This keto beef stew is made in the classic style with hearty chunks of beef and vegetables in a rich and savory broth. It’s the kind of comfort food that keeps you warm all winter long.
On the search for a truly delicious and comforting keto meal? Look no further than this keto beef stew recipe. It’s the real deal and tastes almost too good to be low carb and grain-free.
Serve it on its own or serve overtop creamy mashed cauliflower for a hearty and healthy keto family dinner.
Why you will love this stew
I’ve got so many wonderful and popular beefy recipes, such as keto stuffed peppers and Mexican cauliflower rice. But I recently realized I was lacking a proper beef stew.
That’s not strictly true, as I have a few delicious stew recipes in some of my cookbooks, including Easy Keto Dinners and Keto Soups and Stews.
I also have a delicious low carb Hungarian goulash, which is definitely stew adjacent. But I was simply craving a stew with classic techniques and flavors. And when that craving for comfort food strikes, you’ve got to give in to it!
And it has all the hallmarks of a rich and hearty meal:
- Meltingly tender chunks of slow cooked beef
- Hearty vegetables that add flavor and texture
- A rich and thick broth with no grains or flour
- Deep flavor that gets even better as it sits
- Easy to make ahead for keto meal prep
What readers are saying!
“I made this beef stew tonight and my husband says it is a keeper. He swears no one would guess it is a keto recipe. He has tried many keto dishes in the last 2 years and this is by far his favorite. It was so good. Thank you Carolyn for making this a lifestyle that I can live with. I have not had to use insulin in almost 2 years.” — Cathy
“I’ve made this 3 weeks in a row it’s that good!!!” — Jess
“Carolyn, I love your blog, you are my go to for many keto recipes. This beef stew was excellent. I have made it 4 times now and everyone has loved it. Thank you!” — Nancy
Ingredients you need
- Beef stew meat: I like to keep the chunks 1 inch for more even cooking. I use chuck steak, but you can also use London broil. I get good grassfed stew meat from Wild Pastures.
- Onion: Keep the onions to a minimum, as they add a surprising amount of carbs. I use half a cup for this keto stew to add flavor.
- Celery: Celery is not only a low carb staple vegetable, it also adds a great flavor for soups and stews.
- Fresh herbs: Fresh herbs are so aromatic. I recommend fresh rosemary or thyme.
- Garlic: Choose fresh garlic over garlic powder for the best flavor.
- Red wine: If you don’t drink wine, substitute with another ½ cup of beef broth, but take the time to reduce it as you would with the wine. It will help deepen the flavor overall.
- Low carb vegetables: I favor turnip and zucchini, but you can also add mushrooms and celery root (celeriac).
- Carrots: I only use a small amount of carrots because they add nice colour to the stew. Feel free to sub in some red pepper for colour instead.
- Glucomannan: This is my favorite way to thicken broth, but you can also use xanthan gum instead. If using xanthan gum, remove some broth to a bowl. Sprinkle the xanthan gum overtop and whisk in quickly. Then return to the pot and stir in to combine.
- Pantry staples: vegetable oil, tomato paste, beef broth, salt and pepper.
How to make keto beef stew
1. Brown the beef: Pat the beef dry and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil to a Dutch oven set over medium heat. Once hot, add half of the the beef and cook, stirring a few times, until nicely browned on all sides. Remove to a bowl and repeat with another tablespoon of oil and the remaining beef.
2. Sauté the aromatics: Remove the beef to a bowl and add the onion and celery, stirring until tender. Stir in the rosemary, tomato paste, and garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 1 more minute.
3. Add the wine and broth: Add the wine and cook until reduced by half, about 2 more minutes. Stir in the broth and bring to a simmer, then add the beef and any accumulated juices back into the pan.
4. Transfer to the oven: Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid, transfer to a 325ºF oven and let cook for 1 hour.
5. Add the veggies: Remove from the oven, add the zucchini, turnip, and carrots, and stir to combine. Return to the oven and cook another 30 to 45 minutes, until tender.
6. Thicken the broth: Push the meat and vegetables to the side and whisk the glucommanan into the liquid. It will continue to thicken as it sits.
Everything I learned about making beef stew, I learned from my friends at America’s Test Kitchen. Theirs isn’t keto friendly, of course, but I employed the same basic methods with some major changes. So I am passing these tips on to you!
Brown the beef in batches. Unless you have a really large Dutch oven, you won’t be able to fit in all the beef at once. To brown properly, each piece of stew meat should touch the bottom of the pan. Make sure to brown them on each side for the best flavor.
Keep the broth to a minimum. Many keto stews suffer from being too soupy. Add only enough broth to allow the meat to cook slowly. 1 to 1 ½ cups is usually enough.
Transfer to the oven. You could cook the stew entirely on the stovetop but the oven saves time and energy. When it’s on the stove, you have to turn the element up and down frequently to achieve a constant low simmer. The oven at 325ºF is better for maintaining a constant temperature.
More ways to prepare this keto stew recipe:
- Slow Cooker: I highly recommend browning the beef properly first. Use a pan over the stove to brown in batches before transferring to the slow cooker. It will need 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low.
- Instant Pot: Brown the beef using the Sauté function and cut back the liquid even more. Pressure cookers force so much liquid out of meats and veggies, it will end up soupy if you add more than ½ cup of broth. Cook it for 20 minutes on the stew function, then add the veggies and cook another 15 minutes or so.
Frequently Asked Questions
Carrots are not the lowest carb of veggies but they do add a nice pop of color to soups and stews. I only used about ¼ cup of sliced carrot, which adds less than half a gram of carbs per serving. Feel free to sub in some red pepper for color instead.
Glucomannan is the best way to thicken recipes like soup, stew, or keto gravy.
It has a better texture than xanthan gum and doesn’t have that slimy quality. However, if you do use xanthan gum, the best thing to do is to remove some of the broth, whisk it quickly into that, and then stir it back into the stew.
This keto beef stew recipe has 5.8g of carbs and 1.6g of fiber per serving. That comes to 4.2g net carbs per bowl of stew.
Classic Keto Beef Stew Recipe
- 1 large Dutch oven
- 2 lb beef stew meat cut into 1 inch chunks
- Salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoon avocado or olive oil divided
- ½ cup diced onion
- 1 stalk celery chopped
- 2 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary or thyme
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ½ cup red wine
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 medium zucchini chopped
- 1 small turnip cubed
- ½ small carrot chopped (optional)
- ½ teaspoon glucomannan
- Pat the beef dry and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Preheat the oven to 325F.
- Add 1 tablespoon of the oil to a Dutch oven set over medium heat. Once hot, add half of the the beef and cook, stirring a few times, until nicely browned on all sides. Remove to a bowl and repeat with another tablespoon of oil and the remaining beef.
- Add the remaining oil to the pan and sauté the onion and celery until tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in the rosemary, tomato paste, and garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 1 more minute.
- Add the wine and cook until reduced by half, about 2 more minutes. Stir in the broth and bring to a simmer, then add the beef and any accumulated juices back into the pan.
- Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid, transfer to the oven and let cook for 1 hour.
- Remove from the oven, add the zucchini, turnip, and carrots, and stir to combine. Return to the oven and cook another 30 to 45 minutes, until tender.
- To thicken the broth, push the meat and vegetables to the side and whisk the glucommanan into the liquid. It will continue to thicken as it sits.