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.
Recipe: Dump & Run Easy Taco Soup
Summary: This quick and easy Taco Soup is a crowd pleaser each and every time served.
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 small onion (optional)
- 2 garlic cloves (optional)
- 1 package of Taco Seasoning
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 cans undrained beans, 15 ounce, your choice (I typically use black beans and Pintos, but Great Northern, Ranch Style, Mild Chili Beans are all great options)
- 1 small bag of frozen corn, (I love Shoe Peg), or 15 oz. can whole kernel corn, drained
- 1 can stewed tomatoes, 14 oz.
- 1 can Rotel (or Diced Tomatoes with Green Chiles)
- 1 can chopped green chiles, 14 oz (optional for those who love a slight kick to it)
- 1 package of dry ranch salad dressing mix
- Cheese, Tortilla Chips, Sour Cream (optional garnishes)
- In large pot or Dutch Oven, fry ground beef, chopped onion, and minced garlic, drain grease.*
- Add taco seasoning into beef mixture, and mix well.*
- Dump and Stir in the remaining ingredients.
- Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally. The more time it has to simmer, the deeper the flavors. The Longer = the better.
- If your preference is a “soupier” consistency, add a bit more water. (Note differences in pictures below.)
The recipe may also be made in a crock pot. Just dump all the ingredients in the morning (only with cooked taco meat option), run your errands and let it cook all day. If you have it on low, you can easily cook it for 6-8 hours. If you put it on high, cook for 3 hours and then turn to low. Since all meats is cooked, it’s just about heating thoroughly and letting flavors meld.
Preparation time: 5 – 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15+ minutes
Number of servings (yield): 6
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