Taco Soup is an easy-to-prepare dish, so easy even a 5-year old can do it. And it tastes great, especially when you make it without the packets of junky mixes.
Some days you just don’t want to cook. You want to eat, to be sure. But, cooking? No way, Jose.
However, in the life as Mom, the days when a mom is automatically excused from kitchen duty are few and far between. One can only have so many babies and root canals, if you know what I mean.
There is a solution, though, and it does not involve any anesthesia whatsoever.
It’s called becoming a kitchen supervisor.
Yes, you guessed it!
Teach your children to cook and with a little supervision on your part, you can practically put your feet up.
The Taco Soup Recipe Your 5-Year Old Can Make
Such is the case with the following Taco Soup recipe, a FishBoy favorite. All kids absolutely love it!
Except those who shun beans altogether, and I don’t really understand those kids.
But, bean-haters excluded, this is your ideal Kids-Can-Cook and Kids-Will-Love kind of recipe. Even in the heat of summer when it’s hot and humid and buggy and sticky, you will get constant requests for this meal.
Chances are you’ve already encountered a handful of Taco Soup recipes. And those, my friend, usually call for several EXPENSIVE packaged mixes full of crap ingredients.
In addition to making this recipe kid-friendly, I’ve also eliminated the packets of junky mixes. You’re welcome!
I’ve tweaked the traditional Taco Soup recipe you might have seen in the past, in order to suit my family’s tastes and budget, subbing a blend of bulk spices, making it so much more affordable and much less processed.
But what’s the MOST wonderful part of this Taco Soup Recipe is that it cooks in the crockpot — and a 5-year old can put it together for you. You open the cans and help him cook the meat, and he does the rest. How easy is that?!
Psst. if you cook a bulk batch of hamburger and stash it in the freezer, you’ll have even less to do!
Ingredients for this crockpot taco soup
- Beef – We used ground beef, but you could also use ground turkey. You want to cook it first and drain it before adding it to the crockpot.
- Crushed tomatoes – A 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
- Hominy – A can of hominy, which is rehydrated maize kernels. If you don’t have this, you could also frozen or canned corn instead.
- Beans – We use a trio of kidney, pinto, and black beans but any combination of these beans would work well. You can use canned beans or cook your own beans. Click here to learn How To Cook Pinto Beans!
- Water – Just some good old water here.
- Enchilada sauce – An 8-ounce can of enchilada sauce, or you could make your own.
- Seasoning/spices – A combination of dried oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, dried parsley, salt and pepper.
How to make this easy taco soup
Cook the ground beef. You need to cook the beef first and drain it.
Add ingredients to your crockpot. Just dump them all in. Yup that’s it.
Cook for 4 hours. On high, then serve with your favorite toppings.
Tips for crockpot taco soup
- Drain your beef well. This will ensure great consistency and great flavor.
- Drain your beans too. Extra liquid could make your soup extra salty.
- Like it spicy? Add some chopped jalapeno during or after cooking (as a topping).
Toppings for this taco soup
You can really use any of your favorite taco fillings and toppings to top this soup with. Here are some of our favorites:
Leftover taco soup freezer very well. Just allow it to cool and then place in airtight containers.
You can freeze this soup for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, just thaw overnight in your refrigerator. You can reheat on the stovetop or in your microwave.
How to make this good and cheap:
Here are some of the strategies you can use to make this recipe more economical:
- Stock up on ingredients when they are on sale. Ground beef is your big ticket items here. Stock up when you see a good sale.
- Cook your own beans. It’s super cheap to cook beans at home.
- Make your own enchilada sauce. The traditional sauce is nothing more than ground chiles. Make your own that is better than what you’d buy in the can.
- Shop at ALDI. When I’m not of the mind to cook my own beans, I buy our canned beans by the case at ALDI. They are the cheapest deal in town and I love the convenience of opening a can. ALDI also has great prices on produce.
How I make this recipe easy:
This recipe really couldn’t be easier than it is, but having the right kitchen tools can really make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable. Over time, I’ve honed my collection so that they are perfect for my needs.
Here are the tools that I use for this recipe:
- slow cooker – the ultimate in “set it and forget it” cookery
- can opener – find one that’s easy on the joints
- skillet with lid – love this one for its perfect size
- 1 lb ground beef or ground turkey, browned and drained
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 15-ounce can hominy rinsed and drained
- 1 15-ounce can kidney beans rinsed and drained
- 1 15-ounce can pinto beans rinsed and drained
- 2 15-ounce can black beans rinsed and drained
- 8 oz red enchilada sauce
- 1 to 2 cup water depending on how thick you like your soup/chili
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon dry parsley flakes
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- black pepper
- toppings for soup : salsa, shredded cheese, sour cream, avocado, chopped cilantro, sliced black olives
- Combine all ingredients in crock pot.
- Cook for at least 4 hours on HIGH. Serve with toppings.
This is a good taco soup. It’s easy to put together and I love anything that cooks in the crockpot. We have another taco soup recipe that we love, so I will not likely make this one again. My kids especially didn’t like that this version is tomato based.
Lots of beans so definitely a budget helper but I will add more beef next time.
Don’t make the mistake I made and grab Italian tomatoes at 530 in the morning. It will change the flavor. Still edible, but stick with the plain for best results.
Making it now! Can’t wait to taste it.
I love that you add your own spices, no doubt this helps with the sodium content. I cannot wait to try your recipe. thank you!
Michelle @ Simplify, Live, Love
I make taco soup as well. In fact, it’s our go-to meal for busy nights. I use taco seasoning that I buy at Sam’s Club – huge bottle – that’s MSG free. I use dried beans that I cook and freezer, corn, and I also stopped using ranch seasoning packet and instead just add the individual spices – parsley, onion powder, salt, whatever I have on hand. It’s easy and delicious. Here’s my recipe: http://www.simplifylivelove.com/2011/11/taco-soup-my-go-to-meal.html
I just made this soup last week. It’s sooo delicious. I even put some in a blender for my 9 mon old baby. Thanks for sharing your recipe.
This looks so delicious! We like taco soup, but this looks like it’d be better. My 11-year old daughter helped me analyze the cost of packaged taco seasoning versus making our own and so now she is my taco seasoning maker! Healthier and frugal!
Kathy @ House of Hills
Love this! I’ve been wanting to figure out a way to get mine away from the packets of spices. I will be adding this to next week’s menu plan. Thanks!
Suzof7, the original that I tweaked had ranch dressing and taco seasoning. Those are too rich for my budget, so I substituted the other spices. FishPapa likes food with a kick, so I added the enchilada sauce – Las Palmas is our favorite.
This sounds really good! I have one that my family loves that uses Ranch dressing mix and taco seasoning – and it’s also quick, but I just might try your version! The enchilada sauce sounds intriguing!
That sounds sooo good! I love to get recipes that I couldn’t potentially burn (and fill the house with that awful burnt oven smell along with the fire alarms beeping your eardrums off!)–with 3kids 5 and under, I seem to doing a lot of that lately! 🙂 Crock pots just rock.
I have been making my own version of taco soup, but think I’d like to try this one. I have a can of enchilada sauce in my pantry that I need to use up. This will be perfect for it.
Life on 7th Avenue