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Classic Beef Stew

This easy beef stew recipe is my favorite. The rich beef gravy helps the hearty flavor of the potatoes and carrots to come through. It's the perfect homemade dish for a blustery winter day. —Alberta McKay, Bartlesville, Oklahoma
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. Bake: 2-1/2 hours
  • Makes
    8 servings (2 quarts)


  • 2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (10-1/2 ounces) condensed beef broth, undiluted
  • 3 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 medium carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup sliced celery (1-inch lengths)


  • In an oven-safe Dutch oven, brown beef in batches in oil; drain. Return all meat to the pan. Add onions, tomatoes, broth, tapioca, garlic, parsley, salt, pepper and bay leaf. Bring to a boil.
  • Cover stew and bake at 350° for 1 hour. Stir in carrots, potatoes and celery. Bake, covered, 1 hour longer or until meat and vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaf.

Easy Beef Stew Tips

What kind of meat do you use for beef stew?

We recommend using chuck meat for beef stew. Chuck meat is cut from the front shoulder. Round meat, or otherwise known as rear meat, works well, too. If you find pre-packaged meat labeled "stew meat" at the store, it's good to ask the meat counter worker what type of cut was used. You can also check out our complete guide to the best cuts for beef stew.

How do you make beef stew meat tender?

Beef stew meat breaks down and becomes more tender the longer you cook. Two hours is typically the sweet spot for beef stew unless you're cooking a slow-cooker stew. For slow-cooker beef stews, we recommend cooking on low for 7-8 hours. You can also follow our best tips for tenderizing meat.

How can I thicken my beef stew without flour?

Besides using flour, you can thicken beef stew by adding a few tablespoons of cornstarch or cooked potatoes until you reach your desired consistency.

How do you add flavor to beef stew?

You can add flavor to beef stew by adding more garlic, swapping canola oil for olive oil and by browning the meat more thoroughly. Adding more garlic is not only tasty, but can lower cholesterol, too. Swapping in olive oil also provides health benefits. Olive oil has the same healthy fat properties and a similarsmoke point as canola, but it adds a more natural flavor to your stew. Speaking of adding flavor, browning stew meat adds a rich, meaty flavor to your dish. Although it's not necessary, we highly recommend it.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 245 calories, 10g fat (3g saturated fat), 71mg cholesterol, 751mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 3g fiber), 24g protein.


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  • Queenlalisa
    Jul 12, 2020

    I love beef stew. This recipe had a delicious flavor and aroma. While it was cooking I was counting down the minutes until it was done.

  • PageRD
    Feb 20, 2020

    This the best beef stew I've ever made. I love all the flavors. It's hearty and filling. I wish for more of the soup so next time I make it, I'm going to add more beef broth.

  • LBurkey
    Mar 2, 2019

    My family loves this stew. It is easy to make and is a good comfort food. Equals 6 WW points per 1 cup serving

  • taraclausen
    Jan 19, 2019

    I've made this a number of times. I cooked on the stove top and add more broth as needed. Makes a big pot and is absolutely delicious

  • Angie
    Oct 5, 2018

    I substituted cornstarch for the tapioca, and still turned out great. Really should have doubled the recipe though. Oops! I'm intending to try this with pork this evening, just to see if it turns out well also.

  • pajamaangel
    Feb 2, 2018

    This is fabulous! I have never taken the time to do this in the oven and I was so pleased with the outcome. I only wish I had made more! The meat was so tender and the vegetables cooked to perfection. Great recipe!

  • muffbear74
    Jan 26, 2018

    Took this to a potluck last night and everybody loved it!

  • Lynn28804
    Oct 19, 2017

    I followed the recipe except for adding more beef broth and about 1/2 cup of red wine. I also used a can of Rotel fire roasted tomatoes with chilies in place of the stewed tomatoes and dredged the meat in flour before browning. This was an excellent beef stew. My husband absolutely loved it!

  • mjflowers
    Oct 15, 2017

    This was easy and delicious! I used a chuck roast instead of stew meat since it was so much less expensive. My house smelled delicious, I also doubled the beef consommE others recommended and also used a bit of merlot. I did toss the cut meat in flour with a bit of salt and pepper. My family loved it, and I served the leftovers the next day over mashed potatoes. Delicious!!

  • Susie77
    Jul 6, 2017

    This is wonderfully-flavored, tender, and healthy as well.... esp. if you can find low-sodium broth or you make your own. You can save money (and calories too) by buying an inexpensive roast on sale and cutting it up to make your own stew meat.