Old Fashioned Hamburger Stew is a classic comfort food dish enjoyed for generations. This hearty and comforting stew is made with inexpensive ground beef, potatoes, and an array of vegetables simmered in a rich, savory broth.
This easy stovetop stew can be thickened or given a soupy consistency by adjusting the stock. And while I love the baby potatoes, you could make this stew with Homemade Gnocchi instead! Enjoy this rich and filling stew as is, or serve it alongside Garlic French Bread, Instant Pot Brown Rice, or this Easy Italian Salad.
If you love using juicy and flavorful ground beef to bulk up family meals, consider making this Chili Mac, Ground Beef Taco Filling, Ground Beef vegetable Soup, or Loaded Beef Nachos! There’s something for everyone!
Why You’ll Love Old Fashioned Hamburger Stew
- Using ground beef instead of traditional beef stew makes this an inexpensive meal for the whole family while still just as delicious!
- It’s a hearty and filling stew, loaded with healthy vegetables and a rich broth.
- You can easily double this stew to store half away in the freezer or to serve a larger crowd.
- Ground beef – Use quality ground beef for this stew’s best flavor and texture. Lean ground beef can also be used.
- Mirepoix blend – You’ll need a bag of prepared onions, carrots, and celery (known as a Mirepoix blend). If you can’t source this, prepare your own mix of these vegetables from scratch. The frozen bag simply saves you some chopping time.
- Diced tomatoes – I’ve used regular canned diced tomatoes, but you could use Ro-Tel diced tomatoes instead for a kick of heat.
- Tomato sauce – This is used to thicken the stew and create a richer flavor.
- Dried basil – You could also use Italian seasoning.
- Salt and pepper – To taste.
- Bay leaf – Make sure to remove this before serving the stew.
- Mixed vegetables – Feel free to use a bag of your favorite mixed vegetables.
- Beef stock – Increase the beef stock if you want a soupy consistency to this dish.
- Potatoes – I’ve used baby Gold potatoes which means that you won’t need to peel them. They can be added whole or cut in half.
Variations and Substitutions:
- While I’ve used baby Gold potatoes for the convenience of not having to peel them or even chop them, you can use Russet potatoes instead and take that extra step of peeling and cutting them down to size.
- Add more broth for a thinner soup-like consistency to this dish.
- Lean ground beef can be used instead of regular ground beef. You could also use ground turkey, ground pork, or ground chicken.
- Add some cayenne pepper for a kick of heat, and use Ro-Tel tomatoes instead of regular canned diced tomatoes.
PRO TIP: The consistency of this dish can be adjusted by varying the amount of beef stock used. For a thicker texture, like a stew, use less stock, and for a thinner consistency, like a soup, use more.
Step 1: Brown the ground beef in a large stockpot over medium heat and saute the Mirepoix mixture until softened.
Step 2: Add the rest of the stew ingredients to the stockpot.
Step 3: Let the stew simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes until the potatoes are fork-tender. Adjust the stock as the stew cooks to achieve a thicker or thinner stew, depending on your preference.
Step 4: Garnish with fresh parsley, and serve!
- You can use fresh vegetables in this recipe instead of pre-cut or frozen ones. For example, you can sauté fresh onions and celery with the beef. However, using pre-cut vegetables, like a mirepoix blend, makes the preparation for this stew much faster and eliminates the need for chopping or peeling.
- As the stew simmers, the liquid may reduce. To ensure a heartier broth, be sure to keep the stew covered with a lid. The flavors in the stew will blend well together even with shorter simmering time, as long as the vegetables are fully cooked.
- This recipe for hamburger stew also makes a great meal to freeze for busy nights. Consider making a double batch to have on hand for a quick and easy dinner.
- During the simmering process, the beef broth may reduce. To maintain a substantial broth, keep the stew covered with a lid. The flavors in the stew will blend well in a shorter period of time and the vegetables will be cooked through.
- Potatoes are the largest vegetable in this recipe. The baby Gold potatoes make fast prep work since they can be added whole and don’t need to be peeled. They can be cut in half if you prefer.
- You don’t need to drain the browned ground beef before adding the rest of the ingredients to the pot. Any grease will add a load of delicious flavor and extra moisture.
Hamburger stew is also known as “poor man’s stew” since ground beef replaces stew meat, making it more affordable over the years to the majority of households. Don’t let this budget-friendly dish fool you – it’s just as tasty as any traditional beef stew!
Leftover Old Fashioned Hamburger Stew can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days and reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop.
Absolutely! This stew can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw it overnight in the fridge and reheat.
Enjoy this Old Fashioned Hamburger Stew with a crusty loaf of bread, rice, pasta, and biscuits, or a light side salad.
Old Fashioned Hamburger Stew
- 1 pound ground beef
- 10 ounce bag of onions, carrots, and celery (Mirepoix blend)
- 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 15 ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon basil or Italian seasoning
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 bay leaf
- 16 ounce bag of mixed vegetables
- 2-4 cups beef stock
- ¾ pounds potatoes cut into bite-size pieces
- In a large stockpot over medium heat, sauté ground beef and onion, celery, carrot mixture until beef is browned and vegetables are soft.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine.
- Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 20 minutes until potatoes are soft when pierced with a fork.
- Adjust the amount of beef stock for desired stew/soup consistency. For a stew-like consistency, use less stock and simmer uncovered. To maintain a thinner soup, use more stock and simmer with the lid on.
- Garnish with a bit of fresh parsley and serve.