Creamy Taco Soup

4.86 from 7 votes
1 hour
Jump To Recipe

Beef, beans, spices and cheese make this hearty, zesty, easy Creamy Taco Soup recipe totally irresistible! Best of all, it’s budget-friendly and comes together in about an hour in one pot so it’s perfect for a weeknight. Serve pumpkin muffins on the side for the perfect cozy, warming meal!

Two bowls of Creamy Taco Soup with all the garnishes.

Why This Recipe is a Keeper!

Tacos are one of the most popular foods in the world so when the taco meets a creamy, cheesy soup, it’s a winning, delicious combination. Beef and beans make it hearty, pantry ingredients make it easy and cheese takes it over the top!

All this goodness comes together in one pot in about an hour or less. Chances are you may already have many of the ingredients already on hand. Creamy Taco Soup is also super versatile and budget-friendly!

Let’s make it!

Creamy Taco Soup in gray bowl garnished with diced tomatoes, sliced jalapenos, cilantro and tortilla chips.

How to Make Creamy Taco Soup:

Recipe Ingredients:

Here’s everything you’ll need to make this Creamy Taco Soup recipe along with how to prep the ingredients. See the recipe card below for the exact quantities.

Ingredients for Creamy Taco Soup in glass bowls.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions:

  • Ground Beef: Use ground beef, bison, chicken or turkey. Go meatless with one of the many “vegetarian” ground beef substitutes now available.
  • Green Bell Pepper: If you’re not a green bell pepper fan, use red, yellow or orange bell pepper. If you want to kick up the spicy factor, use Poblanos, Anaheim or canned green chiles.
  • Beef Broth: May also use beef stock or chicken broth. For a vegetarian version, use vegetable broth.
  • Pinto Beans: Use any canned beans you have on hand. Substitute black beans, great Northern or cannellini beans. Be sure to drain and rinse canned beans well as the liquid they’re packaged in can be quite salty.

Step-By-Step Instructions:

  • Gather and prep all the ingredients.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or other heavy soup pot. Add the beef and cook until it’s no longer pink, breaking it up as you go. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
  • If the beef produces excess grease, drain it off and wipe out the pot.
Cooked ground beef in blue Dutch oven.
  • Place the pot back on the heat over medium-high and add the remaining oil.
  • Add the onion and pepper, reduce heat to medium and cook for 6 to 7 minutes or until it’s beginning to soften.
Cooked onions and green bell pepper in blue Dutch oven.
  • Add the beef back to the pot.
  • Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin and coriander and give it a stir.
  • Add the beef broth, beans, tomatoes and tomato paste. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and let it stand for 2 to 3 minutes so that it stops simmering.
  • Stir in the lime juice.
  • Add the cream cheese and stir until it’s incorporated into the soup, then add the shredded Mexican blend cheese by the handful, stirring after each addition.
Creamy Taco Soup in blue Dutch oven.
  • Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Stir in the cilantro.
  • MAKE AHEAD: Can be made a day ahead of time at this point. Cool completely and refrigerate until needed. If you kept the soup in the soup pot, simply place it back on the stovetop and reheat over medium-low heat until heated through. Stir it several times while heating the soup.
Pot of Creamy Taco Soup in blue Dutch oven with jalapeno slices and cilantro sprigs.
  • Serve the taco soup with sliced jalapeno, more cilantro, diced tomato, lime wedges, more cheese, sour cream and any other toppings as desired.
  • Creamy Taco Soup is so good everyone will come running!
Three bowls of Creamy Taco Soup.

Chef Tip:

  • There’s nothing worse than gloppy cheese in a creamy beef taco soup or another dish that didn’t melt properly. Did you know there is actually a science to melting cheese? Here are some tips from Serious Eats. The upshot: Add a touch of acid (such as the lime juice in this creamy beef taco soup recipe) and add the cheese off the heat or on low heat in small amounts, stirring or whisking after each addition for cheese melting success.
Creamy Taco Soup garnished with diced tomatoes, sliced jalapenos and tortilla chips.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I make a creamy taco soup recipe ahead of time?

Yes! Can be made a day ahead of time. Cool completely and refrigerate until needed. If you kept the soup in the soup pot, simply place it back on the stovetop and reheat over medium-low heat until heated through. If you transferred it to another container, place it back into a pot and heat it on the stovetop. Stir it several times while heating the soup.

Can you freeze a creamy taco soup?

This Creamy Taco Soup can be frozen. Cool completely then place in freezer-safe containers in amounts desired. Freeze for 1 to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator and gently heat on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Can I make a cream cheese taco soup recipe in the slow cooker?

Yes, but don’t add the cream cheese until the soup is finished and almost ready to serve. Brown the beef and soften the onions and peppers. Add the remaining ingredients except for the cream cheese, cheese and cilantro. Cook on High for 3 to 4 hours or Low for 6 to 7 hours. Stir in the cream cheese and Mexican blend cheese until melted then add the cilantro.

Creamy Taco Soup garnished with diced tomatoes, sliced jalapenos, cilantro and tortilla chips.

Serve with:

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Creamy Taco Soup garnished with diced tomatoes, sliced jalapenos and tortilla chips.

Creamy Taco Soup

4.86 from 7 votes

Click to Rate!

By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
Beef, beans, spices and cheese makes this hearty, zesty, easy Creamy Taco Soup totally irresistible! Best of all, it's budget-friendly and comes together in about an hour in one pot so it's perfect for a weeknight.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Soups and Stews
Cuisine Southwestern / Mexican
Servings 6
Calories 477 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil - divided
  • 1 pound ground beef - such as chuck or sirloin
  • 1 large onion - chopped
  • 1 large green bell or Poblano pepper - chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder - or to taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 cans (15-ounces each) pinto beans - drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (10-ounce) diced tomatoes with green chiles - undrained
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 4 ounces cream cheese - (1/2 of an 8-ounce block)
  • 2 cups finely shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro - plus leaves for garnish
  • Lime wedges - for serving
  • Jalapeno slices - for serving
  • Diced tomatoes - for serving
  • Tortilla chips - for serving

Instructions
 

  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or other heavy soup pot. Add the beef and cook until no longer pink, breaking it up as you go. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. If there is a lot of excess grease, wipe out the pot to remove it.
  • Place the pot back on the heat over medium-high and add the remaining oil.
  • Add the onion and pepper, reduce heat to medium and cook for 6-7 minutes or until beginning to soften.
  • Add the beef back to the pot.
  • Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin and coriander and give it a stir.
  • Add the beef broth, beans, tomatoes and tomato paste. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 20-25 minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and let it stand for 2-3 minutes so that it stops simmering.
  • Stir in the lime juice.
  • Add the cream cheese and stir until it's incorporated into the chili, then add the shredded Mexican blend cheese by the handful, stirring after each addition.
  • Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Stir in the cilantro.

Notes

MAKE AHEAD:  Can be made a day ahead of time. Cool completely and refrigerate until needed. If you kept the soup in the soup pot, simply place it back on the stovetop and reheat over medium-low heat until heated through. Stir it several times while heating the soup.
FREEZER-FRIENDLY:  Cool completely then place in freezer-safe containers in amounts desired. Freeze for 1 to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator and heat on the stovetop or in the microwave.
SLOW COOKER INSTRUCTIONS:  Brown the beef and soften the onions and peppers. Add the remaining ingredients except for the cream cheese, cheese and cilantro. Cook on High for 3 to 4 hours or Low for 6 to 7 hours. Stir in the cream cheese and Mexican blend cheese until melted then add the cilantro.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 477kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 108mg | Sodium: 1011mg | Potassium: 557mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1374IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 317mg | Iron: 3mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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Recipe Rating




4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Yum! Yum! This was delicious. Will definitely add to my recipe collection. Thanks again Carol for another keeper.

    1. Hi, Dianne, Thanks so very much and happy you enjoyed!! Love hearing from you and appreciate your taking the time to come back and comment and rate. Have a great weekend!

  2. 5 stars
    Yes, I did make this. I added just a smidge of brown sugar to counteract the acidity of the tomatoes. Turned out great!! I will make it again.

    1. Hi, Stan, Thanks so much and so happy you enjoyed! Great idea to add a little brown sugar. You could also reduce the amount of tomato paste. Depending upon which brand you use, some are more on the acidic side. Thanks again!