Full Disclosure: One of the ways I make money on this website is by using "affiliate links." All this means is that if you click on a link in this post, I may earn a small commission if you purchase something after clicking. It doesn't cost you anything extra, and it keeps Consult Colleen up and running. Most importantly, I only link to products and services that I truly trust and believe in. Thanks for your support!
Nothing says comfort food to me like beef stew. I remember growing up and smelling it simmering when I walked in the door and being so excited for dinner. It warmed up my insides after a cold day playing in the snow or sometimes just walking home in the cold. I wanted to be able to share this recipe with my family and weekends seemed too limiting for a meal that just made you feel good anytime. I came up with a bit of a quicker way to make beef stew so that I can meal plan for a beef stew any night of the week and we all can enjoy the hearty goodness of it.
Thick, Hearty & Healthy Weeknight Beef Stew
The basics of beef stew are obviously the beef, the vegetables and the gravy that it cooks in. It is a complete meal in one pot or in a slow cooker, depending on how you decide to prepare it. The stew meat that I used was from my Thrive Market Sampler Box and it was tender and delicious. I browned it first in a tablespoon of avocado oil and some salt and pepper. Root vegetables hold up well in a stew but I found that sometimes my vegetables would get too soft in the slow cooker. That is why I love this quick option to make it on the stove in a dutch oven or large pot because the vegetables are cooked but maintain some firmness. If you prefer to come home to a completed meal in your slow cooker it works just as well, it’s really up to you.
The tomato paste is a neat trick because it gives the stew a bit more flavor but it also thickens the gravy a bit and gives you just the right consistency. I have always found that adding flour to thicken never works out for me and I always have clumps of white flour on top and the stew tends to remain too watery for my taste. It is even more difficult to achieve thickness in a slow cooker because it is harder to get the broth to boil. Fear not! The tomato paste is a perfect option and adds a hint of flavor without being overwhelming.
Beef stew is great as a leftover as well. You can bring it to work for a lunch, heat it up later in the week for a main meal or freeze your leftovers for another time all together. I freeze some beef stew in individual containers so that I can defrost it quicker and easier. I also hate to waste it because it tastes so delicious even reheated. If you find that when you are reheating it it is a bit thick you can add more beef or chicken broth to give it more gravy. Add some crusty bread with butter and you have a terrific weeknight meal that is both healthy and hearty. Add this beef stew recipe to your unprocessed food favorites!
At Consult Colleen, I’m all about making healthy work for my busy schedule, and Thrive Market is a huge help to me. If you’re someone who loves eating organic, whole food, then maybe you’ve heard of Thrive Market: An online grocery store that specializes in selling organic pantry, home and beauty products and delivering it all right to your door.
(If you’ve already heard about Thrive Market and want to sign up now, click here! You’ll get 25% off your first order, up to $20 off, just for typing in your email address).
Weeknight Beef Stew
- 2 lb stew meat bite sized pieces
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- 6 oz tomato paste
- 5 medium potatoes peeled and chopped
- 6 carrots peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup onion chopped
- 32 oz chicken or beef broth
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp basil
- 1 tsp garlic minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the avocado oil the bottom of a dutch oven over medium heat. Brown stew beef on all sides.Add the vegetables to the dutch oven and cook for about 5 minutes, the carrots and onion should begin to soften and the garlic become fragrant.Stir in the broth, red wine vinegar, Worcestershire Sauce and spices, heat to a boil.Add the tomato paste and continue to simmer until the meat and vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.