Whole30 Budget Beef Stew
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Whole30 Budget Beef Stew - Paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, egg-free. Instant pot, slow cooker, or oven. Easy!

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.

Hidden Veggies? 

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.

Vegan Option

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!

You’re going to love this Whole30 Budget Beef Stew!cookbook

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 - Paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, egg-free. Instant pot, slow cooker, or oven. Easy!

Whole30 Budget Beef Stew

Autumn @wholefoodfor7
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 people (1 1/2 cups each)


  • 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.


VEGAN OPTION: Use vegan ground "beef" crumbles instead. I love Abbott's, which are also Whole30 Approved. And use vegetable broth instead of beef broth.




  1. 5 stars
    Another keeper! This will be a regular staple in my house. So yummy!!

    • WAHOO! I’m thrilled this one was a family win and is going on the regular rotation. Thank you! <3

  2. My whole family really liked this. I made a few small additions–chopped onion when I browned the beef, chopped portobello mushrooms and extra spices (paprika, onion powder, mushroom powder). Otherwise I followed the recipe and made it in the instantpot. The blended cauliflower was a really nice touch. I’ll definitely make it again!

    • I love that it was a family win! Thanks for sharing what additions you made, sounds delicious. And thanks so much for the review, I appreciate it!

  3. 5 stars
    Yummmmy! My family laughed when I told them the name and what i was cooking and what all was in it, but guess what? They all loved it and got seconds. We were left with zero leftovers.I love this cookbook. Everyday I find myself flipping through it to find substitutions for things and how to cook something new.

    • WOOT WOOT! I’m so happy it was a family win and you are loving my cookbook. Thank you!

  4. 5 stars
    This is one of the first recipes I have tried from whole food for 7 and it will not be the last! Holy moly! Sooo delicious and affordable! My meal prep for the week did not take long at all mainly due to this quick recipe! Thank you so much for sharing your recipes!

    • I’m so happy this recipe proved to be delicious, easy, and budget-friendly – exactly what I was going for. Thanks for the review!

  5. 5 stars
    Just made this tonight and it’s great! My husband couldn’t tell there was cauliflower in it either! Great way to use of a lot of veggies in my fridge. I added more carrots, used a full 16 ounce bag of peas, a few stalks of celery, and fresh garlic along with the garlic powder.

    • LOVE a veggie win and so glad this was one! Thanks for sharing what additions you enjoyed and for the review!

      • Do your think frozen rice cauliflower would work in this recipe? I have some on hand and then I could skip the blender step. Less dishes! Haha

        • Frozen cauliflower rice would work yes. Keep in mind the blender step is to thicken the broth of the stew. If you just add the cauliflower rice in, just know it will be a broth soup instead of more a thick stew. Enjoy!

        • 5 stars
          I add is a head of cauli chopped up & don’t remove any at the end. Faster & tastes amazing. I would think the cauli rice would be similar outcome.


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