When Fall is in the air, my family craves what we consider the BEST taco soup ever~made with (surprise) turkey instead of ground beef. It is FAB!!!
According to my family, this really is the BEST taco soup of all the versions I’ve made throughout the years. Of course, this soup can be made using ground beef, and it is delicious too (just higher in fat and calories).
When using ground turkey in a soup recipe, I use a few techniques to make it hard to tell that it isn’t beef. Since turkey has little fat, it can tend to be bland. Also, turkey has a lighter color that some might find off-putting, but that can be remedied too~especially in this ultra seasoned recipe.
For great results in using turkey in the BEST taco soup ever, here are a few tips and tricks:
First, using a great taco seasoning makes a difference. I use a combo of McCormick’s premium taco seasoning (in a large container from Costco) and Penzey’s taco seasoning (I use bold but the regular is great also). I use about half of McCormick’s and half Penzeys. They are different in texture and ingredients, and using both just really yields great results. If you don’t want to use the Penzey’s, the McCormick’s will still make a great soup.
Second, using a good EVOO helps brown and season the turkey. The EVOO helps the turkey brown nicely and it combines well with the various seasonings to add depth and to bind seasonings to the surface of the meat.
Third, adding the seasonings directly to the meat after browning is key. I used to throw most of the ingredients in the pot when making this soup, and it never turned out as good as this soup. Now, as soon as I brown the meat, I sprinkle all the taco and ranch seasoning directly onto the meat crumbles, working the seasonings in until all crumbles are cited. This adds color and flavor to otherwise bland, white crumbles. After getting the meat ready, then all other ingredients can be added.
Fourth, long, slow simmering makes a richer soup. Moving the soup from skillet to slow cooker pays huge dividends. Every hour in the slow cooker yields a greater depth of flavor. This soup is even better the next day, so leftovers are a good thing!
Note: We like things spicy at our house, and this soup definitely has a kick. To tone down a spicy soup, sour cream (which tastes fabulous on this) does the trick. If you don’t like spicy, adjust seasonings to taste.
This soup is always a hit, and it is perfect for a game day weekend. It is also great served with this pimento cheese cornbread. Give this a try, and let me hear how your family likes it! As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Be blessed, and stay savvy!!!
- 2 pounds ground turkey
- 2 TB EVOO
- 1 medium onion, chopped (or 2 cups diced frozen)
- 1/4 cup good quality taco seasoning
- 2 packets Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix
- 2 cups of water
- 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 10-oz can Rotel tomatoes
- 1 (16 oz) bag frozen whole kernel corn (or 2 cans, drained)
- 2 cans black beans (drained)
- 2 cans Bush's chili beans (I use white or pinto), drained
- Tabasco, to taste
- salt, pepper & garlic salt to taste
- tortilla chips, grated cheese, sour cream, and other garnishes
- In a large skillet, heat EVOO; add turkey and begin to brown.
- When turkey renders some juices, add onion, salt, pepper, and garlic salt; continue browning.
- When the turkey is completely browned, drain juices and fat.
- Sprinkle taco seasoning and ranch mix over browned meat; mix until all meat is coated with seasoning.
- Add water to meat; stir and bring to a simmer.
- Add all other ingredients; mix well and bring to a simmer.
- Transfer soup to slow cooker. Cook on high 3-4 hours or low 7-8 hours.
- Garnish soup with tortilla chips, grated cheese & sour cream.
Nutrition InformationYield 10 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 410Total Fat 22gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 14gCholesterol 100mgSodium 1118mgCarbohydrates 24gFiber 7gSugar 5gProtein 29g