Here’s a tasty and nutritious recipe for Hamburger Soup. This recipe is the perfect budget-friendly meal since it gives you lots of flexibility to use the ingredients you already have on hand.

Watch the How to Make Hamburger Soup video

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Budget-Friendly Hamburger Soup

With food prices rising almost daily, we need a wide selection of economical recipes that can keep our families well-fed with nutritious foods at a low cost.

Ground beef is an excellent protein choice for budget-friendly meals. It’s a versatile ingredient that is loaded with vitamins and minerals, and it’s much less expensive than other cuts of beef.

This Hamburger Soup recipe calls for ground beef that is 85% lean with 15% fat. This particular mix is less expensive than the higher lean mix.

And don’t worry about the soup being greasy with this ground beef mixture. In my recipe video, I show you a cook’s tip using potatoes to absorb the fat released by the meat. This technique also makes the potatoes a flavorful addition to the soup.

Keep in mind you want the beef fat! It’s loaded with Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), and CLA is rich in the nutrients that are typically lacking in the Standard American Diet (SAD). This article from Eat Wild provides an informative overview of CLA with links to many scientific studies regarding its benefits in the human diet.

Make Your Ingredients for Hamburger Soup

As you prepare to make your Hamburger Soup, you will find that the recipe calls for pantry staples that you most likely already have on hand. If you have stocked your pantry with homemade traditional foods ingredients, you’re all set.

However, if you are new to using traditional foods, and you’d like to make many of your ingredients homemade, check out the following videos. I’ll show you how to make homemade Italian seasoning and marinara sauce. I even teach you how to home can your own tomatoes to use in a variety of recipes. These are all wonderful money savers!

Homemade Beef Bone Broth for Hamburger Soup

You can certainly use water to make this Hamburger Soup, but if you want to use homemade beef bone broth, all the better! You’ll enjoy all the nutritional benefits the broth has to offer.

Beef bone broth is easy to make, and in the videos below, I show you three ways to make it:

I talk about the options of using beef broth, stock, or bone broth in my Hamburger Soup. To learn more about broth, stock, and bone broth, check out the following video, where I explain the differences and how to make them.

Make Your Ingredients for Hamburger Soup Croutons

Adding croutons to your Hamburger Soup is optional, but they give a delightful crunch when enjoying your soup. (You can also enjoy homemade croutons as a snack!)

I show you how to make croutons from homemade hamburger buns in my Hamburger Soup video. You can also make them from stale bread, and I walk you through the process for two varieties of homemade croutons in the following videos.

Use Nutrient-Dense Animal Fats to Make Croutons

You can make your hamburger bun croutons or regular homemade croutons with homemade lard. If you have other animal fats that you saved from a previous recipe or purchased from your grocery store, that works well too.

By making your croutons with lard, tallow, schmaltz (chicken fat), duck fat, or goose fat, you’ll get all the vitamins and minerals from these nutrient-dense animal fats with your homemade croutons. Unfortunately, store-bought croutons may not have been made in the same fashion to give you the same nutrition.

If you make roast duck or goose, be sure to save the duck or goose fat for your future recipes. I show you how to make roast duck and goose in the following videos.

Using a Cuisinart Countertop Burner

In my recipe videos, you’ll often see me using a Cuisinart countertop burner. I like it because it’s handy and portable, and it gives me another burner if my cooktop is occupied cooking other goodies.

More Hamburger Recipes

For more budget-friendly, delicious, and nutritious recipes using ground beef, be sure to check out these videos below.

More Budget-Friendly Recipes

And if you need even more budget-friendly meals (and who doesn’t these days!), be sure to make Fried Cabbage with Kielbasa. This recipe can feed a crowd for about $10!

Looking for Grass-Fed and Grass-Finished Ground Beef?

If you can’t find grass-fed and finished ground beef in your neighborhood supermarket or farmer’s market, check out US Wellness Meats for a great selection, including ground beef mixed with organ meats. This hamburger mix is a great way to incorporate nutrient-dense offal into your diet without you even noticing it! 😉

This post is not sponsored. I’m a long-time customer of US Wellness Meats because I have always been impressed by the quality of their products. Check out my US Wellness Meats unboxing video to see the types of products you can get, including bones for beef bone broth!

Download Your Free 36-Page Pantry List

For an extensive list of the traditional foods you can make and purchase to stock your pantry, be sure to download my free 36-page Traditional Foods Pantry List. This comprehensive eBook is full of links to recipe videos, helpful articles, and more!

And if you’re looking for a printed book full of my traditional foods recipes to show you how to create a traditional foods kitchen, be sure to order your copy of my new bestselling book, The Modern Pioneer Cookbook.

Order YOUR COPY Now!

The Modern Pioneer Cookbook

Seasonal ingredients, traditional techniques, and nourishing recipes. Over 85 traditional, from-scratch recipes! Discover for yourself how you can use simple ingredients and traditional techniques to cook the modern pioneer way.

Join the Traditional Foods Kitchen Academy

Are you looking for more traditional foods videos? If so, I invite you to join the Traditional Foods Kitchen Academy. Members of this optional paid YouTube community get access to exclusive videos, live streams, and other members-only perks. Plus, your YouTube comments include a special members-only badge.

In the following members-only video, I talk about how to boost your immunity, including making and using beef tonics.

Stay in Touch with Mary’s Nest

  1. Subscribe to My YouTube Channel for Traditional Foods Videos (Free) - When you subscribe, be sure to click on the notification bell that will let you know each time I upload a new video.
  2. Subscribe to Mary’s Traditional Foods Newsletter (Free) - Get a free 36-page eBook for signing up: How to Stock Your Essential Traditional Foods Four-Corners Pantry.
  3. Join the Traditional Foods Kitchen Academy (Optional Paid) - For more detailed videos and exclusive members-only perks, join my YouTube membership community.
  4. Order The Modern Pioneer Cookbook (Optional Paid) - Get a printed book of Mary's nourishing recipes from a Traditional Foods Kitchen. This bestselling cookbook is published by Penguin Random House with their DK imprint.

I look forward to having you join me in my Texas Hill Country Kitchen!

Hamburger Soup Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Yield: 8 servings
Here's a tasty and nutritious recipe for Hamburger Soup with optional Hamburger Bun Croutons. This recipe is the perfect budget-friendly meal since it gives you lots of flexibility to use the ingredients you already have on hand.


  • 1 Large Soup Pot


  • 1 lb Ground Beef I recommend an 85% lean with 15% fat mixture.
  • 1/2 tsp Baking soda
  • 1 tbsp Butter I use a butter and olive oil mix, but you can also use all butter, all olive oil, ghee, or other fat, such as tallow or lard.
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 Onion, chopped I used a large onion. Use whatever you have on hand.
  • 2 large Potatoes, cubed I used Yukon Gold potatoes. Use whatever you have on hand. Add more to stretch the soup to increase the servings.
  • 2 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 8 cups Liquid You can use beef broth, beef stock, or beef bone broth. You can also use water.
  • 28 ounce Canned diced tomatoes You can also use whole canned tomatoes that you crush. Tomato sauce is also an option, but it makes a thicker soup.
  • 1 tbsp Tomato paste
  • 16 ounces Chopped frozen spinach, defrosted and water squeezed out
  • 16 ounces Frozen mixed vegetables, defrosted.


  • Put ground beef into a bowl and sprinkle with baking soda. Mix well. Set aside.
  • Add butter and olive oil to the soup pot. Once it begins to sizzle, add ground beef and cook until nicely browned. Approximately 5-7 minutes.
  • Add salt, pepper, red pepper flakes (if using), and Italian seasoning. Mix well with ground beef.
  • Add onions and sauté until translucent. Approximately 1-2 minutes.
  • Add garlic and sauté until fragrant. Approximately 1-2 minutes.
  • Add potatoes and sauté until the potatoes absorb some of the fat at the bottom of the soup pot and begin to release their starch. Approximately 2 minutes.
  • Add liquid and bay leaves. Bring to a medium simmer, and allow the potatoes to cook until almost tender. Approximately 10 minutes. (Cooking time will depend on the size of the potatoes.)
  • Add tomatoes and tomato paste and stir well to incorporate.
  • Add spinach and mixed vegetables and stir well to incorporate.
  • Simmer soup until the tomatoes, spinach, and vegetables are warmed through.
  • Serve soup topped with optional Hamburger Bun Croutons. (See video and RECIPE NOTES below.)
  • Soup can be stored well wrapped in the refrigerator for 3-4 days and in the freezer for 2-3 months. To reheat, warm gently in a soup pot on the stovetop until warmed through.



Adding Fresh Vegetables: If you decide you would like to add fresh vegetables, begin adding them incrementally after you add the potatoes based on their cooking times.
How to Make Hamburger Bun Croutons:  Cut 4 hamburger buns into cubed bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
Warm 2 tablespoons of fat in a large frying pan. You can use butter, olive, lard, or tallow. I used lard.
Once the fat begins to sizzle, add cubed hamburger buns and toss.
Add a salt and Italian seasoning to taste.
Toast cubed hamburger buns until golden brown. Approximately 5-10 minutes.
Use these Hamburger Bun Croutons to top your Hamburger Soup and give your meal a nice crunch.
Find more information on how to make hamburger buns at:
Find more information on how to make croutons at:
Find this Hamburger Soup Recipe and video at
Copyright © 2022 Mary’s Nest, LLC, All Rights Reserved
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Americana
Keyword: Hamburger Soup, Soup
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