Cowboy Stew

This hearty and delicious Cowboy Stew is an easy, flavorful, and stick-to-your-ribs recipe loaded with ground beef, smoked sausage, Italian sausage, potatoes, vegetables and more. A delicious quick and easy dinner recipe that will feed a crowd.

A close up of a red soup bowl filled with cowboy stew.

When fall and winter roll around, I break out my slow cooker or Dutch oven and start making soups and stews. Even here in Texas, winters get cold enough to make a hot, piping bowl of stew a welcome cozy addition to the dinner table. I love to make all kinds of stew, from classic chicken noodle to Italian wedding soup and everything in between. One of my favorite stew recipes to make this time of year is this delicious Tex-Mex cowboy stew. It’s loaded with delicious, cozy flavors, and it’s so easy to make. It’s the perfect stew for the family.

Cowboy Stew

This delicious stew starts with ground beef, hot Italian sausage, and smoked sausage. Then it’s combined with onions, garlic, potatoes, pinto beans, corn, and mixed vegetables. From there, I add Rotel, green chilies, and hot and zesty spices. All those tasty ingredients come together to make a spicy, just-hot-enough, one-pot Tex-Mex stew that makes your heart as happy as it does your tastebuds. It’s so easy, and it makes enough that you can have it for a few meals. Even better!

An overhead shot of a bowl of cowboy stew.

Why You’ll Love This Cowboy Stew Recipe

  • It’s extremely hearty and flavorful. 
  • It uses simple ingredients, and it’s easy to make. 
  • It feeds and army, and the leftovers are just as good as the day it was made.


  • Always drain the grease when browning your meat. You don’t want a greasy stew.
  • Be sure you don’t cook the potatoes fully when simmering the stew. The vegetables will go in last, making enough cooking time for everything to be uniformly tender and delicious.
  • A Dutch oven holds the heat better than a pot, so use one if you can.


  • If you don’t like spicy food, use mild Italian sausage and omit the red pepper flakes.
  • You can use ground turkey in place of ground beef.
  • This recipe is great with beef stew meat.
  • Use any of your favorite vegetables in this recipe.
A black Dutch oven with cowboy stew in it.

What to Serve with Cowboy Stew

This Tex-Mex stew is loaded with Southwestern flavors, so it pairs well with a wide variety of dishes. Some of my favorites are:

  • Salad
  • Crusty bread
  • Rolls
  • Cheddar biscuits
  • Cornbread
  • Crackers

Recipe FAQ

What is cowboy stew?

It’s a hearty stew that combines ground beef, sausage, beans, corn, vegetables, and Southwestern spices.

Why is it called cowboy stew?

It gets its name because it’s a variation of a stew that combined whatever cowboys had on hand while driving cattle.

Where did cowboy stew originate?

Cowboy stew originated as an easy way to use meats and ingredients on hand. Cowboys would put meat and whatever vegetables were on hand and boil them in a cast-iron pot over their campfire.

What is the secret to good stew?

The biggest secret to good stew is not rushing it. Now, this stew doesn’t take as much time because it uses ground meat and smoked sausage, but if you’re using stew meat. Let it simmer until it’s nice and tender.

Can you freeze leftover cowboy stew?

You can. All of the ingredients in this stew freeze very well. Pour it into an air-tight, freezer-safe container and freeze it for up to 3 months.

A close up of a hearty stew showing all the ingredients in it.

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

Store the stew in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days. For longer storage, freeze the stew in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

To reheat, simply place the stew in a pot or Dutch oven and cook over medium-l0w heat until heated through.

Cowboy Stew Ingredients

This stew uses simple ingredients that you’ll find easily at your local grocery store.

  • Lean ground beef
  • Hot Italian sausage
  • Hillshire Farms Beef smoked sausage
  • Onion
  • Cloves garlic,
  • Slap Ya Mama seasoning
  • Black pepper
  • Ground cumin
  • Chili powder
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Diced tomatoes, drained
  • Rotel, drained
  • Diced green chilies
  • Potatoes
  • Beef broth
  • Water
  • Pinto beans
  • Whole kernel corn, drained
  • Frozen mixed vegetables
A spoonful of stew held up above the bowl.

How to Make Cowboy Stew

Making this stew is even easier than shopping for the ingredients. It only takes a few minutes of cooking the ground beef, then you just let everything simmer. Easy peasy!

Step 1: Cook the Meat

Add ground beef, Italian sausage, smoked sausage, onions, and seasonings to a Dutch oven or a large pot, over medium-high heat, and cook until the meat is no longer pink and the onions are translucent. Drain the grease and return the mixture to the pan.

Step 2: Add Everything but Corn and Mixed Vegetables

Add the remaining ingredients except for the corn and the mixed vegetables, stir, and cook over medium heat until the potatoes are almost tender.

Step 3: Add the Vegetables

Add the corn and frozen mixed vegetables, stir, and cook until the vegetables are hot and the potatoes are tender.

A double collage photo of cowboy stew.

Try This Delicious Cowboy Stew Recipe Today

This tasty stew is loaded with zesty Southwestern flavors, but it’s not loaded with work. It’s an incredibly easy recipe that anyone can make. Make this simple recipe as a hearty weeknight dinner and then serve it the next day as lunch or as dinner again. Once you try it, everyone will be asking for it again and again!

A three photo collage of cowboy stew.

More Delicious Stew & Soup Recipes You’ll Enjoy

Slow Cooker Beef Stew – A delicious and hearty beef stew that is filled with tender beef, potatoes, corn and more. So tender, so flavorful and so easy to make.

Crock Pot Hearty Chicken Stew – This chicken stew is hearty, loaded with tons of flavor and makes are great dinner recipe for those cold winter nights.

Crock Pot Beef Stew with a Kick – All the vegetables, the seasonings, and the meat mixed together makes a hearty and delicious beef stew recipe with a kick of spice that enhances the flavor even more.

And, here is a delicious Broccoli Cheddar Soup, from Deliciously Seasoned, that you might enjoy too.

Cowboy Stew

Great Grub, Delicious Treats

A hearty and delicious, meaty, flavorful stew recipe with three types of meat, a variety of vegetables, and seasoned perfectly.

Prep Time 20 mins

Cook Time 40 mins

Total Time 1 hr

Course Dinner, Lunch

Cuisine American

Servings 12 Servings

Calories 454 kcal


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound hot Italian sausage
  • (2) 14 ounce packages of Hillshire Farms Beef smoked sausage
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon Slap Ya Mama seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 15 ounce diced tomatoes drained
  • 10 ounce Rotel drained
  • 4 ounce diced green chilies
  • 3 potatoes peeled, diced
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 29 ounce pinto beans
  • 15.25 ounce whole kernel corn drained
  • 12 ounce frozen mixed vegetables


  • In a large Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat, add ground beef, Italian sausage, smoked sausage, onions and seasonings. Cook until meat is no longer pink and onions are translucent.

  • Drain grease and return to pan.

  • Pour diced tomatoes, Rotel, diced green chilies, potatoes, pinto beans, beef broth and water into the meat mixture. Stir.

  • Reduce heat and cook over medium heat until potatoes are almost tender.

  • Add corn and frozen mixed vegetables to pot, stir and continue cooking until vegetables are hot and heated through.


Nutritional values are approximate.


Please note that these values can change with different brands and any modifications made to the recipe. For the most accurate information, use a nutritional calculator with the exact brands and measurements.


Calories: 454kcalCarbohydrates: 43gProtein: 23gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 59mgSodium: 569mgPotassium: 1049mgFiber: 10gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 1775IUVitamin C: 24mgCalcium: 92mgIron: 4mg

Keyword Cowboy Stew, Texas Cowboy Stew

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A red bowl of stew with two more red bowls filled with stew in the background.
A close up of a bite of stew on a spoon.

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