How to Make Beef Stew With Dumplings

A Variation of My Basic Beef Stew Recipe

With winter coming to a close soon, I thought I'd share this alternate beef stew recipe. While my basic beef stew recipe has red gravy, this one has brown gravy and is made with dumplings. This was given to me by a family member many years ago. I love making dishes that are relatively simple and can be made with one pot, or one pot and a skillet. Although the meals I choose to make are deceptively simple, they pack loads of flavor. This is definitely a stick to the ribs kind of meal, and one I'm sure you'll enjoy.

photo by Alexander Stefanyshyn @
photo by Alexander Stefanyshyn @

For this recipe, you will need the following:


1 large spaghetti or stew pot w/lid

Your favorite paring knife

A sharp serrated knife

Cutting board

Wooden spoon


Peeler (if you prefer this rather than using the paring knife)


2 cup measuring cup

1 medium bowl


Cooking oil, preferably virgin olive oil

2-3 lbs of stew beef (chuck is the best choice as it has enough fat in it to make the beef tender)

1 medium, or 1 large white onion if you love onions

1 lb of fresh carrots, fresh, not pre-packaged

6 to 7 medium white potatoes

2 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and minced (or, if you prefer, you can substitute garlic powder or garlic salt here)



Optional, Goya brand Adobo (an all-purpose seasoning)


2 cups of Bisquick (a pancake and baking mix)

2/3 cup milk

photo by Quevaal @
photo by Quevaal @
photo by Christine Landis @
photo by Christine Landis @


First, pour the oil in, enough to lightly cover the bottom. While that is heating on a low flame, slice up the onion, dice the fresh garlic, then add it to the oil once it starts sizzling. Stir occasionally with your wooden spoon until the garlic and onion starts turning a bit brown.

In the meantime, take the stew beef, place it on a cutting board and cut the pieces smaller than they are. A lot of people coat their beef in flour, which you are free to do if that's your preference. I choose not to since the Bisquick baking mix acts as a thickening agent for the gravy, so I don't feel the need to flour my beef.

Once the onion and garlic are a bit browned, add the stew beef. Continue to keep the flame low, and let the beef brown, stirring occasionally with the wooden spoon. Let this simmer until the meat is mostly brown. Once the meat is mostly brown, add enough water to cover the meat. Continue to cook over the low flame, with an occasional stir. Check on it periodically to make sure there is always water just covering all the meat.

While the meat is cooking, prepare the carrots. I prefer to just scrub the carrots and leave the skin on, however, you can go ahead and peel them if you like, using the paring knife or peeler.

Cut the carrots into bite-size pieces. Once cut, add them to the stew. At this point, add more water to now cover the meat, onions, garlic and carrots. Continue to keep it on a low flame.

Allow this to cook for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. This allows enough time for the carrots to become partially tender. Again, give this an occasional stir and make sure there is always water just covering the food. At this juncture, you'll want to add the salt, pepper and if desired, the Adobo seasoning.

While this is cooking, it is time to prepare the potatoes. You can choose to peel the potatoes or not. While I do like my carrots un-peeled, I prefer my potatoes peeled. Cut up the potatoes into the size you would if you were making potato salad. You can now add the potatoes to the pot. Add more water to cover everything, and let this simmer for another 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are just about done (check with a fork).

While this is cooking, it is time to make the dumplings. Simply measure two cups of Bisquick, add to the bowl, then add the 2/3 cup of milk and stir. Once it is all blended into a nice soft dough, drop it by spoonfuls into the stew, spreading the dumplings evenly over the top. Let this cook for 10 minutes un-covered, then an additional 10 minutes covered.

By adding all the water during this cooking process, it has gathered all the richness of the beef and turned the water a brownish color. Once the dumplings have been added, and have completed cooking, the liquid is now thicker, much like a brown gravy.

Before serving, let the pot sit for approximately 15 minutes to allow the flavors to continue to blend and the gravy to thicken. The first day, the gravy won't be too thick, but since there will be plenty of leftovers, the next day you will find that the gravy has gotten thicker.

So, invite several friends over, then serve this warm, hearty meal with a nice crusty bread with butter, a salad and/or green vegetable if you like and your favorite beverage. Enjoy!

Comments 44 comments

Coolmon2009 profile image

Coolmon2009 7 years ago from Texas, USA

Sounds like dinner to me; I will have to try it.

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

Drool, drool, and drool some more. I am so lucky that you will be visiting here in a few weeks, because this is what you are going to make for me, ME, MEEEEE.

Trish, you make this beef stew sound so easy, and so artistic. I can see you in my kitchen now, peeling and cutting and chopping as your masterpiece cooks. A kind of eloquent dance, moving from one step to another, leading to the grand finale.

Lucky me.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago Author

Hi Coolmon,

Glad you found this to your liking. I hope you enjoy it!

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago Author

Hahaha! my dear Sally! Of course I'll make it for you, and I can see that my duties are still intact. You know, chopping, peeling and cutting. Actually, since I will be the chef du jour, I think it would be highly appropriate for you to take on that task :)

However, I fear that's just wishful thinking on my part.

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

Sorry, honey. Wishful thinking it is. You get to do all the work and I get all the benefits. You know I don't take take orders well. And so, I turn my kitchen over to you, sip a Scotch, and wait for that finale.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago Author

Oh, my dear Sally. It's not an order coming from me, just a simple could you lend a hand, please :)

But, that's ok. I owe you big time for the last extended visit we had, where you did the majority of the work. This will be the least I can do.

Skip the scotch, make it a vodka and have my kahlua ready :)

profile image

Duchess OBlunt 7 years ago

mmmmmmm sounds delicious!

annemaeve profile image

annemaeve 7 years ago from Philly Burbs

Om nom nom! I love this stew! And do I hear correctly that you're coming for a visit soon? I miss you!!

carolina muscle profile image

carolina muscle 7 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

oh man, you are making me soooo hungry!!!!

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago Author

Thank you Duchess,

It truly is, I hope you try it.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago Author

Dearest Anne,

Yes, hopefully I will be visiting soon. I'm guessing the 2nd week of March.

I know you enjoyed my other stew, and I'm sure you'll like this version as well.

I miss you too, hugs to Avi and the kitties.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago Author

Hi carolina!

Well, then, you should give this a try. It really is easy to make. I mentioned serving this with perhaps a salad or green vegetable more for those who like greens with their meal, but the stew is so filling on its own, I don't know that there'd be enough room :)

Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting.

Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

Mmmmmmmm - sounds great, Trish - dumplings with Bisquick mix? Now that sounds quick and easy - thank you!

Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 7 years ago from India

Trish and ST...sounds like there's a party in the offing! May we drop by - its the only way we'll get a taste of what sounds like a delectable stew! :)

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago Author

Hi Shalini,

Yes, Bisquick. The recipe is right on the box :) I've also made pancakes with it, and those come out light and fluffy.

The preparation isn't necessarily quick, but certainly easy.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago Author

Hi Feline,

You are most welcome to join us anytime! How great would that be? :)

The stew is delectable if I do say so myself.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

Sounds wonderful!

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 6 years ago Author

Hi habee,

Thanks very much! Hope you try it.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia

Sounds yummy! Now if I can just get someone to make it for me! Kidding! I love making stews, and will give it a try.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 6 years ago Author

Thanks earnest!

Did you check my basic beef stew one? You may like that as well.

Thanks for stopping in and commenting :)

profile image

Lecie 6 years ago

sounds tasty, my family usually does the denny moore beef stew from the can. i will have to try making yours it sounds a lot better.great hub.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 6 years ago Author

Hi Lecie,

This is pretty simple to make. It's one of my favorite one-pot meals. Hope you try it and like it.

Thanks for commenting :)

tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

Looks quite scrumptious! Pity I'm not allowed red meat anymore! Sigh! Bookmarked anyway, just in case!

Love and peace


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 6 years ago Author

hi tony,

Aww, I'm sorry to hear that. I'm sitting here trying to think of what you can substitute for the beef, but not coming up with anything :(

If you or a family member ever makss it, perhaps you could have a taste? or not, that might be torture. I'll have to keep in mind to post some chicken or turkey recipes.

Thanks so much for commenting and bookmarking! I really appreciate it.

PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 6 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Beef stew is one of my favorite comfort foods when the weather turns cool. And it truly does get better the second meal. Yummy recipe and great directions!

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 6 years ago Author

Hi Peg!

Yes, this is one of my favorite meals also. I love one-pot meals. My mom and grandmother used to make meals like that. My grandmother used a whole chicken to make her soup to which she added lots of fresh vegetables. My mom would make chicken and dumplings often, as well as stuffed cabbage. Definitely warm tummy memories :)

Thanks so much for commenting!

blondepoet profile image

blondepoet 6 years ago from australia

Trish you are such a superb cook, don't they say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. Oh if that were completely true I wouldn't stand a chance. I couldn't find the hub on Josh is it possible to grab a link please. Have a wonderful day Trish. :)

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 6 years ago Author

Hi BP!

I guess that's how I kept my late hubby all those years LOL. His favorite meal was my stuffed cabbage.

I'm a bit confused,,a link on Josh? You mean Josh Groban? If so, I wouldn't have a clue, sorry.

Enjoy your day as well and thanks for commenting.

blondepoet profile image

blondepoet 6 years ago from australia

Hi Trish mmmm stuffed cabbage. We also make Russian cabbage rolls oh I love anything with cabbage. I thought you mentioned you have a song by Josh in one of your hubs, dang I will go back and re-read your comment lol.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 6 years ago Author

Hi BP!

I think you should publish your recipe if you haven't already!

Yes, Josh is in this hub It's the song I mentioned in my comment to your music hub. Have a listen, it will melt your heart :)

Thanks so much for commenting.

marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 6 years ago from USA

Aww Trish, this sounds so good and hearty. I love dumplings - my mouth is watering! This is definitely a do this fall frosty nights that are around the corner!

I'm trying to catch up with all your hubs...since I've been gone.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 6 years ago Author

Hi Marisue!

Yes, this is definitely a warm your tummy comfort food. I hope you try it. Definitely a favorite in the cold weather.

So nice to have you back! Thanks for commenting.

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Sounds like a great meal.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 6 years ago Author

Hi Pamela99,

It truly is. Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I hope you give it a try.

lynne lyne 6 years ago

nice i try this one ..

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 6 years ago Author

Hi lynne,

Good! I hope you do and enjoy. Thanks for commenting.

dana 6 years ago

This really is the best way to make beef stew.. its the same way my grandmother made it, word for word!!! Ummm thanks for reminding me!!!

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 6 years ago Author

Hi dana,

Yes,my daughter agrees with that. She prefers this one as opposed to my stew with the tomato base, even though she will eat that as well.

Glad I sparked a memory, perhaps you'll make it in the near future.

Thanks so much for commenting. Happy holidays to you and yours.

Tatara profile image

Tatara 5 years ago from Asia

I love dumplings. Anything Oriental.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 5 years ago Author

Hi Tatara,

Well, this isn't exactly Oriental, but it's definitely a dumpling. These have a fluffy texture to them. I've had Oriental steamed dumplings and I agree, they are yummy.

Thanks for commenting :)

PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

Stew is warm, hearty and filling and can be made with so many different twists. I love to make this when it's cold and rainy or snowing out. I put a bag of frozen peas in mine. The dumplings are wonderful too. Great recipe. I'll be adding a little Adobo to my next batch! Thanks.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 4 years ago Author

Hi Peg,

I totally agree with you. There is nothing nicer than a pot of stew simmering on the stove on a cold winter day. You are so right about adding different things to a stew. Since I do love peas, I'll have to give that twist a try.

Adobo is a staple in our kitchen too, as is Mrs. Dash (original blend).

Glad you enjoyed this and thanks so much for commenting.

moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America

My husband would love this recipe. Thanks for sharing. Voted up.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 3 years ago Author

Hi Moonlake,

So nice to see you! I agree that this is definitely a great meal for a meat and potatoes kind of man.

Thanks so much for taking time to read, comment and the vote up! :)

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article