4.44 from 78 votes

Hamburger Soup

Hamburger soup is a delightful dish that combines the savory flavors of ground beef, vegetables, and a hearty broth, making it an excellent choice for a satisfying meal. If you enjoy a deliciously comforting bowl of soup but don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen, this recipe is perfect for you. With its quick preparation and cooking time, you can enjoy this tasty meal without the hassle.

Hamburger soup in a pot with a ladle.

The beauty of a hearty hamburger soup lies in its versatility, as it allows you to customize the dish according to your preferences. You can easily throw in your favorite vegetables, experiment with different seasonings, or even substitute ground beef with an extra protein like turkey. Plus, it’s a fantastic option if you’re cooking for a crowd or meal prepping since it reheats well and freezes like a dream.

I regret not getting the recipe for my Grandma June’s Hamburger Soup. She passed away at the end of 2012. I miss her dearly. I was lucky enough to get some of her handwritten recipes. I’ve already shared her Hurry Chicken. I decided to take a crack at her Hamburger Soup and see if I could get it close. Grandma June always referred to it as “Hamburg soup.”

The beef was always plentiful around Grandma’s house. Her life partner, Clarence, is a beef farmer, and she always had a freezer full of his beef.

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    I hope my grandma approves of this version of her soup. I love it because it’s hearty, filling and flavourful. It’s pure comfort food that is perfect to enjoy on a cold night while tucked inside the house.

    recipe binder image

    Why You’ll Love Easy Hamburger Soup

    • Comforting and filling: On a chilly day, there’s nothing like a warm bowl of hamburger soup. Packed with ground beef, vegetables, and a delicious broth, this soup will satisfy your hunger and provide a soothing, cozy experience. I love that it’s a complete meal in a bowl. 
    • Budget-friendly: Hamburger soup is an affordable option that doesn’t require a long list of expensive ingredients. Many ingredients, such as ground beef, carrots, and canned tomatoes, can easily be purchased on a budget. It’s great for meal prep!
    • Easy to make: Hamburger soup requires little time or effort. In just 50 minutes, you can whip up a pot of this delicious and easy soup, making it a perfect option for a busy weeknight.
    • Customizable: One of the best things about hamburger soup is its versatility. You can easily adjust the recipe to your tastes or dietary needs by swapping out certain ingredients for alternatives. For example, you could use ground turkey, ground chicken, or a mix of ground meats instead of beef.


    The full printable recipe card with measurements and instructions is found at the bottom of the post.

    • Lean ground beef: This forms the base of your soup, providing a hearty and delicious protein source.
    • Sweet onion: Adds a touch of sweetness and depth to the flavor profile.
    • Diced tomatoes: Gives the soup a rich tomato base and contributes to its chunky, appetizing texture.
    • Water: Helps thin out the soup to your desired consistency.
    • Consommé: Adds a savory, meaty flavor to complement the ground beef.
    • Tomato soup: Enhances the tomato base and contributes to a smoother, thicker texture.
    • Celery stalks: Provides a subtle, refreshing crunch to balance out the heartier ingredients.
    • Carrots: Offers a hint of natural sweetness along with additional texture and color.
    • Dried thyme: Aromatic herb that adds a subtle earthiness to the soup’s overall flavor.
    • Small pasta shells: These will cook directly in the soup, adding a bit of texture.
    • Salt and black pepper: Adjust these seasonings to perfectly suit your preferences and enhance the other ingredients’ natural flavors.
    Ingredients to make hamburger soup.

    How to Make Hamburger Soup

    • Step One: In a large pot, cook ground beef and onions on medium-high heat.
    Steps to make hamburger soup.
    • Step Two: Add the remaining ingredients and combine once the beef is browned.
    • Step Three: Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 40 minutes. Serve hot.
    Steps to make hamburger soup.

    Equipment Needed

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    • Large pot: A large pot or Dutch oven is essential to cook the soup and have enough space for all the ingredients to simmer.
    • Wooden spoon or spatula: Use these to mix the ingredients and break apart the ground beef while cooking. Make sure to choose utensils suitable for cooking with your pot.
    • Soup ladleUse a soup ladle to serve the hamburger soup properly. This allows you to fill bowls without spilling or making a mess.

    What to Serve with Hamburger Soup

    • Crusty Bread: A warm, crusty bread is perfect for dunking into the soup and soaking up all the delicious flavors. You can opt for a simple, rustic bread or something more flavorful like garlic bread or rosemary focaccia.
    • Green Salad: A light and refreshing green salad can contrast the hearty soup. Include mixed greens and your favorite toppings, such as cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, and sliced avocado. Drizzle with a tangy vinaigrette to bring it all together.
    • Grilled Vegetables: A side of grilled vegetables is a healthy and delicious option that complements the rich flavors of the soup. Choices can include zucchini, bell peppers, asparagus, or eggplant, tossed in olive oil and your choice of seasonings. Grill until slightly charred and tender.
    Hamburger soup in a ladle.

    Variations and Substitutions

    • Protein Options: Besides hamburger meat, you can also consider using ground turkey, chicken, or a plant-based meat substitute to make your hamburger soup. This way, you can still enjoy the savory flavors while accommodating different dietary needs.
    • Vegetable Mix-ins: Feel free to get creative with the hearty vegetables you add to the soup. You can use fresh or frozen sweet corn, green bell pepper, green beans, spinach, and even mushrooms to give your soup a burst of color and added nutritional benefits. Add chopped russet potatoes, Yukon gold potatoes, red potatoes, sweet potatoes, or even mixed frozen veggies. 
    • Grains and Pasta: Adding grains like barley, rice, or other small pasta shapes like macaroni enhances the heartiness of the hamburger soup. Remember to adjust the cooking time to ensure your chosen grain cooks properly.
    • Spices: Personalize your soup with your favorite herbs and spices. Suggestions include using cajun seasoning for a Southern twist, adding a bit of smoked paprika for a smoky flavor, chili powder for a Tex-Mex vibe, or even incorporating curry powder for an international flair.
    • Broth Base: Choose between a beef broth, chicken broth, or tomato-based broth, or create a creamy variation by incorporating milk, cream, or a dairy-free alternative. If you can’t find consomme, use beef broth. A low-salt beef broth will also be acceptable.
    Hamburger soup in a black ladle in a pot of soup.

    Storage Instructions

    Let the soup cool down to room temperature before storing. Allowing the soup to cool prevents the buildup of condensation, which can lead to spoilage. While cooling the soup, stir it occasionally to help release the heat more evenly.

    Once the soup has cooled down, transfer it into airtight containers. You can use glass containers, plastic containers, or even resealable bags. Close the lids or seal the bags tightly to keep the soup fresh.

    Here are some storage options and their respective durations:

    • Refrigerator: Store your hamburger soup in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. You can reheat it on the stovetop or microwave when ready to enjoy it again.
    • Freezer: To store your leftover soup in the freezer longer, label the containers with the date and content. Hamburger soup can last in the freezer for 2 to 3 months. When you’re ready to eat, thaw the soup in the refrigerator overnight or reheat it directly on the stovetop or microwave.

    Can I Make Ahead?

    Absolutely! Hamburger soup is a great meal to prepare ahead of time. Making this soup in advance can be a lifesaver when you have a busy week. It is delicious and comforting but also reheats well and can be easily portioned for individual meals.

    To make ahead, simply follow the recipe as usual and let the soup cool completely before storing. You can store the soup in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, making it perfect for a quick and easy reheatable meal.

    Recipe Tips and Tricks

    • Switch up the vegetables: Customize your hamburger soup using leftover, fresh, or frozen vegetables. This is an excellent way to use up produce that may be nearing its expiration date.
    • Pasta options: Macaroni and small pasta shells are famous for hamburger soup, but feel free to experiment with other small pasta shapes like farfalle or small shell pasta.
    • Freezing hamburger soup: This soup is perfect for freezing if you want to make a big batch and have leftovers for future meals. Just let it cool completely before transferring it to airtight containers for freezing.
    • Pair with bread: A slice of crusty bread or garlic bread is the perfect accompaniment to balance the meal. Alternatively, you can whip up a batch of easy dinner rolls for a more savory option.
    Hamburger soup in a white bowl.

    What is Hamburger Soup?

    As the name suggests, Hamburger soup is a delicious and comforting dish made with lean ground beef. It combines the fulfilling taste of a juicy hamburger with the warmth of soup, making it a perfect meal for those chilly days or when you’re just craving something hearty and satisfying.

    This soup is packed with various vegetables that add flavor and nutrition. Commonly used veggies include carrots, celery, and potatoes, but you can toss in your favorites to suit your taste buds. The broth is typically made with beef stock, diced tomatoes, tomato paste or soup, and seasonings, resulting in a rich and flavorful base.

    Can I Make in the Slow Cooker?

    Yes, you can make hamburger soup in a slow cooker! This versatile recipe allows you to use a slow cooker or stovetop, making it an ideal choice for busy weekdays or relaxed weekend meals. You’ll want to brown the ground beef and sauté the onions in a hot pan. This crucial step ensures that your meat is well-cooked and the onions are caramelized, imparting rich flavors to your soup..

    Once you’ve finished the browning process, add your cooked beef, onions, and other ingredients to your slow cooker. This is where the magic happens, as you’ll have a hands-off recipe, allowing you to focus on other tasks while the slow cooker does its job..

    Slow cook on LOW heat for 7 to 8 hours or HIGH heat for 4 hours.

    Can I Make in an Instant Pot?

    Yes, you can make hamburger soup in an Instant Pot. It’s a convenient and time-saving method to prepare this delicious dish. Using an Instant Pot not only helps retain the ingredients’ flavors but also makes the process easier and quicker.

    Simply sauté the onions and ground beef directly in the Instant Pot using the Sauté function. Once the meat is cooked, add in other ingredients.

    Remember to stir occasionally as you add the ingredients to ensure they’re well combined. Once everything is well mixed, secure the Instant Pot lid, and cook the soup using the Manual or Pressure Cook function for 10-15 minutes. After the cooking time has elapsed, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes before manually releasing any remaining pressure.

    Using an Instant Pot for your hamburger soup cuts down the overall preparation and cooking time and ensures that your soup comes out perfectly cooked and full of flavor. 

    Hamburger soup in a bowl with a spoon.


    How to Thicken

    To achieve the perfect consistency and a thicker texture for your hamburger soup, you can try a few methods. Remember, following these tips can help create a more satisfying and enjoyable meal.

    One common way to thicken soup is by using a roux. A roux is a mixture of flour and fat, like butter or cooking oil, cooked together in a saucepan. This method allows the flour to be absorbed by the melted butter, creating a thicker base for the soup. You can also use cornstarch as an alternative to flour if you prefer.

    Another easy tip – by allowing the liquid to reduce, you’ll achieve a thicker consistency. Watch it and stir occasionally, ensuring the ingredients don’t stick to the bottom of the pot.

    Introducing a starchy element can also help thicken your hamburger soup. For instance, you can add frozen hash browns or mashed potatoes. These additions will not only provide extra thickness but also add some heartiness to the soup’s flavor.

    Adding something creamy, such as sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream, to your soup can also contribute to a creamier and thicker consistency. It’s important to note that these ingredients should be added toward the end of the cooking process to avoid curdling.

    If your hamburger soup contains vegetables like potatoes or carrots, consider blending a portion of the soup. This method creates a smooth, velvety texture without altering the flavor too much. Just let the soup cool slightly before blending to prevent any accidents.

    What is the Best Ground Beef for Hamburger Soup?

    When choosing the best ground beef for your hamburger soup, it’s important to consider the fat content. Opting for leaner ground beef, such as 85% lean or leaner, will prevent your soup from becoming too oily.

    Some recipes suggest swapping ground beef for ground turkey for an even healthier option.

    Remember that the quality of your ingredients will directly impact the taste of your soup. Therefore, selecting high-quality ground beef will yield a better-flavored soup. Grass-fed beef is popular because it is often leaner and contains healthier fats than its grain-fed counterparts.

    If you’re concerned about your budget or simply prefer to use what you have available, don’t worry too much about the specific type of ground beef. As long as you pay attention to the fat content and properly drain the grease after browning the meat, any variety of ground beef should work in your hamburger soup recipe.

    Soup Recipes

    You might also like Impossible Cheeseburger Pie, Hamburger Quiche and Onion Soup Mix.

    Follow me on Instagram @simplystacieblog, Facebook at Simply Stacie, TikTok @simplystacierecipes or Pinterest at @simplystacie and let me know how you liked this recipe and my other recipes.

    4.44 from 78 votes

    Hamburger Soup

    Created by Stacie Vaughan
    Servings 8
    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Cook Time 40 minutes
    Total Time 50 minutes
    A yummy winter soup recipe! This tomato-based soup is packed with vegetables and seasoned ground beef for the best burger in a bowl.


    • 1 ½ lb lean ground beef
    • 1 sweet onion diced
    • 1 can diced tomatoes 28oz can
    • 1 cup water
    • 3 cans consomme 10oz/284ml cans
    • 1 can tomato soup 10oz/284ml
    • 3 celery stalks diced
    • 4 carrots peeled and diced
    • ½ tsp dried thyme
    • 2 cups small pasta shells uncooked
    • salt and pepper to taste


    • In a large pot, cook ground beef and onions on medium high heat.
    • Once beef is browned, add in the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine.
    • Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for 40 minutes. Serve hot.



    You can substitute beef broth for consomme.


    Serving: 1g | Calories: 243kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 53mg | Sodium: 835mg | Potassium: 870mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 5309IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 3mg

    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.

    Course Soups
    Cuisine American
    Keyword ground beef, Hamburger Soup, soup

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    Recipe Rating


    1. Brenda Drinkard says:

      Would like to try hamburger soup I love soups

    2. Can’t wait to try this! Still a bit too hot here in Ottawa to make soup.

    3. Hello,

      Looks like there is a typo in the nutritional info. Can you clarify how many grams is a serving for the recipe?

    4. If I don’t have tomato soup any other options you can recommend

    5. 5 stars
      Easy to make and delicious. I used canned mixed vegetables instead of frozen.

    6. 5 stars
      So good !Loved it!Going keep this in my recipes box!

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