Creamy Black Bean Taco Soup

A cross between a good old-fashioned chili and a zesty taco soup, this creamy black bean taco soup is so fast, so easy, and SO delicious!

Easy, quick, absolutely-crazy-delicious dinners are kind of my jam right now. Even though it’s only mid-February, our mild winter (well, up until the last week or so) has spring soccer coaches already mapping out practice schedules to start this next week. #toosoon

I want to throw a fit and insist we all hibernate for at least 2.3 more months, but when I take a step back and realize that not everyone is an extreme homebody like me (who could honestly be happy hibernating for 11.5 months of the year), I strap on my big girl coping skills and start planning out “meals fit for a soccer season.”

The alternate title would be “meals fit for two kids in soccer, two kids in piano, one kid in cello, one kid working after school but too young to drive himself, one kid in gymnastics, and one mom in danger of losing her sanity.” I know I’m not alone in this. 

Ladling in creamy black bean taco soup to white bowl.  

This one pot creamy black bean taco soup has been a family favorite for years. And it is always a hit. It’s so down home hearty and comforting that we all kind of take it for granted until someone outside the fam is eating with us and shows a little gratitude at the tastiness. 

It’s not quite a chili. And not quite a taco or tortilla soup. It’s the best of all those worlds loaded with black beans and tomatoes, green chiles and tender ground beef. What makes it extra special and really unique is the creaminess that comes from a super simple roux (melted butter + flour + milk).

Not only does that combo thicken the soup delightfully but the added creaminess gives it a dimension unlike any other Mexican-vibed soup I’ve ever had. 

As with other soups in this similar category, the best part is piling on any and all “taco-type” toppings laying around. Fresh cilantro, shredded cheese, crushed tortilla chips, diced avocado, squeezes of fresh lime. 

All are acceptable and welcomed. 

If getting dinner on the table fast makes you as happy as it makes me, my gift to you today is this creamy black bean taco soup. It’s been living on my site for a while now, but deserved a fresh pop back into the spotlight. I’ve even adapted the recipe just slightly to make it even easier than it was before. 

Bonus: if you need to make this in advance, it can be kept on warm in a slow cooker for several hours. 

What To ServeFresh fruit and/or vegetables
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Creamy Black Bean Taco Soup

Yield: 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Creamy Black Bean Taco Soup

Ingredients

  • 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 and taco toppings for serving (optional)

Instructions

  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.
  3. Add 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. Add the black beans, diced tomatoes, green chiles, and remaining 1 cup milk. Simmer gently for 5-10 minutes. Add the cheese and stir until melted.
  5. Serve with fresh cilantro (can also serve with crushed tortilla chips, sour cream, shredded cheese, olives, or whatever you like!).

Notes

Over the years, I've adapted this recipe to be slightly easier, leaving the meat in the pot (the original version removed the meat from the pot after cooking and added it back in during step #4). I've also started adding the cheese in step #4 instead of step #3 (helps prevent scorching on the bottom while the soup simmers).

If you need to make this in advance, the soup can be made on the stovetop and then kept warm in a slow cooker for several hours.

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Recipe Source: from my old recipe binders (a little revamped and updated!)
Recipe originally published in March 2015; updated with new photos, recipe updates, and commentary.

Creamy Black Bean Taco Soup

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