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Favorite Hamburger Stew Recipe

Favorite Hamburger Stew Recipe

I got this recipe from a woman at our church, Lois Henry, when I needed a way to use up our bounty of home-canned tomatoes. My husband loves it, and I like that it's easy to warm up for a carefree dinner in the winter months. —Marcia Clay, Truman, Minnesota
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Cook: 65 min. YIELD:15 servings


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) stewed tomatoes, undrained
  • 8 medium carrots, thinly sliced
  • 4 celery ribs, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup uncooked long grain rice
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons pepper
  • ADDITIONAL INGREDIENT (for each batch of stew):
  • 1 cup water


  • 1. In a Dutch oven, cook beef and onions over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add the tomatoes, carrots, celery, potatoes, water, rice, salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables and rice are tender.
  • 2. Uncover; simmer 20-30 minutes longer or until thickened. Freeze in 3-cup portions for up to 3 months.
  • 3. To use frozen stew: Thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Transfer to a saucepan; add water. Cook until hot and bubbly. Yield: about 5 batches (15 cups total).

Nutritional Facts

1 cup: 165 calories, 6g fat (2g saturated fat), 30mg cholesterol, 584mg sodium, 16g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 2g fiber), 12g protein.

Reviews for Favorite Hamburger Stew

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PKG14 User ID: 7912800 261647
Reviewed Feb. 21, 2017

"This is very good! I'll make again!"

recipehound54 User ID: 4246730 259496
Reviewed Jan. 10, 2017

"I made this because I had the ingredients on hand and because it looked quick and easy to throw together. I didn't expect 5-star taste--was I wrong! This is delicious comfort food. It was very tasty as made according to directions; I had about half a serving as a taste test and had to go back for another full serving. I would love to see how a few substitutions as suggested by other reviewers might change the dish. beef broth instead of water should give a richer flavor and V-8 would give it a little extra kick as would a bit of garlic. It also is a dish that is very healthy for diabetics and anyone who is carb conscious. Whether made as is or enhanced with other ingredients, this recipe is a keeper for my files!!"

rmlf1 User ID: 2979210 257650
Reviewed Dec. 4, 2016

"wow, my mom used to make this all the time! but w/o the rice. and she rolled the ground beef in little meatballs and called it meatball soup!"

nursesourpus User ID: 8949175 255099
Reviewed Oct. 6, 2016

"We loved this stew but did add some garlic and beef broth to it. It was delicious"

annrms User ID: 2649709 254688
Reviewed Sep. 27, 2016

"DH made this stew. He made one change in that he used bear meat instead of beef. It is a definite keeper recipe. It's hearty and filling. When he makes soup, chili, or stew he adds some beer or wine replacing some of the liquid. In this case, he used 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup vermouth instead of the 1 cup of water called for. Will make this recipe again!"

frajo110 User ID: 8266268 254338
Reviewed Sep. 19, 2016

"Tried this stew this evening and it was great. Just added a cup of water. Will make it again."

bbellito User ID: 1967423 254101
Reviewed Sep. 14, 2016

"This is very bland. I have other recipes that are similar but taste better. This is not something I would make again."

redhen1970 User ID: 4031186 254003
Reviewed Sep. 12, 2016

"Very basic with the invitation to add broth, red wine, fresh herbs. I added a couple garlic cloves, rosemary, chives and beef broth. Very tasty and my neighbors loved it."

ahmom User ID: 3426126 253913
Reviewed Sep. 10, 2016

"love love love"

Jenna092 User ID: 7825623 243761
Reviewed Feb. 13, 2016

"Great, basic recipe! It is rather bland in terms of seasonings, but you can easily add more spices to your liking. It could also easily be made in a crock pot."

Emarkle76 User ID: 8764915 243502
Reviewed Feb. 9, 2016

"RPAP: beef broth in lieu of water adds a bit more punch. Also, adding about a cup of V8, tomato sauce or even tomato soup brightens it up a lot. I also add a clove of garlic.

Great basic recipe and awesome the next day. :-)"

HEXA User ID: 7635575 237259
Reviewed Nov. 13, 2015

"Inexpensive to make and TASTY!! It's also very flexible - I've replaced the veggies in the recipe with frozen veggies, or whatever is in my crisper. We add a few dashes of hot sauce or chili flakes. Tastes even better the next day."

rubycat1 User ID: 8265233 236018
Reviewed Oct. 31, 2015

"This recipe has become a family favorite. I do add worshestershire sauce and Tabasco. It makes all the difference!"

RPAP User ID: 1395734 235950
Reviewed Oct. 29, 2015

"This recipe has potential, but is very bland as is. It needs additional liquid along with some spices. Probably won't try it again."

Lynn68s User ID: 8591740 235835
Reviewed Oct. 28, 2015

"I have not tried this particular recipe but I have one quite similar only difference mine calls for chopped cabbage. There is your flavor! Give it a try, along with the vegetables called for and yes beef broth. This is a soup and with some Italian bread or a crusty bread you have a meal. It calls for sweet basil,salt,pepper & a pinch of oregano."

Annamarie61 User ID: 8476239 235827
Reviewed Oct. 28, 2015

"I changed it into a soup. I added barley instead of the rice. Added extra water and some beef bouillon. Turned out good. Husband loved it."

Willy111 User ID: 4134203 232961
Reviewed Sep. 15, 2015

"I made one like this, but it had 1/4 tsp dried oregano, 1/4 tsp dried basil. and 1/4 tsp thyme. and I used quinoa in place of the potatoes, plus I added 4 cups tomato juice, Placed in crock pot. Turned out great"

Ambergris User ID: 2845310 232942
Reviewed Sep. 15, 2015

"Hearty enough but very bland. Just what one would expect for a recipe that doesn't have a single spice added but salt and pepper...I added the [email protected], garlic powder, some worcestershire, and most of all some beef broth that really made the difference. Way too bland with just water...I also added elbow macaroni that was delicious..."

chris28304 User ID: 2137086 232457
Reviewed Sep. 7, 2015

"I thought this tasted better the next day. I did make a couple of changes. I cooked in the crockpot on low for 7 hours. I also used Italian diced tomatoes instead of stewed and added a can of tomato soup to balance out the seasoning in the diced tomatoes which was a bit too much left as is. I also omitted the rice since the recipe had cubed potatoes."

_nlfPA User ID: 1879224 224597
Reviewed Apr. 10, 2015

"Absolutely delicious and so easy to put together. My husband and I loved it.

Nancy Foust
Field Editor PA"

[email protected] User ID: 1665956 221767
Reviewed Mar. 1, 2015

"Even after going thru all the comments and doctoring up the recipe with some suggestions, this was still just a so-so dish. Definitely have to leave cover a lot longer, to get rice, potatoes and carrots soft enough. Added additional beef broth, chili powder, garlic, Italian seasonings, worchestershire sauce, and it's just not doing it for this family. Glad I only mad a 1/2 batch!"

tomo805 User ID: 2436774 221236
Reviewed Feb. 23, 2015

"This will be a keeper in our house. All I did was to add a package of frozen peas and a package of beef stew seasoning."

shelli1542 User ID: 1525176 220428
Reviewed Feb. 13, 2015

"Excellent. IMy whole family liked it. I followed the recipe exactly except used one teaspoon season salt and two teaspoons of salt."

scotland1 User ID: 1426757 220189
Reviewed Feb. 10, 2015

"Best tasting. This is a keeper."

KimandTommy User ID: 7946929 220021
Reviewed Feb. 8, 2015

"Really good and perfect for a weeknight meal."

Mjm688813 User ID: 8241217 219452
Reviewed Feb. 1, 2015

"I love it :) 5 stars"

Jellybug User ID: 53068 219447
Reviewed Feb. 1, 2015

"This stew was out of this world good....made a batch and served it with homemade rolls and a green salad...This is a permanent "Go To" recipe in my house now!"

NH-rescue User ID: 4255840 219192
Reviewed Jan. 29, 2015

"I always have better luck when I cook the rice first, then add it to any dish instead of cooking the rice along with everything else. This reduces the cooking time, especially when using leftover rice. This recipe works well because it can be seasoned in so many different ways!"

bholmes61 User ID: 8232761 219017
Reviewed Jan. 27, 2015

"Great recipe. I added garlic powder,beef consume, and about 2 tablespoons of chili mix. It was superb."

ebramkamp User ID: 702841 218713
Reviewed Jan. 24, 2015

"This was easy to make and made quite a bit which was a nice way to stretch the dollar. I did make a couple of changes after reading the reviews. I used diced tomatoes with green chiles, added a clove of minced garlic, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper for added zip and used beef stock instead of water. I would definitely make this again."

mel7445 User ID: 3057977 218450
Reviewed Jan. 20, 2015

"After reading existing reviews, here's what I did to boost the flavor: used 2 cups reduced sodium beef broth instead of water, used 2 cans of fire roasted diced tomatoes (out of the 4 cans), 1/2 Tablespoon of salt (not additional but was trying to watch sodium), 1 Tablespoon of pepper, 4 teaspoons of Savory, and 5 cloves of minced garlic. Also topped it with parmesan cheese before serving. I had to cook it much longer than the recipe stated to get the veggies tender enough. I think it would do best in the crock pot - cooking the beef, onions, & minced garlic, then dumping that along with everything else into the crock pot and cooking on low for 3-4 hours. Then back into the dutch oven or on high in the crock pot (depending on time frame) to cook until thickened. I got just under 5 batches and was really pleased with the flavor and for having 4 additional dinners in my freezer! Quart-sized mason jars are perfect for freezing the extra batches. One of my new favorite comfort recipes."

Jess0701 User ID: 7199632 217394
Reviewed Jan. 9, 2015

"Very bland. It definitely needs some seasoning."

AnnieMo User ID: 8189850 216338
Reviewed Dec. 29, 2014

"This is my new favorite recipe! In addition to this recipe, I added one can of green beans, one can of corn, 2 cups beef bouillon, one bay leaf, 1 tsp. minced garlic, garlic salt, and I cut down 1/2 of celery and also chopped up celery leaves. Total perfection!"

Donnakay57 User ID: 7707747 216125
Reviewed Dec. 27, 2014

"Really good, very easy and not expensive to make also makes a lot for the freezer"

Queenlalisa User ID: 15400 215987
Reviewed Dec. 26, 2014

"This stew was really good. I did leave out the celery and added a little garlic. Will defiantly make again."

patsy37 User ID: 249429 215986
Reviewed Dec. 26, 2014

"This is just like hamburger soup!"

Jascott User ID: 8074815 56802
Reviewed Nov. 4, 2014

"We loved this dish! Next time I make this, I will definitely add green beans and corn!"

Donnamarie1960 User ID: 8021183 74326
Reviewed Oct. 4, 2014

"Wonderfully delicious recipe I wouldn't change a thing"

DirtracersGirl User ID: 7768285 102274
Reviewed Sep. 22, 2014

"There is nothing I would change on this recipe. Best stew ever and my family LOVED it!"

CherylLScott User ID: 7804962 133286
Reviewed Sep. 13, 2014

"Came out great! I used beef stew meat, (had it in the freezer) instead of the ground meat, added 1 cup of beef bouillon, and some minced garlic. Also, I used 1 can diced fire roasted tomatoes and 1 can plain diced tomatoes since I had those on hand instead of the stewed tomatoes.

I had actually cut the recipe in half. Other than these additions I followed the recipe."

Kbrown2525 User ID: 1184944 51720
Reviewed Sep. 9, 2014

"Our family loves Hamburger Stew! I also add green beans, corn, and okra the last 20 to 30 minutes."

Soup38 User ID: 7737440 133281
Reviewed Mar. 27, 2014

"This is such a colorful meal, I love cooking this for my fiance and I. I'll add just the smallest dash of A-1 to give it a robust tart."

lovetocook5513 User ID: 7540518 56800
Reviewed Dec. 15, 2013

"Overall Very delicious recipe. I have a big family so I tripled the amount. I did not add potatoes. I did however add more spices such as garlic, basil leaves, thyme, etc. I like a lot of bold flavors. Also, I put a few jalapenos. I will continue to make this as it was an easy recipe."

tigortweet User ID: 6916011 137246
Reviewed Dec. 10, 2013

"So good! even my picky preschooler and my toddler LOVED this recipe! We took the leftovers camping and heated them up, just as good the second day. Definitely making this again, will try with venison next time."

way2buzy User ID: 5808978 55836
Reviewed Feb. 9, 2013

"We really liked this! I used leeks instead of onions and diced tomatoes instead of stewed. I also added 1/4 tsp Savory and 1/2 tsp. garlic powder."

StaceyLM User ID: 5648934 60356
Reviewed Oct. 22, 2012

"VERY GOOD! I didn't have potatoes so I used more rice. I also added some minced garlic. Just perfect for a cool autumn day."

jessie1 User ID: 1964826 60355
Reviewed Sep. 27, 2011

"recipe needs some seasoning, very bland for my taste"

swatara User ID: 1801511 133267
Reviewed Feb. 25, 2011

"It's A WONDERFUL recipe! My family enjoys it VERY much! My daughter makes this every week."

snackcake User ID: 4580851 74277
Reviewed Feb. 13, 2011

"Followed another viewer suggection on adding more spices, very good made with buttermilk biquists."

EllenKG User ID: 776779 60354
Reviewed Dec. 6, 2010

"This was so easy to make and tasty. I did cut the recipe in half since 15 servings would be way too much for one person. I sliced the veggies very thin, so this was cooked in about 25 min. I added some corn starch to thicken. Will definitely make this again."

Granny Grey User ID: 1970189 142355
Reviewed Dec. 2, 2010

"This is great comfort food for the winter! My entire family loves this recipe. The only thing I have to say is that it needed to cook alot longer than the recipe states for the veggies to be nice and tender. But, I will DEFINITELY make this again! Thank you for sharing this great dish!"

pfolks69 User ID: 5425924 130140
Reviewed Nov. 29, 2010

"easy to make and very tasty. I think I'd add more vegetables next time. Makes a lot - so I had lots of leftovers for lunches. Just popped individual bowls in the freezer - ready to take to work for lunch."

lap84 User ID: 2087212 50128
Reviewed Nov. 16, 2010

"I thought this needed a little jazzing up-so I did a few alterations & brought it to a church potluck with rave reviews. I had only chopped tomatoes on hand & substituted 2 cans for the amount suggested, I decreased the carrots & celery to about 3 each, added condensed tomato soup, 1 tsp. worcestershire sauce, 2 tsp. dry basil, decreased salt to 1 tsp. because I added some beef bouillion to taste. Also eliminated the rice when I made it for the church. It really was tasty with the additions."

jslvsclf User ID: 919747 55830
Reviewed Nov. 15, 2010

"This is very good; next time I would add cabbage-but that's a personal taste issue; nothing is wrong with this recipe. I am writing this in the fall, so it is perfect for cool weather. Thank you."

kcfoxx User ID: 469024 65933
Reviewed Nov. 4, 2010

"I've been making this for years and it is always as good the next day as it is the day you make it. My family doesn't like carrots, or rice so I use frozen corn and broccoli and cauliflower and green beans or peas. This is the type of dish you can use whatever you like and it taste good no matter what."

nancye49 User ID: 4289123 50105
Reviewed Aug. 26, 2010

"My family loved it. The only thing my picky grandson could say was to many carrots. I doubled the recipe and still there was little to put up and it was gone before lunch the next day. I think I might add a little minced garlic next time. Great meal."

wzejq9hh User ID: 3440926 205751
Reviewed Feb. 15, 2010

"I love that I get more than one meal from this recipe and my husband is inspired by this meal, the aroma draws you to the table."

hlthornton User ID: 2879951 55822
Reviewed Feb. 21, 2008

"I love this recipe. I can't believe I finally found it. I lost the Taste of Home magazine that had this recipe in it and have searched high and low. My husband will be very excited when I make this for him tonight."

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