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Beef Stew with Dumplings is a delicious, classic recipe and the ultimate comfort food!

Beef Stew with Dumplings


I’m often told that I am very lucky to have a husband who loves to cook – and they are absolutely correct.  It’s an added bonus that he also happens to be a very, very good cook!  So – lucky me –  this past weekend Jack was in the mood to make this savory Beef Stew with Dumplings for us, and the aromas filling the house were just amazing!

This Beef Stew and Dumplings recipe is one of the very first recipes we shared here on A Family Feast when we started our blog over five years ago, and with so many other recipes to make over the years, this oldie but goodie has been hidden in the archives.  So, with a pot of beef stew simmering away on the stove, we decided to update the pictures too, and reshare this delicious recipe today.

Beef Stew with Dumplings

A good Beef Stew with Dumplings is one of those classic recipes that everyone should have in their family’s recipe collection! This Beef Stew with Dumplings starts out like most other beef stew recipes: tender chunks of beef, carrots, potatoes and onions layered in a thick gravy.  But what really makes this special is the addition of some red wine, tomato paste, thyme and other seasonings that you might not expect – that really enhance the flavors of the meat and vegetables.


Beef Stew with Dumplings

Full disclosure: This Beef Stew with Dumplings is a somewhat time-consuming recipe as it will take about three hours to cook. (Most of that cooking time is with the pot simmering away on the stove so you can go do other things around the house.) But after one bite, I think you’ll agree that the time it takes to make this Beef Stew with Dumplings is totally worth the wait!

Beef Stew with Dumplings

This Beef Stew with Dumplings recipe makes a fairly large quantity as well so it’s great for feeding a crowd, or for enjoying as leftovers the next day.



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Beef Stew with Dumplings

Beef Stew with Dumplings

  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: 8-10 servings


For the beef stew

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, separated

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, separated

2 1/2 pounds beef chuck cut into 2” cubes

2 cups onion, chopped

2 tablespoons garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/2 cup red wine

3 quarts beef stock

1 quart water

2 bay leaves

2 teaspoons dried thyme

1 teaspoon paprika

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

4 cups carrots, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces (1 1/2 pounds)

4 cups russet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces (1 1/2 pounds)

1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and quartered

2 10-ounce packages pearl onions, *see below for instructions

1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley chopped

1 cup frozen green peas, thawed

For the dumplings

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon dried thyme

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

3/4 cup whole milk


Mix flour, salt and pepper together in a bowl. Dredge beef cubes in flour and remove, shaking off excess flour.

Over medium high heat, melt one tablespoon of butter and one tablespoon of oil in 6-quart heavy bottomed stock pot or Dutch oven until slightly brown and frothy. Place half of the beef in the hot fat making sure that meat pieces do not touch each other. Sear two minutes per side. Remove from pan and heat another tablespoon of butter and oil then cook the second half of the meat. Remove meat from pan when done and set aside. Total time to sear all the meat is 15 minutes.

Turn heat to medium and add the remaining butter and olive oil to the pan. Add in chopped onions and cook three minutes. Add chopped garlic and cook for one more minute. Add tomato paste and cook for an additional minute.

Add in red wine to deglaze pan, scraping up any brown bits from bottom.

Add browned beef cubes, stock, water, bay leaf, thyme, paprika, Worcestershire sauce and sugar. Bring to a boil then turn heat down to a simmer and cover pot with lid slightly ajar. Simmer for 2 ½ hours or until beef is tender, adjusting water as needed. If all of the liquid does not fit, set some aside and add later as the liquid in the pan evaporates. Either way, check at the two hour mark and if needed, add more liquid. We used exactly four quarts of liquid (Three quarts beef stock and one quart of water).

After 2 1/2 hours, add in carrots, potatoes, green beans, pearl onions and parsley and simmer for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

While vegetables are cooking, prepare dumpling batter as follows: Sift flour, baking powder and sugar together. Add salt and thyme into the bowl and then cut in butter with a fork until pieces are rice size. Add milk and stir with spoon until mixed.

Add green peas to stew, adjust seasoning and turn heat to low. Remove and discard bay leaves.

Drop heaping tablespoons of dumpling batter into stew until all batter is used. (Do NOT just pour the dumpling batter in all at once.) Cover and cook 15 minutes without lifting the lid. Check and if they are not puffed up enough, cook for another minute or two covered. Ours took exactly 15 minutes .

Serve bowls of stew with dumplings on top.


To clean the pearl onions, bring a sauce pan of water to a boil and add onions with the skin on and once boiling, time three minutes. Have a bowl of ice water standing by. After three minutes, use a spider or strainer and scoop out onions into the ice water. Drain and cut the root ends off of each onion then holding the other end, squeeze, and the onion will pop out of its skin.

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Beef Stew with Dumplings


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  • Loren wrote:

    this sounds delicious if you are cooking for an army. I would love to try it cooking for one only, leftovers are always a plus.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Loren – I always tease my husband Jack that he is incapable of cooking small quantities of food. 🙂 I guess that’s why we decided to call our site A Family Feast – rather than family cook for two, or something like that!
      You can certainly cut the recipe in half (or less) to make smaller quantities, or consider freezing the stew (without the dumplings) to eat later.

  • Vic wrote:

    I wish I had read the comments before following the recipe. I thought a cup of milk would be too much but who am I to disagree with a recipe? The dumpling batter was liquid. It was runnier than the stew itself.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks for your feedback Vic – As we noted in response to the earlier comments, we retested the recipe with the full cup of milk and the images you see in the post are the dumplings with the full cup. We’re puzzled as to why you and some other readers are seeing such different results. Sorry you were disappointed.

      • Jack wrote:

        This is Jack. I retested and can see how some of you may end up with a dumpling that is too wet. I cut the milk back to 3/4 cup and adjusted the recipe.

  • Doris wrote:

    Hi Martha!
    Glad to hear you and Jack and family are all well. And yes… we are extremely proud of Aly and her accomplishment and many thanks for the kind words . Too bad she can’t enjoy this recipe …. a vegan in our midst! LOL! Blessings to all of you!

  • Doris wrote:

    Hi Martha and Jack!
    Just wanted to say hello once again and let you know I still look at your web page but don’t post that often. Hope you and yours are staying safe from all perils , especially the Covid thing. In any case, I have the beef stew simmering on the stove as I type… has always been my go to recipe from now on since I first saw it on your blog. It never fails to win raves from friends and family. By the way.. my daughter just received a new job offer from Harvard!!! Yes, she accepted. Will be moving to Cambridge soon but she has been a grad student at Brandeis and is teaching a virtual class at U-Mass. Hope to be visiting one day soon. I wish her grandmother was still here to see how her grand baby turned out. Thanks for all your wonderful recipes and stay safe and healthy.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Doris – Nice to hear from you! We are well and I hope you are too.

      Congrats to your daughter – very impressive…You must be very, very proud of her! Fall in the Boston/Cambridge area is a wonderful time to visit.

      So glad you are enjoying the stew recipe! Take care and thanks for checking in, Martha

  • Patricia Anderson wrote:

    Stew was very tasty, however 1 cup of milk was way to much as I thought. I added some additional self rising flour and just about 1/2 tsp of dried thyme. The dumplings were fine w/additional flour. Probably 1/2 to 2/3 milk would work better w/the 1 cup of flour! Great stew

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Patricia – We had similar feedback about a year ago and re-tested the recipe to confirm the quantity of milk as written. Ours came out plump and moist with the one cup of milk. If you are used to a drier batter or dumplings, feel free to start with less milk.

  • Dorothy Harrison wrote:

    love all your recipes

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Dorothy!

  • Theresa Capri wrote:

    Thank you for the recipe! Bringing this recipe to someone’s house for dinner, I was too scared to make the dumplings as directed because they were like pancake batter instead of the dumplings I have made before that you spoon on. I probably added a half cup flour to the original recipe so they were spoonable and they turned out great! Nice and fluffy. Next time, when I can do something less familiar (just my husband and I) I will make as directed and see how they turn out. Thanks again!

    • Martha wrote:

      Glad you enjoyed the recipe Theresa!

  • Nazia Cox wrote:

    Wow. What a delicious recipe. Thank you for sharing.

    • Martha wrote:

      Glad you liked it Nazia!

  • Rosina wrote:

    The recipe is great. The dumpling recipe is not so great! Dumpling mixture has too much milk and the batter did not form dumplings.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks for your feedback Rosina – We had similar feedback about a year ago and re-tested the recipe to confirm the quantity of milk as written. Ours came out plump and moist with the one cup of milk. If you are used to a drier batter or dumplings, feel free to start with less milk.

  • Jess wrote:

    As written the dumpling recipe fails and I was most excited about those! One cup of milk is way too much. I added about a half cup of flour and additional salt. So I’d cut the original recipe to a half cup and maybe more as needed. Stew is good.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks for your feedback Jess – we had similar feedback about a year ago and re-tested the recipe to confirm the quantity of milk as written. Ours came out plump and moist with the one cup of milk. If you are used to a drier batter or dumplings, feel free to start with less as you suggested.

  • John logan wrote:

    Stew was well received but thank goodness I used my own dumpling recipe. One cup of milk and one cup of flour is a pancake recipe, not dumpling.

    • Martha wrote:

      Glad you enjoyed the stew John!

  • Nancy Crist wrote:

    I am a single person and I made this stew to have for 2 weeks of food. It is so good and I can freeze some of it to get me threw, so its a good meal even for single people to make there food supply last for a while. I plane on making mashed potatoes and putting it over them to make it even last longer. I thank you for posting this yummy recipe.

    • Martha wrote:

      You are welcome Nancy – glad you enjoy the recipe!

  • MaryAnn Alek wrote:

    I was just wondering if this stew could be made in my slow cooker ?

    • Jack wrote:


      It would be difficult but not impossible. Some of the steps would need to be done outside the slow cooker at the beginning and at the end which sort of negates the convenience of using a slow cooker. About the only part where the slow cooker could come in handy is the cooking portion where the meat cooks on the stove for 2 1/2 hours. In a slow cooker the cooking time may double or triple, depending on your use of low or high. So in that respect, you could perform the searing of the meat on the stove top then let it cook away in the slow cooker for half a day while you did other things. But you still need to come back and add the vegetables and cook the stew longer then make the dumplings. In my opinion, it wouldn’t be worth the time and energy. Maybe this question is what I need to get a slow cooker beef stew recipe developed this winter. Just added it to my to-do list.

  • Paul wrote:

    Tastes awesome, but I went a teaspoon of dried thyme – I think 2 teaspoons would have completely overpowered the flavours, especially with the additional teaspoon in the dumplings – otherwise perfect!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks for your feedback Paul!

  • E farley wrote:

    Do not use 1 cup of milk!!! Dumpling batter was runny! I should have known better than to use a whole cup of milk!!

    • Jack wrote:

      In the event I mistyped this, I will plan on making and testing the batter in the next few days. Apologize in advance if I messed up. Stay tuned, will report back.

      • Jack wrote:

        I made this tonight following the recipe and the dumplings came out plump and moist. Any chance you left out the baking powder?

  • Maria wrote:

    I can’t wait to try the beef stew. Looks yummy. I don’t like wine because of my grandchildren who eat with us almost everyday. Can I use something else in place of it please. Please let me know. Thank you so much. 😊

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Maria – You can swap in some beef stock for the wine. Enjoy!

  • Amanda wrote:

    Wow ! I have to start by saying my husband and daughter are the pickiest eaters I have ever encountered and they both gobbled this up ! My daughter has riding lessons today so I started the stew around 12. Did everything up untill adding the veggies . I set it aside on the stove top once I got to that step and this evening when we got home from riding around 5:30 I brought it back to a simmer and added the veggies and made the dumplings. It turned out perfect and I was so impressed with myself lol . ( also it was a perfect dinner for us after the freezing cold 1.5 hrs outside during the lesson ) I’m adding this recipe to my book ! Thankyou so much 🙂

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re very welcome Amanda! As the mom of a picky eater myself, I especially love hearing about when picky eaters enjoy our recipes! 🙂 Glad it was a hit!

  • Melinda wrote:

    Made the recipe to the exact instructions and the dumplings were extremely runny and I had to research and other recipe and try again.
    This needs some altering.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks for the feedback Melinda – Was the dumpling batter runny before or after cooking? It will be a somewhat runny batter before you add it to the pot and as it cooks, it should puff up (if it’s still too soft, just cook a little longer).

  • A_Boleyn wrote:

    I just learned about this beef stew with dumplings having previously only heard about chicken and dumplings. I’m curious as to the origin of the dish. Is it an American regional dish? It looks delicious. Very hearty and tasty.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi A – I actually don’t know the origin! I’m sorry I can’t be more help to you about that! Hope you enjoy the recipe!

  • Antionette Huddleson wrote:

    Do u have to use the red wine?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi – You can substitute beef stock for the red wine.

  • D J Richert wrote:

    Way too many steps for what should be a very simple dish. Could be done just as well with half the work.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks for taking the time to share your feedback DJ. I’m sure our readers would love to know what short cuts you’ve taken?!

  • Andrea Swann wrote:

    Best stew ever!
    When I try a recipe for the first time I don’t change anything to get a true idea of the recipe. I did, however, reduce the liquid .. no water …. just the amount the recipe said for beef stock.
    This will be the new “go to” stew in this house!!
    I look forward to trying more recipes from this blog.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Andrea! So glad you enjoyed the stew – and we’re glad you found us!

  • Emily wrote:

    My daughter had a similar dish at a school camp and loved it. she says this one is exactly the same .

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Emily! I’m glad your daughter enjoyed it!

  • Doris wrote:

    I made this recipe Monday —I can only tell you that it was by far the best Beef stew we ever had!! My son had three helpings (he is a big guy) and plenty left over for him to take to work. I did not use the dumpling recipe , however, as I had some of the famous pancake mix to use up and I did add some Cheddar cheese to the mix before placing on the stew. Also, I did not use as much liquid as you posted —-just the 32 oz.of beef stock, some water, and a can of french onion soup (not condensed). I followed all else to a tee . The best compliment you could get is “Hey,Mom, when are you making this again?”. Thanks for a wonderful recipe! Oh! I used Merlot for the wine.

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re very welcome Doris! So glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Doris wrote:

    Hello Martha:
    I have not made beef stew and dumplings for a long time but this recipe has certainly got my mouth watering again for it. Instead of using the freash pearl onions, I would save some time and use the frozen ones ( of course, if you think that is OK). It really brings back memories for me making this dish and glad I happened upon it today. Oh, by the way, I would use a can of store bought french onion soup in addition to the beef stock. Absolutley the perfect meal for the chilly days we have had recently . Thanks for a keeper!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Doris – You can absolutely use the frozen fresh pearl onions if you’d prefer! We hope our recipe is as good as the beef stew and dumplings you’ve had in the past. Enjoy!

  • Paul wrote:

    Great recipe! I have adjusted some things but its a great recipe to have if you ever have a leftover steak from the night before. I pulled out all the stops the other night and for those of you who dont like the slimey texture of dumplings what i did is after they were all cooked nicely in the stew get a small fying pan with olive oil or whatever you prefer but deep fry them to make a nice golden brown crisp with a nice gooey inside. The kids loved it that way. Just an idea. All in all a great recipe!!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Paul!

  • Colette wrote:

    Hello – I tried your recipe last night, and I have to say…..DELICIOUS! This is the closest I have come to how I think a stew should taste. I had a difficulty with the amount of liquid though and hope you can clarify for me. It says 3 qts beef stock plus 1-2 qts water. When I added the 3 qts beef stock in my 6 qt pot….it was full already, and I couldn’t add anymore. After simmering 2 1/2 hours, the liquid really didn’t go down much, so I never added any water. I am not a very good cook, and I am wondering if I couldn’t add water because I didn’t simmer the stew on a high enough heat… or sometimes this just happens, or if the amount of liquid should be 3 qts beef stock and add water later, only if needed? Other that that – it was very, very good and thank you so much for sharing.

    • Martha wrote:

      This is Jack. We have a note in the recipe that talks about the cut of meat and the amount of water. There are a lot of variables in a dish like this such as heat intensity, how much liquid evaporates, the cut of meat, etc. that the amount of water, if any, will vary. You can always add it later and and real hard to remove it of you add too much so the way you cooked it was perfect. Who says you are not a very good cook?

  • Kelly Rightmire wrote:

    This has been a Family tradition since I was a child! Making some now!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hope you enjoy the recipe Kelly!

  • Angela wrote:

    Made this for dinner tonight and it is amazing!!! I’m notorious for adding extra of everything, meat, garlic and of course onions, so I had to make my own adjustments and it still came out great! Great recipe and I love when I have to open a bottle of wine for a recipe, makes for a great evening finishing it.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you so much Angela! We’re glad you enjoyed the recipe!

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