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

Autumn @wholefoodfor7
A nourishing budget-friendly stew that is EASY and packed with veggies your kids will actually eat. Instant pot, slow cooker, or stove.
5 from 12 votes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 8 people (1 1/2 cups each)
Calories 340 kcal


  • 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.


Calories: 340kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 26gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 77mgSodium: 1445mgPotassium: 1059mgFiber: 4gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 3838IUVitamin C: 64mgCalcium: 70mgIron: 4mg
Keyword budget-friendly, dairy-free, easy, egg-free, gluten-free, kid-friendly, main dish, nut-free, paleo, plant-based, vegan, whole30
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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



  1. Looks delicious. I an intolerant of potatoes. Do you think radishes or butternut squash would sub well?

    • Hi! Great question. YES, I have a friend who is keto and subs out turnips with great success. Radishes or squash would probably work as well. It just depends on your desired flavor profile. Let me know if you try it!

  2. 5 stars
    So warm, hearty, comforting, easy and awesome! Very impressed with this dish and so was my family and parents who were with us that night too!

    • WOOT WOOT that everyone, including your parents, loved this one. Such a comforting hearty soup indeed! Thank you!

  3. I have been making this on repeat this winter, it’s so good! This recipe is quick and easy to prep but has so much flavor. I usually have the ingredients on hand which is a win. I also prep this for work lunches in mason jars for the week!

    • HOORAY that this has been on your regular rotation this season. So happy to hear you’ve found it easy and flavorful. Love that you are using it as meal prep – so smart. Thanks for the review!

  4. 5 stars
    Wow this is such an amazing recipe!! We loved it so much it may be a regular in the meal rotation!! I am stunned that the blended cauliflower makes this so gravy like! Thank you, Autumn, for another amazing recipe.

    • YAY! Isn’t that cauliflower hack fantastic?! I’m so glad you loved this recipe and plan on making it regularly. Thrilled to hear it and thank you for the review!

  5. 5 stars
    Hands down my favorite beef stew recipe! The flavor is amazing, and I LOVE the hack to make it creamy by using blended cauliflower. I now use that trick in so many other soup recipes to make them creamy while also getting more veggies. A must try!

    • YES! That cauliflower hack to thicken soups and add veggies is golden. I’m so happy you are using it in all the things! Glad this recipe is a favorite – thank you!

  6. This was SUCH a hit in my house!! I didn’t have huge expectations especially with some picky kiddos but one at it and loved it and my husband and I could not believe cauliflower could give such a hearty addition and not taste like cauliflower. Such a hit and will definitely make again!

    • Love it when we can get veggies in and still be so delicious. And YES for the picky eater win – those are huge! Im happy to hear it’s one you want to make again. Thanks for the review!

  7. 5 stars
    I didn’t have beef , but had some chicken I needed to use, so I made this with shredded chicken. It tastes just like the filling of a chicken pot pie! Will try with beef as well, but it is definitely a winner with the chicken!

    • Oh, that’s great to know it was delicious with chicken – I haven’t tried that! Glad it was still enjoyed. Thanks for the review!

  8. 5 stars
    On a frigid Winter day in Ohio, this stew is a must have! I have some frozen in my freezer now! This is so hearty and filling. You don’t need a lot to get you full! What a wonderful meal to fill you up AND fuel you for the day ahead! I doubled this recipe so I would have plenty to freeze and reheat for busy hockey weekend tournaments! No excuse to not be able to still eat well on the go!

    • I agree – this soup is SO filling! I love that it’s one you want to double batch and it does freeze wonderfully. And I adore that it’s keeping you cozy at a hockey tournament. Thanks so much for the review!

  9. 5 stars
    This is one of top recipes made at my house. My 3 year old will eat THREE BOWLS of this. It is so yummy and nutritious! It reheats and freezes well!

    • Oh my gosh, the picture of your 3 year old eating 3 bowls…that’s just so fantastic! LOVE that this recipe is enjoyed and nourishing your family well. Thanks for the review!

  10. 5 stars
    Delicious, easy to follow recipe that was quick to make. The puréed cauliflower really did thicken the broth and you’d never know it was there. Great recipe!

    • Thanks Carrie! So happy this was an easy delicious win. And big YES to hidden veggies that truly are hidden. Thanks for the review!

  11. Honestly wasn’t sure I was going to like this but I was pleasantly surprised!!! So excited to continue your meal plans!!!

  12. 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

  13. 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!

  14. 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!

  15. 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!

  16. 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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