Grab your slow cooker, and let's make this easy, Healthy Crock Pot Taco Soup. It's packed with tons of fresh, healthy veggies and delicious, robust flavors! Top it with sour cream, tortilla chips, avocado, or cheese!
This is a great weeknight meal and also a freezer-friendly recipe!
It's wonderful when you can marry two great things in a recipe like nutritious and easy! Healthy Crock Pot Recipes help you do just that. This recipe for Healthy Crock Pot Taco Soup is one of our favorites!
It's low-fat and full of fiber. It's so flavorful but packs in tons of veggies and is just so satisfying. Similar to our Crockpot Vegetable Soup.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
Here are the main ingredients for the Slow Cooker Taco Soup.
- Ground Turkey - turkey lightens the soup but still adds plenty of protein and flavor. If you'd like to substitute ground beef, that totally works.
- Diced Vegetables - we like to include onions, celery, peppers, cabbage, and zucchini, but you can add whatever vegetables you like. We've used chopped broccoli and cauliflower.
- Low Sodium Chicken Broth - chicken broth or stock is our favorite to use, but vegetable broth and even beef broth are great alternatives.
- Diced Tomatoes - the canned variety is perfect. If you want to use ones with spicy peppers, that is great but totally optional.
- Black Beans - any type of canned bean is okay in this soup. You could also substitute kidney beans, pinto beans, or cannelloni beans.
- Chopped Green Chilis - we usually go mild in flavor with our canned chilis, but this is also where you could use hot ones to add to the spice factor of the dish.
- Spices - you'll use a variety of Mexican spices, including dried chili powder, cumin, basil, parsley, as well as salt and pepper. You can also add cayenne pepper to kick it up a notch.
- To use Chicken: Use cooked shredded chicken or ground chicken instead of ground turkey.
- To make it Spicy: Add 1 tablespoon of chopped jalapeno pepper.
- To make it Low Carb: Double the amount of ground meat and omit the beans. Stir in 1 ½ cups cauliflower or broccoli rice during the last 5 minutes of the cooking process.
- To make it Creamy: After the soup is finished cooking, stir in 1 cup of sour cream or 4 ounces of cream cheese.
- Vegetarian: Leave out the ground meat and use vegetable broth.
With a few simple steps, your soup will be ready to let your crockpot do all the work!
Step 1 - Saute Vegetables
First, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add vegetables and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until soft around the edges.
When done, take them out of the pan and place them in the crockpot.
Step 2 - Brown Ground Turkey & Place in Crock
Next, place an additional tablespoon of olive oil in the same pan and cook ground turkey until it is browned. We like to add the chili powder to let it cook with the meat to bring out the flavor, but you can add it to your crockpot when adding all the other ingredients.
Tip: This step can be done 1-2 days beforehand.
Use a spatula to break up the ground turkey into smaller pieces as it cooks. Now, place the browned meat in your crockpot.
Step 3 - Add Remaining Ingredients to Crock
Next, add the remaining taco soup ingredients and herbs to your slow cooker and stir to combine.
Step 4 - Cook
Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours. However, it's OK if your soup sits on the warm setting for a while, making it great for game day or entertaining!
Serve with your favorite toppings, and enjoy!
Bonus, this taco soup will keep refrigerated for 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months.
If you are new to crockpot cooking, check out these Crock Pot Tips and Tricks!
Depending on your diet and how healthy you want to go, you can top your Crock Pot Taco Soup with any one of these toppings:
- Grated Cheese
- Sour Cream
- Shredded Cabbage
- Tortilla Chips
- Chopped Cilantro
- Green Onions
- Lime Juice
Tip! Top the cooked taco soup with shredded cabbage for added crunch and a little more nutrition. Don't knock it till you try it 🙂
Can I Freeze Crock Pot Taco Soup?
Yes! One of our favorite things about this easy slow cooker recipe is that it works great as a freezer meal. It's essential to know how to prevent freezer burn, so you have a delicious soup when you take it out of the freezer.
Option 1: To freeze after cooking, follow the directions listed. Once cooked and cooled, put it into freezer-safe portion-size containers and freeze. We don't recommend using sour cream or cream cheese if freezing. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave.
Option 2: If you want to prep this before cooking, dump all ingredients except the optional cheese into a large freezer storage bag. It will last in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw, and then place in the crockpot and follow the recipe cooking instructions.
Tip: Make sure the bag is dated and labeled, no matter which option you choose!
Want to freeze the entire taco soup recipe? Let it cool completely, transfer it to an airtight freezer-safe container, and place it in the freezer. It keeps in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To use, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bring a simmer on the stove. Add toppings after it's thawed and heated.
Tips & Tricks
- If you're not into ground turkey or don't have any on hand, substitute lean ground beef.
- Like a lot of spice? Add more chili powder, ½ teaspoon at a time. Or really zest it up by adding minced jalapeño peppers.
- The good news, the mix of vegetables you put in the recipe is entirely up to you! We often use a precut mix from Trader Joe's with everything from jicama to radish, and it's wonderful and such a time saver. Other veggies would be good: corn, carrots, broccoli, or even spinach added in the last few minutes of cooking.
- Speaking of time-saving, you can use precut veggies like onions and celery if your local grocery store carries them.
- This slow cooker taco soup is very forgiving; It's OK if your soup cooks a little longer or the slow cooker switches to the "warm" setting.
- This Taco Soup in the crockpot is really, really good the next day or even the day after.
- The beans are optional. We often leave them out, and it's just as incredible! You can use kidney beans or black beans.
How do you thicken taco soup?
The best ways to thicken your taco soup are by adding a few tablespoons of tomato paste until you reach your desired consistency or adding some cream cheese at the end of the cooking time. Alternatively, you can add more ground turkey and black beans to bulk it up.
How do you keep taco soup warm?
You can keep your soup warm by keeping it on the warm setting for up to 2 hours.
Should you brown the meat before putting it in the crockpot?
Ground meat (turkey, beef, and chicken) should always be browned in a pan and drained before adding it to your slow cooker. This ensures it has the right consistency and good flavor and prevents it from clumping together as it cooks.
More Healthy Slow-Cooker Recipes
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Healthy Crock Pot Taco Soup Recipe
- Crock Pot
- frying pan
- Spatula or cooking spoon
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 2 cups diced vegetables (onions, celery, peppers, cabbage, zucchini, etc.)
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 to 3 cups low sodium chicken or beef broth (use more if you want a thinner soup)
- 1 15- oz. can diced tomatoes
- 1 15- oz. can black beans (drained and rinsed)
- 1 4- oz. can chopped green chiles
- 2 ½ teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add vegetables and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until soft around the edges. Take them out of the pan and place them in the crock pot.
- With the same pan, place an additional tablespoon of olive oil and cook ground turkey until it is browned. Use a spatula to break up the ground turkey into smaller pieces as it cooks—place in the crock pot.
- Add the remaining soup ingredients and spices to your slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours. It's fine if the soup cooks a little longer or the slow cooker switches to the "warm" setting.
- Serve with your favorite toppings, and enjoy!
- Other veggies would be good in this recipe: corn, carrots, broccoli, or even spinach the last few minutes of cooking.
- Want to freeze your soup? It lasts in the freezer for up to 3 months. To use, thaw, and then bring to a simmer on the stove or microwave. Add toppings after it's thawed and heated.
- You can also add all ingredients to a freezer-safe bag and place it in the freezer until ready to use. Just thaw and cook in your crockpot per the regular instructions.
This recipe was updated with additional instructions and tips on 11/13/19.
It's soup season! Grab your crockpot, and let's get this Slow Cooker Taco Soup simmering!