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Taco Soup in a Jar Recipe

Want a shelf-stable meal in a jar perfect for busy nights or emergencies? Try this Taco Soup in a Jar recipe that will also make a great gift!

Soup in a Jar - Taco Soup recipe in a mason jar

This recipe is loved by kids and adults alike. While there is some pre-planning in the form of dehydrating the ingredients, once you’ve got them all together creating the soup in a jar only takes minutes to put together.

Taco Soup in a Jar

For each quart Mason jar you’ll need:

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*Optional: Dehydrated powders are a great way to sneak a little extra nutrition into any meal you make, and soups are perfect for it.

Note – you can use freeze-dried versions of all the ingredients, as well.

Jar Layering Directions

  1. Use a widemouthed quart-sized jar
  2. Add the beans to the bottom of the jar, tamp them down
  3. Add the rice over the beans, tamping and shaking the jar to get the rice to fall inside the beans (optional, you may like the look of the layers instead)
  4. Add the onion, green pepper, and corn
  5. Add the tomato powder, seasonings, and taco seasoning, tamping and shaking the jar to get the tomato powder to distribute.
  6. Tighten the canning jar lid and (if giving as a gift) decorate with paper or a cloth square.

NOTE: If this will be on the shelf for longer than one year, add a 300cc oxygen packet to the jar before capping.

Cooking Directions

  • Place the contents of the jar into a 4-quart pot
  • Add 8 cups of water, stirring to mix the ingredients
  • Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium, simmer for 20-30 minutes until the vegetables are tender
  • Serve with tortilla chips and sour cream, if desired.


Meat: Substitute fresh meat (about 1 lb for this recipe unless you like more). You can use chicken or any red meat and even shredded pork

Vegetarian: If you don’t eat meat, substitute the meat with unflavored TVP (it has a longer shelf life) or more beans for bulk

Beans: You can use cooked fresh beans, canned beans, dehydrated beans of any variety that you like.

Carb: You don’t need to use a carb here, but you can use rice, pasta, quinoa, or crackers. Pasta and quinoa can be dehydrated like rice to make a ‘quick cook’ version for meals in a jar if you’d like.

To Store:

On the Shelf:

  • The Meal in a Jar should last at least a year, maybe longer, depending on the ingredients. It’s helpful to add an oxygen absorber if you are storing it for a year or more to protect the freeze dried meat.

Once cooked:

  • Store in the fridge for 4 or 5 days in an airtight container.
  • Freeze for up to six months. I love storing in these SouperCubes from Amazon.

Watch me make Taco Soup!

Meals in a Jar / Bag Books

If you are interested in more meals in a jar (bag), check out these books available online and at many bookstores:

And this post, which shares more than 100 meals in a jar recipes links that you may love!

3 different meal in a jar mixes
Taco soup in a jar - ready made meal in a jar

Taco Soup in a Jar

Create a tasty, shelf-stable meal in a jar with this fab Taco Soup in a Jar recipe that can be customized for any taste preference.
5 from 2 votes
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Course: Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 425kcal



  • Layer ingredients into 1 Qt mason jar
  • Store in an airtight container for up to three years
  • Place the contents of the jar into a 4-quart pot
  • 8 C of water or broth, stirring into mixed ingredients
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 20-30 minutes
  • Serve with toppings of your choice

Darcy’s Tips

Try serving this after straining as a burrito filling in a flour tortilla!
Notes: All ingredients are to taste. If you like it spicier, add cayenne pepper or other spicy ingredients or top with a little hot sauce. If you don’t like beans, don’t add them, just add more meat. If you don’t want the rice, don’t add it. If you want vegetarian, replace the meat with beans. 
If you use tomato paste, a 6 oz can is typical.
If you don’t want to purchase freeze-dried ground beef, you can dehydrate hamburger meat to use instead!


Calories: 425kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 402mg | Potassium: 923mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1127IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 7mg

Nutritional information is an estimation only. Nutrient information for dehydrated foods is based on fresh. Use 1/4 of the servicing size for the same nutrient information. Thus 1 Cup of fresh fruit has the same sugars as 1/4 dried.

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  1. Hi Darcy I’ve never heard of being able to purchase dehydrated meat before is there a place to be able to purchase it from a company instead of Amazon, thank you for your time.

    1. Emergency Essentials – just look up freeze-dried meat, there are a lot of companies. You can get it at Walmart if you have one near you.

  2. Avatar for Anita Norgaard Anita Norgaard says:

    Can you get a good soup when you don’t have the opportunity to simmer it for 20-30 minutes.
    But can only add boiling water from an electric kettle.
    And let the vegetables stand and drain the boiling water and then pour off the water and then add power and new boiling water.
    Would like to take soup to work here, there is no possibility that it can sit and simmer.

    1. That’s why this is so great – you’ve already cooked the beans and rice ahead of time, so all they need is boiling water. You can do it in a thermos, and it does need some time to absorb and rehydrate, but it is more like instant soup than sitting on a stove all day to simmer. It could use 20 min to be perfect. But if you put it into a thermos mug, that will help it further.

  3. 5 stars
    I love all the ideas and recipes you give us. I have only been dehydrating for a little over 2.5 years and so getting into making treats for grandkids and the college age grands.

  4. Avatar for Estelee Slusser Estelee Slusser says:

    5 stars
    Thank you Darcy for what you are doing to teach everyone how to get through such a time as this..
    Estelee Slusser

  5. Avatar for Cheryl Iverson Cheryl Iverson says:

    Can you clarify? In the top section, it calls for 1-1/2 cups beans, but in the printed recipe, it only has 1 cup.

    Green peppers are listed in the top section, but missing in the printed recipe.


    1. The cool thing about these meal-in-a-jar recipes is that it doesn’t matter. You can add as much or as little of anything as you’d like. My subconscious dislike of green peppers showed, though, didn’t it? I’ve fixed it. Thanks for pointing it out.

      1. Avatar for Estelee Slusser Estelee Slusser says:

        Hahaha. Mine would have also shown through. I do not like green peppers either

  6. Avatar for Sharon Sopczynski Sharon Sopczynski says:

    Just wondering about the rice and if you dehydrated it or what method for long term. And can you use any rice with this recipe or just instant. Thank you

  7. Avatar for Darlene Howe Darlene Howe says:

    Can you use dried kidney beans plus all the other dehydrated ingredients, and then cook this in an Instant Pot? What length of time? Thank you!

    1. I don’t use an IP, but I’m sure it has directions on how to cook beans. I wouldn’t put the rice in for fear it would turn mush cooked too long. If there is a recipe for beans and rice of any kind – look at it and make adjustments.

  8. Can you use TVP meat and still store for 1 year? Thank you!

  9. How do you dehydrate the beans? Can you use canned beans? Thank you for answering my other question. Sorry to keep bothering you

    1. Just rinse the canned beans, dry them at 125F/52C until dry – store in an airtight container.

  10. How much fresh ground beef would you need when making the soup?

  11. You mentioned beef or chicken in the ingredients, but not in the instructions. Do you put the beef or chicken in the jar with the dehydrated foods? Can you store freeze dried and dehydrated foods in the same jar for meals?

    1. Yes,, I use freeze dried meat products in the jar with dehydrated foods. I do not dehydrate meats for shelf-stable long-term storage.

  12. Avatar for Mary Nace Mary Nace says:

    Can I use Knorr Tomato Bouillon for the tomato powder?

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