My pumpkin stew is a hearty and warming offering on a chilly evening, extra comforting during pumpkin season. Prepared with rich, juicy chunks of beef chuck roast, flavorful autumn veggies and silky pumpkin puree, this pumpkin stew with beef is most cozy when served ladled up in warm, individual bread bowls!
A Rich and Hearty Stew Fit For Pumpkin Season
Part of what I adore so much about the changing seasons is how each brings to the forefront ingredients which are plentiful during that time of year.
As we find ourselves in this autumn season, we see lots of hearty, earthy, colorful root vegetables becoming centerpieces, along with different varieties of squash and fragrant, woody herbs to infuse everything with lots of savory flavor.
Pumpkin, of course, is a favorite during this golden-hued time of year.
We love to use it not only to decorate our homes and front porches, but to include in many comforting dessert recipes such as pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bread, pumpkin pancakes, and pumpkin cake.
But using pumpkin in warming dishes with a savory slant is also a really fantastic way to go, especially when we have such good quality, organic canned pumpkin available in our markets. I love the convenience of not having to cut and clean a fresh pumpkin, which is definitely a time saver.
My pumpkin stew recipe makes delicious use of this tasty fall staple, along with tender beef, carrots, parsnips, celery, potatoes and fragrant thyme for the perfect autumn evening meal—so very comfy-cozy, especially when ladled into a small, warm bread bowl.
Talk about a stew fit for pumpkin season!
My Pumpkin Stew Recipe with Beef
My pumpkin stew is slow-simmered with beef chuck roast, which I like to cut into medium-size pieces to slowly tenderize in this earthy stew, infusing it with rich flavor.
I love the autumn color of this stew and the earthy, sweet-savory notes, which comes from a combination of the organic pumpkin puree, carrots, parsnips, potatoes and thyme.
The velvety yet hearty texture of this pumpkin stew makes it a perfect candidate to serve up in warm, individual bread bowls that I like to hollow and warm in the oven, tearing off little pieces to dip into the stew.
It's the perfect recipe to prepare when we're craving the flavors of the fall season, and long for something particularly warming and filled with TLC.
Here's a sneak peek at my pumpkin stew with beef recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To get started, I season my beef chuck roast pieces and sear them in my hot soup pot until golden-brown, then remove and set them aside for a moment.
- Next, into the pot goes my colorful vegetables, some dried herbs and my pumpkin puree, followed by the seared beef and beef stock.
- I gently simmer my pumpkin stew for about 2 to 2 ½ hours, or until the beef is very tender.
- When the stew is finished, I cut the tops off of my individual bread bowls and scoop out the insides (can be reserved for another use such as breadcrumbs), butter the insides lightly, and warm in the oven for a few minutes.
- To serve, I ladle the pumpkin stew into my warm bread bowls, and serve.
Pumpkin Stew with Beef
by Ingrid Beer
This hearty pumpkin stew is brimming with tender chunks of beef and colorful root vegetables, made extra cozy served in warm bread bowls!
Yield: Serves 6
Nutrition Info: 496 calories per serving (stew only), 1046 calories per serving (with bread bowl)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Total time: 3 hours
- 1 ½ pounds beef chuck roast, cut into medium-size chunks
- Black pepper
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons ghee or butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 white onion, diced
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
- 3 medium parsnips, peeled and diced
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
- 2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 (15 ounce) can organic pumpkin puree
- 3 ½ cups beef stock
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 6 bread bowls, centers scooped out (optional, for serving)
- ¼ cup melted butter (optional, for bread bowls)
- Begin by gathering and prepping all of you ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- Add the beef stew meat into a medium bowl, and sprinkle over a couple of good pinches of salt and black pepper, as well as the flour; toss everything with your fingers to coat the meat well.
- Place a large pot over medium-high heat, and add in the butter and the oil. Once nice and hot, add the beef pieces in (work in a couple of batches if necessary), and allow them to sear for a few minutes until deeply browned on all sides.
- With the meat in the pot, add in the onion, parsnips, carrot and celery, and stir to combine the ingredients. Allow this mixture to cook for about 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Next, add in the garlic and stir that in. Once that becomes aromatic, add in the potatoes, the Italian seasoning, another good pinch of pepper, plus the pumpkin puree, stirring to combine.
- Add in the hot beef stock, and stir to combine; reduce your heat to low, and allow the stew to very gently simmer, with the lid very slightly askew, for about 2 to 2 ½ hours, or until the beef is tender (stirring occasionally).
- To finish the stew, add in the thyme and parsley. Keep hot.
- Preheat your oven to 400°, and line a baking sheet with foil. Brush a little of melted butter into the hollowed out cavity of the bread bowls (you can even brush the outside lightly, too) and place them on the baking sheet and into the oven to toast/warm for about 4 minutes.
- Ladle the stew into the bread bowls, and enjoy.
Tips & Tidbits for my Pumpkin Stew with Beef recipe:
- Beef chuck roast, for rich, beef flavor: While you can certainly use beef stew meat if that's what you happen to have on hand, the beef chuck roast is terrific because it has a bit more fat marbled throughout, which melts into the stew and creates a richer, beefier flavor. If you purchase a roast, then simply cut it into medium-size chunks.
- Earthy root vegetable for color and flavor: I love keeping things simple here by using carrots, parsnips (they look like white carrots), celery and potatoes—you could substitute (or even add) some diced rutabaga or a turnip, or even a golden beet. All of those vegetables are delicious this time of year!
- Woody herbs for aroma: Fresh thyme leaves are so flavorful in this hearty stew, but you could also use a small amount of sage (freshly chopped or dried), a teeny amount of rosemary, or simply fresh parsley.
- Opt for organic pumpkin puree: When looking for canned pumpkin for this recipe, first make sure that you're choosing pumpkin puree, and not pumpkin pie filling. These are very different, as the filling is sweet and has lots of other ingredients in it. What you want is pure pumpkin (or pumpkin puree), organic preferably.
Craving more cozy stew recipes? Check out my Oktoberfest Stew, my Harvest Stew with Smoked Sausage, my Philly Cheesesteak Stew, my Chicken Stew, or my Guinness Beef Stew!
Cook's Note: This recipe was originally published in 2104, and has been updated with even more love!
This is right up my alley! It looks so comforting, hearty, and delicious. Perfect. Thanks for sharing, I might just try this one. 🙂
The Cozy Apron
Hey Elizabeth! I hope you do!
Thalia @ butter and brioche
This is seriously such a creative and delicious recipe! I have never made bread bowls before and definitely am inspired to now.. thanks for the great recipe and idea!
Do you have a recipe for the bread bowls?
The Cozy Apron
Hi Gerry, I hope this doesn't disappoint you, but these are from Panera—that's my "recipe"! 🙂 I haven't quite taken up bread making as of yet; I'm leaving that to the experts, for the time being. (I like good bread far too much…)
Can you substitute butternut squash for pumpkin?
The Cozy Apron
Hi Cyn! You could certainly sub butternut, but do keep in mind that I'm using the puree. So you could totally roast off some squash and then puree it, if you'd like; it's what adds the "silkiness" to the stew. Hope you enjoy!
This week I'm packing soup for lunch box ideas. I will definitely be making this one. Thanks for sharing.
I just tried this... I'm in the UK and we don't have a lot of places that sell pureed pumpkin so I used cubed pumpkin instead and it was still so lovely. Most of the pumpkin cubes broke down to give a smooth texture to the stew. Very warming for a very cold night!
The Cozy Apron
Hi Hannah! Glad you were comforted by this recipe—thank you for sharing! And the cubed pumpkin was a great sub-in, as it does nicely sort of "dissolve" into the stew and thicken things up. 🙂
So good! I ended up forgoing the parsnips and adding a couple extra carrots. I also added an extra cup of beef stock, threw in a couple bay leaves, and a sprinkle of seasoning salt and garlic powder. PERFECT flavor! Thanks for the recipe 😀
The Cozy Apron
Hi Tesia, so glad you enjoyed! Thanks for sharing.
I made this for guests a few years ago. We all loved it. It was truly one of the best things I have ever tasted! The flavor combinations were divine. My questions are, can you make it 3 days in advance? Can I freeze it first if not? Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe. Debbie
The Cozy Apron
Hi Debbie, I'm so happy to read that you've enjoyed this recipe and it has been a success for you!
You absolutely can prepare it 3 days ahead. With soups and stews, if they have a chance to sit for a couple of days, I find that their flavors intensify and marry even more, and they taste terrific. So, yes—feel free to prep pretty much any soups and stews several days ahead of when you plan to serve them. They'll be perfectly fine. 😉
(If this stew happens to thicken up on you a bit over these days, then typically reheating will help "loosen" it up. If not, add a bit more liquid—either water or stock/broth—and you should be golden.)
Hope you enjoy this recipe for a long time to come. Happy cooking, Debbie!
Thank you so much for your answer. I’m looking forward to receiving more ooohs, aaahs, and wows.
The Cozy Apron
How would I make the stew in the crock pot?
The Cozy Apron
Hi Gail, thanks for your question. I actually do not own a crock pot, so I don't consider myself any kind of authority on how to cook with one, but I can give you a basic idea on how you may want to approach the recipe...
Go ahead and season the beef and toss with the flour, and if you can sear/brown the meat in the pot using the butter and oil, then go ahead and do that for added flavor. Then, add in the remainder of the ingredients up to and including the beef stock, stir to combine, cover, and cook on low for 8 to 12 hours, or on high for 4 to 6 hours, until meat is tender.
Garnish with the thyme and parsley once cooked, and ladle into the bread bowls, or serve with bread on the side.
Hope that helps! 😉
Thank you. I cooked it in the crock pot, browning meat first and then adding vegetables and spices as instructed in the recipe. I did cook 3.4 lbs. of meat and added extra vegetables and broth. Prepared bread bowls as instructed. Added cooked green peas as filled the bowls with the stew. Absolutely delicious. This will be my go to stew from now on.
The Cozy Apron
Oh, fantastic, Gail! Glad it turned out so tasty and comforting for you. I'm thrilled this is now your "go to" stew! 🙂