Cowboy Soup Recipe: How to Make a Hearty and Flavorful Meal

Cowboy soup is a hearty and filling dish that is perfect for cold weather or a cozy night in. This soup is packed with flavorful ingredients like ground beef, onions, garlic, potatoes, and beans, making it a satisfying meal that will keep you full for hours.

There are many variations of cowboy stew, but most recipes call for a combination of meat, vegetables, and beans in a rich broth. Some recipes also include tomatoes, corn, and spices like cumin and chili powder for an extra kick of flavor. Cowboy soup is often served with cornbread or crusty bread on the side, making it a complete and satisfying meal.

Whether you’re a fan of Tex-Mex flavors or just looking for a comforting meal, cowboy stew recipe is great to have in your arsenal. With its simple ingredients and easy preparation, it’s a dish that can be made on a weeknight or for a crowd. So grab a bowl and enjoy the warm and comforting flavors of cowboy soup.

History of Cowboy Soup Recipe

Cowboy soup, also known as range soup or cattle drive soup, has a long history in the American West. It was a staple food for cowboys and ranchers who spent long days on the range and needed a hearty, filling meal to keep them going.

The origins of cowboy stew can be traced back to the chuckwagon, a mobile kitchen that was used on cattle drives in the late 1800s. The chuckwagon was equipped with a variety of ingredients that could be used to make a range of dishes, including soups, stews, and chili.

Cowboy soup recipe was typically made with whatever ingredients were on hand, including meat, beans, vegetables, and spices. It was a simple, one-pot meal that could be cooked over an open fire or on a stove in the chuckwagon.

Over time, cowboy soup evolved to include a wider range of ingredients and flavors. Some variations include corn, potatoes, rice, and pasta, while others use different types of meat or add spices like cumin, chili powder, or paprika.

Today, cowboy soup remains a popular dish in the American West and is enjoyed by people of all ages. It is a testament to the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the cowboys and ranchers who first invented it, and a reminder of the rich culinary traditions that have shaped the region’s history and culture.

Ingredients for Cowboy Soup Recipe

Cowboy Soup is a hearty and flavorful soup that is perfect for chilly nights. It is a versatile dish that can be made with a variety of ingredients, depending on personal preferences. Here are the main ingredients that are typically used in Cowboy Soup:

Meat Selection

The meat used in Cowboy Soup is typically ground beef, but other types of meat such as chicken, turkey, or pork can be used as well. It is important to choose lean meat to reduce the amount of grease in the soup. A 90/10 ground beef is a good choice. The meat is usually browned in a skillet before being added to the soup.

Vegetable Choices

Vegetables are an important part of Cowboy Soup. Onions and garlic are commonly used for flavor, and other vegetables such as carrots, celery, potatoes, and tomatoes can be added for texture and nutrition. Canned beans, such as pinto or black beans, are also a popular addition.

Spices and Seasonings

Spices and seasonings are used to give Cowboy Soup its signature flavor. Chili powder, cumin, oregano, and paprika are commonly used, and salt and pepper are added to taste. Some recipes also call for hot sauce or jalapeno peppers to add some heat.

Liquid Base

The liquid base for Cowboy stew is typically beef broth, but chicken broth or vegetable broth can also be used. Canned tomatoes or tomato sauce are often added to give the soup a rich and hearty flavor. Water can also be used to thin out the soup if it is too thick.

In summary, Cowboy Soup is a delicious and hearty soup that can be made with a variety of ingredients. The meat used is typically ground beef, and vegetables such as onions, garlic, carrots, celery, potatoes, and tomatoes are added for flavor and texture. Spices and seasonings such as chili powder, cumin, and oregano are used to give the soup its signature flavor, and beef broth or other liquid bases are used to create the soup’s broth.

Cowboy Soup Recipe: Preparation Steps

Preparing the Ingredients

Before starting the cooking process, it is important to have all the ingredients ready and prepared. For this cowboy soup recipe, the following ingredients are required:

  • 2 pounds of lean ground beef
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups of beef broth
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) of Ranch Style beans (pinto beans in seasoned tomato sauce), undrained
  • 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) of diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cans (10 ounces each) of diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained

To prepare the ingredients, start by chopping the onions and mincing the garlic cloves. Peel and chop the potatoes into small pieces. Drain the diced tomatoes and set aside. Keep the Ranch Style beans and diced tomatoes with green chilies undrained.

Cooking Process

  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, cook the ground beef over medium heat until it is browned. Drain any excess grease.
  2. Add the chopped onions and minced garlic to the pot with the ground beef. Cook until the onions are translucent, stirring occasionally.
  3. Pour in the beef broth, undrained Ranch Style beans, drained diced tomatoes, and chopped potatoes. Stir to combine.
  4. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

Final Touches

Once the soup is cooked, it’s time to add some final touches to enhance the flavor. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning as needed with salt and pepper.

Serve the cowboy soup hot and enjoy! This recipe makes enough for 6-8 servings, making it perfect for a family dinner or meal prep for the week.

Cowboy Stew Recipe: Serving Suggestions

Cowboy soup is a hearty and filling dish that is perfect for chilly evenings. Here are some serving suggestions to elevate your cowboy soup experience.


Cowboy soup tastes great on its own, but you can take it to the next level by serving it with some accompaniments. Here are some ideas:

  • Cornbread: Cowboy soup and cornbread are a match made in heaven. The sweetness of the cornbread complements the spiciness of the soup, and the texture of the bread provides a nice contrast to the soup’s creaminess.
  • Tortilla Chips: Crushed tortilla chips add a nice crunch to the soup and provide a Mexican twist to the dish.
  • Sour Cream: A dollop of sour cream on top of the soup can help cut through the spiciness and add a creamy texture to the dish.
  • Shredded Cheese: Sprinkle some shredded cheddar or Monterey jack cheese on top of the soup for added flavor and richness.

Presentation Tips

Cowboy soup is a rustic dish, so it’s okay if it doesn’t look perfect. However, here are some tips to make your presentation more appealing:

  • Garnish: Top the soup with some fresh herbs, such as cilantro or parsley, for a pop of color and freshness.
  • Bread Bowl: Serve the soup in a hollowed-out bread bowl for a fun and creative presentation.
  • Colorful Bowls: Use colorful bowls to serve the soup in to make the dish more visually appealing.
  • Ladle: Use a ladle to serve the soup to make portioning easier and to prevent spills.

By following these serving suggestions, you can take your cowboy soup from a simple meal to a memorable dining experience.

If you loved the rich flavors in this soup, you might also enjoy the Italian-American delight, Carrabba’s Chicken Soup Recipe.

Cowboy Stew Recipe: Storage and Reheating Tips

Storing Leftovers

Cowboy soup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. To store the soup, let it cool to room temperature and then transfer it to an airtight container. Be sure to label the container with the date so you can keep track of how long it has been in the refrigerator.

If you want to store the soup for longer, you can freeze it. To freeze the soup, let it cool to room temperature and then transfer it to a freezer-safe container. Again, be sure to label the container with the date and the contents. The soup can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.

Reheating Instructions

To reheat cowboy soup, you can use a microwave or a stovetop. If using a microwave, transfer the soup to a microwave-safe bowl and heat on high for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until heated through.

If using a stovetop, transfer the soup to a pot and heat over medium heat until heated through, stirring occasionally. If the soup is too thick, you can add some water or broth to thin it out.

When reheating the soup, be sure to heat it to an internal temperature of 165°F to ensure that it is safe to eat. If the soup has been frozen, be sure to thaw it in the refrigerator before reheating.

It is not recommended to reheat the soup more than once, as this can increase the risk of foodborne illness. If you have leftovers that you do not plan to eat within three days, it is best to freeze them for later use.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is cowboy stew made of?

Cowboy soup, also known as cowboy stew, is a hearty soup made with ground meat, beans, and vegetables. The exact ingredients can vary depending on the recipe, but common vegetables include onions, celery, carrots, and tomatoes. Some recipes also call for corn, bell peppers, and potatoes. The soup is typically seasoned with a blend of spices, such as chili powder, cumin, and paprika.

What are some variations of cowboy soup?

There are many variations of cowboy soup, depending on the region and personal preferences. Some recipes call for using different types of meat, such as ground turkey or chicken. Others suggest adding different types of beans, such as black beans or kidney beans. Some recipes also call for adding pasta, such as macaroni or spaghetti, to the soup.

How do you make cowboy soup recipe with pasta?

To make cowboy soup with pasta, cook the pasta separately according to the package instructions. In a separate pot, prepare the soup according to the recipe, but leave out the pasta. Once the soup is fully cooked, add the cooked pasta to the pot and stir to combine. Let the soup simmer for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.

How long should cowboy soup simmer?

Cowboy soup should simmer for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together. However, some recipes may call for longer cooking times, such as 2-3 hours in a slow cooker. It’s important to cook the soup until the vegetables are tender and the meat is fully cooked.

What are some tips for adding flavor to cowboy soup?

To add extra flavor to cowboy soup, consider using homemade broth instead of store-bought. You can also add a splash of Worcestershire sauce or hot sauce for a tangy kick. Some recipes also suggest using beer or red wine as a cooking liquid. Adding fresh herbs, such as thyme or rosemary, can also enhance the flavor.

Can cowboy soup be frozen?

Yes, cowboy soup can be frozen for later use. Allow the soup to cool completely before transferring it to a freezer-safe container. Label the container with the date and contents, and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat the soup, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and then heat it on the stove or in the microwave.

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
cowboy soup recipe

Cowboy Soup Recipe

  • Author: CookesRecipes
  • Prep Time: 10 Mins
  • Cook Time: 20 Mins
  • Total Time: 30 Mins
  • Yield: 16 Servings 1x
  • Category: Soups
  • Method: Simmering
  • Cuisine: American


Hearty Cowboy Soup is a hearty, affordable bowl of comfort food full of healthy veggies, creamy beans, warm broth, and lean ground beef.


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) ranch beans
  • 12 ounces frozen mixed vegetables (or 115 ounce can, drained)
  • 2 cans (15.25 ounces each) whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 can (10 ounces) Ro-tel
  • 4 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 4 cups beef broth


  1. In a large pot or dutch oven, over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef. Drain if desired.
  2. Add the chopped onion, garlic, and spices. Stir to combine and cook for 5 minutes to start to make the onion tender.
  3. Add the ranch beans, corn, mixed vegetables, and diced tomatoes. Stir to mix.
  4. Add the diced potatoes, Ro-tel, and beef broth. Stir to mix.
  5. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
  6. Simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are cooked to desired tenderness.
  7. Remove from heat and serve. Enjoy!


  • Use ground chuck for this recipe. If opting for a leaner meat, you might need to add 1-2 tablespoons oil when cooking the beef and onions.
  • Dice the potatoes in cubes no larger than 1 inch square to ensure they cook evenly.
  • Add the spices after cooking the meat and before adding the liquid to toast them slightly and distribute them evenly in the soup.
  • If you don’t have Ro-tel, you can add a can of diced green chiles to the soup.
  • Prefer the frozen variety of mixed veggies as it doesn’t contain potato. The canned version has potatoes which won’t be the same as the fresh ones you’re adding.
  • Prep everything ahead of time and use a slow cooker for an easy meal.
  • Top with a dash of hot sauce and some shredded cheese for added flavor.


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 273Kcal
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Sodium: 475mg
  • Fat: 11g
  • Saturated Fat: 4g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 5g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 25g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 20g
  • Cholesterol: 50mg

Keywords: Cowboy Soup Recipe, Cowboy Soup