Cheesy Taco Soup


Cheesy Taco Soup is loaded with taco-inspired ingredients and a homemade gluten-free cheese sauce. No condensed soup needed!

Cheesy Taco Soup via Iowa Girl Eats

You guys, I think figured it out. I know where all the cowboys have gone! To my house for Cheesy Taco Soup!

Bahahaha, ok I’ve been waiting to use that line for weeks, ever since picking up this adorable, western-themed placemat, but seriously, I’m serious. Cowboys and cowgirls alike will flock to the kitchen for this hot and hearty Cheesy Taco Soup. It’s a stick to yar ribs type meal that everyone will love.

Cheesy Taco Soup via Iowa Girl Eats

Ben and I awoke to a -3 degree morning with -30 wind chills to look forward to on this fine MLK J. day and, besides venturing out for a quick gym sesh, I knew I wouldn’t be going a-n-y-where today. Luckily I had planned ahead and bought the ingredients yesterday to make us a big vat of Cheesy Taco Soup for lunch.

Cheesy Taco Soup via Iowa Girl Eats

This gluten-free Cheesy Taco Soup is thick and hearty, the kind that warms you from the inside out, and is loaded with yummy, taco-inspired ingredients like ground beef, black beans, cheddar cheese, and diced tomatoes with green chilis. I adapted the recipe from the Beefy Nacho Soup in last week’s Friday Favorite to use a homemade “condensed” nacho cheese soup, and include beans, which give this cowboy-approved soup even more staying powah!

Cheesy Taco Soup via Iowa Girl Eats

Ahem. Anyway, start by browning 1lb ground beef in a large soup pot with salt & pepper until no longer pink, then drain and return to the pot.


Meanwhile, get to work on that homemade cheese sauce which will give the soup a luxuriously thick texture, and unmistakable cheesy flavor. Melt 2 Tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium heat then sprinkle in 2 Tablespoons gluten-free or all-purpose flour (I like Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free White Rice Flour for thickening soups and sauces) and whisk until smooth.


Whisk while cooking for about 1 minute, then slowly whisk in 1 cup milk (I used skim.) Season with salt and pepper then switch to a wooden spoon and stir until nice and thick, about 3-4 minutes.


Take the pan off the heat, then stir in 1 cup freshly shredded cheddar cheese until smooth. That’s it!


The rest is a cake walk (mmm, cake). Add 1 package taco seasoning and a 10oz can Rotel to the ground beef.


Then add 1 can drained and rinsed black beans, and the homemade cheese sauce.


Finally, add 1-1/2 cups milk and stir everything together.


Simmer the soup for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Don’t worry, it doesn’t look this radioactive in real life. For some reason I have the hardest time photographing cheese!


Ladle into bowls then top with more shredded cheese, if desired, and crushed tortilla chips for some crunch!

Cheesy Taco Soup via Iowa Girl Eats

Cheesy Taco Soup

Serves 4-6


Cheesy Taco Soup is loaded with taco-inspired ingredients and a homemade gluten-free cheese sauce. No condensed soup needed!


  • 1lb lean ground beef
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons gluten-free or all-purpose flour (I like Bob's Red Mill White Rice Flour )
  • 2-1/2 cups milk, divided
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 cup freshly shredded cheddar cheese, plus more for topping
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 10oz can Rotel, undrained
  • 15oz can black beans, drained & rinsed
  • Crushed tortilla chips


  1. Brown ground beef in a large soup pot over medium-high heat, seasoning with salt and pepper, until no longer pink. Drain and return to pot.
  2. Meanwhile, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat then whisk in flour and cook for one minute. Slowly whisk in 1 cup milk, season with salt and pepper, then switch to a wooden spoon and stir mixture until thickened, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat then stir in shredded cheese until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Add taco seasoning, rotel, black beans, cheese sauce, and remaining 1-1/2 cups milk into cooked ground beef then stir well to combine. Bring to a heavy simmer then turn heat down to medium and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with crushed tortilla chips and more shredded cheese, if desired.


Adapted from The Recipe Critic via Pillsbury

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats,

Cheesy Taco Soup via Iowa Girl Eats

Oh yeah, baby – this soup has some girth on ‘er! That is to say, I really liked the combo of beans and beef in here. You could use ground turkey or even shredded chicken in place of the beef, and any bean you like! I was going to use kidney beans until Ben declared them his most hated bean, so I switched to the black bean and I’m glad I did. They were the same size as the other ingredients so each bite had just the right flavor and texture. Make sure to crush some tortilla chips on top for a textural crunch (Santitas are my go-to brand. $2 – can’t beat it!)

Cheesy Taco Soup via Iowa Girl Eats

With that, I hope you’re staying warm, wherever you are!

Cheesy Taco Soup via Iowa Girl Eats

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  1. This looks so incredible! Warm comfort food at it’s finest!

  2. This looks so yummy, I bet chicken would be good too!

    • Kathy 11.19.2013

      That looks amazing! I can’t wait to cook it tonight

  3. Brooke 01.21.2013

    I fell in love with this soup when I read your Friday Favorites last week. I can’t wait to try it!

  4. Jodea @ 01.21.2013

    My mouth is watering!

  5. YUM!!! This would be perfect for today. I’m jealous that you and Ben can both be home today. I had to walk {outside} to work this morning in Minneapolis. BRR!!!

  6. Lizzie 01.21.2013

    You read my mind! I thought that recipe you posted on Friday looked delicious, but the idea of canned cheese soup really skeeved me out. This looks great, thanks!

  7. Lauryn 01.21.2013

    OH WOW that looks so good!! Yum yum!! Never thought of cheese sauce in the taco soup!! Hey girl I have a question…are you only going to be doin recipes from now on? I have read you since the beginning I think, back when you used to take pics of your breakfast lunch and dinner, and tell some about your life..i miss those posts! I love love love your recipes, they are amazing but would you ever go back to those kinds of posts or are you just going to stick with recipes?!I would love seeing even just one day about your day to day life…haha I have been reading so long I feel like I know ya! And Im so proud of how successful you have become, you deserve it!!! Just wondering, keep up the good work! :)

    • Iowa Girl Eats 01.21.2013

      Hi Lauryn! Thank you so much for your nice comment, it’s nice to “meet” such a long time reader! I’ve been blogging in my current format (recipe posts vs everyday eats) for about two years, and I think I’ll be staying with this format for the time being (never say never though, I suppose!) The daily eats format works for a lot of people, but I really enjoy the writing that I’ve been doing. I hope you’ll keep reading!

  8. KC 01.21.2013

    Thank you so much for adapting this. I looked up that link last Friday and the soup sounded good, but I didn’t really want to use the processed, condensed cheese soup. So, I’m glad to see this recipe and will print it out right away.

  9. Your comment about photographing cheese has me wondering – I also live in Des Moines and work full-time.

    Everything I’ve read about food photography says pictures turn out best in natural light (and I agree). However, by the time I get home and get done with dinner, it’s 100% dark. I know it will be better in summer, but how do you get your photos to turn out so well in the winter?

    I’ve been putting the white balance on Tungsten and then auto-white-balancing in Photoshop and trying to cook as much on the weekends as possible, but I don’t know if I’m getting anywhere.


    • Iowa Girl Eats 01.22.2013

      Hi Kelly! I shoot the final photos in the afternoon sunlight. It’s the ones in my dark kitchen (esp under the stove light) that give me the most trouble. I still need to play around with the white balance settings on my camera!

      • Thanks for getting back to me! I agree under the stove is tricky! Thank goodness for the auto white balance :-).

  10. I love taco soup! I’ve never thought to add cheese like this! It sounds seriously amazing! I’ll have to try this next time!

  11. Danielle 01.21.2013

    This looks delicious! Would the soup still taste alright omitting the Rotel or would you substitute something else for it? Chunky tomatoes and I don’t get along.


    • Iowa Girl Eats 01.22.2013

      I would zip it through a food processor or blender until it reaches a consistency you like. Otherwise a small can of diced green chilis + a 14oz can of pureed tomatoes would be the next best thing!

  12. Just had a snack…hungry again now!

  13. Oy, what a fabulous hot meal to come home to in these freezing temps. It is minus 30 here too (but CELSIUS)!

  14. Jennie M. 01.21.2013

    So this grain-free gal has a question – does anyone know what I could use in place of the flour to make the roux? Can’t use wheat or corn starch (been forced to go on a version of the paleo diet due to allergies, sigh). Maybe a rice product?

    Also glad you came up with a homemade version! I too looked at the recipe from last Friday, read the canned soup ingredients at the store, and went “no thanks.”

    • Rachel McC 01.21.2013

      try a blend of rice flour & potato starch

      • Jennie M. 01.30.2013

        Reporting back – I used straight up potato flour and it worked like a charm. I’m sure it changes the texture slightly and there was a faint potato taste, but it certainly didn’t bother me. Hurray for grain-free cheese sauces!

  15. This sounds absolutely fabulous, and PERFECT for this frigid cold weather that we have been having in the Midwest. There is nothing quite like a warm bowl of soup (especially spicy soup) to warm you up! I think I will try to make a vegetarian or vegan version of this soup :).

  16. Kimberly 01.21.2013

    Can’t wait to try this! Wonder if all the picky eaters in this house will eat it?

  17. Theresa P. 01.21.2013

    Thanks, for the recipe. perfect timing.I have frozen taco seasoned cooked ground beef from tacos last week. and frozen pinto beans from my large batch cooking of pint beans last month. so I will be making this delicious looking and sounding recipe for dinner tomarrow. And hopefully my son will like it. as he doesn’t like chili.

  18. mamawolfe 01.21.2013

    Ok, YUM! Looks perfect for the family after a day skiing…thanks for the inspiration!

  19. Traci 01.21.2013

    I don’t think after hearing about your weather that I can ever complain about ours. We are freezing, but not that bad. This soup looks perfect for a cold winter night.

  20. Your opening line was too funny. This soup looks so delicious. I am not married to a cowboy but I know my lame english teacher husband will love this.

  21. Lauren 01.21.2013

    Well now, this looks like the perfect Super Bowl food! Love it!

  22. Nancy 01.21.2013

    YOU are so creative. I can’t stand it. I don’t even know what this would taste like, and I still want to make it.

  23. Allison K. 01.21.2013

    Question from a learning cook..LOL…Rotel?? I assume from the picture that is the Diced Tomatoes and green chilies?? Is Rotel a brand name?? your can says HyVee brand?? Just curious…thanks!

  24. I have the hardest time photographing warm colors like reds and oranges, which I first noticed when shooting some turkey burgers topped with mild cheddar. By the time my camera was done distorting the colors, the cheese looked fluorescent…not a good look! This soup looks good though…rrrreal good :-)

  25. Emma 01.21.2013

    This looks like a delicious twist on our version of Taco Soup! I’ll put this in the line-up for this week.

    And thank you so much for having a printable version WITH a photo – you just made my life a little easier (for recipe saving purposes)!

  26. Erika 01.21.2013

    What a perfect meal for such a cold day! Anything with this much delicious cheese in it is right up my alley. Thanks for sharing!

  27. debtgirl 01.21.2013

    I would love this but can’t tolerate dairy any longer, I always wonder if plain almond milk or soy would work in these recipes.

    I like your older format as well, but this is good too!

  28. Looks warm and comforting. I hope I can find a sub for rotel, I don’t think Aussies have that :(
    xo Emily @ Hungry Delights

    • Susan 03.27.2014

      I bet you could use a can of diced tomatoes and add in a can of chopped green chilies.. Your grocery store might have something canned with tomatoes and green chilies already in it.

      I just used my rotel so can’t look at the ingredient list. Maybe someone else can post it?

  29. Celeste B. 01.22.2013

    When I read the Beefy Nacho Soup recipe last week I immediately closed it when I saw the canned chesse soup. This sounds (and looks) so much better.

  30. Stacey Thomas 01.22.2013

    This looks fantastic! just one question – Approximately how many servings are in this recipe? Just wondering!

  31. That was a great way to start your post! Now I have that song stuck in my head. Thanks!

    I honestly don’t know how you survive -3 degree weather. I would not leave the house!

  32. […] For more details about this recipe please visit iowagirleats […]

  33. Meg 01.22.2013

    I just added this to my meals for next week, yummy!

  34. Candace Karu 01.22.2013

    I can’t wait to share this recipe with our Cabot Facebook friends. They will go crazy for it!

  35. Alisha 01.22.2013

    This looks incredible! And the perfect meal to warm up from this crazy cold weather we’ve been having!

  36. Casey N. 01.22.2013

    Thank you Kristin for the wonderful soup recipe. I live in southeastern Indiana and it is bitterly cold here. I made this for dinner for my husband and I. It was a perfect, quick,and easy soup to warm us up. We really enjoyed it. I love your recipes, especially when you visit with your family and post all those priceless photos!

  37. Jennifer 01.22.2013

    Made this for supper tonight. Yummy!!

    • Amy 01.25.2013

      This is so delicious it is the soup of the year. I doubled the recipe and still there were hardly any leftovers!

  38. Katie R. 01.22.2013

    A former Iowan here commenting from her current home in Minnesota- just made this soup and it was delish! Thanks for your great recipes, I find myself searching on your website quite a lot to find dinner dishes. Thanks and stay warm! (it is currently 0 degrees up here!)

  39. Abbey 01.23.2013

    Conveniently I had tacos on the menu for dinner last night but when I saw this taco soup I instantly changed the plan. With sub-zero temperatures (Ohio) yesterday and today, it was soup kind of day. It was delicious! Although I made it work, your post and your recipe have conflicting amounts of milk added. The post adds 3 cups of milk and your recipe adds 2 1/2 cups. Just something that I noticed while making it :) Also, I think this would make an amzing Super Bowl taco dip if you finished it after you add the cheese sauce but before you add the rest of the milk. i almost stopped and made nachos instead!
    Thank you for this amazing recipe! You’re recipes never fail me!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 01.23.2013

      Ack, you’re right – sorry about that Abbey! I changed the photo directions to reflect the correct amount of milk in the cheese sauce. Thanks for letting me know!

  40. Whitney 01.23.2013

    I made this for lunch yesterday in my office. It was a big hit and we’re eating the leftovers today. I went ahead and used a can of Cheddar Cheese condensed soup rather than making the cheese sauce from scratch because of convenience, and it was great! Thanks for the recipe! It is definitely a keeper.

  41. Kristy 01.23.2013

    YUM! I am so making this but with veggie ground round to make it veggie, looks so warm and comforting.

    Thanks for your great blog!

    Stay warm,

  42. […] Cheesy Taco Soup – A great recipe from IGE and I think I can easily sub Tempeh to make it vegetarian. […]

  43. melinda fritz 01.23.2013

    u should post the calorie

  44. Katie 01.23.2013

    I’m actually thinking that I will make this with shrimp and add some corn. It is frigid here in Nebraska and my daughter has requested soup so this will be perfect. I saw this in the Pillsbury book, so you definitely convinced me to make it. Of course we will need to top it with quacamole/avocado and a little of Hyvee’s mango salsa. Thanks for always sharing such wonderful recipes!

  45. Angela 01.24.2013

    Mmm, I made this for dinner last night, with the chocolate poke cake for dessert: BEST. NIGHT. EVER.

  46. Sam 01.24.2013

    Made this for lunch today & it was amazing! (still is – I’m eating while I type!) Definitely added to my soup rotation! I topped with cheese, crushed toritlla chips, homemade pico & avacado. YUM!

  47. Louisa 01.24.2013

    This is awesome! Thank you so much for the recipe and the pics too. I couldn’t decide what to make tonight for supper and since we have a cold front coming in, this is perfect and I had everything in the pantry too.

  48. […] Warm-me-up Dinner:  Weather that’s not leaving the 30s makes me want soup.  This Cheesy Taco Soup would warm up any cold […]

  49. AbbieD 01.25.2013

    Made this last night…YUMMY! Except I used 93/7 ground turkey. (1.2 lbs for $4.69 at Dahl’s, and 90/10 ground beef was $4.99/lb. Seems backwards to me.) ANYWAY, I also added a small 8oz can of corn just because I figured it couldn’t hurt.

    It’s now 9:18am and I’m sitting at my desk at work wondering how early is too early to eat my lunch. That soup is calling my name! Have a great weekend! :)

  50. Kristen 01.26.2013

    Made this for dinner the other night with a few simple switches – delicious! I added chopped red and yellow peppers for more color and veggies. Replaced the ground beef with leftover shredded pork roast. Thanks for the idea to make your own cheese sauce for a taco soup recipe…it literally tasted AS good (or better?!) than some of my fav taco dips. I served it with tortilla chips and totally felt like I was eating a BOWL of chips and dip…pretty hard to beat the enjoyment that comes with that. Definitely sharing this one!

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