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Low Carb Taco Soup

Low carb taco soup made in the Instant Pot! This quick keto soup recipe is ready in less than 30 minutes and it’s bursting with spicy Mexican flavors! I’ve included slow cooker instructions too!

Taco soup in a white bowl with a handle.

When I say that this low carb soup is actually exploding with flavor, oh man. I mean it.

This soup recipe has everything we love going on – tender chicken, spicy chipotle peppers, cream cheese for richness and body, and lemon and lime juice that work to make the flavors pop!

Mexican is my favorite cuisine in the world, so we make this one an awful lot. Maybe not super authentic, but it’s got all those flavors that I love.

If you also love Mexican flavors, try out our Keto Taco Soup! And be sure to keep a batch of our keto taco seasoning on hand. It’s so much better than the packets.

We like to make this low carb soup in the Instant Pot – it’s so quick that way! – but it can easily be made in the slow cooker as well. We’ve included instructions for both in the recipe card.

Ingredient Notes:

Chicken Breasts – You’ll want some skinless, boneless chicken breasts for this keto taco soup. They’ll get perfectly so tender and juicy in the Instant Pot or the slow cooker! Boneless chicken thighs would work as well.

Onion & Garlic – These make good additions to just about any soup recipe!

Chipotle Peppers – These come canned in adobo sauce. They pack LOADS of flavor, however they are fairly spicy. We kept the spice at a level 3 out of 10 on this (in my opinion), so feel free to add more or less of the peppers and sauce to suit your tastes.

Spices – Cumin, Chili Powder, Paprika, and Salt

Citrus – We use both lemon and lime to brighten this soup up and make the flavors sing. Fresh squeezed juice is best but the bottled kind works too.

Chicken Broth – Bone broth or stock also work.

Cream Cheese – This makes the soup creamy and thickens it up slightly.

Cilantro – A must for all Mexican dishes. If you’re allergic and think it tastes like soap, sub in parsley.

Why We Love This Recipe:
  • You can prepare this low carb taco soup in the Instant Pot or slow cooker, depending on how much time you’ve got! Both ways taste pretty amazing.
  • The chicken gets perfectly juicy and fork tender and is so savory in the creamy, cheesy chicken broth with the spicy peppers and seasoning.
instant pot soup in white dish

How To Make Keto Taco Soup:

I’m going to include instructions for both a slow cooker version and an Instant Pot soup version below. I prefer this in the Instant Pot because it’s SO fast and easy, but I know we don’t all have pressure cookers laying around. 😉

keto soup recipe in white bowl with dishes of ingredients in background.

Instant Pot Low Carb Soup:

  • Pressure Cook – Add everything but the cream cheese and cilantro to your Instant Pot, put the lid on, set it to sealing, and cook on high pressure for 18 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally and remove the lid.
  • Shred – Remove the chicken from the pot and shred it with a couple of forks. The chicken should be perfectly tender and juicy and easy to shred with a fork.
  • Cream Cheese – Drop a block of cream cheese into the broth, set the pot to sauté, and whisk well to combine the cream cheese into the broth. Once everything is smooth and creamy, add the chicken back into the low carb soup and stir in some cilantro. Boom. Done.
low carb soup in white bowl

Slow Cooker Low Carb Soup:

  • Slow Cook – To make this taco soup in a slow cooker, add everything but the cream cheese and cilantro to the slow cooker and cover. Cook on low for 4 hours.
  • Shred – Remove the chicken and shred with two forks. It takes a little longer in the slow cooker, but the chicken will be just as juicy and fork tender as the pressure cooked version of this recipe.
  • Cream Cheese Add the cream cheese to the taco soup mixture and whisk well to combine – you want the cream cheese completely melted and incorporated into the broth. It helps to warm the cream cheese in the microwave first. Stir the chicken and some cilantro back into the soup and serve!

Special Tools Needed:

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Instant Pot: I use the Instant Pot 6 Quart Duo and I love it! It makes the most amazing hard boiled eggs and I toss chicken breasts in there for shredding allllll. the. time. Shredded chicken is perfect to have on hand for recipes like cauliflower chicken fried rice and healthy stuffed peppers. I use the boiled eggs to make my avocado egg salad often.

Slow Cooker: This slow cooker works great! I also use it for making my keto chicken wings.

Citrus Squeezer: If you’re going to be using freshly squeezed lemon and lime juice you’ll need a citrus squeezer! This handy tools makes squeezing citrus super easy and mess free.

FAQs:

How to store taco soup?

You can keep this low carb taco soup covered in the fridge for up to 4 days. It should reheat well on the stove or even in the microwave in smaller servings. You can also freeze this soup for up to a few months in a freezer safe bag. Make sure you let it cool completely before freezing.

Can I make this on the stove top?

I’ve never tried it myself but some readers have mentioned having success with making this recipe on the stove top. You’d need to adjust the cooking time of course. It’ll take longer than pressure cooking but should be done faster than slow cooking.

Can I use beef instead?

Sure! If you want a beef taco soup you could use ground beef instead, along with beef broth instead of chicken broth. You’ll want to brown the beef first before pressure cooking or slow cooking.

More Instant Pot & Slow Cooker Recipes:

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close up of keto instant pot soup

Low Carb Chicken Taco Soup

This low carb chicken taco soup recipe can be made in a pressure cooker or slow cooker. The broth is bursting with flavor and makes such a tasty soup.

Yield 4 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Additional Time 15 minutes
Total Time 38 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chipotles in adobo sauce, minced
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro

Instructions

Instant Pot Method

  1. Add the chicken, onion, garlic, chipotles, cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt, lemon juice, lime juice, and chicken broth to an Instant Pot.
  2. Cover, turn vent to sealing, and cook on high pressure for 18 minutes.
  3. Allow pressure to release naturally, about 10 minutes, before removing the lid.
  4. Remove chicken from pot and shred with two forks. 
  5. Turn the Instant Pot to saute and add the cream cheese. Whisk constantly until the cream cheese is fully melted and incorporated. 
  6. Turn Instant Pot off and return chicken to the pot. Add the cilantro and stir well to combine.
  7. Serve immediately

Slow Cooker Method

  1. Add the chicken, onion, garlic, chipotles, cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt, lemon juice, lime juice, and chicken broth to a low cooker.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.
  3. Remove chicken from pot and shred with two forks.
  4. Add the cream cheese to the slow cooker and whisk constantly until the cream cheese is fully melted and incorporated. 
  5. Return chicken to the slow cooker and add the cilantro. Stir well to combine.
  6. Serve immediately.

Notes

This soup is great topped with grated cheddar, cilantro, sour cream, and diced tomatoes, however the nutrition information does not include any toppings.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield: 4 bowls Serving Size: 1 bowl
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 424Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 156mgSodium: 1023mgCarbohydrates: 7gNet Carbohydrates: 6gFiber: 1gSugar: 4gProtein: 41g

All information and tools presented and written within this site are intended for informational purposes only. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information is accurate.

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177 thoughts on “Low Carb Taco Soup”

  1. Delicious! I used chicken thighs and added a 15 oz can of crushed tomatoes. Thanks for the recipe! This one’s a keeper.

  2. Latrice Lavender

    This soup is delicious, I love the base of this soup. What is your opinion on adding corn and black beans?

    1. Karly Campbell

      Hi Latrice! You totally can add those things, but the soup won’t be low carb anymore. Won’t hurt anything otherwise. 🙂

    2. Made this tonight. Added a can of Rotel. Topped with cilantro, cheese, a tablespoon of sour cream and chopped avacado. I think some cayenne would really heat it up.

  3. I just made this in my Crock-Pot and improvised because I didn’t have two of the ingredients- the Chipotle’s or paprika so did red pepper diced instead. Works great with other spice mixtures and this substitution. Less spicy! I also added Trader Joe’s parmesan crisps as croutons to the top to add a crunch because that was the only thing that was missing! Delicious especially for low-carb and keto living. Thanks!

  4. I made this last night. It was delicious! My husband isn’t really a fan of soup, but he had seconds and asked me to save him the leftovers for today’s lunch. I’d say that’s a hit. 🙂 My kiddos found it a little too spicy for them, but that’s ok. I can adjust the heat for them next time.

  5. Can’t wait to make this soup!! I have been under using my Instant Pot . My daughter is one of those few people who can’t eat cilantro because it tastes like soap. I’ll have everyone flavor it to their liking, the rest of the family love cilantro.

  6. Kimberly Mann

    Can this be frozen? I want to make extra for my husband to take for dinner at work.

    1. Karly Campbell

      I think it would freeze okay, but I haven’t tried it myself. Sometimes cream cheese does get a bit funky after freezing, so keep that in mind.

  7. Julia Henderson

    I love this soup and have made it several times. I am allergic to cow dairy so I use goat cheese in place of the cream cheese and I often add zucchini or fresh green beans.

  8. Just made this and it was so much better than expected. I added a can of Rotel, doubled the chipotle pepper for more spice and actually cut the cream cheese amount to about 1/3 bc Im not a fan of overly creamy soups and it was AMAZING!

    1. Karly Campbell

      Yay! So glad you enjoyed. I’m such a baby when it comes to chipotle so my mouth is on fire thinking about your changes, but glad you enjoyed! Hahah! Wish I was tougher!

  9. Just made this awesome soup tonight! I used the sauté function to brown some mushrooms to add to the onion. If you warm the cream cheese in the microwave on low it’s much easier to get it incorporated. So glad I doubled it because the family loved it! Next time I will add spinach in the last few minutes to add some green.

  10. Amazing!!! I doubled the broth and seasonings. I used Two organic chicken breast.
    I added to my bowl. A little Cheese, sour cream and chopped tomatoes.
    So Delicious!! Will differently make again.

    Thank you

  11. Will this recipe work on 3 qt Instant pot or do i have to do half since you used 6 qt? Thanks

    1. Karly Campbell

      I’m not sure. You could try in a 3 quart, but don’t fill past the line. 🙂

  12. Jill Alderson

    I made this using boneless skinless thighs, and added a can of Rotel tomatoes with peppers. OMG my new favorite go to soup. I’ll be keeping this in the fridge until I make myself sick of it but I don’t think that’s gonna happen all too soon. Love love love this!!!

  13. Has a great taste . I used boneless skinless chicken thighs for 12 mins in Instant Pot (IP) . If I was using breast i wouldn’t go 18 min in the IP and then a 10 min NR, seems like the chicken would be over cooked . I also sautéed the onion , garlic and chipotles with a little olive oil using the sauté setting and then added everything else but not before adding a little bit of chicken broth to remove any bits from the bottom . Set the IP for 12 mins high pressure and then a 10 NPR. I also added a bag of cauliflower rice after the chicken was cooked . Next time I will double the chicken. Individual servings were topped with sharped cheddar and diced avocado .

    Will definitely make again .

  14. This recipe is great, I make it weekly in winter. It makes many more than 4 serves, I double the amount of chicken broth and it makes 8 serves which I take to work for lunch.

    I even add a bit more water to each portion before I reheat in the microwave. It doesn’t dilute the flavor at all. Also I use chicken mince and just cook on stovetop, otherwise follow the recipe as is. Love it!

  15. Sounded Great right up to Cilantro. Don’t know how or why anyone could or would eat that disgusting WEED. Bet its great without the WEED. Swap chives or green onions for the weed and it would be alot better

    1. Debbie Cepla

      Negative comments are sooooo unnecessary. Many people enjoy cilantro. If you don’t, just leave it out. Oye!!!!

    2. Tracy Garrett

      What a uneccesary comment. Yes, there are small minority of people for whom cilantro tastes like soap. It’s a genetic thing. If that’s you, that’s fine. Just leave it out. Obviously. No need to insult everyone else that doesn’t have that genetic deviation.

  16. Hi! Do you think I could use heavy whipping cream in place of the cream cheese? One of my teenagers is not a fan of cream cheese and he could really taste it in this soup.

  17. Rebekah J.

    I made this in my instant pot and it came out way too thick and chunky (tasted amazing though!). I’m not sure what I did wrong as I followed the instructions to the letter… Any suggestions?

    1. Karly Campbell

      Are you sure you added the correct amount of everything? Not sure why it would come out thick otherwise?

  18. Summer Woods

    Just made this and it was absolutely delicious!!! I doubled the recipe and also added in couliflower, black olives, and a can of stewed tomatoes. My family said it was their favorite!

      1. I loved this recipe but didn’t have chipotle in adobo so added a can of Rotel. Delicious!!! My go to tortilla soup. Thanks!!!

      2. Julie L Cain

        Would you brown the hamburger first? Would you use beef broth instead of chicken broth?

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