"Character is the one thing we make in this world and take with us into the next."
- - Ezra Taft Benson
March 20, 2015
Creamy Black Bean Taco Soup
by Melanie Gunnell

Sometimes when I need recipe inspiration, I do the exact opposite of 99% of the world and hightail it away from Pinterest. Even though my boards are loaded with recipe ideas, sometimes Pinterest and I just need a break. When that happens, I head straight to my old school recipe binders (or in other words, what Pinterest looked like in the 90’s).

I’ve looked through these recipe files thousands of times and yet I’m always surprised to find recipes in there that I swear I’ve never seen before (or most likely just forgotten or looked over which is what happens when you’ve hung on to recipes for over a decade).

This creamy black bean taco soup jumped out at me the other day while I was rifling through the pages looking for a quick dinner idea. It dates all the way back to my single, college days and if I remember right, this creamy, cheesy taco soup was a staple during…yep, the 90’s.

Not only is it easy to prepare, calling for basic, hearty ingredients, but it keeps really well in the refrigerator for a couple of days for a quick heat-up dinner.

And since we’ve just recently entered the era of three separate soccer practice schedules + one wrestling schedule, my weeknights are horrendously inflexible when it comes to dinner prep. So yeah, a dinner waiting for me in the refrigerator that can be heated up in less than two minutes? I’m there.

This is one of my favorite variations on taco soup and since it just resurrected itself into my life, it looks like we’ll be eating taco soup throughout the spring and summer so we can rekindle the love.

Creamy Black Bean Taco Soup
Yield: Serves 4-6


  • 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 for serving (optional)

  • Optional ingredients (see directions, step 6)


  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. Scrape the meat to a plate and set aside.

  3. Return the pot to medium heat and melt 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. Stir in the Monterey Jack cheese and let it melt completely.

  5. Add the black beans, diced tomatoes, green chiles, remaining 1 cup milk, and reserved cooked ground meat. Simmer gently for 5-10 minutes.

  6. Serve with fresh cilantro (can also serve with crushed tortilla chips, sour cream, shredded cheese, olives, or whatever you like!).

Recipe Source: from my old recipe binders (a little revamped and updated!)

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About Melanie Gunnell

Melanie Gunnell is a food-loving, chocolate-obsessed mom who has a desperate need to share her favorite tried-and-true recipes with the world. In a past life she graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in public health, but for the past ten years, stay-at-home motherhood has been her job along with blogging-from-home for the past five.

She resides in the brilliantly cold tundra of Northern Minnesota with her husband and their brood of five children: four boys and one tiny, bossy girl. Dark chocolate (particularly the act of shoving chocolate chips in her mouth whilst hiding in the pantry) is her coping skill of choice for both the never-ending winters and the never-ending wrestling matches in her front room.


Calling(s): Primary pianist, CTR 6/7 Primary teacher, Activity Day leader

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