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Poor Man's Stew
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
35 mins

Poor Man's Stew is an old-fashioned recipe that was found on many Midwestern tables. It's a hearty combination ground beef, potatoes, carrots and red kidney beans in a base of tomato juice. While it may seem simple, don't discount its delicious flavor. 

Course: Entree, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Easy Hamburger Vegetable Soup, ground beef stew, hamburger stew, Hamburger Vegetable Soup, Poor man's stew, poor mans soup
Servings: 8 people
Author: Barbara
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 3/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1 1/2 cups diced potatoes
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 15.5 ounces red kidney beans, drained
  • 46 fluid ounces tomato juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar (optional)
  1. In a skillet or large saucepan, brown ground beef and diced onions; drain excess oil if needed.

  2. Add the ground beef back to the saucepan; add all remaining ingredients.

  3. Simmer over medium to medium-low heat until carrots and potatoes are fork tender, approximately 35 to 45 minutes.

Recipe Notes
  • Hamburger stew is as versatile as they come.  Use more or less of any given ingredient, or use up whatever is in the icebox refrigerator. Try swapping in your favorite bean or make it low fat using ground turkey.
  • I like to add approximately 1 tablespoon of sugar to this recipe and almost any tomato-based meal.  Tomatoes are acidic, and the sugar will balance the acid.  This is optional. 
  • To make this a poor man's soup, add more tomato juice, or if you prefer a poor man's stew, add less. It's delicious either way. 
  • Try leaving the ground beef in larger chunks while cooking; it gives great texture to this hamburger stew recipe. 
  • Convert this to a slow cooker recipe by adding all the ingredients to a crock pot insert, cooking on low for 6-8 hours. Or try out or Crock Pot Hamburger Vegetable Soup with V8 recipe.