We couldn’t believe how easy it was to make The Pioneer Woman’s taco soup recipe—talk about a quick weeknight dinner!
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When I looked over The Pioneer Woman taco soup recipe, my first thought was that it was going to make for an easy grocery store trip. If you’ve ever made The Pioneer Woman’s beef stew, you’ll know what I mean. The ingredient list might look long, but they’re all pretty basic ingredients you can find anywhere you go.
It wasn’t until I was pouring a can of beans into the pot and starting my cleanup that I realized the beauty of this recipe. Ree Drummond completely side steps a long simmer time by using what’s right in front of her. Instead of draining and rinsing canned beans and corn, Ree throws it all in the pot. Not only does this boost flavor, but it also makes for a thicker, richer soup. The drippings from the beef stay right in the pan (as they should) and she leans on taco seasoning and hot sauce to quickly boost flavor and spice.
There’s no question that when it comes to quick weeknight meals, The Pioneer Woman knows what she’s doing, especially when it comes to comfort food.
The Pioneer Woman Taco Soup Recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 pounds ground beef
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 heaping tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 heaping tablespoon taco seasoning
- One 15-ounce can black beans, undrained
- One 15-ounce can fire-roasted corn, undrained
- One 15-ounce can tomatoes with green chiles
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- Hot sauce, to taste
- 1 cup shredded cheddar
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- Yellow corn chips
Step 1: Cook the onions and garlic
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and garlic and cook until they have started to soften, about 1 minute.
Step 2: Brown the beef
Add the beef and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper (use a hefty pinch or two). Cook the beef, breaking it up with a spatula, until it is cooked through and browned, about 8 minutes. Add the tomato paste and taco seasoning, then stir to combine.
Step 3: Add the veggies
Stir in the black beans (juices and all), corn (also with their juices), tomatoes with green chiles and vegetable stock.
Add a few dashes of hot sauce (be careful; you can always add more to taste at the end). Stir well and bring to a boil. Boil to allow the flavors to come together and the liquid to slightly thicken, 10 to 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Ree’s Tip: Ree says that the trick to a shortcut soup like this is to let the ingredients sit at a “violent” boil.
Step 4: Divide among bowls and garnish
Serve in bowls, garnished with cheddar cheese, sour cream, cilantro and more hot sauce. Sprinkle with crumbled corn chips.
Here’s What I Thought
Overall, The Pioneer Woman taco soup recipe is a satisfying meal that will feed a hungry family in less than 30 minutes (much like the classic Pioneer Woman lasagna). It truly couldn’t be more simple.
This being said, there are a few things I would do differently. For starters, the onions and garlic need more than 1 minute to start softening in the pot. I would bump that time up to at least 5 minutes or until they get some color. After all, color equals flavor. The same goes for the tomato paste. Let that brown a bit in the pot before adding the canned tomatoes.
It’s also important to use a good taco seasoning—this is where the majority of flavor is being added. You can always make homemade taco seasoning, or buy a good brand from the store. If you opt to buy packets of seasoning, make sure it’s mostly spices, not just salt. You can season to taste with salt as you cook and again right before serving. These are the best taco seasoning brands, according to our Test Kitchen.
Finally, I grabbed corn tortilla chips instead of corn chips. Big mistake. Do as The Pioneer Woman instructs and get classic corn chips!