96 BEST Sides for Beef Stew


What Goes With Beef Stew? 96 BEST Side Dishes For Beef Stew

The weather is becoming perfect for our favorite comfort foods like beef stew. In this post we share our recipe for the best beef stew. But before we get there, the question has come up, “What are the best sides for beef stew?”

As a result, we’ve taken the time to put together our list of top 96 side dishes for beef stew. Some items didn’t make the cut, and we wanted to give you our very best ideas.

Read on and leave a comment to let us know what your favorite sides for beef stew are.

Beef Stew. Photo by CookThink.
Beef Stew. Photo by CookThink.

What To Serve With Beef Stew

Because we’ve included 96 sides, we wanted to make it easier for you to find what you’re looking for.

We’ve divided these ideas into 4 main categories: breads, starches, vegetables and salads.

What To Serve With Beef Stew? 21 Amazing Bread Side Dishes To Consider

Bread is an automatic go-to as one of our choice sides for beef stew. The texture and its hearty aspect seem to complete the meal. Serve bread with some delicious soft butter, your favorite jam or enjoy it plain.

If you or the people around your table require a gluten free diet, any of these breads can be made to accommodate gluten-free eaters.

Just use an all-purpose gluten-free one to one flour. Or you can also find many gluten-free mixes at bigger grocery stores.

Bread sides for beef stew
Bread sides for beef stew

Cornbread Muffins

Cornbread or cornmeal muffins are a perfect side for beef stew. Add some soft butter and you’ve got a mouthwatering experience. Corn bread is another comfort food just like beef stew.

Plus, corn meal muffins give you something delicious to mop up the stew’s juices to finish it off.

Garlic Bread

When we make our beef stew, we put in some fresh garlic cloves for seasoning. So toasted garlic bread pairs perfectly as one of the chosen sides for beef stew.

You can use homemade garlic bread or pick up a loaf in the freezer section at your grocery store. Either way it will be delicious.

Cheddar Cheese Biscuits

Have you ever had cheddar cheese biscuits? They’re perfect with a bit of butter or softened cheese.

And the reason we mention them is because they’re one of the perfect sides for beef stew. Make them from a mix or buy them freshly made in your grocery store’s bakery.

Crusty French Baguette

The crusty outside and soft inside of a French baguette is a delicious pairing to go with beef stew.

Spread some soft butter and some wonderful homemade jam and you’ve got yourself a wonderful experience.

Pick up an already made loaf at your grocery store bakery or if you have the time, make it fresh from scratch at home.

Polenta Cakes

Polenta cakes made of fine corn meal and Parmigiano Reggiano are one of our choice tasty sides for beef stew.

They can be fried or baked according to your preference and are a bit like corn meal muffins, but are authentic Italian.

Dinner Rolls

It’s quite simple to pull out some frozen dinner roll dough from the freezer section and bake them fresh.

Or whip together a batch of homemade dinner rolls to go with your beef stew. Bread is a favorite amongst the human population.

Sage Cornbread Stuffing

Step up your beef stew dinner by whipping up a batch of sage cornbread stuffing.

Use a mix to get the job done or make it from scratch. A delicious combination.

Homemade Breadsticks/Rolls With Butter

Do you have children around your table? Kids love breadsticks and homemade rolls with butter.

Making homemade bread takes a bit of planning ahead, but the rewards can be so worth it.

Consider making homemade breadsticks or rolls with butter as one of your sides for beef stew.

Drop Dumplings

Homemade drop dumplings have been a traditional side for beef stew down through the years.

Dumplings are a southern comfort food specialty that are created with a recipe similar to a biscuit. But the batter is dropped directly into liquid and cooked rather than being baked in the oven.  

Crusty Homemade Bread

I personally think there’s something about crusty homemade bread that I like as far as pairing it as one of the sides for beef stew. It is almost heavenly with butter too.

Perhaps having the ability to sop of the juices with the crust is part of the delight.  

Fluffy Southern Buttermilk Biscuits

Southern style fluffy biscuits are a melt in your mouth treat. Simplify the process and use a mix to make the biscuits or make them from scratch.

Biscuits give a southern style traditional flair to the sides for beef stew.

Whole Wheat French Bread

Whole wheat French bread tends to be softer bread and is another delicious option to enhance your meal.

Make it gluten free using a 1:1 gluten free substitute flour. Serve with homemade jam.

Grandma’s Onion Squares

Grandma’s onion squares are much like corn bread with chunks of sauteed onions in them for flavor enhancement.

They’re just like grandma used to make and so is her beef stew. Make them in a 9×9” pan and cut them into squares before serving.

Oatmeal Dinner Rolls

Meander from the traditional white bread rolls and make some oatmeal dinner rolls.

They’re another great complement as any one of these sides for beef stew.

Mom’s Italian Bread

Italian bread is super soft and absorbent, making it the perfect thing to soak up sauces.

This homemade bread has a light crust that’s not too hard or crunchy. Serve with soft butter or your favorite spread.

Swiss Beer Bread

Swiss beer bread is a homemade lumpy bread that has a dense crumb texture.

It is quite crusty and is also great for sandwiches and toast once it’s cooled. Its texture makes a one of our choice sides for beef stew.  

No-Knead Harvest Bread

No-knead harvest bread includes a wheat bread base and is then loaded with dried cranberries, raisins and chopped walnuts and pecans.

It’s a bread that’s full of sweetness, a hint of salty flavor and even a crunch.

Feta ‘n Chive Muffins

Feta and chive muffins are easy to make from scratch muffins that use basic baking ingredients found in most pantries.

They are tasty and are easy to put together. Another one of our recommended sides for beef stew.

Best Dinner Rolls

The best dinner rolls are the ones that are your favorite. Whether they be homemade from scratch, from a tube or even frozen from your grocery store freezer, they can be one of the perfect sides to accompany your beef stew.

Garlic Crescent Rolls

Open a can of biscuits but do not unroll the dough. Use a serrated knife to cut the dough into 12 equal sized pieces.

Sprinkle each piece with garlic, Italian seasoning and brush with garlic butter. Shape into triangles and roll into crescent rolls. Place on a baking sheet. Bake and enjoy.


Using the biggest fattest fluffiest recipe for popovers is one sure side for beef stew that you’re sure to enjoy.

They’re so good they can be eaten plain or smother them with some wonderful raspberry butter.

What To Serve With Beef Stew: 25 Enticing Vegetable Side Dishes

Our beef stew recipe calls for celery, red potatoes, onions and carrots.

Choose vegetable sides that complement, but not duplicate the vegetables you choose to use in your stew.

table full of a variety of vegetables
vegetable sides for beef stew

Grilled Vegetables

If you’re making a stew that doesn’t already have a lot of vegetables in the stew, you might want to consider making a batch of grilled vegetables.

Using fresh, seasonal vegetables are always delightful sides for beef stew.

Sautéed Buttered Cabbage

Discard the core. Melt the butter in a large sauté pan or heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat.

Add salt and pepper and cabbage and sauté, stirring occasionally.

Green Beans

Ah yes. Traditional fresh green beans are great too. Roast them in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil and salt.

Or you might also consider steaming them on the stovetop and then adding your favorite herbs and butter to flavor.

Oven Roasted Broccoli

Add an excellent boost of Vitamin C to your diet by serving oven roasted broccoli with your beef stew.

It is a delicious source of vitamins and iron. Flavor with butter, salt and garlic if desired.

Garlic Mashed Cauliflower

Mashed cauliflower has a similar consistency to mashed potatoes, but doesn’t include the generous amount of carbohydrates that potatoes do.

So if you’re looking to cut back on carbs, mashed cauliflower seasoned with garlic could be one of your next sides for beef stew.

Steamed Veggies

Whip up a batch of steamed veggies to go along with your beef stew dinner.

Use your favorites, whatever is seasonal, fresh from the garden, or happens to be available from your grocery store.

Green Beans Sautéed in Bacon Fat or Olive Oil

Pan frying or sautéing fresh green beans in bacon fat or olive oil adds a flavor enhancement that can be a perfect accompaniment side for beef stew.

It’s one of those savory dishes that just pairs well.

Roasted Asparagus Spears

If you have asparagus available, why not consider oven roasting or grilling some spears to go with your beef stew.

They are a healthy combination that are full of vitamins.

Oven Roasted Radishes

Cut radishes into halves; cut any large radishes into quarters. Stir olive oil and thyme together in a bowl and toss radishes in mixture to coat.

Spread radishes onto a prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Roast in the oven until tender, but firm.

No Rice Stuffed Bell Peppers

Use a combination of ground sausage or chicken and eggs to stuff your no rice bell peppers.

Bake them in the oven and the flavors are subtle enough that they won’t over take the nice flavors of your beef stew.

Sour Cream Cucumbers

There’s nothing quite like fresh from the garden cucumbers with sour cream and dill. Or even if cucumbers aren’t in season in your garden, they can be delicious in the colder months from the store.

Fresh vegetables are often craved in the winter. Try pairing sour cream cucumbers as one of your sides for beef stew.

Slow-Roasted Root Vegetables

Root vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, parsnips, beets and radishes are delicious compliments as sides for beef stew.

Just make sure they’re washed and seasoned and then stick them in the oven to cook them low and slow, and enjoy.

Triple Mash With Horseradish Breadcrumbs

Prepare a triple mash using mashed potatoes, rutabaga and parsnips. Use horseradish for a burst of flavor and top with breadcrumbs for added texture.

If you like old fashioned root vegetables these can make a tasty side for beef stew.

Roasted Corn on the Cob

If corn on the cob is in season, or even if it’s not, adding roasted corn on the cob can be the perfect addition to your beef stew menu.

Husk it and toss it in some butter and salt then roast it in the oven for about 5 minutes until it reaches perfection.

Roasted Acorn Squash

For a fall flair, roast a fresh acorn squash and serve it with some butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Slice it or serve it in chunks depending on your personal preference.

There’s something about acorn squash that accompanies comfort foods like beef stew so well.

Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

Cauliflower is available year-round in most grocery stores, making it readily accessible to buy.

Clean a head of cauliflower by washing it in cool water and cut it into chunks.

Spread it on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and top with parmesan cheese. Bake until tender.

Spinach Stuffed Tomatoes

A combination of chopped spinach mixed with breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning and shredded cheese packed into a tomato and roasted in the oven can be one of your favorite sides for beef stew.

Carrot and Rutabaga Mash

Boil carrots and rutabaga together until soft. Drain and add butter.

Smash together using a potato masher or place them in a food processor until it looks like a puree.

Season with pepper, salt and any other desired seasonings.

Caramelized Mushrooms

Caramelized mushrooms require you to spend a bit of time standing at the stove, but the wonderful results can be so worth it.

Sauté mushrooms in olive oil, salt, thyme and pepper until edges are slightly crispy. Serve hot and enjoy.

Sweet Potato Stacks

Rosemary and sweet potatoes are a favorite fall combination like apples and cinnamon.

Sweet potato stacks are thick sliced sweet potatoes served in a stack of 3 or 4 and topped with brown sugar while baking.

Top with rosemary leaves and chopped pecans.

Pan Fried Green Bean Almondine

Pan fry green beans in olive oil and salt until slightly tender. Add a pinch of nutmeg and sprinkle with sliced almonds.

Green bean almondine is green beans stepped up a notch and there’s nothing like green beans as one of your sides for beef stew. It’s a perfect fit.

Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots

Wash, peel and cut your carrots to prepare them for baking. You can either use honey or brown sugar for the sweet glaze. Add a bit of butter.

Bake until tender. This side is especially perfect if you’re not including carrots in your beef stew pot.

Parmesan Garlic Zucchini Fries

Zucchini is often a vegetable that can be found year-round at the grocery store.

Step them up a notch and make them one of your irresistible sides for beef stew by cutting them into lengthwise strips, dipping them in eggs, flour and panko breadcrumbs.

Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, and salt. Bake until tender.

Oven Roasted Autumn Vegetable Medley Recipe

Use a mixture of your favorite fall vegetables such as sweet potatoes, beets, brussels sprouts, acorn squash, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and your other favorite seasonings.

Sugar Snap Peas With Mushrooms

Sauté or steam sugar snap peas in the pod, along with some freshly sliced mushrooms. Add butter and fresh garlic, along with a pinch of salt for seasoning and cook until tender.

Adding a bit of green to your menu as one of your sides for beef stew can be the perfect combination.

What To Serve With Beef Stew: 23 Filling Starch Sides

If you’re using chunks of red skin potatoes in your stew like our recipe calls for, you may or may not want to choose a starch as a side for your beef stew.

If using red skin potatoes in your stew, we recommend against using potatoes as a side. But if you’re not using potatoes in your stew, any kind of potatoes would be an excellent classic side.

mashed potatoes in a wooden bowl
Starch sides for beef stew

Mashed Potatoes

Our favorite way to make mashed potatoes is to use red skins and wash them leaving the skins on.

Boil them until they’re tender and then mash them by hand or use an electric mixer. Add in whole milk, sour cream and cream cheese to make them rich.

Basic Brown Rice

Your sides for beef stew can be as simple as boiling some brown rice, seasoning it as desired and serving it hot.

Rice Pilaf

Choosing a side for beef stew can be as simple as opening a box of rice pilaf and preparing it as directed. Or make rice pilaf homemade using rice, butter, chicken broth, celery, parsley and diced carrots.

Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet potato casserole is a mixture of soft, cooked sweet potatoes mashed with brown sugar and topped with candied pecans and a brown sugar and butter mixture.

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Potatoes

Chop up some potatoes, drizzle with olive oil and parmesan and roast them in the oven until they’re cooked to perfection.

Buttered Egg Noodles

Egg noodles whether they’re freshly homemade or freshly purchased from the grocery store, offer a delicious flavor combination as one of your choice sides for beef stew. Amish egg noodles are a favorite.

Creamy Polenta or Grits

Creamy polenta is a light and fluffy polenta that is great to serve with beef stew.

Polenta and grits are both porridge type dishes. Polenta is typically made with finely ground cornmeal here in the United States.

Twice Baked Potatoes

Prepare some plain old russet baked potatoes but kick them up a notch by cutting them in half after they’re baked and stuff them full of goodies like bacon, cheese, green onions and sour cream.

Put them back in the oven to bake them again and heat them through.

Mushroom Wild Rice

Prepare a prepackaged box of mushroom wild rice according to package instructions. Or make a batch homemade.

The flavor combination is one of our choice sides for beef stew.

Garlic Mashed Red Potatoes

Prepare a batch of homemade fresh mashed potatoes. Or cut some corners by using some instant mashed potatoes.

Add some fresh garlic and you’ll have a heavenly outcome. When we make mashed red potatoes, we always wash them well enough so that we can leave the skins on.

Roasted Red Potatoes

There are so many ways to make potatoes. Roasted red potatoes is another ideal way.

Just wash, cut them into chunks, drizzle with olive oil, season as desired and bake them in the oven until tender.

Classic Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes

Did you know that mashed potatoes can be made ahead? They sure can. Just prepare them as you normally would and then place them in a greased baking pan.  

About a half hour before you’re ready to serve them place them in the oven until they’re heated through.

Parsnip and Turnips Au Gratin

You don’t need potatoes to make a delicious au gratin recipe. Just slice parsnips and turnips into a baking pan and combine them with a can of cream of celery soup, milk, breadcrumbs, shredded cheddar cheese and pepper.

Bake until cheesy and vegetables are tender.

Slow Cooker Loaded Mashed Potatoes

If you’re in a hurry and know you won’t have time to prepare your sides for beef stew, using a slow cooker might be the solution.

Prepare the potatoes so that they’re boiled and tender, mash them and add them to the slow cooker.

Top with your favorite toppings such as sour cream, bacon, cheddar cheese and green onions.

Roasted Asparagus Risotto

Using roasted asparagus risotto as a side will add the color of green into your menu color pallet.

To make this dish, mix your chopped asparagus with rice, prosciutto, chicken broth, garlic, pepper and parmesan cheese. It makes for a tasty side for beef stew.

Colcannon Potatoes

Colcannon is a mixture of cooked and shredded cabbage and mashed potatoes. 

It is often served alongside meats such as beef stew. Generally, melted butter is poured in the center of the serving creating a well of butter.

Rosemary Roasted Potatoes and Asparagus

Rosemary roasted potatoes and asparagus are delicious when cooked in the oven, roasting them perfectly until they’re golden.

There’s just something about rosemary that is delicious when paired with potatoes and asparagus. Add this dish to your list of sides for beef stew.

Slow Cooked Creamy Rice

Use already cooked rice, eggs, your favorite cheeses, milk, onion, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper.

Warm them in a slow cooker over a length of time and have it ready when you’re ready to serve your beef stew.

Brown Rice and Vegetables

Cook up some brown rice and add your small diced favorite vegetables that complement your beef stew main dish.

Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes

Whip up a batch of homemade or instant mashed potatoes and add sour cream for additional delicious flavoring. It enhances them to make them richer in taste.

Cauliflower Parsnip Mash

Cauliflower parsnip mash has somewhat of a similar texture and flavor to mashed potatoes, but without so many carbs.

Top them with your favorite seasonings and use them as a great accompaniment to your beef stew.

Crispy Air Fryer Potatoes

If you have access to an air fryer, you might like to slice your potatoes as you wish and toss them into the air fryer for a nice crisp and delicious outcome.

Perfect Couscous

Couscous can be easy to come by and is often an overlooked side. But we like it and have included it in our final cut of sides for beef stew.

Make it from a box of flavored couscous or cook it up and add your favorite fresh seasonings.

Our List of Salads That Go With Beef Stew –  Prepare to Salivate

Salads tend to be one of our frequent go-to dishes because we love them, they’re flavorful and beautifully punched with color as a visual display all at the same time.

Here are our best salad ideas as sides for beef stew.

wedge salad calories
Salads as sides for beef stew

Green Salad

Chop up your favorite lettuces and toss in a few of your favorite veggies and you’re good to go. A flavorful dressing can add a wonderful dimension of flavor too.

Roasted Pear Salad

When pears are in season, or even if they’re not, roasted pear salad can be a wonderful combination of flavors.

To us, roasted pears help celebrate fall, just like beef stew. And the bonus is they can all be cooked in the oven at the same time.

Tomato Salad

Toss together some chopped fresh tomatoes, slices onions, chopped basil, garlic and olive oil for a taste of freshness.

If tomatoes are in season, you’ll get to enjoy all the more flavor by getting them fresh from the garden. This one is one of our choice picks for sides for beef stew. We think you’ll agree.

Cucumber Salad

I remember my grandma making cucumber salad with her fresh garden cucumbers. I can remember the distinct smell that was so delicious and which she really looked forward to as well.

Cucumber salad is made with simple ingredients like sour cream, vinegar, onion, dill and a bit of salt and pepper. It gives that homegrown side for beef stew feeling.

Cottage Cheese and Fruit Salad

Cottage cheese and fruit salad are also tried and true sides for beef stew.

And they’re quick and easy to pull together when time is of the essence to get dinner on the table.

Arugula, Pear and Blue Cheese Salad

Thinking about sides for beef stew because you have company coming for dinner?

You might consider making an easy arugula, pear and blue cheese salad. It’s salad kicked up a notch, kind of like what you’d get at a nice restaurant.

Roasted Beet Salad With Goat Cheese and Walnuts

If beets are a favorite, why not make roasted beet salad with goat cheese and walnuts?

Just slice your beets, cook them and chill them to be served with goat cheese and walnuts. The flavor combinations are perfect.

Balsamic Green Bean Salad

Using green beans in your menu help to carry on the traditional aspects that the beef stew started.

Just blanch your green beans and mix them with balsamic vinegar, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Add tomatoes, onion and feta if desired. Serve chilled.

Roasted Pumpkin and Beetroot Salad

Roasted pumpkin and beetroot salad is another one of the sides for beef stew that echoes fall.

It is a hearty recipe of roasted pumpkin and beetroot that has been tossed in a maple vinaigrette and topped with feta, pine nuts, pepitas and arugula. It’s perfect for the fall, winter or as a holiday side dish.

Arugula and Brown Rice Salad

Combine warm brown rice, chickpeas, cranberries and arugula to make a tasty and colorful fresh salad.

Also, add your favorite seasonings as well as salt and pepper to give it a more enhanced flavor.

Broccoli Stem Slaw

Broccoli stem slaw is and elevated and even more nutritious cousin of traditional coleslaw.

It only takes a few minutes to make it, especially if you buy prepackaged broccoli stems that are for the purpose of creating this delicious slaw. Add mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar, mix well, chill and enjoy.

Carrot and Raisin Salad

Carrot and raisin salad is a wonderful traditional salad that calls for shredded carrots, raisins, mayonnaise, sugar, and a bit of milk.  

This salad is one that has been down through the ages and has stood the test of time.

Broccoli Kale Salad

The combination of broccoli and kale provides so many natural nutrients that this salad is good for you.

Make it with chopped kale, broccoli, onion, cucumber, sunflower seeds, and olive oil. You can also add peppers as an optional ingredient.

Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Pomegranate Salad

Have you ever thought about shaving Brussels sprouts and combining them with pomegranates to make a salad?

To make a salad, you can combine just about any fruit or vegetable and be successful.

Simple Spinach Salad

Making a simple spinach salad is one we agree makes one of the best sides for beef stew. After all, it made our final list.

Don’t overthink this one. Just use some fresh, good quality spinach and mix in your favorite vegetables or add ins.

Parsnip, Pear and Pecan Salad

Fresh parsnip, pear and pecan salad tends to elevate itself and have the feeling of high class.

I don’t know what there is about pears and pecans in salads, but they too make for delicious sides for beef stew.

Fresh Sugar Snap Pea Salad

Use peas in the pods for the best results for making fresh sugar snap pea salad.

You can blanch the peas if you prefer, but we like to slice them thinly and eat them raw when they are so tender and fresh. Add buttermilk, Greek yogurt, garlic, salt, olive oil, and lemon zest for flavoring.

Heirloom Garden Tomato Salad

Heirloom garden tomatoes are usually quite flavorful and make a fantastic salad that complements as a side for beef stew.

Mix in some olive oil, garlic, onion and basil for a tasty salad.

Brussels Sprouts and Quinoa Salad

Add shaved brussels sprouts, salt and pepper. Then add warm cooked quinoa, raisins, toasted pecans, parmesan. Use your favorite dressing.

Ginger Apricot Tossed Salad

Ginger apricot tossed salad can be a nice change from the ordinary green salad. If you’re planning for company, this one is elegant enough.

Use mixed greens for the salad base, add green beans, apricots, mango, vinegar, garlic, sugar, salt and minced ginger root. Chopped dry roasted peanuts on top add a nice crunch.

Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad

Whether you’re short of having lettuce on hand or just plain enjoy the flavor and nutrients from Brussels sprouts, shredding them makes the perfect base for a salad.

After that, just add your favorite toppings and salad dressing.

Wedge Salad

We can’t forget about wedge salad. Wedge salad has been around for a long time and is quite easy to make.

It has traditionally been popular with steakhouses, but we believe it has an important role as being included in this list of sides for beef stew.

Creamy Southern Coleslaw

We cannot forget creamy southern coleslaw. This traditional dish is one of the best sides for beef stew in our humble opinion.

Use a prepackaged mix or cut up a head of cabbage to do the job. Mix with mayonnaise, a tiny bit of vinegar and sugar.

Caesar Salad

Chop up some fresh romaine and toss with parmesan and big chunky Caesar croutons for a tasty side. Don’t forget the Caesar salad dressing.

Romaine With Vinaigrette Dressing

This simple salad of chopped romaine lettuce, any of your favorite diced or sliced vegetables and vinaigrette dressing melds flavors into your tastebuds that can’t be beat.

Strawberry Salad with Cherries and Blueberries

You can build this salad with your favorite mixed greens. Add some fresh strawberries, cherries and blueberries for a burst of flavor.

This is one of the perfect sides for beef stew. We like to serve it with a vinaigrette dressing for complementary flavors.

Birthday Cake Cookies

And then if you’re celebrating a birthday, or even if you’re not, birthday cake cookies had to be included as one of our best sides for beef stew.

They’re simply sugar cookies that have birthday confetti sprinkled on them for visual appeal.

Homemade Beef Stew
Homemade Beef Stew. Photo by CookThink.

The Bottom Line

When choosing sides for beef stew the bottom line is to choose dishes that complement your main dish of beef stew and don’t overpower it.

Choose breads, starches, vegetables or salads that coordinate well and have somewhat of a mild flavor that the people around your table are sure to enjoy.

Ideas For In The Stew

Our stew recipe (down farther in this post) calls for large chunks of red skin potatoes, carrots, celery, onion and peas. But the beautiful thing about stew is that you can custom make it with your favorite add-ins.

Here are some ideas:

sweet potatoes
acorn squash

Best Garnishes for Beef Stew

In our opinion, the best garnishes for beef stew are herbs. Use sprigs of rosemary, oregano, thyme, parsley or even dill or chives.

If you use a sprig of any woody herbs such as rosemary, oregano or thyme, you’ll want to be sure to not serve up sprigs when serving the stew. They are too woody to be eaten.

If you’d like to use these herbs on your servings, simply strip the leaves from the sprigs, discarding the stem and using the leaves only instead. The leaves by themselves are fine to be consumed.

Beef Stew in Half the Time! Served with Rice

Did you know that the quality of beef changes the cook time? And many people also like to serve beef stew with rice.

It’s kind of like eating Chinese food on rice. Oh well, that might be a poor comparison. Anyway, the quality of beef you use can determine the cook time.

What Makes our Beef Stew in Half the Time?

Using high quality beef reduces the cook time for beef stew. Low quality beef takes longer to cook because it tends to be tough.

So next time you’re shopping for beef for beef stew, consider the quality.

Cook’s Notes, FAQs and Tips for Success

1. Along with making a good choice in the quality of beef it’s important to use good flavoring. In our stew we use beef stock for the broth and a packet of onion soup mix, salt, pepper and herbs such as rosemary, thyme and oregano.

2. Make sure to thicken the broth. That’s part of what differentiates stew from soup.

3 Allow enough time for the stew to cook. If you’re using potatoes and carrots in your stew like we do, you don’t want to find yourself having to bite into raw crunchy vegetables. That can be embarrassing.  

4. If you have access to a cast iron pot, cook the stew in a cast iron pot. It helps to make the flavors just that much more delicious. If you don’t have a cast iron pot, it’s okay. Just choose a heavy-duty pot that can go in the oven.

Can We Make Beef Stew in Our Slow Cooker?

Yes. Beef stew can be made in the slow cooker. You can use our recipe below.

The modification you should make for the slow cooker is to sear your beef on the stovetop first and then add the remaining ingredients, including the seared beef to the crockpot and cook on low for about 10 hours.

Low and slow is the key for a nice tender stew.

Can We Freeze Beef Stew?

Absolutely. Beef stew can be frozen. Just place it in an airtight container or zipped freezer bag. It can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Our Recipe for Easy Homemade Beef Stew

We have created this easy recipe for a very traditional and delicious homemade beef stew.

The preparation can be done in about 15 minutes. Then you can rest while it cooks.

It does not require any attention while it cooks other than an occasional stirring here and there, if you want to.

Sides for beef stew. Photo by CookThink.

How To Make Homemade Beef Stew

Here’s our own recipe for easy beef stew, that we’ve created. You will need the following ingredients:


Beef – A good cut of beef
4 Red Skin Potatoes
4 Carrots
1 Onion
5 Celery stalks
2 cups Peas
4 cups beef stock
½ cup flour or corn starch
1 package dried onion soup mix
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
oregano, thyme, rosemary to season


1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Cube beef and brown it in olive oil on the stovetop over medium heat in a cast iron pot, if available. Add salt, pepper, and any seasonings. If you do not have a cast iron pot, use a heavy-duty oven safe pot with a lid.

3. Wash and cube red skin potatoes into large chunks. Peel and cut carrots into large chunky bite-sized pieces. Peel and dice onion. Wash and slice celery.

4. Add all the prepared vegetables, except peas, into the pot. Cover with a lid and let simmer until the potatoes begin to get tender. Remove from heat.

5. Create thickening. In a glass, add flour or corn starch. Slowly add 1 cup or so of beef stock. Whisk until the mixture becomes smooth and no lumps remain. Add thickening to the pot.  

6. Add remaining beef stock, onion soup mix and any seasonings. Cover with a lid and place in a 350F oven for 30 minutes.

7. Add peas and return to the oven for 5 more minutes. Serve hot and enjoy!

Some Frequently Asked Questions About Beef Stew

Below are some of the frequently asked questions we’ve heard about beef stew, and our answers. We trust they will help you be successful in making the best beef stew.

How To Thicken Beef Stew

Beef stew can be thickened with flour or corn starch, depending on your preference. I typically use all-purpose flour because it is readily available in my kitchen pantry.

And I’ve also used corn starch in place of beef stew when needed for a gluten free diet. Either one will do a good job of making your stew broth thick.

How Long To Cook Beef Stew in a Crockpot

If you choose to cook beef stew in the crockpot rather than in the oven, you will have good results.

If you’re cooking on low, we estimate that from our experience it will take 9-10 hours. Or if you choose to cook it on high, you can plan on 6-7 hours.

How Long To Cook Beef Stew in an Instant Pot

If your preferred method to cook beef stew is in an instant pot, that is completely fine. It can take about 30-35 minutes when cooking on high.

What Cut of Beef is a Stew Meat

We mentioned that the quality of meat makes a difference in the outcome of the stew.

Recommended cuts of beef are: chuck, bottom round, round tip, top round, and pot roast.

How to Make Gluten Free Beef Stew

Each of the ingredients in our beef stew recipe is gluten free, with the exception of the thickening agent.

To make our recipe gluten free you’ll want to use corn starch instead of all-purpose flour.

Irish Beef Stew – Dinner Ideas

Irish stew features tender beef and vegetables flavored with seasonings. It is a meat and vegetable stew that is native to Ireland.

What is Irish Stew Made of?

Irish stew has similarities to American beef stew.

Irish stew is made of beef or lamb, potatoes, carrots, onion, leek, garlic and thyme, Irish stout, Worcestershire sauce, beef broth.

How To Make Irish Stew

To make Irish stew, brown your meat in olive oil. Add onions, garlic, seasonings, carrots and potatoes.

Add beer, beef broth, tomato paste. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Cover the pot and place in the oven until vegetables are tender.

How To Thicken Irish Beef Stew

Irish Beef Stew is thickened the same way as traditional beef stew. You can use all-purpose flour or corn starch as your thickening agent.

Whisk with a minimal amount of liquid first, to eliminate all lumps and then add it to the pot.  

How To Serve Irish Stew

Irish stew is traditionally served with fresh parsley as a garnish and Irish soda bread as a side.

How To Eat: Beef Stew

One of the best ways to eat beef stew is from a bowl. Because it is just one step beyond being soup, we recommend using a bowl to serve this tasty dish.

And don’t forget to choose from our list of favorite sides for beef stew.

Good Things To Put In Beef Stew

Good things to put in beef stew are your favorite seasonings that complement beef.

We also like to make it so that it can potentially be a one dish meal by adding potatoes, carrots, onions, celery and peas.

Bad Things To Put in Beef Stew

There are also a few things that you’ll want to avoid using in beef stew.

Bacon turns flabby and mushy when added to beef stew because of all of the liquid. It’s not a good combination. Also, turnips don’t work very well in beef stew.  

Mediterranean Beef Stew

If you’d like to try changing up your beef stew and giving it a Mediterranean flair, try using bell pepper, chili flakes, tomatoes, zucchini, olives instead of the traditional beef stew root vegetables.

Skillet Beef Stew

Skillet beef stew is another take on a varying method to make delicious beef stew.

Instead of finishing it in the oven, you can completely make the recipe on the stovetop. It can be an efficient way to make this dish.

What’s the Best Way To Store Leftover Skillet Beef Stew?

The best way to store leftover skillet beef stew is to place it in an airtight container or zipped bag and put it in the refrigerator to be used within 3 days.

Or for long-term storage, you can place it in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

What to Serve With Beef Bourguignon (13 Savory Side Dishes)

Beef Bourguignon is a French take on beef stew. The main difference between beef bourguignon and beef stew is that the French version uses red wine.

Here are 13 recommended side dishes that pair well with Beef Bourguignon:


Enjoy egg noodles, homemade noodles, or even already prepared noodles as a side. We recommend adding butter for additional deliciousness.


If you’re in a time pinch, use minute rice. Or use long cooked rice of any variety. It makes the list of one of our choice sides for beef stew.

Mashed Potatoes

Homemade mashed potatoes with butter and rosemary are a favorite. Or to step up your mashed potato dish, make them rich by mixing in some cream cheese and sour cream.


Popovers add such a wonderful traditional aspect. And they’re so light and fluffy, which makes them the perfect side.

Dinner Roll or Baguette

Consider serving fresh homemade or even store-bought dinner rolls or a baguette with a side of soft butter and in season jam.

Green Salad

We think adding a green salad give another visual aspect that is appealing. The color of green, along with your favorite vegetables is pleasant to look at.

Green Beans

Fresh green beans or even frozen green beans are a delicious addition as a side.

Mashed Cauliflower

If you’re trying to cut the carbs, use mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes, and serve with seasonings and butter.


Polenta is traditionally Italian. It is made from finely ground corn meal. It tastes much like cornmeal muffins.

Roasted Red Potatoes

Roasted red potatoes go great with beef. Just wash, chop, season and add them to oven along with the stew.


Oven roasted broccolini has a great taste that complements French beef stew.


Fresh asparagus is healthy and also goes great as a side. Give it a sprinkling of parmesan for fun.

Garden Tomato Salad

If tomatoes are in season, you can’t go wrong with some sliced fresh garden tomatoes, with onions and basil.


We trust that you’ve found the perfect side dish for hearty beef stew for a cold day, or any time of year.

There are so many foods that make a great side dish to make a hearty meal. From crusty bread to cauliflower mash, to starchy foods and low carb choices, there are so many choices that would be a great option for your hearty soup.

The best part is you get to choose the perfect simple dish that will meet the expectations of your taste buds.

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Sarah is known for her extra fancy yeast breads, melt in your mouth pies, and everything salads. She has won awards as a home cook, and is passionate about helping others feel smarter in the kitchen. Sarah is the cooking genius of the sister duo.

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