Every spoonful of this Turkey Taco Soup is brimming with flavor thanks to the ground turkey, beans, corn, and a perfectly seasoned broth. It’s a hearty and filling 30 minute meal!
Table of Contents
- Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Ingredients for Turkey Taco Soup
- How to Make Turkey Taco Soup
- Can I Make It in Instant Pot or Slow Cooker?
- Substitutions and Variations
- Tips for Best Results
- What to Serve with Turkey Taco Soup?
- How to Store and Reheat
- More Turkey Soup and Stew Recipes
- More Mexican Soup Recipes to Try
- Turkey Taco Soup Recipe
The best thing about this turkey taco soup (besides it being ridiculously tasty) is that it combines my two favorite things, turkey tacos and belly warming soup! It’s a healthy, hearty, and satisfying!
I make taco soup every time I am low on groceries. It’s one of the most requested soups in my house and most popular among the readers turkey soup recipes, along with healthy turkey chili and turkey meatball soup!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Customizable: From the meat, the veggies and the seasonings, use what you have and make it your own.
- Perfect for meal prep: Makes great leftovers and is freezer-friendly.
- Quick and easy: It’s a 30 minute one pot meal which makes for the easiest clean up on busy weeknight or lazy weekend!
- Multiple cooking methods: Below we include instructions how to cook the soup on the stove, in a slow cooker or Instant Pot.
- Perfect for picky eaters: Everyone loves tacos and cheese, so this soup will be a hit!
Ingredients for Turkey Taco Soup
To make this turkey taco soup recipe, just look inside your pantry and freezer. I bet all ingredients are already there.
- Meat: I always keep a package of ground turkey in the freezer, so that’s what I used. You can also use ground chicken or ground beef. Keep in mind ground poultry will be a healthier choice among your protein options.
- Beans: For taco soup, I like to use red kidney beans. You can also use Romano beans, white beans, black beans or even pinto beans. You can also use a combination. Make sure to drain and rinse canned beans, or use home cooked dried beans or Instant Pot red kidney beans.
- Corn: I use frozen corn, no need to thaw it.
- Seasonings: Homemade taco seasoning, onion powder, maple syrup or sugar, salt, and pepper. You can use fresh onion, but I like the dump-and-go aspect of this recipe.
- Liquid: Water or low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth will result in more flavorful soup.
- Tomato sauce: Aim for low sodium tomato sauce but if you can’t find one, skip salt and season after cooking, if necessary.
- Oil: Lean ground turkey doesn’t produce much of its own fat, so the oil is important to avoid sticking it to the bottom of the pot.
How to Make Turkey Taco Soup
Here’s a quick overview how to make turkey taco soup on the stove. You can find full recipe card below.
- Brown ground turkey: In a Dutch oven or heavy bottom large pot, saute meat for 5 – 7 minutes or until it is in small enough pieces.
- Season the meat: Add taco seasoning and cook for 1 more minute. The heat brings out the flavors of spices, so give it time to do its thing.
- Add remaining ingredients: Tomato sauce, beans, corn, onion powder, maple syrup, salt, pepper and water or broth.
- Simmer soup for 20-60 minutes: A longer simmer time will deepen the flavors, but overall the soup is ready in no time.
Can I Make It in Instant Pot or Slow Cooker?
Sure thing! To make this turkey taco soup in slow cooker, follow the same instructions as the stovetop method but first saute ground turkey in a skillet on the stovetop. Then combine all ingredients in a large crock pot and cook on Low heat for 7 – 8 hours or on High heat for 3 – 4 hours.
As for cooking this soup in electric pressure cooker, I have this Instant Pot taco soup for you. It’s another dump and set 30ish minutes one pot meal that gets a ton of flavor from the pressure cooking process.
Substitutions and Variations
- Instead of tomato sauce: Use canned diced tomatoes or Rotel with addition of about 3 ounces tomato paste. For some extra taste, throw in some fire roasted tomatoes.
- For vegetarian option: Swap the meat for 1 cup of rice or other grain like quinoa, barley, or brown rice.
- Omit the meat and up the vegetables and beans: Veggie options could include carrots, celery, kale, zucchini, cauliflower and eggplant. Cooking time may need to be adjusted when adding vegetables.
- Other meat: Use ground chicken, ground pork or ground beef instead of ground turkey for an equally flavorful soup.
- If you like a little heat: Add a dash of hot sauce or some sliced or diced jalapeno to finish it off.
- For a smoky flavor: Add some smoked paprika or a couple of drops of liquid smoke.
- Add additional Tex Mex spices: Spices like ground cumin, paprika, and chili powder would taste great and make it a turkey chili taco soup.
Tips for Best Results
- If using ingredients that are not labeled as low sodium: I highly recommend to skip the salt completely and then season soup after cooking. You might not even need to add any salt!
- Prep your toppings while soup is cooking: Slice your limes, grate your cheese, crush tortilla chips if you’re not keeping them whole, and slice or dice your avocado and onion.
- Dried beans tip: I cook and freeze dried beans in batches. I highly recommend you learn how to cook dried beans. You will save a lot of money vs. buying organic BPA-free canned beans.
- A note about flavor: The longer your turkey taco soup simmers, the more intense the flavors. Also the longer it sits, the better it gets, so don’t forget to save some leftovers for the next day. Slow cooker will really enhance the flavor profile of it as well.
What to Serve with Turkey Taco Soup?
Traditionally taco soup is served hot in a bowl garnished with fresh cilantro, sour cream or yogurt, creamy diced avocado, lime, green onion, cheese, and tortilla chips.
Usually we use what we have on hand. Here are the toppings we like:
- Shredded cheese: Tex Mex cheese, colby jack cheese, cheddar cheese or marble cheese.
- Fresh herbs: Green onion, chopped red onion, and cilantro pack a punch.
- For a creamy and citrus combo: Add diced avocado and lime juice, so good together.
- Crush tortilla chips or leave them whole for scooping up all that good soup.
- A dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream will give the entire meal a cool creamy balance.
- Canned diced green chiles or jalapenos for heat.
Potluck style: Turkey taco soup is amazing party food. Bring slow cooker taco soup to the potluck in your crockpot or Instant Pot and keep on warm. Super easy entertaining! You can make a taco soup bar with all the toppings, pour yourself a glass of wine, and watch everyone enjoy serving themselves.
How to Store and Reheat
Store: keep leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Freeze: Turkey taco soup freezes well. Fully cook, cool completely, and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Don’t forget to leave some room for expansion!
Reheat: Reheat the desired amount of soup in a small pot by simmering on low heat. Cover and stir occasionally until warmed through.
Turn it into a freezer meal: In a large Ziploc bag, add cooked ground turkey (let it cool first) along with other ingredients, except water, cilantro, and garnishes. Let as much air out as possible, seal and freeze for up to 3 months.
When ready to cook, thaw in the fridge overnight, add to the pot, Instant Pot or slow cooker along with water or broth, and cook as per further instructions plus 1 hour.
This dinner is one of my healthy freezer meals.
You can substitute the tomato sauce for canned tomatoes. If you want it as thick as a sauce you’ll want to add tomato paste along with it. If you’re OK with a thinner consistency, you can just use canned tomatoes.
Add vegetables along with the rest of ingredients and simmer away.
After soup is cooked, add a bit of hot sauce, red pepper flakes or sliced jalapenos with seeds.
Yes, to use up your leftover Thanksgiving turkey, just omit sauteing step completely, cook all ingredients for 20-60 minutes, adding about 3-4 cups of shredded leftover turkey during the last 10 minutes of cook time.
More Turkey Soup and Stew Recipes
Also be sure to browse my collection of ground turkey recipes.
More Mexican Soup Recipes to Try
- Mexican vegetable soup
- Instant Pot turkey chili
- Healthy white chicken chili
- Creamy chicken enchilada soup
Turkey Taco Soup
- 2 pounds ground turkey
- 3 x 15 ounces cans tomato sauce low sodium
- 2 x 15 ounces cans red kidney beans low sodium, rinsed & drained
- 3 cups corn frozen or canned (drained)
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 2 tablespoons onion powder or flakes
- 1 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Ground black pepper to taste
- 4 cups water or chicken broth low sodium
- Oil for frying
- Cilantro, sour cream, lime, avocado, green onion, tortilla chips for serving
- Preheat large dutch oven or heavy bottom pot on medium – high heat, swirl a bit of oil to coat, and add ground turkey. Cook for 5 – 7 minutes, stirring occasionally and breaking into pieces.
- Add taco seasoning and cook for 1 more minute, stirring frequently.
- Add tomato sauce, beans, corn, onion powder, maple syrup, salt, pepper, water; and stir.
- Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-60 minutes. Longer cook time means deeper flavors but overall soup is ready fast.
Slow Cooker Method:
- Preheat large non-stick skillet on medium – high heat, swirl a bit of oil to coat, and add turkey. Cook for 5 – 7 minutes, stirring occasionally and breaking into pieces. Add taco seasoning and cook for 1 more minute, stirring frequently.
- Transfer to a large slow cooker along with tomato sauce, beans, corn, onion powder, maple syrup, salt, pepper, water or broth and stir. Cover and cook on Low for 7 – 8 hours or on High for 3 – 4 hours.
- Serving: Serve taco soup hot with cilantro, sour cream or yogurt, lime, avocado, green onion and tortilla chips.
- Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- Freeze: Cook, cool and freeze in an airtight container, leaving some room for expansion, for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight, then reheat on a stovetop on low heat while covered.
- You might need to use less salt if using regular (not low sodium) tomato sauce.