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Crock Pot Taco Soup

Crock Pot Taco Soup recipe

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Crock Pot Taco Soup is a delicious, hearty, and incredibly easy-to-make dish that’s perfect for busy weeknights or lazy weekends. This flavorful soup combines ground beef, beans, corn, and tomatoes with the bold spices of taco seasoning, all slow-cooked to perfection. The convenience of using a crock pot means you can set it and forget it, allowing the flavors to meld beautifully over time. Garnish with your favorite toppings like crushed tortilla chips, sour cream, shredded cheese, and green onions to add extra layers of texture and flavor. This recipe is not only satisfying but also versatile and customizable to suit your taste.

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Ingredients

Main Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • 15 oz. Beef Broth (canned)
  • 15 oz. Corn Kernels (canned and undrained)
  • 15 oz. Rotel Tomatoes and Green Chiles (canned and undrained)
  • 1 can Pinto Beans with their liquid
  • 1 envelope Ranch Dressing Dry Mix
  • 1 envelope Taco Seasoning Mix
  • 1 cup Fresh Water

For Garnishing:

  • Crushed Tortilla Chips
  • Sour Cream
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Sliced Green Onions

Instructions

1. Prepare the Ingredients

  1. Brown the Ground Beef: In a skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef until it’s no longer pink, breaking it up into crumbles as it cooks. Drain any excess fat.
  2. Chop the Onion: Finely chop the onion and add it to the skillet with the ground beef. Cook until the onion is translucent.

2. Assemble the Soup

  1. Combine Ingredients: Transfer the cooked ground beef and onion to your crock pot. Add the beef broth, corn kernels (with their liquid), Rotel tomatoes and green chiles (with their liquid), pinto beans (with their liquid), ranch dressing mix, taco seasoning mix, and fresh water.
  2. Mix Well: Stir all the ingredients together until they are well combined.

3. Cook the Soup

  1. Set the Crock Pot: Cover the crock pot with its lid and set it to cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. Cooking on low allows the flavors to develop more fully, but high is great if you’re short on time.
  2. Check Occasionally: If possible, stir the soup occasionally to ensure even cooking and to prevent any sticking.

4. Serve the Soup

  1. Garnish: Once the soup is ready, ladle it into bowls and garnish with your choice of toppings: crushed tortilla chips, dollops of sour cream, handfuls of shredded cheese, and dashes of sliced green onions.
  2. Enjoy: Serve immediately and enjoy the warm, comforting flavors of the taco soup.

Cooking Notes

1. Meat Options

  • You can substitute ground beef with ground turkey or chicken for a lighter version.
  • For a vegetarian option, omit the meat and add extra beans or vegetables like bell peppers and zucchini.

2. Spice Level

  • Adjust the heat level by choosing mild, medium, or hot Rotel tomatoes and green chiles.
  • Add extra chili powder or a dash of hot sauce if you prefer a spicier soup.

3. Broth

  • Use low-sodium beef broth if you are watching your sodium intake.
  • Vegetable broth can be used as a substitute for a different flavor profile.

4. Beans

  • Feel free to mix and match beans; black beans or kidney beans can be great alternatives to pinto beans.

Variations

1. Cheesy Taco Soup

  • Stir in 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese into the soup during the last 30 minutes of cooking for a creamy, cheesy twist.

2. Taco Soup with Rice

  • Add 1 cup of cooked rice to the soup before serving for added texture and heartiness.

3. Vegetarian Taco Soup

  • Replace the ground beef with extra beans or vegetables and use vegetable broth instead of beef broth.

4. Spicy Taco Soup

  • Increase the amount of taco seasoning and add a can of diced green chilies or jalapeños for an extra kick.

5. Creamy Taco Soup

  • Stir in 1 cup of heavy cream or sour cream during the last 30 minutes of cooking for a rich and creamy soup.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I make this soup on the stovetop instead of a crock pot?

Yes, you can make this soup on the stovetop. After browning the ground beef and cooking the onion, add all ingredients to a large pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Can I freeze leftover taco soup?

Absolutely! Taco soup freezes well. Allow the soup to cool completely, then transfer it to airtight containers or freezer bags. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and warm up on the stovetop or in the microwave.

3. What can I serve with taco soup?

Taco soup pairs well with a variety of sides, such as cornbread, tortilla chips, a simple green salad, or even a side of Mexican rice.

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4. Can I use fresh vegetables instead of canned?

Yes, fresh vegetables can be used. Substitute fresh corn, tomatoes, and cooked pinto beans for the canned versions. You might need to add a little more liquid (water or broth) to account for the reduction in canned liquids.

5. Is this recipe gluten-free?

The main ingredients are naturally gluten-free, but be sure to check the labels on the ranch dressing mix and taco seasoning mix, as some brands may contain gluten. Use gluten-free versions if needed.

Crock Pot Taco Soup is a versatile and flavorful dish that brings the hearty essence of tacos into a comforting soup form. Perfect for busy days, this easy-to-make recipe requires minimal prep and allows the crock pot to do all the work, blending bold flavors into a satisfying meal. With endless customization options, you can tailor this soup to your liking, making it a staple in your recipe repertoire. Enjoy the convenience and deliciousness of this taco soup and let it warm you up from the inside out!