Spicy Instant Pot Taco Soup Recipe

Taco Soup, a weeknight winner. A hearty melding of beans, and corn, and taco spices, and quinoa. Finished with avocado and pepitas and a squeeze of lime.

Spicy Instant Pot Taco Soup

This is a recipe for the laziest nights. No joke. If you can bring yourself to chop an onion, along with a couple cloves of garlic - the rest of this taco soup creation is dump-and-stir. And it's delicious! Here's the deal - you can make it in an Instant Pot. You can make it on a conventional stovetop. It's also occurring to me that it's probably a perfect slow cooker stew as well.

Spicy Instant Pot Taco Soup Recipe

The soup? It is a hearty melding of beans, and corn, and taco spices, and quinoa. I bring the creaminess and crunch factor in via the toppings - toasted pepitas for the later, ripe avocado or guacamole, and a dollop of yogurt for the creamy.

Spicy Instant Pot Taco Soup Recipe

For reference, this is the Instant Pot I used for this recipe: Instant Pot DUO Plus 6 Qt 9-in-1

Spicy Instant Pot Taco Soup Recipe

If case you're interested, here is where all the Instant Pot recipes live. And you can also browse lots of quinoa recipes as well.

Spicy Instant Pot Taco Soup Recipe

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Spicy Instant Pot Taco Soup

4.18 from 81 votes

If you don't have an Instant Pot, you can certainly make this on a conventional stovetop. Instead of pressure cooking simmer until the quinoa is cooked through and the ingredients come together, 30 minutes or so.

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 3 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 1/2 cup quinoa rinsed
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 14- ounce cans pinto beans rinsed OR 3 1/2 cups cooked pinto beans
  • 1 1/2 cups corn
  • 1 14- ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup favorite red salsa
Serve with:
  • toasted pepitas or almonds, cilantro, avocado, salted yogurt (use non-dairy to keep it vegan), lime wedges
  1. Press the SAUTE button on the Instant Pot, and press it again to bump it to SAUTE MORE. Heat the olive oil in the Instant Pot. When hot, sauté the onion and garlic until softened, 5-7 minutes. Stir in the taco seasoning. Add the quinoa, water, salt, beans, corn, tomatoes, and salsa. Press CANCEL.
  2. Close and seal the pot, and pressure cook on MANUAL for 10 minutes (high). Carefully QUICK RELEASE. Gently shake or tap the pressure cooker, and then carefully open away from you. Taste and adjust with more salt, if needed. Serve as-is, or topped with pepitas, sliced avocado, cilantro, and salted yogurt.

For reference, this is the Instant Pot I used for this recipe: Instant Pot DUO Plus 6 Qt 9-in-1

Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
15 mins
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Recipe Rating


This is exactly what is needed on a cold, snowy January evening. Printing and adding to this upcoming week’s meal prep. Delicious!!


The spicy taco soup is wonderfully delicious, and oh so easy! I used tricolor quinoa. Some sour cream and guacamole made it taste like I was eating in a restaurant, only better!5 stars


    Thanks Sarah!

    Heidi Swanson

Another home run. Mexican take on the classic American chili. Such a great option for vegetarian chili lovers.
Thanks!3 stars


Was inspired to make this soup when I saw a photo of this soup by a fellow instagrammer! It turned out perfect. Even on a warm late summer afternoon, the warm soup with all the fixings of avocado, raw chopped onion, cilantro, sour cream & a few corn chips for crunch was so comforting. It was worth taking my Instapot out of storage. This will be my staple this fall & winter. Thank you for this wonderful simple receipe. I did add a can of black beans cause I love them!5 stars


    Thanks for the note Usha!

    Heidi Swanson

I’m obsessed with this soup! It is so good and so easy! I’ve made it 3 times in the last month. I’ve been following Heidi and dabbling with her recipes since 2010, and they’re all great but this is the first I’ve felt compelled to return and review it!

I omit the salt and do half chicken broth/half water and for roasted diced tomatoes instead of crushed. I’ve thrown in a frozen chicken breast when cooking for my dad who refuses to eat anything without meat. I have forgotten to drain and rinse the canned beans on occasion. It’s still delicious every time! Plain Greek yogurt, guacamole, lime, and pepitas are the best additions! (Although some in my family prefer shredded cheese and tortilla chips.)

Thank you for this recipe and your beautiful blog! It always inspires me to try something different and make something healthy yet delicious!5 stars

Andrea Kay

Another delicious, hearty and healthy soup! I reduced the Trader Joe’s taco seasoning to two tablespoons and the soup was still spicy and salty. I presoaked and cooked one cup of dried orca beans in the Instant Pot. I overcooked the beans so I didn’t include them with the other ingredients.5 stars


I love this recipe! Best part is that it uses ingredients that I already have. I often use enchilada sauce instead of salsa, when I dont have salsa on hand. I normally use 2 types of beans, but that is preference based. Also, it tastes better after its been frozen, and it is ridiculously and wonderfully filling.5 stars


Looks amazing! Will try it soon.5 stars


Just curious: Why do you say to “gently tap or shake the instant pot” in the taco soup recipe? What does that do?


    Just to be on the xtra safe side, to dislodge any air bubbles that are trapped in it (because it is thick)…

    Heidi Swanson

I’ve made this a number of times with and without modifications, such as adding chicken breast for my carnivorous family members (sorry!) or cooking my own beans in the instant pot first. Tonight I added 1 poblano, 1 red and 1 yellow pepper with the onions, cooked Rancho Gordo beans beforehand to use, and then we topped it with copious amounts of Cholula, lime juice, avocado, and crushed tortilla chips. It’s a phenomenally delicious recipe, enjoyed heartily by by not-yet-two-year-old, both her grandparents, and everyone in between. My favorite IP recipe by far.5 stars


    Yes! That’s what I love about this one – it’s a real crowd-pleaser! 🙂

    Heidi Swanson

this is one of the best instant pot recipes i have tried. we skipped the salsa and ate it topped with cilantro, avocado, toasted pepitas and lime – the lime really makes the recipe.

for a quick taco spice mix, try 1t dried oregano, 1t dried cumin, 1T chili powder and 2T soy sauce.5 stars


Hi. I’m new to instant pot. It seems to take the cooker at least 15 minutes to get to pressure, and seems to be bubbling away whilst building pressure, so the 10 minutes of high pressure cooking seems like too much. I can see this is low hassle, but for speed wouldn’t it be quicker to cook stove top? Thanks (and I love your recipes!)


My husband just made this for his first ever instant pot meal. Total success! He followed the steps without variation and the soup was delicious. He used a lackluster jarred salsa and it was still outstanding. Thank you, Heidi!5 stars

Kim H

    Great to hear Kim! 🙂

    Heidi Swanson

This was so easy and flavorful. If I’ve learned anything from Heidi’s recipes it’s to not ignore or brush off the toppings. I did add mushrooms, yellow bell peppers, and some chopped cauliflower to this and it was delicious. It’s also really good with an egg on top.5 stars


    Thanks Penny!

    Heidi Swanson

Excellent recipe! I used Herdez salsa rojo and ate this soup every day at lunch for a week without getting bored. I subbed black beans because that’s what I had handy. This week I’m making with pinto. Thanks for the home run!5 stars

Jennifer Hamilton

    Thanks for the note Jennifer! 🙂

    Heidi Swanson

Hi Heidi
Inspired by your posts, books and recipes, I have just bought an instant pot in the UK. Mine is an Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1, six quart,so smaller than yours.
Will I need to adapt your recipes as my instant pot is smaller?
Any thoughts would be welcome,
Best wishes

Max Carter

    Hi Max! You might not need to alter them much. Just be sure to read the manual and be mindful of the “fill limits”…In some cases you might want to reduce liquids or quantities if you think you might exceed them…but for a lot of the recipes you’re likely ok. 🙂 Have fun!

    Heidi Swanson

Delicious, Heidi! I used zucchini instead of corn, and next time will add a bell pepper (I can’t get too many veggies!). This will definitely be a recipe I make again, and again…5 stars


So delicious!! I made it stove top as I dont have an InstaPot. It is so incredibly easy, Im talking probably 10 minutes to put together, absolutely delicious. Thank you!5 stars

Karin Galba

Sounds delicious! Can’t wait to try it. I am so excited to try this weekend. Thank you for another great recipe.

Ronda Vogel

Heidi you have saved dinner in my household with this. Twin 13yr old boys, one an amazing eater, the other an air plant (not sure how he continues to grow as he seems to only eat air). I have NEVER seen my airplant eat as much as he does with this soup. I have added spinach, kale, different types of beans…even finely chopped cauliflower, broccoli and mushrooms (to resemble ground meat) in it just to get him to get as many nutrients as possible. There is no combination he won’t eat. Thank you so much!!!

HS: This totally made me laugh Rachel – thanks for the note. Maybe he’d like the vegan nachos from the archives? Check out that second version, you can hide all sorts of things under that “cheese”….. 😉


Made this over the weekend-yummy! I used black beans, as I already had those & Muir Glen diced tomatoes with Chipotle peppers to give it a little more kick. So quick & easy too.


I made this dish this morning and it turned out perfect. Thank you for another great recipe 🙂


I made the stovetop version using my dutch oven. I added a pound of cooked taco meat (hamburger) and another cup of water. It turned out sooo good! My husband loved it as well! We will be making this one again!


Hi Heidi! I am so excited to try this tonight. I have the same Instant Pot as used, and am wondering if you just press pressure cook in order to do Manual? Feel a little foolish asking this, but want to make sure i am doing it correctly.

HS: Yes, that will work!


The Spicely brand taco seasoning has paprika, garlic, pepper, oregano, onion, cumin, and chili, in that order. Hope that helps! Making this tonight 🙂


I used Trader Joe’s taco seasoning and this was awesome!

HS: ooh! Thanks for the feedback Lisa. xx!


Sounds delicious! Can’t wait to try it. Can the recipe be adjusted with uncooked beans? Thanks!

Ellen Huang

Same question as Maya! We don’t usually buy premade spice mixes because sometimes they have weird stuff in them. What’s your fav mix?

HS: Hi Sarah, Ack – I trashed the packing. I think I just grabbed the “organic” one from the seasoning rack. Like, Spicely brand, or Simply Organic….cumin, cayenne, garlic powder, paprika…? I don’t know why taco seasoning is one of the ones I rarely blend from scratch…Hope this helps.


So simple and sounds delicious! I finally bought an Instant Pot last week and I’m excited to test this out. It’s like having a new toy 🙂

HS: Have fun with it!

Amber H

Hi Heidi! We don’t have a pre-mixed “taco seasoning” blend, but we make Mexican all the time so probably have all the components. What does your blend include?


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