Are you looking to mix up your home cooking routine? Cowboy soup is a delicious and hearty stew perfect for family dinners.
This unique stew recipe features ground beef, tomatoes, beans, corn, and more!
You’ll love the smoky flavors of this traditional cowboy meal cooked in one pot.
Plus, all of the nutritious ingredients make it as healthy as it is hearty.
Not sure how to get started with making cowboy soup? Don’t worry, I have you covered!
Check out the step-by-step instructions below. You’ll have it ready in no time.
If I had to sum up this soup in two words, it would be mouth-wateringly delicious.
Of course, filling and nutritious are good descriptors, too.
This chunky, veggie-packed soup is an excellent addition to any dinner rotation.
It’s easy to make, full of flavor, and takes less than an hour to prepare.
You can even make it ahead of time and freeze it for later! It’s the ultimate in taste and convenience.
It’s also an excellent way to use up things that have been sitting in your kitchen for too long.
Have a can of mixed veggies collecting dust on the back shelf?
A bag of frozen corn icing over in the freezer? Dump them into this soup recipe!
If you love one-pot meals with a Tex-Mex flair, this recipe is 100% for you. And bonus: Even the kiddos will love it!
The ingredients list for this recipe is pretty long. Fortunately, though, it’s full of easy-to-find things.
You probably have most of them in your pantry right now!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Ground beef. You need two pounds of lean ground beef. The leaner it is, the less grease you’ll have to drain after cooking the meat.
- Onions and garlic cloves. You cook these alongside the ground beef. They provide plenty of earthy, umami flavor.
- Beef broth. You can use homemade beef broth if you have any on hand. If not, go with boxed or canned beef broth. You need four cups worth.
I don’t recommend substituting chicken broth. Its flavor doesn’t pair as well with the other ingredients.
- Ranch-style beans. Picking the right beans is essential. Don’t just grab any old can of pinto beans. Ranch-style beans have very specific seasonings that are vital for this soup.
Add them to the Dutch oven undrained. That’s important. Also, if you can’t find ranch-style beans, you can substitute seasoned chili beans.
- Diced tomatoes. Drain these before adding them to the soup. If you can find sun-dried tomatoes or fire-roasted tomatoes, they’ll add a better flavor.
- Potatoes. Every hearty soup needs potatoes in the mix. They make the soup a good “stick to your ribs” meal. I always go with Yukon gold.
- Tomatoes with green chilies. A can of undrained Rotel adds a ton of Tex-Mex flavor to this already flavorful soup.
- Frozen corn. Corn adds a bit of sweetness to the recipe’s other savory flavors. You can substitute canned corn if necessary, but be sure to drain it.
- Mixed vegetables. Drain your can of mixed veggies, as well. These add flavor, color, heartiness, and more nutrients to the soup.
- Seasonings. You need chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper for this recipe. They’re the final finishing touches for adding flavor to this stew.
How to Make Cowboy Soup
You can find the full, step-by-step guide to making this soup below.
However, you can break the recipe down into three simple steps.
1. Cook the meat and onions. The first thing you do once your pot is hot is cook the ground beef and onions. Break the meat into smaller chunks while you’re cooking it.
Once the meat browns, add the garlic, as well. These ingredients form a flavorsome base for everything else to build on.
2. Add everything else. Next, you’ll add everything else to the pot. Just dump it all in. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat.
3. Simmer, then serve. Allow the soup to simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes. When it’s thoroughly warmed, and the potatoes are tender, it’s ready to eat.
Transfer it to soup bowls, and enjoy! Be sure to add any extra toppings you want before diving in.
Tips for the Best Soup
This soup is a breeze to make. Even so, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Add extra meat. You don’t have to stick solely to ground beef. You can add kielbasa, crumbled bacon, or another favorite. You could even substitute ground turkey for beef.
- Dial up the heat. This recipe has tons of flavor but isn’t hot. If you like spicy foods, add a dash of cayenne, some sliced jalapenos, or extra chili powder.
- Adjust the broth thickness to suit your tastes. You can add more or less beef broth for a thinner or thicker soup. Don’t add so little that the potatoes aren’t covered, though.
- Frozen is fine. Use a frozen bag of mixed veggies instead of the can if you prefer. Both work just as well.
- Remember your toppings. Before serving, load the soup down with whatever toppings you like best. Sour cream, shredded cheese, and jalapenos are a few good options.
One-pot dump soups like this one are great because they’re so versatile.
Tweak the recipe however you like to suit your tastes.
What to Serve with Cowboy Soup
You can serve this soup alone or as a starter for another meal. I enjoy it as the main course with a side of Mexican cornbread.
Here are a few other options for serving side suggestions:
- Cornbread (regular, sweet, Mexican, or otherwise)
- Tortillas or tortilla chips
- Toasted baguettes
- Grilled cheese sandwiches
Besides some thick bread, this soup doesn’t need much else.
However, you could lay out a variety of toppings and hot sauces for your guests.
A Southwestern-style salad could pair well with it, too.
How to Store and Reheat
Store this soup in an air-tight container in the fridge for 4 to 5 days. You can reheat it in the microwave or on the stove.
If using the microwave, heat it in 1-minute intervals on 100% power.
Reheat it on the stove over low heat until it’s warmed through.
Because of the potatoes, this soup doesn’t freeze well.
If you leave them out, you can freeze them in an air-tight, freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
Let it thaw in the fridge overnight. Then, reheat it on the stove over low to medium heat.
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