Paula Deen’s taco soup recipe is everything you love about tacos in a one-pot dish!
It’s perfect on a wintry night. Don’t be fooled by the list of ingredients because most of these are found in the kitchen pantry.
The best part? It’s an easy recipe that you can do even when you’re feeling lazy. Just choose your weapon: a slow cooker or stockpot.
After a few hours, you’ll be looking at a rich beef taco soup full of warm spices, savory vegetables, and meaty beans. It’s so filling and comforting!
Paula Deen’s Taco Soup
Move over, chili. Taco soup is here to steal your thunder. It’s zestier, spicier, and loaded with taco-style ingredients.
Besides the extra flavor of the ranch mix, you can level up your taco soup with additional upgrades like avocado and corn.
If you like, sprinkle crushed tortilla chips on top to make your taco dish look like its cousin, tortilla soup.
On rainy days, taco soup is the perfect comfort food, packed with Mexican flavors. It’s a fool-proof recipe that requires minimal effort.
That said, I’ve already tried various taco soup recipes, and I must say that Paula Deen’s is so easy to love. I’d recommend it to anyone in a heartbeat!
It promises less time in the kitchen and more time with family over a healthy, crave-worthy dinner. It will become one of your go-to winter meals.
The soup goes well with everything, but I love the taco soup-cornbread combination the most. It’s such a delight to sop up that creamy base with moist, cake-like bread.
One of the secrets to making the best taco soup? Finding the best ingredients.
Plus, there are some tips and tricks you need to keep in mind to recreate one of Paula Deen’s finest recipes (more on these later).
For now, let’s focus on finding these kitchen staples and transforming them into a hearty soup.
Ground beef. Anything between 85% to 90% lean ground beef is excellent. If you prefer a leaner variety, note that this may reduce the soup’s rich flavor.
Taco seasoning. For this recipe, a packet of taco seasoning is all you need. But if you’re feeling adventurous, you can make your own. Add the classic taco spices: chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, and coriander.
Ranch mix. Add this for an extra tangy kick. Use a store-bought ranch for convenience. But like taco seasoning, you can also make your own ranch mix.
Cans, cans, cans. What you’ll need are cans of diced green chilies, tomatoes with chilies, diced tomatoes, Mexican tomatoes, drained whole kernel corn, pink kidney beans, and pinto beans.
Toppings. These include a mix of sour cream, black and green olives, shredded cheese, chopped onions, corn chips, and sliced jalapeños.
Tips for the Best Taco Soup
- As mentioned, using 85% to 90% lean ground beef is ideal for this recipe. It’s not too heavy, but oozing with rich flavor.
- Drain the excess fat from the ground beef to produce the best flavor.
- Remember when I told you that this soup is packed with protein? That’s all thanks to kidney beans. If you want a healthy meal, don’t leave the beans out.
- Drain and rinse the beans to avoid an overly salty soup. To reduce more sodium, use unsalted beans and canned tomatoes.
- Doubling all the spices will create a strongly spiced soup. Not a fan of spicy meals? Use bell peppers instead of jalapeños.
- If the soup is too thick, add in some liquid. It could be more broth, water, wine, or cream. Stir in more liquid until you reach the consistency you like.
- Using extra meat, beans, and veggies can add bulk to your soup. Also, use less broth if you prefer a thick consistency.
How to Customize the Soup
One of the best things about taco soup is that you can customize it any way you like!
For instance, you can turn your taco soup into a gluten-free, dairy-free, or 100% vegetarian meal by tweaking the ingredients.
These versions may require you to remove dairy or floury ingredients, swap the meat for another can of beans, or use vegetable broth.
If you want to keep it light and create a mild alternative to the soup, try using diced tomatoes minus the chilis.
Want a nutty taste with a slightly sweet tone? Try adding some red beans.
For the vegetables, you can use anything you like, from cucumbers to zucchini to mushrooms.
The soup will be modified, but delicious!
Freezing and Reheating the Soup
You can freeze the soup for around 3–6 months without losing any of its flavors. Just make sure that you transfer it to a freezer-safe bag before storing it.
When ready to eat, reheat the soup but defrost it in the refrigerator first. Thawing could take up to three days, depending on how long you kept the soup in the freezer.
Heat the soup on the stove or in the microwave. In a few minutes, you’ll have a colorful, cold-weather meal to help you get through the chilly nights!
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