A quick, easy and flavorful recipe for beef stew and dumplings – ready in less than 30 minutes! It’s the perfect comfort food meal: satisfying, delicious and chockfull of protein and veggies!
Beef Stew and Dumplings Recipe
This easy beef stew recipe actually came about from a #momfail moment.
I had meant to make my daughter’s favorite Crockpot Mississippi Pot Roast for dinner, but had completely spaced and forgot to put everything in the crockpot on time.
I could have just set dinner back a couple of hours and made my Instant Pot Mississippi Pot Roast – or embraced the fail and ordered pizza for the night – but instead, I decided to whip up a quick and easy beef stew and dumplings. (The addition of drop dumplings ensured my daughter would forgive me – she goes crazy for them!)
This beef stew recipe is a mix of influences from an Italian-style stew and a French-style Beef Bourguignon, combining the best of both worlds to make a savoury, sumptuous stew that is utterly satisfying. The flavorful broth is chockfull of perfectly cooked vegetables, melt-in-your-mouth bites of beef, and fluffy, tender dumplings that soak up the stew wonderfully.
Can I let you know a little secret about this recipe?
While I outline this recipe to give you the best depth of flavor and ensure that all vegetables and meat are cooked perfectly (the beef is seared so that it stays juicy and just melts in your mouth, while the vegetables are softened without being soggy), you really can just throw all of the stew ingredients into a pot and cook for a slightly longer period of time and this recipe will still “work.”
However, following the searing and sautéing steps that I outline actually allow you to have a shorter cooking time and ensure the dish turns out as delicious as possible.
These drop dumplings require no rising time and are completely from scratch — flour, salt, sugar, milk, and butter. I simply mix them together with a fork until the ingredients form a cohesive ball of dough and then rip the dough into handfuls before dropping into the simmering stew.
You can make your dumplings even smaller and they will cook in just 3-4 minutes, but I grew up with biscuit-sized dumplings so I tend to make mine large.
You can also swap out the veggies that I call for in the recipe for your own personal stew favorites: radishes, potatoes, leeks, green peas, parsnips, mushrooms, corn, etc. If adding softer vegetables like green peas, mushrooms or corn, I would wait until close to the end of the stew’s cooking time before adding them in so that they don’t get overcooked and mushy.
What beef cut should I use for beef stew? Usually, I recommend a cheaper, less-tender cut of beef for stew if you plan to slow cook it for a while as they contain more connective tissue that serve to thicken the broth.
But, because this is a 30 minute stew recipe, you want a tender cut of beef with a bit of marbled fat so that it just melts in your mouth with very little effort or cook time. Tenderloin, short loin or chuck will all be great, inexpensive cuts that will work perfectly in this recipe. Don’t be afraid to approach your butcher to ask questions, too! In my experience, they are always so excited to share their knowledge and help you make the right purchase.
Check out our quick recipe video for how to make beef stew with dumplings, then don’t forget to scroll down to grab your free printable recipe card:
Ingredients for Beef Stew and Dumplings
For the Beef Stew:
- Butter or Olive Oil
- Onion, diced
- Carrots, diced
- Celery, diced
- Garlic, sliced
- Beef, cut into 1″ cubes
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Bay Leaves
- Tomato Paste
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Beef Stock
- Red Wine, optional
For the Dumplings:
Scroll down to the printable recipe card for full measurements.
Tip: you can add chopped potatoes or crushed tomatoes to help thicken the stew.
Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful
- Heavy stockpot or Dutch Oven <– highly recommended for even cooking and seamlessly transferring this recipe from the stove to the oven
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Sharp kitchen knife
- Wooden spoon or spatula <– I like these spatulas because they are one solid piece and don’t have removable heads for bacteria to get trapped underneath. Plus they are heat-resistant and have a lifetime warranty.
How to Make Beef Stew with Dumplings
Pat the beef cubes dry completely with paper towel.
Season the cubed beef with half of the salt, pepper and thyme. (And additional seasoning, if using.)
Place 1 Tablespoon of butter or olive oil in a stock pot over medium heat.
Sear the beef on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove to a small bowl.
Place the remaining tablespoon of butter in the stockpot.
Add the onions, carrots and celery to the hot butter and cook until onions are translucent, about 3 minutes.
Add the garlic and remaining seasoning and cook 1 minute.
Stir in the tomato paste, followed by the beef, bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce, crushed tomatoes and beef stock.
Cover and let the stew come to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer as you prepare the dumpling dough.
In a medium bowl, stir together the dumpling ingredients. The dough will be very sticky.
Drop the dumpling in 2 Tablespoon-sized balls into the stew and cover the stockpot with a lid.
Continue to simmer for 10 minutes until dumplings are plump and tripled in size.
- 2 Tablespoons Butter or Olive Oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 carrots, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- 2lb beef, cut into 1" cubes
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 teaspoons thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 Tablespoon tomato sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 8 cups beef stock
For the Dumplings:
- 1 cup flour
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- Place 1 Tablespoon of butter or olive oil in a stock pot over medium heat.
- Season the cubed beef with half of the salt, pepper and thyme. (And additional seasoning, if using.)
- Sear the beef on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove to a small bowl.
- Place the remaining tablespoon of butter in the stockpot.
- Add the onions, carrots and celery to the hot butter and cook until onions are translucent, about 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic and remaining seasoning and cook 1 minute.
- Stir in the tomato paste, followed by the beef, bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce, crushed tomatoes and beef stock.
- Cover and let the stew come to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer as you prepare the dumpling dough.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the dumpling ingredients. The dough will be very sticky.
- Drop the dumpling in 2 Tablespoon-sized balls into the stew and cover the stockpot with a lid.
- Continue to simmer for 10 minutes until dumplings are plump and tripled in size.
You can double or triple the dumplings as needed. I like cooking extra dumplings separately in a bit of broth.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 501Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 111mgSodium: 1064mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 37g
Sugar, Spice and Glitter uses an auto-generate nutrition calculator. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate unless analyzed in a scientific lab, so these should be considered more of a guideline than medical information.
Original image from 2015: