This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy
This Whole30 Beef Stew is hearty, delicious and easy to make. It’s healthy comfort food at its finest and tastes even better the next day! It’s loaded with vegetables and super tender chunks of beef slowly cooked in a flavourful and aromatic beef broth. You can make it on the stovetop, in a crockpot or even on throw it on your Traeger.
Ingredients You’ll Need to Make Whole30 Beef Stew
- Beef: For best flavour and texture, I recommend using beef chuck roast (AKA blade roast, shoulder roast) because it’s well-marbled. If you choose a leaner cut, such as bottom round roast, the meat will get tender, but it will be noticeably more stringy in texture.
You can purchase stewing meat that has already been cubed or purchase a whole piece and cut it into bite-sized pieces at home. Whenever possible, I prefer to slice it myself so that I know I’m getting 100% of the same cut and not a mishmash of different stewing meats.
- Aromatics: A combination of carrots, celery, onion, parsnip and garlic form the flavourful base for this Whole30 Beef Stew. You can adjust the quantities and proportions depending on what you and your family likes. Keep in mind that adding more or less of one vegetable will also affect the flavour of the stew. For example, adding extra carrots and parsnips will lend more sweetness to the finished product.
- Mushrooms: The flavour of mushrooms and beef pair really well together and they’re a welcome addition to this stew. They also add a nice texture. You can use just about any variety of mushroom you like but considering the fact that they’ll be very well cooked by the end of the long braising time, I suggest using something affordable like cremini or button.
- Potatoes: I like to use baby or creamer potatoes in this stew because they have a thin, edible skin and tend to keep their shape as they cook. They also get nice and creamy as they cook. You can substitute other variety of potatoes as well. Or even use sweet potatoes to make this recipe Paleo-friendly.
- Spices: For colour and flavour, I use a combination of paprika and smoked paprika. I also love to add a spoonful of Nom Nom Paleo’s Magic Mushroom Powder. It adds a big punch of umami that really helps bring everything to life.
- Fresh Herbs: Adding fresh woodsy herbs like rosemary, thyme and bay leaves will add an amazing aroma to your stew. Instead of chopping up the leaves, I like to leave the herbs on the stems and tie them together with some butcher’s twine before adding them to the pot. This way you’ll get all of the flavours and aromas and can easily retrieve them after the stew is finished cooking.
If using dried herbs, be sure to use only half the amount called for fresh.
- Beef Broth: Homemade is always best but if you want to save time and energy you can purchase Kettle & Fire Orangic Beef Broth online or in stores. If you want even more dept of flavour and added nutrients and collagen, you can substitute their Beef Bone Broth. Both of these products are made with all-natural, organic ingredients and grass-fed beef bones. There are no refined sugars, artificial colourings, wheat fillers or preservatives.
A Few Things I Love About This Beef Stew
- This recipe is perfect for all skill levels and a great way to practice making a classic braise. Once you learn the basic technique of browning, sautéing, deglazing and braising, you can adjust and substitute ingredients to make a variety of other recipes.
- This stew is made in a single pot to maximize flavour and minimize clean up!
- If you don’t eat beef, you can substitute pork, lamb, venison, or even bone-in and skin-on chicken.
- This stew uses readily available and affordable ingredients.
- It’s healthy, loaded with vegetables and made without wine or flour, making it perfect for anyone doing a round of Whole30.
- Like most stews, this one tastes even better the next day after the flavours have had a chance to develop even further. I like to reheat the stew in a skillet with some beef broth so that it doesn’t dry out.
- This Whole30 Beef Stew is super hearty and comforting for the colder months.
What Makes This Stew Whole30?
Unlike many classic Beef Stews, this recipe does not call for any wheat flour, red wine, or other ingredients that are not Whole30 compliant.
Sometimes the beef is first dredged in flour before searing to help develop a crust. I personally find it unnecessary because as long as you have a high enough heat, don’t overcrowd the pan and are patient, the beef will develop a beautiful and deeply caramelized crust without any flour. If anything, you run the risk of burning the flour before the beef itself has had a chance to brown.
I very rarely cook with wine and much more often use broth. It’s healthier, more affordable and I find it to usually deliver a better overall flavour. And let’s face it, if I’m buying a nice bottle of wine I want to drink it.
Why Does the Beef Need to Braise?
Braising refers to the technique of cooking meat and/or vegetables in both dry and wet environments for a long period of time. It’s necessary with tougher and usually more affordable cuts of meat, such as chuck roast, brisket, shank, and ox tail because the low-and-slow (low heat, long time) method allows for connective tissues and collagen to break down and become tender. If you were to cook this stew over a high heat for a short period of time the beef would be as tough as shoe leather.
How to Braise
Braising typically follows the same template regardless of what you’re cooking:
- Sear the protein or vegetable at a high temperature in some type of cooking fat with a high smoking point (avocado oil is an excellent healthy option).
- Transfer the seared protein or vegetable to a bowl/tray and add aromatics to the pot (things like root vegetables, onion, garlic, carrots, celery, herbs, etc). Sauté the aromatics to develop flavour.
- Deglaze the pot with a liquid such as broth, wine or even water. Lift any brown bits on the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon or spatula.
- Return the seared protein or vegetable to pot, cover it and cook it over a low heat on the stovetop, in the oven or on the grill until the protein or vegetable is tender.
Can You Make This Stew on the Traeger?
Because Traeger Grills use indirect heat you can place the pot of stew directly onto your grill without worry of damaging it. Unlike other smokers or gas grills, you can easily and precisely regulate the cooking temperature on a Traeger by turning a dial or pressing a button. Newer models also pair with your smartphone and allow you to control temperatures and settings through a WiFire connection from the comfort of your home.
Can You Make it in the Crock Pot?
You can absolutely make this beef stew in the Crock Pot or even your Instant Pot. If using a Crock Pot, I recommend first searing the beef, lightly sautéing the vegetables and deglazing with broth in a separate pot before adding everything to the slow cooker. That way you maximize all of the flavours and textures. The stew will take 3 to 4 hours on high heat or 6 to 8 hours on low heat.
If using an Instant Pot, you can sear, sauté and deglaze directly in the cooking vessel. The stew should only take 30 to 40 minutes under high pressure. You can manually release the pressure or let it release naturally. Keep in mind that because pressure cookers trap all steam, your stew will likely be much more “soupy”. To reduce down the liquid and concentrate the flavours, switch back to sauté mode and let the stew simmer until it reaches your desired thickness.
Whole30 Beef Stew
- 2 lbs stewing beef – cut into 1″ cubes, such as chuck, shoulder, bottom round, or rump
- 2 tablespoons Avocado oil
- 1 large yellow onion , diced
- 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
- 2 large carrots , chopped in to large chunks on a bias
- 1 large parsnip, diced
- Kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper, to taste
- 8- ounces cremini or button mushrooms, quartered
- 7 cloves garlic , finely chopped
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2 bay leaves - fresh or dried
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspooon Nom Nom Paleo's Magic Mushroom Powder
- 1 quart beef broth
- 8-10 baby white potatoes – quartered
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley , for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Pat the meat very dry with paper towel. Preheat a Dutch oven or oven-safe pot over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the avocado oil and heat it until shimmering. Raise the heat to medium-high and add the beef. Cook, undisturbed at first, until the beef develops a golden brown crust. Flip the pieces over and cook until browned on all sides, around 12 minutes total. Transfer the browned beef to a bowl and set aside.
- Discard all but 2 tablespoons of rendered fat in the pot. Add the onion, celery, carrot and parsnips. Season with a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, around 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, around 4 minutes. Add the garlic, paprika and smoked paprika, and Magic Mushroom Powder and cook, stirring, for 60 seconds.
- Add the beef broth and use a wooden spoon to lift any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Return the browned beef to the pot. Tie the thyme and rosemary together with butcher's twine and add it to the pot along with the bay leaves and potatoes. Raise the heat to high, bring the liquid to a boil, and season with another pinch of salt and black pepper to taste. Cover the pot with a lid, transfer to the oven and cook until the meat is fork-tender, around 1.5 hours. If the meat is still tough after 1.5 hours, return the pot to the oven and cook an additional 30 minutes, then check again.
- Discard the thyme, rosemary and bay leaves. Taste the stew for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper as desired. If the stew is too thick, add some more beef broth to lengthen it. If the stew is too loose, simmer it over a medium heat until it thickens to your desired consistency.
- Ladle the beef stew into individual serving bowls and garnish with parsley before enjoying.
This recipe was first published February 11, 2018 and updated December 3, 2023 to include new and useful information.