Cowboy Stew is a hearty, one-pot wonder packed with veggies, ground beef, kielbasa smoked sausage, beans, and potatoes. It’s an easy and delicious family dinner option that’s filling and sure to satisfy those big appetites at the table.
You are in the right place if you are a fan of hearty and delicious stews. This cowboy stew is packed full of flavor. The combination of lean ground beef, savory kielbasa sausage, and a medley of spices like chili powder and cumin create a rich, savory base that’s both satisfying and comforting. Sweet onions and garlic add depth to the flavor profile, while the earthy Russet potatoes provide a hearty, rustic touch. It is the perfect dinner option for those seeking a flavorful meal to please the entire family.
The best part? You can easily make this easy cowboy stew recipe all in one pot. The convenience of one-pot cooking means less mess, and all the ingredients get to meld together perfectly. This stew is the perfect choice if you are looking for a satisfying and comforting meal on busy weeknights.
Why You’ll Love Cowboy Stew
- Easy to Make: This hearty meal is straightforward to make. Using simple ingredients and cooking it all in one pot makes it a fantastic choice for any night of the week. With very little prep time needed, you will serve up a delicious bowl of cowboy stew in no time.
- Hearty and Filling: Cowboy stew is the epitome of comfort food. It’s hearty and filling, perfect for satisfying cravings and providing warmth on cold days. The combination of protein from ground beef and kielbasa sausage, starchy potatoes, and a variety of vegetables ensures a substantial meal that will satisfy you.
- Perfect for Gatherings: This stew is an excellent choice for serving at gatherings and family dinners. It can be made in larger batches to accommodate a crowd, and its rustic, homely presentation adds to the cozy atmosphere of family mealtime. Nothing is better than sharing a big pot of cowboy stew with those you love.
- Customizable Ingredients: While the recipe provides a fantastic base, cowboy stew is also highly customizable. You can tailor it to your preferences by adjusting the spice level, adding extra vegetables, or experimenting with different types of sausage or beans. The sky is truly the limit when it comes to your creativity.
The full printable recipe card with measurements and instructions is found at the bottom of the post.
- Lean ground beef
- Sweet onion
- Kielbasa sausage
- Chili powder
- All-purpose flour
- Russet potatoes
- Baked beans
- Frozen mixed vegetables
How to Make Cowboy Stew
- Step One: Add ground beef, onion, and garlic to a large pot over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until the beef is browned and the onions are softened about 7 minutes. Drain the grease from the pot.
- Step Two: Add the sausage, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper to the pot and stir to combine.
- Step Three: Stir in the flour and continue to cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 1 minute.
- Step Four: Add the beef broth, potatoes, baked beans, corn, ROTEL, and frozen mixed vegetables and stir to combine.
- Step Five: Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 1 hour, uncovered. Stir occasionally. Serve hot.
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What to Serve with Cowboy Stew
Serve cowboy stew with some of your favorite sides or accompaniments.
Variations and Substitutions
- Meat Variations: Rather than using ground beef, you can use different types of meat, like ground turkey or ground chicken. This will provide a leaner protein for the stew itself. You can also try different varieties of sausages like spicy Italian sausage or andouille sausage. Changing up the meats can add some variety to the stew.
- Spice and Heat: The heat of this cowboy stew can be adjusted by adding more or less chili powder and cumin. If you want a spicier stew, add more chili powder and cumin; if you want it to have less kick, add less. You can also include diced jalapenos and red pepper flakes if you want a bigger bang.
- Corn Varieties: You can use any kind of corn that you prefer in this recipe. You can use canned sweet corn or fresh corn instead of the canned varieties.
- Bean Varieties: You can easily experiment by adding different types of beans in addition to or instead of the baked beans. Black beans, red beans, pinto beans, chili beans, and kidney beans will add a delicious bite to the stew.
- Vegetables: You can easily experiment with different types of vegetables based on what you enjoy. Bell peppers, zucchini, green beans, and mushrooms can all be excellent additions to this recipe. For a crispier texture, you can also use fresh vegetables instead of the frozen variety.
- Potatoes: Experiment with the type of potatoes you include in your cowboy stew. Yukon gold potatoes, baby potatoes, or red potatoes can provide a creamier texture and a different flavor profile than the recommended russets. You can even use sweet potatoes if you prefer a sweeter flavor profile.
If you have leftovers of cowboy stew or want to prepare it ahead of time, you can easily store this recipe. Simply put your stew into an airtight container. It can last in your refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Can I Freeze?
Yes. Allow your leftover stew to cool and place it in freezer-safe airtight containers. Make sure to allow room in the container for expansion while in the freezer. This stew can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Preparing Ingredients: Ensure all your ingredients are chopped, sliced, and measured before cooking. This will make the process of cooking your stew much smoother.
- Browning the Meat: When browning the ground beef, break it into small crumbles for even cooking. This helps create a nice texture in the stew. Don’t rush the browning process. Allow the meat to develop a deep brown color. It will help enhance the texture and flavor of your cowboy stew.
- Slice Evenly: Keep the slices as close to the same size as possible when slicing the kielbasa sausage. This will ensure that the sausage cooks evenly and each bite is consistent.
- Thicken or Thin as Desired: If your stew is too thick, add more broth to achieve your preferred consistency. If you want a thick stew, mix more flour with water and stir it into the pot.
- Simmering Time: Simmering the stew for the full hour allows the flavors to meld and develop fully. You want to ensure that you are simmering your stew for the full recommended time for the best results and flavor.
- Stirring and Preventing Sticking: Stir the stew occasionally while it simmers to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot. This also helps to distribute the flavors evenly.
- Make-Ahead and Reheating: Cowboy stew often tastes even better the next day, so consider making it in advance and reheating it when needed. To reheat, simply warm it on the stove or in the microwave, adding a bit of extra broth if it has thickened too much.
- Garnish and Serve: Garnish each bowl with a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley, sour cream, or grated cheese before serving. This will add a freshness to the dish and make it look more complete.
- Serving Suggestions: Serve your cowboy stew with cornbread muffins, tortilla chips, biscuits, or a crusty loaf of bread for a complete and satisfying meal. You can pair it with a salad or serve it in a bread bowl.
What is Cowboy Stew?
Cowboy stew is a hearty and flavorful one-pot southern dish. It typically features ingredients like ground beef, sausage, beans, vegetables, and spices such as chili powder and cumin. This rustic stew is known for its comforting, smoky, and slightly spicy flavors. It’s a versatile and customizable meal, making it a popular choice for gatherings and family dinners.
- Step One: In a large skillet, cook the ground beef, chopped onion, and minced garlic over medium-high heat until the beef is browned and the onions are softened. Drain the grease from the skillet.
- Step Two: Add the cooked beef mixture to your crockpot or slow cooker.
- Step Three: Add the sliced kielbasa sausage, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper to the crockpot. Stir to combine.
- Step Four: Sprinkle the flour over the ingredients in the crockpot and stir to coat everything evenly.
- Step Five: Pour the beef broth and add the cubed potatoes, baked beans, drained corn, ROTEL, and frozen mixed vegetables to the crockpot. Mix all the ingredients.
- Step Six: Cover the crockpot with the lid and cook on LOW heat for 7-8 hours or on HIGH heat for 4-5 hours. The cooking time may vary depending on your crockpot, so check for doneness.
- Step Seven: Stir the stew occasionally during cooking, but keep the lid on to maintain heat.
- Step Eight: Once the potatoes are tender and the flavors have melded together, your Cowboy Stew is ready to be served. Enjoy!
Is it Spicy?
No, cowboy stew is not inherently spicy. While it contains seasonings like chili powder and cumin, these spices are typically used moderately to add flavor without making the stew overly spicy. However, the spiciness can be adjusted to your preference by increasing or decreasing the chili powder used. If you prefer a milder stew, you can reduce the chili powder, and if you enjoy more heat, you can add extra chili powder or even some red pepper flakes.
Other Names for Cowboy Stew
Cowboy stew is a popular name for this hearty and flavorful dish, but depending on the region or variation, it may also be known by other names.
- Texas Cowboy Stew
- Campfire Stew
- Hobo Stew
- Cowboy Casserole
- Rancher’s Stew
- Western Stew
- Pioneer Stew
- Range Rider Stew
- Frontier Stew
- Chuckwagon Stew
- Trailblazer Stew
This specific recipe makes six servings of stew. This recipe is easily doubled if you need more to serve a crowd.
The preparation time for this recipe takes only about 10 minutes. You will, however, want to cook your stew for 1 hour and 10 minutes. This will ensure all the flavors meld together. Your delicious stew should be ready in 1 hour and 20 minutes from start to finish.
One Pot Recipes
- Spicy Sausage & Pepper One-Pot Pasta
- One-Pot Chicken & Stuffing
- One-Pot Chicken & Broccoli Rice
- Sausage & Cheese Cappelletti One-Pot Pasta
- One-Pot Chili Rigatoni
You’ll also love Texas Beef Skillet.
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 sweet onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 packages kielbasa sausage 12oz package, casings removed and sliced
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups beef broth
- 2 Russet potatoes peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
- 2 cans baked beans 14oz/398ml can
- 1 can corn 12oz/341ml can, drained
- 1 can ROTEL 10oz/284ml can
- 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
- Add the ground beef, onion and garlic to a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until the beef is browned and the onions are softened, about 7 to 10 minutes. Drain the grease from the pot.
- Add the sausage, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper to the pot and stir to combine.
- Stir in the all-purpose flour and continue to cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 1 minute.
- Add the beef broth, potatoes, baked beans, corn, ROTEL and frozen mixed vegetables and stir to combine.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 1 hour, uncovered. Stir occasionally. Serve hot.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.