Italian Beef Stew with Zucchini, Mushrooms, and Basil will be a hit when the weather is cooling down but you still have zucchini. And check in the post for an option for making a version that’s a bit less expensive.
Years ago I posted a recipe I called Leftover Roast Beef Stew, and that recipe was definitely the inspiration for this Italian Beef Stew with Zucchini, Mushrooms, and Basil. But let’s face it, now that beef is a lot more expensive most people don’t have leftover roast beef all that often, am I right?
So this updated Italian beef stew starts with a few pounds of chuck roast that’s simmered with tomatoes, herbs, and beef stock to tenderize the meat. Then onions, peppers, zucchini, and mushrooms are each briefly cooked and added to the stew. It’s finished with chopped fresh basil, chopped basil in a tube, frozen basil, or purchased basil pesto, whichever works for you.
This stew has all the Italian flavors I love, hope you’ll give it a try! And this reheats very well, so don’t be afraid to make the full recipe even if you’re not cooking for that many people.
What ingredients do you need?
- chuck roast
- Olive Oil (affiliate link)
- salt and fresh ground black pepper to season meat
- canned beef broth (affiliate link) or beef stock
- canned petite diced tomatoes
- Italian Herb Seasoning (affiliate link)
- ground fennel (affiliate link) (probably optional, but recommended)
- green pepper
- chopped fresh basil or Basil Pesto (affiliate link)
- good quality Balsamic Vinegar (affiliate link) to drizzle on at the table, optional
What adds the Italian Flavors in this Italian Beef Stew?
This tasty Italian Beef Stew is loaded with Italian flavors from olive oil, tomatoes, Italian Herb Seasoning, ground fennel, and of course basil! And please don’t skip the ground fennel; that’s an essential flavor in this recipe.
How can you make this Italian Beef Stew less expensive?
Even though this stew only uses a few pounds of beef, that might still be a stretch for the budget. I think you can still make a very good stew with this recipe if you use a smaller amount of beef and increase the amount of zucchini, and if you’re still getting lots of garden zucchini that might be an appealing idea to help use more zucchini as well!
Do you have to cook the vegetables separately for Italian Beef Stew?
Cooking the vegetables separately and adding them at the end keeps them firmer and more flavorful in the finished stew, and adding the basil or basil pesto at the end keeps that flavor strong in the finished dish.
What can you use if you don’t have fresh basil?
If you don’t have fresh basil (and don’t need the stew to be dairy-free), you can add a small amount of purchased basil pesto to flavor the stew.
Want more tasty ideas for low-carb and keto stew?
You can use Low-Carb and Keto Stew Recipes to find more ideas like this one to make for cold-weather dinners!
How to Make Italian Beef Stew with Zucchini, Mushrooms, and Basil:
(Scroll down for complete printable recipe with nutritional information.)
- Trim the beef and cut into cubes slightly over an inch square.
- Brown beef in a little olive oil, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste, and then add to stew pot.
- Deglaze the frying pan with the beef stock and add to stew pot with the Italian Herb Seasoning (affiliate link), ground fennel (affiliate link), and canned petite dice tomatoes.
- Let simmer on medium low 60 minutes, or slightly longer if the meat doesn’t seem tender.
- When you’re ready to finish the stew, heat another teaspoon of olive oil and saute the chopped onions and peppers and add them to the stew.
- Add a bit more oil, brown the zucchini, and add it to the stew.
- Then heat the last teaspoon of olive oil, brown the mushrooms, and add them to the stew.
- Simmer about 15 minutes, then add the basil and cook a few minutes more.
- Serve hot, with a little balsamic vinegar to drizzle on at the table if you’d like.
Make Italian Beef Stew a Low-Carb Meal:
This stew with Italian flavors could be a tasty one-dish meal. But if you wanted to add something else, this would be delicious with Olive Bread, Savory Almond Flour Bread, or Low-Carb High-Fiber Savory Muffins.
More Tasty Dinners with Italian Flavors:
Weekend Food Prep:
This recipe has been added to a category called Weekend Food Prep to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!
- 2 lbs. chuck roast (after trimming) cut into cubes slightly larger than one inch
- 5 tsp. olive oil
- salt and fresh ground black pepper to season meat
- 2 14 oz.can beef broth (see notes)
- 2 14.5 oz. cans petite diced tomatoes with juice
- 1 T Italian Herb Blend
- 1 tsp. ground fennel seed (probably optional, but recommended)
- 1 medium onion, chopped into 1/2 inch dice
- 1 large green pepper chopped into 1/2 inch dice
- 2 small zucchini, ends trimmed and then cut into half lengthwise and sliced into thick slices
- 1/2 lb. (or more) mushrooms, washed and cut in thick slices or half slices (see notes)
- 4 T chopped fresh basil (see notes)
- good quality balsamic vinegar to drizzle on at the table, optional
- Trim the chuck roast and cut into cubes. Heat the 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large non-stick pan (I used this one) and brown the beef cubes over medium-high heat until the meat is browned on all sides, about 10-15 minutes.
- Season the meat with salt and fresh-ground black pepper as it cooks. Don’t rush this step; browning the meat adds flavor.
- Add the browned meat to the stew pot. (I would use a cast-iron or enamel coated dutch oven if you have one.)
- Add one can of beef broth to the frying pan and cook a minute, scraping with a turner to loosen the browned bits of meat that stick to the pan, then add that to the stew pot along with the other can of beef broth.
- Add the petite dice tomatoes with juice, Italian Herb Blend (affiliate link), and ground fennel and stir.
- Turn heat to medium-low and simmer 60 minutes, or slightly longer if the meat doesn’t feel tender when you pierce it with a fork.
- While the stew simmers, peel and chop the onion and cut out the stem and seeds of the green pepper and chop. Cut ends off the zucchini, cut in half lengthwise, and cut into thick slices.
- Wash mushrooms (in a salad spinner (affiliate link) if you have one) or rinse in a colander in the sink and blot dry, and cut mushrooms into thick slices or half slices,
- When you’re ready to finish the stew, heat 1 tsp. olive oil in the frying pan, add the onions and green peppers and cook a few minutes over medium-high heat, then add them to the stew.
- Heat the second teaspoon of olive oil, add the zucchini and cook until it’s slightly browned on both sides, then add to stew. Then add the mushroom slices, cook until they have released their liquid and are starting to brown, then add to stew.
- Simmer about 15 minutes, then add the chopped basil and cook a few minutes more.
- Serve hot, with a good quality balsamic vinegar to drizzle on at the table if you’d like.
Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 348Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 5gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 125mgSodium: 1810mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 2gSugar: 7gProtein: 47g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
This tasty Italian Beef Stew is low-carb, Keto, gluten-free and approved for all phases of the original South Beach diet.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Soup or Stew Recipes to find more recipes like this one.Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest, on Facebook, on Instagram, on TikTok, or on YouTube to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
Historical Notes for this Recipe:
This recipe was posted in 2017. It was last updated with more information in 2022.
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