The Best Spicy Hamburger Vegetable Soup EVER!

This spicy hamburger vegetable soup is very hearty and delicious and I will be sharing how I make this family favorite. A perfect for a cozy winter dinner or just about any season at all!

hamburger vegetable soup

Hamburger Soup Is Food for the Soul

Whether it is because of my age, my “meat & potatoes” palate, or my humble Southern roots, spicy hamburger vegetable soup will ALWAYS be a staple in my kitchen. It is something that I cook at least once a month (more in colder months), definitely the ultimate comfort food, and something that everyone loves (even those who tend to eat “fancy food”). To sum it up, hamburger soup is food for the soul!

Hamburger Soup Is In a Class of Its Own

Hamburger soup is really hard to find in a restaurant or get for take-out. My grocery store (Publix) has weekly soup rotations, one of which is a vegetable beef soup. This is a close cousin to hamburger soup, but it tends to be more of a “vegetable soup” with beef added. Additionally, the beef in this soup is typically small bits of sirloin, rather than ground beef or “hamburger meat” as we over-50’s would often say. The bottom line is that hamburger soup is an old-fashioned soup that we seasoned home cooks have made for years (usually without following a recipe).

Can you make hamburger soup spicy?

My spicy hamburger soup is for those whose palates CRAVE spicy, well-seasoned food with kick and heat. If this is you, this soup will be SO up your alley. However, if your palate craves milder less kickin’ dishes, this soup can be toned down for your tastes, too. I share in the notes below how to tweak this recipe to go from a spicy version to a regular version. In addition, if you prefer not to tweak this recipe you can go to this easy, old-fashioned vegetable soup recipe.

My Favorite Soup Making Tools & Tips

No matter what soup or stew I am making, I always use some of the same tried-and-true tips and tricks to make the process easier. Here are my favorites:

  • Ziploc Zip & Steam bags are a quick & easy method for steaming potatoes and carrots before adding them to the soup. This Cuisinart steamer is also handy for pre-cooking soup veggies. I always do this, as potatoes and carrots will not fully cook if added to soup raw. They should be cooked or almost fully cooked first.
  • An immersion blender is one of my fave soup-making tools, and so much easier than a blender. You can use it to puree whole canned tomatoes or potatoes to make the soup creamy. 
  • Large 1/5 gallon food storage containers are the easiest way to store large batch soup safely. It is never safe to stick a slow cooker in the fridge, as it is too deep for food to maintain a stable temp throughout. Large, flat containers are best.
  • Slow cooker liners are a soup maker’s best friend. First, the slow cooker just needs a quick easy wash when these are used, as no burned or sticky food will touch the slow cooker liner. Second, the soup can be “lifted” and transferred to the storage container easily rather than poured from the slow cooker. 
  • I love this cook & carry crockpot, as I often cook soup to take to the lake or to a friend’s home. 

Can you make this soup milder/less spicy?

For those who prefer their soup without a “kick”, this soup is still for you! Just make a few simple, quick tweaks and you too will be enjoying this comforting classic. 

  • Use regular V-8 instead of spicy
  • Substitute original Ro-Tel instead of hot
  • Omit the hot sauce and red pepper flakes
  • Reduce the amount of (or omit) Worcestershire, A-1 steak sauce, and soy sauce

What are the handy substitutions for ingredients in this soup?

  • frozen vegetables (10-12 oz bag) can be used in place of the fresh ones
  • ground turkey can be used instead of ground beef
  • canned broth can be used or broth made with boiling water and bouillon cubes
  • Simply Potatoes (diced with onions) can be used in place of fresh diced potatoes

Note: If using a bag of frozen vegetables, I sauté them for a bit with the browned meat so that they will soften a smidge before adding to the slow cooker or soup pot. I always cook potatoes (Simply Potatoes or fresh) in a microwave steamer pouch before adding to the pot; otherwise, they will be hard. The bags I use are linked in the notes above.

Can you make this spicy hamburger vegetable soup ahead of time?

You can make this soup partially ahead by browning the meat the day before and finishing the soup the next day. Otherwise, this soup is so easy, there is no need for any other make-ahead prep. It is actually better a day or two after it is made; it only gets better with a bit of time for the flavors to meld.

Can you make spicy hamburger vegetable soup with Instant Pot?

If you prefer to make your soups in an Instant Pot, you certainly can with this one! Simply follow the instructions in the recipe. First, just use your Instant Pot when it is time to place the soup ingredients into a slow cooker. Next, cook on manual pressure for 30 minutes, then after that allow the steam to slow-release completely. After that, let the soup sit in the IP for an hour or two before removing the lid if you have time. As with most soups, it just gets better the longer it sits:-)

How to serve this spicy hamburger vegetable soup:

This can be served with saltines, which is how I grew up eating almost any soup you could imagine. Spicy hamburger vegetable soup is also FAB with this is jalapeño pimento cheese cornbread. I also serve it often with this crunchy slaw that everybody loves or with my personal fave blue cheese horseradish coleslaw. DELISH!!!!

Check out my Spicy Hamburger Soup Podcast

If you like to “talk through” recipes, you can tune in to this podcast on Hamburger Vegetable Soup! In the podcast, I talk through all the steps that I take when making the soup. I also share my favorite tips, tools, and tricks for making, storing, and transporting the soup. You can listen to the podcast on this page with show notes or tune into The SavvyCast on iTunes or your favorite podcast platform.

Try more Family Savvy soup recipes

I’d love to hear from you if you try this. If you make tweaks, share them in the comments so we can all see how you made the soup for your family.

As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Be blessed, and stay savvy!!!

spicy hamburger vegetable soup

Spicy Hamburger Vegetable Soup

Yield: 10
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes


  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups V-8 juice (Spicy Hot is my fave)
  • 1 can beef broth (this is roughly 2 cups; add more if needed)
  • 2-3 potatoes, diced (or 1/2 bag Simply Potatoes diced with onions)
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup chopped onion (I used chopped frozen)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 envelope Lipton onion soup mix
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen white corn
  • 2 cans Rotel tomatoes
  • 1 can green beans, cut into halves (or 1 cup frozen)
  • 1 can Campbell's tomato soup
  • 2-3 dashes hot sauce or to taste
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 TB butter
  • 1 TB Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 TB A1 Steak Sauce
  • kosher salt & ground pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2-2 pounds ground chuck or beef


  1. Put ground beef in skillet, season with kosher salt & ground pepper, and cook over medium heat until almost brown.
  2. Add garlic the last minute or two of browning.
  3. Remove from heat; drain fat and sprinkle dry onion soup on top.
  4. Pre-cook potatoes and carrots to almost done. I use Ziploc Zip 'N Steam bags and cook for 4 minutes on high.
  5. Add butter to potatoes and carrots; let sit until butter melts.
  6. Stir potatoes and carrots until coated with butter.
  7. Add potatoes, carrots, and green beans to the skillet with the meat.
  8. Sprinkle vegetables with salt and lots of pepper.
  9. Add all remaining ingredients - bring soup to a boil.
  10. Reduce heat, and simmer at least an hour.
  11. May transfer to a slow cooker; cook on high 4 hours or low 7 hours.


This soup tastes better the longer it sits, so I make it early in the day so that It has time to "sit" and settle.

Nutrition Information
Yield 12 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 373Total Fat 18gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 81mgSodium 860mgCarbohydrates 26gNet Carbohydrates 0gFiber 3gSugar 7gSugar Alcohols 0gProtein 26g

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  1. I am so sorry; I am not sure what happened!! You can buy large rubbermaid or similar platic containers that are long and flat. I like these because they are not deep, and the soup cools evenly so as not to be a breeding ground for bacteria (like a large crock or deep container). I hope you find something that helps!!!! I’ll try to find those links, too!!

  2. This looks delicious! I was interested in seeing the 1/5 gallon containers but the link takes me to the immersion blender.

  3. We haven’t actually had dinner yet. I made the soup this morning, and I am simmering till dinner. But we have tasted it. It ‘s delicious! I had my son taste it too, and his face lit up with a “That’s really good!”

    I had to make a few modifications – no spicy V-8 and only regular Ro-tel available, so I added a tablespoon of chopped canned chipotle peppers.

    No Italian seasoning, so I added 1 tsp each basil, oregano and thyme. Went for a half teaspoon of red pepper flakes, but now I am not sure if I should add hot sauce.

    I guess I can decide at dinner time if the soup lasts till then. It’s so good!

  4. Gennae, this makes me SO happy to hear!!! This soup is one of my favorites too, and I always serve it with this cornbread!!! Thank you so much for sharing your kind words. So happy to hear that my dear friend Sophie mentioned it. She is a GEM. Blessings to you, my friend!!!! XoXo

  5. I saw this recipe a few days ago and then heard Boo Mama rave about it on the Big Boo podcast so I had to try it! I made this for dinner with the Pimento Cheese Corn Bread (to die for!). This soup is delicious! I used ground turkey instead of beef and regular Rotel (not spicy) but otherwise followed the recipe. This was so, so good with the perfect amount of spice. I have two semi-picky teenagers and they loved it to! This made enough for lunch tomorrow and another dinner. I plan on freezing it for a night when we are short on time.

  6. Thanks for letting me know how you adapted it, Gail! We like ours thicker, but I’ll be some folks might prefer it thinner~thus more beef broth would be better. So glad you enjoyed it!!!

  7. Thanks for commenting back. I saw the update!
    I guesstimated about 4 cups of beef broth and two bay leaves and my family loves it!! I also added can of corn for a bit more color and as I said the family loved it. Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. Hey Patti! I add the onions to the meat during browning. I usually use the diced frozen onions, and they do great just added to the skillet with the meat and cooked until soft. They cook the rest of the way while the soup simmers. Hope this helps!!!

  9. Thank you for adding the beef broth. I made this tonight and it is delicious! Also, when do you cook the onions? Did you add them with the potatoes, carrots and green beans! Thank you, Patti

  10. Bay leaf and beef broth not on list of ingredients.
    How much? I was in middle of making this and now I’m gonna be guessing.

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