This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

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.

Salt & Lavender is a recipe blog with a focus on delicious comfort food using everyday ingredients. Beat the weekday grind with hundreds of easy-to-follow and hassle-free recipes!

The Salt & Lavender cookbook is here! Order Now

Leave a comment

Please leave a recipe rating!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Erin says:

    5 stars
    Made this as directed except added some roasted diced green chilies I didn’t want to go to waste. It just adds mild heat to the soup. Delicious!! Thanks for the great recipe!

    1. Natasha says:

      Love that idea!! You’re very welcome, Erin! 😀

  2. Becky Acosta says:

    5 stars
    Great soup! Just made it and my husband had seconds! I used 2 lbs 96% lean beef, 4 potatoes and added a can of corn (drained). Turned out so good! Thanks for another recipe to add to my rotation:)

    1. Natasha says:

      You’re very welcome, Becky! 🙂

  3. Nene says:

    5 stars
    Great recipe! I used spaghetti sauce instead of diced tomatoes and I added a red pepper. This soup is really easy to make and hard to mess up.

    1. Natasha says:

      Thanks so much!! 🙂

  4. Lenny Wentworth says:

    5 stars
    Quick soup. Very nice and flavorful.

    Held back on the salt & pepper and used Harissa and umami at the end. I cooked 1lb chub of 80/20 separately, cooked onions, celery and mushrooms in ghee via Instant Pot. added meat, potatoes, peas and carrots, seasoning, tomatoes, chicken and beef stock that was open.
    high pressure for ten minutes (we live at altitude)

    thumbs up!!!

    1. Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says:

      So happy you enjoyed it, Lenny!

  5. Nikki says:

    5 stars
    My husband loved the soup! I used one can of fire roasted diced tomatoes and one regular. Will definitely put it in the rotation.

    1. Natasha says:

      Excellent!! 🙂

  6. Sharon says:

    Can cream be added to this recipe?

    1. Natasha says:

      Absolutely! I think that would be delicious. I’d probably add 1/2 cup to start, towards the end of the recipe, then add a little more if you decide it needs it.

  7. Bethany says:

    5 stars
    I Love This SOUP
    Thank You So Much For The RECIPE

    1. Natasha says:

      You’re very welcome!

  8. Lori Tinjum Johansen says:

    5 stars
    Making this as we speak. I didn’t include celery (the hubster hates it) or beef broth (used 4 cubes instead), doubled the garlic because we love that punch and doubled the potato. Just had a little sneak preview and have to say it’s very flavorful! It’s been rainy and windy here in NW Minnesota today, so it was absolutely perfect. I’ll be making it again soon. <3

    1. Lori Tinjum Johansen says:

      5 stars
      Forgot to add that I also threw in some freshly picked corn and green beans for more texture and color. YUM!

    2. Natasha says:

      I’m so happy you’re enjoying it so far, Lori! Stay warm! 🙂

  9. Jutta Carnation says:

    Hi there. Could i make this in the crock pot instead?

    1. Natasha says:

      I’d still brown the beef in a skillet, but yeah, throwing the ingredients into a crockpot should work. 🙂

  10. Erin says:

    5 stars
    I made this tonight and it was delicious! The seasoning makes it so comforting. I gave the kids bread sticks and they loved it! Hidden veggies for the kids! Winning!

    1. Natasha says:

      That’s great to hear, Erin!! So glad it was a hit with the family.