Beef Stew Without Wine

5 from 3 votes
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This recipe for super tasty Beef Stew Without Wine features tender chunks of beef, carrots, and potatoes, enveloped in a rich savory sauce. Comfort in a bowl!

Beef Stew Without Wine in a bowl.

When the weather starts getting cool outside, it’s time to cozy up inside with a bowl of hearty beef stew.

This old-fashioned beef stew is made without wine or flour and yet still produces a glossy, thicker stew which is incredibly tasty, and hearty. A great option if you are looking for a more wholesome homemade beef stew recipe!

Serve this Beef Stew Without Wine as a complete meal on its own or pair it with some Easy Homemade French Bread, or Sourdough Bread Grilled Cheese.

Stovetop Beef Stew Without Wine

This recipe eliminates the need for adding wine to beef stew and shows that with humble ingredients like crushed tomatoes and beef stock, you could make a really good stew on the stovetop.

The best part is that you don’t need any fancy appliances to make it. This isn’t slow cooker beef stew or instant pot beef stew, but rather a classic stovetop beef stew recipe! So don’t worry about needing a pressure cooker or crock pot.

You can still make a stew with tender beef using the stovetop method.

Side shot of beef stew without wine in a bowl.

I have been testing classic beef stew recipes over the years and I found that when I made the version with wine, like beef bourguignon, we did not like the flavor. And we didn’t also like the fact that there was wine in it.

Then I tried easy beef stew sans wine and while we preferred it, the typical added all-purpose flour made the stew unnecessarily heavy and gloopy. This can also happen with cornstarch, even if you only add a tablespoon of cornstarch. Not ideal either.

I tested without flour and it was just right. The consistency worked and the flavors bloomed more.

Flour is often added to the delicious stew for thickness. Through recipe testing, I found that crushed tomatoes added sufficient thickness and eliminated the need for flour.

Beef Stew Without Wine in white bowl.

The crushed tomatoes also provide some acidity (one reason why wine is added) which balances the richness of the stew well.

Flour tends to mask some of the flavors from the lovely spices and herbs added to stew. So it’s best to avoid it if you can.

Also, potatoes are starchy enough to provide just the right amount of thickness for stew.

So here we are with our family-favorite version of Stovetop Beef Stew Without Wine. My kids insist I must make this weekly.

I hope it becomes a regular on your family table as well. It is seriously the best thing on a cold night or chilly day. This one-pot meal is everything you need.

Also, If you are a fan of hearty flavors and easy recipes, check out my insanely good Roasted Tomato and Garlic Soup, which you can serve with yummy crusty bread.

Ingredients For Beef Stew

Here are the simple ingredients you need for this traditional beef stew recipe, and some notes on important ingredients.

Ingredients for beef stew without wine or flour.
  • Beef: Use chuck roast with a good marbling of fat. You should see veins of fat running through the meat. The beef labeled “stew meat” won’t cut it here as it doesn’t get tender as well as chuck roast would. The quality and cut of beef you use is important.
  • Beef Bouillon Powder: This enhances the beef flavor and it is truly one of the secrets of this recipe. Our favorite brand to use is Knorr Beef Bouillon Powder.
  • Crushed Tomatoes: This eliminates the need to use tomato paste, tomato sauce, and dice tomatoes. Instead, crushed tomatoes are an ideal form of broken-down tomatoes that are not too chunky and not too smooth. This adds texture to the stew, thickens the stew, and the acidity of the tomatoes balances all the flavors well, eliminating the need for red wine.
  • Beef Stock or Broth: To control the quantity of salt in the stew, use low-sodium beef stock or broth.
  • Herbs: A combination of thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf imbues the stew with flavor. You can also use fresh parsley. Some of the ingredients used here are dried herbs, so make sure to check the recipe carefully.
  • Minced Garlic: An essential for tasty stew. Finely mince the garlic on the chopping board, pass it through a garlic press, or grate on a microplane zester.

See the recipe card below with a detailed list of ingredients and instructions.

How To Make Beef Stew Without Wine

  • First, season the beef with salt, pepper, and beef bouillon powder. Beef bouillon powder is my secret ingredient for ensuring that the beef gets lots of flavor.
Seasoned beef in a white bowl.
  • Heat a bit of oil (olive oil or vegetable oil) in a large Dutch oven and brown the beef in batches. It cooks more evenly in batches since it can be in a single layer and form a nice brown crust. Also, the simple but perfect seasoning on the beef is so good you might want to eat half the beef before it makes it into the stew. (Not admitting to anything.)
Beef browning in a dutch oven.
  • Cook onions and celery in the beef fat and brown bits until broken down. This is the flavor base that will set up the beef stew for success.
Onions and celery cooking in Dutch oven.
  • Add minced garlic and cook to release the flavors. Be careful about the garlic’s cook time, as a long cooking time can cause it to burn. I also added some sliced mushrooms at this point. They’re an optional ingredient, but they add umami, more texture, and nutrients to the stew.
  • Add crushed tomatoes, beef broth, browned bits of beef, bay leaves, thyme, and rosemary to the hot pan. Make sure to give it a good stir with your wooden spoon. The ingredients meet together in the large pot for simmering action.
Dutch oven with beef, broth, crushed tomatoes.
  • Cook until beef is tender but still firm. Let the stew simmer and simmer. Your house will smell good making this Dutch oven beef stew!
Cooked beef stew without carrots and potatoes.
  • Add carrots and potatoes. The beef stew already looks great at this point but let’s take it further by adding carrots and potatoes, beef stew classics.
Raw carrots and potatoes added to pot of stew.
  • Cook until potatoes are fork-tender. It takes more than just 10-15 minutes for the potatoes to cook through, close to 25 to 30 minutes. Set the stovetop to medium heat for it to simmer so that the bottom of the pot doesn’t become too hot and scorch.
  • Adjust the texture and taste of the stew. Add more stock if it is too thick, or cook it down to the desired thickness on medium high heat if it is too runny. I usually add a little bit more beef bouillon powder and black pepper at this stage. If you are satisfied with your stew, remove the rosemary stems and bay leaves.
Completely cooked beef stew without wine.
  • Garnish and serve. Add the remaining ingredients, such as chopped parsley or chives sprinkled over the stew give it that cheffy finishing touch.

Serve Beef Stew Without Wine warm on its own or with your favorite side dishes. Consider serving the stew with Easy Dinner Rolls or Lettuce Salad.

Tips For Success

  • Make sure to use an adequately large, heavy-duty pot or dutch oven, such as a Le Creuset dutch oven. The last thing you want is run out of room when making the stew!
  • When it comes to herbs, you can add certain herbs during cooking, but you must hold off from adding fresh parsley or chives until the end so you can preserve their vibrant color and prevent them from wilting.
  • Take your time when cooking the stew. If you use high heat the entire time, the bottom will burn, or the beef will be tough and chewy instead of tender.
  • Cut the meat into even pieces so they will all cook at the same rate. I suggest making cubes that are about 1 1/2 inches, but they don’t have to be perfectly square; they can be rough-cut for a rustic look.
  • Similarly, the veggies should be chunky pieces; think 1- 1 1/2 inch cubes. If you cut them too small, they will break down too much and blend into the thick stew instead of being veggie pieces you can bite into.
  • If you have leftovers, you can transfer them to an airtight container and store them in the fridge. You can also freeze the stew. My preferred method for saving room in the freezer is to store the stew in freezer bags. Make sure to let it cool first before putting it into the plastic bags. Place the bag flat in the freezer until it hardens, and then you can stack things on top of it. Thaw it in the refrigerator before reheating.

If you try to brown all the beef at once, it will steam instead of sear and you won’t get a good browning on the outside. Browning beef and getting a good caramelization requires time and patience. So brown the beef in batches.

Substitutions For Beef Stew

  • Lamb – instead of beef, use lamb.
  • Chicken – consider using chicken instead of beef.
  • Vegetarian – replace the beef with mushrooms for a vegetarian stew.
  • Potatoes– you can also use yukon gold potatoes or baby potatoes.
  • Broth– of course, beef broth is the best option, but if you find yourself out of it, you can opt for chicken broth, but the overall flavor will be different.


  • Peas: Add peas at the end of cooking and let them cook in the stew for about 5 minutes.
  • Spicy: Add red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper to make it spicy.
  • Other flavors: add cumin and cinnamon for a stew with a Moroccan flare. Or try adding a splash of Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, or balsamic vinegar for depth of flavor.
  • Noodles: Add your favorite egg noodles towards the end of cooking!

Also, check out this African Chicken Stew and Lentil Stew.

Recipe FAQs

What can I use instead of wine in beef stew?

Use beef stock or beef broth. Or use a combination of beef bouillon powder and cold water.

Can I skip red wine in beef stew?

Yes, you definitely can. Red wine adds flavor to beef stew but it is not an essential ingredient. You can still make excellent beef stew without the wine.

How important is red wine in beef stew?

Red wine adds extra flavor and breaks down the meat to be tender. But you can achieve a flavorful stew by using just beef broth or beef stock and cooking the stew long enough on the stovetop for the meat to be tender.

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Serve this hearty stew with the following side dishes:

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Square picture for beef stew without wine.

Beef Stew Without Wine

5 from 3 votes
How to make the most incredible Beef Stew Without Wine, without flour, and without tomato paste. This wholesome beef stew is so tasty, it will quickly become your favorite way to make Beef Stew. Serve as is or with some crusty bread to mop the stew.
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 8 servings


  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 pounds chuck roast cut into 1½ inch chunks
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon beef bouillon powder
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 celery stalks diced
  • 2 Tablespoons minced garlic from about 8 cloves
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 4 medium carrots peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 1 pound russet potatoes about 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1½-inch chunks
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Minced parsley or chives for garnish
  • Crusty bread for serving


  • Season the beef: Add the salt, ground black pepper, and beef bouillon powder to the beef chunks. Toss well to combine.
  • Brown the beef: Place a medium Dutch oven on high heat. Add the olive oil. Heat up for two minutes. Add part of the seasoned beef and brown all around. You'll need to brown the beef in batches (see Note 1). Avoid overcrowding the pan to get a nice sear.
  • Sauté the aromatics: To the same pot the beef was browned, leaving the fat from the beef in the pot, add the diced onion and celery. Let it cook in the fat while stirring from time to time for about 4 minutes until the onion softens. Add the minced garlic and let it sauté for 30 seconds. Be careful not to overcook and burn the garlic.
  • Add the remaining ingredients: To the pot add the crushed tomatoes, beef stock, browned beef, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil on high heat then reduce to a simmer on medium heat and let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Add carrots and potatoes: Add the carrots and potatoes, cover the pot, and let it simmer for about 25 to 30 minutes or until the potatoes are fully cooked. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. I usually add about ½ a teaspoon more beef bouillon powder at this point.
  • Adjust the stew's consistency: If it is too soupy, increase the heat and let it cook until reduced. Remove the rosemary stems and bay leaves.
  • Garnish and serve: Garnish with minced parsley or chives and serve warm with crusty bread.


Beef: Chuck roast or round roast would work. Brown the beef in badges to get a nice steam and prevent the beef from steaming instead of searing.
Potatoes: After peeling and cutting the potatoes into chunks, soak them in cold water to prevent oxidization (color changing).
Adding mushrooms: Mushrooms are a great addition to this beef stew. If you choose to add mushrooms, use about 8 ounces of sliced mushrooms and saute them in the same pot after sauteeing the aromatics.
Storage: Refrigerate this beef stew for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.


Calories: 688kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 55g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 129mg | Sodium: 31407mg | Potassium: 1751mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 5344IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 162mg | Iron: 7mg

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Western
Calories: 688
Tried this recipe?Mention @preciouscore or tag #PreciousCore!

About Precious

Welcome to my core! I am Precious Nkeih, the recipe developer and writer right here on my blog, Precious Core. My goal is to show you insanely delicious recipes you can replicate in your kitchen. And I love to tell stories too. Hope you find recipes here that will make cooking easier for you! Check me out on YouTube at

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