Kalyn's Kitchen

Easy Taco Soup from A Pinch of Salt Lake

This Easy Taco Soup recipe is from a famous Utah cookbook called A Pinch of Salt Lake, and this is an easy kid-friendly dinner idea! If you prefer a lower-carb version of taco soup, see the option for that. 

PIN this Easy Taco Soup to try it later!

Easy Taco Soup from A Pinch of Salt Lake found on KalynsKitchen.com

There are some recipes that become favorites just because they’re simple and use ingredients you usually have on hand, and this Easy Taco Soup that I first made years ago is a family-friendly soup I’ve made over and over for parties.  I adapted the recipe from A Pinch of Salt Lake, a classic old cookbook published by the Junior League of Salt Lake, and this year when I made this soup again for my annual New Year’s Day Soup party, I decided it was time to update this post with better photos. And if you prefer a lower-carb soup without beans, check out my Instant Pot (or Stovetop) Low-Carb Taco Soup!

Almost as fun is eating the soup is the story of how I got the cookbook years ago as a gift from a third-grade student named Nathan.  I’d always wanted the book, so when he showed up at school with it one day, I was quite excited.  In the honest way kids have he said, “My mom didn’t think she’d ever use it.” Recently I saw Nathan’s mom in the grocery store and she told me he’s now 17, which shows how long I’ve been making this soup!

And if you’d like a low-carb version of this tasty soup (and want to see how my photography skills have improved!) check out Instant Pot Low-Carb Taco Soup!

What ingredients do you need for this recipe?

  • ground beef
  • olive oil
  • onion
  • Minced Garlic (affiliate link)
  • dried oregano, preferably Mexican Oregano (affiliate link)
  • ground cumin
  • ground Ancho chile (affiliate link)
  • chile powder
  • canned beef broth
  • canned petite diced tomatoes
  • canned pinto beans
  • avocado (optional)
  • grated cheddar cheese (optional)
  • corn chips (optional)
  • sour cream (optional)
  • fresh cilantro (optional)

Easy Taco Soup from A Pinch of Salt Lake found on KalynsKitchen.com

How to Make Easy Taco Soup from A Pinch of Salt Lake:

(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the ground beef, and cook until the meat is well-browned. 
  2. Put the meat in the soup pot.
  3. Add the other teaspoon of olive oil to frying pan, add the onions and cook until they’re soft and barely starting to brown. Add the garlic, dried oregano, ground cumin (affiliate link), ground Ancho chile (affiliate link), and chile powder, and saute about a minute, until the spices are fragrant. Add the onion mixture to the soup pot. 
  4. Rinse out the pan with one cup of beef broth and add that to the soup.
  5. Add the rest of the beef broth, canned tomatoes, and beans to the soup. (I used a mixture of pinto and kidney beans, but you can use either kind you prefer.)
  6. Let soup simmer on low 45 minutes to an hour, adding a little water if needed.  (I don’t know why I used such a deep pot!)
  7. You can puree some of the soup to thicken it if needed, but I thought mine was plenty thick after it had cooked for an hour.
  8. Serve hot, with things like cheese, sour cream, and diced avocado to add at the table. Corn chips are good in this for those who aren’t watching their carbs!

Easy Taco Soup from A Pinch of Salt Lake square thumbnail image of finished soup with toppings

More Tasty Soups with Beans:

Slow Cooker (or stovetop) Black Bean and Rice Soup with Lime and Cilantro ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Paula Butturini’s Zuppa di Fagioli ~ Farmgirl Fare
Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) Soup with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Basil ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Adobo Black Bean Soup from Not Derby Pie
Chicken and Pinto Bean Soup with Lime and Cilantro ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen

Weekend Food Prep:

This recipe has been added to a new category called Weekend Food Prep  to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!

Easy Taco Soup from A Pinch of Salt Lake

Easy Taco Soup from A Pinch of Salt Lake

Yield 8 servings
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes

This Easy Taco Soup was always a big hit when I made it for my annual New Year’s Day soup party, I know you'll love it too!


  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 tsp. + 1 tsp.  olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped small
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 T dried oregano (preferably Mexican oregano)
  • 2 T ground cumin
  • 1 T ground Ancho chile powder
  • 1 T chile powder
  • two 14 oz. cans beef broth, (see notes)
  • two 14.5 oz. cans petite diced tomatoes with juice
  • two 15 oz. cans pinto beans (see notes)

Toppings to add to the soup:

  • diced avocado
  • grated cheddar cheese (I used Mexican Cheese Blend from Costco which is a lower fat cheese blend)
  • corn chips (for the kids, but not for South Beach dieters)
  • sour cream (use light sour cream for South Beach diet)
  • chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Heat 1 tsp. olive oil in frying pan, add ground beef and cook until well browned, breaking into small pieces with turner as you cook it. Remove beef to large soup pot.
  2. In same frying pan heat second tsp. of olive oil, add onions and and saute until onions are starting to soften and brown, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add garlic, oregano (preferably Mexican Oregano - affiliate link), cumin, Ancho chile powder, and chile powder and saute about 1 minute, or until the spices are fragrant.
  4. Add onion mixture to the soup pot, then rinse out the frying pan with 1 cup beef broth ( may use  homemade beef stock) and add that to the pot.
  5. Add the rest of broth, canned tomatoes, and canned beans.
  6. Let soup cook at very low simmer for 45 minutes to one hour, stirring occasionally and adding a bit more water if it cooks down too much. (If you want a thicker soup, cook 30 minutes, then remove a few cups of soup, puree with food processor or immersion blender and add back into the soup, then cook remaining time.)
  7. Serve hot, with toppings as desired.


If you don’t have ancho chile powder just use more regular chile powder. You can use 3 1/2 cups homemade beef stock if you have some. Use pinto beans or kidney beans, or one can of each. Nutritional information does not include optional toppings. Recipe adapted from A Pinch of Salt Lake.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 333Total Fat: 8.9gSaturated Fat: 3.1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4.4gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 508mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 11gSugar: 6gProtein: 28g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
With low fat ground beef, low fat cheese, light sour cream, and skipping the corn chips, this Easy Taco Soup would be fine for any phase of the South Beach Diet. Many people don’t know that beans are considered a “good carb” on South Beach, but beans are a limited food, so don’t over-do it on the serving size. If you’re eating this for another type of low-carb diet plan you might want to use more beef and skip the beans, which would make it a delicious low-carb soup or check out my Instant Pot (or Stovetop) Low-Carb Taco Soup.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Soup Recipes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Pinterest image of Easy Taco Soup from A Pinch of Salt Lake

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    31 Comments on “Easy Taco Soup from A Pinch of Salt Lake”

  1. Hope the soup will make him feel a little better!

  2. I couldn't have received this recipe in my email on a better day. My husband's home for a couple of days after minor surgery and needs pampering 🙂 This soup definitely did the trick! Thanks Kalyn!

  3. Dana, love the sound of your version!

  4. I always LOVE your soup recipes, so after I stumbled upon this in the archives I made this tonight (even though using the stovetop this time of year makes the apartment crazy hot).

    Because I'm vegetarian, I substituted the MorningStar soy crumbles for the beef. Also, instead of chili powder, since I had a bunch of leftover canned chipotle chilis in adobo, I minced one chili and added a tablespoon of sauce to the mixture before adding the broth. Served it with a dollop of sour cream, and a big side of roasted zucchini. It was a crazy delicious weeknight meal – thanks for the recipe!

  5. I'm restarting Phase 1 and this delectable dish is on the menu. I tried this last year and it made enough for leftovers for the week. Which is perfect for this full time student : )

    Thank you !!

  6. Wow! What a great soup! My oldest and youngest sons loved the "scoop" option. I bought the scoop brand of corn chips and they literally used the chips as their spoons. My middle son is still developing his palate. 🙂 Tonight is "Cannellini Bean and Kale Soup with Ham and Sherry Vinegar" currently in the crockpot. I knew I needed to use up the rest of the Easter ham and quickly! I was low on cannellini beans, so I threw in chickpeas too. We'll see how that turns out.

  7. The tomatoes are 14.5 oz sized cans. I'll edit to make that clear, thanks!

  8. What size cans of diced tomatoes do I use

  9. Kalyn, this looks like an awesome cold weather recipe!

  10. I haven’t tried the recipe yet, but my husband & I received A Pinch of Salt Lake as a wedding present. It was my favorite cookbook for a long time. I knew that anything that I made from A Pinch would be a winner. I will have to try the Taco Soup now.

  11. I just found your site. I started the Southbeach diet two weeks ago and I am nervous about moving on. Your recipes look wonderful and I plan on using them right away.