Two recipes for taco soup, a dish I had neither made nor tasted, popped up in my inbox recently. The first one is a slow-cooker recipe from Janice Gullett, a Life in the Skillet reader who found me while planning a trip to Loreto, Mexico. The second one, courtesy of one of my lovely sisters-in-law, is a super-fast, super-efficient, 30 minute to the table version.

A note: both call for taco seasoning – which is what makes them taco soup. Janice’s for any supermarket brand packet and Rita’s for the taco seasoning from Penzey’s. I like to make my own; it’s actually really easy to make with regular pantry ingredients. Click here for my recipe.

They are both delicious. The slow-cooker version I’ve put here first has quite a bit of spice from the adobo chilies, and the chicken is exceptionally tender. Don’t try and take the shortcut to add the adobos in the beginning or it will be too spicy. I used dark beer and parsley instead of cilantro and served with flour tortillas.

Double up on the beans on either recipe to make a vegetarian version.

Slow cooker chicken taco soup

Janice Gullett
This is a spicy slow-cooker meal in a pot.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 7 hours
Total Time 7 hours 15 minutes
Course entree
Cuisine Mexican


  • • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 16 ounce can kidney beans, rinsed
  • 1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed
  • 1 15 ounce can whole kernel corn, drained (or use frozen)
  • 1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 12 fluid ounce can or bottle beer
  • 2 10 ounce cans diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
  • 1 1.25 ounce package taco seasoning
  • 3 whole skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • Shredded cheddar cheese or monetary jack
  • Sour cream
  • Crushed tortilla chips or fresh tortillas
  • Chopped cilantro


  • Place the onion, kidney beans, black beans, corn, tomato sauce, beer, and diced tomatoes in a slow cooker.
  • Add taco seasoning and stir to blend.
  • Lay chicken breasts on top of the mixture, pressing down slightly until just covered by the other ingredients.
  • Set cooker for low heat. Cover, and cook for 5 hours.
  • Remove chicken breasts from the soup and allow to cool long enough to be handled.
  • Shred the chicken and stir it back into the soup with the adobo chilies, and continue cooking for 2 hours.
  • Serve topped with cilantro, cheese, a dollop of sour cream and either crushed tortilla chips or a fresh tortilla for dipping.


This is Aunt Rita’s quick and dirty version . . . it is honestly the fastest, easiest dish you’ll ever make, and totally kid-palate friendly – perfect for one of those busy weeknights. I use fresh mild salsa and keep the Tapatio on the table for the heat lover – me. I popped the crumbled chips and cheese on little crocks of soup stuck them under the broiler French onion soup-style.

Taco Soup broiliong

Super fast taco soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This is a fast, flavorful, crowd-pleasing dinner.
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 8
  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 2 15-oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-oz can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 2 14.5-oz cans San Marzano diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1 16-oz container of your favorite salsa
  • crumbed tortilla chips
  • sour cream
  • shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • chopped black olives
  1. Brown the ground beef in a soup pot.
  2. Add beans, corn, and tomatoes with juice.
  3. Add taco seasoning and salsa.
  4. Add water if you'd like a soupier consistency.
  5. Cook over medium low heat for 20 - 30 minutes.
  6. Garnish with cheese, sour cream, chips, and/or olives as desired


taco Soup Crock


Fast or slow, hot or mild – it’s taco soup your way today.