This Poor Man’s Stew is budget friendly, hearty, and packed with flavor. Ground beef, fluffy potatoes, and veggies are simmered in a thick and flavorful broth, then topped with sour cream and cheese.
This humble and hearty stew really hits the spot on a cold winter night! Not only is this a “stick to your ribs” kinda meal, it comes together quickly, and is very budget friendly!
What is poor man’s stew?
Poor Man’s Stew is essentially a budget friendly beef stew. Traditional beef stew calls for more expensive cuts of meat whereas Poor Man’s Stew is made with ground beef which brings the cost down…hence the name! Both are often full of potatoes, veggies, and a thick and flavorful broth.
This stew is packed with meat and veggies for a super hearty dinner!
- Ground Beef – beef is the classic poor man’s stew meat but ground turkey or a blend of both will also work.
- Yellow Onion, Celery, and Carrot – a simple veggie blend to give the dish a boost of flavor and nutrients.
- Garlic – adds that subtle nutty taste.
- Salt, Pepper, Dried Oregano, and Smoked Paprika – a simple seasoning blend that gives the stew a sweet, smoky, slightly spicy flavor.
- Potatoes – I use Yukon gold for their light, fluffy texture but russet potatoes will work as well if that’s what you have on hand. Potatoes are an affordable way to bulk up a meal!
- Condensed Tomato Soup and Beef Broth – the base for the stew. The condensed tomato soup gives a thick, slightly creamy texture while the beef broth adds delicious flavor.
- Shredded Cheese and Sour Cream – optional, but highly recommended for serving!
How to make
This delicious meal takes only 15 minutes to prep!
- Heat a stockpot over medium heat then add in beef, onion, celery, carrots, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, and paprika. Cook until the beef is browned and the veggies are tender.
- Drain the grease then add in potatoes, tomato soup, and broth. Simmer until the potatoes are tender and the broth has thickened.
- Taste and re-season if necessary then serve with cheese and sour cream/greek yogurt!
How to thicken
This stew is already very thick, but if you prefer an even thicker stew, try simmering the stew longer, mashing up some of the potatoes, or stirring in a cornstarch slurry.
I love this Poor Man’s Stew as-is but you can definitely change things up as well! Here are some ideas.
- Add other veggies. Pretty much any veggies will work! Try peas, green beans, sweet potato, you name it.
- Use different meat. Ground turkey or chicken will work as well.
- Spice it up. Kick the heat up a notch with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper.
- Make it creamy. Prefer a creamy stew? Add in a splash of half-and-half or heavy cream.
What to serve with poor man’s stew
This Poor Man’s Stew is packed with veggies and protein from the beef, but I do love to serve it up with one or two yummy sides! Don’t forget the sour cream and shredded cheese!
How to store
Leftover stew will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 2-3 months.
To reheat, thaw in the fridge if frozen then microwave or heat on the stove.
Poor Man’s Stew
Equipment for this recipe
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 small yellow onion diced
- 2 stalks celery diced
- 3 carrots sliced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon salt plus more to taste (I used about 1 1/2 - 2 teaspoons)
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes peeled and cubed (about 6)
- 1 (10.5 oz) can condensed tomato soup
- 2 cups beef broth
- Shredded cheese for serving
- Sour cream or greek yogurt for serving
- Heat a stockpot over medium heat.
- Once hot, add in beef, onion, celery, carrots, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, and paprika.
- Cook, breaking up the meat as you go, until the beef is no longer pink and the carrots are tender, about 10-15 minutes.
- Drain the grease, then place the stockpot back on the heat.
- Stir in potatoes, tomato soup, and broth.
- Bring to a simmer, then simmer, uncovered, stirring regularly, until potatoes are tender and the broth has thickened, about 15-20 minutes.
- Taste, re-season, if necessary, and serve with shredded cheese and sour cream/greek yogurt.
*Note: Nutrition information is estimated and varies based on products used.