Poor Man's Stroganoff

There is absolutely nothing fancy about this meal but the flavors are so delicious, I swear, you’ll think you are at a five-star restaurant gobbling down hamburger stroganoff.

Jennie C, a reader, sent me this recipe a long time ago, and I’ve made it many times since, tweaking it here and there to make it a bit lighter and with a few other changes (I know, I know, you are all fainting in disbelief that I lightened up a recipe…I do what I can).

A rich, hearty sauce is packed with simple flavors like garlic, the slight hint of tomato, a dash of Worcestershire, the sweetness of paprika and finished off with sour cream. Meaty, delicious and so simple, this meal is fantastic served over noodles or rice. Who knew simple ground beef (or turkey) stroganoff could taste so terrific? The secret is definitely in the sauce.

What To ServeFresh fruit or green salad
Buttery Peas with Thyme
Simple Buttermilk Drop Biscuits

One Year Ago: Glazed Meatloaf
Two Years Ago: Pesto Pizza with Pine Nuts and Feta
Three Years Ago: Red Berry Risotto Oatmeal

Poor Man’s Stroganoff

Yield: Serves 4-6

Poor Man’s Stroganoff


  • 1-2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 6 ounces turkey bacon, diced
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ pounds lean ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 medium red or yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 cup sour cream, light or regular
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or 1 tablespoon dried
  • Cooked egg noodles or rice, for serving


  1. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 1-2 teaspoons olive oil and saute diced bacon over medium heat until crispy. Transfer bacon to a paper-towel lined plate and set aside, leaving any grease/oil in the pan. Add sliced mushrooms to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, for about one minute (if the pan is too dry, add a teaspoon of oil as needed). Add salt. Continue cooking until the mushrooms are softened and have given up most of their juices. Transfer them to the same plate as the bacon.
  2. In the same skillet, brown the ground beef or turkey with the onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook until the meat is no longer pink. Drain the grease.
  3. Stir in the flour and tomato paste to the meat mixture and mix to combine well. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, for 1 minute. Add the beef broth and bring the mixture to a simmer, whisking to combine all the ingredients. Simmer vigorously for 3-5 minutes until the mixture is slightly reduced and thickened. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and paprika. Cook until flavors blend, about 5 minutes on medium heat. Add sautéed mushrooms and bacon back to the skillet. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the sour cream, mixing well to avoid lumps. Stir in the parsley. Serve over egg noodles or hot, cooked rice.

Recipe Source: adapted from a recipe Jennie C., a reader, sent me

58 Responses to Poor Man’s Stroganoff

  1. Ashley says:

    I just made this and used Fage 0% greek yogurt instead of sour cream. It was delicious! My kids and I gobbled it up and had enough leftovers for a 2nd meal.

  2. JP Coltrr says:

    Why does every recipe have 15 to 30 ingredients? I’d like to see more simplifies recipes..

  3. Rachel Page says:

    I made this last night for friends. They loved it. It is an excellent recipe and worth every bit of work.

  4. Phoebe Stubbs says:

    This meal made dinner on a budget yum! My partner and our 3yr old son devoured it and fought over left overs the next day. It’s been added to my recipe folder and will be a regular on our table!

  5. Melissa C says:

    Made this last night…it was pretty quiet around my dinner table as everyone devoured every last bite…served it with peas. YUM! As always, thanks so much Mel!

  6. Pam says:

    This was so delicious! I made it exactly as written and me and my husband loved it! Thanks for another excellent recipe!

  7. Meredith says:

    So yummy! Turkey bacon makes all the difference in this recipe.

  8. Shannon says:

    I use and love your Ultimate Beef Stroganoff frequently, but didn’t have the right kind of beef so I decided to try this. It was a hit! My husband really liked it and so did I–as well as I can tell as I’m still waiting for my taste buds to return to normal after the chemo. Thanks for another great recipe!

  9. Camille says:

    Hey Mel,
    Made this last night and everyone LOVED it!!!!! Even the picky 6 year old and 3 year old! Thank you!!! Hope you and yours have a wonderful Easter 🙂
    (P.S., I don’t post often, but we have tried MANY of your recipes, and LOVE them!! Thank you….from one Mommy of 5 to another 😉

  10. Mel says:

    Melanie – if you transition this to a slow cooker meal, I’d recommend browning the meat and onions, etc. and then adding to the slow cooker with the liquid and seasonings (don’t stir in the sour cream until ready to serve).

  11. Melanie says:

    Do you think I could make this in the slow cooker with stew meat instead of ground beef? If so, would you still recommend sauteing the onions, etc or just throw it all in?

  12. Ellen says:

    Mel, this is one of our new family favorites! My 6 and 4 year olds love it. I’ve been making my mom’s stroganoff recipe for years (with just cream of whatever soup and sour cream) and didn’t realize how BORING that was. Your recipe is so flavorful, and my husband gets to say, “Mmmmm, bacon,” with each bite! Thanks!

  13. medinalakegirl says:

    Made this tonight with regular bacon and an extra cup and a half of beef broth (water mixed with beef base, actually). We really liked it. Thanks for the great recipe!

  14. Jennifer says:

    Made this tonight and the whole family loved it! We used rice (because my husband gags at the thought of egg noodles, I have no idea why, ha!), and even the picky 4 year old ate it up! I used drained canned mushrooms and regular bacon. Thank you for another winner! This one is being put in the rotation.

  15. Julie D. says:

    I’m so surprised how much my family of picky eaters loved this – even with ground turkey! My husband was not thrilled when I told him I was making “Poor Man’s Stroganoff,” but he’s definitely a fan after eating it! Thank you!

  16. kotti says:

    So yummy!!! My boyfriend had been craving beef stroganoff, he said it hit the spot. Only thing different I had todo was add more broth it soaked up the first cup fast and I was afraid it would dry out. I think I maybe added around 2 1/2 cups of broth total. Either way it was a great recipe, thanks for sharing!
    PS we both thought the crispy texture and flavor from the bacon was such a nice touch!
    PSS I used regular bacon

  17. madeleine says:

    my husband really liked this one but next time i will not add so much flour. i think ill only do 1/8 C. bc i like my sauce a little thinner! but the flavor was pretty good. this ones a keeper!!

  18. Julianne says:

    Excellent…I made this last night. I had about 1/4 cup sour cream left, so I sort of just added half-and-half and milk to make up the sauce. It was great. I really liked the bacon in it, and of course, the mushrooms that are cooked in the pan after the bacon is never a wrong thing. Fabulous.

    Oh! And we used half the amount of meat, and we used ground chicken instead. We both thought there was plenty of meat though, and the chicken tasted just great.

  19. Nikki says:

    This had great flavor, but when I made it last night, mine was not as saucy as yours. I think I will try it next with less flour for thickening, and 1/2 c sour cream, and maybe more broth. It is a good recipe, and definitely worth trying again! Thanks!

  20. Tracey says:

    I must have done something wrong, because mine did not look AT ALL like yours…AND unfortunately it did NOT taste good. I didn’t have any bacon, so I omitted it, maybe that was part of the problem. Mine was A LOT creamier though, like 1 cup of sour cream was WAY too much. I don’t know what happened, but I think I prefer a non-tomato based stroganoff. This was the first recipe I’ve tried on your blog that I have not enjoyed. Can’t win ’em all I guess.

  21. Bri says:

    “Whoa, this is good, what is it?” Words from my husband after taking his first bite tonight. This was really really yummy. Loved it! There wasn’t as much left over as I thought, but I’m still freezing the amount left to see if it freezes well. This had such a wonderful flavor. I really enjoyed it!

  22. Bri says:

    Could I freeze half of this for another meal?

  23. Nicole says:

    Hey Mel this was great we had it tonight for dinner my 2 and 4 year old gobbled it up. Cheap too. I have 8 servings and it only cost about $6!!

  24. Jenna says:

    Another hit from your site! I made this last night (minus the mushrooms) and even my 4-year old said, “Mom, can you make this again tomorrow night?” Lucky for her, it made plenty so we’ll have leftovers. Thanks again for a delicious recipe!

  25. camie says:

    We just had this for dinner and it was SOOOOO good! I love the creamy tomato base and the richness of the bacon and mushrooms. Thanks for sharing. You always post such great, family friendly recipes!!

  26. Kate says:

    This made my kitchen smell great but was a little disappointed in the finished product. I had high hopes for it but it was just okay. It was missing something…

  27. Ursala T. says:

    I have been searching high and low for this recipe. I didn’t know how to search it, because this isn’t the “traditional” stroganoff…and all the recipes I came across were the non-tomato kind. Can’t wait to try this!

  28. Monette says:

    My hubby loves stroganoff but I couldn’t find a good one that he likes until I saw your Poorman’s Stroganoff recipe! I made it last night and he said” we got a winner !”. Thank you so much for all your efforts and time to do all this!

  29. Lisa says:

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! We had this for dinner tonight, and it was delicious. I posted about you on my blog. Blessings! http://thecozynook.blogspot.com/2011/02/layers-of-goodness.html

  30. juliann says:

    can I use pancetta instead of bacon you think?
    If I buy the whole pack of bacon I will eat it, or have to throw it out so I dont eat it.

  31. jaesi says:

    Just made this for lunch. Kids gobbled it down. thanks Mel!
    p.s. what method of draining grease do you like best?

  32. Kelley says:

    Made this today….sooo yummy! Hubby and son enjoyed it too. On a side note I am totally ADDICTED to this website!!! Love it

  33. Renay says:

    Wow, how did you know I had a half a can of tomato paste, a package of fading-fast mushrooms, and ground beef in my fridge? I even had bacon, though it was the regular kind. This was really delicious! I love how it tasted like comfort food stroganoff, but yet was different. The bacon added a very nice touch, not too overpowering. I made your baked brown rice to serve it with and also some regular spaghetti noodles for the rice-hater and it was so yummy and satisfying. What a great, quick, change of the normal ground beef dinner. Thanks Mel!

  34. Zoe says:

    Question, How much of sour cream did you put it in?

  35. Zoe says:

    This looks such a comfort food!! YUM!!

  36. Renee says:

    Mel, I made this tonight for dinner and it received rave reviews. Thought I’d let you know! Because of what I had on hand, I used used regular bacon and 7 or 8 oz. of tomato sauce and let it reduce a bit more. Wonderful! Hubs asked for it to go into the rotation. Thanks for helping us get away from so many processed foods. It’s a process, but we’re making it and I feel better with each step. Keep it up!!

  37. Our Family's adventures! » Blog Archive » Menu plan says:

    […] Poor Man’s Stroganoff, noodles, […]

  38. grace says:

    i have an even poorer man’s stroganoff–beef, sour cream, and cream of mushroom soup. yeah, i said it. sad, right? 🙂

  39. Kelli says:

    You have a way of making such simple dishes look SO inviting!

  40. Maggie Williams says:

    Yum! I made this today, I love your website. I actually had made a pork shoulder yesterday so I substituted cubed cooked pork and I used Greek yogurt instead of sour cream- not to mention I used regular bacon also. The flavors were amazing- such a good recipe. Thanks for such a wonderful website-

  41. Ann says:

    Stroganoff is one of my favorites. This looks like a really good recipe. I love it.

  42. I love this! It should also be called “Busy night stroganoff” When you forgot to take meat out to thaw and need a fast, tasty, healthy dinner 🙂 I usually serve this type over rice and in a real (lazy) pinch I will make it into S.O.S. and just toast up some sourdough. My fave versions always have sour cream….yum.

  43. Abby says:

    My husband and I were just talking about different variations of Beef Stroganoff last night. I think I will make this for him to see what he has to say :0) Maybe a new favorite!

  44. stroganoff is one of my favorites!! i haven’t had it in so long!

  45. Jennifer says:

    I think my hubby is falling in love with you. 🙂 Well, at least with your recipes! Thanks for making our tummies happy.

  46. Tanya Jones says:

    I made It this afternoon and threw it in the crock pot on a warm setting to serve for dinner! I had to make sure it was good so I had some for lunch and YUM! Thanks for the recipe!

  47. Miss L says:

    First time poster delurking with a question: could you use regular bacon or would that cause the recipe to taste off (I could make this tonight, but don’t have the turkey bacon…but I DO have full fat good ol’ pork bacon)? Thanks…and thanks for your many many delicious recipes you post. I’m a better cook, thanks to you!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Miss L – yes, by all means, you can use your regular bacon. It will work just as well! The only reason I used turkey bacon was to lighten it up a bit and because that is usually what I have on hand. Hope you like it!

  48. Toni Black says:

    This looks great! And no cream of something soup like so many stroganoff recipes use! Thank you! Thank you!

  49. Monica says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I loved the Hamburger Helper stroganoff growing up, but I have never been able to find a homemade recipe that tasted better than the box! I will definitely be giving this a try soon. 🙂

  50. Thanks for a great dish for the cold weekend nights and can be made with all the ingredints that most of us have on hand..

  51. I have a beef stroganoff recipe that I use ground beef on and I love it because I always have ground beef in the freezer so it gets made frequently! I will have to give this version a try next time I am craving stroganoff!

  52. briarrose says:

    Yum….I’m going to have to give this a try. The hubby loves stroganoff.

  53. Ida Z says:

    This looks amazing . . . as do all your recipes. I’ve tried dozens of recipes from your blog and we have Loved loved every single one!! Now I have my sister, sister-in-law and a couple of friends hooked to your blog as well.

  54. StephenC says:

    Hurrah for you! I so love noodles like these. And we are very fond of ground turkey. Got this one bookmarked!

  55. Kim in MD says:

    YUM! I love that you lighten up the main dishes…that way we can have dessert! 🙂

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