Last Updated on October 10, 2023 by Carne Diem
Method: Dutch OvenJump to Recipe
Of all the recipes on our blog this ground beef taco soup is without a doubt the most frequently made recipe at our house. I love it, the wife loves it, and all of the kids love it. After years of tinkering with different taco soup recipes, we feel we truly have come up with the absolute best taco soup recipe on the internet. This Dutch Oven Taco Soup is packed with flavor but is still a family friendly taco soup recipe. It is also an incredibly easy recipe, and the taco soup freezes well, making it a favorite for making in large batches and storing for use throughout the year.
Table of contents
What is Taco Soup?
Taco soup is a fantastic one pot soup recipe that is a spinoff of traditional chili. It typically contains seasoned beef or chicken along with beans, onion, and often corn. Making taco soup with Ranch dressing mix is also common, and a great flavor enhancer for the Tex-Mex soup.
How to Make the Best Ever Taco Soup
Ingredients for Taco Soup
To make the best taco soup ever, you will need 2 pounds ground beef, a small onion, taco seasoning, dry ranch seasoning, canned corn, beef broth, a can of Rotel, and assorted canned beans.
Best beans to use for taco soup
Our favorite beans to use in taco soup are a mixture of kidney beans, great northern beans, and black beans, but you can use your favorite beans. This one pot taco soup is extremely customizable.
Prep the ingredients
First prep your taco soup ingredients by dicing the onion and draining the beans and corn. That is pretty much the extent of the prep. We told you this was an easy soup recipe.
Brown the ground beef and onion
The next step in making the Dutch Oven Taco Soup is to brown the meat and onions. Heat your Dutch oven over medium heat, about 300 degrees. This can be done easily on your home stove, but Dutch oven cooking is so easy, we have made the taco soup on our grill, smoker, and even make campfire taco soup in a Dutch oven when we are camping.
If you don't have a Dutch oven you can also prepare the ingredients in a skillet and finish the taco soup in a crock pot, but we prefer making this a one pot dish with the Dutch oven.
Add the ground meat and onion to the Dutch oven and cook until the beef is browned, and the onions are softened. Drain the excess grease from the pot.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the one pot taco soup
Next, stir in the taco seasoning and the dry ranch seasoning. We typically use a homemade taco seasoning, which you can find on our recipe for Scratch Fire Roasted Chile and Beef Enchiladas. You can also use your favorite store-bought taco seasoning. For a little more spice you can use hot taco seasoning or a mixture of hot and mild seasoning. If you have extra seasoning or taco meat, give our Smoked Taco Dip a try.
Stir the soup until well combined, then add in the drained canned corn, drained beans, and undrained Rotel. Stir to mix well then add in the beef broth.
Simmer in the the Dutch Oven
Bring the ground beef taco soup to a simmer, then cover the Dutch oven and continue to simmer for at least an hour. After about an hour, lower the temperature to keep the taco soup warm. You can continue to cook the soup until you are ready to eat, but it gets better with time, so we usually continue to cook on very low heat for a few more hours. Stir the taco soup occasionally to make sure it is not sticking to the bottom of the Dutch Oven.
For more of the best soup recipes be sure to check out some of our most popular soup and chowder recipes here:
- Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup with Smoked Beef
- Greenlandic Inspired Pollock Soup
- Fire Roasted Tomato Soup
- Texas Red Chili with Smoked Chuck Roast
- Smoked Salmon Chowder
- Dutch Oven White Chicken Chili
Making taco soup on a grill or smoker
If you are making the Dutch oven taco soup on a grill or smoker, you may consider cooking the taco soup uncovered for the first hour. This will result in more of a smoked taco soup. When cooking uncovered, you may need to add a little additional beef broth or water to the soup if too much liquid is evaporating.
Making an Over-the-Top Smoked Taco Soup
Another fantastic option we have tried is making an over-the-top smoked taco soup. To do this mix the ground beef and onion with the taco seasoning and Ranch seasoning and form into a loose meatloaf. Place the Dutch oven on the smoker over indirect heat. Add the beans, corn, Rotel and beef broth to the Dutch oven and then place the taco seasoned loaf of meat on a wire rack on top of the Dutch oven.
Smoke the meat until it reaches an internal temperature of 155 degrees, then crumble the smoked meat into the Dutch oven. Cover and simmer for about an hour before serving.
Serve the Tex-Mex style soup warm with your favorite toppings.
What to Serve with Taco Soup
There are so many great ways to serve and top off your taco soup. Here are some of our favorites.
Shredded Cheese- We always serve our ground beef taco soup with a bowl of shredded cheese. While shredded cheddar cheese is commonly used, we think the Mexican Chihuahua cheese is the best cheese for taco soup. It is by far our family's favorite cheese for all things tacos. Pepperjack cheese is also great if you want a little more kick.
Tortilla Chips- We also always serve our Dutch Oven Taco Soup with a side of tortilla chips. Forget the saltines or oyster crackers, for taco soup crushed tortilla chips are the way to go.
Sour Cream- Sour cream also makes a great topping for homemade taco soup. Top with a dollop of sour cream, and dig in.
Fresh Lime Slices- A squeeze of fresh lime helps to add a hit of freshness to your soup.
Hot Sauce- Kick up the heat level of your soup by serving with bottles of your favorite hot sauce.
Diced Onion- Adding some finely diced onion is a classic addition to soups like taco soup and our lamb birria.
Cilantro- Fresh cilantro helps bring a little earthiness to the Dutch oven taco soup.
Avocado- Topping with fresh avocado slices is a healthy way to top your soup. For the best taco soup ever, top with some fresh made guacamole.
Frequently Asked Questions
While Taco soup and chili are somewhat similar, taco soup is typically thinner in consistency than chili. Taco is typically seasoned with taco seasoning and/ Ranch seasoning while traditional chili typically uses chili powder or dried or fresh chiles for its seasoning.
Yes, taco soup can easily be made in bulk and frozen. We like to make an extra large batch and then freeze individual portions so they are ready to go whenever we need them.
Leftovers should be consumed or frozen within 5 days of making the soup.
The taco soup is best reheated in a pot on the stovetop. The Tex-Mex soup also reheats well in the microwave if you are in a hurry.
As written, this homemade taco soup should be free of major allergens like nuts and dairy. This can be a gluten free taco soup but care should be taken to ensure that the individual ingredients used, like the taco seasoning and Ranch seasoning, are gluten free.
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Dutch Oven Taco Soup
- 2 pounds Ground Beef we like 80/20
- 1 Yellow Onion diced
- 15 ounce Can Corn drained
- 10 ounce Rotel
- 15 ounce Can Black Beans drained
- 15 ounce Can Great Northern Beans drained
- 15 ounce Can Red Beans drained
- 15 ounce Can Dark Red Kidney Beans drained
- 32 ounces Beef Broth
- 2 ounces Taco Seasoning 2 packets
- 1 ounce Dry Ranch Dressing Seasoning 1 packet
- Add the ground meat and onion to the Dutch oven and cook until the beef is browned, and the onions are softened. Drain the excess grease from the pot.
- Next, stir in the taco seasoning and the dry ranch seasoning.
- Stir until well combined, then add in the drained canned corn, drained beans, and undrained Rotel. Stir to mix well then add in the beef broth.Add the rest of the ingredients to the one pot taco soup.
- Bring the ground beef taco soup to a simmer, then cover the Dutch oven and continue to simmer for at least an hour. After about an hour, lower the temperature to keep the taco soup warm. You can continue to cook the soup until you are ready to eat, but it gets better with time, so we usually continue to cook on very low heat for a few more hours. Stir the taco soup occasionally to make sure it is not sticking to the bottom of the Dutch Oven.
- Serve warm with your favorite toppings like, diced onion, avocado, cilantro, or sour cream.