Instant Pot Taco Soup is one of the easiest dinners you’ll ever make. It’s a one-pot 30-minute meal consisting of mainly pantry ingredients that are low sodium, healthy, wholesome, and full of flavour!
Table of contents
- Why Make Pressure Cooker Taco Soup?
- Ingredients for Instant Pot Taco Soup
- How to Make Taco Soup Instant Pot
- Taco Soup Freezer Meal
- Optional Add-In’s and Variations
- Tips for Best Results
- Our Favourite Easy Taco Soup Toppings
- How to Serve Taco Soup?
- How to Store Instant Pot Taco Soup?
- More Healthy Mexican Recipes
Making a big batch of Instant Pot taco soup is a one-pot meal I like to make on busy days, cold days, lazy days, or on days when I’m preparing freezer friendly meals for the month. It’s easy to throw together because it’s made with simple pantry staples and ground turkey (or, your protein of choice).
This soup has all the elements of turkey tacos, vegetarian chili, and pressure cooker stuffed pepper soup in one flavour-packed meal even the kids will ask you to make! It’s a pressure cooker version of my stove-top taco soup recipe ready in 30 minutes and is absolutely delicious!
Why Make Pressure Cooker Taco Soup?
- Healthy: Homemade taco seasoning, low sodium ingredients, and no refined sugar are used in this low-carb recipe, and lean meat and beans add protein and fibre.
- Hearty and satisfying: It’s a complete comfort meal in a bowl! It’s got amazing textures and flavours that will warm you up on the coldest days.
- Easy: Brown the meat, dump the ingredients (you don’t even need to stir that’s how easy it is!), and let the Instant Pot cook it to perfection.
- Fresh or frozen turkey: Forgot to thaw your meat last night? This recipe is even doable when you use this 15-minute Instant Pot frozen ground turkey recipe first.
- Leftovers: Portion out leftovers if you want to freeze some for later. Keep some in the fridge to reheat throughout the week.
Ingredients for Instant Pot Taco Soup
Instant Pot taco soup recipe ingredients could not be easier! It’s similar to vegetarian quesadillas with added meat and tomato sauce. So you technically could make two meals at once!
- Ground meat: I use ground turkey. Another lean choice is ground chicken. You can use ground beef if you want something similar in taste to this Instant Pot chicken chili.
- Beans: I like to use a combo of black beans and any larger light coloured beans like pinto and kidney beans.
- Tomato sauce: Plain and low sodium if you can.
- Corn: I use frozen corn kernels but you can also use fresh or canned (drained).
- Broth: Vegetable, chicken, or beef broth will all work, providing a different flavour. Sometimes I use low sodium bouillon cubes with water. Easy!
- Maple syrup: A bit of maple syrup or honey is used as a mild sweetener that cuts through the acid and mellows out the flavours.
- Seasonings: Taco seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. That’s it!
How to Make Taco Soup Instant Pot
- Prep: Open cans and rinse/drain beans. I usually cook the beans in Instant Pot from dried but can appreciate the convenience of canned soup.
- Sauté meat: On your Instant Pot, press the saute mode button, and when the display says “HOT” brown the meat, breaking it up into small pieces as you go.
Are you using ground beef? You’ll notice it produces much more fat than leaner ground chicken or turkey, so you’ll want to drain the excess grease once it has cooked.
- Add all ingredients: In this order add the beans, corn, taco seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, maple syrup, salt, pepper, broth, and tomato sauce. To prevent burn, DO NOT STIR.
- Pressure cook: Close the lid, turn the valve to sealing and pressure cook (or press the manual button) on high for 10-20 minutes. Keep in mind it takes about 15 minutes to come to pressure.
Longer cook time: This soup is ready in as little as 10 minutes of cook time. The longer 20 minute time is given for those who want to allow time to get the flavours even deeper.
- Release pressure: Do a quick release to expel the pressure. Open the lid, add optional cilantro and stir it. You could also wait for 5 minutes before releasing the pressure to avoid a ton of splatter. Or you could allow it to be completely released on its own. That means, do nothing and walk away, until the pin drops.
Serve with a side of tortilla chips and lime wedges, and grated cheddar cheese and yogurt for toppings!
Taco Soup Freezer Meal
Freezer meal: Sauté turkey until cooked and broken down into small pieces. Add all ingredients to a gallon-sized bag with tomato products going first. Do not add the broth. Freeze for up to 3 months. Then cook from frozen and add broth for 20-30 mins on High pressure with QPR or NPR.
Check out my full list of 20 healthy frozen dinners. I’m obsessed!
Optional Add-In’s and Variations
- Crockpot: Make this soup in a slow cooker instead! Sauté meat, then combine everything in the crockpot and cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours. If serving a crowd, keep it on warm and serve straight from the slow cooker.
- Fresh garlic and onion can be used. No need to sauté, the flavours will still penetrate.
- A can of diced green chiles will make this soup taste more “Mexican” but not spicy.
- Taco soup with Rotel: Replace a bit of tomato sauce with Rotel, which is a can of diced tomatoes with green chiles (mild, medium, or hot).
- For spicy soup add chopped jalapeno with seeds to the cooked soup.
- More chili flavour: If you like the consistency of taco soup but the flavours of chili, add some chili powder and cumin.
Tips for Best Results
- Forget to thaw meat? Please see this how to thaw meat in Instant Pot. It will come out half-cooked. Then just break it into small pieces and use as per instructions for this Instant Pot taco soup recipe.
- To thicken soup: Add 1/4 cup cold water whisked with 2 tbsp cornstarch and sauté for a few minutes.
- Keep it warm: The Instant Pot has a warm function that allows you to keep it from getting cold as it sits in the pot all day! Make it early on and keep it warm until everyone is ready to eat.
- Adjust the seasonings and spice level: This recipe is quite mild, but it’s just a jumping-off point. Play around with the seasoning and spice as you see fit.
Not exactly. It’s the same idea with many of the same flavours and types of ingredients, but this recipe doesn’t use 7 cans, let alone 4! We are aiming to use as many fresh ingredients as possible, so even the canned beans won’t be included if you’re using dried beans you’ve cooked in the Instant Pot.
I never do. The Instant Pot comes with a bunch of buttons and settings that, in my opinion, don’t always do the best job. For best results, my suggestion would be to follow the directions as listed that way there are no questions!
Ground chicken is another lean meat that can be used. Both ground turkey and ground chicken are light, lean, and mild in flavour (aka need the seasoning!). Ground beef which has a ton of flavour as is, and will make this soup taste a bit more like chili, comes with excess grease and higher fat content. There are options!
Sure you can. Here is my easy, 30-minute stovetop ground turkey taco soup recipe for you!
Our Favourite Easy Taco Soup Toppings
- Tortilla chips or crunchy strips.
- Plain yogurt (learn how to make yogurt in Instant Pot) or sour cream.
- Shredded cheese like Tex Mex, cheddar cheese, Colby Jack etc.
- Chopped green onion, cilantro, and red onion.
- Diced avocado and lime juice.
How to Serve Taco Soup?
A bowl of taco soup is a meal in itself, so serving it with the optional toppings will satisfy even the hungriest crowds. However, it never hurts to plan for a larger meal, especially if you serve the soup in smaller portions.
- Mexican-inspired side salads: Mexican bean salad, Mexican street corn salad, mango black bean salad, Mexican kale salad with avocado dressing, or a quinoa black bean salad. All would be great to make with any leftover beans!
- A simple green salad like this lettuce salad with tomato and cucumber would be a nice light pairing.
- Bread: Taco soup, like any soup and stew recipe, is great with a side of cornbread, these cauliflower breadsticks, or a loaf of your favourite crusty bread.
- Other Mexican-inspired dishes: Healthy taco salad, Mexican cauliflower rice, and a one-pan Mexican casserole are all great shareable ideas to add to your table for a sampling of a bit of everything!
How to Store Instant Pot Taco Soup?
Storing: Instant Pot taco soup lasts in the fridge for up to 5 days because there are no tender veggies or pasta to get soggy. That’s why I love to make a big batch for lunches throughout the week.
Freezing leftovers: It freezes amazingly! Cook, cool, and place in a glass airtight container leaving some room for expansion. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw on a counter for 4-5 hours or in the fridge overnight.
Reheating: To reheat, simmer on the stove on low. Always reheat only as much as you will eat that meal. Refrigerate the rest. Helps to keep the soup fresh. You could also microwave a single serving.
More Healthy Mexican Recipes
Instant Pot Taco Soup
- 1 lb ground turkey beef or chicken
- 2 x 15 oz cans tomato sauce low sodium
- 2 x 15 oz cans low sodium red kidney or pinto beans, drained & rinsed
- 2 cups corn frozen or canned (drained)
- 1 1/2 tbsp taco seasoning
- 2 tbsp onion powder or flakes
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp maple syrup or honey
- 1 tsp salt
- Ground black pepper to taste
- 3 cups low sodium broth or water
- 1 tbsp oil for frying
- 1/2 small bunch cilantro finely chopped
- Yogurt cheese, lime and tortilla chips, for serving
- On Instant Pot, press Saute and wait until display says Hot. Takes 3-5 mins.
- Swirl oil to coat, add ground turkey and cook for about 5 minutes, constantly breaking into small pieces and stirring. Press Cancel.
- Add ingredients in the following order (to avoid Burn): beans, corn, taco seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, maple syrup, salt, pepper, broth and tomato sauce. Do not stir!
- Close the lid, move pressure valve to Sealing and press Pressure Cook on High for 10 – 20 minutes (longer – deeper flavours but overall soup is ready fast).
- Release pressure using Quick Release method – turn pressure valve to Venting.
- Add cilantro and stir (I didn’t have any and it was fine).
- Serve hot with tortilla chips, yogurt, cheese and limes (if desired).
Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container or inner Instant Pot pot with a fitting glass lid for up to 5 days.
Freeze Leftovers: Fully cook, cool completely and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw on a stovetop covered on low.
Freezer Meal: Saute turkey until small pieces. Add all ingredients to gallon size bag with tomato products going first and no broth. Freeze for up to 3 months. Then cook from frozen with broth for 20-30 mins on High pressure with QPR or NPR.
- Forgot to thaw meat: “Thaw” meat in Instant Pot using this method. It will come out half cooked. Then just break it into small pieces.
- Crockpot: Yes, you can make this soup in a slow cooker. Saute meat, then combine everything in crockpot and cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours.
- To thicken soup: Add 1/4 cup cold water whisked with 2 tbsp cornstarch and saute for a few minutes.
- Fresh garlic and onion can be used. No need to saute.
- Salt: You might need to use less salt if using regular (not low sodium) tomato sauce.
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