Dutch oven beef stew is healthy, easy, gluten-free, & is made all in one pot! Make sure to use a cast iron pot in the oven, & don’t forget the red wine!
Well, that was a cold January, wasn’t it? I’ve made this healthy dutch oven beef stew a few times for my family, and even my husband will eat it (he’s not a soup fan). Personally, nothing warms me up like a pot of easy, cozy, beef stew.
Traditional recipes usually call for flour to be added to make a thicker gravy base, but this recipe doesn’t call for any gluten at all. Gluten-free stew is better!
Healthy dutch oven stew is delicious, less traditional, and more flavor-forward than classic versions. It’s also made using only one pot, so it’s easier, faster, and saves on dishes!
What does it taste like?
Stew braised in the oven has a deep, condensed flavor, thanks to the cast iron dutch oven.
By using a dutch oven to make stew, you ensure that everything is cooked evenly, and slowly and that the flavors are rich and have depth.
There are hints of Worcestershire sauce and fresh thyme in every bite, and tender beef that falls apart as you eat it. This recipe can’t be described as anything but comforting and delicious.
- Stew meat – the best stew meat is chuck roast, bottom round roast, or top round roast, cut into 1 inch cubes. Those cuts of meats are the leanest and they get really tender when cooked at a lower temperature for longer, so they make perfect stew meat!
- Salt – not very much, but the salt does help to bring out all the flavors.
- Black pepper – seasoning the beef with pepper as it cooks helps to flavor the beef, and give the stew some depth
- Avocado oil – one of the healthiest cooking oils, and it’s personally the only oil I use to cook with ever. It’s high in polyunsaturated fats, making it really heart-healthy and anti-inflammatory
- Yellow onion – there are 2 yellow onions in this recipe, and they give so much flavor and some texture to this recipe. Don’t skimp on the onions!
- Garlic – simply a classic, garlic is must-have for any stew.
- Carrots – they add a little sweetness and a lot of bulk to this gluten-free stew. Plus, they taste amazing with the other vegetables in this recipe.
- Red bell pepper – adds a little sweetness and a pinch of spice to this recipe. Plus, they have a lot of vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin A, so they give this recipe a big nutritional boost.
- Potatoes – I use baby yellow potatoes in this recipe, but any yellow or white potato will do. If you want a little sweeter flavor, you could even use sweet potatoes or yams.
- Balsamic vinegar – a really important ingredient in dutch oven stew, it helps to tenderize the meat while adding tons of deep flavor
- Worcestershire sauce – this gives the stew a little bit of a savory, almost steak-like flavor. Worcestershire sauce is the main ingredient in steak sauce, so I guess that makes sense!
- Red wine – I personally use pinot noir, but any dry red wine will work. It helps to add a deep flavor to the stew while helping to tenderize the beef as it cooks.
- Tomato paste – this helps to thicken it slightly while adding that acidic tomato flavor.
- Low sodium beef broth – beef broth is the most flavorful of all the broths but can be salty if you don’t buy the low sodium version. I always use low sodium broth in my cooking. You can always add more salt but you can’t take it out, so it’s best to start lighter on the salt and add salt later if your stew is too bland.
- Fresh thyme – one of my favorite herbs, it adds a nice flavor that can’t be substituted. If you don’t have fresh thyme, you can use dried thyme, but only use about half of what the recipe calls for.
- Dry oregano – just a classic flavor that elevates the flavor of this dutch oven beef stew.
- Heat the avocado oil over medium heat in your dutch oven.
- Brown the beef in the dutch oven. Season with salt and pepper as it cooks. It will be browned on the outside but not cooked through.
- Add the vegetables to the pot, along with the balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, red wine, tomato paste, low sodium beef broth, fresh thyme, and oregano.
- Bring to a boil. One boiling, turn the heat off and remove it from heat.
- Cover, and bake (braise) the stew at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
- Serve hot with your favorite roll or bread!
Tips & FAQ
You can use chuck roast, bottom round, or top round roasts for this recipe. Those are the least expensive cuts of beef, and make great stew meat!
For this stew recipe, I used chuck roast, cut into about 1 inch pieces and trimmed of the excess fat.
Stew meat is usually a leaner cut of meat, so it can turn out tough if it’s not cooked properly. Slow cooking it for about 1.5 to 2 hours is ideal, because it gives the beef time to tenderize. Adding a meat tenderizer, such as vinegar or wine, can really help, too!
My dutch oven beef stew recipe calls for both red wine and balsamic vinegar, so the meat will be tender after about an hour and half of braising in the oven.
Stew can be incredibly flavorful if cooked correctly. There are a lot of different flavors you can add to other stew recipes to prevent or fix any blandness:
– Balsamic vinegar
– Red wine
– Dark beer, such as Guinness
– Beef broth
– Dijon mustard
– Worcestershire sauce
Beef, no matter what, should be cooked to a minumum temperature of 145 degrees. Beef stew should be braised in the dutch oven at about 325 degrees for about 90 minutes. This will ensure that it reaches a safe temperature to eat, while also making sure the beef is tender and not tough.
Browning the meat in the dutch oven before baking in the oven helps to seal in the moisture and flavor of the beef. Although it’s not necessary, it does help the meat become tender and more flavorful while it cooks.
This dutch oven beef stew recipe is gluten-free, so it doesn’t use any flour. Instead, this recipe calls for tomato paste to thicken it. The potatoes in this recipe also help to thicken it.
If your stew doesn’t turn out as thick as you’d like, you can remove about 2 cups of the liquid and a few potatoes, and pureed them in a blender or food processor. Once pureed, add the mixture back to the pot and stir.
Potatoes are excellent at thickening soups and stews, and this method works without adding anything extra to compromise or alter the flavor of this recipe.
Dutch oven beef stew is healthy, and is loaded with veggies and protein. It’s full of carrots, potatoes, and even red bell pepper, making it a healthier version!
This recipe is also gluten-free, and doesn’t require anything but the tomato paste to thicken it up. Some stew recipes call for flour or even au jus packets to flavor and create a sauce, but not this recipe!
Total nutritional content per serving is:
- Calories: 440 calories
- Protein: 30 grams
- Sodium: 481 mg
- Carbohydrates: 20 grams
- Fiber: 5 grams
Looking for another easy way to add protein to your morning? Try making protein coffee at home!
For 8 servings of this flavorful stew recipe, you’ll be spending around $15.87 for the whole pot. That comes out to be around $1.98 per serving, which is a great deal on a hearty and homemade beef stew!
Some excellent sides for beef stew include:
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Healthy Dutch Oven Beef Stew
- 2.5 lbs beef stew meat cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp avocado oil
- 2 yellow onion chopped
- 6 garlic cloves minced
- 4 medium carrots chopped
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 ½ lb potatoes chopped
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ cup red wine
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 4 cups low sodium beef broth
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme
- 1 tbsp dry oregano
- Preheat oven to 325°.
- In a 6 qt dutch oven, heat the oil on medium heat. Brown the stew meat on medium heat, until just browned but not cooked through. Season with salt and pepper as it cooks.
- Add the remainder of the ingredients to the dutch oven.
- Bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove from the heat, cover, and place in the oven. Braise (bake) the stew for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, and serve hot!
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Healthy, gluten-free beef stew in the oven will be your family’s new go-to dinner recipe for a chilly winter night! Made in the dutch oven and braised to perfection, this is a one-pot meal everyone can enjoy!