Beef Stew with Pumpkin

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This hearty beef stew recipe cooks low and slow on the stove with pumpkin (or butternut/acorn squash) added when the beef is tender. Serve with crusty bread to soak up every last drop!

Beef Stew with Pumpkin
Beef Stew with Pumpkin

When the temperature starts to drop, I love to warm up with a comforting bowl of stew. Therefore, this Beef Stew with Pumpkin hits the spot! It’s made with chunks of beef brown with onions and garlic and then cook on low in a mixture of broth and red wine until tender. The stew is flavored with oregano, thyme, and bay leaf, and fresh pumpkin or winter squash is added halfway through. For some different beef stew recipes, try this Beef and Kabocha Squash Stew and Carne Guisada (Latin Beef Stew).

Beef Stew with Pumpkin

What is the best meat for beef stew?

The best meat for beef stew is beef chuck roast. It conveniently is one of the more budget-friendly cuts of meat since it’s so tough – making it perfect for stews. Since it’s higher in fat, I like to pair it with plenty of vegetables to balance the dish.

Do I have to brown the meat for beef stew?

Yes, I highly recommend it! Browning the beef gives it a much deeper flavor.

How can I make my beef stew tender?

Stews are all about low and slow cooking. The tough chuck roast is cut into small one-inch cubes and cooks on low heat for almost two hours. As it cooks, the beef will break down and get more tender. It’s definitely worth the time. Don’t use lean beef here, it will never become tender even if you cook it for hours.

Beef Stew Variations:

  • If you’d like your beef stew without wine, swap it for more beef broth.
  • Use acorn squash or butternut squash if you can’t find pumpkin.
  • Save on prep time, and buy pre-cut butternut squash.
  • To make in a slow cooker, brown the meat and onions first, then cook 8 hours on low heat with 1/4 cup less broth.
  • To make in the Instant Pot, brown the meat and onions first then cook on high pressure for 35 minutes with 1/4 cup less broth.

Beef Stew with Butternutcut up squashBeef Stew with Winter Squash

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Beef Stew with Pumpkin
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Beef Stew with Pumpkin 

600 Cals 46 Protein 16 Carbs 39 Fats
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 2 hrs
Total Time: 2 hrs 20 mins
Yield: 4 servings
COURSE: Dinner
CUISINE: American
This hearty beef stew cooks low and slow on the stove with pumpkin (or butternut/acorn squash) added when the beef is tender. Serve with crusty bread to soak up every last drop!

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion, from 1 large
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 pounds beef chuck, cut in 1 inch cubes
  • kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups cubed pumpkin,, acorn or butternut squash, peeled and cut in 1-inch cubes

Instructions

  • In a large pot or Dutch oven, saute the onion in oil on medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook 1 minute, until fragrant.
  • Add meat and 1 teaspoon salt, brown 5 to 7 minutes. Add tomato paste, cook 1 minute.
    how to make beef stew
  • Add remaining ingredients except pumpkin, cover and cook on low heat until the meat is tender, about 1 1/2 hours.
  • Add the pumpkin (or squash) and cook and additional 30 to 35 minutes, until pumpkin is tender.
    pumpkin added to stew
  • Taste for salt and adjust as needed, discard bay leaves and serve.

Notes

Beef Stew Variations:

  • If you’d like your beef stew without wine, swap it for more beef broth.
  • Use acorn squash or butternut squash if you can’t find pumpkin.
  • To save on prep time, buy pre-cut butternut squash.
  • To make in a slow cooker, brown the meat and onions first, then cook 8 hours on low heat with 1/4 cup less broth.
  • To make in the Instant Pot, brown the meat and onions first then cook on high pressure for 35 minutes with 1/4 cup less broth.
Makes about 7 cups.

Nutrition

Serving: 13/4 cups, Calories: 600kcal, Carbohydrates: 16g, Protein: 46g, Fat: 39g, Saturated Fat: 15.5g, Cholesterol: 154mg, Sodium: 447.5mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 7g
Keywords: beef and pumpkin, beef stew recipe

 

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51 comments

  1. Back in the day (I was young, read Bon Appetit religiously and energetic), I made a beef stew that baked inside small pumpkins. My guests were each served their masterpiece after drinking copious amounts of wine (this was the very early 80’s after all). I lost the recipe but your version replicates the Bon Appetit recipe nicely. It might not meet you ‘skinny’ rule but I added a few carrots, small cubes of potato and frozen green peas. The pumpkin was divine.

  2. Ugh. Hope this turns out ok! Had to start and stop my Instapot three times because I didn’t read the comments first. Loll First to add balsamic instead of red wine (I’d forgotten that tip) and then to pull out the squash and potato to put in for 7 minutes at the end. I just looked at Gina’s IP instructions, which didn’t mention the meat going in before the squash. Haha I use most recipes as inspiration and don’t follow them really, adding our preferred foods and spices, but usually try to replicate the cooking methods, if possible. So, read the comments if ever trying a conversion to a different cooking method (even if a very experienced cook loll). Thanks for all the inspiration, Gina!

  3. Why isn’t this recipe considered “gluten-free”? Is it because you use the words “crusty bread” just for soaking up sauce? This would be a great GF addition.

  4. Can i use frozen squash? 

  5. I made this in the instant pot and used butternut squash. It is absolutely delicious. I made it right before the program changed this week and it came out to 11 SP per serving for the blue plan which was 1 cup/serving. I added the squash at the beginning and it cooked perfectly. It is tender and isn’t falling apart or mushy. The only thing I would change when I make it again, is to add more squash. The meat is what makes this so high in points which reduced the serving size for me. Adding more veggies will satisfy me more. Happy cooking!

  6. This was absolutely delicious, my husband didn’t even realize it was pumpkin! 

    It was a tad watery, so I whisked 3 tablespoons of flour into 2 cups of the liquid (after cooking) and mixed back in and it seemed to thicken it up. 

    I will be making this again!

  7. This was so yummy! Made it with red kuri squash (strangely our store didn’t have anything else)-35 minutes in the instant pot and 5 minutes with the squash. So delicious

  8. Delish! Made as directed in instapot (35 min for meat natural release and 8 for squash quick release) I used butternut as I was too lazy to cut and peel pumpkin. Served with some rice. All 5 of us liked it! Thanks for a great alternative to standard stew.