Easy Taco Soup

With all the classic flavor of a taco, this easy-to-make soup is a family-friendly weeknight dinner win. Customize your soup by adding on all your favorite toppings! It’s made in about 30 minutes, and is also gluten-free, Paleo and Whole30 friendly.

Taco Soup Recipe

Taco Soup Recipe

Taco night can’t come easier when traditional ground beef tacos are turned into taco soup! This easy and healthy Taco soup recipe is most definitely going to be a crowd favorite. It’s delicious, so customizable and best of all easy-breezy to make! We take the classic flavor of a ground beef taco, plus a few hidden veggies, seasoned it and quickly cook it all together. Top it with your favorite taco toppings and dinner is ready in just about 30 minutes. This also works equally as well for lunch meal prep for the week!

Taco soup in a ladle.

Ingredients Needed

  • Ground Beef
  • Spices
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Bell Pepper
  • Zucchini 
  • Olive Oil
  • Diced Tomatoes
  • Black Beans (optional, omit for Whole30 and Paleo) 
  • Beef Broth

Customize it with your favorite taco toppings. We love to top it with fresh tomato, pickled jalepeno, tortilla chips, cheese and avocado!

How to Make Taco Soup

This soup is pretty simple to make as-is on the stove top. We chose not to give Instant Pot directions because likely it would take the same amount of time because of the time it takes for the Instant Pot to heat up. 

  1. Cook ground beef and cook until no pink remains. Add onion, pepper and garlic and cook until beginning to soften. Add in zucchini and all spices and stir together and cook until the spices are fragrant.
  2. Add in remaining ingredients and bring to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer for 15 minutes or until the zucchini is tender.
  3. Taste and adjust spices as desired. Top with optional garnishes!

Easy taco soup recipe.

If you like this healthy soup recipe, check out these others:

30-Minute Taco Soup
Serves 4
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 lb. ground beef
  2. 1 15 oz. can stewed tomatoes
  3. 1 onion, diced
  4. 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  5. 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (code LEXI for 10% off)
  6. 1 green pepper, diced
  7. 1 medium zucchini, diced
  8. optional: 1 can black beans
Taco seasoning
  1. 1 tbsp chili powder
  2. 1 tsp garlic granules
  3. 1/2 tsp onion powder
  4. 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  5. 1 tsp paprika
  6. 1 tsp ground cumin
  7. 2 tsp fine Himalayan sea salt
  8. 1 tsp black pepper
Toppings
  1. Shredded Cheese
  2. Avocado
  3. Scallions
  4. White Onion
  5. Non-GMO Tortilla Chips
  6. Diced Tomatoes
  7. Shredded Lettuce
  8. Jalapeno
Instructions
  1. In a Dutch oven heat oil and sauté garlic
  2. Add in diced onions and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often
  3. Add in zucchini and green pepper and let cook for an additional 2 minutes, stirring often
  4. Add in ground beef and cook until brown
  5. In a bowl combine taco seasoning spices
  6. Mix in taco seasoning mix
  7. Add in stewed tomatoes
  8. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer for 10-15 minutes
  9. Taste and adjust spices as desired
Lexi's Clean Kitchen https://lexiscleankitchen.com/

Beef Barbacoa Recipe (Slow Cooker or Instant Pot)

This Beef Barbacoa Recipe, made in either the Slow Cooker or Instant Pot, is so flavorful and versatile. This barbacoa meat is perfect for tacos, meal prep bowls, served with rice or cauliflower rice.

Barbacoa meat on a taco with toppingsBeef Barbacoa Recipe

My go-to dinner when I’m serving a crowd is almost always tacos. And this Beef Barbacoa recipe is easiest way to get delicious, hearty, taco meat on the table. It’s easy to throw together, affordable, and everybody loves it. You can make it in either the slow cooker or Instant Pot. This barbacao meat also works great for meal prep for a variety of meals. Serve over a bed of lettuce for a taco salad, or over rice with some veggies for a taco bowl.

Braised beef barbacoa recipeHow to Make Instant Pot Barbacoa:

  1. In a small bowl whisk together the spices and then rub them all over beef.
  2. Sear the meat on all sides.
  3. Add in the remaining ingredients to make the sauce and cook on high pressure for 50 minutes with a natural release.
  4. Once done, shred with two forks and serve as desired.

How to Make Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa:

  1. Pre-heat broiler.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the spices and then rub them all over beef.
  3. Sear the meat on all sides under the broiler.
  4. Meanwhile, add diced tomato, chiles, onion, garlic, vinegar, maple syrup, salt and pepper to a large slow cooker. Add in the seared beef and cook on low for 7-8 hours.
  5. Once done, shred and use as desired.

How to Make Barbacoa Meat on the Stove Top or Oven:

Don’t have an Instant Pot or Slow Cooker? You can still make this barbacao recipe, using the same idea of cooking this low and slow. On the stove top, use a dutch oven and follow the same directions to sear the meat on all sides. Then, add all your ingredients, cover and cook on low on the stove until the meat is tender and falling apart, about 3-4 hours.

For the oven, sear the meat in a dutch oven. Once you’ve added all the ingredients, place in a preheated 300ºF for 3-4 hours, or until the meat is tender and falling apart.

shredded beef barbacoa meat with a fork

What Kind of Meat is Barbacoa?

This recipe calls for buying beef to make the barbacoa meat. You want to use a piece of beef that has a nice amount of fat marbling and that can withstand a long cook time in the slow cooker and pressure cooker. For this this recipe use:

  • Chuck roast
  • Beef shoulder
  • Brisket

Barbacoa Taco Toppings:

  • Tortillas (not a topping, but a must!)
  • Shredded Cheddar
  • Diced Tomatoes
  • Sliced Pickled Jalapeños
  • Shredded Lettuce
  • Chopped Scallions
  • Avocado Slices
  • Fresh Lime Wedges
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Hot Sauce

Sides to Serve with Barbacoa Meat:

barbaca meat on a taco

If you like this beef barbacoa recipe, try these other recipes: 

Beef Barbacoa

Prep Time 8 min Cook Time 7 hr Total Time 7:08

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 lb. grass-fed beef shoulder

Rub

Sauce

Directions

  1. Put broiler on high.
  2. In a bowl combine rub ingredients.
  3. Press rub ingredients into the beef shoulder on all sides.
  4. Broil on high for 4 minutes on each side.
  5. While in the oven, combine all sauce ingredients in your slow-cooker.
  6. Once beef is done in the oven, carefully place it into the slow-cooker and set on low for 7-8 hours.
  7. Once done, assemble as a salad or breakfast bowl with desired toppings: fried plantains, tomato, lettuce, onion, scallion, avocado, etc. or serve as tacos

Recipe Notes

How to make Beef Barbacoa in the Instant Pot:

  1. In a bowl combine rub ingredients. Press the dry rub ingredients into the beef shoulder on all sides.
  2. Sear meat using sauté function for 2 minutes on each side, then remove and set aside.
  3. Combine all sauce ingredients in the insert of your instant pot.
  4. Place beef into the insert of your Instant Pot and set on high pressure for 50 minutes.
  5. Once done, let naturally release. Shred with two forks.
  6. Assemble as a salad or breakfast bowl with desired toppings: fried plantains, tomato, lettuce, onion, scallion, avocado, etc. or serve as tacos!
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

Taco Salad

Looking for an easy weeknight meal? This easy and healthy Taco Salad recipe is it! It’s simple to prepare, deliciously satisfying, and customizable with your favorite taco toppings! Made in under 30 minutes, it’s the perfect family friendly dinner that is also gluten-free, Paleo and Whole30 friendly.

Easy Simple Taco SaladTaco Salad Recipe

Taco night can’t come easier when traditional ground beef tacos are turned into taco salad bowls! This easy and healthy Taco Salad recipe is most definitely going to be a crowd favorite. It’s delicious, so customizable and best of all easy-breezy to make! We take the classic flavor of a ground beef taco with seasoned meat and toss it together with all the usual suspects like romaine, avocado, tomato and (optionally) cheese. To make it easy-as-can-be, use a store bought salsa to help season the meat and to use as a dressing on the assembled salad. It works well with both a red salsa and a green salsa verde.

Want to make it a taco salad bar? If you have picky eaters in your family leave all the different salad ingredients in small bowls and let everyone make their own taco salad bowl! Plus the little ones will think it is fun and just might be tempted to try something new!

Ingredients for taco saladIngredients for Taco Salads

  • Ground Beef
  • Spices
  • Salsa
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Red onion
  • Pickled jalapeños
  • Cheddar cheese (optional, omit for Whole30 or Paleo)
  • Avocado

Want to customize it to your favorite taco topping? Swap out what you don’t have or don’t like with what you’ve got on hand. Some other great additions are:

  • Canned beans
  • Shredded kale
  • Corn
  • Crushed up tortilla
  • Shredded chicken or pork
  • Hot sauce

How to Make Taco Salad

This couldn’t be easier! All you have to do to make this dish is:

  1. Brown some ground beef and add the spices
  2. Mix up your taco fixings in a large bowl
  3. Divide among plates and top with cooked ground beef
  4. Serve with a side of salsa or hot sauce

bowl of clean eating taco salad

If you like this simple and healthy salad recipe, check out these others:

Healthy Taco Salad

Prep Time 00:15 Cook Time 00:10 Total Time 00:25 Yields 4

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once hot add beef and cook until browned, about 8 minutes. Drain excess fat. Add all of the spices to the beef and ¼ cup salsa and cook for 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile assemble salad: In a large bowl toss together lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, jalapeños, and cheese. Divide between 4 bowls and top with ground beef.
  3. Serve with remaining salsa on the side for dressing.
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

3-Ingredient Taco Slaw

This 3-ingredient cabbage slaw for tacos is the easiest addition to a quick and delicious taco night. Made in minutes with cabbage, mayo (or Greek yogurt) and lime, it adds a nice creamy acidity to your favorite taco (or non-taco) dish. Serve with chicken, fish, or carnitas (or really anything) and you’ll be happy you did!

Easiest taco slaw in a bowlEasy Cabbage Taco Slaw Recipe

If you didn’t notice already, taco week is in full swing here at LCK coming at you with delicious taco bar party ideas like these meatless chipotle mushroom tacos, the most delicious 7 layer taco dip or the easiest and most delicious 15-minute chicken tacos. This easy 3-ingredient cabbage taco slaw could pair with just about anything, but I’m really loving it with the chicken tacos.

It literally takes less than 10 minutes, and can be made ahead of time up to 6 hours. The hardest part is slicing the cabbage, and that isn’t very hard! Toss with the remaining 2 ingredients and you’re good to add a nice punch of creaminess and acidity to any taco dish!

Here’s what you need to make it:

  • 1 medium green cabbage
  • mayo or greek yogurt
  • 1 lime
  • salt and pepper

Cabbage slaw recipes for tacos plated and on a tortilla

What other dishes could this be paired with?

This slaw is so versatile, pairing with so many different dishes like:

cabbage slaw for tacos or fish in a bowl

If you like this slaw recipe, check out these other sides:

Easy 3-Ingredient Cabbage Slaw

Prep Time 00:10 Total Time 00:10 Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 medium green cabbage,  shredded (about 8 cups)
  • 1/3 cup mayo or greek yogurt, more as needed
  •  2 tablespoons lime juice (about 1 lime)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, more as desired
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, more as desired

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss well to combine.
  2. Serve with your favorite taco meat, like this chicken taco!

Recipe Notes

  1. Ideally you make it at least an hour before serving, as it sits it will break down the cabbage. Can be made up to 6 hours ahead of time, kept in the refrigerator.
  2. Don't need 6 servings? Halve the recipe and only use half a head of cabbage with a scant 1/4 cup mayo, 1 tablespoon lime juice and salt and pepper to taste.
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

Meatless Chipotle Mushroom Tacos

These easy meatless Chipotle Mushroom Tacos are a weeknight dinner win that are hearty and flavorful. They’re vegan, but nobody will know otherwise because they have such a “meaty” flavor that will be a loved by everyone. Serve it up with your favorite taco fixin’s for dinner on the table in well under 30 minutes!

Portobello mushroom taco in handChipotle Portobello Mushroom Tacos

Recently you’ve been asking for more meatless dinner options and there isn’t a greater substitute for meat than mushrooms! Mushrooms are hearty with an ability to compliment many different flavors. In this case we were going for a smoky fajita type taco, so we’re pairing portobello mushrooms with onions and peppers and adding in some quick flavor from a few spices and a bit of adobo sauce from canned chipotle. While these aren’t terribly spicy, you can omit or decrease the amount of adobo to make it more palatable to kids if you need to.

This weeknight dinner recipe comes together in just about 20 minutes and is so hearty and flavorful! Serve with all of your favorite taco / fajita fixin’s and enjoy a delicious meatless meal.

Mushroom taco meat

What kind of mushrooms to use:

We use portobello mushrooms in this recipe. The idea for this recipe was to be similar in profile to a steak fajita taco. Portobello mushrooms have a similar texture, look and umami taste to steak so they are the perfect mushroom to use. Look for mushrooms that smell fresh are firm and dry. Avoid ones that have bruising, look slimy or have an unpleasant smell to them.

How do you clean portobello mushrooms:

  • Wipe off any excess dirt on the cap
  • Take out the stem
  • Scoop out the “gills” underneath the cap with a spoon as these do not taste good so remove before using the mushroom

What are the health benefits of mushrooms?

Mushrooms are high in vitamin B and antioxidants. Antioxidants are our body’s army against free radicals which are unstable molecules that naturally occur in your body that damage cells and cause disease (and aging). Consuming a diet rich in antioxidants help counteract the effect of free radicals and build your bodies defense.

Prepared mushroom taco recipe with tortilla

If you like this taco recipe, check out these others:

Chipotle Mushroom Tacos

Prep Time 00:10 Cook Time 10:00 Total Time 00:20 Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 large portobello mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1-2 tablespoon chipotle adobe sauce (from canned chipotles), optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • 2 large sweet bell peppers, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • additional salt and pepper, to taste
  • For serving: tortillas, lettuce, guacamole, salsa and side of rice or slaw.

Directions

  1. Clean portobello mushrooms: Wipe off any excess dirt on the cap. Remove the stem and scoop out the “gills” under the cap and discard. Then slice to 1/4 inch pieces.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large heavy pan over medium high heat. Once hot and the mushrooms. Let the mushrooms cook until just tender and any liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from pan and set aside in a bowl. To the bowl chipotle adobo sauce, salt, cumin, and paprika.
  4. Meanwhile add remaining tablespoon oil to the pan and add onions and bell peppers and pinch of salt. Cook until just tender, about 5 minutes. And the mushrooms back to the pan and combine. Add lime and cook for 1 more minutes until heated through then remove from heat. Season to taste.
  5. Serve hot with desired sides!
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!

Easy Homemade Refried Beans

When you think of making homemade Refried Beans are you intimidated because the name makes it sound really complicated like there is deep frying involved? We’re going to let you in on a secret: making refried beans at home is so simple and well worth the (at most) 10 minutes it takes to make them. They are so much better than anything you can buy at a store pre-made! Our easy refried beans recipe makes a great addition to any Mexican inspired recipe, ranging from a spread in a layer dip, dolloped right on your taco or just dig in with tortilla chips! Oh, and it’s also gluten-free and vegan. Trust us, you need to make this ASAP!

bowl of healthy refried beans

Easy Homemade Refried Beans Recipe

The name refried beans is a little misleading as it makes you think that there is some sort of special deep frying happening twice with beans. But really refried beans means beans cooked twice! Homemade refried beans, with quality ingredients you control, is so much more flavorful and delicious than anything you can get store bought and it’s simply WORTH it to make. Plus, it takes less then 10 minutes! That’s so quick! And most of the ingredients are likely already in your pantry.

What do you need to make it

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • garlic
  • chili powder
  • paprika
  • onion powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 can organic kidney beans or black beans
  • water or stock
  • lime
  • cilantro, for garnish (optional)
  • cheddar or cotija cheese, for garnish (optional)

vegan refried beans in dip

Why we use canned beans

In our refried bean recipe, we start with canned beans. There are a lot of good options for purchasing canned beans that don’t containing additives, so using this option makes homemade refried beans super quick. If you have homemade cooked beans and wanted to use them in this recipe, that is fine. Just make sure that if they have seasoning in them already you may need to adjust the seasoning called for in this recipe. Use about 1-1/3 cup beans (or 15 ounces if you have a scale).

Ways to use this healthy refried beans recipe

casserole that uses healthy refried beans

If you like this Mexican inspired recipe, check out these others:

Easy Homemade Refried Beans Recipe

Cook Time 00:08 Total Time 00:10 Yields 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 14.5-ounce can organic kidney beans or black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cup water or stock
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • cilantro, for garnish (optional)
  • 1/4 cup cheddar or cotija cheese, for garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. When hot add garlic and spices and let cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Add the beans to the saucepan and ¼ cup water. Cover and let cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Take off heat and add lime juice. Mash to desired consistency using a potato masher or fork.
  4. Set aside until ready to use in recipe, or serve as a dip and top with cilantro and cheese.

Recipe Notes

  1. You can easily double this recipe to make a bigger batch! 
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There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation, at no cost to you! However, I only recommend products I absolutely love and use in my own home! Thank you for supporting Lexi's Clean Kitchen when you shop! See my privacy policy for more information about this, the information we save, and more!