Easy Homemade Cowboy Soup

You can put together this hearty Cowboy soup with what is in your pantry. This makes a delicious Tex Mex soup that will fill you up.

cowboy soup in a cast iron pot

Why not round up your family for this delicious Tex-Mex homemade soup? You can put together this hearty soup using common pantry items. Some people think this is a cowboy stew, others think it is a type of chili, one thing everyone can agree on it is a hearty soup!

This recipe makes a very tasty Tex-Mex soup with ground beef, tomatoes, vegetables, beans, and Spanish rice. It’s a wonderful soup for a cold winter day and it’s also perfect for your next game-day event. You can make this on the stovetop in a dutch oven, or in a crockpot.

About Cowboys

Cowboys played an important part in the settling of the western United States. They worked on cattle drives, repaired fences, and took care of the horses. Originally many cattle drives started in Texas and ended at the railroad in Kansas.

Cattle drives meant hard, hungry work. Cowboys would rise early in the morning and guide the herd to the next night’s stopping point.

A herd of about 3,000 cattle usually meant around a dozen cowboys. Plus there was also a trail boss, a camp cook, and a wrangler whose job was to keep track of the extra horses.

Eat Just Like a Cowboy

In 1866, the first chuckwagons began moving from camp to camp in order to feed the cowboys. When you have to cook out of a chuckwagon, necessity is really the mother of invention.

Many a meal for hungry cowhands has been thrown together from beef, beans, and whatever else might have been at hand. A soup like this one must have been on the dinner menu for many a night around the campfire. City slickers will also want to slurp up every drop of this soup!


Here’s a list of what you need:

  • Ground beef
  • Onion
  • Canned whole kernel corn
  • Canned ranch style beans – you can use canned pinto beans or kidney beans if desired
  • Canned mixed vegetables
  • Canned chopped tomatoes
  • Ro-Tel tomatoes
  • Precooked Spanish rice
  • Beef broth
  • Tomato sauce

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. If you don’t know where to find them, you can order them from HEB.

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.
  2. Add canned veggies, canned beans, tomatoes, rice, tomatoes, rice, and tomato sauce. Do not drain any of the canned vegetables.
  3. If the soup is too thick, add more broth or water and a bouillon cube.
  4. Cook soup until it has heated through.

Enjoy flavorful cowboy soup when you make it at home. This easy soup recipe is hearty and filled with ground beef, tomatoes, and spices.

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 and reheat

  • Refrigerate for up to 5 days in an airtight container.
  • Freeze for up to 3 or 4 months when you store in an airtight container.
  • Reheat soup in a pot over low to medium heat in a pot on the stovetop.
Cowboy soup in a cast iron pot

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 in a pot

Cowboy Soup

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


  • 2 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 can whole kernel corn 15 ounce can
  • 1 can mixed vegetables 15 ounce can
  • 1 can ranch beans 15 ounce can
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes 10 ounce can
  • 1 package Spanish rice, precooked
  • 3 cans beef broth 10.5 ounce cans
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce


  • Brown hamburger and onion together in a large pot over medium heat until well cooked.
  • Drain well.
  • Add the remaining ingredients.  Do not drain any of the vegetables. If you like more broth you can add additional or you may want to add one cup of water and a bouillon cube.
  • Cook soup until it has 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. 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!

  2. 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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