slow cooking expert and mom to three
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A Year of Slow Cooking

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Original Taco Soup CrockPot Recipe



Day 54.

I'm calling this the "original" taco soup recipe because it is the very first taco soup crockpot recipe I tried.

That makes it the original.

This was the recipe that made me fall in love with my crockpot. I first came across it a hundred million years ago on a message board. Carmen posted it. I have seen different variations, but in my not-so-humble-opinion, this one is the very best.


The Ingredients:
serves 8 to 10 as a full meal, but can get stretched to feed 16 or so if served over rice or chips

















there are a lot of cans. recycle. make Al Gore happy.

--2(15-ounce) cans of kindey beans, drained and rinsed
--2 (15-ounce) cans of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
--2 (15-ounce) cans of corn (WITH juice!!)
--1 large can (26-ounces) of diced tomatoes (I have no idea why the can wasn't in this picture. I know I put it in. This is a mystery.)
--1 (10-ounce) can tomatoes and chiles (Rotel)
--1 packet taco seasoning (if you are gluten free, stick to McCormick)
--1 packet ranch dressing mix (make sure there isn't hidden gluten, I went with Hidden Valley)
--1 pound browned ground turkey or hamburger (optional.)
--shredded cheese and sour cream for embelishment (optional, unless you're in my house. then it's mandatory.)


The Directions:

Use the largest slow cooker you have in the house --- this is a BIG recipe, you need a 6-quart or above.

--brown meat if you are going to use it
--drain fat and add to crockpot stoneware insert (the meat. not the fat.)
--sprinkle seasoning packets on top of meat
--drain and rinse the beans and add
--add the ENTIRE contents of the corn and tomato cans
--stir.

cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-5. I think the longer you cook soup, the better, so if you have the time, opt for cooking on low. 

Stir well, and serve with a handful of shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream.


We brought this to a PTA potluck dinner this week and it was well-received.


I used painter's tape to secure the lid. I'm resourceful that way.

165 comments:

ginny said...

this is my favorite taco soup, too. I've served it at birthday parties and have brought it to many potlucks.

Lisa said...

This is my favorite too, except I've never used the ranch dressing mix! Might have to try that.

I originally heard of this soup as Friendship Soup, kinda like Stone soup. When a bunch of women gathered together, each one would bring one part of the ingredients. Two cans of beans, the tomatoes, whatever. The soup can actually be cooked quite quickly on the stove top while the women did whatever they came together to do. Lunch was served pretty quickly and no one person footed the bill for the entire meal.

Crockpot Lady said...

ginny, we have served it at birthday parties, too.

lisa, the ranch gives it a neat tangy twist. I love the idea of making it into a stone soup. the kids make stone soup often at school, but this way would taste a lot better.

xox
steph

Anonymous said...

I have been making this recipe for years but with 2 changes. My recipes calls for adding 3 cups of water (Still taste filled because of all the seasoning). And then also after dishing it up...we break tortilla chips up to throw in our bowls. It adds the last flavor of taco to the whole thing.

Love your blog and your sense of humor! ...Shelly

linda said...

I am on my way to whole foods and will be picking up the ingredients for this soup.. thanks for sharing..

Amie said...

This one's excellent. Made it a bazillion times, myself! It's always better the next day. Love it!

I've not tried the ranch though, so next time, I'll totally do that!

Canadian Saver said...

This looks absolutely delicious! And easy too :-) Perfect for freezing, bringing to work and I'm sure if one varied the toppings and dippers (bread, chips, etc), you could eat it for a whole week's lunches without getting bored.

Amy J said...

Yum, I have this recipe and love it! Never thought to make it in the crockpot though. :) BUT, that's not what I really had to comment about....

What I REALLY HAVE TO comment on is the painter's tape....because I just figured it was there to keep the hubby from lifting the lid to check it (mine ALWAYS does that with ANYTHING I'm cooking!!! *sigh*) Also a great way to keep him from sneaking in more and hotter spices!!! Hee hee hee!!

My Ice Cream Diary said...

This is almost identical to my taco soup recipe except that I also add sauteed onions and top it with fritos chips. SOOOOO delish!

loloandpooh said...

To my Guru,
used my crockpot twice this week. First for your pb brownies, forgot to put the chopstick in the lid until the second hour. They didn't come out that great but not so bad that I would throw them away! Gotta use the chopstick. And second for some mystery meat that was in my freazer. I think it was flank steak but I'm a vegitarian, so what do I know. Threw in a potato and some carrots with onion soup mix. When my meat eating husband comes home I'll let you know if it worked.

Definately going to make this taco soup (after all, the crockpot is out)!

kay said...

haha!! we had this for dinner last night!

i used black beans instead of kidney and hominy instead of corn. oh and i had cooked chicken breast so i used that. yummy yummy stuff. but i never think to put it in the crockpot. duh!

oh and we at lots and lots of jalapenos! mo' hotta mo' betta!

Tara said...

this one looks like a keeper!

Disneypal said...

I love this soup and make it quite often, the only thing I do different is I use black beans instead of pinto beans. But it is good either way.

Another thing that is good about this recipe - very low fat !

Cassie said...

This sounds yummy...I will be trying this one this week...

Preds Girl said...

Thanks for the organization in this site! I appreciate the format...with a picture of each dish, ingredient lists, verdicts, etc.

I found your site from the food blogroll site.

Thank you so much for the effort and time you put into it!

emtsgrl said...

My family loves this soup. I have never made it in a crock-pot though, but I'm going to next time I make it!

Kristine said...

I love that you call this the original :) It was my "original" crockpot favorite, too. Even my DH knows he can put this soup together! The ranch is the secret!

Alise said...

This sounds fantastic! It is cooking in my crockpot right now :)

Jessica said...

Hi, Steph! I love your blogs. You have the best sense of humor! I'm 23 and have never used a CrockPot, but after reading your blogs, I'm definitely going to start. I actually have this soup in the crock right now! It's only been going for a couple hours, but it already smells good and looks good! I'll let you know how my family likes it when it's done! BTW, I will be crumbling some tortilla chips on top, as well as the cheese and sour cream!

Crockpot Lady said...

Hi Jessica,

this is a great first-time-crockpot recipe!
you'll love it. the leftovers make fantastic burrito filling, too.
xox
steph

Aubrey said...

Just found your site this week and I already LOVE it! Thank you so much for all your work. I have this soup in the crock pot right now.

Veggiemomof2 said...

I thought the tape was to keep the family out of it until dinner time! LOL

Leann I Am said...

THIS WAS SO GOOD!!! I cannot believe how yummy it was...or how EASY! Thank you so much for sharing this one! Between five people, we almost finished off the entire thing! That was almost 6 quarts!

Steph T. said...

We just ate this for dinner! Heaven! My daughter who hates ANY kind of beans...ate a whole bowl full! We ate it with tortilla chips, ours was a bit thick, because I used dry beans and added black beans as well...

Wonderful! Thank you!!!!!!!

Niagaracat said...

Really good but wouldn't call it a soup as there is not enough liquid to make it a soup. Excellent source of fiber and had enough leftover to give some to a needy neighbour and her family.

Mandy said...

This is very similiar to the taco soup recipe I've been using since 1998. I just made a crockpot full this morning and let it simmer all day. Yum! I'm posting mine later this week.

Anonymous said...

I found this recipe years ago, somewhere, but the gal called it 'Santa Fe' Soup. She got the recipe from her dad. I also use black beans and make cornbread to go with it. The sweetness of the cornbread nicely offsets the spicy. Ours is soup on day 1 and stew consistency thereafter. Never thought of making burritos. Hmmm...

Erin Emigh Stanford said...

This may sound crazy, but I hate any beans that have the consistency of pintos or kidney beans. I really want to make this soup, though. Do you think I could just omit the beans and it would be ok?

Crockpot Lady said...

sure! give it a try!
xox
steph

Alyssa said...

I want to do this recipe soooo badly...I love beans but my hubby is bean free....

what could I use to help fill the empty space if I left out the beans?

Crockpot Lady said...

Hi Alyssa,
you can add more ground meat, if you'd like. Without the beans it will be "soupier," but the flavor will be the same.

--steph

Alyssa said...

Maybe extra meat, served over steamed rice!? yuuuuummm

Teresa Griffin said...

Looks tasty. Can't wait to try it!

Be careful with that tape. I once taped a sign on the lid of my crockpot that said "Do not lift lid!" and the tape cooked onto the pot! I still haven't gotten the sticky off!

Evonne said...

I put in several frozen chicken breats and cut them up when they are cooked through. The sour cream makes the meal! and we add Fritos! sooo yummy :)

Missy said...

I made this yesterday for dinner - very yummy! Our 5YO even liked it (after insisting he did not like taco soup, which he's never had before! lol)

Made minor changes though...I used our usual taco seasoning recipe, which is a palmful of both cumin & chili powder (approx 1 tablespoon) along with 1/2 onion, 1 jalapeno, and about 3 cloves garlic (this is Rachel Ray's "super nachos" recipe!) Oh, and used black beans instead of kidney...don't like kidney beans! Next time though I think I'll use just 2 cans of beans, and add a little beef broth so it's soup-ier.

Tonight is the Korean ribs. Hubby laughed when I said I was using the crockpot. Little does he know how much more I'll be using it now! ;) I think the crockpot has seen more action in 2 days then it has in the last year! hehehe (wow this was a long comment. lol)

Anonymous said...

I made this tonight for the first time. I made a mistake and bought black eyed peas instead of pinto beans - but I don't think it made a huge impact. I also used some tortilla chips and monterery jack (as i had no cheddar) cheese. Sour cream is a wonderful addition as a garnish.

I have heard of this recipe, but have never fixed it...we loved it! (my 4 yr old wasn't too fond of the beans) As I gear up for Thanksgiving, it was an easy meal to prepare. Thanks for a wonderful recipe!!

rbmunki423 said...

So...I am quite the beginner cook. My fiance, fiance's aunt, fiance's aunt & future father-in-law all liked this (rare to find) and I didn't find it half bad either.

I love the fact that w/a little prep the night before dinner is done when I get home from work. Only curiosity is how do you get around doing a good amount of prep each night (or morning) still? Or is it okay because you're not truly cooking over the stovetop or oven?

It's 7:30 am & I have tonight's dinner ready to plop into the Crock Pot just add the h2o to the buffalo lasagna & fiance's going to start it in time for it to be done (after setting the 20 minutes after done cooking) for us to eat when I get home from work. :-)

Anonymous said...

I bought all the ingrediants for this a couple weeks back (or so I thought I did...). I ended up buying black beans instead of kidney beans, so finally I remembered to pick them up last night. So I go to throw everything together this morning and apparently I have used the corn in the past two weeks... LOL oh well, I threw in a can of water and some frozen mixes veggies. Won't be the same, but I love the idea. And I love your blog! Thanks!

Crys said...

I stumbled upon your blog tonight and have enjoyed browsing the recipes! I have a recipe that I love (it's actually a Weight Watchers recipe!) that is almost the same as your Taco Soup...called Tex Mex Soup. It uses 3 cans of tomatoes, 3 cans of beans (I use 3 different kinds for varied color/texture) and only 1 can of corn, plus adds in a bit of chopped onion and celery. I don't drain the beans or the corn (making it even easier!) It makes a BUNCH of soup, but it freezes really well. I can't wait to try it in the crock-pot!

Anonymous said...

I have made this a few times. Delicious and makes lots and lots. My husband does not consider soup to be "dinner" so I put it over brown rice pasta. Somehow that turns it into dinner for him.

Thank you for a full year of recipes. I have pointed many people to this site. All of them have been giddy with excitement

Anne said...

This soup sent me to the hospital!!!I was having a major craving for something spicy so I used hot rotel and hot taco seasoning and oh my goodness it was so spicy but I loved it. A few of hours after I ate a couple of bowls of soup I went into labor (something about spicy foods inducing labor) so thanks for the great recipe and for sending me to the hospital (in a great way) By the way I think you are hilarious and I love your blog.

Frogmama said...

Please disregard this comment if you have heard it before (chances are you have) BUT to keep the contents of the crockpot from spilling do you put Saran wrap on it? Our church has a crockpot potluck a few times a year and I've mastered that whole trasport thing. I leave the lid off for several minutes, tear my saran wrap off and fight with it to straighten out, moisten the rim with a wet paper towel and put the saran wrap LOOSELY over the crock. Then I replace the cover. It has saved MANY spills (its kinda neat when you get to the place your going with it to look at the Saran wrap and see you would have had a mess, lol. I'm really enjoying this blog - I heard of it a few times off Jane4girls' website but this is the first time I've been here - I've been missing out! Thanks

PS - I wish my kids wern't so picky - my 6yo dd just hates casseroles and stuff. The only crockpot thing she likes is when I make Beef au jous (different than your recipie)--AND she dosn't dip it! (that's the fun part!)

Betty K said...

I am going to my kids/grandkids later today, and said I'll bring dinner, so they can work outside longer.

This morning all I had in the house was chicken and cr of mushroom soup and noodle kind of ingredients, thinking of a casserole. Then I opened your blog and wala! taco soup sounded so much better. I just got back from the store (kidney beans and french bread to go with) and the crock pot is now cooking away. They will love it!

Also orange jello with peaches, haven't made that for years. Six yr old will love the jello too.

amy and the bad cats said...

seriously, this soup was DELICIOUS! i modified the recipe a bit, but this recipe is definitely a keeper! thanks!

Lori S. said...

I will make this again. It was dead easy, mostly uses things I have on hand all the time, required very little cleanup, made a good quantity, and everyone ate it (even the "I don't like beans" kids)!

I used diced tomatoes with jalepenos, so it was quite spicy and that kind of covered up the taco flavor. Next time I will follow the recipe as written. I kept the ground beef on the side and let people add it to their bowls, as I eat vegetarian but the rest of my family does not. Topped it with tortilla chips and sour cream. Great for a cold winter night!

Granny's Daughter said...

I got a slow cooker for Christmas. Daughter picked out this recipe. It was GREAT!

I'm not a cook (not by any stretch of the imagination), yet I made this and it was amazingly good. We got dinner for 3 twice and lunch for 3 once. (I used 1.5 lbs of chopped meat.) I also made (instant) rice to serve with it (we tossed it into our bowls of soup) and had some Tostidos scoops and salsa on the side.

I will definitely make this again.

One thing I would suggest is you add the word "stir" before "cover and cook" (we non-cooks need to be told).

Anonymous said...

I just made this recipe!!! Awesome, healthy, delicious and can easily make vegan!!!! Great job on your site, thank you so much!

Patty said...

This sounds fantastic but my kids don't like spicy foods. They don't mind a mild kick but anything more and they go hungry. How spicy is it?

Granny's Daughter said...

@Patty
Choose a mild taco seasoning and it should be OK for kids.

ksp said...

Excellent! made it last night. I agree with pp that you should add stir for the non-chefs out there. I didn't stir and had a layer of stuff when I came home from work. I added some more water, stirred, and put it back on low for a little while. It was delicious!

Heather said...

A year after you started and I have just found you!! I recently became a stay at home mom (to my 2 year old stepson) and while I SHOULD have used a crockpot all those years in the hospitality field when I was never home, I didn't. Anyhow, have bookmarked almost every recipe in a folder to try. Made the taco soup last night!! The little one of course had a grilled cheese. His dad and I have very different tastes but we both LOVED it...and had plenty for leftovers and freezing. I preferred mine with a little water mixed in my bowl and heated up as a soup...and he used tortilla chips as spoons. Needless to say, thank you for alllll these recipes. Let's see if I can have the same success with each new one I try :)

Anonymous said...

Wish me luck - I'm trying this one tonite...It looks like a winner. It smells really good. Hopefully my boys like it- they can be a little picky but since they love tacos and have started to like
cowboy beans I'm trying this one out.

Bridget said...

I love taco soup! but I have never added ranch dressing mix.I have done both shredded pork meat and ground beef at different times. I also added a cup of rice and an extra cup of water and we eat ours like a nacho type dip. My kids love to have a plate full of chips and taco soup to pour over and eat! I was thinking of blogging this and saying make sure to rinse and recycle all of the cans, and you already said in yours. lol

LadyConcierge said...

I just made taco soup for the first time 2 days ago! the recipe came from my fiance's cousin, who posted it on her blog: the foodconnoissorges.blogspot.com.

I used ground elk instead of beef and added hominy and chopped onions. It is incredibly hearty and my nutrition analyzer gives it an 'A' grade.

Andrea said...

Love the smarty pants painters' tape. I have one of those zip-up crock pot cozies, and I figured that would be enough when transporting a half-full pot of pinto beans home in the back of my car. Nope. Wrong. The beans spilled, and my car reeked for about 6-8 months, despite all the cleaning I did. It was super gross.

kimber p said...

I'm so glad I found this recipe today, this is what I'm making for dinner on a lazy Saturday.. :)

momof5 said...

Looks like a great recipe. I recently got a crockpot and just tried your homemade yogurt idea - awesome. Just wanted to point out that in the picture you said the can of tomatoes was missing - it's not - it's there top can on the right! Don't worry - I totally ge the mommy-brain thing - it happens to me all the time :)

Sharon said...

I LOVE the look of this! I am going to try it in the next couple of days. We live in Australia and so there is no Hidden Valley here. Although I do actually have some in the cupboard (2 sachets) from when mum was over there last year. I LOVE it so I am not sure if I want to add it.

Any ideas on an alternative for it?

Blessed Mom said...

I'm SO glad I found this site! I got everyhing prepped tonight and I'm taking it to our Wednesday night church supper tomorrow. I have no doubt it'll be fabooooo! I look forward to trying all of your recipes! You're now a favorite, *whoop whoop* (I know, I'm dating myself with my Arsenio impression).

Anh said...

Hi Stephanie!

I made this yesterday and served it with rice, had it with tortillas for today's lunch and tonight we ate it with corn bread! The corn bread is my favorite - you've got to try it, it is really really really good! I can't wait to make this at our next potluck to share with friends. Thank you for the great recipe.

Pam said...

This may be a silly questions, but I just wanted to double check. Did you drain the beans first. I was worried if you did there wouldn't be enough liquid(even though I am always amazed where the liquid comes from in crock pot recipes). I didn't used to like beans, so I am new to cooking with beans.

Crockpot Lady said...

Hi Pam,
not a silly question at all! I drain and rinse the beans for this recipe. The consistency is more like chili than soup, but that's the name it had when it was given to me! Extra liquid does accumulate during cooking.
xoxo steph

Joscelyn said...

This is in my crockpot right now. I used the salsa ranch mix. Can't wait to try it! Yummy.

Julianne said...

This was AMAZING! It's my family's new favorite meal. Thanks for sharing the recipe, you rock! Also, do you have a recipe for some really good gluten free cornbread? I haven't been able to find any good ones online...they either have a weird consistency or they aren't salty enough. Thanks for any help you can give me!

Anonymous said...

To Julianne -
My DH and I love the cornbread recipe on the Pamela's Baking & Pancake Mix bag. I hope you like it.

To Steph - I love this blog, and have turned so many people to it. How wonderful that almost everything you've done is gluten-free. You have really been a big help to a couple of newly diagnosed folks I've sent your way. Thanks a bunch for all you have done and continue to do for us. Everything I have tried has been absolutely delicious!

Chelle said...

I made this over the weekend. My husband and son LOVED it! I thought the amount of soup would be too much for just the 3 of us. We all had 2 helpings each and then again for lunch the next day. Amazing! Thank you so much.

Krys said...

I have made this soup 3 times now and just noticed the instructions to stir! I have never stirred this before cooking and it has always turned out fabulous. I am making it again today, and will stir it this time to see if there is a difference. Stay tuned!!

Crockpot Lady said...

Hi Krys, you didn't notice it because I just added it. I got a few emails asking me to include it in the directions. I've made it both ways---stirred and not stirred. I don't remember a difference in taste.
xoxo steph

Krys said...

Ah-ha, then I'm not going crazy! Good, I think....

I probably won't stir anymore then, because it was a pain in the butt! I double the meat and seasoning packets, and use a large can of Rotel, and this makes it full to the brim of my 5.5 qt crockpot. What a mess to stir, I slopped all over! LOL!!!

Leigh-Anne said...

Thanks so much for so many great suggestions! My son is recently gluten/casein free and I have been catering so much to his nutrition needs, that the rest of the family has been eating cereal since the gf/cf foods are not the most tasty & I don't have the energy to cook multiple meals. Now I can cook for everyone all at once!!

Thank you!!!

hobbymom said...

I love this too... I add green chilis and black and green olives to mine!!

Amy said...

Any substitution ideas for the ranch dressing packet? The sodium level is too high for me.

Semi-Organized Mom said...

How many does this serve?

There are 7 of us. I have a huge crock pot 6 qt I think..something like that.

Thanks!!! I commented a little earlier, but you can't even imagine how giddy I am that I've found your blog.

Crockpot Lady said...

Hi SemiOrganized, it will definitely feed the 7 of you, with leftovers. I've served it at birthday parties, and take it to potlucks often.
I think with fixins like sour cream, cheese, and maybe some chips on the side, this will feed 12.

xoxo
steph

Lisa Canamore said...

I love this recipe! I've made it several times with many variations. Last week I made "Mexican Sloppy Joes" using gordita shells instead of buns topped with salsa & sour cream, then it turned into Taco Soup Plus, cuz it had lots of extra ingredients, & tonight for the final roll over dinner it will be Shepherds Pie. Yum~o!!!

CookingMommy said...

I made this tonight, and it was really yummy! It's very similar to a taco mac I make:

1 lb ground turkey
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can corn, undrained
1 can pinto beans (or black), undrained
1 packet of taco seasoning
1 packet of ranch dressing
1 cup of macaroni
1 can of water

Brown meat, add other ingredients, bring to boil, and simmer covered for 20 minutes. You could do this in the crockpot too except I wouldn't add the macaroni until later on. Thanks for sharing! It was really yummy, and we have lots of leftovers for another dinner.

Doug Cloud said...

Just made this last night and it was excellent. I didn't add any meat, because I get tired of meat all the time. So I just went with the basic ingredients. I poured a bowl then crunched up some corn tortilla chips into it along with the cheese and sour cream. Awesome.

Thank you.

Holly said...

I have a question. Can you use TVP instead of ground meat? I've been using TVP a bit lately, but never in my crockpot.

Stephanie O'Dea said...

Hi Holly, I haven't used TVP, due to the gluten, but I imagine that since it behaves the same way ground beef does when fried and baked, it would work just fine in this recipe.

--steph

swirly girl said...

I try and use a low salt version of the taco seasoning, since with the beans and stuff it seems a little too salty. But other than that, this is the *same* recipe I use! Yay!

The Homespun Momma said...

I love Taco Soup but could never find just the right recipe...now I know what was missing...the RANCH!!! We are headed out to a 4-H event this week and we will be serving this to all our participants. Thanks for all the great ideas!

NDP said...

It's in my crockpot right now~

THANK YOU SO MUCH for your BRILLIANT site!

JennyJen said...

Thank you for this recipe, we made it tonight and it was PERFECT!! Everyone had seconds and I will definatley add it to my stash of favorite crock pot recipes now. LOVE that you added the ranch seasoning it REALLY made the soup!

Anonymous said...

The tomatoes are on the top of the corn and pinto beans in the middle of the picture....just so you know you arent crazy.

Anonymous said...

Ugh I'm kinda dissapointed. This tasted more like chili to me rather than tacos. I accidently bought diced tomatoes basil and garlic seasoned. You think that made the difference?? I know you're great for recipies and do not question you, I just wonder what I did wrong or if it should in fact taste more like chili.

momstutor said...

I have a couple of questions.
1. My mother is on a restricted sodium diet (1500 mg/day-I should be too) and I read about using reduced sodium taco seasoning, but the recipe is still high in sodium Any suggestions?
2. I am a single Senior and have a 1.5 qt crockpot that I have used twice. Can you suggest how I can cut recipes down to size to accomodate? I am a perpetual computer newbie and reluctant cook...sigh
3. I LOVE your site and your comments are so very human. I don't picture you standing there in heels and pearls and a black dress cooking and cleaning. THANK HEAVEN!!!
God bless and may you have a healthy happy baby and new year.

CookingMommy said...

Dear Momstutor,
Stephanie, I hope you don't mind me answering one of her questions. I started making my own taco seasoning a few years ago and everyone loves how much flavor it has. It calls for 1/2 tsp salt, but I've left it out before and can't even tell much difference.

-1 Tbsp chili powder
-2 tsp onion powder or dried minced onion
-1 tsp oregano
-1 tsp garlic powder
-1 tsp cumin
-1 tsp paprika
-1 tsp sugar
-1/2 tsp salt (leave this out for your low sodium diet)

Mix all these spices together to equal one taco seasoning packet. Seriously, I love this way better than the store bought packets. I hope this helps.

Taylor said...

Okay, I seem to have completely gone offcourse on this recipe and used raw frozen chicken for this recipe (leaving everything else the same). I don't know how this happened - did I accidentally think I was making chicken tortilla soup? I don't know.

Anyway, it turned out awesome - awesome - awesome. And I made it as an extra dish for a big fancy party that I threw - raosted pork loin, asparagus, wine, cheesecake, etc. The only thing completely eaten? The soup. I swear, you could have heard a pin drop in a room full of 15 people it was quiet, except for everybody was slurping soup. Now I need to figure out what to do with so much pork loin. Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

Jylbee said...

I <3 my crockpot!!! I'm so glad to find more people with a passion for it too (; Thanks for sharing your recipes! I'm excited to try this one right now!

Anonymous said...

My husband is going to be out of town next week, and I needed some easy meals for me and the kiddos. So glad that I discovered your blog! I'm going to make this taco soup on Sunday. I also requested your book from the library. :)

Thanks so much!!!

Tracychele @ The Week-Ender said...

Hi Stephanie! I made this Sunday and we LOVED it! I have eaten it two days in a row! It is so good. I cooked it exactly as the recipe stated and will definitely be making it again! I have a recipe blog and I am linking all of my new "finds" in your book back to your site! Thanks so much for broadening my "Kitchen Horizons"!

Donna said...

This was the third recipe I made out of my newly purchase cookbook. We LOVED it, the second day I put it on top of a large "fried" floured tortilla shell and topped with lettuce and taco sauce. I'm totally in love with this cookbook.

Ashley said...

I make a taco soup almost exactly like this we put avocado and use lime tostitos on top so good!

Anthony said...

This recipe is awesome. I make one very similar. The only difference is I use hominy instead of corn. The hominy adds an amazing texture when compared with corn. Give it a try.

Ruth said...

Fantastic recipe! Just found this blog a couple of weeks ago and this is the first recipe I've tried and I'm very happy. Used great northern beans, since that's what I had in the cupboard. We had 14" of snow yesterday and today and this soup hit the spot for lunch today! Looking forward to trying more from this site.

Carolyn said...

Glad to see I'm not the only one posting comments 2 years later! I've enjoyed nibbling on your blog, and this is the first recipe I've tried. My husband and I really like it--he ate 3 bowls for lunch! We had nothing but crumbs left in the bottom of a tortilla chip bag and added those on top with the cheese and sour cream. This goes on my fix-it-often list and will be my next church pot-luck offering.

BTW, even though I can get the recipes on your blog, I ordered your book. I've enjoyed reading it, and my husband and I have both enjoyed your humor.

Carolyn said...

I almost forgot. I use rubber bands to secure the lid, one for each side, around the lid handle and then the side handle. Can tuck the cord under one or the other or both. Works well for me.

Julie said...

I make a crockpot recipe almost exactly like this: except there is 2 bottles of beer in it! (For not being a beer drinker--it actually gives it a neat flavor). Also, I float 3-4 chicken breasts on top. An hour befor ethe soup is done, take out the chicken, shred it, and return to the pot. Delish!

Anonymous said...

My taco soup recipe is very similar, but I add a can of beef broth. Makes it more of a soup consistency. I'll have to try the ranch dressing mix.

Heidi said...

This recipe looks absolutely fabulous! I'm really excited to try it.

(Plus, this post needs an additional comment because it's hovering at 99 comments, and it's driving me crazy!)

amy said...

I have your book, and this is by far our favorite recipe (even though all of the ones in your book are to die for). Making my 12th batch of taco soup this morning. You are a genius. Thank you for making our tummies feel good about what is going inside of them. Our entire family thanks you, wonder woman.

Lisa said...

I LOVE this recipe. It's my "go to" when I don't know what else to make or we're having people over. I lost the recipe card from overuse!

Cassie said...

Yumm! I found your site and love it. I have cooked from your recipes 3 of the last 4 nites. The taco soup was delish! Bean dip was great for a football party over the weekend and loved the enchilada stack. I made a list of all the stuff I cant wait to try! Thanks for all the great ideas!

Brandy said...

Made this a few days ago. We used two cans of chick peas, one of black beans and one of kidney beans, because that is what we had on hand. Everything else was as written.

It was fantastic! The only thing that we noticed was that it was more like chili and less like soup, especially the next day. We will probably add more liquid next time.

Definitely a keeper!

Anonymous said...

I teach second grade. I organize a cooking project each month. Each kid brings in a specific ingredient, parents come in to help and at the end of the year we have a cookbook. Voila! I made this today. I had never heard of taco soup before but thought the kids would like it. They really did! I also make the applesauce recipe you posted. Rave reviews on that one too.
Thanks.

Randi said...

We do something very similar but use shredded chicken instead of beef/turkey. It's super yummy that way!

Tabitha said...

I made this for a work potluck today (well, I made it overnight) and it went over SO well! I used black beans instead of kidney, and I got "spicy" taco seasoning, and I didn't put a whole large can of tomatoes because the darn thing was getting too full! Oh, and I added a can of beef broth to make it more soupy.

It. Was. GREAT! I'm totally keeping this one for my go-to recipe collection.

Hilary said...

I've been looking at this recipe for a couple of months, and finally made it today since I knew I'd be at work late and didn't have much time to throw something together in the morning. It was fantastic! I love that it took less than 10 minutes to "make" and was tasty and perfect when we got home. This is a definite keeper!

Anonymous said...

Hi Crockpot Lady! Quick question - is it all right to use frozen chicken breast instead of browned meat? I have a big bag of frozen raw chicken breast and I'm wondering if I can just shred it after it's cooked for several hrs in the crockpot.

Thanks a bunch for your great recipes!

Stephanie O'Dea said...

Hi Anon---sure! that would work just fine. Since the pot is so full, be sure the chicken is fully cooked and shredded before serving.
--steph

Serenity said...

For a lower sodium ranch dressing, I either use Kernel Season's ranch popcorn seasoning or, if I forget to pick that up at the store, then Bolthouse Farms classic ranch yogurt dressing (which, yikes, I just noticed increased their sodium content to 230 mg per 2 tablespoons - but hey it only has 6 grams of fat!). There's this other kind of buttermilk ranch dressing that another company makes that is both really good on keeping their fat and sodium low, but I forget who makes it - it's only sold at my Whole Foods now, which is like a three hour bus ride from me (evil!). That and I pick up no-salt tomatoes or the salsa made by my store (really low in sodium) and make my own taco seasoning and don't add any salt. To make it soupier, I add no-salt chicken broth. All total, I think the meal comes out to like 100-150 mg of sodium or less per serving!

I had to quit making this every single month and had to alternate between every other month because, otherwise, I actually get sick of it! But, it's very easy to switch things up with other things. I always forget to buy a can of corn, so I use the Bird's Eye Festive mix (it has the corn, the peppers, the onions, and black beans), which I usually buy for bean tacos and always keep a bag on hand. I've used turkey, no turkey, and beef in this - but never chicken. If I had too much chicken leftovers, it's going into the pot - thanks! Good stuff that's light on the budget!

Michele said...

Just had this for dinner. It was fantastic! But, the quantity will feed an army so next time I'll decrease the beans and corn by half. I used dried pinto beans but otherwise did not deviate.

I'm so thrilled to have stumbled upon your blog.

Sue KuKu said...

What size crock pot do you use for this recipe?

I love your site in that you usually state this. I live by myself with a 3 quart, so I often adjust for mine.

Thanks! A friend on Facebook asked for crock pot recipes and I posted your link and a few points about it (including gluten free!)

I thought that yours is the best and I wanted to make sure EVERYONE saw your link!

Susan

Stephanie O'Dea said...

Hi Sue,
I'm glad you're enjoying the recipes! Taco Soup makes a lot--I make it for parties and potlucks and it easily feeds 10 as a soup, and much more as taco filling.
I use a 6quart or larger. You'll need to cut everything in half for your 3-quart.

--steph

Sue KuKu said...

Thanks for your quick response! Wow!

I was in Barnes & Noble a couple of days ago (I own a nook, so was in there chatting) and saw your cookbook! It was so fun to see my "friend"'s cookbook!

Thanks for being such a good friend to all of us here!

Susan

Ashley said...

I just discovered your blog and I've loved everything I've made so far. I'm working to lose weight and the taco soup and salsa chicken are both awesome and healthy Thank you! I'm blogging about my weight loss journey and I posted your recipes with a link to your blog. Is that ok with you?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have a recipe for the Ranch Dressing Mix? I hate to buy the pakets cause they have so much salt! Thanks!

mrs. miss alaineus said...

we crock one to three different things each weekend and vacuum seal the leftovers- each recipe we've found here has been awesome and has saved us TIME and MONEY- We can't wait until dinner tonight!

xxalainaxx

Kat said...

I just made this - it is delicious! When I heard that the Ranch packet added a little citrusy zing I added a tablespoon or so of lemon juice which is nice. I also seasoned it with a little Adobo. Boyfriend approval was granted, I'll make this again!!

Christy Price said...

This is my go-to pantry meal! Thanks so much for the recipe.

Marily Tapining-Huss said...

I noticed someone posted that it's a meal that's great to freeze. Do you or anyone know how long it will be good for in the freezer? I'm making this tomorrow and I know it's going to be a lot just for my husband and I and I would love to freeze it and have it again at a later date.

Stephanie O'Dea said...

Hi Marily, I'd date it and use within six months.

enjoy!

thisisalfred said...

This was delicious!

Ella's Mommy said...

I first heard about Taco Soup from Paula Deen. She made it on her show a few years back and I thought it would be a great alternative to chili. I was right! It tastes better and the leftovers are great in a taco shell! The second time I made it I used two cans of kidney then one each of pinto, garbanzo, black and corn. It was great!

Tee said...

Just started making this today, my kitchen smells awesome!! me and my daughter can not wait to eat. I have to say your site is a blessing in disguise. I'm a young single father with sole custody of my 5 year old daughter and with her being in school all day and me at work, these recipes come in handy..my crock pot was the best Christmas gift i ever got..makes coming home that much easier.

I've tried dozens of your recipes and NEVER been disappointed..i hope you don't mind that when i have dates over for dinner i pass off your recipes as my own..lol

Unknown said...

Great recipe! It even tastes good the next day as leftovers!
Could I subsitute the 2nd can of corn with anything? My hubby wants less corn next time I cook it.

Mike and Kristin Atkins said...

Stephanie, Do you think this recipe would do ok if I did everything the night before, and stuck the stone crock part in the fridge and started cooking it the next morning? Maybe pull it out of the fridge and let it set an hour or two then turn it on?

Stephanie O'Dea said...

Hi Kristin,
yes, but the stoneware shouldn't be ice-cold before going into the heating element. The manufacturers are worried that it might crack going from one extreme to another. Let it sit on the counter for a bit to warm up to the touch.

or, assemble everything into a big bowl, then dump the contents into a room-temp crock in the morning.

hope this helps a bit!

Mike and Kristin Atkins said...

I'm making this tonight, and when I went home at lunch my house smelled so yummy! Can't wait to try it..

For those of you that count calories like I do, just thought I'd share that if this serves 8, it comes out to roughly 357 calories per serving (with only using 1 can of corn and no sour cream or cheese...) If you can do 10 servings, its only 286! Judging by how much I have in the pot, I think it is going to serve 8 EASILY when they add tortilla chips, cheese and sour cream!

Anitra said...

Ok i put this on in my crockpot during my lunch break and I forgot to rinse the beans :(... I only used one can of black beans and one can of kidney beans..I hope its not too salty...

Paisley Collective said...

Loved this! I added onions and olives in mine! But also, I found that MSG is in the hidden valley ranch packet...so I used Uncle Bens ranch packet instead which is natural and No MSG!

Sue said...

I made this yesterday and had it last night and it was AWESOME! I put it in a bowl, threw some shredded cheese on top and ate it with tostito scoops!

gayla said...

I am really excited to try this recipe! I recently tried your Chicken Enchilada Chili, and it was a big hit. I LOVE your blog (so glad to find you via Pinterest)! :D

Rhonda said...

This receipe was AMAZING! I substituted black beans for the kidney beans and based on many comments, added 2 c. of water.
Served it with Fritos, cheese and lite sour cream and it was a huge hit. Everyone fought over the leftovers. And there was none of the late-evening or next day indigestion and "regret" that often comes with chili-like recipies :-)


Only recently discovered your site and having fun exploring. Congratulations on your success and keep up the good work!

Pinkcherries64 said...

I muuuuust try thing!!! I have so many cans of beans that I don't know what to do with! This seems perfect!! Thanks!
FYI: It doesn't really matter, but in the ingredients list you wrote "2 cans of kiNDey beans". I didn't even notice until I copy/pasted it into Microsoft Word so I could print it!

wmanganaro said...

Thanks so much! I made it tonight! Yummy!

jmbsc said...

Thank you for the recipe! I did find that the flavor wasn't as strong as I would have liked so next time I will add another packet of taco seasoning. But other than that, I loved it! And so did my family. This made such a big batch that I don't have to cook again tonight. Haha. That is always a plus!

wisey said...

5 out of 5 gave it a thumbs up and that's a rare thing in this house!! i fried fresh tortilla chips (will cut them into little strips next time), sour cream and olives. i dumped in the can of crushed tomatoes and then realized it was mislabeled and was actually tomato sauce.

rahhlady said...

Serving this with chips crumbled on top gives it the perfect finish... along with the cheese and sour cream of course :) I have been making it for almost 2 years and love it every time! My sister and her b/f always want the leftovers, haha.

Shannon said...

This is in the crock pot right now! Can't wait to try it for dinner later! =D

Marlee said...

I am a vegetarian, my fiance is not, though he is willing to EAT VEGETARIAN with me. I used a bag of Morning Star brand frozen "meat" crumbles instead of the hamburger. EXCELLENT and way less fat (75% less to be exact)! Try it! Even if you're not a veg, you won't notice the difference!

nicole said...

I would love to try this, but my hubby really doesn't like diced/whole tomatoes. anyway to work around this? Do you think a tomato sauce would work instead?

Lauren said...

I just made this and it was amazing! Made it without the ranch as they don't sell it in Australia. I had it as soup and my boyfriend had it in a taco. A keeper :)

Deanna Foote said...

I've never put a ranch packet in a dish like this, but followed the recipe as instructed and it was WONDERFUL! I served 6 adults and a couple of kids and still had leftovers even though everyone kept going back for more. This is definitely a keeper and I appreciate having a recipe that is low-fuss, economical and plentiful in addition to being delicious.

Joe Perry said...

First recipe I've tried on here. I used McCormick hot taco seasoning and hidden valley spicy ranch seasoning. It was delicious, perfect kick.

Ramanda said...

I always put in about 4 beef boulion cubes and instead of pintos I use black beans. Crushed fritos goes well in the bowl with this recipe also. Its mmm mmm good. I do recommend zantac before eating though for those with belly troubles like me. works everytime.

finethanx said...

I love(!) taco-mexican-enchilada soup! And crockpots! But I'm not so wild about seasoning mixes. I can do a mix of spices for the taco, but what do you think it is in the ranch dressing that really adds to the flavor of this soup? Dill, perhaps?

Susan said...

Finethanx - I would say the buttermilk in the ranch mix is what give it the zip. Buttermilk give a nice tangy flavor to these types of dishes. Not sure if you can buy powdered.

jaimee said...

Tried this tonight and it was good, but the flavor was just too tangy (sour) for us and it didn't seem to go with the taco taste. Next time I'll make it without the ranch packet.

Mary G said...

What a great recipe! It is super tasty and insanely simple. I used a spicy ranch mix to kick up the spicy factor a bit. And I cut the beans and corn in half. I like my soup a little soupier, and ended up adding about half a cup of beef broth towards the end.

Laura said...

Stumbled upon your blog. So excited I did. I've already got a list of what I want to make! Thank you!!

Stevie said...

I don't like diced tomatoes. Can I use hunts tomato sauce insteaD? If so, how much? Also, how much green chilis then? Help ASAP. Thanks!!

Natalie Brown said...

Adding some carrots to sneak in some extra veggies!! worked great.

Nichole Davis said...

I just made this without the ranch dressing. It's a great soup! I will make ths again. Thank you for the recipe.

R. V. Goodier said...

As an old guy who does all the cooking in our house, I am happy to find your blog; keep up the good work! Of course it makes me think of Julie and Julia.

I learned this recipe from a Special Education class where I was doing some contract work twenty years ago, and have made it with intermittent regularity since. Never in a crock-pot, though.

My own addition is two or three chopped jalapenos, seeds removed, and a chopped onion, both browned with the meat; and a tablespoon of minced garlic ditto. Like a person making a comment before, I add some extra water so it is a little more soupy.

It's been cooking in the pot a few hours, and I am looking forward to dinner time!

Judy Baker said...

Well, after reading all the nice comments I hate to say anything negative. I made this recipe exactly as written. When I came home after 8 hours and opened the lid, there was not one ounce of liquid! If I had been any later, it would have been a burned mess. What did I do wrong??? There is no liquid in the list of ingredients, except the little bit in the corn and tomatoes. I mixed water and tomato sauce and added to the pot. I think it is salvaged for tonight's dinner. Although a watered down taste. If I ever make this again, I will add water.

Stephanie ODea said...

Hi Judy,

Oh no! It should have a chili-like consistency. The word "soup" is kind of misleading, I know, but that's what it was always called in our house.
If you have burnt food, then something funny is going wrong, and I'm worried that either your pot is malfunctioning or the lid wasn't on properly.

I hate wasted food, and am so sorry this has happened.

Book Dragon said...

I have a recipe like this, called a stew, and it comes out like yours. Slight changes, add white beans, crushed tomatoes instead of diced and a can of tomato sauce. Sometimes I cook chicken pieces then shred them or add barley.

Lynn Nguyen said...

Can't wait to try this tomorrow! Since I'm only a family of 2, I'm thinking about halfing the recipe. If I half the recipe, does the cooking time change?

CatholicMom said...

This is one of the best crock pot recipes I have ever made. Thanks so much! I can't wait for dinner tonight. I made this as directed, and I also threw in 2 whole chicken breasts (I didn't have any ground beef.) After 4 1/2 hours on low, the chicken was completely cooked so I just loosely shredded it in and threw it back in with a handful of chopped cilantro. Not sure if I'm going to be able to wait 8-10 hours :-) This is a keeper for sure! (I just moved into a new house, and I do not have a stove! (long story.) So I've been only using a crock pot for the last several months. Your website has been a true gift!)

Mommyof2Boys said...

How many does this recipe serve????

Stephanie ODea said...

Hi Mommyof2Boys, yikes, I need to update this recipe! Thank you. It serves 8 to 10 as a full meal, but as part of a potluck easily can feed 16-20.

Suzy said...

Made this for lunch today.... AMAMZING!

Satin Fox said...

My dad doesn't like corn. Is there anything else I could use in it's place?

Stephanie O'Dea said...

Hi Satin Fox, it's okay to leave it out, or you can put in some diced bell pepper for a tiny bit of crunch and texture. Since the corn juice is added, you're going to need to replace that liquid with 2 cups of water or watered down broth. Broth itself will be too salty.

enjoy!

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