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This hamburger soup recipe is a simple and hearty meal made with ground beef, potatoes, and a delicious tomato broth. It’s a budget friendly complete meal that makes excellent leftovers!

You may also like my Instant Pot Hamburger Soup recipe.

a bowl of hamburger soup on a marble surface

Why you’ll love it

Hamburger soup is one of those classic American comfort food dishes that’s easy to like and friendly on your wallet! You can’t go wrong with this cozy soup that has ground beef, potatoes, and a tomato broth that’s big on flavor.

The best part of this soup is how easy to make it is. It’s also full of inexpensive ingredients, and it’s an extremely versatile and flexible recipe. You can simply toss in whatever veggies you have on hand that need using up, and it’ll taste great.

What is hamburger soup?

  • As for the name, it’s called hamburger soup because of the ground beef, which is sometimes referred to as hamburger meat. This soup doesn’t actually taste like hamburgers, and it’s essentially a satisfying and simple ground beef soup. It’s sort of like a quick and easy alternative to Beef Stew.

What you’ll need

  • Olive oil, onions, and celery – sautéing these essentials creates the perfect base for this hearty soup
  • Garlic – we’re using three cloves to add depth of flavor
  • Ground beef – adding protein makes this soup a complete meal. I like to use lean ground beef so that none/very little fat needs to be discarded during cooking
  • Tomato paste and diced tomatoes – using both varieties gives the soup great texture and taste, and tomatoes are a classic complement to ground beef
  • Beef broth – amps up the flavor even more than using water. Use homemade or store-bought
  • Potatoes – Russets are my choice, but in a pinch yellow or red will be fine
  • Italian seasoning – the herbs in Italian seasoning like oregano, thyme, and rosemary are the final touch in this tasty broth. Feel free to use fresh herbs instead
  • Salt & pepper – if you use regular broth vs low sodium, you won’t need to add much salt, but be sure to use enough
a photo of labelled ingredients for easy hamburger soup recipe

Did you know?

  • A 32 oz carton of beef broth equals 4 cups. Just pour the entire thing in for this recipe!

How to make hamburger soup

This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.

sauteing onions and celery and browning beef in a soup pot for easy hamburger soup

In a large soup pot, sauté the onions and celery in olive oil until softened. Add in the garlic, and brown the ground beef.

adding tomato paste, potatoes, and diced tomatoes to a soup pot for hamburger soup recipe

Add in the tomato paste followed by the diced tomatoes, broth, potatoes, and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil, and then let bubble gently for 20 to 25 minutes.

Substitutions and variations

  • If you don’t like having pieces of tomato in your soup, use petite diced tomatoes or sub the diced tomatoes for tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes, and then add more broth or water to thin if needed.
  • You can throw in any vegetables from your fridge, or you can use frozen chopped mixed vegetables (for example, corn, green beans, carrots, or peas). A handful of spinach added when the soup is nearly done cooking would be terrific!

Helpful tips

  • I used Russet potatoes, but feel free to sub with a different kind. I really like using Russets in soups because they fall apart easily since they’re a starchy variety.  
  • I use lean ground beef (use up to 95% lean if you like), so I don’t find it necessary to discard any of the fat. This saves a bit of work, and the little bit of fat that’s left over gives the soup a flavor boost! You can drain the fat if you want. I certainly recommend draining some out if you use regular ground beef, or the soup will end up oily.
  • Depending on what kind of tomatoes you use, your soup could be less vibrant than the photos. That’s totally ok!

Leftovers and storage

  • This hamburger soup makes fantastic leftovers, and they’ll keep in the fridge for 3-4 days in an airtight container.
  • For best results, heat up in a saucepan slowly over a low heat.
  • It also freezes well. Consume within 3 months of freezing for best results.
close-up of a pot of easy hamburger soup with a ladle

Do you like hamburger soup? Will you give this recipe a try? Let me know in the comments below! You can also tag me #saltandlavender on Instagram.

a bowl of hamburger soup on a marble surface
4.92 from 60 votes

Easy Hamburger Soup

This hamburger soup recipe is a simple and hearty meal made with ground beef, potatoes, and a delicious tomato broth. It's a budget friendly complete meal that makes excellent leftovers!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion chopped
  • 2 sticks celery chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 heaping tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juices
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 large Russet potatoes peeled & diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  • Add the olive oil, onion, and celery to a large soup pot. Sauté over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes, until softened.
  • Stir in the garlic, followed by the beef. Cook until the beef has just browned, stirring occasionally (about 5 minutes). You shouldn't need to drain much fat if you're using lean ground beef, but feel free to drain some/most of it if desired.
  • Stir in the tomato paste, then add in the diced tomatoes, beef broth, potatoes, and Italian seasoning. 
  • Increase the heat and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat a bit so it’s gently boiling. Cook for 20-25 minutes. You can cook it a little bit longer to intensify the flavor if you wish. 
  • Season with salt & pepper as needed and serve immediately. 


  • Serves 4-6. 
  • Anything from about 1 to 1.5 pounds ground beef will work.
  • Got an electric pressure cooker? Try the Instant Pot version of this recipe.


Calories: 258kcal, Carbohydrates: 31g, Protein: 22g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 47mg, Sodium: 904mg, Potassium: 1232mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 319IU, Vitamin C: 22mg, Calcium: 87mg, Iron: 5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

© Salt & Lavender Inc. Content and photographs are copyrighted. Sharing this blog post is much appreciated, but copying and pasting full recipes without authorization to social media is strictly prohibited.

Leave a star rating and comment below!

This recipe was originally published on January 30, 2019. It’s been tweaked to be even easier, tastier, and has new photos!

Hi! I’m Natasha.

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4.92 from 60 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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  1. Sue Bishop says:

    I love your recipes. When I see salt and lavender I know the recipe will be excellent. Thank you

    1. Natasha says:

      I’m so happy to hear that, Sue!! 😀 Thank you!

  2. Jessica says:

    5 stars
    This soup is perfect for cold weather days! All of the flavors meld together to make a warm and hearty bowl of yum!

    1. Natasha says:

      Thank you, Jessica!!

  3. CJs Cybergram says:

    5 stars
    We love this soup and have made it a few times. We always add additional vegetables, depending on what we have on hand. This week we added zucchini and carrots!

    1. Natasha says:

      Wonderful!! Thank you for your review!

  4. Peggy says:

    Deliciousness! This recipe is quick and can be made ahead. I doubled the recipe. Family came for dinner. There was no leftover!

    1. Natasha says:

      Love that!! Thanks, Peggy! 😀

  5. Jessica Yurgaitis says:

    5 stars
    I make this all of the time. Its easy to make and the leftovers are even better!

    1. Natasha says:

      I’m thrilled to hear it!! Thanks, Jessica! 😀

  6. Meghan says:

    5 stars
    My husband loved this recipe and he’s so bored and over soups!! So delicious comforting and easy!

    1. Natasha says:

      That’s great! 😀

  7. Mallory says:

    5 stars
    This soup is in our regular dinner rotation now! My very picky family members love it. I add a little corn, but that’s it! Thanks for the easy and delicious recipe!

    1. Natasha says:

      That’s awesome!! You’re very welcome, Mallory!

  8. Kate says:

    5 stars
    We made this last night and it’s great! I added carrots at the start and some cooked broccoli near the end and extra seasoning overall, but it’s delicious! Thank you.

    1. Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says:

      You’re very welcome, Kate! So glad you enjoyed it.

  9. Ina says:

    5 stars
    This was excellent and so easy to make! I added carrots, 1 tbsp of Worcestershire, and tripled the Italian seasoning. I used better than bouillon beef broth. Thank you for another great recipe to add to my rotation 🥰

    1. Natasha says:

      Thank you so much! Glad you enjoyed it! 😀

  10. Rdixon says:

    Added zucchini, carrots and sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes…delish!

    1. Natasha says:

      Wonderful! 🙂

      1. Erica says:

        Can this be doubled without losing any of its fabulousness?

        1. Natasha says:

          Hi! I haven’t tested doubling it myself, but I am pretty sure some readers have. I don’t see why it wouldn’t work, but I think it may take a bit longer due to the sheer volume in the pot so it’ll take longer to heat up etc., but should be fine if you keep an eye on it. Enjoy and let me know how it goes! 🙂