Texas Cowboy Stew in a big white pot.
Texas Cowboy Stew is a filling, flavorful, easy-to-make, one pot meal.
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This Texas Cowboy Stew recipe makes a hearty, homemade one-pot meal. It’s filled with flavorful ground beef, smoked sausage, veggies, and beans that simmer in a seasoned tomato-based broth.

Texas Cowboy Stew in a pot with a wooden spoon.

Easy Cowboy Stew

Our recipe for Texas Cowboy Stew is so easy to make using two types of meat (although you can bulk it up even more with bacon), vegetables, beans, seasonings, and broth, all cooked together in a single pot or dutch oven on the stovetop or simmered all day in a crockpot.

This old-fashioned Texas Cowboy stew is a delicious one-dish dinner; it’s packed with protein, veggies, and carbs and filling enough to feed your hungry family.

With minimal work and not much clean-up, this dish feels like comforting cowboy food meets the convenience of cooking from cans and kitchen staples, all in a warm meal meant for cold weather.

Why We Love Texas Cowboy Stew Recipes

  • Quick and easy to make in one pot.
  • Uses a handful of simple ingredients.
  • No-fuss, filling meat and veggie meal that’s full of flavor.
  • A traditional Texas cowboy soup makes a hearty home-cooked supper for fall and winter months. 
  • Delicious dish to feed a crowd for tailgates, game day gatherings, potlucks, or weekday dinners.

Texas Cowboy Stew Ingredients

Texas Cowboy Stew ingredients.
  • Beef smoked sausage: I used Hillshire Farms brand, but any smoked sausage will work well.
  • Lean ground beef
  • Yellow onion
  • Minced garlic
  • Russet potato
  • Beef broth: You can use chicken broth or vegetable broth in a pinch.
  • Frozen, sweet yellow whole-kernel corn
  • Frozen peas & carrots medley blend
  • Pinto beans with the liquids
  • Stewed tomatoes
  • Original Rotel diced tomatoes & green chilies: You can also combine a can of diced tomatoes and a can of green chilies.
  • Chili powder
  • Ground cumin
  • Smoked paprika
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

Substitutions and Additions

  • Swap The Sausage: Feel free to swap the beef sausage for chicken, turkey, or kielbasa sausage.
  • Serve It Spicier: If you like extra heat, you can substitute the original Rotel for a can of hot Rotel. You can also add ⅛-¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the spice blend.
  • Prepare Without Pinto Beans: You can substitute the pinto beans for a different kind of small-sized bean, like small red beans, kidney beans, or even black beans. I do not suggest using canned garbanzo beans, though. 
  • Vary The Veggies: You can substitute the frozen corn and frozen peas & carrots for a bag of frozen mixed vegetables if you want to keep it simple. 
  • Vegetarian Version: To make this stew meatless, replace the beef and sausage with extra veggies and beans. Or use your favorite plant-based meat substitutes to make a vegetarian stew.
Texas Cowboy Stew on a white table and bread on the side.

How to Make Texas Cowboy Stew

  1. Cook The Sausage: Cook the sausage until the edges start to crisp and the fat renders. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain the fat and set aside.
  2. Brown The Beef: Cook ground beef, diced yellow onion, and minced garlic until no pink remains and the onions are tender. Drain any excess fat from the pot.
  3. Simmer The Stew: Add the cooked sausage and browned beef back to the pot along with the remaining ingredients. Stir, bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 1 hour or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
    Pro Tip: Keep the lid just barely cracked open to allow the excess steam to escape the pot.
  4. Serve: Serve hot and enjoy!
all ingredients placed in the pot. simmer stew in the pot. close the lid. cooked stew in the pot.

What To Serve With Texas Cowboy Stew

Texas Cowboy Stew is a complete meal on its own because it contains plenty of protein, veggies, and carbs. However, you can certainly bulk it up with bread, whole grains, a salad, or biscuits.

  • Bread: Cornbread, garlic bread, or breadsticks are great ways to soak up the broth of this stew.
  • Rice or Grains: A side of brown rice, cauliflower rice, or other whole grains, such as quinoa or barley, can help to stretch the stew and make it a more nutrient-dense dinner.
  • Salad: A side salad or steamed veggie can add a simple contrast to the full flavors of this stew.
  • Biscuits: You can top your stew with some biscuits as it cooks or serve some on the side to sop up the sauce.
scooping the stew with a ladle.

Tips For Making Texas Cowboy Stew

  • If your stewed tomatoes are in really big chunks (brands will vary), you can use a wooden spoon to break the large tomato chunks into smaller pieces. This is a personal preference. 
  • I use the liquids from the canned pinto beans because this liquid helps to thicken the broth for this stew slightly. If you do not want to add the liquids, you can drain it, but I suggest not rinsing the beans.

How to Store Texas Cowboy Stew

  • To Store: This Texas cowboy stew can be stored, in an airtight container, in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  • To Freeze: You can freeze this Texas cowboy stew in freezer-safe containers for up to 2 months.
  • To Reheat: Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave until heated through.
eating texas cowboy stew using a spoon.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Cowboy Stew?

The original cowboy stew recipe contains bacon, ground beef, smoked sausage, onions, carrots, garlic, tomatoes, corn, and potatoes. It all simmers in a perfectly seasoned broth with chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika. Although I’ve slightly revised my recipe, it tastes just as delicious as the classic Southwest cowboy stew.

How do I store cowboy stew?

Cool your stew completely before storing in airtight containers in the fridge. When you are ready to eat leftovers, you can reheat individual servings or the entire stew. If reheating the entire stew, I suggest adding it back to the large pot and heating it on medium-low or until warmed through. You can freeze this Texas cowboy stew in freezer-safe containers for up to 2 months. Allow the stew to thaw completely in the refrigerator before reheating. 

Can I make my cowboy stew in the slow cooker?

Yes, you can easily make this cowboy stew in a slow cooker. Once you’ve browned the beef and cooked the sausage, combine all ingredients in the crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or on high for 2-3 hours or just until the potatoes are soft.

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Texas Cowboy Stew in a white bowl with a spoon.

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5 from 1 vote
Texas Cowboy Stew in a big white pot.

Texas Cowboy Stew

Serves — 8
Texas Cowboy Stew is a filling, flavorful, easy-to-make, one pot meal.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients
  

  • 12 ounces of beef smoked sausage cut into ¼-inch thick slices (Hillshire Farms brand)
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • cups diced yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 cups diced russet potato 1-inch pieces from 2 large peeled potatoes
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • cups frozen sweet yellow corn
  • cups frozen peas & carrots medley blend
  • 31 ounces (2 15.5-ounce) cans of pinto beans with the liquids
  • 14.5 ounces can of stewed tomatoes
  • 10 ounces can of original Rotel diced tomatoes & green chilies
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Add the sliced beef smoked sausage to a stock pot (7-8 quarts) on medium-high heat. Cook the sausage for 5-6 minutes or until the edges start to crisp and the fat renders. Transfer the cooked sausage pieces to a paper towel-lined plate to allow all the excess fat to drain, and set aside.
    12 ounces of beef smoked sausage
  • Add the lean ground beef, diced yellow onion, and minced garlic to the hot stock pot. Cook and brown the ground beef for 5-6 minutes or until no pink remains and the onions are tender. Drain any excess fat from the pot.
    1 pound lean ground beef, 1½ cups diced yellow onion, 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • Add the cooked beef smoked sausage back to the pot, with the ground beef, along with the diced russet potatoes, beef broth, frozen sweet corn, frozen peas & carrots, pinto beans, stewed tomatoes, original Rotel diced tomatoes, chili powder, ground cumin, smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper. Stir to combine.
    3 cups diced russet potato, 2 cups beef broth, 1½ cups frozen sweet yellow corn, 1½ cups frozen peas & carrots medley blend, 31 ounces (2 15.5-ounce) cans of pinto beans with the liquids, 14.5 ounces can of stewed tomatoes, 10 ounces can of original Rotel diced tomatoes & green chilies, 2 tablespoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • Bring the Texas cowboy stew to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 1 hour or until the potatoes are fork-tender. Keep the lid just barely cracked open to allow the excess steam to escape the pot.

Jenn’s Notes

Storage:
  • To Store: This Texas cowboy stew can be stored, in an airtight container, in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  • To Freeze: You can freeze this Texas cowboy stew in freezer-safe containers for up to 2 months.
  • To Reheat: Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave until heated through.
Tips:
  • If you like a little extra heat, you can substitute the original Rotel for a can of hot. You can also add ⅛-¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the spice blend.
  • If your stewed tomatoes are in really big chunks (brands will vary), you can use a wooden spoon to break the large tomato chunks into smaller pieces. This is a personal preference. 
  • I use the liquids from the canned pinto beans because this liquid helps to thicken the broth for this stew slightly. If you really do not want to add the liquids, then you can certainly drain it, but I do suggest not rinsing the beans.
  • You can substitute the pinto beans for a different small canned bean. You can use small red beans, kidney beans, or even black beans. I do not suggest using canned garbanzo beans, though. 
  • You can substitute the frozen corn and frozen peas & carrots for a bag of mixed vegetables if you want to keep it simple.

Nutrition Info

Calories: 494kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 1089mg | Potassium: 1408mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 3420IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 125mg | Iron: 7mg

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