Ground Beef Vegetable Soup is one of those soups that takes just minutes to throw together, is economical to make, and can be easily modified to fit personal preferences and even changed into different flavors of soup.
This is a great way to repurpose leftovers! Add a few extra spices and you'll have a taco soup or add some coconut milk and a few other ingredients and turn it into a curry-inspired soup.
Pair the Ground Beef Vegetable Soup with crusty bread and you have a complete meal!
This recipe is like a vegetable beef soup, but uses ground beef instead of slices or chunks of stew meat. It's a hearty soup that has minimal to zero prep depending on how you decided to make it and you can make it in a pressure cooker like the Instant Pot or Ninja Foodi, slow cooker, or in a pot on the stove.
The various versions you can make are almost limitless and it can easily be adapted to most eating plans and preferences. You can make it keto by omitting carb-heavy vegetables, you can make it vegetarian or vegan by omitting the beef and using a vegetable stock. You can make it low-sodium by using low-sodium beef broth and a salt substitute for flavor.
Ingredients & Substitutions
I used 80/20 in this recipe and did not sauté and drain the fat. The fat adds flavor and richness to the soup, however you can certainly sauté and drain the ground beef if you prefer or you can use extra lean ground beef.
This is a great recipe for using up leftover hamburgers. Simply crumble them into the soup and call it easy hamburger soup!
You can also use ground pork, ground turkey or ground chicken and switch the beef stock or broth to a chicken stock or broth. Another option is to use your favorite sausage instead.
You can also omit the ground beef and use a vegetable stock if you wanted to keep it plant-based.
You can use any of your favorite veggies in this soup. I recommend using frozen vegetables if you are going to pressure cook the soup, because it does take about 20-30 minutes for the pot to come to pressure and that is a long time for many fresh vegetables. Another option is to pressure cook the soup with the quick-cooking vegetables and then add them in and use sear/sauté to simmer the soup until they are cooked to your desired doneness.
I like to add the frozen mixed vegetables, frozen cut green beans (not string beans or french style beans), frozen or canned corn, and extra peas. I love peas! Although there are some peas in the mixed veggies, I add a couple cups after the soup cooks and let them warm through in the hot broth. This way they stay nice and vibrant green instead of the dull green color they become once cooked for a while.
Adding a can of fire roasted tomatoes or diced tomatoes to this soup is a great option. In fact, I think I did add a can for my first test of the recipe. Truth be told, it wasn't even a recipe on my list to do. I was simply hungry one night and had nothing but ground beef thawed and some frozen or canned vegetables. The ground beef vegetable soup turned out so good that I tested it again, wrote down the recipe and forgot the tomatoes.
You could also add in a can of tomato sauce, but, if pressure cooking, add it on top and don't stir. The same with tomato paste. Using tomato paste will give a tomatoey thickness to your soup and it will be more like a stew. A small can of tomato paste (6 ounces or about 170 grams) will be plenty.
Potatoes or Pasta
I used 1 pound of yukon gold potatoes for the final recipe, but I also tested it with mini farfalle pasta and it was delicious both ways. I will say that the potatoes held up better for reheating than the pasta. The pasta ended up absorbing too much of the liquid as it sat in the fridge and, once I warmed it back up, the pasta was quite soft.
You could also switch the white potato for sweet potatoes. If you want to use Russet potatoes, I would cut them bigger because they break down quite a bit in soups and may end up just falling apart.
You could even try rice in this soup. I would probably use a brown rice that takes longer to cook because the long time to pressure may overcook white rice if you are making it in a pressure cooker.
The other thing to take into consideration is the liquid amount. I used about 6 cups of beef broth when I used potatoes, but 8 cups when I used pasta because the pasta will absorb liquid a lot more than potatoes. The same would be true of rice, especially brown rice. I would recommend adding an extra 2 cups for a total of 8 cups of broth or stock when using pasta or rice. If your soup isn't liquidy enough at the end, you can always add more broth to get it to the consistency you like.
You could even substitute beans for the potatoes or pasta or add them in as an addition. I recommend using canned beans that have been drained instead of dry beans because of the short pressure cook time. You can use black beans, white beans like navy beans, great northern beans, or cannellini beans.
You can use a variety of different liquids when making this soup, but I used beef broth in the recipe. When I tested the recipe the first time I used beef bouillon, about 2 Tablespoons for the 8 cups of water (I used pasta that time). I did not have to add any extra seasonings when using the bouillon, however I did add some extra seasonings when I used the broth. The recipe is written with the amount of seasonings needed when using beef broth, so be sure to cut them back a bit when using bouillon or a highly-seasoned broth or stock.
If you are using ground turkey or chicken or pork, I suggest using chicken broth instead of beef broth.
No matter what type of liquid you choose, make sure enough of it is a thin liquid. For example, you don't want to use all tomato juice or sauce because it would be too thick to build the pressure and may result in scorching.
If you are new to pressure cooking and want to understand it better, here is an informative article that I wrote: Pressure Cooking 101
Seasonings & Extras
To make the basic soup you only need salt, black pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. The amounts will really depend on your personal preferences, but I've listed the amounts I used.
You can also add in some basil or Italian seasoning, and fresh parsley would be a great garnish!
If you like things spicy, add a little red pepper flakes.
One of the ingredients that I forgot in the video demonstration is worcestershire sauce and I do recommend using it because it adds a depth of flavor. You can also add in a bay leaf for some added flavor.
How to Make Ground Beef Soup
Whether you want to make this on the stove, in your pressure cooker, or in a slow cooker, the basic instructions are the same. The only changes are in the timing and liquid amounts.
Slow Cook: Combine all the ingredients in the slow cooker and add 1 additional cup of liquid to allow for the evaporation that occurs during slow cooking. Slow cook on high for about 2 hours and on low for about 4 hours.
Stove Top: Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Add an additional 2 cups of liquid to the pot to allow for the evaporation that occurs during the simmering time. Bring the contents to a boil and remove any foam or sediment that may float to the top from the ground beef. Reduce to low and simmer for 30-45 minutes.
The directions below are for pressure cooking in the Ninja Foodi or Instant Pot, but the first steps are the same no matter the cooking method.
Step One: Add in the frozen vegetables that you decided to use. You should have a total of about 6-8 cups of various vegetables. *If you are adding in fresh veggies that will overcook during the time to pressure, which varies from 15-30 minutes, add those at the end and use sear/sauté to simmer the soup until they are cooked.
I used 12 ounces or about 2 cups of frozen corn, 12 ounces (or about 2 cups) of frozen mixed veggies, and 12 ounces (about 2 cups) of frozen cut green beans, and 1 pound of Yukon gold potatoes cut into about 1½"-2" chunks. I also add some frozen peas, but I wait until after pressure cooking to do that so they remain bright green.
If you are using potatoes, I recommend Yukon Gold or another firm potato so the chunks of potato hold up to the time to pressure and pressure cooking time.
Add in your seasonings and the beef broth until it covers the vegetables. I use 6 cups when using potatoes and 8 cups when using pasta.
Step Two: Break up the raw ground beef and add it to the vegetables. Stir the ground beef into the soup. Keep in mind that the ground beef won't break up that much during pressure cooking, so make the chunks the size you want in the soup.
If you don't want the added fat in the soup, you can certainly precook the ground beef and drain the fat. I add the ground beef raw because the fat adds flavor to the soup.
Stir it all together and put the pressure lid on. Turn the valve to seal and cook on high pressure for 2 minutes. When the time is up, immediately release the pressure.
Step Three: When the pressure has released, open the lid and give the soup a stir. You may notice some foam or particles on the soup from the ground beef. You can skim this off if desired, but I didn't bother.
Add your peas, if using, and stir. Let sit a few minutes and serve.
If you want to add some fresh quick cooking vegetables, add them in now and switch over to sear/sauté on medium and simmer until they are cooked to your liking.
Try adding some croutons on top of your soup, it's absolutely delicious! Fresh parsley is also a nice garnish. Enjoy!
Variations of Ground Beef Vegetable Soup
One of my favorite things about this soup is that it is great for meal prep! If you are like me and don't want to eat the same soup over and over, you can easily change this one up just by adding a few ingredients and various spices.
Quick Taco Soup with Leftovers
What I like to do is take 4 cups of the soup and turn it into taco soup by adding the following spices.
- 1 Tablespoon of hot sauce. My favorite is Cholula.
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon chipotle powder or cayenne pepper
- salt and pepper to taste
If you want to make a whole batch of taco soup, then you may want to take a look at this recipe: Pressure Cooker Taco Soup
Thai Curry Inspired Soup
If you are in the mood for a curry soup, but your kids aren't fans of it, simply make a batch of the ground beef vegetable soup and take what they will eat out of the pot.
Then, to the rest of the soup, add these ingredients to the pot and you will completely change the flavor profile of the soup.
- 14-ounce can of coconut milk
- 2-3 Tablespoons yellow curry powder (add to taste)
- 1-2 Tablespoons of chili garlic sauce (you can add as much or as little as you want to get to your desired level of spiciness)
- ½-1 Tablespoon of brown sugar, if needed.
- splash of fish sauce, if you have it, to boost the flavors.
- Peanut Butter (optional)
If you love Curry dishes then you may be interested in these recipes.
There are tons of different variations you can make with this base soup, so get creative. Use the spices and flavorings you love and turn the leftovers into your own original concoction!
A little tip when experimenting with changing up the flavors is to remove ¼ cup of the soup and add the seasonings you think you want to put into the soup and see how they taste. Keep track of the amounts you use and then it is easy to multiply them by 4 for each cup of soup that you want to transform into something new and exciting.
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely! Just let it cool completely before freezing to avoid ice crystals from forming. Then portion out the number of servings you want into a freezer-safe container or zip lock freezer bag. Get as much air out as you can and freeze. It will stay good for up to 6 months when packaged properly.
I don't recommend doubling the recipe when using a pressure cooker, because the time to pressure would increase too much even if your pressure cooker is big enough to handle the amount of soup. You can absolutely double it or even triple it if you make it in a large pot on the stove.
You can cut the recipe in half by cutting all of the ingredients in half and if pressure cooking, you do not need to change the timing.
More Easy Soup Recipes
Soup is one of those meals that are usually easy to make, great for serving a crowd, and the flavors vary so much from soup to soup. Here are some soup recipes that I think you will absolutely love. The cheeseburger soup really tastes just like a cheeseburger!
- Vegetable Lentil Soup
- Greek Meatball Soup ~ Pressure Cooker or Stovetop Recipe
- Homemade Hot & Sour Soup
- Cheeseburger Soup (Ninja Foodi or Stovetop)
- Pressure Cooker Beef & Barley Soup
- Cabbage & Sausage Soup (Ninja Foodi or Instant Pot)
- Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup in the Ninja Foodi or Instant Pot
- Ham and Lima Bean Soup in the Ninja Foodi
Ground Beef Vegetable Soup Recipe
- Pressure Cooker or
- Slow Cooker or
- Large Pot on the Stove
- 1 Tablespoon fine grind sea salt or kosher salt
- 1½ teaspoons garlic powder
- 1½ teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 12 ounces frozen corn about 2 cups
- 12 ounces frozen mixed vegetables about 2 cups
- 12 ounces frozen cut green beans about 2 cups
- 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes cut into 1½" chunks
- 6 cups beef broth
- 1 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 pound ground beef I used 80/20
- 12 ounces frozen peas optional
- fresh chopped parsley
- Add the frozen vegetables, chopped potatoes, spice blend, beef broth, and worcestershire sauce to the inner pot of your pressure cooker, the slow cooker, or a large pot on the stove.
- Break up the ground beef into bite size pieces and add to the pot. Stir to combine everything.
Pressure Cooker Instructions
- Put the pressure lid on and turn the valve to seal. Pressure cook on high for 2 minutes. When the time is up turn the valve to vent to release the pressure.
- Remove the lid and stir in the peas if using. Taste for seasonings and add more to taste.
- Serve & Enjoy
Slow Cooker Instructions
- Add an additional 1 cup of beef broth. Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for about 4 hours and on high for about 2 hours.
- When everything is cooked through add the peas if using and stir into the soup. The residual heat will cook the peas. Season to taste with more seasonings if desired.
- Top each bowl with croutons and/or freshly chopped parsley. Serve and Enjoy!
- Add 2 additional cups of broth to the soup. Bring the pot to a boil, stirring occasionally. You can skim off any foam or particles that rise to the top from the ground beef if desired.
- Once the pot of soup is boiling, reduce the heat to medium low or to a heat setting that keeps the pot at a simmer. Simmer for 30-45 minutes.
- Add the peas if using. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Top each bowl with croutons and/or chopped parsley. Serve & Enjoy!
ABOUT THE RECIPE AUTHOR, LOUISE LONG
Louise is a full-time recipe creator and food blogger @ The Salted Pepper. She has over 30 years of experience with cooking and recipe development. She owned a restaurant for several years and was a full-time RN until retiring to blog full-time.
She published her first cookbook in the Fall of 2018 and is very interested in writing several more.
Louise is also the creator of an online Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooking Course with over 100 instructional step-by-step videos. People absolutely rave about the course and all the value they have received from it.
Louise has several very active Facebook groups that help people with the basics of cooking and getting the most out of the Ninja Foodi.
Louise is also a YouTube creator and you can find most of her recipes in video format on The Salted Pepper YouTube channel.
She is very responsive to messages and eager to help in any way she can. Get more Information about Louise & contact information
I WOULD LOVE TO SEE WHAT YOU ARE COOKING UP IN YOUR KITCHEN! TAG ME @THESALTEDPEPPER ON YOUR FAVORITE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM WHEN YOU MAKE A DISH!
BE SURE TO FOLLOW THE SALTED PEPPER RIGHT HERE ⇓⇓⇓⇓⇓