This is a recipe for keto beef stew, a low carb version of many people’s favorite recipe, especially in the fall and winter months. It is warm, hearty and really fills you up.
There are only a couple slight changes that will make it low carb but we will not change the delicious, beefy flavor that you are used to.
Beef stew is an easy, one dish meal that can be made on the stove, in the oven, or in a slow cooker. Once you do all of the prep work, then it cooks all on its own.
Taking out the potatoes you can replace them with peeled radishes, and using xanthan gum instead of white flour you create a low carb version of beef gravy. That’s it, and when you serve it to your family they will love it and ask you to make it again and again.
If you liked our keto pot roast or our low carb chili, then you will really love our beef stew!
What is Beef Stew?
Beef stew is an old-fashioned hearty one pot meal that has a history for many centuries, in many different countries. Most recipes are similar but put their own slant on it, focusing on meat, vegetables, and potatoes in a rich brown gravy.
In my family history, it was passed on through the generations on my Mom’s side of the family who all came from New England.
It was made once a week, year-round on the same day of the week, month after month and year after year and was especially yummy in the cold months of the year. It is an economical meal that fills you up, as they called it “stick to your ribs” meal.
Is it Healthy?
Beef stew is a nutritious and healthy meal because it is made with meat, broth and lots of veggies. The sky’s the limit as to how many or what kind of veggies that you can add to your keto beef stew, as long as they are low carb options.
You get a lot of vitamins in this recipe even though it has a little bit more carbs than some other one pot meals like keto chicken soup for instance, but it can still be within range for a low carb meal.
Is Beef Stew Keto-Friendly?
You may be wondering if beef stew is a keto-approved recipe. We are happy to say that yes it is and it is good for any low carb diet, among others.
How Many Carbs are in Beef Stew?
In our keto beef stew recipe there are 5 NET Carbs in one cup of stew. That’s pretty good because if you have enough carbs left for your daily allowance you can even have 2 cups of it if you so choose.
Traditional beef stew with potatoes and flour in the gravy can be 17 or more carbs per cup, so multiply that times 2 and now you are up to 35 carbs for 2 cups.
You can see why you need to eat our low carb beef stew if you are counting carbs!
What Ingredients are in Keto Beef Stew?
- Chuck Roast – Buy it whole and cut it into stew meat yourself. This is more tender than the pre-cut stew meat you can buy.
- Onions – Any type of onions will work fine.
- Radishes – Leave the whole and peel them, they will look like small round potatoes even though you will be making beef stew without potatoes.
- Celery – A very low carb and tasty veggie that plays a big part in low carb soups, stews and salads. If your stalk of celery still has the leaves on it, don’t throw them away because they add a good flavor to the low carb stew.
- Carrots – Just by adding a couple of carrots to the pot of keto stew, the carbs will stay on the lower side while at the same time adding a distinct, stew flavor.
- Mushrooms – Any type of your favorite sliced or whole mushrooms will work, even though we used the baby bella type. Fresh is always the best, but in a pinch you can use canned ones.
- Tomato Paste – This adds just a slight tomato flavor, and will help add to the thickening of the gravy a slight bit. It does have carbs so watch the portion that you add to the keto beef stew.
- Bay Leaf – Just one large one will do the trick of adding a good flavor. Pull it out of the keto beef stew before serving it.
- Red Wine Vinegar – Just adds a very slight acidic tart taste that helps to tenderize the meat.
- Bone Broth or Beef Stock – Either one will work good as a base for your gravy. Bone broth has some health benefits because of the collagen that’s in it along with other great nutrients.
- Garlic – When garlic is added to meat dishes it adds the best and unique flavor. After all, who doesn’t love garlic!
- Seasonings – Salt, Black Pepper, and Ground Thyme.
Flour Substitute in Beef Stew
In traditional beef stew, in order to thicken the beef juices you need to use something like flour or cornstarch. However, both of these ingredients are off limits because they will raise the carb count in the stew.
Instead of flour you need to use a low carb thickener. We like to use a product called xanthan gum which is a thickening and stabilizing ingredient. When you use it, you only use a little bit because a little goes a long way.
We use this also in our keto turkey gravy recipe, and it’s become a favorite among our family and friends who never even know they are eating something low carb.
What is the Best Meat for Beef Stew?
My recommendation is not to use “stew meat”, which you can buy already cut into cubes. It’s a much tougher meat than some others and you pay extra because you are buying something already cut up for you.
Instead use a chuck roast or pot roast and cut it yourself. It only takes a few minutes to cut it and the meat is a much better quality and will be more tender.
If I can get chuck-eye steaks in the store that are on sale, they are even more tender and that’s a treat to use in the low carb beef stew.
What Can I Substitute for Potatoes in Keto Soup?
Since using potatoes in the keto stew only adds unwanted carbs, we need to find something else to use without all the carbs. Here are our favorite substitutes:
For 100 grams = ½ cup
- Turnips – 4 Net Carbs -It is best to use the smaller in size turnips because they are sweet and are easier to cut. The large ones are much harder and can be bitter. Turnips pair well with beef and they have a slight nutty taste.
- Radishes – 1 Net Carb -These can be peeled and will resemble small, tiny potatoes. If you don’t feel like peeling them it’s ok to leave the skin on, but they will remain a light red/pink color.
- Jicama – 3 Net Carbs – This is a good potato substitute and take a look at our fries recipe too.
- Rutabaga – 5 Net Carbs – Another root veggie that is a cross between cabbage and turnips. It bakes and boils quite well.
- Cauliflower – 2 Net Carbs -This miracle veggie is a good replacement for a lot of carbs, rice, pasta, pizza crust and potatoes.
- Kohlrabi – 2 Net Carbs – This is a veggie that you may not have ever heard of before but it has a delicate flavor with a crunchy texture but it turns soft and mild when you cook it. Just take off the leaves and peel them.
Different Variations of Low Carb Beef Stew
Keto beef stew is a recipe that you can change up depending on the spice and vegetables that you add or remove. The ones we used are just a suggestion of what we feel is best but you can adjust things according to your family’s likes and dislikes.
Improvise if you don’t have a certain ingredient when you are trying to make it, as long as you keep the beef stew low carb.
- White Mushrooms
- Tomatoes fresh or canned
- Green Beans
Here are just a few other spices that you can add to the keto beef stew recipe.
- Onion Powder – or flakes of dried onion
- Paprika – Regular type, not smoked type
- Parsley – Fresh or dried
Beef Stew Cooking Methods
We will go over 3 ways to cook your keto beef stew:
- Stove Top
- Slow Cooker
- Instant Pot
Each of them is perfectly fine and your stew will come out excellent.
How to Make Beef Stew on the Stove from Scratch
Here are step-by-step instructions on how to make tender and delicious keto beef stew on the stove:
STEP 1: The first step is to cut your meat in bite size, cube shaped pieces and place them in a bowl. Add salt and pepper to the bowl and mix it well.
STEP 2: Peel the radishes. Cut, slice and chop the veggies.
STEP 3: Pour your oil in your dutch oven. Add the meat to the pan and lightly brown it up on all sides. Then take the meat out and put it in a bowl.
STEP 4: Add the garlic and the veggies to the pan, one by one, the onions, celery, carrots, mushrooms and radishes. Saute them lightly. Now add the spices, salt, pepper and thyme.
STEP 5: Add the meat back into the pan and begin to add the rest of the ingredients, one by one, first the beef broth, tomato paste, vinegar and top it off with your bay leaf. Make sure to mix everything together.
STEP 6: Stir, cover, and simmer until the meat is tender. Depending on how big you cut your meat will determine on how long it takes to be tender. My suggestion is to cook it for about 1-2 hours.
Remove the bay leaf and serve.
TIP: If you like your veggies on the soft side then add them at the same time as the meat. If you like them more crunchy then add them halfway through the cooking time.
Can I Make Keto Beef Stew in a Slow Cooker?
Since beef stew is a one pot meal, then it is a perfect meal to make in the slow cooker or crock pot.
Here are step by step directions to make beef stew in a crock pot:
- Your first step is to cut up your meat in bite size pieces, trying to cut them evenly so that they will cook at a similar timing.
- Cut up all of your veggies and peel your radishes.
- Next, in a frying pan add some olive oil, and brown the meat on all sides.
- Now add your meat to the slow cooker.
- Add all of your veggies, the carrots, onions, celery, radishes, mushrooms.
- Next add the rest of the ingredients, the broth, paste, vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme and bay leaf.
- Stir everything together and put the lid on and set your timing and whether it’s going to be on low for 5-6 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
- Add some xanthan gum to the crock pot, stir and continue to cook for another 5-10 minutes while the broth thickens.
- Now serve with our low carb dinner rolls or low carb bread.
Just keep in mind a few important things:
- Make sure to brown your meat on the outside ahead of time before putting it in the crock pot.
- If you put veggies in with the meat at the start of cooking they may cook faster and get soft. If you like them more crunchy then wait awhile and put the veggies in the last half of the cooking time.
Can I Make Beef Stew in an Instant Pot?
The instant pot which is similar to a pressure cooker, is also a good tool to make your beef stew in. It is a much quicker way to cook it than the slow cooker.
- Since the instant pot has a built-in searing option, then you can use it to brown up the meat. Cut up the meat in similar sized pieces for a more evenly cooked result. Take out the meat.
- The next step is to cut up all of your veggies and peel your radishes. Set aside.
- Add your broth to the instant pot and stir up all of the brown bits from the meat that are stuck on the bottom.
- Now add the meat back in along with the broth, and add the veggies, paste, vinegar, salt, pepper, thyme, chopped garlic and bay leaf.
- Now cover it and then cook on high pressure for 30 minutes. Now press the instant release button and be careful not to stand directly over it, so that you don’t get burned by any of the steam as it releases.
- Once the steam is released, open it up and remove a small amount of the broth and put in a small saucepan and turn the stove burner to medium heat. Add your xanthan gum and stir it into the broth, and add it a little at a time until you reach the desired thickness. Take it and stir it in with the rest of the stew and now serve with one of our low carb dinner rolls or keto bread.
FAQs & Best Tips
Now let’s answer some of the questions that you may have about making keto beef stew. We will also pass along to you some of the tips that we have learned in the times that we have made this recipe.
- The veggies will tend to cook faster than the meat will so if you like them crunchy then add your veggies the last half of the cooking time.
- Let the meat come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before you are ready to start cooking it. Searing cold meat will shock it and become tough.
How to Make Keto Beef Stew Thicker?
In most cases flour or cornstarch are what thicken beef stew. When you are not counting your carbs then it is no problem to use these ingredients.
However, if you are watching your carbs then it’s important to find something else that can thicken keto beef stew without pushing your carbs over the top for the day.
Xanthan Gum which works really well to thicken your gravy and give it stability. You can buy it at some stores, and if you can’t find it then get it online.
It may seem more expensive than flour but everytime we use it in a recipe we use a lot less than other thickeners. We used it a lot and our bag lasted us for over a year.
Also, adding a small amount of tomato paste to the pot will also thicken the broth slightly.
Adding More Richness and Flavor
- The more spices that you use will undoubtedly add more flavor to the keto-friendly beef stew.
- The variety of veggies will also add a larger amount of flavor, between onions, garlic, carrots, celery…etc.
Do I Need to Brown the Meat Before Making a Stew?
It is best to brown up your meat at first before adding the rest of the ingredients. It only takes a few minutes and makes the meat tastier and more tender.
How to Make the Meat More Tender?
- Using the right kind of meat makes a difference.
- Letting the meat come to room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking it.
- Browning the meat first will tenderize the meat as the fat is rendered.
- The longer the meat simmers in the broth with the lid on it tenderizes it.
- Adding just a small amount of vinegar also helps to break down the fat in the meat, making it more tender.
I used to buy stew meat, because logically you would think that’s the proper choice for beef stew. I was never happy with the quality of the meat, it always tended to be tough.
However, I learned that if you buy a chuck roast or pot roast and cut it myself, which only takes a few minutes, it’s a cheaper price per pound and the meat is more tender with a good beefy taste.
Cut it into cubes and trim off any large pieces of fat, while leaving the fat that is running through the meat. When cooked properly that’s where all of the tender flavor comes from.
Can I Use a Leftover Roast for Beef Stew?
Using leftover roast beef is ok for making beef stew too.
Since it is already cooked there is no need to brown it up. Just cut it into cubes, add all the other ingredients, including the veggies for sure at the same time, cook it on the stove with the lid on the pot and simmer.
I would simmer it for about 30-40 minutes, until the veggies reach the desired texture.
Other Diets This Recipe is Good For
- Gluten-free – There is no flour in keto beef stew, which means it’s a good choice for a gluten free meal.
- Dairy-free – There is no need to add any dairy products to this keto stew recipe. It is delicious without it.
- Sugar-free – No sugar in Keto-friendly beef stew.
- Nut-free – There are no nuts or any nut products in low carb beef stew.
- Paleo – Another good choice to make this low carb beef stew recipe for the paleo diet plan.
What to Serve with Low Carb Beef Stew?
My favorite thing to serve with low carb beef stew are rolls or bread. Either one is great for soaking up the extra gravy on your plate or in your bowl so that you don’t waste it.
We have 3 great recipes on our site that go perfect with this recipe:
Another thing that goes well with stew and soup is a simple green tossed salad.
Make Ahead and Storing Options
Any type of stew or soup is a meal that can be made a day or two in advance. In fact, I always think that meals like this taste better the next day as it gives a chance for all of the flavors to blend and enhance.
After you make it just stick it in an airtight plastic container which will assure it’s freshness longer. Then stick it in the refrigerator for about 4-5 days.
How to Reheat
You can heat up keto beef stew very quickly by taking out your desired portion and heating it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, depending on how much you are heating up at the same time.
You can also heat it up on the stove in a small saucepan, which will take only 5 minutes on medium heat, so that it doesn’t stick or burn.
Can You Freeze Beef Stew?
Keto beef stew is another perfect food to make and then freeze the leftovers. As always store your low carb stew in an airtight plastic container and it will stay fresh for several months.
When taking it out of the freezer for dinner, just take it out the night before and thaw slowly in the refrigerator. Or if you forget to thaw it out, take it out of the freezer and dump it into a saucepan and heat it slowly on the stove with a lid.
Tools to Use
- Cutting Board – To trim and cut the meat.
- Knife – To cut the meat into cube size pieces.
- Dutch Oven – To brown the meat and cook it in the same pot.
- Large Spoon – To serve the keto beef stew.
Other Low Carb Soup Recipes
If you are looking for more delicious keto-friendly recipes, try one of these:
- Keto Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- Cheesy Keto Cauliflower Soup
- Creamy Butternut Squash Soup
- Keto Chili
- Keto Chicken Soup
- Keto Taco Soup (Recipe Coming Soon)
All of them are Keto-friendly and low carb, and will have your friends raving!Print
Keto Beef Stew
- Total Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
- Yield: 9 servings (1 cup per serving) 1x
This recipe for keto beef stew is an easy to make, delicious and hearty one pot meal. When it’s cold outside it is a warm, hearty meal that satisfies you and fills you up. Just by making a couple of easy, but tasty alterations you can transform it from traditional to low carb beef stew, that your family will love and ask you to make it over and over again.
- 2 lbs stew meat
- 1 ½ cup chopped onion
- 14 small radishes
- 1 ½ cup chopped celery
- 1 ½ cup chopped carrots
- 1 ½ cup chopped baby bella mushrooms
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 4 cups beef bone broth, or beef stock
- 1 tbsp garlic
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp ground thyme
- Get your cutting board and knife and cut up the meat in cube shaped pieces, in approximately the same size for even cooking.
- Peel your radishes and chop up your veggies.
- Pour the oil into the dutch oven and turn the stove to medium heat. Add the beef and brown it on all sides. Remove the meat from the pan and stick it in a bowl.
- Then begin to add the rest of the ingredients, one by one, first the garlic and all of the veggies and saute them lightly. Add the spices, salt, pepper and thyme. Now add the meat back into the pot.
- Add the broth, tomato paste, vinegar and top it off with the bay leaf.
- Stir, cover, and simmer until the meat is tender. Depending on how big you cut your meat will depend on how long it takes to be tender. 1-2 hours will complete the cooking process.
- If you like your veggies on the soft side then add them at the same time as the meat. If you like them more crunchy then add them halfway through the cooking time.
- Remove the bay leaf and serve.
5.5 NET CARBS PER SERVING
Make sure to buy a chuck roast and cut it yourself. Try to cut the cubes in approx the same size for more even cooking.
Take your meat out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes ahead of time to bring it to room temperature.
Brown the meat first.
Use the celery leaves which will add a lot of extra flavor. I like to add them to all my soups and stew.
For crunchier veggies then add them after the meat is cooking for a while first.
Storing: Just put any uneaten portion into an airtight plastic container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.
Reheating: There are 2 quick and easy ways to heat up the low carb beef stew. One way is to put it in a microwave safe container and heat it for 1-2 minutes. The other way is to put some in a saucepan and heat it on medium heat on the stove for about 5 minutes.
Freezing: Keto beef stew freezes very well. Just put it in an airtight plastic container and then into a ziploc bag for double protection. If you wrap it well, it will last for a few months. Freezing it in serving size containers will make it easy for lunch or dinner.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Category: Main Courses
- Method: Boiling
- Cuisine: American
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