Classic (Paleo) Beef Stew

There’s something so comforting about a velvety bowl of meat and potatoes. This recipe doesn’t include any exotic spices or surprising ingredients, and the technique is totally straight-forward. But the result is somehow belies its simplicity.

It’s warm, rich, and satisfying. Sometimes, that’s all we really need.


Classic (Paleo) Beef Stew

Serves 4-6 | Prep | Cook 2 hours | Whole30 compliant

  • 2 pounds beef stew meat

  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder

  • 1/2 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon + 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cooking fat

  • 1 large onion, finely diced

  • 1 large carrot, minced

  • 1 stalk celery, minced

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

  • 1 cup red wine (for Whole30, replace with 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar)

  • 2 cups chicken broth

  • 4 medium potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 2-inch chunks

  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, coarsely chopped


Pat beef dry with paper towels. In a large bowl, mix arrowroot, 1/2 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Add the beef and toss until coated.


Heat a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the cooking fat and allow to melt, then add the beef and brown on all sides. Give the meat plenty of breathing room so it forms a nice crust; you might have to cook it in two batches. As it browns, remove the meat to a bowl.


When the meat is browned, add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic to the same pan. (If it’s dry, add another teaspoon or two of cooking fat). Sauté the vegetables until they’re soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, bay leaves, and thyme. Cook, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Pour in the wine and broth; stir to combine, then add the beef and accumulated juices to the pot. Cover and simmer 1 hour.


Add the potatoes to the pot and simmer another hour, until the meat and potatoes are tender.


Simmer uncovered 5-10 minutes to thicken the gravy, then sprinkle with minced parsley before serving.



Print this recipe
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  • Hi Melissa!
    Do you think this could be adapted for the slow cooker?

  • Jennifer S. says:

    who says a whole30 is hard when they have GREAT recipes like this. I’m putting this on my menu for next week! YUM!

  • Shelly says:

    Just wondering what brand of chicken broth you use…everything I can find in the store has weird ingredients, even the organic ones – what exactly IS “natural flavor”?!

  • Ann says:

    I love your recipes! Just curious, why are you using chicken broth instead of beef broth? Does it change the taste significantly?

    • There’s not a marked difference, so I you prefer, you can use beef broth. I’ve been making homemade chicken broth that is AWESOME, so I use that in everything. For people who buy commercial broth in stores, it’s usually easier to find high-quality chicken broth than it is to find beef — but really, beef, chicken or veg broth will work great.

  • Ross says:

    Found this via Mark’s Daily Apple. We added a heap of mushrooms and it was just beautiful. Thank you for the recipe, it’s a cracker!

  • Debbie says:

    Are potatoes considered Paleo? I thought they weren’t!

    • Potatoes are a gray area in Paleo. I follow the Whole30 guidelines when I create recipes, and the Whole30 includes potatoes; details here –> Fries and chips are not compliant with the spirit of the Whole30, but white potatoes are nutrient dense and great boiled, roasted, etc.

      • Debbie says:

        Ahh that makes sense. I have been doing a Whole30 and am thinking of transitioning to Paleo and I saw that potatoes are a sticking point. That’s why I was confused!

      • Jeff D says:

        I’ve done beef stew with celery root or kohlrabi before and had good results. No real difference in taste and you still get that same bite and firmness that the potatoes bring.

  • Michele says:

    could I make this in the crockpot? I am worried the meat will be chewy on the stove top.

  • Hope says:

    Hi Melissa,
    I was wondering if I could subsititute coconut flour instead of arrowroot powder? No-one near me carries it so I’ll have to order it online.

  • Carrie says:

    This was the BEST beef stew I’ve ever eaten! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe, even my picky kids loved it and we fought over the leftovers 🙂

  • Stephanie says:

    Hi Melissa – I couldn’t get arrowroot either. Does potato starch work in this recipe?

  • April says:

    This was the most delicious thing I have eaten in my 19 days of whole30. It was so incredible!! I used sirloin so it cooked up much faster, say 45 minutes mainly just to let potatoes cook. The broth/gravy/sauce was so perfect. Thank you!!

  • Malia says:

    Made this today for Christmas dinner with my husband. It is our all time favorite Beef Stew–I assume we will this for the rest of our lives. THANK YOU!

  • Jennifer says:

    I’m in the middle of a Whole30 (day 13), and my parents and mother in law came for dinner last night. I made this beef stew and it was a phenomenal hit! My dad even asked for seconds, and my mother in law wants the recipe. Thank you so much!! We have loved every single recipe of yours that we’ve made.

    • Happy Whole30-ing! Congratulations being 13 days in!

      Asking for the recipe and for seconds are such nice compliments! Thank you so much for taking the time to post here and let me know your family enjoyed it — so thoughtful of you!

  • Tina says:

    I just bought the instapot and am wondering if I could make this in the pressure cooker?

  • Samanta says:

    Hi Melissa
    I really love your website. I’ve been using your Well Fed cookbook for my Whole 30’s for a couple of years now 🙂 I love the scotch eggs!

    I’m writing a recipe round-up post for things people can cook and take to work as lunch and I’d like to include this Beef Stew recipe

    I’m commenting to ask: may use an image from this page next to the link in my post? You will be given full credit for the recipe and the photo.


  • Carol says:

    Made this stew last night and had the leftovers for lunch today. So good! Used chicken bone broth. Thanks so much!

  • Carrie Myrah says:

    Wow…this is the best beef stew that I have ever made! Makes life on the Whole30 much easier with such a delicious and hearty recipe. Thanks!

  • This was by far the best stew I’ve ever tasted! One thing, though…when I browned the beef, it stuck to the pot immediately and was incredibly hard to clean. I used coconut oil as my cooking fat. Am I doing something wrong? Thanks!

    • There are a few reasons for meat to stick, and you didn’t specify what kind of pan you’re using, so without being in the kitchen with you, I can’t know what was happening, but if I were to guess, maybe your pan wasn’t hot enough? Meat will stick if the pan and cooking fat aren’t hot enough to sear the meat before it can stick. Read more about that here:

      “A small amount of oil added to a very hot pan almost instantly becomes very hot oil. The oil quickly sears the outside of the food and causes water to be released from the food. This layer of water vapor (“steam”) lifts the food atop the oil film and keeps it from touching the hot pan surface. If the oil is not hot enough, the steam effect will not occur and the food will fuse to the (too) cool pan surface.” Source: Ask a Scientist, Newton BBC

      If you’re using very lean meat, you might need to add a little more, fat as well. Also, let the meat cook undisturbed fro 5 minutes or so before trying to turn it.

  • Abby says:

    This was so perfectly delicious! I can see this being a regular menu item at our house during the colder months. We also added the stew on top of a bed of minced cauliflower! Yummy!

  • Tina says:

    Made this together with my husband and we both LOVED it. I’m a terrible cook. Honestly. And luckily this is one of the few recipes that has ever worked out for me. Thank you!

  • Suzanna says:

    Delish!! I adapted it for my Instant Pot and it turned out perfectly. Here are the steps I took:

    I browned the meat in a pan as you directed ( it was easier than in the IP).

    Then I set the IP to “saute” and cooked the onions for about 5 mins, added the garlic and cooked for about 30 seconds.

    Added the tomato paste and gave it a good stir, then added the broth and wine.

    Next I put back in the browned meat, bay leaves, thyme, celery, added the layer of carrots and then put potatoes on top.

    Set the IP to “meat/stew” for 20 mins. I did a natural release for 15 mins then got impatient and finished with manual relase 😛

    I scooped out all the solids and then set the IP back to “saute” and simmered as directed above to thicken a bit. Then added it all back together again and voila! Best stew ever!!

    This will be my go-to stew recipe from here on out!