Dump & Run Taco Soup

For years, this easy taco soup recipe has been a staple in our home.

In fact, it’s quite possibly the most requested recipe by our kids, and the fact that it takes less than 10 minutes to throw together makes me “Mother of the Year” quite often.

They don’t need to know just how simple it is to grant them their favorite meal requests, and I don’t plan on announcing it anytime soon. What’s wonderful about this meal is that it gets better with time. The seasonings deepen as they mix, so making extra to serve later is something that’s a given.

They always remind me though, “Make sure you make lots, Mom. It will be even better tomorrow.”

It’s one of my three top choices when entertaining large groups, along with my Mom’s Homemade Lasagna. Everyone loves Taco Soup (and it’s very easy to make it vegetarian for special guests),  plus it freezes perfectly, so it meets just about everyone of my criteria.

In posting this recipe, I am at a disadvantage because I don’t use a recipe for this anymore. That is the beauty of this Dump & Run Taco Soup; use what you have on hand. It may be a tad different every time, but with the flavorings, you can not go wrong.

It’s a foolproof recipe with room for “self expression.” (Can we do that in cooking?) 😉

As you read through it, know that there is room to experiment. For instance,  while my base recipe calls for Dry Ranch Dressing, many times I do not add it, thereby substituting an additional package of Taco Seasoning. If I have green peppers on hand, I will add them to the meat mixture. If you are veggie lover, add more corn, peppers, or zucchini.. One of our goals in the kitchen, is to get to the point where we can mix, taste test and improvise.  That is difficult for many in the kitchen, but Taco Soup is a perfect recipe to start implementing that creativity.

10 Minute Tip:  if you are following the 10 minute dinner philosophy, you will already have the Taco Meat pre-cooked and ready to grab from your fridge or freezer. This will significantly cut down on the prep time of this meal, making it as quick as five minutes to whip together. I always have Bulk Ground Beef options which have the onion and garlic already added.

C.O.S.T Cooking ideas: Use the leftover soup, add a few more beans to thicken the consistency up and use as filling for an Easy Taco Ring or as stuffing for the Mini Biscuit Meatloaves.

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  1. We love taco soup and and actually have some leftovers in the fridge right now! I was wondering if you have ever tried to make your own dried Ranch mix and if so, have you had any successes you could share? thanks!

    • That will definitely need to be a new post. Even though buying the dried ranch is so convenient, it’s getting expensive and has so many extra chemicals mixed in, so the homemade is a great option.

    • I make this taco soup a lot and we all (even my two year old or maybe especially my two year old) love it! It has become known as playdate taco soup around here because it is so easy to throw into the crockpot first thing, have a mid-morning playdate and serve it for lunch before the other mama and little friend go home for naps. Two of my friends who have had us over for playdates have made it too!

      My little guy is allergic to dairy so I cannot use the Ranch packet. I didn’t want to use those flavors though so I did some searching online and this is what I came up with:

      1 tablespoon dried parsley, crushed
      1 teaspoon dried dill weed
      1 teaspoon onion powder
      1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
      1 teaspoon salt
      1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
      1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

      Read more: http://www.food.com/recipe/ranch-dressing-and-seasoning-mix-47249#ixzz1bq8aAUIr

      You could of course also use the dry buttermilk mentioned in the link but I have left that out because of the dairy allergy and been quite pleased.

      Hope that helps you too, Carmen! Kelly

      • Thanks Kelly – that is very similar to what I have done, except I do use the buttermilk. Great option though for those with dairy allegies. Sounds yummy!

  2. I just recently found your blog, and I will definitely be coming back! I made the taco soup tonight, and it was delicious! I used Boca crumbles instead of ground beef for a meatless option, and Cannelloni beans (to help clean out my pantry). I didn’t have green chiles, but I plan to next time, because hubby & I like our food spicy. Thank you very much for the recipe! I pinned it! =)

  3. Katja Brown says:


    What’s your recommendation on the time in the crock pot on low AND high setting?

  4. I just made this tonight. I had to omit the beans and stewed tomatoes. I didn’t have those things but it was still super delicious. I look forward to making this in the crockpot 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  5. This soup was delicious!! I needed a recipe that called for leftover taco meat, and this fit the bill perfectly. I added about 1 cup of mild salsa. I forgot the corn, but I didn’t even miss it. It tasted similar Wendy’s chili – and I love Wendy’s chili. This soup is definitely going into my bi-weekly rotation. Thanks!


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