Recipe of the Week: Simple Hamburger Stew

I have been totally exhausted the last few days so when my husband came home yesterday from work, I really didn’t want to make dinner. Instead of making an awesome veggie chili, I decided to fall back on a meal my dad used to make me growing up. I don’t think it would hurt my dad’s feelings to say he wasn’t the best cook when I was younger. We mostly ate fast food or hamburger helper. This is a simple version of hamburger helper that you can dress up or down, depending on your mood.

WARNING: This is not a dish to serve guests, or even a dish for those with fancy palates. This is a quick and easy meal that you can fall back on when you’re exhausted and can’t imagine cooking, but you cook anyway because you’re on a budget and you have to eat something.

Simple Hamburger Stew


1 lb ground beef (I used 70% because that’s the cheapest beef I can buy in the store. Use whatever you like to get, including ground turkey.)

1 can condensed vegetarian vegetable soup

Ketchup to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

A starch: cooked rice, baked potato, a couple of pieces of bread


Brown the ground beef in a large pan until cooked all the way through. Once it’s cooked, drain the grease, leaving the beef in the pan. Add the condensed soup to the beef and cook on low heat until the soup is warm. Add ketchup, salt and pepper to taste. I generally use about 2 tbsp of ketchup and a tsp of salt. Serve immediately with your starch.


You can make any number of changes to this recipe, depending on how much energy you have, but the point of this recipe is to eat at home and save money even when you are too exhausted to think. It has some veggies from the soup, protein, and your choice of starch depending on what you have in your pantry. It’s not going to win any awards, but I try to keep veggie condensed soup and rice in my pantry at all times so I always have something to make.

  • If I’m feeling ambitious, I’ll saute chopped garlic and onion in the pan before adding the beef.
  • I may also season with garlic salt for more flavor.
  • You could easily replace the condensed soup with diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and a frozen foursome medley of vegetables.
  • I like to eat this with white rice, but it tastes great on a baked potato and is also an easy alternative to sloppy joes.

What is your go-to recipe when you are too tired to cook? What are some staples you keep in your pantry so you have a meal to make no matter what else you have in your fridge?


2 thoughts on “Recipe of the Week: Simple Hamburger Stew

  1. These go-to meals are like gold when you’re tired or don’t feel like grocery shopping…I always keep baking potatoes, onions, eggs, and garlic around. All of these items have a relatively long shelf life and can make a quick Spanish tortilla/omelette. I’m also a huge fan of freezing portions of dishes like lasagna, enchiladas, and bean soups. I make them ahead when I have the energy and then they serve as my emergency back up dinners!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I still haven’t quite figured out the whole freezer thing. I have some stuff in the freezer from when I was pregnant but I never know what to do with it. When it’s sitting in the fridge defrosting it looks so unappetizing!


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