Using our small 2 quart slow cooker, we're making Slow Cooker Taco Soup today. This recipe makes a small batch, about 4 bowls of soup, which is perfect for your spicy soup craving without a ton of leftovers.
Most versions of slow cooker taco soup include many, many canned ingredients and multiple seasoning packets. That is delicious, but this is a simpler version that uses less ingredients with maximum flavor. Plus, if you have a little taco seasoning left in the packet, this recipe only uses a heaping tablespoon.
We're using basic pantry staples that we already have on-hand for this recipe. If your pantry has canned tomatoes and beans, and your freezer has corn and ground meat, you're in business!
The other way my slow cooker taco soup is different than most is that it's supposed to serve just 2 to 4 people. We're using a 2 quart slow cooker today to make this recipe.
If you need more recipes to use your small crockpot, check out all of my Slow Cooker Recipes for Two people.
How to Make Slow Cooker Taco Soup
While this is not a dump and start crockpot recipe, like my Crockpot Creamy Chicken, I promise the extra step of browning your meat is going to bring so much flavor.
After browning the meat, everything else gets dumped in the slow cooker before being turned on for just 4 hours on HIGH. These days, slow cookers cook at a much faster rate, so I tend to do high for 3-4 hours or low for 6 hours.
If you're looking for the instant pot version, I have Instant Pot Taco Soup here for you.
- Olive Oil. Just a small amount to brown the meat; doesn't need to be extra virgin because this recipe has a long cook time.
- Ground Meat. You can use ground turkey, ground chicken, or even ground beef. It's entirely up to you--just make sure you drain any extra grease after browning the meat before you place it in the slow cooker.
- Black Beans. One 15-ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed.
- Corn. Just ½ cup of frozen corn or one small can of corn, drained.
- Tomatoes. I really recommend fire-roasted tomatoes when cooking. I hardly buy regular tomatoes anymore, because the flavor of fire-roasting is so good, especially in a slow cooker taco soup! You can use a 14-ounce can of diced or crushed tomatoes. Diced tomatoes make a chunkier soup, and crushed tomatoes make a smoother soup.
- Tomato Paste. One tablespoon of tomato paste brings so much flavor to the broth.
- Green Chiles. One small 4-ounce can of fire-roasted chopped green chiles. Mild or spicy is your choice.
- Onion. One small onion, diced, or half of a medium onion. Freeze the rest.
- Garlic. Two cloves, minced.
- Taco Seasoning. Just one heaping tablespoon of a taco seasoning that contains salt.
- Chicken Broth. Regular, not low-sodium chicken broth.
- Gather all ingredients and have ready a 2, 4 of 6 quart slow cooker. This recipe has been tested in all of them, and I double it when I make it in the 6 quart model.
2. First, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, and then add the ground meat. Cook until the meat is cooked through, breaking it up with a wooden spoon while it cooks. The photos have lean ground turkey meat.
3. Add the cooked ground meat to the bottom of your slow cooker. Add all remaining ingredients: the can of black beans, the corn, the can of tomatoes, tomato paste, green chiles, diced onion and garlic, the taco seasoning and the chicken broth.
4. Stir everything together, place the lid on and set the slow cooker to HIGH. If it has a timer feature, set it to 4 hours. Otherwise, set an alarm for yourself elsewhere.
5. After 4 hours, lift the lid, give everything a stir and taste! Add more salt, if you think it needs it, and serve with shredded cheese, sliced green onions, and tortilla chips.
What to Serve with Slow Cooker Taco Soup:
There are so many ways this recipe can be adapted to use what you have in your pantry, or use things you like better.
- This recipe works with ground chicken, ground turkey or even ground beef.
- Use any type of beans. I use black beans, but pinto beans or red beans are welcome here.
- You can use frozen corn or a small can of corn.
- Any type of canned tomato product works--diced, crushed, sauce, etc. Just don't use anything labeled with Italian herbs or pizza sauce, which contains sugar.
- Instead of a can of diced tomatoes and a can of green chiles, you can use two 10-ounce cans of Rotel in this soup!
- You can use onion powder and garlic powder if you don't have either fresh. Use 1 tablespoon of onion powder and 2 teaspoons of garlic powder.
- Taco seasoning comes in a packet or in a larger jar. If you don't have it, add a good shake of chili powder, oregano, ground cumin, smoked paprika and salt.
- Chicken broth, vegetable broth, or even beef broth all work here for the liquid. If you have the bullion paste, use that with the recommended amount of water right in the crockpot.
Yes, if you don't love beans, just leave them out and double the meat.
If you love Rotel tomatoes as much as I do (which is canned tomatoes with green chiles, if you're not sure what I'm talking about), you can use them here. Instead of one can of diced tomatoes and one can of green chiles, just use TWO 10-ounce cans of Rotel tomatoes here.
If you want this slow cooker taco soup with cream cheese, you can absolutely do this! After it's done cooking, stir in 3-4 ounces of cream cheese off the heat. The residual heat of the soup will melt the cream cheese. Stir very well before serving.
Yes, I frequently make this vegetarian for myself and my vegan husband. To do this, I omit the meat and use 2 cans of beans. Then, I use vegetable broth instead of the chicken broth. I keep my toppings vegetarian, and it's good to go!
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- ½ pound lean ground turkey
- 1 15-ounce can of black beans, rinsed and drained
- ½ cup frozen corn
- 14-ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 4-ounce can of fire-roasted, chopped green chiles
- ½ medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon (heaping) taco seasoning
- 1 ½ cups chicken broth
- Gather all ingredients, and have ready a 2, 4 or 6 quart slow cooker.
- In a large skillet, add the olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the ground turkey, and cook while breaking up with a wooden spoon and stirring frequently, until it is no longer pink in the middle, about 7-8 minutes.
- In the bottom of a slow cooker, add the cooked ground turkey, beans, corn, tomatoes, tomato paste, green chiles, diced onion, garlic and taco seasoning. Finally, add the chicken broth and give everything a good stir.
- Place the lid on the slow cooker, and set it to HIGH and cook for 4 hours. At the end of 4 hours, stir and give everything a taste, adding more salt, if needed. Serve in bowls with tortilla chips on top, green onions cilantro, sour cream, or grated cheese.
Ground Turkey: You can use any type of ground meat for this slow cooker taco soup: ground turkey, ground chicken, or even ground beef.
Black Beans: Can substitue pinto beans or red beans, if you prefer.
Corn: Frozen or from a small can.
Tomatoes: I buy the can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes. You can use any 14-ounce can of diced or crushed tomatoes. Diced tomatoes make a chunkier soup, and crushed tomatoes make a smoother soup.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 338Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 612mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 12gSugar: 6gProtein: 28g