Zesty Hamburger Soup | #SlowCookerSaturdays

Slow Cooker Zesty Hamburger Soup that is super easy to make, and packs a ton of flavour. Perfect for a busy day where you want to set it and forget it!

Slow Cooker Zesty Hamburger Soup | Cravings of a Lunatic | #slowcooker #soup #dinner

Hi folks.

Okay I’m going to be honest with you all. I hesitated to post this. It’s so hard to take good photos of soup. So I was unsure this was blog worthy. After much (okay that’s a lie, let’s say a little) discussion on Facebook with some readers and fellow bloggers I decided to pop this up here. You may be saying “but why Lunie, the photo stinks”… well, it does BUT the recipe does not. So I’ve overcome my trepidation to post ugly soup photos in order to give you tasty recipes. You’re welcome!

Don’t you just want to slap the silly off me some days? It’s okay. I’m sillyunstoppable! Slap away!

So I made Hamburger Soup awhile back. Oddly that photo is better than this one even though I have a better camera now. Just goes to show it’s not the camera, it’s how you use it. Apparently I’ve lost my photo-mojo. Don’t panic though, I’m determined to fit in some time this week to read up how to improve my pics and quite possibly my attitude. Okay that’s another lie, my ‘tude will never change. But here’s hoping my photos do!

The last time I made this I followed a recipe which used some processed ingredients. Now I’m not saying I’ll never use processed ingredients again, but I am trying to cut back a bit on them since they tend to upset my IBS. I really liked the last recipe though, so I just tried to make it taste similar while eliminating the packaged stuff. I also wanted to give it a slightly Italian taste. So I amped up the spice a bit. This turned out great and I really enjoyed it. But again, I’m going to be really honest with you, it’s still not perfect. I want to play around with it some more and see if I can take it from great to stupendous. And that’s a tall order cuz how often do you hear someone come to a blog or food site and say “that’s stupendous” right. Never happens. I’m setting forth that challenge for myself right now. I WILL make this better and make at least one of you come by and say you tried it and it was “stupendous”. You heard it here first people. I’m bringing stupendous back. Or stupid. Maybe I’m confused. It could be all the drugs from the trip. I should probably check out dictionary.com right. Meh, nah, stupendous challenge is on. Bring it!

Slow Cooker Zesty Hamburger Soup | Cravings of a Lunatic | #slowcooker #soup #dinner

Zesty Hamburger Soup for Slow Cooker Saturdays

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 6 hours

Total Time: 6 hours, 20 minutes

Zesty Hamburger Soup for Slow Cooker Saturdays

An easy recipe to make Hamburger Soup in your slow cooker.


  • 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef
  • 3 to 4 carrots, chopped
  • 3 to 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 4 to 5 cloves of garlic, pressed
  • 1 (14 oz) can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 (24 oz) can tomato sauce, you can reduce to 14 oz if you like
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 cups beef broth (I used 4 cups of water to 2 tablespoons Better Than Bouillon Veggie Base)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste (I leave out pepper since I don't like it)
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons dried basil
  • 3 cups of cooked noodles (I like Farfalle but any would work)
  • Optional: 1/2 to 3/4 cup parmesan cheese


  • Brown your ground beef in a pan on the stove.
  • Add your cooked ground beef, carrots, celery, shallots, garlic, tomatoes, pasta sauce, brown sugar and beef broth into the slow cooker. Turn on low.
  • Give it a good stir, then add your salt, pepper, oregano and basil. Place lid on top and cook over low heat for about 6 to 8 hours depending on the size of your slow cooker. I always recommend checking it at the lowest time and make adjustments from there. If it needs more water during the cooking process or more seasoning you can adjust here and there as it cooks.
  • When it's about an hour from finishing, put on a large pot of water and bring to a boil for the noodles. Drop them in once boiling and cook for time stated on package. I usually shave off about a minute since they continue to cook after.
  • Don't rinse them, just lift them out with a large slotted spoon or ladle and place them in slow cooker. Mix it all up and add a little pasta water, about 1/4 to 1/2 cup and mix again. If you want parmesan add that now too. Let it cook together for about 20 minutes while you set the table or change into comfy clothes.
  • Serve with a big old "this would not make a good photo" smile.


Make sure you adjust the time depending on the size of your slow cooker. Start checking in around 4 to 5 hours the first time to be sure.


Slow Cooker Zesty Hamburger Soup | Cravings of a Lunatic | #slowcooker #soup #dinner

Freaking tastes great. Not stupendous, but definitely getting closer.

Now tomorrow is a different story altogether. I have been promising you all fudge for days and taunting you with the recipe for about a week. Finally its hitting you tomorrow. Right smack in your stupendous face. Hope you all like it. Fudge is my nemesis. It’s also my kryptonite. I have no idea how it can be both, but it is. There are times I make it and its sheer perfection right out of the gate. Then there are times I make it and it seriously kicks my butt in a big way. I also have really high standards for my fudge. I want perfection and I’ll make ten thousand bazillion gazillion batches to get it right. Which usually leads to ten thousand bazillion gazillion pounds added to my butt it kicked. But it’s worth it to get that close to having someone say “stupendous fudge dude”. Like anyone ever uses the word stupendous. Or dude. Seriously, someone send me a Webster’s Dictionary. I need help!

Monster Fudge, pictured below:

Monster Fudge | Cravings of a Lunatic | #chocolate #fudge #candy #sweets #halloween

Other Slow Cooker Recipes by Cravings of a Lunatic:

Manly Meaty Chili, pictured below:

Manly Meaty Chili | Cravings of a Lunatic | #slowcooker #chili #gameday #footballfood #dinner

Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup, pictured below:

Slow Cooker Lasagna Soup | Cravings of a Lunatic | #slowcooker #lasagna #pasta #dinner

Hawaiian Pulled Pork, pictured below:

Hawaiian Pulled Pork | Cravings of a Lunatic | #slowcooker #pulledpork #pork #dinner

Spicy Nuts, pictured below:

Slow Cooker Spicy Nuts | Cravings of a Lunatic | #slowcooker #nuts #snacks #partyfood #tailgate

Slow Cooker Taco Seasoned Pretzels, pictured below:

Taco Pretzels | Cravings of a Lunatic | #slowcooker #pretzels #snacks #tailgate

Toodles and smoochies! xx


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  1. 1

    Photo schmoto…I’m still back in the days of cookbooks that only a couple of photos for the entire book. I pick recipes to make based on the ingredients and if it sounds good. And this is one of those.

  2. 3

    I just rang your doorbell. Got my own bowl. Stupendous indeed! xoxo

  3. 5

    YUMMMMM! SO right up my alley!

    I’d even eat the carrots…

  4. 7

    Forgive me for my photo naivety, but I think your pictures are great! They show that the soup has lots of colors and textures.
    I hope you are starting to feel better!

  5. 9

    Oh, man….I LOVE the photo! The soup looks absolutely amazing!

  6. 11

    I definitely reckon your photos rock my friend, and the idea of hamburger in a soup form is awesome :)

    Choc Chip Uru

  7. 13

    Looks like an interesting soup – definitely worth trying. Farfalle is a great choice for the pasta – so much texture. And I think the lack of texture is maybe why you’re disappointed with the photos? This soup has tremendous texture, but your photos aren’t showing it (the light is kinda flat). I love overhead shots, but if I were taking these I’d “scrap” the surface of the soup with a light from the side to show texture – you need a few more shadows, IMO, something to make the soup a bit more 3D. I’m probably all wrong here, but something to consider.

  8. 17

    This soup looks awesome!! It can’t be that bad cause it made my mouth water after looking at it ;) Sound wonderful and I’m putting it on my list of things to make this week! Bookmarked.

  9. 19

    OK well now I’m too distracted thinking about that fudge so I can’t even talk about how yummy this soup sounds….


  10. 21

    Oh, this is going to be perfect in my new Ninja Slow Cooker, you can brown right in the pan…sweet! Your pic looks great by the way and yes it’s hard to make soup pretty in pics…so much glare.

    • 22

      Cathy hold the phone, there’s a slow cooker that browns the meat? Why didn’t I get the memo? I totally have to check this out. I wonder if it’s sold in Canada yet, we always get stuck behind the times.

      You are a genius, the glare comment made it occur to me to try my new filter the next time I photograph soup or stew. I just picked it up and haven’t used it yet. I bet it would help big time. Thanks for prompting my brain to click into “think” mode. xx

  11. 23

    I tried to photograph some French onion soup this summer, and it basically looks like… well, something that some animal hacked up. Sadly, I have a couple of wicked awesome (if I do say so myself) soup recipes that have crap photos to go along with them. So, I haven’t posted them yet. Sigh. Your photos up there are freakin’ miles ahead of the onion soup photos currently sitting on my computer. MILES. I would happily dive into your slow cooker to gets me some zesty hamburger soup!

    • 24

      Glad to know I’m not the only one who thinks soups suck a$$ when it comes to photographs. So hard to get a good shot. Baby you can dive my slow cooker any time you want.

  12. 25

    Pictures look fine psycho – sheesh! ;) Soup sounds and looks delicious! Points for using the word Zesty in the title. It sounds very sassy! ha ha!

  13. 28

    I love the title of this soup and you did a great job taking pictures of this soup because it looks hearty and delicious! At least there are several colors in this soup. I’ve tried to take pictures of completely brown food and I failed miserably. Love your comforting soup!

  14. 30

    Never heard of hamburger soup but it kind of makes sense – kind of.
    I never realised it was diverticulitis that was causing you all your problems. Damn! I know that stress is a major factor in it flaring up. It’s a tough one to sort but living quietly and stress-free on a tropical island might help. You could give it a try.

    • 31

      It’s just a fun easy way to make soup.

      Yup. I’ve had IBS for about 18 years. When I was in the hospital they finally told me it was diverticulitis. I knew something had changed in the last year. I just didn’t know what it was. Lots more pain. So hard to do stress free when life is constantly in flux. Hubs is laid off again so stress level is high right now. But I’m just trying to go with the flow.

  15. 32

    I think that is a beautiful pot of soup. I am partial to hamburger soups and stews. Grew up on them and all that stuff. Still alive here. I owe you an email…I keep using my iPad instead of laptop. Typing with one finger is driving me nuts. Yours is the only blog I will comment on this way. You’re welcome;). Love ya!

    • 33

      They just scream American comfort food. Love them. And I’m not normally a soup gal.

      I feel so special you type in a special way for me. xx

  16. 34
    Matt Horbund - mmWine says:

    sounds like an easy way to make a hearty meal

  17. 36

    Now that’s my kinda soup! The pictures have me drooling, Kim! Can’t wait to try out this recipe :)

  18. 38

    Looks similar to the one I make, but mine comes out a bit thicker somehow. I think I use half the amount of broth and half V8 veggie juice and reduce it a bit. But still, delish!

  19. 40

    Tell me about how difficult it is to photograph specific food. And you want to show how delicious this food is and the photo stinks. But you see, if I go to the ingredients and the preparation I immediately can understand a real winner and this soup is exactly that!

  20. 42

    Wow – look at all the ingredients in there. This looks fabulous, Kim. Spice too. Great to stupendous? It is already! Hope you’re keeping well.

  21. 44

    This sounds magnificent, Kim! I love slow cooker recipes, especially for this time of year. This recipe looks fantastic!

  22. 46

    SO yummy, esp now that the weather’s cooling off.

  23. 48

    Wow! This is awesome! Even though it is still in the 80s here, my cravings for soup are increasing. This just got added to the recipe list! Thanks!

  24. 50

    I call this one pot wonder. I enjoy meals these, easy to fix and fills you up. This is my first here and I am loving your blog. I will be back for more recipes.

  25. 52

    Hamburger soup?!? Oh my!!

  26. 54

    I made this for supper today and it was really, really good. It was a great post-run meal. I will definitely make it again. My husband and two out of three children liked it. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  27. 55

    Can you tell me how much tomato sauce? Would it be an 8 oz. can or 14oz.? Thanks!

    • 56
      Kim Beaulieu says:

      I’ll edit that in and thanks for noticing it was missing. I actually use a big one. It’s 24 oz/1 lb 8 oz/680 grams. You can use tomato sauce or pasta sauce. You can totally reduce the amount if you like. The 14 oz would work wonderfully.

  28. 57

    Honestly it was the photo that made me stop and go “Oh my, I wish I had a bowl of THAT right now!” I can’t wait to try this recipe! Thank you!

    • 58
      Kim Beaulieu says:

      Yeah, I can’t hear that enough. Especially with older posts where I think the photos stink. So thanks for note. Feel free to jazz it up some more with spices if you like spicy food. I always err on the side of caution because some folks tolerance is lower than what ours is here.


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