Close up of a bowlful of ground beef stew.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Simple, rich, and hearty, this Ground Beef Stew is an incredibly delicious complete meal made in your trusty Dutch oven. This hearty stew is bound to be one of your family favorite recipes just like it is one of ours.

Who can’t use more one pot delicious recipes, especially those that satisfy your hungry crowd using beef? Try our tasty Beef Stroganoff or Awesome Chili.

Branded image of ground beef stew in a dutch oven.

I’m excited to partner with Smithey, a US-made cast iron company to bring this recipe to you. 

Smithey sent me this beautiful, yes beautiful 7.5 quart Dutch oven to try out. And it came engraved with Dutch Oven Daddy on the bottom. How cool is that?!

Close up of the lid of a Smithey Dutch oven.

Once I had my hands on this Dutch oven, I knew making a hearty beef stew was the perfect recipe to break this bad boy in! And I was right, it was perfect.

This is a workhorse of a pot! To celebrate my new partnership with Smithey, they’re offering all of you free engraving with your purchase of a cast iron piece (well, only ones that are engravable.) During checkout enter code DOD for your free engraving!

Bottom engraving and markings of the Smithey 7.5 quart dutch oven.

What is ground beef stew?

This hearty ground beef stew is incredibly easy to make, especially since you can use fresh, frozen, and/or canned vegetables. Typically beef stuff is made with beef chunks or stew meat, but by using ground beef, it doesn’t make it any less delicious.

Hamburger stew, poor man’s stew, old fashioned hamburger stew, and even grandma’s ground beef stew are all common names for this hearty stew recipe. Whatever you want to call it, it’s always going to be amazingly flavorful and super simple.

A bowl of ground beef stew in a white bowl served with a buttered biscuit.

Our family loves this ground beef stew recipe with biscuits, but dinner rolls or crusty bread served warm with butter are equally delicious.

The recipe as it follows below is meant to feed a crowd. We recommend halving the recipe for typical family meal.

Recipe Ingredients for Ground Beef Stew

Ingredients to make ground beef stew in a Dutch oven.
  • Ground Beef — we recommend using lean ground beef to have less renderings.
  • Produce — yellow onion, celery, carrots, potatoes, green beans, frozen peas, and parsley.
  • Seasonings — garlic, thyme, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, salt, and pepper.
  • Broth — low sodium beef broth is the best option to not get too salty. You can also use beef stock.
  • Tomato paste — this will not only help thicken the broth but increase the depth of flavor.

Step by Step Directions for Making Ground Beef Stew

Step 1 — Brown the ground beef over medium high heat. Once it’s about halfway done, drain any renderings or excess fat. If you’re using super lean ground beef, you may need to use a bit of olive oil while browning.

Step 2 — Stir in the onions, carrots, and celery into the meat. Then add all the seasonings: salt, pepper, garlic, thyme, paprika, and Worcestershire sauce. Resume cooking on medium high heat until the ground beef has cooked through.

Step 3 — Toss in the potatoes and green beans. If you’re using canned or frozen green beans, don’t add them here, add them when you add the peas.

Step 4 — Pour in the beef broth, stirring well. Toss in a bay leaf or two and bring the stew up to a low simmer.

Step 5 — Put the tomato paste into a small bowl. Once the stew has begun to simmer, remove between a half and full cup of the now warmed broth to mix into the tomato paste. Whisk until smooth and set it aside while the stew boils. Stirring occasionally, let the stew boil for at least 10 minutes, allowing the seasonings to meld and the vegetables to cook.

Step 6 —Once the vegetables have softened, especially the potatoes, green beans, and carrots, reduce to medium heat and slowly stir in the tomato paste.

Step 7 — After the tomato paste has been fully incorporated to the stew, gently mix in the peas and parsley. Bring the stew back up to a low simmer and allow it to cook for about 10 minutes more or until all the vegetables are fork tender and the stew has reached the desired thickness.

Step 8 — Remove from heat and serve up with your favorite biscuits or rolls.

Dutch oven ground beef stew garnished with fresh parsley is ready to be served.

Adaptations and variations

While there is no one right way to make beef stew, there’s endless ways to make it.

  • Vegetables — Omit anything you don’t like from our original recipe and swap in parsnips, turnips, corn, or mushrooms. We used all fresh vegetables except for the peas, those were frozen. However, use whatever is most convenient for you, fresh, canned, or frozen.
  • Broth — Granulated beef bouillon and water is perfect if you don’t have broth or stock, but 2 packets of brown gravy mix, tomato sauce, or even condensed tomato soup make a delicious base for this stew.
  • Tomatoes — We used tomato paste as our thickening agent but canned tomatoes (diced tomatoes or stewed tomatoes would be amazing in this recipe too.

Tips for Camping

  • Skip step 5 above and after the stew has done it’s initial boil, simply add the tomato paste directly to the pot. Take care to make sure it has thoroughly been mixed in and is not clumped in the stew.
  • Prepare any fresh vegetables ahead of time like dicing the carrots and onions, trimming the green beans. However, leave the potatoes whole so they don’t turn brown.
  • Brown the meat before the trip and bring it cooked.
  • Use water and granulated bullion instead of broth for less things to carry.
Close up of a bowlful of ground beef stew.

Recipe FAQs

Can I use ground turkey instead of ground beef?

Absolutely. Any ground meat will work perfectly, but will just have a slightly different taste and or texture than traditional beef stew.

How can I make this thicker without using tomato paste?

Make a roux or all purpose flour slurry and add it at the end or use cornstarch and cold water for a different thickening slurry.

I don’t have broth, what do I use?

Water and bouillon granules or cubes will work. Hold back adding any additional salt until all the other ingredients have been added and you’ve tasted the broth. You can always add more salt but it’s difficult to fix once it’s too salty.

Can I freeze the leftovers?

Yes you can. It freezes well for up to 3 months in an airtight container. We recommend freezing it portioned out if there’s more than one serving being frozen.

Remember to enter the code DOD at checkout when ordering your new Smithey cast iron!

Branded image of ground beef stew in a white bowl.
A bowl of ground beef stew in a white bowl served with a buttered biscuit.
Print Recipe
5 from 39 votes

Ground Beef Stew

Simple, rich, and hearty, this Ground Beef Stew is an incredibly delicious complete meal made in your trusty Dutch oven.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Ground Beef Stew
Servings: 8
Calories: 606kcal


  • 6 quart Dutch Oven or camp oven (or larger)


  • 3 lbs ground beef lean
  • 1 cup onion diced
  • 1 cup celery 3 ribs; diced
  • 1 ½ cups carrots about 4; diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic 1 tbsp fresh; minced
  • 1 ½ tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 6 cups beef broth
  • 4 russet potatoes large; cubed
  • 1 lb green beans trimmed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 1 cup peas
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped


  • Heat the Dutch oven over medium high heat; once hot crumble in the ground beef.
  • Once the beef is halfway cooked, add in the onions, celery, carrots, salt, pepper, garlic, thyme, paprika, and Worcestershire sauce; mix well and cook until the beef is done.
  • Add in the potatoes, green beans, broth, and bay leaves. Stir to thoroughly mix everything together. Remove 1 cup of the broth and set aside.
  • Bring to a boil for 10 minutes or until the vegetables, especially the potatoes are fork tender. The liquid will begin to reduce.
  • While the stew is boiling, add the tomato paste to a medium bowl and whisk in the reserved broth until smooth.
  • Once the vegetables are cooked through, reduce the heat to medium and completely stir in the smoothed tomato paste.
  • Mix in the peas and parsley; allow to cook at a low simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, serve, and enjoy.


Calories: 606kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 121mg | Sodium: 1363mg | Potassium: 1591mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 5155IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 118mg | Iron: 7mg

Dutch Oven Daddy is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

Did you try this recipe?Leave me a comment and rating below or Tag @DutchOvenDaddy on Instagram to show us your photos!
41 replies
  1. Jill
    Jill says:

    5 stars
    That is a good looking dutch oven! I’ve got someone in mind to gift one to. Thanks for sharing about it. My son especially will love this beef stew. Looking forward to trying it this week for dinner.

  2. Dana
    Dana says:

    5 stars
    Using ground beef offered up a whole new stew experience and we flippin’ loved it! It was like chili meets stew in the best way. So cozy and comforting!

  3. Mindy
    Mindy says:

    5 stars
    Such an easy and delicious meal, especially if you don’t feel like waiting for beef cubes to breakdown, ground beef is much easier and just as yummy. Great recipe!

  4. rebecca
    rebecca says:

    5 stars
    can’t believe how quickly this recipe comes together. Love a flavorful stew that doesn’t take all day to cook. Also definitely checking out this dutch oven, looks great!

  5. Vicky
    Vicky says:

    5 stars
    For a comforting and hearty dinner, nothing beats a steaming bowl of beef stew. I love how this uses ground beef instead of steak. It makes the prep so much easier.

  6. imsen
    imsen says:

    5 stars
    I was looking for a beef stew recipe, especially on these cold winter days! glad I’ve found yours! def gonna try them out next weekend!

  7. Anjali
    Anjali says:

    5 stars
    This stew was hearty, satisfying, flavorful and super easy to make! We served it with some crusty bread on the side for an easy family dinner last night!

  8. Ana F.
    Ana F. says:

    5 stars
    My ground beef stew was a hit with the family! It was a nice break from the regular chunks of meat and the flavor turned out amazing! Thanks for the recipe!

  9. Krissy
    Krissy says:

    5 stars
    I’m so glad I found this recipe. I always have ground beef in the freezer and some days there’s nothing better than a hearty homemade stew. It turned out perfect!

  10. Lily
    Lily says:

    5 stars
    This ground beef stew is one for the repeat pile- I made it with lean ground beef and followed the steps listed. I liked the addition of the Worcestershire sauce, and planning to double batch this recipe next time to add to my freezer SOS stash.

  11. Julia
    Julia says:

    5 stars
    Wow this is the best stew I’ve made so far! I typically don’t comment but this recipe was incredible, everyone loved it!! And it freezes perfectly.

  12. Kristen
    Kristen says:

    5 stars
    This stew turned out great! I had never made stew with ground beef before and was surprised at how good it was. Thank you for the recipe!

  13. Gianne
    Gianne says:

    5 stars
    The flavors of the beef, vegetables, and broth come together perfectly. The meat is tender and the vegetables are soft but still have some texture. It’s a comforting and satisfying dish.


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