Crock-Pot® taco soup is a dish that resembles chili, except it contains more liquid than most chili recipes do. It is made using ground meat or small cutlets that are cooked beforehand and added to the Crock-Pot® along with ingredients such as beans, corn, chili spices or taco spices, and vegetables such as onions and tomatoes. The entire dish cooks for hours, sometimes all day, until all the flavors have come together, the beans are warmed through, and the soup-like sauce has thickened a little. Making Crock-Pot® taco soup is often a matter of convenience, and many premade products can be used so there is very little work involved in making the dish. The resulting soup can be served in a bowl over rice or covered in cheese and tortilla chips.
Meat is the first ingredient in Crock-Pot® taco soup. Ground beef or chicken is frequently used, although any meat that has been ground or chopped into small pieces will do. The meat is cooked before being placed in the Crock-Pot® to ensure that it cooks fully and, in some cases, develops some flavor. Cooking the meat outside the Crock-Pot® also allows the fat to be drained so it does not congeal on top of the soup.
One of the key ingredients for Crock-Pot® taco soup is the spice mix that is used. There are a number of commercially available dry and liquid seasoning mixes. A homemade spice mix also can be made, usually with chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper and sometimes spices such as bay leaf, paprika or oregano. Liquid seasonings such as liquid smoke or steak sauce also can be added. One ingredient for which many recipes call is powdered or premade ranch salad dressing.
Another vital ingredient for Crock-Pot® taco soup is beans. These are usually canned black beans and kidney beans. The type of canned beans called for may be packaged with chili peppers, adding a bit of taste and spice to the dish. Beans are added along with the liquid in which they are packaged. Dried beans can be soaked and used, but additional liquid will need to be added to the pot.
Vegetables such as green peppers, diced onions and corn are added to the pot along with tomato sauce or juice and all the other ingredients and spices. It is covered and left to cook for several hours. Once Crock-Pot® taco soup has finished cooking, it can be served in a bowl with all the traditional condiments associated with tacos or chili.