So easy to create a mouthwatering dinner and with minimal hands on time! Set it and forget it, Slow Cooker Vegetarian Taco Soup! Rich, thick and hearty, packed with warming spices, beans and corn. It’s freezer friendly too! This recipe is also gluten free and easily vegan.
Many Names for One Recipe
Anything Mexican food, I’m all in! Those warming spices, rich-saucy flavors and anything I can put an avocado on, all the better. But toss it all in a slow cooker and walk away? You’ve got my attention!
Taco soup is an old favorite, but I didn’t learn until recently that this recipe I’ve been making forever is officially known as taco soup. I had several other names for it like Scott’s bean soup, and Mexican corn and bean sopa. This epiphany came from my Ma, who is a taco soup connoisseur. Little did I know.
A few weeks ago I was getting ready to make this recipe, so I thought I’d ask her about it because she recently said she was making taco soup. I asked her to text me her recipe. Sure enough, I’d been making taco soup all along but of course with my own little twists. The name stuck.
Slow Cooker Vegetarian Taco Soup comes together quick, and then, you can set it and forget it. A long slow cook ensures a rich and thick tomatoey base, concentrated flavors from the spices and tender, creamy beans.
How to Make Slow Cooker Taco Soup
Simple ingredients make up the base of this soup. You’ll need some dry beans. I use three different varieties for color and texture, but you can also use a mix of two if you like.
- First, sort and rinse the dry beans. If using kidney beans, you’ll need to prepare them according to FDAs advisory (see notes**).
- Next, to a crock pot, pour in the dry beans, garlic, onion, fire roasted tomatoes, tomato sauce, corn (frozen, fresh or canned) broth, water, spices and jalapeños.
- Third, cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours.
- Last, *OPTIONAL* (but recommended): About 15 minutes prior to sharing, make a slurry of masa harina and a bit of water. Stir the slurry into the soup. This will thicken the soup a bit and give it a mildly sweet, corn flavor.
Spoon into bowls and generously pile on your favorite toppings like avocado, onions, cilantro, sour cream, or chili-lime pepita creama, and/or a bit of cheddar.
A Few Recipe Notes
- Time to cook this crock pot taco soup varies depending on bean age, the older the bean the longer the cook. It’s possible that a bean can be so old and dry it won’t cook through. I do not recommend eating under-cooked beans. If they are tough and not showing any signs of progressively getting softer, throw them out. Too, temperature variations range among slow cookers. Be sure to check the manufactures owners manual for guidance on cook times. Use the cook times in this recipe as a guide.
- Soaking the dry beans overnight is optional (except for kidney beans** – see FDAs advisory in notes). If you do soak, the cooking time will be just slightly shorter, but not enough to change the cooking time overall. If soaking the beans overnight, the only adjustment needed is to reduce the broth by about 1/2 C.
- I use fresh jalapeño to add spice and flavor to this recipe. If you like, pickled jalapeño or canned chilis can be used.
- This recipe calls for Masa Harina, but it’s optional. I keep it on hand as a pantry staple to thicken chili and add authentic flavor to my Mexican food. See recipe card for more recipes using masa harina.
- Make this easy Taco Soup vegan by leaving toppings such as sour cream and cheese off.
- Freezer friendly? Yes please!! Freeze in individual lunch portions or in a larger container for up to two weeks.
**UPDATE** : FDAs advisory I’ve been cooking dry beans (including kidney) in a slow cooker for 20+ years without any ill effects but after a reader alerted me to a raw and undercooked kidney bean toxin, I updated this recipe with notes and FDA’s advisory. Feel free to use a mix of black and pinto beans and omit the kidney beans. Just because I’ve not experienced adverse issues, doesn’t mean there’s not the potential for others to experience it. See page 254 on FDA’s Bad Bug Book for more info.
More Vegetarian Soups/Stews to Love
- Roasted Cauliflower Tinga Tacos
- Mexican Roasted Veggie Bowls with Beer Beans – by Bojon Gourmet
- Creamy Corn, Zucchini and Poblano Tacos
- Plantain and Black Bean Tacos with Chimichuri Sauce – by Floating Kitchen
- Vegan Burrito Bowl with Cashew Chipotle Sauce – by Foolproof Living
Slow Cooker Vegetarian Taco Soup
- 1 1/2 C (320g) Dry Beans (see note about soaking* and FDA cooking advisory on dry kidney beans in the slow cooker**) I use 1/2 C each: pinto, black and/or kidney beans.
- 1 C (125g) Onion purple or yellow, medium dice, about one medium onion
- 2 C (250g) Corn Niblets fresh or frozen
- 1 Tbs Fresh Jalapeño minced, about 1/2 a large jalapeño. Adjust up or down to taste.
- 1 Tbs Fresh Garlic minced, about 3 large cloves
- 1, 15 oz (425g) Can of Tomato Sauce
- 1, 15 oz (411g) Can of Fire Roasted Tomatoes
- 2 Tbs Cumin ground
- 1 1/2 Tbs Chili Powder
- 3/4 tsp Smoky Paprika
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 2 tsp Fine Sea Salt
- 3 C (675g) Vegetable Broth
- 1 C (225g) Water
- 1 1/2 Tbs Masa Harina (optional - but recommended) mixed with + 1/4 C (56g) water
- For Serving / Garnish: Avocado, jalapeño, cilantro, sour cream, diced onion and/or shredded cheddar
- 1/2 Lime
- Pick through the beans picking out any shriveled beans or small stones. Rinse the dry beans and place them in the cook-pot of a slow cooker. If using dry kidney beans, soak/boil them according to FDA's guidelines below in the notes (and make sure they're fully cooked) before adding them to the soup or use one can (drained) of already cooked kidney beans. Add them to the crock during the last 30 minutes of cooking. To the beans add the onion, corn, jalapeño, garlic, tomato sauce, tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, paprika, black pepper, salt, broth and water. Stir throughly.
- Set the slow cooker on high or low. Total Time: Low Setting = 7-8 hours | High Setting = 4-5 hours. The total cook time will depend on how fresh the dry beans are. The fresher the beans, the less time, the older (more dry), the longer the cook time. Keep an eye on the beans as they near the low end of the cook time and add more water if needed. The beans are done when they give under gentle bite pressure and are creamy on the inside. It’s possible that a bean can be so old and dry it won’t cook through. I do not recommend eating under-cooked beans. If they are tough and not showing any signs of progressively getting softer, throw them out. Also, depending on the crock pot used, these cook times will probably vary. Temperature variations range among slow cookers. Use the cook times in this recipe as a guide. Be sure to check the manufactures owners manual for guidance on cook times.
- (OPTIONAL): About 15 minutes before serving, mix the Masa Harina with hot water and pour into the soup. Stir. The soup will begin to thicken during the last minutes of cooking. One maker, Sabrina, added a good squeeze of lime at the end of cooking - I agree!
- Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with any toppings you like: avocado, jalapeño, cilantro, sour cream, diced onions, lime wedges or shredded cheddar.
- Store in the refrigerator in a lidded container for up to three days or freeze for up to two weeks. Thaw overnight in the fridge and gently rewarm on low heat on the stovetop.