Mom's Mucked Up Hamburger


My mom's mucked up hamburger is a delicious and hearty dinner! I always loved when she would make this for us, and now I make it for Julian!

Mom's Mucked Up Hamburger

With the weather getting colder and Vancouver being in a quasi-lockdown, I have been looking for comforting meals.  I generally find that the best way to find this comfort is by cooking the meals my mom would make for me when I was young.  This recipe is for a dinner my mom would make often for us.  

My mom would always call this "mucked up hamburger".  While I am still not entirely sure what the name is supposed to mean, I do know that it is delicious!  Canned whole tomatoes cook to form a sauce with ground beef and other veggies.  The meal simmers together to form an almost stew-like consistency which is just what I want this time of year.

It is full of nutrient dense veggies and also includes ground beef, which make this a hearty and satisfying meal.  I love serving this over rice to soak up the sauce that the tomatoes and other veggies make.  It is even better the next day when the flavors have all sat together for longer!

Mucked Up Hamburger

How to Make My Mom's Mucked Up Hamburger

While the full recipe instructions are available below, here are some tips to make my mom's comforting meal!

  • Ground Beef: I generally prefer to use extra lean ground beef in my recipes.  However if you want to use lean ground beef, that will work in this recipe too!  If you want to reduce all of the fat that you can, drain out the excess fat once the beef has cooked.  I don't normally do this, since I find the extra lean beef does not give off much extra fat anyways.
  • Tomatoes: I use whole canned tomatoes (or stewed tomatoes) in this recipe.  Do not drain them when adding to your skillet.  The extra tomato juices help to create the delicious sauce you're after!  
  • Vegetables: the other veggies I use for this meal include celery, onions, and peppers.  If you want to sneak more in here then go for it!
Mom's Mucked Up Hamburger

Mom's Mucked Up Hamburger

My mom’s mucked up hamburger is a delicious and hearty dinner! I always loved when she would make this for us, and now I make it for Julian!

Prep Time:
Cooking Time:


  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef
  • 2 cups onion, chopped (1 large onion)
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 28 oz canned whole tomatoes (1 can)
  • 1 cup celery, chopped (2–3 stalks)
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, sliced into strips (1 medium pepper)


  1. Heat a large deep skillet on medium heat.  Add oil, beef, and onion and brown the beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks – approximately 3 to 5 minutes.  Once the beef is thoroughly cooked and the onions are softened, add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Add the canned tomatoes, celery, and red pepper.  Cook until the mixture is bubbling stirring often.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered, on low for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Serve and enjoy!

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