This one-pot hamburger rice soup is creamy, flavorful, and so so tasty. It's kind of like Hamburger Helper but in soup form. Best of all, it only takes a little over half an hour to make, so it's perfect for a lazy weeknight in.
Why We Love This Recipe
This cheeseburger rice soup is made in one pot, so it's super easy and there's minimal cleanup. It's a great fall and winter comfort meal and makes the BEST leftovers.
It's thickened with rice instead of flour, so it's totally gluten free but still thick, creamy, and hearty.
Ingredients Notes and Substitutions
Lean ground beef: We use ground beef for this hamburger soup, but if you're looking for something a bit lighter, you can try ground turkey or ground chicken instead. If your meat seems dry while it's cooking, add in some butter or oil to make up for the lack of fat.
White rice: Just about any type of rice works in this soup. Jasmine rice (which is long grain) works well, but short grain white rice works just as well. Arborio rice would even work if that's what you have in your pantry.
Sharp cheddar cheese: Sharp cheddar adds something to this soup that more mild cheddars just don't. We use yellow cheddar.
Whole milk: We haven't tested this with other types of milk, but I suspect whole milk is the best option. Half and half or heavy cream could probably be substituted in a pinch, but you may need to add more broth to counteract the thickness.
See recipe card for full ingredient list and amounts.
Step 1: Add butter to a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Then add the onions, celery, and carrots and cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until the onions are fragrant and beginning to soften, stirring occasionally.
Step 2: Add the ground beef, spices, and garlic to the pot and cook for 6 to 7 minutes, or until the beef is cooked through. Drain any excess grease.
Step 3: Add the rice, beef broth, and bay leaves. Stir to combine, then allow the soup to come to a boil and cook until the rice is nearly tender, about 15 minutes.
Step 4: Add 3 cups of the milk, then cook another 5 minutes, or until thickened slightly. Then add the cheese and stir to combine.
Step 5: Add the remaining cup of milk and stir to combine. Remove the bay leaves, then serve! See our suggested toppings section for our favorite toppings.
- Sour cream or greek yogurt
- Shredded cheddar, colby jack, or pepper jack
- Pickled jalapeños
- Diced onions or green onions
- Diced tomatoes
- Hot sauce
- Make sure you drain any excess grease from your cooked beef before moving on to the next step. If you don't, you'll end up with greasy soup. We just move our beef over to one side of the pot, tilt the pot to the side, and sop up the grease with a paper towel.
- Don't overcook your rice. Once it's almost tender, move on to the next step. We test our rice often because cook times vary based on the type of rice we use and how hot the pot gets.
- Add toppings to your soup! I love toppings so much—the more, the better. See our "suggested toppings" section above for ideas.
Frequently asked questions
If your soup comes out too thick (which can happen depending on how much liquid your rice soaks up), add more broth at the end until it reaches your desired consistency.
Store this soup in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave. If it's too thick, add more broth (or a little water) before heating it.
Yes! This recipe works great with any ground meat.