Hamburger Soup

Published January 24, 2020. Updated January 28, 2020

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Hamburger Soup – loaded with flavorful lean ground beef, hearty vegetables like potatoes and carrots, and full of rich flavor. It’s easy to throw together and a perfectly comforting soup!

Wondering what to serve with it? How about my 1 Hour Dinner Rolls or Cheesy Garlic Bread to make an extra cozy meal!

Stainless steel pot full of ground beef hamburger soup with potatoes, carrots, peas, celery, tomatoes, herbs and broth.

Hamburger Soup Recipe

So what exactly is hamburger soup? Does it taste like a hamburger? This soup is basically the simplified, soupier cousin of beef stew.

It’s a ground beef based soup loaded with lots of nutritious vegetables. Plus it’s a versatile soup so you can play around with the vegetables and seasonings added.

And no it doesn’t really taste like a hamburger.

I don’t know that that would taste very good, we’d have some soggy buns, ketchup, and mustard in there or something, yuck. So I guess if you’d like you could just call this beef soup or beef vegetable soup.

It’s just many times people refer to ground beef as hamburger.

No matter what you call this though it’s almost certain to become a family favorite! It’s just classic homestyle comfort food, that’s sure to brighten up those dark out days, at least a little.

Then as a side note this is more of a stewp (somewhere between a soup and a stew) if you want more liquid feel free to add extra broth.

Ingredients that go into hamburger soup shown here.

Ingredients Needed for Hamburger Soup

  • Lean ground beef – I usually use 85% lean.
  • Olive oil – just use standard refined olive oil, not extra virgin.
  • Yellow onion, carrots, celery, garlic – these aromatics are key to building up the flavor of the soup. Stick with fresh, not dried or frozen.
  • Low-sodium beef broth – chicken broth will work great too.
  • Canned fire roasted tomatoes and tomato sauce – the tomatoes in this recipe perfectly compliment the beef. If they happen to be a little tart you can add a pinch or two of sugar to balance that acidity.
  • Worcestershire sauce – in a pinch you can omit this but it does add a nice background flavor.
  • Russet potatoes – red potatoes or yellow potatoes will work fine too.
  • Oregano, thyme, parsley – you can use dried or fresh herbs for this recipe.
  • Frozen peas – frozen corn will work great here as well.

Steps showing how to make hamburger soup.

How to Make Hamburger Soup on the Stovetop

  1. Brown the beef: Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Crumble in beef, cook and break up beef until no longer pink, about 6 – 7 minutes. Transfer, leave a little fat in pot.
  2. Saute the base vegetables: Add onion, carrots, and celery and saute 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute 1 minute longer.
  3. Add canned ingredients, potatoes and seasonings: Pour in beef broth, tomatoes, tomato sauce, Worcestershire, potatoes, oregano and thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Simmer soup: Bring mixture to a light boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and let simmer, until potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes.
  5. Finish with peas and parsley: Stir in peas and let heat through. Stir in parsley and serve warm.

How to Make Hamburger Vegetable Soup in a Crockpot

This soup can also be made in a slow cooker. To do so:

  1. Brown beef in a skillet, add to slow cooker.
  2. Saute base veggies (onion, carrot, celery, garlic), add to slow cooker.
  3. Add canned ingredients, potatoes, and seasonings to slow cooker.
  4. Cover and cook on low heat until vegetables are tender, about 6 hours.
  5. Stir in peas, warm through. Stir in parsley.

How to Make Hamburger Soup in the Instant Pot

Another option is the Instant Pot. Here are those directions:

  1. Brown beef in Instant Pot on “saute” setting, transfer beef to plate, leaving 1 Tbsp fat in pot.
  2. Saute carrot, onion, celery and garlic in Instant Pot. Turn to “off” setting.
  3. Add canned ingredients, potatoes, and seasonings to Instant Pot.
  4. Cover and seal, set valve to sealing position.
  5. Set to “manual” mode and set to 8 minutes.
  6. After time is up let pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then you can quick release any remaining pressure (stand back it will sputter).
  7. Stir in peas, heat through (they’ll heat in about 1 minute). Stir in parsley.

Overhead image of easy hamburger soup in a large pot.

Can I Add Pasta?

Yes pasta can be added but if doing so I’d omit the potatoes and replace with 1 cup dry pasta such as ditalini or macaroni, then you’ll also need to add 1 extra cup of broth to make up for what it will absorb.

Can I Substitute Cabbage or Other Vegetables?

Of course. Soups are so versatile, especially vegetable based soups. You can swap other veggies in here like chopped cabbage, green beans, corn, asparagus or zucchini.

Can Hamburger Soup Be Frozen?

Yes it can be frozen. The potatoes do soften up some but it’s still delicious. Store in an airtight container leaving at least 3/4-inch at top for expansion.

Freeze up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge.

What About Using Other Herbs?

Lots of different herbs will pair well here. You can try it with:

  • basil
  • bay leaves
  • marjoram
  • rosemary
  • Italian seasoning blend

two servings of hamburger soup in white serving bowls

Tips for the Best Hamburger Soup

  • Use lean ground beef, at least 80% lean.
  • Drain off extra fat after browning beef so soup isn’t overly greasy. If you’d prefer to avoid this step then just use very lean ground beef such as 92% lean.
  • I recommend using Angus or grass feed beef.
  • Use fire roasted tomatoes to boost flavor.
  • Be sure to allow enough time to simmer so veggies come out tender. No one wants to bite into hard potatoes.

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Hamburger Soup
5 from 21 votes

Hamburger Soup

A hearty soup loaded with flavorful lean ground beef, nutritious vegetables, and it's full of rich, satisfying flavor. It's easy to throw together and a perfectly comforting, homestyle soup! Makes about 10.5 cups.
Servings: 7
Prep15 minutes
Cook40 minutes
Ready in: 55 minutes



  • Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Crumble in beef, then cook and break up beef until no longer pink, about 6 - 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels, leave 1 Tbsp fat in pot drain of excess.
  • Add onion, carrots, and celery and saute 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute 1 minute longer.
  • Pour in beef broth, tomatoes, tomato sauce, Worcestershire, browned beef, potatoes, oregano and thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Bring mixture to a light boil, cover then reduce heat to low and let simmer, until potatoes are tender, about 25 - 35 minutes.
  • Stir in peas and let heat through. Stir in parsley and serve warm.


You can swap out some of the veggies here for others you may already have on hand like green beans or corn (fresh or frozen), asparagus, zucchini, or cabbage.
Nutrition Facts
Hamburger Soup
Amount Per Serving
Calories 307 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 63mg21%
Sodium 633mg28%
Potassium 1160mg33%
Carbohydrates 24g8%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 26g52%
Vitamin A 3802IU76%
Vitamin C 20mg24%
Calcium 78mg8%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.

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  • Lisa

    Followed recipe except put itialian stewed tomatoes in and it was great. Lived it!!! Thanks a bunch!!

  • Beth Strickland

    Excellent Recipe!
    We add 8oz of can corn and 12 oz of frozen green beans and make corn bread muffins to serve with this delicious soup,mmmmm good!

  • Elaine

    This is a great Soup filling and very tasty I didn’t have Celery so I put in frozen Beans instead just 5 minutes before it was ready

  • Robbie

    This is my favorite recipe . . . make it as is or improvise here and there with seasonal veggies. Just love it and make it often.

  • Keshia

    This soup is amazing!! I added fresh corn because I had some and used beer in place of some of the broth. Absolutely delicious!! I can do so much with this recipe & it will always be tasty. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  • Phanes

    This is the way I’ve always made hamburger soup, which is my top choice for soup since I don’t really like stew meat as much. I know it’s excellent way to clear out all those partially used bags of frozen vegetables.

    I’m not a big fan of potatoes in this soup, however, even the “waxy ones”, because they all pass their optimal state eventually. But I do like something to give it more body. I often use canned dark red kidney beans for that. I also like to include frozen: green beans, sweet peas, and corn. Sometimes I’ll dice a few carrots for it. I like carrots, but I don’t like a whole bunch of them. Celery is good with smaller pieces. And I also like to get some frozen kale and spinach, mince that, and add it to the soup. It just looks like a lot of herbs in there, but it’s a good way to get healthy foods into people who only like potatoes, pasta, corn, cake, ice cream, and cookies. Just a little riced broccoli and cauliflower can add a little more interest to this soup, but I wouldn’t go overboard with those two.

    I haven’t made soup in a long time. Today is going to be the day I do it again.

  • Earl


    I made this using tortellini instead of potatoes, and white sweet corn instead of peas.

    I also used a can of diced tomatoes & green chili’s and half a small can of tomato paste. Really good base that can be tweaked if you don’t have everything on hand.

    Thanks for the recipe, and nice site!

  • Shelley McCluskie

    Grew up on this soup, my sons too. I love to use pot barley instead of taters! Not pearl, the larger pot barley is nutty and chewy. Finish with parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes.