Creamy Black Bean Taco Soup

Sometimes when I need recipe inspiration, I do the exact opposite of 99% of the world and hightail it away from Pinterest. Even though my boards are loaded with recipe ideas, sometimes Pinterest and I just need a break. When that happens, I head straight to my old school recipe binders (or in other words, what Pinterest looked like in the 90’s).

I’ve looked through these recipe files thousands of times and yet I’m always surprised to find recipes in there that I swear I’ve never seen before (or most likely just forgotten or looked over which is what happens when you’ve hung on to recipes for over a decade).

Creamy Black Bean Taco Soup

This creamy black bean taco soup jumped out at me the other day while I was rifling through the pages looking for a quick dinner idea. It dates all the way back to my single, college days and if I remember right, this creamy, cheesy taco soup was a staple during…yep, the 90’s. Not only is it easy to prepare, calling for basic, hearty ingredients, but it keeps really well in the refrigerator for a couple of days for a quick heat-up dinner.

And since we’ve just recently entered the era of three separate soccer practice schedules + one wrestling schedule, my weeknights are horrendously inflexible when it comes to dinner prep. So yeah, a dinner waiting for me in the refrigerator that can be heated up in less than two minutes? I’m there.

This is one of my favorite variations on taco soup and since it just resurrected itself into my life, it looks like we’ll be eating taco soup throughout the spring and summer so we can rekindle the love.

What To ServeFresh fruit and/or vegetables
The Best Cornbread

Creamy Black Bean Taco Soup

One Year Ago: Whipped Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Two Years Ago: Honey Lime Tilapia
Three Years Ago: Strawberries and Cream Scones}

Creamy Black Bean Taco Soup

Yield: Serves 4-6

Creamy Black Bean Taco Soup


  • 1 pound lean ground beef or turkey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk, divided (meaning you'll use 1 cup first and the other cup later)
  • 4 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese (about 1 cup)
  • 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 4 ounce can diced green chiles
  • Chopped, fresh cilantro for serving (optional)


  1. In a 4- or 5-quart pot, cook the ground beef or turkey over medium to medium-high heat with the salt and pepper, breaking the meat into small pieces as it cooks. Once it is cooked through, drain any excess grease.
  2. Add the onion powder, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and oregano to the meat and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring often. Scrape the meat to a plate and set aside.
  3. Return the pot to medium heat and melt the butter, scraping up any browned bits from the meat. Whisk in the flour and cook for a minute or so, whisking constantly, letting the mixture brown and bubble. Slowly whisk in 1 cup of the milk. Continue stirring while heating the mixture to a gentle simmer. Moderate the heat on the stove so the soup just bubbles but doesn't boil vigorously. Cook for 1-2 minutes to let it thicken slightly.
  4. Stir in the Monterey Jack cheese and let it melt completely.
  5. Add the black beans, diced tomatoes, green chiles, remaining 1 cup milk, and reserved cooked ground meat. Simmer gently for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Serve with fresh cilantro (can also serve with crushed tortilla chips, sour cream, shredded cheese, olives, or whatever you like!).

Recipe Source: from my old recipe binders (a little revamped and updated!)

51 Responses to Creamy Black Bean Taco Soup

  1. Megan says:

    I am wanting to experiment and stretch this soup over a few more servings. Do you think it would be better if I added some chicken broth, more tomatoes, or some tomato juice? I have a family member counting calories and with just 4-6 servings it is a bit on the higher side. I thought if I could make it to 8 servings it would reduce that number.

    • Mel says:

      You could certainly try all those – or maybe a combination. If you add tomato juice, I’d suggest adjusting the seasoning (particularly salt and pepper) to taste.

  2. Jessica says:

    This is one of our favorite recipes! I noticed you make this in your instant pot – what are your directions and cooking time? I’m nervous to try it because I thought you couldn’t really do milk/roux in the pressure cooker. Thanks!!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Jessica – that recipe was actually stuck in the Pressure Cooker Friendly category by mistake. Well…actually, it MIGHT do fine in the pressure cooker, but I haven’t tried it because it’s so quick on the stovetop. Sorry about that!

  3. Kelly says:

    Thanks for putting this in our menu this week. Easy, fast, & delicious!

  4. Becky says:

    Do you think this could be made in the crock-pot? Any tips if you’ve tried it before?

  5. Lonetta says:

    It’s wonderful! I switch the ground beef for sausage and my husband and I scarf huge bowls of it, always eaten with a pan of your delicious cornbread. On the menu again tonight…

  6. Amanda says:

    We made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious!! Your recipes never disappoint!

  7. Kate says:

    Delicious! We’ve made this twice–the second time, I doubled everything except the meat, and it was perfect. A little more liquidy the second time around, but it was still so good! I also highly recommend with the cornbread. I love this meal!

  8. Jocelyn says:

    What a terrific soup! It was easy to prepare and relished by all. Many thanks.

  9. JessicaG says:

    Eating this right now. Soooo good and perfect to throw together for a hearty weeknight dinner. I added some ground pepper since I love anything spicy but other then that made it exactly as written. Looking forward to the leftovers for lunch since we are just a family of two:)

  10. Raquel says:

    Very delicious! My family loved it

  11. Amanda C says:

    This was the best taco soup I’ve ever had! Definitely a keeper. It served 4 adults and one kid comfortably, but no leftovers, so I’ll definitely double it next time (I don’t think you’d need to double the meat, just the rest). It was so good!

    And it was so quick to make! Definitely a 30 minute meal.

  12. Marlene says:

    I also wanted to say thank you… your recipes

  13. Marlene says:

    Absolutely delicious…..I doubled recipe!!! This goes on the top of my list

  14. Dani B says:

    This was fantastic! Super quick and easy, which is just what you need during a busy week. I too was a bit skeptical about how much it would make for our family of 4 (2 adults & 2 teenagers) but we ate to our fill, and it was perfect. The only thing I will change next time: double the recipe so I will have leftover soup for lunches the rest of the week! Thanks again, Mel – another great recipe!

  15. Sara says:

    Hi Mel! My kids (3 and 4.5) don’t eat soup. Crazy, I know! I love soup, so I usually feed them whatever “dipper” I make to go along with it. Tonight, what I did was make the recipe exactly as directed up until you add the can of tomatoes and the last cup of milk. I scooped out about a half cup of meat/beans/cheese mixture and set that aside for quesadilla fillings with a little more of the jack cheese. Then I added in the tomatoes and milk to finish the soup for hubs and me. It was a total hit! Thanks for these recipes. You are my go-to site for all things yummy!!! Best of luck with your half marathon…my first 10k in about 5 years is this June! 🙂

  16. Tiff says:

    I made this last night with chicken and it was great! We love quick, easy and tasty meals. Thanks!!

  17. Jb says:

    Made it tonight as is and its a wonderful soup- quick and delish!
    Thanks Mel

    • Mel w/a Brian too says:

      Loved this Mel. Cheering you on with your running too… from the sideline that is since I am expecting our third in August. 🙂

  18. Tami says:

    Just had it for dinner–my tummy is so full! I couldn’t stop eating this yummy soup! Thanks for the quick meal idea.

  19. Mel says:

    Thank you! Tried this the other night and it was delicious! I’m the only one in my family that likes traditional taco soup, so I rarely make it. I’m glad to say they ate this and liked it! I liked throwing in some homemade corn bread in my bowl. Made it even more filling!

  20. Jodi says:

    Yum! This looks so delicious. You gotta love those old recipe binders. I have several and I love to pull them out as often as I can and go through all the recipes in them. I always forget how many fabulous recipes there are hiding in those binders. Thanks for all your delicious recipes.

  21. Tanya M. says:

    Thanks for a great new soup for us! It was delicious!! I doubled the recipe and used chicken (and browned up an onion with it.) I was a tad skeptical because we are not chunky tomato people so I pureed one of the cans of diced tomatoes and it was delicious! I had company coming last night and I knew I could use one of your recipes to serve guests…not having made it beforehand. Thanks!! 🙂

  22. Natasha says:

    Thanks for this recipe Mel. We all enjoyed it, which is saying something. Plus it was very easy, which is exactly what I needed for a busy evening.

  23. Jackie says:

    If I omit the meat my vegetarian gf’s would love this! Scrapbooking night usually ends with soup and salad. This is perfect! Thanks for sharing

  24. Courtney says:

    I cannot wait to try this when I get home from my vacation. This will be our next weeknight meal. Yum!

  25. Lindsay says:

    This was so good. You made me bag my dinner plans and make this. My 4 year old said, “you should make this every night, mom!” I rarely hear such declarations! Thanks for the great recipe!

  26. this does sound awesome! I have tons of old cookbooks that I love to look through. Sometimes there’s something about turning a page in a book that just can’t be achieved by clicking a button…..although I am a button clicker!

  27. Carolyn says:

    This is simmering on the stove right now. Smells awesome. I didn’t realize I missed the second cup of milk til I read the final point. So I just stirred it in at the end. Seems like it’s gonna be alright! This was the exact recipe I need tonight…super busy. Thanks Mel:)

  28. Kate says:

    I made this today, and it was absolutely delicious! I doubled it and it fed our family of six hungry people 🙂 I am very curious to hear how your son got into wrestling? My brother did in high school, but I’ve never experienced younger kids doing it. I would love to hear your story.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Kate – about wrestling, my husband wrestled in college and so wherever we’ve lived he’s been proactive at searching out the youth wrestling programs. For the most part, the schools have included youth wrestling programs either as a club-type sport or actually sponsored through the school. My oldest son has wrestled off and on since Kindergarten and is currently the only one doing it although the other boys have cycled in every other year, whenever they decide they want to again. Right now, there is a freestyle club team for the community we live in and it’s been a great opportunity for Jackson (my oldest).

  29. Mel says:

    Just one more quick note about the serving size – I edited the recipe to say it serves 4-6 but just for clarification, the recipe as is fed our family of seven. Granted, that’s five kids and they ate smaller portions than me or Brian but the soup is especially hearty and filling with the meat, beans, and tomatoes (plus any toppings you may add).

  30. Mel says:

    Sorry for leaving out that 1 cup milk! It’s added with the tomatoes and beans. I just updated the recipe. (Glad you liked it, Marybeth – points to you for making it so quickly!)

  31. Marybeth Schneider says:

    I just made this soup and it is awesome!! The flavors are heavenly..words cannot describe the creamy.cheesey.broth.. So yum!! I doubled the recipe and added the extra milk after the cheese was melted..came out perfectly!!

  32. Judith says:

    When do you add the second cup of milk?

  33. This sounds so good, I’ve never thought of putting milk into a black bean soup, but I can imagine how creamy it would make it!
    It seems like a stretch to say it’s for six people though, since the bulk of it is just a pound of meat, some milk and one can of beans. I would think it’d be more like four servings maybe?

  34. Dee says:

    I’m with the others, when is the other cup of milk added? and I too scratching my head thinking not much liquid at all. Thanks for any clarification.

  35. Cammee says:

    I’ve never had creamy taco soup, but taco soup and your insanely divine cornbread is one of our favorite combos. Everything is better creamy, am I right?

  36. Jessica says:

    Hi! First of all, I LOVE your website. You have enriched my life more than you know! I am confused, as some of the other readers are about the 2nd cup of milk. Can you clarify?


  37. susan says:

    looks delish, but when does the rest of the milk go in??

  38. This looks really good.
    Yes, I too still have all my old printed recipes in a file cabinet drawer. I just don’t think I will ever turn completely away from paper books or paper recipes.

    I feel for you with all those practices. I remember when my boys (who are only one year apart) went to separate t-ball/baseball practices and games. My husband traveled and was not home to help. Sometimes I had to enlist the help of grandma to get them to where they needed to be. Can’t imagine doing it with four boys.

  39. Becky says:

    Oh, and when do you add the 2nd cup of milk?

  40. Becky says:

    I can’t wait to try this! Your black bean and fire roasted tomato soup with the corn salsa/relish was amazing, and this sounds like another winner!

  41. Kim in MD says:

    This looks amazing, Mel! I agree with you about needing to take a break from Pinterest sometimes. I have binders full of recipes (so old school) and I am always excited to discover in them the recipes I have collected and enjoyed over the years!

  42. Tara says:

    So there’s no other broth or water added? Am I missing something? How does a soup with only two cups of milk and one can of tomatoes feed six people?

    • Patrick says:

      Tara — Well, there’s also the pound of meat…. Which I think I’d be inclined to leave out and just use more beans.

    • Mel says:

      Just like I responded to Leah – we served it with garnishes (like crushed chips, cheese, sour cream, etc.) and it fed six smaller servings. I’m not envisioning the servings to be giant bowlfuls, but if so, it would be better to plan on it feeding 4.

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