Easy Homemade Cowboy Soup

Why not round up your family for Cowboy soup, it is a delicious Tex-Mex soup. The best part of this soup is that you can make it with common ingredients in your pantry. Some people think this is a cowboy stew; others think it is a type of chili, but one thing everyone can agree on is that this easy cowboy soup recipe will fill up your hungry cowboys. 

Cowboy soup garnished with fresh parsley.

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What makes cowboy soup the perfect hearty soup to serve

This recipe makes a very tasty Tex-Mex soup with ground beef, tomatoes, vegetables, beans, and Spanish rice. What gives it such a rich flavor are the seasoned ranch beans, beef broth, Ro-Tel tomatoes, and fresh veggies.

When all of the ingredients simmer together, they create a magnificent taste and aroma that will give you an overwhelming sense of comfort. Unlike other soups that are light, this one has plenty of protein and vegetables to nourish your body, making it great for when you want a soup that fully satisfies your hunger after a long day.

Why you’ll love this recipe

If you’re anything like me, you might have a specific cooking method that you prefer to make soup with. No worries, though; this recipe allows you to make this hearty soup on the stovetop, in a Dutch oven, or in a crockpot. So, there are many ways to make it!

It’s a wonderful soup for a cold winter day, and it’s also perfect for your next game-day event since it feeds a small crowd and is super easy to dish up. You can also easily double it if you’re feeding more than nine people since the ingredient amounts are so easy to adjust!


Here’s a list of what you need to make cowboy hamburger soup (get the full ingredients and detailed instructions in the recipe card):

  • Ground beef
  • Onion
  • Canned whole-kernel corn
  • Canned ranch-style beans – you can use canned pinto beans, kidney beans, or black beans if desired
  • Canned mixed vegetables
  • Canned chopped tomatoes
  • Rotel tomatoes
  • Precooked Spanish rice
  • Beef broth
  • Tomato sauce
Cowboy soup ingredients on a tray.

What are Ro-Tel tomatoes?

Ro-Tel is a brand of canned diced tomatoes that includes green chilies. You can choose just the right degree of hotness and spiciness for your family’s taste buds.

Whichever variety you opt for, Ro-Tel livens up otherwise ordinary dishes with the bold, festive flavors of the Southwest. Use these spicy tomatoes in soups and stews for extra flavor.

What are ranch-style beans?

Ranch-style beans include a perfect blend of spices to create a unique, bold flavor that’s synonymous with authentic Southwestern cooking. You can find them at most regular grocery stores and Walmart.

Apart from soup, they go well with any kind of Mexican food. Try them the next time you grill some steaks.

How to make cowboy soup

  1. Brown the ground meat and onion together in a large pot over medium heat. Drain well.
Browned ground beef for cowboy soup in a pan.
  1. Add canned veggies, canned beans, tomatoes, rice, tomatoes, rice, and tomato sauce. Do not drain any of the canned vegetables. Stir to combine.
Cowboy soup ingredients in a pan.
  1. If the soup is too thick, add more beef broth or water and a bouillon cube.
  2. Bring the soup to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer until it has heated through. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
Two bowls of cowboy soup and two spoons behind them.

Recipe variations

You can add diced potatoes, you’ll just need to cook the soup until they are tender.

You can substitute the ground beef with ground turkey or chicken.

Instead of ranch style beans, you can use canned pinto beans, kidney beans, or black beans. You will need to add some chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder since those are not spiced.

What to serve with cowboy soup

For some added flavor, I love to add some cheese, Fritos, and a dash or two of Tabasco’s chipotle sauce. You can keep a bottle of hot sauce on the table so your family and friends can add just the right amount of heat to their bowl of soup.

Some tasty cornbread will also go very well with this flavorful soup.

How to store this soup

Whether you want to refrigerate or freeze this soup, you’ll need to store it in an airtight container! If you plan to freeze the food and reheat it later, you can always divide it into multiple containers to pre-portion it for easier thawing.

How long does homemade cowboy soup last?

In the refrigerator, leftover cowboy soup lasts five days. However, in the freezer, it lasts much longer. You can enjoy it for up to 3 or 4 months when stored in freezer-safe containers. Thaw it in the fridge overnight to reheat for best results.

What is the best way to reheat it?

Reheating this soup on the stovetop is definitely the way to go. I suggest using a pot that is large enough to allow for stirring. Use low to medium heat to gradually raise its temperature without scorching it!

For faster reheating, you can heat a serving in the microwave on high in 30-second increments.

Cowboy soup in bowls and spoons next to them.

Want cornbread with your soup? Try these recipes:

More hearty soup and stew recipes

Be sure to check out more of my hearty soup recipes and the best winter recipes.

Cowboy soup garnished with fresh parsley.

Cowboy Soup

Enjoy flavorful Cowboy soup when you make it at home. 
5 from 16 votes
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Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cowboy Soup
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 9
Calories: 365kcal


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 15-ounce can whole kernel corn
  • 1 15-ounce can mixed vegetables
  • 1 15-ounce can ranch beans
  • 1 14.5-ounce can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 10-ounce can Ro-Tel tomatoes
  • 1 8.8-ounce package pre-cooked Spanish rice
  • 32 ounces beef broth use more, if preferred
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce


  • Sauté the ground beef and onion in a large pot over medium heat until the meat has browned. Drain and return to the pot.
  • Add the remaining ingredients to the pot without draining any of the canned vegetables. If you like more broth, you can add additional beef broth to suit your taste. Cook until the soup is heated through.



Slow Cooker instructions
If you want to prepare this in a slow cooker brown the meat and cook the onion together in a large pot, and then transfer the drained ground beef and onion to a slower cooker. Add the remaining ingredients, and heat on low for 4 hours.


Calories: 365kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 1315mg | Potassium: 595mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 2615IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 226mg | Iron: 5.4mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home, and CopyKat.com's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Jasper Sexton

    5 stars
    The way the tanginess of the tomatoes interacts with the savory beef and beans… it’s nothing short of culinary magic. ??

  2. Caroline

    5 stars
    Loved, loved, loved this recipe! I made Spanish rice instead of using instant and had fresh beefsteak and Roma tomatoes that needed used so replaced the canned tomatoes with those and added some Serrano peppers from Ku garden as well. Fabulous combination!

  3. Vince

    This soup is amazing, I have eaten it since it was first posted on this site many many years ago and my mother got a hold of the recipe. Great for cold winter weeks.

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