(Last Updated On: January 2, 2024)
On a cold autumn or winter day, this hamburger soup with cabbage and potatoes really hits the spot! But this cabbage hamburger soup is not just for chilly days, you can serve this soup anytime you want throughout the year. This soup has a lot of cabbage, onions, carrots, potatoes, corn, and green beans in it. However, I must admit, the cabbage and potatoes are my favorite.
How about making this soup tonight? The recipe is super easy to follow, it tastes amazing, and it’s got some good stuff in it. It’s my favorite soup and it goes great with garlic bread or buttered biscuits.
🥣 Key Ingredients
- 20 cups water – we use tap water
- 3 pounds of lean ground beef
- 8 Russet potatoes peeled and cut into chunks (or baby potatoes or 8 to 9 red potatoes not peeled)
- 1 head of cabbage
- 2 yellow onions
- 3 cans of sliced or diced carrots
- 3 cans whole kernel corn
- 2 or 3 cans green beans – you can add 3 cans of green beans if you prefer
- 3 cups ketchup
- 5 teaspoons table salt
- 3 teaspoons of ground black pepper
👩🍳 How to Make Hamburger Soup with Cabbage and Potatoes (Step-by-Step Instructions with Detailed Photos)
First of all, we make a big batch of this hamburger soup so we can have leftovers for the next couple of nights, that’s how much we love this delicious recipe. But, you can always make half of the recipe, or even less than that, if you prefer to make a smaller batch. Also, we will have many steps going at once. For example, getting the water to a boiling point, browning the hamburger, and preparing the vegetables.
Step 1. Fill a Pot with Water
Let’s start the pot of water. You’ll need one pot, a large stock pot, unless you are cutting the recipe in half, then a smaller pot will do. Fill the large pot with 20 cups of tap water.
Step 2. Add the Salt
Add 5 teaspoons of table salt together with the water, then stir thoroughly. Turn the heat on high until the water starts to boil. After the water has come to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-high to keep the water boiling, but not running over or splashing out of the pot.
Step 3. Put the Ground Beef in a Frying Pan
While the water is coming to a boil, put 3 pounds of ground beef in a large frying pan. We use lean ground beef, but you can use whatever ground beef you prefer.
Step 4. Brown the Ground Beef
On medium-high heat, chop the ground beef in large chunks as it is browning in the frying pan so you get larger pieces of hamburger in the soup. This way you don’t have to make individual meatballs the old-fashioned way. I like to save time when I cook and make things as easy as possible.
Keep browning the ground beef until no pink is showing. The ground beef will take a little bit of time to brown, so keep an eye on it while we start the next step.
Note: You can roll the ground beef into meatball shapes and fry it that way, but it is easier to chop them into bigger chunks as they fry in the frying pan. Also, if medium-high heat becomes to hot, turn the burner down to medium heat.
Step 5. Peel the Potatoes
While the ground beef is still browning, with a potato peeler, peel 8 Russet potatoes. You can also use baby potatoes or 8 to 9 red potatoes not peeled, depending on your personal prefernce. We have made this hamburger soup using all three of these different potatoes – with peeled Russet potatoes, and baby potatoes or red potatoes not peeled. All ways taste the same. But, it is much easier and faster to skip the peeling. Not having to peel all the potatoes makes this stew a quick and easy meal when you are in a hurry. However, today we aren’t in a hurry, so we peeled 8 Russet potatoes.
Tip: To keep the potatoes from turning brown while you are preparing them, you can put them in a bowl of cold water, if you prefer, as you peel each potato.
Step 6. Cut the Potatoes
With a sharp knife, cut each potato into eighths. To do that, you will cut each potato in half, then cut those halves into half, and then one last time, cut those halves into half. That would be 8 pieces for each potato. If you cut the potatoes in smaller pieces, they will eventually dissolve in the soup. Also, if you use baby potatoes, don’t peel them, and just cut them one time in half.
Note: If you are doing the cold water thing, while you are cutting each potato, put them back into the bowl of cold water and set them aside for now.
Step 7. Chop the Onions
While the water is still coming to a boil, and the ground beef is browning, take the 2 yellow onions and cut them into chunks, slices, or diced, whichever you prefer. We cut ours into bigger chunks. Set the onions aside for now.
Step 8. Chop the Cabbage
After you are done chopping the onions, prepare the head of cabbage by rinsing it under cold water first, then cutting it into pieces with a sharp knife. Don’t cut the cabbage pieces too small or they will turn to mush after cooking in the hot water. Cabbage doesn’t take too long to become tender, so keep an eye on it after it is put into the hot water in a later step. But for now, set the chopped cabbage aside.
Step 9. Add the Potatoes to the Pot of Boiling Hot Water
Take the cut potatoes out of the cold water and put all of them into the large pot of hot boiling water, then cook about 15 to 20 minutes with the heat still on medium-high. Do not overcook. Reduce the heat to simmer after the potatoes are cooked.
Tip: A fork or toothpick should slide into the potato with ease, but not make the potato fall apart. If the potatoes are overcooked, they will become too soft and mushy.
Step 10. Add the Onions to the Water
Next, keep the heat at a medium heat and add the chopped onion we set aside earlier to the simmering pot of water together with the potatoes. Stir.
Step 11. Add the Sliced Cabbage to the Water
Add the cut-up cabbage to the pot of water together with the potatoes, and onions. Stir all of the ingredients together.
Step 12. Add the Cans of Vegetables and Black Pepper to the Water
Open 3 cans of whole kernel corn, 3 cans of sliced or diced carrots, and 2 or 3 cans of green beans and drain the liquid out of them. Then, add the corn, carrots, green beans, and 3 teaspoons of ground black pepper to the pot of hot water together with the potatoes, onions, and cabbage. After adding the black pepper, give the pot a good stir.
Note: If you decide to use raw baby carrots instead of canned, add them to the pot of hot water when the potatoes are added.
Step 13. Add the Ketchup to the Water
Pour 3 cups of ketchup into the pot of soup and stir together with all of the vegetables.
Step 14. Drain the Grease
After the ground beef is done browning, turn the heat off, then drain any unwanted grease from the frying pan.
Tip: An easy way to remove the unwanted grease from the frying pan is to move the ground beef to one side of the pan, then slightly tilt the pan and use a paper towel to sop up the grease. After that, discard the paper towel in the trash can. This method of removing grease from the frying pan is nicer on your drain pipes, allowing no grease down the drain.
Step 15. Add the Browned Ground Beef to the Pot
Add the browned ground beef together with the rest of the ingredients in the pot. Stir the contents. The pot is getting quite full at this point, but the ground beef is the last of the ingredients we will add to the pot. Of course, you can sprinkle some parsley flakes in the soup at this time, or if there is any other ingredient you would like to add. Continue to simmer for 5 to 10 more minutes or until the cabbage is tender and it’s time to eat.
This soup is best served with some sort of bread. Homemade bread, buttered rolls, or french bread are some great choices.
🌟 Recipe Variations
- Add anything extra to this soup that sounds good to you, such as sliced celery, a small can of tomato sauce instead of the ketchup, or a can of diced tomatoes or fire-roasted tomatoes.
- Add fresh vegetables instead of the canned vegetables such as baby carrots or whole green beans. If you do that, add them at the same time you add the cut up potatoes.
- Add extra beans such as lima beans, kidney beans, or black beans.
- Shake a little bit of red pepper flakes or pour just a bit of your favorite hot sauce on your bowl of hamburger soup. Easy does it though, they are hot but so good!
- This hamburger soup with cabbage and potatoes can easily be made in a slow cooker or instant pot.
- If you like more beef flavor in your soup, add one can of beef broth.
- Put a couple drops of Worcestershire sauce on your serving.
- Add some of your favorite fresh herbs or seasonings for extra flavor such as oregano, cayenne pepper (easy does it though), garlic powder, and then use fresh parsley or parsley flakes as a garnish.
You can add whatever ingredients that sounds good to add to hamburger soup. Some examples are a can or two of diced tomatoes, peas, or lima beans. You can also add some diced celery, about two or three stalks. You can add some extra seasonings such as minced garlic, a couple of teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce, and/or fresh parsley or parsley flakes. Or how about 1/2 cup of macaroni noodles? Tomato sauce can be used instead of ketchup. If you want a bit more beef flavor, you can add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of beef broth.
Yes, you can freeze hamburger soup. It’s so easy and so convenient. When I make a big pot of hamburger soup, if there are any leftovers, I measure out two bowls, one for my husband and one for me, then I put it in an airtight container. I may have two or three containers. I put them in the freezer, and then I use one container when we are hungry for some delicious soup.
To reheart the leftover soup from the freezer, let the container sit on the countertop until it is partially thawed, and then put it in a pot. Cook the soup on medium heat until warm enough to eat. Hamburger soup can be in the freezer for about four or five months.
💡 Final Thoughts
Hamburger soup with cabbage and potatoes is a delicious hearty soup with plenty of cabbage, potatoes, and veggies. This soup is also similar to stew, beef cabbage soup, or hamburger vegetable soup because of the added vegetables.
This hamburger soup has been a favorite of our family for years. When I first started making it years ago, I never added cabbage. Once I started adding the cabbage, I haven’t been able to stop! This meal is a delicious and satisfying dinner when you need something light, tasty, and budget-friendly too. Enjoy!
The next time you are looking for a hearty meal, one with basic ingreditents that’s delicious and satisfying, light, tasty, and budget-friendly too, this recipe is the perfect soup for you and your family.
📑 Recipe Card
Hamburger Soup with Cabbage and Potatoes
- 20 cups tap water
- 8 russet potatoes peeled and diced (or 8-9 red potatoes (not peeled))
- 3 lb lean ground beef
- 3 cans sliced carrots (or diced – 8.25 ounce each)
- 3 cans whole kernel corn
- 2 cans cut green beans
- 1 head cabbage (cut up)
- 3 cups ketchup
- 2 yellow onions (sliced)
- 5 tsp table salt
- 3 tsp ground black pepper
- Fill a big pot with tap water, add the salt, stir, then bring the water to a boil. Turn the heat to medium-high after the water starts boiling.
- In the meantime, while the water is heating up, brown the ground beef in a frying pan on medium-high heat. Chop the ground beef into larger chunks as it is browning. Brown until no pink is showing.
- While the ground beef is browning, peel and cut up the potatoes into eights. Try not to cut them too small, as smaller chunks will dissolve in the boiling water.
- Cut up the onions and cabbage into large chunks.
- Add the potatoes to the water. Cook the potatoes until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Do not overcook. Insert a fork or toothpick into a potato, the fork or toothpick should slide in the potato with ease, but not make the potato fall apart. Reduce the heat to simmer.
- Add the onions and cabbage to the pot of water with the potatoes.
- Drain the liquid out of the cans of corn, carrots, and green beans, then add them to the pot with the potatoes, onions, and cabbage.
- Add the black pepper. Stir.
- Add the ketchup to the pot of vegetables. Stir.
- Turn the burner off after the ground beef is done browning. Drain the fat from the ground beef.
- Add the browned ground beef to the pot of vegetables. Stir.
- Simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes until it's time to eat.
✨ More Soup Recipes You Will Love
- Chicken Soup Dumplings – Using a rotisserie chicken with all of its flavors makes this chicken soup with dumplings so delicious.
- Milk Soup with Dumplings – Tiny little dumplings are added together with milk and sugar for a real breakfast or lunch treat.
- Instant Pot Chili Recipe – Lots of ingredients in this delicious chili, such as lean ground beef, dark red and light red kidney beans, black beans, chili beans, petite diced tomatoes, chili ready tomatoes, chili powder, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and brown sugar. Yum!
A wife, a mother to a son and a daughter, and a grandmother to three granddaughters. Flo loves sharing recipes passed down from her own mother, her mother-in-law, and her grandmother as well as new recipes created with her daughter, Tamara Ray.
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