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January 3, 2024

Classic Beef Stew

Nothing is better on a cold day than a warm bowl of stew in your hands. This classic beef stew is a stand alone dish—one pot to cook tender chuck roast with all the veggies.


classic beef stew with potatoes, carrots and green beans being scooped out of a pot with a ladle
Photography by Gayle McLeod

Looking for more stew recipes?

Wintertime Calls For A Good Old-Fashioned Beef Stew

Beef stew was frequently on the menu when we were growing up. It’s slow cooking, so you can catch up on other important tasks while it cooks. We serve our hearty beef stew with Mashed Potatoes or Sourdough Bread. When we think old-fashioned, all the classics come to mind–dishes like Chicken and Dumplings, Ragu, and Pot Roast.

chuck roast, green beans, carrots, potatoes, celery, onion, garlic, parsley, beef stock, flour and spices in prep bowls

Ingredients You’ll Need For Homemade Beef Stew

  • Chuck roast

  • Onion

  • Celery

  • Garlic

  • Carrots

  • Beef stock

  • Tomato paste

  • Potatoes

chuck roast cut in to 2 inch pieces tossed with salt, pepper and flour in a glass bowl
chuck roast cut in to 2 inch pieces tossed with salt, pepper and flour being browned in olive oil in a pot
onions, celery, carrots, tomato paste, bay leaves and thyme cooking in a pot
beef stock being added to beef stew in a pot

How to Make Easy Beef Stew

  1. Season the beef, then brown it in a Dutch oven or heavy bottom pot.

  2. Add the onions, celery, carrots and then garlic.

  3. Next we’re adding umami with tomato paste, and all of our spices.

  4. Add the beef and stock, and simmer! About an hour and a half.

  5. Veggie time! We keep it super classic—just carrots and potatoes. Simmer until those veggies are tender.

  6. Serve!Ladle stew into bowls. We like to top the finished beef stew with parsley and good crusty bread.

a pot of homemade classic beef stew with potatoes, green beans and carrots
a pot of homemade classic beef stew with potatoes, green beans and carrots
a pot of homemade classic beef stew with potatoes, green beans and carrots sprinkled with fresh parsley
classic beef stew with green beans, potatoes and carrots sprinkled with parsley in a bowl with a spoon served with bread

How to Store Leftovers and Q&A

  • How do you thicken beef stew? This stew is thickened with the use of AP flour. If you are gluten free, you can skip the flour and add a slurry of cornstarch and water. Blend the two in a bowl until a thick liquid is made. Whisk this into your stew for an even heartier meal. If you plan on freezing beef stew, add the thickener when you reheat it.

  • What kind of beef is used in beef stew? Look for a good chuck roast instead of your standard pre-cut stew meat. Yes, stew meat is just fine, but using a chuck roast is less expensive and has way more flavor because the fat hasn’t been trimmed, and fat is always where the flavor is at.

  • How Do You Make Beef Stew Meat Tender? Time! This allows the fat to break down, which helps to tenderize the meat and allows it to absorb all that delicious flavor.

  • Beef stew lasts a few days in the fridge, and up to three months in the freezer.

classic beef stew with potatoes, carrots and green beans being scooped out of a pot with a ladle
classic beef stew with green beans, potatoes and carrots sprinkled with parsley in a bowl served with rustic bread

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Classic Beef Stew

  • Serves: 12
  • Prep Time:  20 min
  • Cook Time:  2 hrs 25 min
  • Calories: 382


  • 1 (3 pound) chuck roast, fat trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for serving
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, plus more for serving
  • ¼ cup AP flour, Gluten Free flour or cornstarch
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 celery ribs, diced
  • 7 large carrots, 4 diced and 3 cut into 1½-inch pieces
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 8 cups beef stock
  • 2 teaspoons beef bouillon
  • 4 small yukon gold potatoes, quartered or 2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut in 1-inch pieces
  • ½ pound green beans, trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • ¼ cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley, for serving
  • Crusty bread, for serving


  1. Season the chuck roast all over with the salt and pepper. Add the flour or cornstarch to a large bowl, add the beef and toss to coat well.

  2. Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy bottom pot over medium-high heat. Once the oil just begins to smoke, working in batches, add the beef and cook until browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the meat to a plate.

  3. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions, celery, and diced carrots to the Dutch oven. If necessary, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and continue cooking until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Stir in the tomato paste, bay leaves and thyme.

  4. Return the beef to the Dutch oven along with the beef stock. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 1½ hours, or until beef is falling apart.

  5. Uncover and stir in the beef bouillon, carrot pieces, potatoes, and green beans. Cook until potatoes and carrots are fork tender, about 30 minutes more. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

  6. Ladle stew into bowls. Top with parsley and serve with crusty bread.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories382
  • Protein32 g
  • Carbohydrates18 g
  • Total Fat21 g
  • Dietary Fiber3 g
  • Cholesterol76 mg
  • sodium593 mg
  • Total Sugars4 g

Classic Beef Stew

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Bev

    When adding the carrots, potatoes, etc., do you cook with the lid off? Do you increase the temp? After 30 minutes on low, my potatoes and carrots were still pretty hard.

    No need to cover. If they weren't quite soft enough you can keep cooking or turn the heat up a bit.

  • Whitney

    Does this freeze well?

    YES! Hope you enjoy!

  • Karin

    Hi. The recipe says to add the carrots at step 3 and then again at step 5. Can you clarify when to add the carrots please

    That is because there are diced and 1.5 inch pieces of carrots in the recipe. The diced ones go in step 3 and the large ones go in step 5. Hope you enjoy Karin!

  • Jill

    Looks delicious. I am making this for dinner tonight but a little confused on the veggies.

    In step 3 we add veggies and cook until tender. Next comes seasonings and meat and it cooks for 1.5 hours.

    Step 6 says to add the veggies to the pot??
    Do we take them out and then add back in?

    Step 6 is referring to the carrots and potatoes that have not come into play yet. We will re-word it to make it more clear. Thanks for pointing this out. Hope you enjoy Jill!

  • Lauren

    Excited to try this! I can only see a place in the directions where you add 4 cups beef broth. But the ingredients say 8 cups.

    The remaining beef stock is listed in step 6. Hope you enjoy Lauren!

  • Maher

    Absolutely amazing. I upped the garlic and thyme a bit, added gochugaru with the aromatics, and deglazed with some Cabernet. Used better than bullion for the stock and subbed one bullion cube toward the end for about one Tbsp of fish sauce to add umami. Finished with some fresh lemon juice.

    Had it two nights in a row and already looking forward to left overs tomorrow. Thank you!!

    Thanks Maher, we are so happy you loved it!

  • Sue

    Yum. Had to sub freeze dried thyme but worked great. Also used Better than Bouillon since that was what we had. Trying the recipes one by one. So far every thing has received raves from the family. My granddaughter does most of the cooking now even though she never cooked before and finds them easy to follow. It’s very gratifying for her as a novice to receive praise for her efforts. We can’t wait to try the next recipe. Last week she made the cream of mushroom soup. Star of the table! No more canned!

    This is so great to hear Sue, we love that you and your your granddaughter are enjoying cooking our recipes!!

  • Bryan

    Really good! Long, but worth it. 86'd the gb and cin. Great leftovers.

    Thanks Bryan!

  • Liz

    This recipe was just chopping for prep. And oh my. Great flavor and the beef was tender beyond belief

    Thanks Liz, so happy you loved it!

  • Mia

    Absolutely delicious!!!!

    Thanks Mia! So glad you loved it!