Need to make dinner in 30 minutes flat? When I’m rushed for time, dinner has to be quick and still be a healthy meal. One of my family favorites is this Easy Taco Soup Recipe. Soup is a miracle dinner – one pot, throw it in, simmer… and viola!
Canned Tomatoes VS. Fresh Tomatoes for Soup
This recipe calls for canned tomatoes, but that's not just because they're more convenient. While first instinct tells us that fresh is always best, that’s not actually the case when it comes to tomatoes and soup. The reasons may surprise you.
Fresh tomatoes have more folate and vitamins A and K, but canned tomatoes have more iron and calcium. However, the thing that really makes a difference in soup making is that canned tomatoes are canned at the peak of freshness, whereas tomatoes from the grocery store have usually been picked early and then ripened during the shipping process. Canned tomatoes also have salt added in the canning process to amplify the flavor. So unless you’re getting your tomatoes right from the vine, you may be better off going with canned. Not to mention the fact that canned tomatoes are easier for a quick dinner.
If you do decide to substitute fresh tomatoes in this, or other soup recipes, use two cups of fresh, chopped tomatoes for every 14.5 oz can the recipe calls for. You may also need to up the salt in the recipe also to bring out the flavor of the fresh tomatoes.
Taco Soup Toppings
If you want to add a little something extra to this easy taco soup, try topping it with any of the following ingredients. The easiest thing to do is let people top it the way they want. That way, everyone gets to customize their own soup.
- Tortilla Chips
- Fresh Avocados
- Green Onions
- Minced Garlic
- Lime Juice
- Fresh Tomatoes
Best Side Dishes for Taco Soup
Sometimes soup doesn’t feel like a complete meal. Serving this easy taco soup with chips and salsa keeps things simple. If you’ve got a few extra minutes, we love this guacamole dip. This Mexican Rice takes a little more time to pull together, but it’s still super easy and very delicious. Or this Soft and Sweet Cornbread only takes 15 minutes to get in the oven, but tastes amazing!
How Long Does Taco Soup Last?
If you don’t eat all the soup in one sitting, don’t worry. This taco soup will keep for a few days in the fridge. It reheats nicely too, so all you need to do is heat it and throw on some fresh toppings for a meal that tastes as good as when you first made it. Or, if you want to keep it longer than that, you can throw it in the freezer for up to six months. For best results, follow the instructions for freezing soup in this Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup recipe. You may even want to make a little extra soup to freeze for when you’re really short on time.
Easy Taco Soup Ingredients
Makes 8-10, 1-cup servings
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 package taco seasoning or your favorite homemade taco seasoning
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 15 oz can black beans
- 1 15 oz can corn
- 1 4 oz can diced green chiles
- 2 15 oz cans diced tomatoes
- 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
- Dash of Tabasco to taste
- 1 cup shredded cheese (to garnish)
- 1 diced avocado (to garnish)
- Tortilla chips or corn chips (to garnish)
- In a large stock pot, brown the ground beef until crumbly.
- Add onion and cook until translucent.
- Add taco seasoning and water. Stir until meat is evenly coated.
- Add in black beans, corn, and chiles. (Do not drain the cans first.) Mix well and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add tomatoes and tomato sauce and simmer for up to 20 minutes to combine flavors.
- If you like your soup spicy, add a dash of Tabasco and use Hot green chiles.
- Serve with grated cheese, fresh avocado, tortilla chips, or other toppings of your choice.
Next time your kids are clamoring for dinner and you’ve just now started thinking about the meal, grab some cans from the pantry and ground beef from the freezer and you’ll have supper on the table in no time.
More Dinner Ideas