Easy One-Pot Busy Day Soup

This busy day soup recipe is delicious, hearty, and super comforting. I'm calling this soup your new weeknight superhero! This easy-to-make, one-pot soup combines the rich flavors of savory broth, tender pasta, and nutritious veggies with the satisfying bite of ground beef.

by Ioana

Published :

busy day soup recipe in a bowl

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This soup is my go-to when life gets hectic, and I still want a meal that’s both comforting and filling. With everyday ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen, this budget-friendly busy day soup has a wonderful flavor everyone will love.

After a long day, the last thing you want is to spend hours in the kitchen. But with this homemade busy day soup recipe, you can skip the prep work and still enjoy a delicious and satisfying dish in no time. 

This soup is perfect for those days when spending hours in the kitchen just isn’t an option. It’s all about tossing everything into a pot, letting it simmer, and voila – a hearty meal that feels like a warm hug in a bowl. It’s the kind of recipe that makes you feel like a kitchen wizard, even on the busiest of nights.

Just like our Instant Pot Lentil Soup and Creamy Sausage Tortellini Soup, this busy day soup recipe requires just a few minutes of prep time, making it the perfect solution for nutritious meal planning. Say goodbye to daily cooking stress and hello to a week of delicious, ready-to-go meals.

Why You’ll Love This Busy Day Soup

  • Simple ingredients. This delicious busy-day soup recipe is made with basic pantry staples you probably already have in your kitchen.
  • Perfect for Meal Prep: If you’re a fan of meal prepping, this nutritious soup is a game-changer. With just a short prep time, you can create a large, perfect batch throughout a busy week.
  • Easy to make. Making this delicious soup is a breeze. You will need just a few minutes of prep, then let everything simmer until it’s ready.
  • Effortless Preparation: Incredibly easy to make with minimal effort, this hearty soup is perfect for those busy days when you need a quick and satisfying meal.
  • No Chopping or Peeling: The recipe for busy day soup doesn’t require any chopping or peeling, saving you valuable time and kitchen work.
  • Hearty and Satisfying: Despite its simplicity, the soup is incredibly hearty and satisfying, providing a comforting meal after a long day.
  • Versatile and Budget-Friendly: The versatility of this recipe allows you to use ingredients you likely already have on hand, making it a budget-friendly option that doesn’t compromise on flavor.
  • Customizable: You can adapt the recipe to your taste, whether you prefer a vegetarian version, a meaty twist, or a particular flavor profile. 
easy busy day soup recipe

What Is Busy Day Soup?

Busy Day Soup is a simple and convenient soup recipe that’s the perfect solution for people with busy schedules who still want to enjoy a homemade, comforting soup.

This easy and quick Busy Day Soup is a go-to option for people looking for a nourishing and convenient meal when time is limited. It offers a way to enjoy homemade soup without the typical time and effort of traditional soup-making.

Busy Day Soup Video Tutorial

YouTube video

Busy Day Soup Ingredients And Substitutions 

Here is the list of the ingredients that we need to make this comforting and easy busy day soup recipe:

  • Ground Beef – Use 80-85% lean ground beef.
  • Onion Soup Mix – The onion soup mix is a convenient way to infuse the soup with onion flavor without the need to chop onions. Adjust the quantity to your taste, but remember it can be quite salty, so be cautious when seasoning the soup.
  • Frozen Vegetables – These are a time-saving choice for Busy Day Soup. They are typically pre-cut and require no additional preparation. You can use a mix of your favorite vegetables, such as peas, carrots, corn, and green beans. 
  • Water – You can use water or broth to create the soup base. The amount of liquid you add will depend on your desired consistency. If you prefer a thicker soup, use less liquid; for a thinner soup, add more.
  • Diced Tomatoes – Add a touch of acidity to the soup. You can use canned diced tomatoes, which include additional seasonings like basil, oregano, or garlic for extra flavor.
  • Macaroni – This is a great choice for a Busy Day Soup since it cooks relatively quickly. But be mindful not to overcook it, as it can become mushy. You can try different types of rice or pasta, such as orzo, farfalle, or quinoa, for a unique texture and taste.
Busy Day Soup Ingredients

How To Make Busy Day Soup

Now that we have all the ingredients that we need to create this easy, busy day soup recipe, let’s see how easy it is to prepare by following the next steps:

Brown the Ground Beef

Choose a large soup pot or Dutch oven.

Toss in that ground beef and turn the heat up to medium-high. You want to cook it until it’s beautifully browned and crumbly. Use a spatula to lovingly break up the beef – think of it as giving your soup a good foundation.

Once the beef is browned, carefully drain the excess fat from the pot.

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Create the Soup Base

Now, sprinkle in the onion soup mix – this little packet is a flavor bomb! Add the diced tomatoes and water to the beef, and watch the magic start to happen.

Set your stove to medium-low and let that soup bubble away gently. This simmering is key – it’s where all those flavors start holding hands and singing in harmony. Give it about 20 minutes to infuse, and you’ll see – it’ll be worth every minute.

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Add Macaroni and Vegetables

Stir in the macaroni and those colorful frozen vegetables. They’re not just adding substance; they’re bringing vitamins, colors, and textures to your soup.

Keep that heat at medium and let everything cook together for another 10 minutes. This is where the macaroni gets tender, the veggies get cozy, and your kitchen starts smelling like a hug.

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Once everything is cooked to your liking, ladle that steaming goodness into bowls. This Busy Day Soup is not just a meal; it’s comfort in a bowl, a warm embrace on a busy day. It’s proof that even on the most hectic days, you can create something nourishing and delicious for yourself and your loved ones.

one pot busy day soup recipe

Essential Tips For Success

  • Choose the Right Ground Beef: Use ground beef based on your preferred fat content and desired richness in your soup. Ground chuck (80-85% lean) is a popular choice for its balance of flavor and juiciness.
  • Proper Browning: When browning the ground beef, break it into smaller pieces with a spatula to ensure even cooking. Drain excess fat to control the soup’s fat content.
  • Adjust Onion Soup Mix: The onion soup mix can be quite salty. So start by adding half the recommended amount and adjust to taste as the soup simmers.
  • Simmering Time: Allowing the soup to simmer for about 1 hour is important to helping the flavors meld together. Taste the soup as it simmers and adjust the seasoning as needed.
  • Macaroni Cooking: Follow the package instructions to prevent overcooking. Add the macaroni during the last part of cooking, ensuring they become tender but not mushy.
  • Stir Occasionally: Stir the soup occasionally during the cooking process to prevent sticking and ensure an even distribution of ingredients.
  • Garnish: Enhance your Busy Day Soup with garnishes like grated cheese, fresh herbs, a dollop of sour cream, or croutons for added texture and flavor.
  • Adjust Liquid: During cooking, you can adjust the amount of water or broth to reach your desired soup consistency. Add more if you prefer a thinner soup or less if you like it thicker.

Recipe Variations

You can add various ingredients to your Busy Day Soup recipe to personalize it and suit your taste. Here are some great ideas for additional ingredients:

  • Beans: Adding kidney beans, black beans, or cannellini beans can make your soup heartier and more filling.
  • Extra Vegetables: If you like vegetables, you can incorporate fresh or frozen veggies such as spinach, kale, zucchini, or bell peppers for added nutrients and flavor.
  • Spices and Herbs: Enhance the flavor profile by including spices and herbs like thyme, rosemary, basil, or paprika. Fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro can be used as a garnish.
  • Garlic and Onions: Sautéed garlic and onions can add depth and flavor to your soup. You can include them while browning the ground beef.
  • Red Pepper Flakes: For those who enjoy a bit of heat, red pepper flakes can spice your soup.
  • Croutons: Croutons can add a delightful crunch and texture to your soup, making it more satisfying.
  • Protein: Besides ground beef, you can experiment with other proteins like ground turkey, ground chicken, or Italian sausage.
  • Tomato Paste: Tomato paste can intensify the tomato flavor and thicken the soup.
the best busy day soup recipe

Serving Suggestions

Here are some serving suggestions to make your Busy Day Soup a satisfying and well-rounded meal:

  • Crusty Bread: Serve your soup with a slice of crusty bread or a warm baguette. It’s perfect for dipping into the soup and soaking up all the delicious flavors.
  • Fresh Herbs: Garnish your soup with fresh herbs like parsley, cilantro, or chives. Herbs enhance the visual appeal and add freshness to the dish.
  • Croutons: Top your soup with homemade or store-bought croutons for a delightful crunch and texture.
  • Extra Ground Beef: If you want an extra dose of protein, brown some extra ground beef and offer it as a topping for those who prefer a heartier soup.
  • Freshly Ground Pepper: Set out a pepper grinder to allow diners to season their soup with freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  • Garlic bread or Grilled Cheese Sandwiches: For a more substantial meal, serve the soup alongside cheesy garlic bread or grilled cheese sandwiches for a classic and comforting combination.

Storing Ideas

Before storing the leftovers from this delicious soup, we have to pay attention to a few things to make everything perfect:

  • Cool to Room Temperature: Let the soup cool before storing it.
  • Choose the Right Container: This type of soup needs to be stored in a large, lidded container or divided into smaller individual portions in separate containers.

Now you can choose how you want to store this busy day soup:

  1. Fridge: Transfer the leftovers to the airtight container and store them in the fridge for about 7 days.
  2. Freezer: If you have a large batch, transfer the soup into airtight freezer-safe containers or heavy-duty freezer bags and store it in the freezer for up to 2 months.
hearty busy day soup


Troubleshooting common issues that may appear while making Busy Day Soup can help you overcome challenges and ensure a successful cooking experience. Here are some potential problems and solutions:

  1. The soup is too watery. If your soup is too thin, simmer it uncovered for longer to allow some liquid to evaporate. You can also add a thickening agent like cornstarch or a roux (a mixture of flour and fat) to achieve the desired consistency.
  2. Problem Soup is too thick. Add water, broth, or tomato juice to reach the desired consistency if your soup becomes too thick. 
  3. Overcooked Macaroni. If the macaroni becomes mushy, it’s best to avoid cooking it for an extended time. Follow the package instructions and add the macaroni toward the end of the cooking time.
  4. Too much salt. If your soup becomes too salty, try to balance it out by adding more water, unsalted broth, or additional unsalted ingredients like more vegetables, diced tomatoes, or pasta. Taste as you go to ensure you don’t overcorrect.
  5. Vegetables are mushy. If your vegetables become too soft, consider adding them later in the cooking process to maintain their texture. 


Busy Day Soup

5 from 3 votes
This busy day soup recipe is delicious, hearty, and super comforting. I’m calling this soup your new weeknight superhero! This easy-to-make, one-pot soup combines the rich flavors of savory broth, tender pasta, and nutritious veggies with the satisfying bite of ground beef.
Author: Ioana
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
6 servings


  • 1 lb ground beef 85% lean
  • 1 packet onion soup mix
  • 1 3/4 cup mixed frozen vegetables
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 can (28oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup macaroni uncooked


  1. Cook the Ground Beef. Add the ground beef to a large pot and cook it over medium-high heat until browned. Use a spatula to break up the beef as it cooks. Drain the excess fat from the pot if it's necessary.
    1 lb ground beef
  2. Prepare the Soup Base. Add the onion soup mix, diced tomatoes, and water over the cooked ground beef. Set the heat to medium-low and allow the soup to simmer for about 20 minutes.
    1 packet onion soup mix, 5 cups water, 1 can (28oz) diced tomatoes
  3. Add the Macaroni and Vegetables. Add the macaroni and frozen vegetables to the pot and cook on medium heat for 10 more minutes. This will allow the macaroni to cook and the vegetables to become tender. Make sure to stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
    1 cup macaroni, 1 3/4 cup mixed frozen vegetables
  4. Once the macaroni and vegetables are cooked to your liking, your busy-day soup can be served.


  1. Quick Reheat: If the soup thickens after storing, just add a splash of broth while reheating to thin it out.
  2. Flexible Ingredients: Feel free to swap in different veggies or meats based on what you have in your fridge.
  3. Freezer-Friendly: This soup freezes well. Just thaw and reheat for a quick meal later.
  4. Season to Taste: Don’t forget to adjust the seasoning before serving. A little extra pepper or herbs can really enhance the flavor.
  5. Pasta Tip: If you plan to store the soup, consider cooking the pasta separately and adding it when serving to avoid it becoming too soft.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1 serving, Calories: 314 kcal, Carbohydrates: 25 g, Protein: 18 g, Fat: 16 g, Saturated Fat: 6 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7 g, Trans Fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 54 mg, Sodium: 395 mg, Potassium: 511 mg, Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 2 g, Vitamin A: 2776 IU, Vitamin C: 12 mg, Calcium: 63 mg, Iron: 3 mg

The nutritional information provided on this website is intended to be a helpful reference and convenience for our users. It is offered as a courtesy and is based on data primarily sourced from the USDA Food Composition Database.

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