Do you want a fast and easy meal for camping or home cooking? What about a meal that requires absolutely no prep work? This taco soup recipe delivers! This recipe features all canned and dried ingredients for a simple pantry meal that you can make at any time. The result is a deliciously thick and hearty soup – similar to chili with a Tex-Mex flavor. If you are wondering what to serve with taco soup, read on!
Taco soup is a staple in my house, and I wanted to adapt it to use shelf-stable pantry ingredients for camping and emergency preparedness. After some brief searches, I found several different recipes for 7 (or 8) Can Taco Soup which looked perfect. Like most recipes that rely heavily on canned ingredients, this soup can be salty (as I learned the first time I made it). Follow the tips below to help reduce the salt levels and make this a delicious easy dish. I’ve also added a secret ingredient and provided suggestions to adjust the spiciness.
What to serve with Taco Soup
Taco soup is a one-pot meal, but it’s also great with toppings and chips or bread. Serve your taco soup with tortilla chips or cornbread (jalapeno cornbread is a great choice). My favorite toppings are shredded cheddar cheese and avocado slices when I plan ahead. Any sharp cheese is delicious. Add a few sliced green onions to the bowl of soup for more color. Sour cream is another classic topping! Basically, just use your favorite taco toppings.
7 Can Taco Soup Ingredients
Chicken Breast or Ground Beef – For the protein in this flexible soup, use either chicken or ground beef. The recipe calls for canned chicken breast (I promise it will taste great), but you can also substitute cooked shredded chicken or leftover rotisserie chicken. I recommend you try it at least once with canned chicken breast. I’ve also made this with chicken thighs and leftover chicken. To make the soup with beef, substitute a can of no-bean chili or a pound of browned ground beef. Ground turkey is another idea
Canned Beans – The recipe calls for 2 cans of beans. I used ranch-style beans (pinto beans) and black beans, but you may use any mix of beans. Mix and match your favorite varieties or try something new like kidney beans.
Canned Diced Tomatoes – I recommend using diced tomatoes with green chilies for some heat. The Rotel tomatoes brand is available in several levels of spiciness from mild, original, to hot. You can also use any diced tomatoes or petite diced tomatoes. If you love tomatoes, use both Rotel and a can of diced tomatoes.
Canned Whole Kernel Corn – I prefer whole-kernel sweet corn for this recipe. Creamed corn will add additional creaminess to your soup.
Green Enchilada Sauce – This sauce adds a wonderful Tex-Mex flavor to your soup. You can find it in the Mexican section of your grocery store with salsa and taco shells. The enchilada sauce is available in different levels of heat, so choose based on your preferences (start with mild if you are not sure). Red enchilada sauce will also work if you want a more tomato-based flavor.
Low Sodium Chicken Broth – It’s very important to use low-sodium chicken broth or the soup will be much too salty. See the substitutions section below to reduce the salt even more.
Taco Seasoning – Use one packet of taco seasoning for the soup. Homemade taco seasoning also works fine. Use 2-3 tablespoons of any homemade mix.
Dried minced onion – This is my secret ingredient which I use for so many meals! Add onion for some extra flavor, but without the chopping. Just add the dried onion directly to the soup, no rehydration is needed. Look for dried onion in the spice section of the grocery store. I buy large bottles at Costco for a great deal. You can also use fresh chopped onion. Double or triple the amount and saute it in a little olive oil before adding to the soup (or increase the soup cooking time to fully cook the onion)
Spices – I use garlic powder, cumin, and chili powder for extra flavor in the soup.
Reduce the salt!
Ok, so even with low-sodium chicken broth, this soup may be too salty for you. I now substitute two cups of water for the broth and then add small amounts of chicken bouillon powder to taste at the end. I also recommend draining and rinsing the chicken, corn, and beans. Buy no salt-added corn and other vegetables as well.
Adjust the Heat
Taste and tolerance for spicy food vary wildly! For the mildest soup, stick with plain tomatoes and use mild enchilada sauce or the ranch dressing substitution below. For mild to medium heat, follow the suggested recipe ingredients. To spice it up, use hot Rotel and enchilada sauce, ranch-style beans with jalapenos, and add a can of diced green chilies. Want even more heat? Add a teaspoon (or more) of cayenne pepper or chipotle chili powder.
Ranch Dressing Mix instead of Enchilada Sauce
If you can’t find enchilada sauce or you don’t have any available, substitute a package of ranch dressing mix and about 1 cup of water. The result will be a slightly different flavor but just as yummy!
What if you hate beans?
So my son doesn’t care for beans while my husband loves them. I often reduce the recipe to only use one can of beans. If you leave out the beans, substitute another can of corn, tomatoes, or chicken to keep the serving size and spice amounts similar.
Make it Vegetarian
If you prefer a vegetarian version, replace the chicken with another can of beans or corn. Use water or vegetable stock in place of the chicken broth.
Reduce the Carbs
For a lower carbohydrate meal, replace the corn with beans, tomatoes, or more chicken.
Drain and Rinse – Drain and rinse cans of chicken, corn, and beans. You may use the liquid from tomatoes if you prefer a stronger tomato flavor.
Combine all ingredients – Add all ingredients to a large stock pot and mix thoroughly – your soup will make about 3 1/2 quarts. Dutch ovens are a great option for camping.
Heat and simmer – Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat through and simmer for 15-20 min.
Make it in a Crock Pot
If you prefer to use a slow cooker, heat the soup on high for about 1 hour.
Add to your Collection
Add this recipe to your collection and stock up on these ingredients so you can make this delicious soup any time! It’s perfect for your next camping trip, busy weeknights, or feeding a group in an emergency. This flavorful meal will quickly become a family favorite.
7 Can Taco Soup (Chicken or Beef)
- 1 Large stock pot
- 1 can chicken breast
- 1 can black beans
- 1 can ranch style beans or pinto beans
- 1 can Rotel tomatoes and green chilies
- 1 can whole kernel corn
- 1 can low sodium chicken broth OR 2 cups water
- 1 can green enchilada sauce
- 1/4 cup dried chopped onion
- 1 pkg taco seasoning mix
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- Drain and rinse chicken, corn, and beans1 can chicken breast, 1 can black beans, 1 can ranch style beans or pinto beans, 1 can whole kernel corn
- Combine all ingredients in large stock pot and mix well1 can Rotel tomatoes and green chilies, 1 can low sodium chicken broth OR 2 cups water, 1 can green enchilada sauce, 1/4 cup dried chopped onion, 1 pkg taco seasoning mix, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp chili powder
- Heat to boiling, then reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes.