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I’m always looking for new easy soup recipes to add to my rotation, and this easy taco soup recipe with ranch dressing is definitely a winner! I’ve combined my favorite taco seasoning recipe and my go-to ranch dressing recipe to create one of the best taco soup recipes… all with just 5 ingredients, but endless variations and toppings. If you enjoy the flavors in taco salad or taco casserole, make this dish your go-to when you want comfort food in a warm-bowl-of-soup form.
Why You’ll Love This Easy Taco Soup Recipe
- Zesty taco taste
- Balance of spicy and creamy flavors
- Warm and comforting
- Just 5 simple ingredients that are pantry staples
- 20 minutes from stovetop to tabletop
- Naturally healthy, low carb, and gluten free
- Customizable with add-ins and toppings
Taco Soup Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for 5 ingredient taco soup, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Ground Beef – I use 85/15 ground beef, but any kind works. You can also use ground turkey, shredded carne asada, ground chicken, or use shredded chicken for a chicken Mexican soup.
- Taco Seasoning – I like to make my own homemade taco seasoning mix, which includes chili powder, cumin, sea salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, dried oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper. You can also buy a store-bought mix. If your spices don’t include salt, add 1 teaspoon of salt per pound of beef when cooking it and adjust to taste at the end as well.
- Broth – I used homemade bone broth for extra nutrition in this taco soup recipe, but you can also use store-bought broth, either regular beef broth, beef bone broth, vegetable broth, or even chicken broth.
- Diced Tomatoes – Use canned diced tomatoes and do not drain. You want the liquid from the cans. Fire roasted tomatoes, diced tomatoes with green chilies, or a jar of salsa would be delicious, too.
- Ranch Dressing – I used homemade ranch dressing (it takes 5 minutes!), but store-bought also works for convenience. If you don’t have any on hand and don’t want to make it, Greek yogurt would work as a substitute, but will have less flavor than using ranch.
Variation: Add beans or corn!
As you can see, the base of this recipe for taco soup is super simple — just 5 ingredients. If you want to make it more hearty, add canned beans or corn in the last 5 minutes of cooking. Black beans are the most popular option, but you could also add pinto beans or kidney beans.
How To Make Taco Soup
This section shows how to make beef taco soup, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Brown beef. In the bottom of a large pot or large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add beef and cook until no longer pink. Drain if desired.
- Season. Add taco seasoning and 3/4 cup of broth. Simmer until the liquid is mostly gone.
- Simmer. Add more broth, diced tomatoes (with liquid), and more taco seasoning. Stir together. Bring to a gentle boil and then simmer to let the flavors develop.
- Add ranch. Remove the taco soup recipe from heat. Stir in ranch dressing. Garnish with your favorite toppings — ideas below!
Alternate Cooking Methods
- Crock Pot: To make Crock Pot taco soup, just brown the meat the same way as the stove method, and finish in the slow cooker on High for 1-2 hours or on Low for 3-4 hours. Stir in dressing just before serving.
- Instant Pot: For Instant Pot taco soup, brown the beef using the Saute button. Add the taco seasoning and 3/4 cup of broth, and saute until the liquid evaporates. Close the lid, turn the knob to Sealing, and cook on high pressure (using the Manual button) for 5 minutes. Use the quick release, then stir in the ranch dressing, without any heat.
- Store: The best way to store taco soup recipes is to allow them to cool completely before pouring into an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- Meal prep: Prepare the recipe in advance, store in the fridge or freezer, and warm when ready to eat.
- Reheat: Taco soup recipe leftovers can be reheated using the microwave, or on the stovetop over medium heat.
Can You Freeze Taco Soup?
Yes, most taco soup recipes can be frozen for up to 6 months, without any toppings. Thaw in the fridge overnight, or in a bag submerged in cold water, before reheating.
Topping Ideas For Taco Soup Recipes
There are plenty of options for topping taco soup recipes, and I think toppings are the best part! Feel free to add anything you’d put on tacos. Here are a few of my favorite taco toppings:
- Sour cream – Adds a cooling and creamy touch. Making taco soup with ranch dressing already mellows out the heat, but this recipe does have a lot of spicy taco seasoning, so sour cream helps cut the heat more.
- Avocado – Add on its own, or make homemade guacamole for topping.
- Chopped Cilantro – For a fresh and aromatic finish.
- Onions – Finely chopped green, red, or yellow ones would all make great garnishes.
- Peppers – Try sliced jalapenos or fresh chopped bell pepper.
- Tortilla Chips – For a little crunch! You can use regular, or for a healthier option, your own. Sprinkle on top or serve on the side.
- Cheese – I used shredded cheddar cheese, but you could also use Monterey jack or a Mexican blend as well.
- Lime Wedges – A squeeze of lime juice at the end can add more flavor.
What To Serve With Taco Soup
If you add toppings, this taco soup recipe is enough for a one-pot meal all on its own. But if you want to add a little something, try these pairings:
- Stock Pot – This stock pot is a great size for large family meals, including this easy taco soup.
- Crock Pot – A ‘set it and forget it’ method of cooking that delivers rich and developed flavors that only happen with long cook times.
- Instant Pot – This appliance pulls double duty as both a slow cooker and pressure cooker. You can use either function with this taco soup recipe.
- Meat Chopper – My favorite tool for breaking up ground beef when browning.
Easy Taco Soup Recipe (5 Ingredients!)
A 20-minute easy taco soup recipe with just 5 simple ingredients like ground beef, taco seasoning, tomatoes, and ranch. Endless topping ideas!
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
In the bottom of a large pot over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef for about 7-10 minutes, until no longer pink. Drain if desired.
Add 2 tablespoons (28 g) taco seasoning (2/3 of the total amount) and 3/4 cup (177 mL) of broth. Simmer for a couple of minutes, until the liquid is mostly gone.
Add the remaining broth, diced tomatoes (with liquid), and remaining tablespoon of taco seasoning. Stir together. Bring to a gentle boil and simmer for about 8-10 minutes.
Remove from heat. Wait 2 minutes, then stir in the ranch dressing. If desired, garnish with shredded cheddar cheese and cilantro.
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Serving size: 1 cup
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