When the cold weather creeps in I always crave comfort food and soups. Just over the weekend we had our first snow of the season. So naturally I wanted to make a big bowl of soup and this easy crock pot taco soup was the solution! If you have a slow cooker you can make this because not only is it easy and affordable, it uses simple ingredients you likely have in your pantry! This hearty soup has a thick creamy base and tons of flavor the whole family will love. You can also make it a vegetarian option for non meat eaters. Full recipe card below!
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What is Taco Soup?
Taco soup is usually a mixture of ground beef, ground turkey, or chicken, corn, veggies, beans and a tomato broth base. Sometimes taco soup is also referred to as tortilla soup and frequently includes thinly sliced tortilla strips in the soup and on top. It usually incorporates traditional Latin American flavors with chili powder or taco seasoning and green chilies.
What is Rotel?
While Rotel comes in a few different varieties, it is basically canned, diced tomatoes. Rotel tomatoes come in different levels of spiciness. I like mine spicy, but there is a mild Rotel and medium heat as well as hot. This simple canned staple is often used in Latin American dishes as well as dips and queso as a quick alternative to fresh tomatoes.
Why I love this recipe
This is the perfect week night dish to throw in the crock pot while you are at work during the day or doing other household chores and dinner will be waiting for you when you are ready! The flavors develop over time like making chili, so slow cooking really is the best method here.
This soup was inspired by a tortilla soup I had on vacation and ever since I have been on a quest to find a creamy homemade version. But most recipes I have tried produce a much more brothy soup which is not what I was after. So I made my own version just in time for soup season. A simple chicken taco soup recipe is just what the doctor ordered.
Easy Taco Soup Ingredients
This is an easy recipe but it will quickly become a family favorite and can be made in a big batch as well.
Cream Cheese. I usually use 1/3 less fat cream cheese here for a slightly lighter flavor but you can use full fat or fat free if you would like. The cream cheese is what creates the thickness and creamy base of this soup.
Rotel. If you have not added Rotel to your pantry staples, do it! This small little can add so much flavor to any dish. I use it in everything from dips and soups to pastas and rice bowls. This can be found at your local grocery store in the canned food section next to the tomatoes and tomato sauce.
Salsa. You can use any brand you like it just needs to be 16oz and a red salsa. Green salsa will produce a much different flavor and it will make your soup green. I personally love the 505 jarred salsas and usually keep one on hand. The salsa will add an extra punch of southwest flavors and a little heat.
Tomato Paste. This will thicken the soup a little and give a stronger tomato base. I use the small 6 oz cans with no salt added.
Chicken. I usually make my taco soup with chicken but you can use any protein you want. Ground turkey, ground beef, shredded chicken, or ground chicken are all great choices. I often cook a chicken breast in the Instant Pot and then shred it. Did you know you can toss a frozen chicken breast in the Instant Pot and it will be done in 20 min? True story. But you could also use canned chicken too.
Chicken Broth. Chicken broth is a key ingredient to many recipes including soups and I regularly stock it in my pantry. It gives the soup liquidity and helps thin out thicker ingredients. I do recommend using a low sodium broth to avoid making an overly salty soup.
Taco Seasoning. Like Ranch seasoning, taco seasoning is another staple in my pantry which I frequently use to flavor dishes and make dips. A little bit goes a long way and you don’t have to do any spice mixing. My favorite pre-made taco seasoning packets are the Taco Bell brand. I mean tacos are their thing right? You can also make homemade taco seasoning if you want.
Corn. I usually use whole kernel corn right out of the can. Just drain it before using. The corn adds a bit of texture and sweetness to this soup to balance it out.
Black Beans. This ingredient adds some extra protein and texture to the taco soup. You could also use chili beans or pinto beans if you have those instead, just make sure you drain and rinse them before using.
Lime Juice. This will add a bit of freshness as well as some additional acid which helps cut some of the fat in the cream cheese. I usually just use it as garnish and add a squeeze as needed.
When making a soup like this it is important to have a high-speed blender, food processor, or bullet mixer to create a smooth consistency. I personally love my Ninja foodi because I can use any one of these options. For larger batches like soup the normal blender is the best option but the bullet attachment is great for smaller servings or sauces. But no matter which method I choose, the Ninja never disappoints and don’t get me started on the smoothie mode! Seriously smooth and perfect for soup too! If you don’t have a blender, a quality food processor should work too.
Slow Cooker Options
I am not going to lie, I have multiple crock pots for different uses like dips and hot drinks. But this is my main, go to slow cooker. It has a larger capacity and programable features as well as a temperature probe. If you are looking for a new crock pot, this one will not disappoint.Print
When to make taco soup
Taco soup is a great option in the colder months when you want to stay warm or as an appetizer on game day. You can even serve it as a side on Taco Tuesday! No matter when you decide to make this simple taco soup recipe, I know you will love it!
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