This easy creamy taco soup is the easiest weeknight dinner! It’s delicious, ready in under 30 minutes, and full of healthy veggies. It's perfect for taco night.
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The best creamy taco soup recipe
When busy weeks are upon us, I often turn to one recipe: taco soup. Who doesn’t love tacos, after all?
Sometimes you want the taste and flavor of tacos, but with something a little different.
This soup is the opposite — you can use canned and frozen ingredients to make this soup, which cuts prep time down immensely.
It’s a great way to enjoy your favorite comfort food without all the fuss.
This recipe is pretty much a stovetop version of my slow cooker taco soup. (Although, that recipe doesn’t have the cream cheese element, which I have come to love. See the FAQ section below for how to make this creamy taco soup in the crock pot.)
Why you'll love this delicious taco soup
You are going to love this easy creamy taco soup, and I bet it will find its way into regular rotation at your house.
- Creamy taco soup is so quick and easy to make!
- Hearty and comforting, it has all the flavor of tacos, making it a fitting choice for taco night on a cold winter night.
- The leftovers taste even better the next day. You can even freeze it to enjoy it again later!
- Since it's a hearty soup, it makes a full meal without having to make any sides
- It's ready in under 30 minutes so it makes a great option for a busy weeknight
BONUS: It only uses one large soup pot, so clean-up is nice and easy too!
Ingredients you’ll need for cream cheese taco soup
This taco soup may have a long ingredient list, but it takes a lot of shortcuts. I promise there won’t be a lot of prep time!
- ground beef - We like lean ground beef but ground turkey or ground chicken are great substitutes. I’ve even used leftover rotisserie chicken and shredded chicken breasts before.
- taco seasoning - Substitute fajita seasoning instead if needed. (See tips & tricks for more on this!)
- yellow onion - You’ll need a medium onion. Sometimes I buy frozen diced onion for less prep time. You can also omit it entirely or substitute dried onion or onion powder.
- canned crushed tomatoes - I always try to have a few cans in my pantry, but when I don’t, canned tomato sauce works great.
- canned roasted green chile - You can find these in the canned food aisle. If you want to use Rotel, check out the section below called taco soup with ranch dressing and Rotel.
- corn kernels - Use fresh or frozen corn in this recipe. Substitute hominy if you like.
- canned beans - I like to use black beans and kidney beans but you can use your favorite beans instead. Pinto beans work great!
- cream cheese - You can use light or Neufchatel cheese instead, but regular cream cheese will have the creamiest results. This is what makes the creamy broth.
- ranch dressing mix - You can make your own ranch seasoning at home or buy it at the store.
To make this recipe go even quicker, make sure to stock up at the grocery stores on as many shortcuts as possible. Canned and frozen foods are your friends!
Toppings for taco soup
Serving this taco soup with toppings is one of the best ways to please the whole family. Picky eaters will love choosing what goes on top. Here are a few ideas:
- shredded cheese (cheddar cheese or Mexican blend cheese)
- sour cream
- black olives
- fresh cilantro
- diced avocado or a scoop of guacamole
- sliced jalapeños
- tortilla chips
- lime wedges for lime juice
- fresh diced tomatoes
- diced red bell peppers or green bell pepper
Another thing we like to do is serve it over a bed of rice, which helps the soup to be a little heartier and last a little longer for more meals as leftovers.
Just think of your favorite taco toppings and they will work great over this warm bowl of soup.
How to make creamy taco soup
(A full, detailed, printable recipe card with full measurements and instructions is provided at the bottom of this post)
Making this creamy taco soup is so easy! You'll love what an easy recipe this is.
First, get out a large pot or dutch oven and place it over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef, taco seasoning, and onion.
Cook the ground beef and onion mixture, breaking it up until the beef is cooked through and the onions are softened. I like to use one of these meat mashers to help break up the meat.
Once the ground beef has cooked through, you'll start adding in the remaining ingredients. Add the can of crushed tomatoes, green chiles, corn, black beans, and kidney beans. You don’t need to drain the beans or any of the canned items here — just dump them all in with their juices! Stir to combine.
Bring it all to a boil and then turn it down to a simmer.
While the mixture is simmering, add in the cream cheese and ranch dressing mix. Allow the soup to continue to simmer, stirring occasionally until the cream cheese has fully melted. This is what makes the soup creamy.
Remove from the heat and serve with your favorite toppings!
How to store & reheat taco soup
If you’re planning to eat leftovers within a few days of making the soup, put it in an airtight container and store it in the fridge. Then reheat in microwave-safe dishes in 45-second intervals in the microwave.
This soup freezes really well. You can freeze it all together in one gallon-size zip-top bag or in individual servings. This kind of meal prep has saved me on more than one occasion!
You can let it defrost in the fridge overnight, but you can also reheat it from frozen.
First, place the bag(s) under lukewarm water until it separates from the bag. Then add the frozen soup to a saucepan and warm over medium heat.
Tips and tricks for the perfect soup
This taco soup is SO easy, but you can make it even better with these easy tips.
If you use ground chicken or turkey instead of ground beef, be sure to drain it before adding the other ingredients. It will be watery.
The seasoning comes from the taco seasoning and ranch mix so be sure to use ones that you really like. Even though taco seasoning is available at stores, I much prefer to make my own homemade taco seasoning. The flavors are so strong!
When you are cooking the soup, let it simmer a little longer so the flavors come together even more.
If you want to make it extra creamy, you can add in a little heavy cream at the end.
If you like a little extra spice, you can add in additional green chilies and chili powder.
For a thinner soup, you can add broth. I recommend using beef broth, but if you swap the beef for chicken use chicken broth.
Taco soup with ranch dressing and rotel
If you are making this soup with ranch dressing mix and Rotel, you can simply skip the ½ cup roasted green chile. Instead, replace it with a can or two of drained Rotel.
Picky eater tips for creamy beef taco soup
The great thing about this soup recipe is that it can be customized for picky eaters
- You can omit the onions if someone in your family hates them.
- The green peppers aren’t spicy, but you can omit them if anyone has spice concerns.
- Ask everyone what toppings they’d like to have so they can customize the soup to their own preferences.
- You can cook the corn and beans separately and use them as toppings/mix-ins.
- For a dairy-free version, you can use coconut cream or coconut milk instead of cream cheese. But be sure to also use a dairy-free ranch mix.
FAQs about taco soup
Taco soup can be enjoyed on its own or over rice in bowls. You can add toppings like grated cheese, sour cream, olives, jalapeños and avocado. Then, enjoy with a spoon!
Taco soup can be thickened with a can of refried beans. Simply stir until it is fully incorporated.
Yes, this soup can be made in a slow cooker. Simply brown the meat and onions first.
Then add to the crockpot the meat and all the ingredients except the cream cheese and ranch seasoning. Heat it for 4-6 hours on low heat level until bubbling. Then stir in the cream cheese and ranch seasoning and stir until the cream cheese has completely melted.
More Easy Soup Recipes
- Cheesy Lasagna Soup
- Creamy Roasted Tomato Basil Soup
- Slow Cooker Potato Soup
- Creamy Chicken & Rice Soup
- Pasta Fagioli Soup
Creamy Beef Taco Soup
- Add the ground beef, taco seasoning, and onion to a large pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat.
- Cook the ground beef and onion mixture, breaking it up until the beef is cooked through and the onions are softened.
- Once the ground beef has cooked through, add the crushed tomatoes, green chiles, corn, black beans, and kidney beans.
- Bring it to a boil and then turn it down to a simmer.
- While the mixture is simmering, add in the cream cheese and ranch dressing mix.
- Allow the soup to continue to simmer, stirring occasionally until the cream cheese has fully melted.
- Remove from the heat and serve with your favorite toppings!
- The seasoning comes from the taco seasoning and ranch mix so be sure to use ones that you really like
- Let it simmer a little longer so the flavors come together even more
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy. It should only be used for estimation purposes and is not a guarantee of any kind. Nutritional information varies widely between brands and types of ingredients used. It is recommended that you calculate the nutritional information based on your own ingredients and brands used. Sweetly Splendid, LLC makes no guarantees as to the exact nutrition information.