Intensely aromatic, this easy slow cooker hamburger soup is the ultimate comfort food, with robust flavors of tomatoes, carrots, and hearty ground beef. It's like having your favorite burger in a soup bowl! Add your favorite pasta and let your tastebuds wrap themselves in warmth and delight.
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Soup can be the main course, especially if it's filled to the brim with ample ingredients and acidic flavors. Hamburger soup with pasta takes no time to make, but the result is a hearty bowl of soup with mouth-watering flavors.
What is Hamburger Soup?
Hamburger soup is a classic soup made with a base of tomato sauce, Italian spices, and ground beef. The beefy, zesty, tangy soup is also filled with heart-warming pasta and garnished with earthy parmesan cheese. It's like a combination of vegetable beef soup and pasta soup.
Why You'll Love This Crockpot Hamburger Soup Recipe
Quick to throw together with everything in the crockpot
Easy to make with classic ingredients and a slow cooker
Just set it and forget it for a deliciously savory dinner to come home to
Hamburger soup with pasta makes a heartier soup perfect for dinner
Warm, hearty soup perfect for winter's cold temperatures
- Ground beef
- Carrots - frozen vegetables can be substituted for the carrots and celery
- Canned white beans
- Beef stock - or beef broth will work. You can also substitute 1 cup of beef broth for your favorite pasta sauce
- Canned diced tomatoes - adding the juices gives this soup more flavor
- Italian seasoning
- Bay leaf
- Ground black pepper
- Red pepper flakes (optional) - gives a bit of heat and extra flavor to the soup
- Pasta - use a thick, hearty pasta like ziti or penne so that it doesn't become mushy from overcooking
- Parmesan cheese lends a tangy edge to the soup but cheddar or gruyere can be subbed
Ingredient Notes, Substitutions, and Recipe Variations
- Beans - It's important to use canned beans because there isn't enough liquid for dried beans plus the seasonings and tomato will prevent dried beans from softening. Instead of white beans, use black beans, pinto beans, or kidney beans.
- Cheese - To make cheeseburger soup, use American, Cheddar, or Velveeta cheese instead of Parmesan.
- Meat - Use ground chicken, pork, or turkey. You can also use stew meat.
- Spices - Use chili powder or taco seasoning mix instead of Italian seasoning.
- Pasta - Any shape of pasta works including macaroni and noodles. Or substitute it with rice, quinoa, or barley but note they'll take longer to cook than pasta.
- Tomatoes - Instead of plain diced tomatoes you can use Rotel diced tomatoes with chilies to add a kick of heat.
- Vegetables - Use frozen vegetables or add any fresh vegetables such as potatoes, cabbage, corn, green beans, zucchini, etc. Omit the pasta if using potatoes.
How to Make Hamburger Soup
- Place onions, garlic and ground beef in a large skillet.
- Break up the ground beef into large chunks, and cook until beef is done.
- Add the cooked hamburger to the crockpot then add beef broth.
- Pour in canned tomatoes with juice and add pasta to the top.
- Place all cut-up vegetables and beans into the crockpot.
- Sprinkle in seasonings.
- Stir well.
- Add parmesan cheese and secure the lid on the crockpot. Cook for about 1-½ hours on high.
Slow cooker hamburger soup is done when the pasta is done. I like to check at the hour mark to see if pasta is al dente. If so, turn off the crockpot and serve. If not, place the top back on and cook for another 30 minutes. Enjoy!
What to Serve with Hamburger Soup
- Bread - French Bread, Garlic Bread, Dinner Rolls, or Toasted Hamburger Buns.
- Crackers - Butter Crackers, Oyster Crackers, or Saltines
- Croutons - Store-bought or homemade ones using hamburger buns.
- Toppings - Shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped green onions, or tortilla strips.
To make crockpot hamburger soup in advance:
- Prepare it as directed except for adding the pasta and cheese.
- Let the soup cool completely then transfer it to an airtight container. Refrigerate or freeze.
- When ready to serve, place the soup in a large pot or slow cooker. Heat on low until the soup is warmed through, stirring occasionally.
- Add the pasta and cheese and cook until the pasta is done.
How to Store, Freeze, and Reheat
To Store Leftovers: Let the soup cool completely then place it in an airtight container. Refrigerate it for up to 5 days.
To Freeze: Let the soup cool completely and place it in a freezer-safe container. Freeze it for up to 3 months. Thaw soup in the fridge overnight.
To Reheat: You can warm the soup in a pan on the stovetop over medium-low heat stirring occasionally. Or you can microwave it in 1-minute increments until heated through. Be sure to use a microwave-safe bowl and place parchment or wax paper over it to prevent any splatter mess inside the microwave.
Slow Cooker Hamburger Soup
- 1 ½ pounds ground beef
- 1 onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced (or 2 teaspoons minced garlic from jar)
- 1 cup carrots chopped (about 3 carrots)
- 1 cup celery chopped (about 2-3 stalks)
- 15 oz can white beans
- 4 cups beef stock
- 28 oz can diced tomatoes, with juices
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
- ½ cup uncooked pasta i.e. ziti, penne or rigatoni
- ½ cup parmesan cheese shredded + more for garnish
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the ground beef and onion together. Add the garlic in the last minute and cook until browned. Drain and place in the crockpot.
- Add the remaining ingredients and stir well.
- Cook on high for 1-½ hours. Check at 1 hour to see if the pasta is done. If so, turn off crockpot and serve.
- When cooking is complete, remove the bay leaf and ladle into soup bowls. Garnish with additional parmesan cheese.