This creamy beef and tomato noodle soup is a quick and easy recipe loaded with ground beef, noodles and tons of flavor! It is a family favorite!

This soup is INCREDIBLE. Not only is it super simple to make, it is one of the most delicious soups in my repertoire!

With some definite “lasagna soup” vibes, this creamy tomato noodle soup is less cheesy than classic lasagna soup, quite a bit more down-to-earth, and super family-friendly!

Bowl with noodles, ground beef, tomato soup and cheese.

Making Creamy Tomato Noodle Soup

This soup begins by cooking the ground beef and onion and then adding:

  • crushed tomatoes
  • tomato sauce
  • broth
  • dried basil + dried oregano + garlic + thyme

A few notes: you can definitely leave out the ground beef for a meatless soup. Also, I prefer an ultra-smooth consistency to the soup, so I run the crushed tomatoes through a blender before using (but that isn’t necessary if you’re fine with some “tomato-y” texture).

Pouring crushed tomatoes and broth into soup pot.

The Perfect Pasta for This Soup

This creamy beef and tomato noodle soup needs a short squatty-shaped pasta.

Like, ditalini (my favorite pasta to use in this soup). Or elbow macaroni. A great option!

Even small shell pasta would work well here.

Ditalini noodles on wooden spoon above saucepan with tomato broth.

Tips for Perfectly Smooth Creamy Soup

Cream cheese lends the creamy factor to this soup.

If you’ve ever added a block of cream cheese to hot liquid, you know the chances of getting small little lumps of cream cheese THAT REFUSE TO GO AWAY are high.

So, to prevent that, we control the destiny of our creamy soup by taking a few simple extra steps.

  1. Place the softened cream cheese in a bowl.
  2. Ladle in 1-2 cups of the hot broth from the soup (try to avoid the noodles and ground beef – but it’s fine if a few find their way in – it doesn’t have to be perfect)
  3. Let everything sit for a minute or two so the cream cheese melts.
  4. Whisk everything together like your life depends on it and stir back into the soup.
Glass bowl with cream cheese and tomato broth.

If you want to live on the edge, you can skip the above step and just toss the cubes of softened cream cheese into the soup, let it sit for a minute, and then whisk the soup (ground beef, noodles and all) until it’s as smooth as possible.

I’ve made this soup a lot of times, and tested out every which way to get the cream cheese to meld into the soup as smoothly as possible.

As it happens, I’ve learned a lot about my personality in the process. For instance, it’s highly worth the extra steps for me to whisk the cream cheese in a separate bowl so I don’t sit and stare at my soup and obsess over the small specks of cream cheese as I take each bite.

But by all means, you do you! In fact, I hope not everyone is like me. 😉 No matter how you choose to cream cheese the soup, it’ll be delicious at the end!

Ladle scooping up soup with noodles, tomatoes and ground beef.

The soup continues to thicken as it simmers…and as it cools.

For a thicker soup, remove it from the heat and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

One last note about the flavor: for anyone worried about the the cream cheese overpowering the soup, it doesn’t actually lend a strong cream cheese flavor to the soup. In fact, I’m guessing most people who eat this without making it don’t even know they have cream cheese to thank for the creaminess.

Bowl of tomato soup with noodles and ground beef.

A Perfect Soup

I don’t know what it is about this soup, but while I’m over here just trying to get through each day, this soup is living its best life winning new friends and fans every single time it is served.

So many people I’ve made this for over the last few months have raved about it and immediately requested the recipe.

It also makes a fantastic, family-friendly take-in meal! Throw a batch of breadsticks in to serve alongside the soup, and you have an absolute slam dunk of a meal on your hands.

Spoon with noodles, ground beef, tomato broth.

What to Serve with This

One Year Ago: Cinnamon Roll Blondie Bars 
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Three Years Ago: Easy Flaky Buttermilk Drop Biscuits 
Four Years Ago: Chicken and Vegetable Dumpling Soup 
Five Years Ago: Healthy Yogurt Oat Blueberry Muffins 
Six Years Ago: Yum Yum Bowls with Knockoff Cafe Yumm Sauce 
Seven Years Ago: German Pancake {Whole Grain Option} with Butter Syrup 
Eight Years Ago: Amazing Romaine Salad with Light Poppy Seed Vinaigrette
Nine Years Ago: Chocolate Molten Fudge Cakes {Lower Fat Version}
Ten Years Ago: Delicious Ground Beef {or Turkey} Stroganoff 

Spoon scooping up bite of soup with tomatoes, noodles, and ground beef.

Creamy Beef and Tomato Noodle Soup

4.89 stars (45 ratings)

Ingredients

  • 1 to 1 ½ pounds lean ground beef (see note)
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Pinch of dried thyme
  • 6 cups chicken broth or stock (I use low-sodium)
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes (see note)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, light or regular, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) short tube pasta, like ditalini or elbow macaroni
  • Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving

Instructions 

  • Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the ground beef, onion, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, breaking the meat into small pieces, until the meat is no longer pink and the onions are translucent, 4-5 minutes. Drain excess grease.
  • Add the basil, oregano, garlic powder, thyme, broth, crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Stir well.
  • Bring the soup to a simmer and add the pasta. Simmer until the pasta is just al dente (according to package directions). Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and lower (or increase) heat, if needed, to maintain a gentle simmer without scorching.
  • Add the softened cream cheese to a bowl and ladle in 1-2 cups of the hot soup (do the best you can to avoid scooping up the noodles and small pieces of ground beef – doesn't have to be perfect). Let the cream cheese and hot soup sit for a minute or two so the cream cheese can melt then whisk until creamy, smooth and well-combined.
  • Add the cream cheese mixture back into the soup and stir until evenly combined. Simmer for 1-2 more minutes, stirring often, until the soup is bubbling and slightly thickened. The soup will thicken as it cools (so if you want a thicker soup, let the soup rest, off the heat, for 5-10 minutes).
  • Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Notes

Meatless: you can definitely leave out the ground beef for a meatless soup.
Tomatoes: I prefer an ultra-smooth consistency to the soup, so I run the crushed tomatoes through a blender before using (but that isn’t necessary if you’re fine with some “tomato-y” texture). Different brands of crushed tomatoes vary in texture.
Serving: 1 serving, Calories: 345kcal, Carbohydrates: 41g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 58mg, Sodium: 1042mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 8g
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Recipe Source: inspired by this recipe (used tomatoes + spices in place of the pasta sauce, changed the amounts of most of the ingredients, and altered the cooking method to simplify it a bit and prevent lumps of cream cheese)