Home Recipes Easy Busy Day Soup (+ Slow Cooker Recipe)

Easy Busy Day Soup (+ Slow Cooker Recipe)

This one-pot busy day soup is perfect for hectic schedules! With minimal effort, you can whip up this hot, homemade meal for the family.

Just add ground beef, pasta, dry onion soup mix, and vegetables to a pot. In about 30 minutes or less, dinner is ready!

Busy day soup on a wooden bowl with green peas, elbow macaroni, ground meat and carrots.
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It’s nutritious, delicious, comforting, and stress-free. So make this busy day soup part of your weekly routine. The family will devour it!

Busy Day Soup

After a long day, there’s nothing like curling up to a hot bowl of soup. Hearty, meaty, and savory, this meal is oh-so-gratifying.

And it’s so easy to make! You put in little effort and get a big return.

Packed with ground beef, vegetables, and tender pasta, it’s a well-balanced meal. And you make it in just one pot, so cleanup is a breeze.

It’s just what your busy weeknights need!

Busy day soup with broth, ground beef, green peas, carrots and macaroni soup on a wooden bowl.

Ingredients

Thanks to a few cooking hacks, this soup only needs seven ingredients. There’s no need for extra chopping or spice adjusting.

  • Olive Oil – For browning the ground beef.
  • Ground Beef – It makes this soup more hearty and savory. Use 80/20 ground beef for the best flavor. For a lower-fat version, lean ground beef works, too.
  • Dry Onion Soup Mix – This nifty shortcut adds a ton of flavor. Just tear it open, and pour it into the pot. There’s no need to add extra spices.
  • Beef Broth – For a richer, fuller flavored broth. Chicken, vegetable broth, and bone broth also work. Just note the flavor will be slightly different.
  • Canned Diced Tomatoes – I use the whole can, liquid and all! It adds more flavor to the broth.
  • Frozen Mixed Veggies – It’s a fuss-free recipe, so use frozen veggies. I prefer to use a medley. But you can use any of your favorite frozen veggies.
  • Macaroni – Elbow macaroni pasta is the ideal shape. It’s smaller, so you get the perfect bite.

How to Make Busy Day Soup

I’m not joking when I say this soup is easy! Follow these simple steps to make it:

1. Cook the ground beef. In a large pot, heat olive oil. Add the ground beef and cook until browned. Drain any excess fat.

2. Add the broth ingredients. Add the onion soup mix, beef broth, and canned tomatoes. Stir and bring it to a boil.

3. Add the frozen veggies and pasta. Stir in the mixed vegetables and macaroni. Cook it for 10-15 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Busy day soup made with elbow macaroni, broth, green peas, carrots and ground meat on a wooden bowl.

Recipe Tips and Variations

Any beginner home cook can make this recipe. Still, I have some tips and variation recommendations. That way, your soup turns out the best!

  • Don’t thaw the frozen vegetables. There’s no need to let them come to room temperature. They’ll cook just fine directly from the freezer.
  • Choose your thickness. If the soup is too thick, add more beef broth or water. For a thicker soup, add a tablespoon of tomato paste to the mix. For more advice, see my guide on how to thicken soup.
  • Select your seasoning. The great thing about this soup is the dry onion mix has all the seasoning. But you can also tailor it to your liking. So, use any species and dried herbs you like.
  • Mix up the pasta. Don’t have elbow macaroni on hand? No worries! Any small-shaped pasta will do.
  • Pour on the parmesan cheese. A sprinkle of freshly grated parmesan on top would be extra delicious!
  • Make it vegetarian-friendly. Just omit the beef and add more frozen veggies. You can also use plant-based meat crumbles.

Make-Ahead Instructions

Want to make this soup ahead of time? No problem! Just follow these instructions:

1. Cook the soup according to the instructions. But leave out the pasta.

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2. Refrigerate or freeze it. Place the cooled soup in an air-tight container and refrigerate or freeze it.

3. Reheat the soup. When you’re ready to serve, reheat the soup on medium-low heat on the stove. If it’s frozen, be sure to thaw it first.

3. Make the pasta. In the meantime, cook the pasta. Once it’s ready, add it to the warm soup and enjoy!

Busy day soup with elbow macaroni, ground meat, carrots, green peas and broth served on a brown bowl.

How to Store Leftovers

Leftover soup is even better the next day! I like to refrigerate some for lunch. The rest goes into the freezer for dinner on another night.

Either way, you have future meals made. Don’t you just love easy meal prepping? I sure do!

Here’s how to store and reheat this soup:

To Store: Place the cooled soup in an air-tight container. Refrigerate it for up to 4 days.

To Freeze: Transfer the cooled soup to an air-tight container. For the best quality, enjoy it within 2 months.

To Reheat: Reheat it on the stove over medium-low heat until it’s warm.

How to Make It in the Slow Cooker

Do you prefer to let the slow cooker do all the work? Great news, you can! This recipe is adaptable, so you can turn it into a slow cooker soup.

Here’s how:

1. Cook the beef. Add olive oil to a pan on medium heat. Cook the beef until it’s no longer pink and browned. Drain any excess grease.

2. Add all the ingredients. Add the ground beef, onion soup mix, beef broth, diced tomatoes, and frozen vegetables to the slow cooker. Do not add the pasta yet!

3. Cook. Cook it on low for 6 hours.

4. Add the pasta. About 30 minutes before serving, add the pasta. Serve and enjoy!

More Cozy Soup Recipes

Easy Busy Day Soup (+ Slow Cooker Recipe)

Servings

6

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

30

minutes
Calories

310

kcal

When you’re short on time, whip up this busy day soup! It’s packed with ground beef, pasta, and veggies for a satisfying one-pot meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 pound ground beef

  • 1 packet dry onion soup mix

  • 4 cups beef broth

  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained

  • 1 (12-ounce) bag frozen mixed vegetables

  • 1 cup dry elbow macaroni

Instructions

  • Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until browned. Drain any excess fat.
  • Add the onion soup mix, beef broth, and diced tomatoes and bring to a boil.
  • Stir in the mixed vegetables and macaroni. Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the noodles are tender.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • Don’t thaw the frozen vegetables. They’ll cook just fine directly from the freezer.
  • For a thicker soup, add a tablespoon of tomato paste to the mix. If the soup is too thick, add more beef broth or water.
Busy Day Soup

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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