Smoky Beef Stew


This is a cold-weather favorite at our house because it is hearty, warm, filling, and has beef in it, which is a must if you are feeding a hungry farmer like my husband! Plus, beef is one of the most nutrient-dense food choices around–full of b vitamins, iron, protein, and zinc, to name a few, all while being relatively low-calorie.

Even better, it all goes together in one big pan, meaning only one dirty dish (if you use the method of parchment paper on a baking sheet in the oven to cook the bacon). Recipes at my house have to meet certain rules–simple, kid-approved, and healthy. This dish meets all of those criteria!

Smoky Beef Stew

Adapted from Stupid Easy Paleo and the 21 Day Fix Extreme Nutrition plan

By Michaela Gasseling


½ lb bacon

2 lbs beef stew meat

1 tsp sea salt

1 tbsp smoked paprika

1 tbsp chili powder

½ tsp ground chipotle pepper

1 large sweet onion, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

4 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 cup low-sodium beef broth

4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

14 oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes

2 tbsp tomato paste

Salt & pepper to taste

Green onions, sliced, for garnish, optional


  1. Cook bacon in 375 degree oven on parchment lined baking sheet until crispy (about 15 minutes). Let cool and chop.
  2. In a large skillet (a cast-iron skillet works great!) over medium-high heat, pour the leftover bacon fat from the bacon. Add the beef, salt, paprika, and chipotle pepper. Stir often until the beef is cooked through, about 8 minutes.
  3. While beef is cooking, prep the sweet potatoes, onion, and garlic.
  4. Add to the pan the sweet potatoes, onion, and garlic. Stir until browned, then add broth and tomatoes.
  5. At this point, you can add beef mixture to a slow cooker and set on low for 5-6 hours. OR, you can add remaining ingredients to the cast-iron skillet and continue cooking on low for about an hour.
  6. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper, top with sliced green onion and crumbled bacon and ENJOY!