If you love flavorful steak fajitas, you’ll flip for this super simple Mexican Beef Soup! Featuring juicy, beefy short ribs, tender veggies, fajita seasonings, and a flavorful broth, this comforting short rib soup is like a fiesta of flavors for your tastebuds. Made with the convenience of the slow cooker, this recipe is equal parts simple, cozy, and delicious!
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About this Mexican beef soup
If you’re looking for an extremely tasty short rib soup that tastes JUST LIKE your favorite steak fajitas, then you ‘ve come to the right place! This soup-erbly easy Mexican Beef Short Rib Soup is one of the most comforting soups with rich flavors and layered ingredients.
Every spoonful is loaded with tender and juicy chunks of beef short ribs, sautéed veggies, corn, and black beans. The mexican beef soup ingredients are slowly tenderized in a beefy broth that’s thickened with masa harina.
Top each bowl of short rib beef soup with a choice of shredded cheese, chopped cilantro, sliced avocado, a dollop of sour cream, or tortilla strips. It’s a fiesta of flavors in your mouth!
Why you’ll love this short rib soup
Spare the traditional fajitas for another day and try this Mexican beef soup with short rib version instead! Here’s why you’ll love this dish:
- Easy. Making this Mexican short rib soup in the slow cooker is a breeze! Once the ribs have been braised and the veggies sauteed, load the ingredients into the trusty slow cooker and get on with the rest of your day!
- Flavor-bursting! The combination of fajita flavoring with classic fajita ingredients and chunks of short ribs makes this a soup-erb dish.
- Stores well. This beef Mexican soup will last for up to a week in the fridge and a couple of months in the freezer – great as leftovers or when making ahead.
- Loved by all! I doubt you’ll find anyone who’ll pass up a bowl of this soup with beef short ribs. Even the picky eaters will be coming back for more!
Ingredients for short rib beef soup
This comforting and meaty Mexican soup with beef ribs is rich in flavor and loaded with irresistible textures. Here’s what to grab:
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Another neutral cooking oil can be used, such as canola oil or vegetable oil.
- Beef Short Ribs – Boneless and trimmed of excess fat. These ribs need to be cut into bite sized (½ – ¾ inch) cubes. These particular ribs are super flavorful and tender – perfect for slow cooking!
- Beef Stock – I prefer low sodium stock as you can control the level of salt better in this dish.
- Substitution: Low-sodium beef broth can be used instead. Alternatively, consider low-sodium vegetable stock or broth.
- Fire Roasted Tomatoes – These add a delicious smokiness to the dish from the charring process of the tomatoes. Don’t discard the juices.
- Substitution: Regular canned tomatoes or Ro-Tel canned tomatoes with the juices can be used. Add a pinch of smoked paprika to make up for the lack of smokey flavor that you’d get from the fire roasted tomatoes.
- Yellow Onion – Adds depth of sweet and savory flavor.
- Substitution: White or red onion will also work.
- Bell Peppers – I’ve used a mix of red and yellow bell peppers, but any color will do for this short rib soup.
- Garlic – Minced garlic cloves are best for flavor, but you can use pre-minced garlic.
- Corn – While frozen corn adds convenience, I recommend fresh corn if you have access to it.
- Black Beans – Drained and rinsed. Any brand of canned black beans will work.
- Substitution: Pinto beans.
- Fajita Seasoning – Store-bought fajita seasoning is fine, but you can make your own too by combining cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, chili powder, sea salt, ground white pepper, and cayenne pepper.
- Masa Harina – This is a flavorful flour, used to thicken the beef ribs soup.
- Substitution: Other thickening options include cornmeal, all-purpose flour, potato starch, or arrowroot powder.
- Salt and Pepper – To taste. Adjust as necessary.
- Optional Garnish – Consider topping this short ribs soup with shredded Pepper Jack, chopped cilantro, sliced avocado, jalapenos, a dollop of sour cream, a squeeze of fresh lime juice, and some tortilla strips.
- Spicy. Add chopped poblano peppers or jalapeño peppers to the sauteed onions and bell peppers if you want to increase smokey flavor and a kick of heat in this short rib soup recipe. The poblano peppers can replace the bell peppers since they are quite mild.
- Meat. If you want to save on expense, use beef stew meat instead of beef short ribs. Boneless top sirloin steak is another option if you want something different.
- Grain-free. Use arrowroot powder or potato starch instead of masa harina as a thickener in this beef ribs soup recipe.
- Instant Pot. You can make this beef short ribs soup recipe in your Instant Pot. First saute the ribs in the pot, set them aside on a plate and saute the veggies. Deglaze the Instant pot and then add the ribs back and continue on with the rest of the recipe.
How to make soup with short ribs
If you have an Instant Pot you can do ALL the browning and sautéing RIGHT in the IP! Yippie! Just follow the instructions, browning the ribs and then sautéing the veggies, but leave the vegetables in the IP (obviously).
Okay, let’s DO this!
First, you are going to season the ribs VERY GENEROUSLY with salt and pepper. Don’t be stingy with the seasoning. LOAD it up! Then brown the ribs, IN BATCHES, until they are golden brown on all sides. Remove those meaty bad boys to a plate if using an Instant Pot, or if you are using a dutch oven, transfer them right to the Slow Cooker.
Next, sauté the peppers and onions, again seasoning them liberally! Add in the garlic and let that cook until fragrant, which should only take between 30 seconds and 1 minute. Don’t burn the garlic, it tastes ICK.
If you are using a dutch oven and transferring everything to a slow cooker, add ¾ of a cup of broth to the pot to deglaze and scrape up all those delicious brown bits. Transfer the peppers, onions and all the delicious brothy bits to the slow cooker.
Next, add everything BUT the masa harina to the slow cooker, cover and cook on low for 5 ½ hours or until the beef is tender.
At this point, the soup tastes delicious as is, but it’s missing the tortilla component of fajitas, and this is where the masa harina (ground corn flour) magic happens. Mix a bit of stock with a few tablespoons of masa harina and add it to the slow cooker. Give the soup a good stir, then cover and continue to cook for an additional 30 minutes.
Ladle the fajita soup into bowls, garnish it up and slurp it down!
Expert tips for making Mexican soups with beef
- Trim the excess fat from your short ribs and cut them into large, bite sized pieces, roughly ½- ¾’’ in size.
- Slow cooking. Slow cooking the short ribs is ideal since this cut of meat is tough and requires a longer cooking time to soften. Plan ahead so that you have ample time to ensure that the meat is fork-tender.
- Deglazing. The stock not only adds flavor to this beef short rib soup recipe, it also helps to lift any brown bits stuck on the bottom of the pot from braising the ribs and sautéing the veggies. All of this is then added to the slow cooker for maximum flavor!
- Browning and sautéing. The extra step of browning the ribs and sautéing the veggies is so worth it! It adds a delicious crust to the ribs and deepens the flavors in this beef rib soup recipe.
- Season. It’s so important to season the ribs and veggies generously to ensure a great-tasting beef Mexican soup.
FAQs: frequently asked questions
Where does short rib come from?
Beef short ribs come from the lower section of the cow’s rib cage, also referred to as the short plate. You will usually find these ribs sold in individual pieces, bone-in or boneless.
How many short ribs in a pound?
This will likely vary depending on whether the ribs have been trimmed of excess fat or not, and how they are packaged, but you can expect to get 5-6 short ribs per pound.
When are short ribs done?
Short ribs are typically done once they have reached an internal temperature of 205 degrees F. At this point, the meat will be tender, juicy, and flavorful.
Substitute for short ribs in soup?
Beef chuck roast, beef stew meat, or Boneless top sirloin steak can be used instead of beef short ribs. Pork shoulder is another option if you don’t mind using a different meat.
Serving beef rib soup
This Mexican short rib soup is a wholesome and comforting meal, complete as is or with some of the suggestions listed below.
Serve this beef short rib soup with some delicious garnishes, including shredded Pepper Jack, chopped cilantro, sliced avocado, jalapenos, a dollop of sour cream, a squeeze of fresh lime juice, and some tortilla strips.
- If you’re looking for pairing options, this Mexican beef soup recipe pairs great with bread, think slices of warm cornbread, crusty garlic bread, and your favorite artisanal breads for sopping up the broth.
- Keep things quick and easy by serving your short rib Mexican soup with salty tortilla chips, guacamole, and restaurant style salsa.
- Alternatively, a leafy green side salad or Mexican slaw is a great way to lighten up this beef rib soup.
- If you’re looking for a heartier option, beans are where it’s at. Mexican bean salads and Charro beans are a great side option.
- Or, if you’re looking for a fun pairing option, I really love this hearty soup with cheese quesadillas.
Storing short ribs soup
How long do leftovers keep?
- Store leftover Mexican short ribs soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.
Can you freeze soup with beef short ribs?
Absolutely! Allow the mexican beef soup to cool completely and then transfer it to an airtight container to be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge to reheat.
Reheat leftover Mexican soup with short ribs in a saucepan over medium-low heat or in the microwave until heated through and steamy.
Give your fajitas the soup-erb treatment with this slow cooker Mexican Beef Soup. Loaded with all the traditional fajita flavors and ingredients, this soup is guaranteed to please!
Until next week friends, cheers – to steak fajitas in slurp-tastic soup form.
More meaty soups!
Slow Cooker Beef Fajita Soup recipe 👇
Mexican Beef Soup with Short Ribs
- 3 TBS Neutral Oil - DIVIDED
- 2 Pounds Boneless Beef Short Ribs – trimmed of excess fat cut into bite sized pieces (roughly ½ - ¾’’ cubes)
- 5 Cups Low Sodium Beef Stock - DIVIDED
- 1 (14.5 oz) Can Fire Roasted Tomatoes - with juices
- 2 Cups Yellow Onion – peeled & diced (about 2 small onions)
- 2 Cups Bell Peppers – diced (about 2 peppers) (SEE NTOES)
- 4 cloves Garlic - minced
- 1 Cup Frozen Corn - defrosted
- 1 (15.5 oz) Can Black Beans – drained and rinsed
- 2 1/2 TBS Fajita Seasoning
- 2 TBS Masa Harina
- To Taste Salt and Pepper
- Optional Garnishes Shredded Cheese, Cilantro, Avocado, Jalapeños, Sour Cream, Lime Juice, Tortilla Strips
- Brown the Short Ribs: Season the ribs generously with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large stock pot (or Dutch oven) over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add half of the ribs and cook until browned on all sides, about 6 minutes total. Transfer to the slow cooker and repeat with another tablespoon of oil and remaining ribs, transferring those to the slow cooker when browned as well.
- Sauté the Onions and Peppers: Reduce heat to medium and add another tablespoon of oil to the pot. Add the onions and peppers. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Sauté until onions are soft and translucent, stirring occasionally, about 5-7 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add in ¾ cup of stock to deglaze, scraping the brown bits up off the bottom of the pot. Transfer to the slow cooker with the ribs.
- To the Slow Cooker: Add in 4 cups of stock, tomatoes, corn, black beans, and fajita seasoning. Give everything a good stir to combine.
- Cover and cook on low for 5 ½ hours or until beef is tender.
- Mix Thickener, Add to Soup: In a small bowl mix together remaining ¼ cup of stock with masa harina. Mix well and add it to the slow cooker. Stir to combine. Continue to Cook: Cover the crockpot or slow cooker and continue to cook the beef rib soup on low for an additional 30 minutes, or until the short ribs are extremely tender.
- Adjust, Garnish: Take a bite of the Mexican beef soup and adjust for seasoning. Transfer the soup to individual serving bowls and garnish with your favorite Mexican soup toppings, like pico de gallo, sliced avocados, shredded cheese, cilantro, and a dollop of sour cream.
- Serve the Mexican Soup with Beef Short Ribs while warm and enjoy!
- Make sure you trim the excess fat from your short ribs and cut them into large, bite sized pieces, roughly ½- ¾’’ in size.
- You can use any kind of canned, diced tomatoes. I’m a big fan of the fire roasted, diced tomatoes, so that is what I used and recommend.
- If you have access to fresh corn, I would absolutely use that instead of frozen corn. Just cut the kernels from the cob and proceed with the recipe as directed.
- Peppers: I used a mix of red and yellow bell peppers, but you can use whatever color peppers you like. You can even add in a diced jalapenos when sautéing the peppers if you like a lot of spice!
- Fajita Seasoning: I always recommend making your own seasonings for the best flavor. I use my fajita spice seasoning (https://www.nospoonnecessary.com/fajita-seasoning/). However, of course you can use your favorite store bought brand (taco seasoning works too!).
- Make sure you season the ribs and vegetables generously with salt and pepper. Seasoning liberally, and properly, makes the difference between a good soup and a GREAT one.
- You can absolutely use the Instant Pot for this recipe. Saute the ribs and remove them to a plate, then saute the veggies, deglaze the pot, add back in the ribs and continue with the recipe as instructed.