Jump to Recipe·Print RecipeToday we’re talking about how to make easy beef stew faster than you ever thought possible. Do you know that traditional beef stew is a two and a half hour ordeal? Not here! We pack our easy beef stew with tons of veggies — cabbage, peas, carrots, even mushrooms — and do it in record time. 

How to make easy beef stew fast

Don’t hesitate to knock at least 45 minutes off the cooking time of your favorite beef stew recipe with these flavor-boosting moves:

  • Start by crisping a few slices of bacon in the soup pan.
  • Skip peeling carrots or potatoes. Just wash them well. Done.
  • No tiny can of tomato paste? Use a glug of ketchup instead.
  • Adding a glass of red wine never hurts. The alcohol cooks out but the gorgeous flavor remains.
  • Never, ever skimp on the onions or garlic.
  • Throw in a splash of Worcestershire sauce for a shortcut to that deep flavor you get from cooking for hours.
  • Use soy sauce in place of salt. Same reason.
  • Double the veggies called for and substitute what you already have hiding out in the freezer/pantry/fridge.


How to Make Easy Beef Stew Fast

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A faster, shortcut method for making easy beef stew packed with vegetables.

  • Author: Charity Curley Mathews



  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound beef stewing meat, trimmed and cut into inch cubes (I used a London Broil and sliced it up at home)
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
  • 2 garlic diced garlic cloves (or use 2 teaspoons of the pre-diced jars)
  • 78 medium carrots cut into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms (any kind)
  • 2 large yellow potatoes and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1/2 medium cabbage, sliced into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (or ketchup)
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce
  • 4 cups beef broth, homemade or low-sodium canned (I use “Better than Bouillon“) 
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 4 teaspoons butter


Cook the meat. 

Use kitchen shears to slice the bacon into small pieces, about 1/2 inch or so. (Or cook the bacon whole and break it up when you’re done.) Cook the bacon on medium heat in a large pan. A Dutch oven is ideal. Remove the bacon when it’s crispy. Put it on a large plate lined with paper towels and set aside (sorry for the extra dish but it’s really worth it!)

Use another paper towel to dab the moisture off the beef. This helps with searing. Sprinkle pepper on top. Add the beef to the pot, cooking in the bacon fat. Don’t touch it for 2 minutes. Then stir. Leave for 2 minutes, and so on. Repeat until the meat is browned on all sides, about 10 minutes maximum. Remove the meat to the same plate/platter with the bacon.

Soften the vegetables. 

Turn the heat down to medium-low so you don’t burn all those juices in the pan. Add the onions and cook until they just start to soften, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, carrots, cabbage, mushrooms and potatoes. Cook for about 10 minutes until the edges start to soften.

Add the flavorings. 

Turn the heat back up to medium-high. Add the tomato paste to the vegetables and stir. Pour the vinegar, wine, Worchestershire sauce and soy sauce into the vegetables and cook for 2 minutes, just allowing the intensity to cook off. Scrape the bottom of the pan to make sure all the crunchy bits are worked into the liquid.

Put the stew all together. 

Gently add the meat and bacon back to the pot. Pour the beef stock over the top. Your pot should be very full. If the vegetables and beef are peeking out of the liquid, add enough water to just cover them. Top with the bay leaves. Place a lid on top and cook for 45 minutes on LOW.

Thicken the stew. 

When the stew is bubbling and everything is tender, you’re ready to thicken it up. Use a mug or liquid measuring cup: add 2 teaspoons of cornstarch plus 1/2 cup of cold water. Whisk it together with a fork or mini whisk until smooth. Pour into the pot. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes until the mixture begins to thicken.


Add frozen peas plus butter just before serving. The butter makes the stew silky and the peas give it a colorful pop. But be careful. This stew is still VERY hot so be careful when serving. Sprinkle with a tiny bit of diced parsley if you want to be fancy.


Don’t have all the veggies on hand? Substitute with whatever you’ve got!

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us — we can’t wait to see what you’ve made!

That’s it! Our easy beef stew comes together in half the time of a traditional stew. 

Tip for Serving kids

Serve kids TINY portions! It’s not overwhelming to reluctant eaters. Plus kids control whether to try more. I use espresso mugs, dipping bowls, small ramekins, even egg cups. 

Foodlets review

What did our kids really think? 

(out of four) “Take a bite and just bathe in deliciousness.” Estelle, age 9 

Perfect sides for Easy beef stew

Serve your beef stew with one of these gorgeous (but still doable) homemade breads! 

30-Minute Soft Dinner Rolls

Healthy Cornbread


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