Italian Beef Stew

Hearty Perfection: Mastering the Art of Italian Beef Stew

Prepare to embark on a culinary journey that will warm your soul and delight your taste buds – the Italian Beef Stew. This hearty dish is a celebration of robust flavors, tender beef, and a medley of Italian herbs and spices. Whether you’re craving comfort on a chilly evening or aiming to impress guests with a memorable meal, this Italian Beef Stew recipe is the key to culinary perfection.


  • 2 pounds beef stew meat, cubed
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup small pasta (like ditalini or small shells)
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)

Now that we’ve gathered our ingredients, let’s dive into the art of crafting the perfect Italian Beef Stew.


1. Coat and Brown the Beef:

  • In a bowl, toss the beef stew meat with flour until evenly coated. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Brown the beef in batches to ensure a golden crust on each piece. Remove and set aside.

2. Sauté Aromatics:

  • In the same pot, sauté diced onion, sliced carrots, chopped celery, and minced garlic until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.

3. Deglaze with Red Wine:

  • Pour in the red wine, using a wooden spoon to scrape any flavorful bits from the bottom of the pot. Allow the wine to simmer for a couple of minutes, letting the alcohol evaporate.

4. Build the Flavor Base:

  • Return the browned beef to the pot. Add crushed tomatoes, beef broth, dried oregano, dried basil, dried thyme, bay leaves, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine.

5. Simmer to Perfection:

  • Bring the stew to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours or until the beef becomes tender. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

6. Add Vegetables and Pasta:

  • About 30 minutes before serving, add green beans and small pasta to the stew. Continue simmering until the pasta is al dente and the vegetables are cooked to your liking.

7. Garnish and Serve:

  • Before serving, remove the bay leaves. Ladle the Italian Beef Stew into bowls, garnish with fresh chopped parsley, and savor the rich and flavorful experience.

Cook Notes

  • Choosing the Right Cut:
    • Opt for a marbled cut of beef like chuck roast for stewing. The intramuscular fat adds richness and ensures the meat becomes tender during cooking.
  • Wine Selection:
    • Choose a dry red wine like Chianti or Cabernet Sauvignon to enhance the depth of flavors in the stew.
  • Pasta Timing:
    • If preparing the stew ahead of time, consider cooking the pasta separately and adding it to individual bowls when serving. This prevents the pasta from becoming mushy in leftover stew.


Mediterranean Twist:

  • Add Kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, and a splash of balsamic vinegar for a Mediterranean-inspired version.

Citrus Burst:

  • Infuse a burst of freshness by squeezing in the juice of one lemon or adding strips of lemon zest during the last 15 minutes of cooking.

Spicy Kick:

  • Incorporate crushed red pepper flakes or a diced jalapeño for those who crave a bit of heat.

Keto Version

For those following a keto lifestyle, adapt the Italian Beef Stew to meet your dietary needs.

  • Vegetable Substitutions:
    • Replace high-carb vegetables like carrots and green beans with keto-friendly options such as cauliflower florets or broccoli.
  • Low-Carb Pasta Alternatives:
    • Substitute traditional pasta with a low-carb alternative like zucchini noodles or shirataki noodles.
  • Thickening without Flour:
    • Use xanthan gum or a keto-friendly thickening agent to achieve the desired consistency without adding carbs.

Low Carb Version

If you’re watching your carb intake, consider these modifications:

  • Cauliflower Power:
    • Replace the small pasta with cauliflower florets for a low-carb alternative that absorbs the rich flavors of the stew.
  • Creamy Upgrade:
    • Stir in a dollop of cream or cream cheese at the end of cooking for added richness without the carbs.
  • Leafy Greens Boost:
    • Add chopped spinach or kale for a nutrient-packed, low-carb addition to the stew.

A Bowl of Italian Comfort

In conclusion, the Italian Beef Stew is not just a recipe; it’s a bowl of Italian comfort that brings warmth and satisfaction with every spoonful. Whether you embrace the classic version or venture into keto or low-carb adaptations, this stew is a versatile canvas for creating a delicious and nourishing meal.

So, bring out the pot, gather your ingredients, and let the aromas of herbs and simmering beef fill your kitchen. The Italian Beef Stew is a celebration of family, flavor, and the joy that comes from a bowl of heartwarming goodness. Buon appetito!

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