I am so excited to share this Instant Pot Taco Soup recipe with you. Easy meals are my thing!
This Instant Pot Taco Soup is FANTASTIC and a family favorite. I get requests for this one all the time. And I never mind making it because this soup is super easy, uses mostly canned ingredients, is quick to throw together, and only dirties one pot. That makes it a perfect dinner option for those nights when I need something that’s quick, hearty, and full of flavor.
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I especially love making a pot of this soup when I have my nephews over. They love it too! They are big boys, and I have a few big boys of my own. This Taco Soup is perfect when serving a small crowd of heavy eaters. It almost fills up my 8-quart Instant Pot, so there’s plenty to leave everyone happy with a full belly.
A Quick & Easy Meal for a Hungry Family
This was a meal born out of needing to feed a hungry family fast! I had made Taco Soup before, so I knew it was easy and I had plenty of ingredients on hand to work with. Plus, we’ve been on a “taco” kick lately, so this was the way to go.
My kids and my nephews were hanging out at my house and dinner time crept upon us. We were all starving and decided our best bet was to make something in the Instant Pot. We all started looking for ingredients we had available and came up with this delicious Taco Soup. Everyone loved it and when all was said and done all we had leftover was an empty pot!
A Dump-and-Start Soup Recipe
One of the other great things about this taco soup recipe is that it uses canned beans and vegetables. So, that means no soaking or cooking beans and no chopping tomatoes. I always keep these ingredients in the pantry so I can whip up a pot of this soup at a moment’s notice. That means that, other than having to brown some ground beef, this is essentially a dump-and-start soup.
Thanks to the Instant Pot, prepping the ground beef is quick and easy. I just sauté the onion and beef for a handful of minutes and then I’m ready to dump the rest of the ingredients in the pot, close the pot, set the cooking time, and before I know it, the soup is ready to eat.
Which Beans Are Best for Taco Soup?
So this one is a toss-up. I made this recipe for Instant Pot Taco Soup to be easy and quick. For this reason, I used canned beans, and I used the ones I had in my pantry. Red Kidney Beans, Pinto Beans, and Black Beans are what I used, and the combination was perfect. That being said, I really feel you could use any canned bean and it would still taste delicious. Just make sure to add the beans with the liquid, do not drain them. That liquid holds lots of delicious flavor.
What Kind of Ground Beef Is Best for Taco Soup?
When I’m cooking in the Instant Pot I always like to use ground sirloin or ground beef labeled 93/7 or 90/10. It is still very flavorful, but it’s unnecessary to drain the fat after browning it. It’s the best of both worlds! If you use anything with more fat content, then I recommend you drain it after you sauté it.
What Toppings Should I Put on My Instant Pot Taco Soup?
So many wonderful toppings you can add to this Taco Soup. We love topping ours with shredded cheese, cubed avocado, sour cream, (or my favorite Honduran Crema from back home), crispy tortilla chips, pico de gallo, and a bit of fresh cilantro. Really, anything you’d put on a taco would be perfect for this soup!
As far as the cheese, we like cheddar, Mexican blends, or Taco blends. I also like to use Cotija Cheese when making anything Taco related. Cotija Cheese crumbles perfectly, but it’s a little stronger in flavor, so usually, the younger kids will choose shredded cheese and the rest of us will use Cotija. H-E-B now carries a resealable bag of pre-crumbled Cotija Cheese.
A Flexible Soup for Every Taste
I have a couple of picky eaters, but that’s not a problem because…
What’s the best thing about this soup?
Not only is it quick and easy to make, but this soup is also super flexible. That’s what I love most about it. Since there is almost an endless number of toppings that can be added to this soup, I can tailor each bowl to each person’s liking. That means that you too can adjust each bowl of soup so you can please even the pickiest of eaters. If there is a topping they don’t like, just leave it off.
My littlest one doesn’t like cilantro or pico de gallo, so we just leave it off. My hubby loves to load his up with cilantro so… he can have at it. My older boys like to add a few splashes of hot sauce on top to spice things up a bit. Go for it boys!
Here you’ll learn, step-by-step, how to make Taco Soup in the Instant Pot. As I said, this soup is a perfect quick and easy dinner for busy weeknights. It’s such a simple soup to prepare because it uses common spices, ground beef, canned vegetables, and canned beans.
This soup recipe makes enough to easily serve a large family, it almost fills up my 8-quart Instant Pot. So, if you’re serving a smaller family, you can either halve the recipe or make it as is so that there is plenty for leftovers. And, I have to tell you that a bowl of this soup the next day is even better than the day before. Let’s get started making this quick, easy, and delicious Instant Pot soup.
This taco soup recipe uses simple canned ingredients like beans, diced tomatoes, diced green chiles, and corn. To give this soup it’s wonderful flavor, I use a special blend of Mexican spices that are easy to put together. I usually always have all the canned ingredients and spices in my pantry. So, any time that I have ground beef in the refrigerator, I always keep this recipe at the top of my list.
- Ground Sirloin: You’ll notice that when one of my Instant Pot recipes calls for ground beef, I will usually use ground sirloin. The reason: because it’s a very flavorful, very low-fat meat. While it’s cooking, it doesn’t render a lot of fat that has to be drained. That saves me a lot of time because I can just start adding my other ingredients once the ground sirloin is cooked. Ground sirloin is probably the most convenient ground meat that can be used in the Instant Pot. I highly recommend that you use it in any recipes that call for ground beef. The only downside – it is slightly pricier, but the added convenience is worth it.
- Yellow Onion: The yellow onion is sautéd with the ground sirloin to boost the flavor of the meat.
- Unsalted Chicken Stock: Canned beans are wonderfully convenient but they are cooked to be neutral in flavor so that they are versatile. Since we are using canned beans in this recipe, we want to use ingredients that will infuse the beans with a ton of flavor. Most store-bought beef stock won’t work well because it’s very mild in flavor. Because of differences in the way they are manufactured, store-bought chicken stock is much more flavorful compared to store-bought beef stock. So, we’ll use the more flavorful chicken stock for this recipe.
- Taco Seasoning Spice Blend: I use a medley of spices to make this wonderfully flavorful taco seasoning. They are all common and you should have them in your pantry already. I use chili powder, cumin, black pepper, salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, and red pepper flakes. This blend is perfect for many uses including chili’s, rubs, and taco meat. Note: The spice blend should be made before starting to cook.
- Canned Vegetables: Any canned tomato, canned green chiles, and canned corn will work for this recipe. I like to use organic varieties of canned vegetables whenever I can. My favorite canned tomatoes are from Muir Glen. I used the Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes for this recipe because they are both super flavorful and organic. I use Rio Luna Organic Chopped Green Chiles for the green chiles. They are mildly spicy and very flavorful. You can adjust the amount of green chilis if you’re sensitive to spicy foods but even with the two cans of green chilis, the soup is not overly spicy by any means. Even my littlest one (8 years old) gobbles his bowl up.
- Canned Beans: In this recipe, I use canned kidney beans, pinto beans, and black beans but you can use whatever combination of beans that you have on hand. I like to use a variety because it adds different colors and textures to the soup. For this recipe, I used Bush’s Best Organic Black Beans, Pinto Beans, and Dark Red Kidney Beans. If you only have one kind of bean on hand or a variety of other beans not listed in this recipe then use what you’ve got. Either way, it’s guaranteed to be delicious.
The great thing about this list of ingredients is that they are all readily available, inexpensive, and most can be stored in the pantry until you need them.
Gather, measure out, and add the chili powder, cumin, black pepper, salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, and red pepper flakes to a small bowl and set aside.
Turn the Instant Pot on ‘Sauté’ and using the ‘Adjust’ button, adjust the temperature setting to ‘More’ and then allow the Instant Pot to heat up until the display reads ‘Hot’. Once the digital display reads ‘Hot’ add the avocado oil to the pot and allow it to heat up for about 30 seconds. Next, add the 2 cups of diced yellow onion and sauté continually tossing the onion until it becomes soft and begins to slightly brown around the edges. This usually takes 4 to 5 minutes.
Next, add the 2 lbs of ground sirloin to the pot and cook with the onion. Using a large wooden or silicone spoon, continually break the ground beef up into smaller and smaller pieces as it cooks. Continue until the ground sirloin is fully cooked. This usually takes anywhere from 5 to 7 minutes.
Next, add the blend of spices to the ground sirloin and mix it into the meat. Continue cooking it for another minute or two to allow the spices to begin releasing their wonderful flavors and aromas into the ground sirloin.
Turn off the ‘Sauté’ feature and then dump each can of beans and vegetables into the pot. First, dump the 2 cans of diced fire roasted tomatoes with juices into the pot. Next, dump each can of beans with their juices into the pot. I used one can each of red kidney beans, black beans, and pinto beans. Really, any combination of beans will work as long as you add 3 cans. Finally, add the can of whole kernel corn and the two cans of diced green chilis.
Once all of the vegetables have been added to the pot, add the 4 cups of chicken stock and then mix all of the ingredients together very well. Finally, add the two bay leaves to the pot.
Close the Instant Pot, set it to ‘Sealing’, select the ‘Soup’ function, and then set the cook time to 10 minutes. The soup function cooks more gently so that the beans and vegetables don’t end up breaking apart during cooking. Now is a good time to start setting up the toppings bar. Like I’ve mentioned, we like to serve this soup with shredded cheese, sour cream, tortilla or corn chips, pico de gallo, slices of avocado, and cilantro.
Once the 10 minute cook time has completed, allow for a 10-minute natural pressure release (NPR). That means that you’ll just let the pot sit for an additional 10 minutes after the cook time has completed. You’ll notice that the digital display will start counting up. As soon as the display reads L0:10, release any remaining pressure from the pot. After all of the remaining pressure has been released and the pin has dropped, open the pot, remove the two bay leaves, and give everything a final stir.
All done! Now it’s time to enjoy a nice warm bowl of this deliciously flavorful and hearty soup with your family. Set out a variety of toppings like sour cream, diced avocado, shredded cheese, and cilantro so that everyone can add a few of their favorites to their bowl of soup and start chowing down.
Did you make this Instant Pot Taco Soup? I’m so happy with the way this Taco Soup turned out, and my kids and nephews enjoyed it so much. They asked for it again a few days later. It doesn’t get better than that! I know you and your family will love this quick, easy, and delicious Instant Pot Taco Soup! It is one of my family’s favorite soups, and I know that it will be one of your family’s. I’d love to hear in the comments when you try it.
More Quick and Easy Soup Recipes
This Taco Soup is a great meal for busy weeknights because other than browning the ground sirloin, it is essentially a quick and easy dump meal that’ll be ready in about 30 minutes. Most Instant Pot soups are perfect for busy weeknights because they can be made using only one pot and they cook so quickly. I love making soups in my Instant Pot and my family loves it too. Here are some of my family’s favorite soup recipes.
More quick and easy soup recipes you’ll enjoy:
Looking for even more soup recipes to make in the Instant Pot? If you want to make an easy ‘dump and start’ soup recipe, try my Instant Pot White Chicken Chili. And for a soup recipe that will leave everyone raving, try my Instant Pot Broccoli Cheese Soup recipe.
For a full list of all the pressure cooker soup recipes on this blog, check out my Instant Pot Soup Recipes post.
Looking for more Tex-Mex Soup Recipes? If you’re looking for more Tex-Mex flavor, then try my Instant Pot Chicken Enchilada Soup recipe. This soup takes everything you love about chicken enchiladas and puts it in a warm and comforting bowl of soup!
Instant Pot Taco Soup
GROUND BEEF, RED BEANS, FIRE-ROASTED TOMATOES, GREEN CHILES, AND CORN
for the Sautéed Ground Beef for the Vegetables
- 2 cans fire roasted diced tomatoes 14 ½ ounces each, with juices
- 1 can red kidney beans 15 ounces, with juices
- 1 can black beans 15 ounces, with juices
- 1 can pinto beans 15 ounces, with juices
- 1 can whole kernel corn 15 ¼ ounces, drained
- 2 cans diced green chiles 4 ½ ounces each
- 4 cups unsalted chicken stock
- 2 bay leaves
- Turn the Instant Pot on ‘Sauté’ and using the ‘Adjust’ button, adjust the temperature setting to ‘More’ and allow the pot to heat up until the digital display reads ‘Hot’.
- Once the display reads ‘Hot’, add the avocado oil to the pot, allow it to heat up for about 30 seconds, and then add the diced onion. Sauté the onion, continually tossing until it becomes soft, slightly translucent, and begins to brown on the edges, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add the ground sirloin to the pot and, using a large wooden or silicone spoon, break the ground sirloin up into small pieces as it cooks. Continue cooking until browned, 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add the taco seasoning, mix it into the beef, and continue cooking for another 1 to 2 minutes to allow the spices to release their aromas and flavors into the ground beef.
- Turn the ‘Sauté’ feature off and add the diced tomatoes, beans, corn, green chilis, and chicken stock to the pot. Mix everything together well and then add the two bay leaves to the pot.
- Close the pot and set it to ‘Sealing’. Select the ‘Soup’ function and set the cook time to 10 minutes. Once the cook time has completed, allow for a 10-minute natural pressure release (NPR).
- As soon as the 10-minute NPR has finished, release any remaining pressure from the pot before opening. Once the pot is open, remove the two bay leaves.
- Serve and enjoy.
Going organic. You can find organic versions of all of the canned vegetables listed in this recipe. When I make soups using canned vegetables, I try to always buy organic when I can. For this recipe, I used Muir Glen Organic Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes, Rio Luna Organic Chopped Green Chiles, and Bush’s Best Organic Black Beans, Pinto Beans, and Dark Red Kidney Beans.
Common Questions & Answers
What size pressure cooker did you use? I’ve tested this recipe in my 8-Quart Instant Pot Duo, 6-Quart Instant Pot Duo, and 6-Quart Mealthy Multipot with great results.
Tips & Tricks
Sauté the onion first. When cooking ground beef with onion, there is some debate as to whether to sauté the onion first and then add the ground beef or to brown the ground beef first and then add the onion. I’ve found that sautéing the onion first allows the onion to develop more flavor before adding the beef. So, that is the method I prefer. First, I sauté the onion until it becomes soft, slightly translucent and starts to brown slightly on the edges. If you have more time, you can continue sautéing the onion so that it browns even more. As the onion browns, it will develop a more complex flavor. Just be careful not to let the onion burn.
Boosting the flavor. Even though this is a beef based soup, you may have noticed that I’m using chicken stock instead of beef stock in this recipe. There is a reason for that – storebought chicken stock is usually much more flavorful than storebought beef stock. The reason: in order for manufacturers to keep the price of beef stock comparable to chicken stock, they have to cut corners. That means that there is actually very little beef in most storebought beef stocks. The result is a stock that’s not as flavorful as it should be. Manufacturers don’t have to take these same shortcuts when making chicken stock because it’s cheaper to make. Therefore, I like to use chicken stock when I’m making a soup that can benefit from the extra burst of flavor. Plus, chicken stock pairs very well with all of the ingredients in this soup.
Don’t drain the beans. This recipe uses canned beans which is great because they’re already perfectly cooked with a creamy consistency. That saves us a ton of time when making a recipe like this. Now, to make sure that our soup has as much flavor as possible, we want to retain the liquids in the cans of beans and add them to the pot. And, to boost the flavor of the beans themselves, we add 2 bay leaves to the pot before closing it up to cook.
Top it like a taco. You can garnish this soup just like a taco. We like to add sour cream, pico de gallo, avocado or guacamole, shredded Mexican style cheese, and cilantro to ours. A few drops of hot sauce is also delicious.
Serve over tortilla chips or corn chips. Serve this soup over a bed of crushed tortilla chips or corn chips for a little extra taco crunch.