This Instant Pot Hamburger Soup is a simple, weeknight meal is a breeze to throw together, it’s hearty and budget-friendly. This comforting classic version of a ground beef stew is paleo, Whole30 and keto-friendly.
This simple, humble Instant Pot Hamburger Soup was born accidentally. You see, I had fully meal planned for this week , which is exciting enough when I plan ahead and to that and on the menu I had my Instant Pot Beef Stew, it’s a favorite of mine, it’s pure, cozy comfort food that reminds me of my childhood. I had planned to leave out the white potatoes and mix up the veggies to suit my tastes and needs. I love that this stew recipe is generally affordable as chuck roast or stew meat is often an budget-conscious cut of meat, however I hit up my local grocery store and the grass-fed chuck roast was $12 / pound, EEEEK and no other quality stew meat option. That’s a hard NOPE!! I wasn’t making a stew that cost over $30 in meat. I looked to my left and there I found grass-fe, grass-finished ground beef, $4.99 / pound. Perfect, I thought, I would just make my beef stew with hamburger meat and it would be amazing.
To create this ground beef stew I made a few light changes, I increased the broth, went with less meat, I left out the potatoes and opted to create for more of a soup, then a stew, though it still had those cozy stew vibes with the veggies and the flavors.
Customize Your Hamburger Soup to Suit Your Preferences
What I love about this recipe, like so many others I share with all of you on Tasty Yummies, there so many options for you to adopt to your suit your preferences and needs. First of all, frozen vegetables work great, it’s cheap and super easy, no cutting and prepping, I have made this with onion, garlic, mushrooms and a blend of frozen root vegetables, a blend of sweet potato, carrots and parsnips. You can also use fresh vegetables, if you’d rather. For other lower starch/carb options, options include cauliflower, celeriac root, radish, parsnip, rutabaga. White potato is always an option, as well. You can also opt for vegetables like Brussels sprouts, zucchini, broccoli, you can even stir in some greens at the end. The sky is truly the limit and these are my favorite kinds of recipes – you can do no wrong!
If you are following AIP (autoimmune protocol), you simply need to choose veggies that are not nightshades (potatoes, peppers, tomatoes and eggplant) and of course, leave out the tomato paste and the wine. You will also want to leave out the Worcestershire sauce or make your own (there are many AIP recipes online). It will still be absolutely DELICIOUS!
Cassava Flour. I use the small amount of cassava flour, to lightly thicken this soup, to honestly be more reminiscent of a beef stew, since honestly, that’s what I had my heart set on. It’s obviously optional. You can also opt for a different flour, if you’d like. Or leave it out.
The final simmer, this too is not necessary, but I personally find it reduces the soup down a little to create more of a stew. If you are down with how cooked the veggies are and the consistency of your soup, get it girl!! Serve it up, immediately.
If your brown stew is looking a little meh, I hear ya – we eat with our eyes. Add some roasted or charred pearl onions or baby carrots (read more how to do that here), add a sprinkle of fresh herbs, that bright color is gorgeous, enticing and its a nice pop of flavor. I also toss a few final peas in right as I am serving to the bowls, I love that fresh green color. Finally a generous sprinkle of big flaked seat salt, it adds texture and of course you get some of those trace minerals that quality sea salt offers.
REMEMBER – I really just love to give you lots of options with my recipes and as always, I like to remind you that YOU are in control in your kitchen and the fluidity of cooking and improvising, cooking to suit your tastes and your preferences – to me is the best part! Make this Instant Pot Hamburger Soup your own and it will become a staple in your house, too.
Looking for more Instant Pot recipes?
Try my Instant Pot Creamy Chicken Vegetable Soup, Instant Pot Paleo Beef Stew, Paleo Cincinnati Chili, Instant Pot Carnitas, Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Soup, Instant Pot Kalua Pork, Instant Pot Shredded Chicken and of course, check out my simple guide to cooking eggs in your Instant Pot (hard, medium and soft cooked)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or ghee, divided
- 2 lbs grass-fed ground beef
- 1 large white or yellow onion
- 2 stalks celery, cut into 1 ½ inch chunks
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 ounces of mushrooms, sliced
- 2 tablespoons cassava flour (optional)
- 4 cups fresh or frozen veggies (cut into 1 ½ inch chunks) - options include: carrots, celeriac (celery root), sweet potato, squash, turnip, parsnip, radish, white potato - see notes below
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- ½ cup frozen peas or frozen green beans
- 3-4 cups* unsalted homemade beef or chicken broth or stock (I use homemade bone broth)
- ¼ cup dry red wine (optional)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste (leave out for AIP)
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos, gluten-free tamari or soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional)
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (be sure this is gluten-free), leave out for AIP*
- Set the Instant Pot on the saute setting, once hot brown the ground beef in a tablespoon of oil or ghee. About 3-5 minutes.
- While the meat is browning, in a medium bowl mix together the broth, wine, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, coconut aminos, fish sauce and Worcestershire sauce, if using. Set aside.
- Add the onions and celery. Sauté a few minutes, then add the garlic and mushrooms. Continue to sauté for about 3 minutes, until everything is slightly browned and softened.
- If using the flour, evenly sprinkle the 2 tablespoons over the meat. Add any other veggies you are including and the stock mixture.
- Add the bay leaves and dried thyme. Season with a little sea salt and black pepper.
- Give everything a good stir.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot and make sure it is locked and the steam valve is closed. Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.
- Once cooking is completed, your Instant Pot will automatically switch over to warm – leave it as is to release the pressure slowly, or if you'd like or quick release the pressure.
- Once the pressure has released, remove the lid. To thicken the stew a bit, set the Instant Pot to "Sauté" again, medium, to bring the stew to a simmer to allow it to reduce down slightly and it will thicken. Cook as long as you'd like to get your desired consistency for your soup. 5-10 minutes should be more than enough.
- Add the frozen peas or frozen green beans right near the end of simmering.
- The soup will also thicken up a bit as it cools down slightly.
- Though the instant pot cook time for this recipe is 5 minutes, it does take the Instant Pot approximately 20-25 minutes to build pressure. So be sure to plan accordingly!
How would you do this in a crock pot?
Barbara, probably the best way to make this in a crock pot would be to lightly brown the meat first in a pan, you could probably also add the onions and celery, to just lightly soften a minute or two, then the mushrooms and garlic, another couple of minutes. Transfer all of that to the slow cooker, add the broth and other ingredients, as the instructions above dictate, then cook on low for 8 hours or high maybe for 4 to 8 (just guessing, as I haven’t tested this, but it should be pretty straight forward and like most other soup recipes). Add the peas or green beans at the end. You would have to skip the simmering step at the end, but if you want it thicker and more stew-like you could go with 3 cups of broth or try turning your slow cooker to high and cooking with the lid off for a bit may help to thicken it a bit. Hope that helps. Report back if you try it!!