Easy 30-Minute Beef Taco Chili — Don’t have all day for chili to simmer? No problem!! This EASY, hearty chili full of Mexican-inspired flavors is ready in 30 minutes! If you like TACOS, you’ll LOVE this chili!!
Quick and Easy Taco Chili
This taco chili recipe is what would happen if you took your favorite loaded beef tacos and morphed the tacos into chili.
It’s easy, naturally gluten-free, ready in 30 minutes, hearty, and has layers of Mexican-inspired flavors. The whole family is going to love this easy taco soup. Especially all of the taco fans.
There are so many flavors and textures in every bite from the hearty beans to the juicy sweet corn, we couldn’t stop eating this.
I finished the taco chili with a handful of fresh cilantro and lime juice. The herbaceous cilantro along with the tangy pop of the lime juice are both great complements to the savory chili.
What’s in Taco Chili?
To make this easy taco soup, you’ll need:
- Ground beef
- Taco seasoning
- Chili powder
- Black and red kidney beans
- Green chiles
- Chicken broth
- Bay leaves
- Fresh cilantro
How to Make Taco Chili
In a large Dutch oven, cook the onion and beef until the meat is no longer pink. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, then stir in the spices.
Add in the remaining ingredients and let simmer until the taco chili has thickened and reduced some. Then, stir in the cilantro and optional lime juice, remove the bay leaves, and serve.
My Favorite Taco Chili Toppings
To be honest, there are so many great flavors going on that we didn’t even need to top the taco chili with anything. But if you like to pile on the chili toppings, you can’t go wrong with the following:
- Sour cream
- Hot sauce
- Sliced avocado
- Crushed tortilla chips
- Diced tomatoes
Can I Use Ground Turkey?
I’m sure you can, although your taco chili won’t the same depth of flavor that mine does. You may also need to oil the Dutch oven before browning the meat to prevent the turkey from drying out.
Tips for Making Taco Chili
I don’t find the chili spicy at all but I do have a very high tolerance for heat and spice. It has rich depth of flavor without being spicy, in my opinion. If you or your family are sensitive to spices I recommend halving the amount of chili powder, using regular rather than fire-roasted green chiles or possibly omitting them, and skipping the optional cayenne pepper.
Chili and soups typically benefit from a generous amount of salt, but if you use typical canned or shelf-stable products, including the taco seasoning, canned beans, tomatoes, chicken broth, etc. all of a sudden you could be layering salt upon salt and wind up with chili that’s just too salty.
That’s why I prefer to use no or low-salt products and add my own salt, to taste. Salt levels in canned goods vary widely, as do personal preferences for salt, so salt to your liking. You can always add more later but you can’t take it out which is why I start low and go from there.
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- 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil, optional based on how much fat your ground beef has
- 1 to 1.25 pounds lean ground beef
- 1 medium/large yellow onion, peeled and diced small
- 4 to 5 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
- one 1.25-ounce packet taco seasoning (I used reduced sodium, medium heat)
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- two 14.5-ounces cans petite diced tomatoes (I used no-salt added)
- one 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed (I used no-salt added)
- one 15-ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed (I used dark, no-salt added)
- one 4-ounce can diced green chiles (I used hot fire-roasted)
- 1 cup corn (I used frozen straight from the freezer)
- 32-ounces low-sodium chicken broth, or as desired
- kosher salt, to taste
- 3 to 4 bay leaves
- pinch cayenne pepper, optional and to taste
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro finely minced, or to taste
- pinch sugar, optional and to taste
- lemon/lime juice, optional and to taste
- To a large Dutch oven, optionally add the oil, beef, onion, and cook over medium-high heat until beef is cooked through and onions are translucent, about 7 to 8 minutes; crumble beef as it cooks and stir intermittently to ensure even cooking.
- Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute, or until fragrant; stir nearly constantly.
- Add the taco seasoning, cumin, chili powder, pepper, and stir to incorporate.
- Add the the tomatoes, black beans, kidney beans, green chiles, corn, broth (if you prefer thicker chili start with 2/3 to 3/4 of the container), salt to taste, bay leaves, optional cayenne, and stir to combine.
- Bring to boil and allow chili to gently boil for about 5 to 10 minutes or until chili has reduced and thickened some.
- Add the cilantro and stir to combine.
- Stir, taste, optionally add sugar to taste (sugar balances the acid from the tomatoes), optional lemon/lime juice (brightens up the flavor), and additional salt, pepper, etc. if desired.
- Remove bay leaves, ladle into bowls, and optionally garnish with cheese, sour cream, avocado, etc.
- Note – I chose no-salt or low-salt products when possible and added about 3 teaspoons salt, but depending on the saltiness of your products, the amount of salt you add will vary and could be much less than what I used.
- Chili will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days and in the freezer for up to 4 months. The flavors meld and marry and I think it tastes even better a day or two later.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 463Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 76mgSodium: 1157mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 11gSugar: 7gProtein: 38g
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