September 22, 2014



This updated take on my grandma's hamburger stew is served in a bread bowl. Ground beef and fresh vegetables in a thick savory broth makes this stew a hearty and comforting meal.

Bread Bowl Hamburger Stew
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My mother did all of the cooking in our home when I was growing up. With five children, if she wasn’t cooking, she was cleaning, and if she wasn’t cleaning, she was cooking. In the summer when all of us children were home from school, my mom would cook breakfast, lunch and dinner, every day, seven days a week, week after week. It seemed that as soon as the breakfast dishes were cleaned and put away, she would start to prep lunch, and as soon as lunch was cleaned up, she would prep supper.

I helped her here and there in the kitchen, but I never learned how to make any dish in its entirety. That is until hamburger stew came along. Ironically, it was not my mother who taught me how to make it, but my grandmother. She spent a little time alone with us when my parents were in the hospital awaiting my baby sister’s birth.

Grandmother showed me how to make hamburger stew from beginning to end. This dish has sentimental value to me because it was the first complete dish I learned how cook, and every time I make it, I think about my grandmother who has long passed.

Bread Bowl Hamburger Stew

I changed her recipe a little bit over the years. Grandmother used canned vegetables and I use fresh whenever possible. One thing I like to keep the same is the seasoning. She used Maggi Seasoning, and I love the stuff! But I can’t always find it in the grocery store, and when I can’t find it, soy sauce is a perfect substitute. Grandmother also didn’t serve our hamburger stew in a bread bowl. She served it with rice, which is how I usually have it. Her broth was thin, but when I serve it in a bread bowl, I thicken it up to prevent all the juices from getting the bread too soggy.

Bread Bowl Hamburger Stew

This is truly a hearty bowl of comfort. It is perfect supper after a long hard day of work, or school, or play. May it leave you feeling nurtured and satisfied as it does me. Make this for you and your loved ones and be well.


Bread Bowl Hamburger Stew


2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup thinly chopped celery
1/2 cup thinly chopped carrots
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup green beans, chopped into 1/2" pieces
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 lb. ground beef
1 tsp. salt
1 1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. fresh thyme
1 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn
1 (14.5 oz.) can low sodium beef broth, divided
2 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. Maggi Seasoning (or soy sauce)
4 (about 13 oz. each) crusty bread boules 


Add oil to a preheated a large pan on medium heat. Add celery, carrots, onion, green beans, and garlic. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Move all the vegetables to one side on pan and slightly slide that portion of the pan off the burner. Increase heat to medium high. Add ground beef to the empty portion of pan. Cook meat, breaking it up into small chunks as it browns. As the meat cooks, stir the vegetables a couple of times to prevent the bottom from browning. When the meat is almost all the way cooked, add salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, rosemary, and corn. Slide the pan entirely back on the heat and incorporate the vegetables into the meat mixture and cook until all of the beef is brown. Reserve 1/2 cup of beef broth and add the remaining to the pan. Add Maggi Seasoning. Stir. Allow to come to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

In the meantime, hollow out the bread boules: Use a serrated knife to slice off the top quarter to third of the bread. Use hands to pull out the interior, leaving a wall at least 1/2" thick. Set aside. Next, add cornstarch to the reserved beef broth. Stir until smooth.

After 15 minutes of simmering, increase heat to bring stew to a harder boil. Stir in the cornstarch mixture. Allow to boil and thicken for a minute or two. Remove from heat. Pour stew into bread bowls just before serving. Makes 4 servings.

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  1. This looks so good. My husband would love it. He looks forward to soup in a bread bowl all year!

  2. He will definitely have to try this. It's really flavorful and filling. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. This looks delicious, and I love bread bowls! We have five kiddos, so I'm thinking using a bread bowl would help cut down on dishes, which is always a good thing! :)

    1. Thanks, Dee! Wouldn't it be nice if all meals were self-cleaning?

  4. Your Bread Bowl Hamburger Stew looks delicious, we would just love this recipe. Thanks so much for sharing this awesome recipe with Full Plate Thursday and hope to see you real soon!
    Miz Helen

  5. Thank you so much! I'm looking forward to your Full Plate Thursdays!

  6. I'm the picky person THANKS ��