Luby’s Beef Tortilla Soup

Luby’s Beef Tortilla Soup

Luby’s is a cafeteria-style restaurant known for their home cooking. You can make their famous beef tortilla soup at home with this easy copycat recipe.

bowl of copycat Luby's beef tortilla soup.

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What Makes Luby’s Beef Tortilla Soup

Beef Tortilla Soup is an all-around crowd-pleaser. It has a kid-friendly spice level but still enough flavor to keep things interesting for adults.

This soup is perfect for taking along to a potluck or church dinner. Serving with a few extra garnishes on the side will allow folks to customize the soup to suit their taste. 

Why You Should Try This Recipe

Most recipes for Tortilla Soup contain chicken, but using ground beef in combination with the chicken stock in this recipe creates deeper, more complex flavors that are still not too heavy.

Stop spending all day simmering soup on the back burner when you can prepare Luby’s Beef Tortilla Soup in about 20 minutes!

Ingredients For Tortilla Soup With Ground Beef

For this recipe, you’ll need:

  • Chicken stock
  • Whole peeled tomatoes, canned
  • Ground cumin
  • Garlic, minced
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Cream-style corn
  • American cheese, shredded
  • Cornstarch
  • Water, slightly below room temperature
  • Ground beef
  • White onion, chopped
  • Tortilla chips

Use cream-style corn in this recipe. Canned or homemade cream-style corn will taste great, but make sure you don’t pick up creamed corn by mistake. Creamed corn contains dairy, while cream-style corn does not. 

Luby's beef tortilla soup ingredients.

How To Make Easy Tortilla Soup With Ground Beef

To make this Beef Tortilla Soup recipe:

  1. Pour the chicken broth into a large stockpot and bring it to a boil.
  2. Dump the whole canned tomatoes and the juice from the cans into a mixing bowl. Use your hands to crush the tomatoes into small pieces.
  3. Add the hand-crushed tomatoes to the chicken stock.
  4. Season the soup with cumin, garlic, and ground black pepper. Add the cream-style corn and shredded American cheese.
  5. Stir well and return the soup to a boil.
  6. Dissolve the cornstarch in a bowl of slightly below room temperature water to make a slurry.
cornstarch and water slurry in a bowl.
  1. Stir the slurry into the soup.
  2. Reduce the heat until the soup is at a slow simmer, and cook uncovered for ten minutes. 
Luby's tortilla soup in a Dutch oven.
  1. While the soup simmers, you have time to brown the ground beef and cook the onions in a pan over medium-high heat. Make sure to fully cook the meat before draining. 
raw ground beef and chopped onions in a skillet.
browned ground beef and onions in a skillet.
  1. Add the drained ground beef and onions to the soup.
  2. Stir well. Top with tortilla chips and serve immediately.
overhead view of copycat Luby's beef tortilla soup and tortillas in bowls.

Recipe Variations

Feel free to make a few changes to the recipe. Here are a few suggestions you may want to try:

  • Double the amount of ground beef for a heartier soup. You can also use other ground meat such as turkey, chicken, or bulk sausage. 
  • Toss in a can of strained pinto beans before simmering the soup. If you mash half of the beans, you won’t have to add the cornstarch.
  • Use beef stock for a meatier flavor. 

What Can You Top Beef Tortilla Soup With? 

This soup will go great with just about any of your favorite burrito or taco toppings. In addition to tortilla chips or tortilla strips, try garnishing your soup with chopped onions, shredded cheese, pickled jalapeno slices, salsa, sour cream, sliced avocado, and guacamole.

Add a dash or two of hot sauce for a bit of heat. Of course, you can’t forget a squeeze of fresh lime juice to really bring out the flavors of the soup. 

a spoonful of copycat Luby's beef tortilla soup.

What To Serve Beef Tortilla Soup With? 

While this soup is light enough to get away with serving a cup as a starter, you can quickly turn this recipe into the main course by serving a bowl of it with crusty bread and maybe a side salad. 

How To Store Leftovers

Cool the soup down as quickly as possible and then transfer it to a clean storage container with a lid. You can refrigerate the soup for up to three days or try freezing it for up to two months. Thaw frozen soup overnight in the fridge before reheating. 

What’s the Best Way to Reheat Tortilla Soup?

The best way to reheat easy tortilla soup with ground beef is in a saucepan on the stovetop over medium-low heat. Reheat the soup slowly while stirring. You can thin out the soup by adding a little more chicken stock. 

two bowls of copycat Luby's beef tortilla soup.

Love Soup? Try These Recipes!

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Check out more of my easy restaurant soup recipes and the best Mexican food recipes on CopyKat!

bowl of copycat Luby's beef tortilla soup.

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Luby’s Beef Tortilla Soup

Luby’s Beef Tortilla Soup is a flavorful soup you have to try. 
Course Soup
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword Luby’s Tortilla Soup
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 343kcal


  • 3 quarts chicken stock
  • 22 ounces whole peeled tomatoes canned 1 1/2 cans
  • 2 3/4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground pepper
  • 12 ounces cream style corn
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded American cheese
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup cool water
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • tortilla chips


  • Bring broth to a boil in a large pot. Crush tomatoes by hand and, along with juice, add to broth. Add cumin, garlic, salt, pepper, corn, and cheese. Bring to a boil again.
  •  Dissolve cornstarch in a cup of cool water in a small bowl. Add to boiling soup slowly while stirring constantly. Let simmer 10 minutes. While soup simmers, saute ground beef in skillet with chopped onion.
  •  Drain off any grease. Turn soup off and add cooked beef mixture. Serve with sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, and tortilla chips. 


Calories: 343kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 63mg | Sodium: 1590mg | Potassium: 544mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 370IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 343mg | Iron: 2.4mg

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