Frugal Cooking: Taco Soup

Taco SoupWant to make some awesome soup for dinner but don’t want to break the bank? Home cooking, even with a fairly long list of ingredients can be very purse-friendly and you can finagle the recipe to swap out or leave out some ingredients if you have picky eaters. A great way to invent your own recipe is to try several and take the best parts of each and combine into your “signature” taco soup recipe.

Homemade Taco Seasoning

If you are like me, you don’t usually have any taco seasoning on hand. I would only buy some when I was planning to have tacos. So a few years ago I decided to make my own seasoning. This is perfect because it has so many uses (tex-mex beef, quesadillas, etc), and it allows me to tweak the mixture however I like. Cumin is the spice that makes it taste Mexican to me, so I usually add a little extra cumin when I make mine, and this is super easy.

Mix together 2 tsp of chili powder, 1 tsp of garlic, 1 tsp of cumin, 1 tsp of corn starch (to thicken), and 1 tsp of salt (feel free to leave that out if you are trying to cut down on salt) and that’s it. I whisk with a small amount of water to dissolve all the powder before adding to my meat mixture. That’s it! Easy I always have these spices on hand.

Crockpot Taco Soup

The crockpot is great for making soups. The long cooking time allows the flavors to meld with and complement one another.

Begin by browning, crumbling, and draining ½ pound of ground beef (or turkey or venison), then add to the crockpot along with ½ of a small onion (chopped), ½ tbsp of taco seasoning, 1 can of drained kidney beans, 1 can of drained corn, 1 can pork and beans, 1 (28 oz can of diced or whole tomatoes, and 1 (8 oz) can of tomato sauce. Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours and serve with tortilla chips, sour cream, and cheese.

Hillbilly Crockpot Taco Soup

This is another great crockpot soup.

Brown 1 pound of ground beef with 1 chopped onion in a medium skillet and drain. Place the ground meat in the slow cooker with 2 cans of Rotel, your choice of 2 cans of beans, 1 can of corn, 1 pkg. of taco seasoning (more if you like it spicy), 1 pkg. of ranch dressing mix, 8 oz of tomato sauce, and 2 cups of water. (Do not drain cans). Stir well and cook on low for 8 hours or 4 hours on high. If you like your soup to be a little more soup-y, add a little more water.

Taco Rice Soup

This is another variation on taco soup in the crockpot and super easy to put together.

Brown ½ pound of hamburger, 1 chopped medium onion, ½ cup of diced bell pepper, 1 (15.5 oz.) can of black beans, 1 (15.5 oz.) can of white beans, 2 cups of cooked rice, 1 (15.5 oz.) can of corn, 2 (15.5 oz.) cans of diced tomatoes, 1 (15 oz.) can of tomato sauce, 2 cups of water, and 3 tablespoons of taco seasoning mix. Cook on low for 6 hours and serve with crushed tortilla chips and shredded Mexican cheese.

It’s time to get cooking! Enjoy.

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