Taco night, but make it cozy! This is the best healthy and easy vegetarian taco soup with rice, beans, veggies (peppers, corn, onions, and greens), and Mexican-inspired spices. All of the best taco ingredients (don't forget the toppings!) in one comforting bowl. Not only is this soup healthy and satisfying, but it also has a rich and creamy texture the whole family will love.
This easy soup is a delicious way to put a spin on your regular taco routine. With pepper, sweet corn, and spices, you'll get delicious, Mexican-inspired flavor with every bite.
Blending a portion of the soup at the end creates a velvety base that takes this soup to another level. It's an ideal choice for chilly nights when you crave something comforting and hearty.
Most importantly, let's talk about the toppings. We all know that the best part of tacos, right?
Well, this soup is kind of like having a taco bar right in your bowl. You can pick and choose all of your favorite garnishes. Think avocado, cherry tomatoes, minced red onion, cilantro, and green onions.
If you really want to take things up a notch, add this tropical fruit salsa!
These customizable options add layers of flavor, and each bowl a unique mealtime experience that both kids and adults will love.
This soup isn't just about flavor; it's packed with wholesome ingredients that are good for you, too. Here's a quick rundown of the nutritional highlights:
- Brown Rice: Loaded with fiber and complex carbohydrates, brown rice provides long-lasting energy and a feeling of fullness.
- Beans: Black beans and pinto beans offer plant-based protein, making this soup a satisfying choice.
- Veggies: Peppers, corn, kale – these vegetables provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
- Spices: The combination of chili powder, cumin, coriander, and oregano not only enhances the flavor but also provides potential health benefits, such as anti-inflammatory properties.
- Nutritional Yeast (optional): If you choose to add nutritional yeast, you'll enjoy a cheesy flavor and a source of B vitamins, for added depth and nourishment.
Here's a full list of the ingredients you'll need to make this taco soup at home.
- grapeseed oil or cooking oil of choice
- red onion
- red bell pepper
- poblano pepper
- jalapeño pepper
- frozen corn kernels
- 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 15-ounce can black beans
- 16-ounce can pinto beans
- nutritional yeast (optional)
- chili powder
- ground cumin
- ground coriander
- dried oregano
- vegetable broth
- brown rice (I like to buy precooked/microwavable rice for convenience)
- cherry tomatoes
- red onion
- cilantro leaves
- green onions
See the recipe card below for exact quantities and preparation methods.
This is a basic rundown of the steps for making this soup. You can find more detailed instructions in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Cook the onion, garlic, and peppers in a large pot.
Stir in corn, tomatoes, beans, and spices.
Add broth, bring to a boil, and then simmer until the flavors are melded.
Blend a portion of the soup and then return it to the pot and mix with the unblended portion until combined.
Divide the soup between bowls and add optional toppings if desired.
Hint: The spiciness of this soup can vary depending on how hot your poblano and jalapeño peppers are, and whether you include the pepper ribs and seeds. Feel free to use more or less peppers depending on your taste.
Here are a few simple swaps you can make depending on the ingredients you have on hand.
- Kale - Substitute spinach or another dark leafy green for the kale
- Canned Tomatoes - canned diced tomatoes also work for this recipe
- Rice - instead of brown rice, use white rice or quinoa
Want to change up the flavor profile? Here are a few ideas.
- Mild - omit the jalapeño pepper and substitute a green bell pepper for the poblano pepper. Also make sure you're using a mild chili powder.
- Tortilla - substitute torn up corn tortillas for the brown rice.
- Three Bean Chili - cut the broth in half and add a can of kidney beans.
If you're looking for a similar recipe for your Instant Pot, try my Instant Pot Black Bean Soup.
Use a knife and cutting board to chop the vegetables.
Cook the soup in a large stock pot (around 12 quarts).
Use a blender to blend a portion of the soup. This creates a thick and creamy texture. If you don't have a blender, you can skip this step for a finished soup that is lighter and more brothy.
Store in an airtight container without toppings in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Add the optional toppings just before serving.
This soup recipe is perfect for freezing. Store the prepared soup (without toppings) in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Add the optional toppings just before serving.
Blending part of the soup after cooking creates a thick and creamy texture. Blend a larger portion if you want smoother, creamier soup. Blend less if you want the soup to be lighter and more broth-based.
Optional toppings for taco soup include diced avocado, minced red onion, cilantro, chopped green onions, Mexican cheese, sour cream or Greek yogurt, tortilla chips, salsa, guacamole, quartered cherry tomatoes, pickled red onions or radishes, or hot sauce.
One simple way to thicken taco soup is to blend a portion of the soup in a blender. Then return the blended portion to the pot with the unblended soup and stir until evenly mixed. It helps to include hearty ingredients like beans and rice to make taco soup thicker.
Taco soup is great with chips and salsa or guacamole, quesadillas, or a quinoa salad.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
These are my favorite dishes to serve with vegetarian taco soup:
Easy Vegetarian Taco Soup with Rice and Beans
- Knife and cutting board
- Large pot
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil or cooking oil of choice
- ½ cup diced red onion
- 3 cloves garlic minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 1 poblano pepper diced (see note)
- 1 jalapeño pepper minced (optional)
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 (16-ounce) can pinto beans drained and rinsed
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast (optional, see note)
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup chopped kale
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- Diced avocado
- Quartered cherry tomatoes
- Minced red onion
- Cilantro leaves
- Chopped green onions
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in onion and cook, stirring often, for 4 minutes, or until translucent.
- Stir in garlic, red bell pepper, poblano pepper, and jalapeño pepper (if using) and cook for 3 minutes, stirring often, or until peppers are tender.
- Stir in corn, crushed tomatoes, black beans, pinto beans, nutritional yeast, chili powder cumin, coriander, and oregano and cook for 2 minutes, or until aromatic.
- Pour in vegetable broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer (cook gently) for 10 minutes, or until the flavors are melded.
- Stir in kale, cooked brown rice, and lime juice, and cook for 2 minutes, or until the kale is wilted. Turn off the heat.
- Ladle about 3 cups of the soup into a blender container. Cover and blend on high for 30 seconds, or until smooth and creamy. (See note)
- Pour the blended soup back into the pot with the unblended portion and stir until combined.
- Divide between bowls and add optional toppings if desired.
This recipe was originally published in 2016 and was updated in September 2023.