Slow Cooker Taco Soup -Day 5 of 30 Days of Soups, Stews, and Chilis

This is one of those soups that whole family enjoys because it can be customized by toppings.  It’s also a crock pot soup so it makes for an easy dinner.  I even prep my toppings in the morning while the meat is browning and put them in the fridge.  That way, at dinner time, everyone is eating in less than 10 minutes!

crock pot taco soupIt starts with browning some ground beef, then adding onions.  Beyond that you dump in a bunch of canned goods from the pantry and you’re set!

A note – I use my own ranch seasoning in this recipe.  I like the recipe for the dry mix from The Crafty Blog Stalker.  I make my actual ranch dressing from this mix slightly different than her version.  The dry mix, though, is something I’ve now used a couple of years.

 

Crock Pot Taco Soup
Serves 8
Crock pot taco soup is easily adaptable to varied tastes and is a cinch to make!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
6 hr
Total Time
6 hr 10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
6 hr
Total Time
6 hr 10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 pound ground beef
  2. 1 medium onion, diced
  3. 1 can black beans
  4. 1 can kidney beans
  5. 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
  6. 1 8 oz. diced green chiles
  7. 1 package taco seasoning mix (or your own mix)
  8. 2 Tablespoons dry ranch mix
  9. Toppings you like: shredded lettuce, corn chips, sour cream, grated cheddar, sliced olives, chopped green onions, hot sauce, etc...
Instructions
  1. Brown ground beef in a large skillet. When almost brown, add diced onions and continue to saute until the onion is tender.
  2. Place the beef and onion mixture into a crock pot and add in the other ingredients, except the toppings.
  3. Cook on low 6-8 hours.
  4. Serve with topping bar.
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Our Favorite Crock Pot Chili

This has been my family’s favorite chili for years, and it has the added benefit of being a crock pot meal so you can have a great dinner ready on busy nights.  It makes a whole 5 quart slow cooker full so you can serve a large crowd, have leftovers, or freeze some for other meals (like chili baked potatoes, Cincinnati spaghetti, or chili cheese dogs or nachos).  I tend to freeze it and use it for other convenient meals, but I always leave at least 2 servings out for my and my husband’s lunch the next day.

crock pot chili

If you don’t want to use the crock pot, you can still make this, just let is simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally to keep from sticking.  You might have to add a bit of water during the second half if all the liquid is evaporating out.

Favorite Crock Pot Chili
Yields 5
Use your crock pot (slow cooker) to make a warm chili for a cold day.
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Prep Time
20 min
Total Time
5 hr 30 min
Prep Time
20 min
Total Time
5 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 pounds ground beef
  2. 1 Tablespoon poultry seasoning
  3. 2 teaspoons steak seasoning
  4. 4 cans (15 ounces each) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  5. 2 large cans (28 ounces each ) diced tomatoes, undrained
  6. 1 can (4 ounce) green chiles, undrained, chopped
  7. 1 large onion, chopped
  8. 1 large green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  9. 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  10. 2 teaspoons onion powder
  11. 1 teaspoon cumin
  12. 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  13. 1 teaspoon paprika
  14. 1 teaspoon oregano
  15. 1 teaspoon salt
  16. 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  17. Desired toppings such as shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped avocado, sliced green onions, etc...
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef with the poultry and steak seasonings.
  2. When meat is no longer pink, drain and add the beef to the slow cooker. Add all the other ingredients except the toppings.
  3. Cover and cook on low 4-6 hours.
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Sarah’s Beef Stew

My mother in law, Sarah, makes the best beef stew.  The first time I had it, I was dating my husband and took my parents to his mom’s house for Christmas.  We’re talking travel, stay over night in their house a few days, real Christmas.  Looking back, that was rather brave of us.  We weren’t even engaged. 

Beef Stew

Anyway, she served this Christmas Eve and I remember thinking Beef stew?  As in that old fashioned food so one eats anymore?  This was long before the revival of retro dishes.  But I got schooled that night.  Not only did I love it, I couldn’t get enough.  I not only had to ask for the recipe, but I had to stop making it for a few years because I once ate so much I made myself sick on it.  True story.  Everyone around the table loved it (there were other guests that night as well) and my dad even ate the cooked carrots. 

Time has passed and I started making it again a couple of years ago, making sure I don’t eat too much and get sick again.  I’ve made a few small changes over the years to suit our family’s tastes and the types of ingredients we like to use.  The bottom line is that this is warm comfort food with layers of savory flavors that make you welcome the winter cold. 

I think part of the successful marry of flavors in this dish is the unexpected baking spices.  They sound odd, but they play with that beef like nothing I’ve had before.  I always double or triple this recipe because guess what, it freezes well too!

Beef Stew
Serves 4
Layers of savory beef and vegetable flavor in a bowl of warm comfort.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
3 hr
Total Time
3 hr 30 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
3 hr
Total Time
3 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 lbs, stew meat
  2. 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  3. 4 Cups boiling water
  4. 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
  5. 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire
  6. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  7. 1 medium onion, sliced
  8. 2 bay leaves
  9. 1 Tablespoon salt
  10. 1 teaspoon honey
  11. 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  12. 1 dash allspice
  13. 1 bag frozen stewing vegetables (it has potatoes, carrots, onions, and possibly more depending on where you buy them) - no need to thaw
  14. 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  15. 1 Tablespoon cold water
Instructions
  1. Heat butter or oil in large, heavy bottomed stock pot. Brown meat on all sides.
  2. Add everything else except for the vegetables, corn starch, and cold water. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer and let it simmer for 2 hours. Add more water if necessary.
  3. Add the stew vegetables, cover and let is cook 30 minutes more.
  4. Remove the stew chunks to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Remove bay leaves.
  5. In a small bowl, dissolve cornstarch into cold water and pour into stew liquid that is still in the pan. Let it heat and turn into a little bit of a gravy. Add the stew chunks back in and serve.
Adapted from from my mother-in-law's recipe
Adapted from from my mother-in-law's recipe
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