Easy Taco Soup

In the event that you are tasked with feeding a large group of ravenous college students for $12, might I suggest a triple batch of this Easy Taco Soup?

Easy Taco Soup. Ready in 10 minutes and less than $1.50 a serving!

Add a little gourmet garnish with tortilla chips, shredded cheese, and sour cream, and you’ll glide in just under $20.

I snagged this budget-friendly taco soup recipe from my friend Laura in college, and although I could now treat myself to a more up-scale version, Laura’s original is so tasty, I’ve never felt the need. It’s zesty, satisfying, and ready to go in 10 minutes.

Cheesy EASY Taco Soup. Ready in 10 minutes and our entire family loves it!

Skinny Taco Soup. This easy taco soup recipe is ready in only 10 minutes and weight watchers approved!

I’m not precisely sure what it is about many Mexican-inspired dishes that allow them to taste so good for so little dinero, but this taco soup is the concept incarnate. A mere read of the ingredients—white beans, corn, tomatoes, and spices—will leave you skeptical, but just ask the 11 other people who I convinced to make a triple batch of it for dinner during a service trip my junior year of college. It is excellent.

On the last night of our trip, we had only $20 left in the meal budget and 12 appetites. Bossy girl that I am, I took hold of the shopping list and insisted we make easy taco soup. The group watched incredulously as I dumped the ingredients into a giant pot, stirred, and waited for them to heat.

I could read the doubt on their faces: surely something that easy and that low budget could not taste that good.

This easy taco soup is the best budget meal! Less than $1.50 a serving and it tastes phenomenal!

Oh but it can. We ate the pot clean, and I emailed the recipe out to the group by request as soon as we arrived back at campus.

The soup boasts an addictive southwest ranch flavor, and the lovely contrast of the creamy beans with the crunchy chips pleases with every bite. While this taco soup is by no means comparable to a truly authentic Mexican recipe or a stew that has been simmering on the stove all day, when you are looking for a quick, healthy, and tasty meal, it is hard to find a recipe better suited for the task.

Laura’s original recipe (which she confessed came from Weight Watchers) calls for a packet of taco seasoning and a packet of ranch seasoning. Seeking a more wholesome alternative for today’s version, I replaced the packets with a natural blend of spices that mimics their flavor but is much gentler on the sodium allocation. I also trimmed down the recipe’s original yield of “colossal” to the more moderate quantity of “good for a family dinner, with a reasonable amount of freezer or lunch-friendly leftovers.”

Easy Taco Soup. Ready in 10 minutes and weight watchers approved!

For the meat lovers: If you like, you can sauté lean ground beef or ground turkey on the side, pat it dry, then stir it into the soup at the end.

For the good of all: Whether you keep this soup vegetarian friendly or add a little something for the carnivores, don’t forget the cheese, avocado, and a few crunchy tortilla chips on top. The fixin’s add great flavor and texture you won’t want to miss.

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Easy Taco Soup

An easy taco soup recipe that is ready in 10 minutes and packed with southwest flavor. At less than $1.50 a serving, you can't beat this healthy, budget meal!


Yield: Serves 6

Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:


  • 2 (14-ounce) cans Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained

  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes in their juices

  • 1 (14-ounce) can Mexican-style corn, drained

  • 1 cup water

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder

  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 3/4 teaspoon onion powder

  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

  • Toppings: Crushed tortilla chips, freshly grated cheese (I like sharp cheddar), sour cream or plain non-fat Greek yogurt, freshly chopped cilantro, avocado


Directions:


  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a large, deep soup pot over medium heat. Stir to combine. Continue heating until warmed through. Taste, adding additional salt and pepper as desired. Serve hot with desired toppings.


Leftovers can be frozen for up to 3 months.


// All images and text ©/Well Plated.

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About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

28 comments

  1. I am a ravenous college student- feed me! I’m so impressed that this is all made on $12 :) 

  2. What a cute story! I love taking seemingly boring ingredients and making them into super flavorful dishes. This looks like a winner to me :)

  3. Oh I would love this!! Yummy!

  4. I will definitely try this but just wonder what size can of diced tomatoes – 19 oz or 28oz.

  5. This is one of my FAVORITE soups!!! Reminds of me of fall and tailgating! 

  6. Oh, Erin, thank you, sounds just delicious! I especially love that you can make it in a snap! Can’t wait to try!

  7. Erin this soup looks amazing! We are totally a ‘taco’ family. Partly because tacos are da bomb, and partly because they are easy. But this soup looks equally as easy (and da bomb). Can’t wait to try it!

  8. Mexican food of any kind is just the best! And this budget friendly?? You can’t go wrong! I’ll take a bowl with alllll the toppings!

  9. Isn’t it lovely when such simple ingredients can yield spectacular results?! Looks wonderful.

  10. How did you know this is exactly the kind of recipe I needed?! 

  11. I love an easy and inexpensive meal. This taco soup is perfect for football season!

  12. Growing up in a family of 9 kids, this is so something my mom would make us. Brings back memories and I can’t wait to make this for my sons!

  13. Is there a typo in the recipe? Only one cup of water plus the liquid from the can of tomatoes is the ONLY liquid and this serves twelve people? So each bowl has maybe two tablespoons of liquid for a SOUP?!  Please check and correct because that can’t be right!

    • Hi Kathi! The 1 cup of water serves the 6 people that are specified in the recipe. When I made this soup for a larger group, I multiplied it. If it’s too thick to your liking, you can always add more water at the end.

  14. Looking forward to trying this. Have you ever incorporated a meat? if so, any suggestions? 

    • Hi Leigh! I haven’t, but I think it would be great if you browned and seasoned some ground turkey or lean ground beef separately, then stirred it in. Shredded chicken would work well too. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

  15. This was really good! I served it as a ‘meatless and simple yet festive enough dinner for guests on a Friday during Lent’ with cilantro, avocado, and cheese. Thanks!

  16. Made this for dinner last night. I made it as written, except I added in some ground turkey and some diced sauteed onions. It was delicious and so easy to make! I topped it with cheese, sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips. My picky 3-year old son also really loved it! I’ll definitely make this again. I’m excited for the leftovers today :) Thanks, Erin, for another wonderful flavorful recipe! I LOVE your site!

  17. Just a quick question.  Can I use dried white northern beans and a crock pot be incorporated?  

    • Hi Marianne! I wouldn’t recommend dried beans unless you cook them separately first, since they take much, much longer to cook. This soup is really designed for a fast heating up of ingredients. You could, however, place all the ingredients your slow cooker and warm them up that way instead. I hope that helps!

  18. Can I post this recipe on my blog as long as I create a link to your post and blog for credit?  

    • Hi Marianne! I’m so honored that you’d want to feature my recipe! I do ask that full recipe not be reprinted and photos not be used. Please feel free to write whatever you like about the recipe, then I ask that you simply include a direct link to the post. This is good internet practice, avoid copyright issues, and it also keep Google penalizing both our sites for duplicate content. Thanks for understanding!

  19. I loved the simple and fast preparation.  I did add some shredded chicken as you suggested for my meat loving man.   Lol. As well as 1/2 tsp chipotely chili powder as I couldn’t find mexicorn here in Costa Rica.  Turned out great . Topped with Greek yogurt, shredded cheddar and cilantro.   Crushed corn chips on top

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