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. 

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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. This soup sounds perfect for these high teen temperatures we’ve been having. I am so ready for spring.

  2. I have to make two soups to take into school this Wednesday for a luncheon, so I just had to check out Kalyn’s for at least one SBD friendly soup. Great ideas!

    I love your new header. It is beautiful. I liked the last one, too, but not being a real mushroom fan, I like this one lots better.

    Thanks again for all the great recipes.

  3. Now this is a soup that eats like a meal! It looks tasty and hearty.

  4. Yum and yum again! That looks sooo good, Kalyn! By the way, love the new header on your page too. Despite being Summer, it’s been raining a lot over the past couple of days, so I might just grab the chance to try this recipe out.

  5. Everything I love about tacos in soup form? Yes, please!!

  6. Comments before this were from November 2006 when I first posted this recipe (I can’t believe it’s been that long.)

  7. Naudee, thanks! I always love to get your feedback.

  8. Just wanted to let ya know that I gave this a try and it was great. Very easy to make and yet very yummy!

  9. Pam, an interesting idea to use the black soy beans in soups. I haven’t tried them.

  10. If you really want to go low card and healthy, use canned Black Soy Beans (I use Eden Organic brand and available in most health food sections of large supermarkets like Fred Meyers) in place of the kidney or chili beans. Black soy beans have only 8 grams of carbs and 7 grams of fiber for a net 1 carb per 1/2 cup serving. I use them as substitute beans in many recipes. You have to use a bit more spice than called for in the recipe, because the beans are somewhat flavorless and will absorb surrounding flavors. I usually try to make soups, chilies etc the day before so that all the flavors mix.

    The Taco Soup was perfect on this cold day in Alaska… pam

  11. Perfect soup for winter I must say !!!!!…. BTW, if you are longing for summer, come over to singapore….. I will be happy to have you over here 🙂

  12. this is just the kind of soup i love to eat. purrrfect!

  13. Lydia, yes I think it would be fine even without the beef, but Bill wants his beef!

    Ilva, fun that we’re cooking the same things.

    Genie, it wasn’t snowing when I made it, so it sounds even better today.

    Anonymous, fun that your mom has it. Nathan is pretty sharp.

    Sher, I’m slipping. I’m going to edit and add cilantro to the list of toppings.

    Maria, Lydia is with you on this.

  14. I make a taco soup with no meat and it is very tasty and super easy!

  15. Yum!! I love recipes like this. Of course, I would top it with lots of chopped cilantro! :):)

  16. I love that cookbook! My mom has one and gave me one for Christmas one year. She also likes to give it as a wedding gift for out of state weddings. Good job Nathan. 🙂

  17. Kalyn, this looks outstanding, and so perfect for a snowy, chilly day. Particularly if it could be served with a margarita on the side.


    Thanks for posting this!

    🙂 Genie
    The Inadvertent Gardener

  18. do you know that I made a soup very similar to this last week and I loved it?! It needed some more working on it so I’ll post it later on! Yours looks really delicious!

  19. Gotta have beef with mine! 😀

  20. Great recipe — I think it would be pretty good without any beef at all, too.