Wednesday, March 10, 2010

7-Can Taco Soup

Seven can taco soup is such a quick and easy soup to throw together, with a well stocked pantry you can whip it up in no time.

7-Can Taco Soup

While 7-Can Taco Soup may not be a classic southern recipe, it is certainly a very popular recipe in the south, no doubt because it feeds a crowd, is a party favorite, and is simply delicious. It's also another one of those recipes that's been around forever. Called 7-Can Taco Soup, because it uses 7 cans of some combination of beans, tomatoes and veggies - my cans of choice are diced tomatoes, Rotel tomatoes, canned green chilies, chili beans, kidney beans, pinto beans and a can of corn. What you put in it varies from recipe to recipe, so settle on your own favorites and use whatever number of cans you like. This version just happens to be the way I like mine.

Here's how to make it.

Vary the beans - some people use black beans or northern beans, or several cans of kidney beans. Go for it! Some use salsa or picante instead of Rotel tomatoes.  Some like to use cream corn instead of whole kernel corn and I've even seen a recipe using mixed vegetables. Some people use water, some chicken broth. I prefer beef broth myself. Some people even like to add small shell or macaroni pasta.  If you don't like the selection of "cans" here, mix it up and make it your own.

A lot of people also simmer this in the crockpot all day while they tend to the rest of life, but this comes together so quick and really only needs a 30 minutes simmer so I do mine on the stovetop. I like to let it low simmer about an hour though, just to let all the flavors sort of marry and meld together, though it can also be held over low for quite awhile, perfect for those times the family seems to be eating in shifts.

With the exception of the chili beans - because they are packed in a chili sauce - I drain and rinse the beans I use.
Most canned beans are extremely high in sodium, and draining and rinsing them supposedly gets rid of nearly half of the sodium level, and... just so you know, it apparently also helps to reduce some of those troublesome gas-causing sugars as well. Even still, we're talking canned goods and packaged goods here, so there is plenty of sodium present despite that, and it's unlikely you will need any additional salt, or even pepper. You can, of course, make your own homemade ranch dressing mix and taco seasoning, instead of using the packets, if you like.

My favorite garnishes include finely shredded cheese, chopped tomato, diced avocado, homemade tortilla strips, sour cream and sliced green onion. A yummy delicious soup, great for a rainy day, and especially good when you find yourself with a herd of kids running thorough your kitchen, all on different eating schedules. Makes plenty, holds well, and is even better leftover.

Don't forget to recycle those cans!

Here's how to make it.

Recipe: 7-Can Taco Soup

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 15 min | Yield: About 6 servings

  • 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 pound of lean ground beef
  • 1 cup of chopped onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 envelope of ranch dressing mix
  • 1 envelope of taco seasoning mix
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can of Rotel diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can of green chilies, undrained
  • 4 cups of beef broth or stock
  • 1 can of chili beans, undrained
  • 1 can of kidney beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 can of pinto beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 can of whole kernel corn, drained
  • Finely shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheese, for garnish, optional
  • Chopped fresh tomato, for garnish, optional
  • Diced avocado, for garnish, optional
  • Shredded lettuce, for garnish, optional
  • Homemade or commercial tortilla strips, for garnish, optional
  • Sour cream, for garnish, optional

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat, add the ground beef and onion and cook until beef is browned, breaking it up as it cooks. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Stir in the ranch dressing and taco seasoning packets and cook and stir for another minute. Add the un-drained, diced tomatoes, Rotel tomatoes, and green chilies; cook and stir for 5 minutes. Stir in the beef broth and the undrained chili beans.  Drain and rinse the kidney beans and pinto beans; drain the corn and add all to the pot and bring up to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Can hold longer over low heat.

Serve with a sprinkle of cheese, chopped tomato, diced avocado, tortilla chips, green onion and a dollop of sour cream, or your own favorite toppings, if desired.

Cook's Notes: This is the mix of beans and veggies that I use, but with a well stocked pantry, you can vary the recipe according to your own tastes, using a variety of substitutes. Swap the beef for ground turkey or use cooked, shredded chicken for a different twist.

For the Crockpot: Brown the meat, drain and add to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 to 9 hours or 3 to 4 hours on high.


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©Deep South Dish
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Posted by on March 10, 2010
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  1. now that is a MAN's SOUP!

    I love it all!

  2. This is a favorite in our teacher's lounge. One of the teacher's makes it a few times a year, and we eat it all day long!

  3. Aren't you glad I made you crave it??? It looks wonderful :)

  4. I needed a crock pot recipe for Friday that can cook while I'm at work and be ready for an early supper with the neighbors. This sounds perfect! Do you think I could substitute shredded chicken for the ground beef?

  5. That really made my mouth water! Can't wait to try it!

  6. Hi Mary!

    I can't wait to try this! Yum!

    Happy Day!

  7. Love this soup. I like to use less beans and add potatoes.

  8. Once a month my girls and I come together, without hubbies, and have a poker night. This seems to be one of the revolving recipes. Yummy!

  9. I don't think I've ever had this exact concoction, but I love taco soup. Sounds super!

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  11. Anonymous - go to and look for the gmail link to sign up for a gmail account - I think that's what you're asking!

  12. I have nominated you for the Attitude and Gratitude Award! To accept follow the rules and share the love.

  13. I'm in the deep south and I want that, so I think that qualifies this as a southern dish;)

    Great looking recipe and that sandwich in the background? I want some of that too!

  14. This looks so good! I love all of the ingredients in this and that it's so easy. Just dump, dump, and dump! Great recipe.

  15. I thought soup season was finally done... Today it's cold (for here) and rainy. Need the rain, am sick of the cold already! Your 7 can soup is just perfect for a day like today.

  16. I added a can of julienne carrots.

    The flavor is awesome and I'm definitely keeping this one in my 'favorite' recipes.

  17. Thanks so much Barb! Glad you enjoyed it and that does sound like an excellent addition.

  18. This is very similar to a recipe I have for soup, but without the chili ingredient "kick." I'll have to try this version! My version calls for ground beef, diced onion, taco and ranch dressing mixes, one can each of corn, kidney beans, green beans, navy beans and diced tomatoes, and a can/bottle of beer. I often add some diced carrots and/or okra to it as well.

  19. Wow that sounds delicious - thanks for sharing!!

  20. Substituting chicken for the beef is awesome!!!

  21. Not sure what you mean by "Chili Beans". To me, that would be pinto beans, but since they are listed as a separate ingredient, I wasn't sure. After much discussion with my sister at the grocery store, I finally went with a can of chili with beans. It was delicious!

    1. Well, your first instinct was right! Chili beans just refers to a type of canned bean product that you'll find in the canned bean section. They are usually the smaller red beans (not kidney beans) that are similar in taste to a pinto, but they are canned in a sauce that is seasoned with chili seasonings and would usually be purchased when you're making a pot of chili. That said, I'm sure the canned chili with beans was probably pretty good too, but hope that helps for next time!

  22. I have another Taco Soup recipe, but this one was sooo much better!!! My husband absolutely loved it & didn't have any critique (LOL) on it!! Delish!!! I did use a can of Navy beans rather than the pinto beans!!! Making it again for a Bible study group!! Thank you!!! ;)

    1. Thank you Melanie! I thought they were pretty much all alike, but I love that you liked this one better!!

  23. I wanted to try this and double it for a friend and her family. Do you think if I cook and froze would it heat up well. Thank you for all your help. And I have heard this is the best recipe.

    1. Hi Jessica! I'm so sorry that I apparently missed this message back when you posted it but yes, this would freeze nicely. I think since it's primarily from cans it would do better if you don't do the extended cook, but instead froze it at the earlier stage where you mix everything together. Freeze flat in quart sized freezer bags so it's easier to thaw and heat.

  24. great soup just had hard time deciding what to eat with it cornbread, Fritos, or hot skins. All choices are a winner.

    1. I do know what you mean! It really is a great throw together soup - all cozy and filling!!

  25. I am on my fifth batch since you linked this to your awesome honey cornbread recipe last week. Everyone who has tasted it has DEMANDED I make some for them lol or they come for a bowl and take the pot.

    I have yet to even garnish it with anything, no one will wait long enough. I just can't get over how good and how easy this is, you know I hate using "cans'' or prepackaged spices but just dang, this is a good exception. It's amazing how much like a taco it tastes. The only thing I do different is double the meat and add some heat (cayenne).


  26. I loved this recipe, we ate it for a couple of days and then I froze for so my honey and I can have for another couple of days. Wow, it made a lot of soup. Thanks, I really like your site too.


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