowls of optional garnishes—tortilla chips, grated cheese, chopped green onions, chopped cilantro, sour cream—and let your family or guests top their soup to their liking. 

    Slow cooker vegetarian taco soup
    The Spruce

Tofu Variation

For even more protein, add tofu, seitan, or textured vegetable protein (TVP). If using tofu or seitan, follow these instructions. If using TVP, see the note after the directions. The yield will be increased from 6 servings to 8 servings in all three cases.

  1. Drain 12 ounces of firm or extra-firm tofu and cut it into 8 slices. 

    Tofu
    The Spruce
  2. Place the tofu slices on a thick layer of paper towels. Top with another thick layer of paper towels and place a heavy (cast-iron) skillet on top to press out the excess water. If you don't have a cast-iron skillet, make a weight by placing a heavy can of vegetables in a bowl on top of the tofu. Let the tofu press for 10 minutes.

    Draining tofu with iron skillet on top
    The Spruce
  3. Sparingly brush the drained and pressed slices of tofu on all sides with olive oil or a neutral oil like canola, grapeseed, or sunflower oil. If desired, sprinkle with some of the packaged taco seasoning mix. 

    Seasoned tofu for taco soup
    The Spruce
  4. Over medium-high heat, cook the tofu in a heated nonstick skillet until it begins to brown on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Flip the slices and cook for 2 minutes more.

    Frying tofu
    The Spruce
  5. Remove from the pan and let cool. Cut into strips or chunks and add to the soup at the end of cooking to rewarm it. Don't let it boil because it can make the tofu unpleasantly tough.

    Tofu added to taco soup
    The Spruce
  6. Add to soup and enjoy.

Tips

  • If you're cooking for kids, you might want to omit the optional green chiles.
  • Mexican-style stewed tomatoes are best if you can find them.
  • If the soup is too thick, thin it out with vegetable broth, if too thin, cook it longer with the cover off until it reaches the thickness you'd like.

Recipe Variations

  • If you are a vegetarian who eats fish and shellfish, you can use this same cooking technique by adding up to 12 ounces (pre-cooked weight) of seafood like shrimp, crab, cod, mahi-mahi, or any other firm-fleshed finfish. Remember, when you mix the cooked seafood with the cooked soup to just warm it through or it will become rubbery, dry, and tough. 
  • For the carnivores in your group, you can set out bowls of cooked and drained room-temperature chorizo sausage or grilled chicken along with the other garnishes for guests to add to their bowls at their discretion. The heat of the soup will rewarm the meat.