Skip to Content

Cowboy Soup

Sharing is caring!

Filling and delicious, with an almost creamy texture, this Cowboy Soup is the perfect easy weeknight meal!

Ready in just 45 minutes and chock-full of filling and tasty ingredients, this crowd-pleasing, gut-sticking, tasty stew is sure to please the entire family. 


Main image for recipe of cowboy soup. Bowl of soup with a spoon full above.


Whether you’re looking for a make-ahead freezer meal, a quick meal for a busy night, or something with great leftovers, this cowboy soup is the recipe for you!

It’s a quick, dump and cook recipe with tons of flavor and easy preparation. 

This cowboy stew is great because it can be made with shelf-stable foods from your pantry or freezer.

It’s one of those recipes that you likely have all the ingredients for already, and it comes together so deliciously! And did I mention you can freeze it? I sure love a soup that freezes well. 


ground beef and onion in a skillet


What is cowboy soup?

Cowboy soup is basically a Tex-Mex, one pot, hamburger vegetable soup. Made with ground beef and/or sausage, filled with a variety of canned vegetables and beans, this soup is quick and easy to make ahead, make the day-of, or freeze for later! 

Cowboy soup is hearty and filling; the kind of stick-to-your-guts and keep-you-full stew that a hard working cowboy needs! But it’s not just for cowboys — it’s great for everyone! 


garlic added to ground beef


What is in cowboy soup?

While the ingredients are fairly interchangeable based on preferences (you can sub in or sub out your favorite veggies or beans), I really love this basic recipe for cowboy soup. It’s got all the flavor and filling goodness that you could ever want in a stew! 

To get started, you’ll need the following ingredients: 

  • Ground beef – provides protein and iron. 
  • Yellow onion – a great seasoning vegetable. 
  • Garlic – packs a powerful punch of flavor. 
  • Corn – Feel free to sub in frozen or fresh! 
  • Green beans – keeping the liquid adds a great, salty bit of seasoning and liquid to your cowboy stew recipe. 
  • RoTel tomatoes with green chilies – diced tomatoes and green chilies all in one flavorful can. 
  • Rice – This is a full meal deal giving this soup, more of a stew or risotto texture.
  • Beef broth – provides the majority of the liquid for the cowboy soup recipe. 
  • Cream-style corn – canned cream-style corn adds another bit of creamy sweetness to the soup.
  • Kidney beans – More protein and flavor!

tomato paste, corn, green beans, rotel, rice vegetable broth, cream style corn and kidney beans added to ground beef.


How to make cowboy soup?

This easy cowboy soup is one of the simplest soups to make! If you’ve got a can opener, a stew pot, and a stove burner, you can have this soup ready to eat in no time:

  1. Cook ground beef and onion.
  2. Add garlic and tomato paste and stir to coat. 
  3. Pour in canned beans and vegetables and rice. 
  4. Simmer until rice is cooked.
  5. Enjoy


soup all mixed up ready to cook


Can I use chicken broth in cowboy soup?

Of course! Chicken broth and beef broth can be substituted for one another, and often are. While there will be a slight difference in flavor, it will be less noticeable in this ground beef bean soup recipe thanks to the presence of the ground beef! You can also sub vegetable broth. 


soup cooked through.


Can I use fresh vegetables in cowboy soup?

Absolutely! Feel free to sub fresh corn for canned, fresh green beans, fresh tomatoes, and fresh green chilies. The vegetable bean soup will taste great either way! 


soup cooked through.


Can you freeze cowboy soup?

This might be my FAVORITE part about this easy cowboy soup recipe — IT FREEZES GREAT! You can freeze it fully prepared or not. 

To freeze prior to fully cooking, still sauté the ground beef and onion until the ground beef is thoroughly cooked.

Meanwhile, assemble the remaining ingredients in a gallon-sized freezer bag, then add the cooked and cooled ground beef and onions. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. 

To freeze fully cooked leftovers, simply place cooled portions of leftover soup in a gallon or quart-sized (for single servings) freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months! 

To thaw, place soup in a covered pot on the stove top over medium heat, breaking apart and stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked or heated. 


soup in pot with a ladle scooping some out.


How to thin out cowboy soup?

The best way to thin out cowboy bean soup is to add a little extra vegetable or beef broth. It might be necessary to add extra liquid as the rice cooks and absorbs the liquid in the soup. 

 Is cowboy soup healthy?

Relatively speaking, yes. If you use lean ground beef, cowboy soup can be an excellent source of protein, carbohydrates, and various nutrients from the beans and vegetables! 

The main thing to watch out for is the sodium content. Canned foods and broths tend to be high in sodium. 


soup in a bowl. Image taken from the top looking down to bowl and spoon full.


More Soups You’ll Love…


side view of two bowls of cowboy soup


Whether you’re making this soup ahead for an extra busy weeknight or sick day, or throwing it together at the last second, this soup is the ultimate comfort food.

The flavors come together beautifully and the recipe is versatile and the preparation simple! It’s a win all the way around. 


Yield: 8 Servings

Cowboy Soup

soup in a bowl. Image taken from the top looking down to bowl and spoon full.

Filling and delicious, with an almost creamy texture, this Cowboy Soup is the perfect easy weeknight meal!

Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic or 3 teaspoons garlic paste
  • 1 (15.25 ounce) can of corn, with liquid
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can of green beans, with liquid
  • 1 (10 ounce) can Ro*Tel tomatoes with green chilies, with liquid
  • 2/3 cup Jasmine rice, uncooked
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can beef broth
  • 1 (14.75 ounce) can of cream-style corn
  • 1 (16 ounce) can of kidney beans, drained & rinsed


  1. In a large pot, add ground beef and onion. Cook until ground beef is cooked through and onions are translucent.
  2. Add garlic and cook for 1 - 2 minutes or until garlic is fragrant and mixture is well combined.
  3. Add corn, green beans, Ro*Tel, rice, beef broth, cream style corn & kidney beans. Mix well and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for 30 minutes or until rice is cooked through.
  5. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 283Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 598mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 21g
Originally Posted: January 28, 2016

Photos & Text Updated: August 10, 2021



Sharing is caring!

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


Sunday 10th of September 2023

Tomato paste is mentioned above but not in the ingredients or instructions.


Friday 22nd of September 2023

Well that's confusing! Especially since there isn't tomato paste in the recipe! I've fixed the text. Thanks for letting me know.


Monday 21st of August 2023

I’m sorry but it’s very bland. I added Red Hot sauce and pepper and it didn’t make much of a difference. My husband didn’t care for it either.


Thursday 28th of September 2023

I'm sorry to hear that Laurie. You can always add a packet of taco seasoning for added flavor.

Rose Martine

Friday 6th of November 2020

Made this for my husband one night and needless to say it’s on the menu again this week. Thank you, it was very easy and most of all delicious!!

Connie croom

Tuesday 16th of January 2018

Been dreaming of cowboy soup, over 10 yrs since I cooked it last! Googled it an saw this recipe. Bought everything an tryin my hand at it today! Will let u know! So excited!


Saturday 1st of September 2018

Connie your comment has made me a little nervous! I hope you liked it! There are different versions but this one is our favorite! Thanks for your comment!

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

Skip to Recipe