This Whole30 Budget Beef Stew was a quick favorite for my family and a growing number of you. Beef stew was one of my comfort food favorites as a kid. But stew meat can be pricey, so I created this affordable, budget-friendly version of beef stew with ground beef instead.
This stew is easy to make and is kid-friendly. I love the simplicity of making this in the Instant Pot, but it also works great on the stove or in a slow cooker. It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, egg-free and freezer-friendly.
It tastes just as delicious and has the fantastic bonus of having hidden veggies in the broth! My boys aren’t fans of cauliflower, but they haven’t been able to sniff it out yet in this Whole30 Budget Beef Stew. The cooked cauliflower is blended into the broth to make the broth thicker and the cauliflower more subtle.
Blending cooked cauliflower into the broth of a soup is a fantastic veggie hack. Use it on any soup for a nice creamy result. I add cauliflower one way or another into most of my soups.
And YES! There is even a vegan option?! It’s a few simple swaps. Use vegetable broth instead of beef broth. And use vegan beef crumbles instead of the ground beef. I love these Whole30 Approved “Beef” Crumbles by Abbot’s Butcher. I tried them and was shocked how similar they tasted in texture and flavor to meat, yet are fully vegan.
- Ground beef – You can use any leanness you prefer.
- Beef broth or Bone Broth – I use whatever compatible version I can find that is the most affordable. I do love that Walmart now carries Kettle and Fire, if you are looking for an approachable Whole30 Approved brand.
- Canned tomato sauce – I often use the store brand here.
- Dried minced onion, thyme, bay leaf – I often get my spices from the bulk bins at Winco. They are a great budget-friendly option, allowing you to only buy as much as you need.
- Salt – Just regular old table salt here.
- Ground black pepper
- Yukon gold or russet potatoes – Use whatever is accessible or you need to use up!
- Carrots – Same here: use baby carrots or full-sized carrots. I don’t peel them first, but you can if you prefer.
- Fresh head of cauliflower – I put this in at the end so it’s easy to pull out and blend into the broth at the end.
- Frozen peas – We love to add these at the very end, just before serving. It helps cool down the stew so you can dive in sooner!
This recipe is a sample from my cookbook Whole Food for Your Family, which has 100+ budget- and family-friendly recipes. You can learn more or grab a copy of my cookbook HERE!
Whole30 Budget Beef Stew
- 2 pounds ground beef see notes for vegan option
- 4 cups beef broth or bone broth see notes for vegan option
- 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons dried minced onion
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1 pound Yukon gold or russet potatoes, chopped
- 3 medium or 2 large fresh carrots, chopped
- 1 large head fresh cauliflower, leaves removed and head chopped into large florets
- 1 10 ounce bag frozen peas optional
- In a large pot over medium heat on the stove or in an Instant Pot on Saute, cook the ground beef until browned and no longer pink, about 10 minutes.
- Add all other ingredients to the pot, Instant pot, or slow cooker (adding ground beef to slow cooker as well).
- STOVE: Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer over medium heat and cook, covered, for 30 minutes, until veggies are tender, stirring occasionally.
- INSTANT POT: Seal the Instant Pot lid and cook on the Stew setting for 25 minutes. Manually release the steam when done.
- SLOW COOKER: Fasten the lid and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
- ALL METHODS - DON'T MISS THIS STEP! Once the cooking time is finished, remove the bay leaf. Scoop out all the cauliflower florets and some of the broth and puree them in a blender or food processor at high speed until creamy. Return the mixture to the stew and stir until well combined.
- Stir in frozen green peas. This will help cool it off! Let the frozen green peas sit in the stew for 5 minutes before serving.
- TO FREEZE: Store in a sealed container for up to 3 months. We prefer to do this in individual portions.