This vegan taco soup is a quick and easy weeknight recipe made from simple ingredients and pantry staples. It’s rich in flavor, high in protein (41 grams per serving) and easy to customize to suit your family’s taste buds. Throw the ingredients in your crockpot tonight and set it and forget it!
I use my slow cooker every single week because it is the most convenient kitchen appliance! I can start dinner in the morning when I have the most energy, make something quick and easy, and always make enough for lunch leftovers.
Why You’ll Love this Soup Recipe
- Prepped in 10 minutes! There is nothing I love more than a hearty, healthy dinner I can get going in just 10 minutes in the morning. It helps me save my family money, makes me feel more productive and is SIGNIFICANTLY better for you than running through the drive-thru at 5 pm. Try this crockpot taco soup any day of the week.
- Can be made in the Instant Pot! If you don’t own a traditional slow cooker, use your pressure cooker as a slow cooker. Simply set this taco soup on “high” slow cook and cook for the same 8 hours.
- Kid-friendly. This vegetarian taco soup is not spicy and is a delicious meal the entire family can enjoy. No more preparing 3 separate dinners at once.
- Packed with plant-based protein. Instead of using ground beef or ground turkey like most slow cooker recipes, I’ve opted for a can of lentils. They’re equally filling and protein rich (41 grams of protein per serving!)
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Lentils – My beef crumbles substitute of choice! I opted for a can of lentils to make this recipe super quick and easy to dump and go, but if you prefer or have cooked lentils on hand, substitute 1 ½ cups of cooked lentils in place of a can. Similarly, you can also substitute 12-16 oz of vegan beef crumbles. If using, brown the vegan beef crumbles in a large skillet before adding to the slow cooker.
- Beans – I used a combination of pinto beans and red kidney beans, but you can use any combination of beans you’d like. Black beans, cannellini beans, or even chickpeas would work well, too.
- Corn – Either a can of sweet corn or 1 ½ cups of fresh or frozen corn kernels work. You can also use white corn if you have it.
- Broth – I like to use vegan chicken broth for fuller, rich flavors, but vegetable broth works equally as well. If you use low-sodium vegetable broth you may need to season with additional sea salt to taste.
- Diced tomatoes – I used a can of no salt added diced tomatoes with juice, but if you want to add a spicy kick to your savory taco soup, use a can of fire-roasted tomatoes instead.
- Taco seasoning – Any packet of taco seasoning will work, so use your favorite. Or if in a pinch, make your own at home with this simple homemade taco seasoning recipe.
How to Make Vegan Taco Soup in the Slow Cooker
- Add all ingredients, except cream cheese and nutritional yeast to the slow cooker. Make sure to thoroughly drain and rinse the lentils, beans and corn before adding them to the slow cooker bowl. This will help aid digestion and keep your soup the right consistency. Stir well to combine.
- Set the slow cooker to low for 8 hours.
- When there is 1 hour left, add cream cheese and nutritional yeast. In a separate small mixing bowl, whisk the vegan cream cheese with hot water to make it pourable and easily blend into the soup without any chunkiness. Pour this cream cheese mixture into the slow cooker along with the nutritional yeast. Stir well to combine and finish cooking for the remaining hour.
- Serve. Serve the vegan taco soup while warm with desired toppings.
How do you thicken taco soup?
This taco soup is thickened with vegan cream cheese, but if you find your soup is not thick enough, feel free to stir in a small cornstarch slurry or add additional vegan cheese shreds. Keep in mind that the hot soup will thicken further as it cools, so don’t make it too thick or you’ll need to thin it out upon reheating leftovers.
Can taco soup be made ahead of time?
Absolutely! Similar to recipes like chili or a vegan tortilla soup recipe, this vegan taco soup recipe will be more flavorful the next day. Feel free to make this vegetarian friendly taco soup up to 2 days in advance or make it on a Sunday night and eat it as an easy vegan lunch all week long.
What toppings go well with taco soup?
Really any of your favorite taco toppings will work well here! We love vegan cheddar cheese shreds, a dollop of vegan sour cream, crunchy tortilla strips or tortilla chips, green onions, avocado, fresh jalapeño slices, red onion, a squeeze of fresh lime juice, fresh cilantro, even shredded romaine. For an extra delicious addition, try the super flavorful vegan nacho chips by Beanfields. Or, make your own homemade tortilla chips from corn tortillas.
Storage and Freezing Instructions
This vegan taco soup will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days and in the freezer for up to 3 months. Before storing, allow the soup to cool completely to room temperature. Transfer to an airtight container (preferably glass when refrigerating) or Souper cubes, if freezing leftover cooked soup.
How to freeze uncooked soup: This taco soup can also be frozen before cooking to make an easy vegan freezer meal. To do so, place all ingredients, except for the vegan cream cheese, nutritional yeast, and vegetable broth in a freezer safe, gallon-sized ziplock bag. Seal tightly, removing any excess air.
Place inside a second freezer safe bag (this is optional, but will help prevent freezer burn) and seal again, removing any excess air. Store flat in the freezer for optimal space saving.
- Use vegan chicken broth! It really does add so much flavor. I’ve used both Better than Bouillon vegan chicken base or Edward and Sons bouillon cubes and both work well!
- Customize this recipe to fit your fridge and pantry. If you have fresh ingredients like red bell pepper, peppers, or ancho chiles, feel free to add them to your vegan taco soup to taste. This vegan soup is very forgivable so don’t be afraid to experiment.
More Vegan Slow Cooker Recipes You May Enjoy
Vegan Taco Soup Recipe
What You’ll Need
- 1 ½ cups yellow onion - diced
- 3-4 cups vegan chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 2 (15-ounce) cans pinto beans - drained and rinsed
- 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans - drained and rinsed
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can lentils - drained and rinsed
- 1 (4-ounce) can green chilies - mild or hot
- 1 (15-ounce) can corn kernels - drained and rinsed
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 (1 ounce) packet taco seasoning
- 4 ounces vegan cream cheese
- ⅓ cup nutritional yeast
- salt and pepper - to taste
- Place the onion, vegan chicken stock, diced tomatoes, pinto beans, kidney beans, lentils, chopped green chilies, corn, paprika and taco seasoning in the bowl of the slow cooker. Stir to combine.
- Cook on low for 8 hours. After 7 hours of cooking, place the cream cheese in a separate small bowl and mix with a little bit of hot water until smooth and creamy. Add the cream cheese, nutritional yeast to the slow cooker bowl and stir to combine. Cook for the remaining hour.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve while hot with vegan cheese shreds, vegan sour cream, corn tortilla chips, and cilantro.
- This vegan taco soup will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days and in the freezer for up to 3 months. Before storing, allow the soup to cool completely to room temperature. Transfer to an airtight container (preferably glass when refrigerating) or Souper cubes, if freezing leftover cooked soup.
Freezer Meal Instructions
- Place all uncooked ingredients, except for the vegan cream cheese, nutritional yeast, and vegetable broth in a freezer safe, gallon-sized ziplock bag. Seal tightly, removing any excess air. Place inside a second freezer safe bag (this is optional, but will help prevent freezer burn) and seal again, removing any excess air. Store flat in the freezer for optimal space saving. Place frozen inside the slow cooker bowl, add vegetable broth and cook per instructions as usual.
- Lentil substitutions: Use another can of beans, or vegan beef crumbles, such as Beyond Meat ground beef. If you choose to use vegan ground beef, make sure to brown it in a large skillet before adding to the slow cooker bowl.
- Bean options: I used pinto beans and kidney beans, but you can use any beans you like. Black beans, chickpeas, even cannellini beans will work.
- Corn options: I used canned corn, but frozen corn or fresh corn will work. Swap 1 ½ cups corn in place of 1 can.
General note about salt
Please pay attention to the type of salt called for in the recipe (if applicable). Not all salts are made equal and cannot be substituted 1 for 1. If you are substituting table salt for kosher salt, you will need to cut the amount called for in the recipe by at least half.
Disclaimer: The Nutritional Information provided for this recipe is only an estimate. The accuracy of the facts listed is not and cannot be guaranteed.