Herbs that go well with beef stew include rosemary, basil, thyme, and oregano. When you’re choosing the perfect herb to use, look for one that is fresh, mild, and has a pleasant flavor. You can also use a combination of several herbs for an even more complex flavor.
Beef stew is a hearty, winter-time dish that leaves you feeling full and content.
But if you want to take your beef stew to the next level, it’s important to consider which herbs you can add in order to truly make your stew shine.
There are plenty of herbs that can help make your stew extra delicious.
Here are some of our favorite options:
What Herbs Go with Beef Stew? 10 Best Herbs
One of the best things about beef stew is its incredible versatility.
That’s right: the flavors of this delicious dish are, like, a blank canvas just waiting for your culinary genius to unleash itself!
But if you’re looking for a little inspiration, we’ve got you covered.
Because it’s a stew and not just meat on its own, a lot of the flavor is going to come from the vegetables in it.
But don’t worry—you can still add plenty of herbs to make your dish as flavorful as possible!
This herb adds a pungent, savory flavor that pairs well with red meat dishes like beef stew.
If you want to add a hint of rosemary to your stew, try adding it at the end of the cooking process—that way you’ll get all the benefit without having the herb’s flavor overpowered by other ingredients as they cook together.
If you’re looking for something more subtle than rosemary, sage is an excellent choice!
This herb has woody undertones that complement the rich flavor profile of beef in dishes like stews or roasts, but it’s not quite as overpowering as rosemary.
If you’re making a traditional beef stew, thyme is essential.
It adds citrusy undertones to the meaty taste of the beef, and it helps tenderize the beef when it’s added at the beginning of cooking (as opposed to at the end).
Basil is the ideal herb for beef stew!
The acidity of the tomatoes in the stew will perfectly complement the basil.
If you’re looking to enhance the flavor of your beef stew, basil is definitely a great option.
This herb is known for its anti-inflammatory effects and its ability to boost the immune system.
It has a warm, bitter taste, so it will help balance out the sweetness of carrots and potatoes in your stew.
If you’re looking for a way to improve your health while still enjoying delicious food, consider adding oregano!
This herb serves a dual purpose—it adds an unexpected but delightful flavor to your stew, while also giving it a unique aroma.
The only downside is that it can be difficult to find in grocery stores, so you might need to buy it online or go to a specialty store.
7. Bay leaves
Bay leaves work really well in stews because they’re not too strong—just a little bit goes a long way.
They go well with just about any sort of meat or vegetable, but especially shine when paired with things like potatoes and carrots (which are common ingredients in any good beef stew).
Fresh parsley brightens up all kinds of dishes, including stews, but dried parsley works too!
If you’re using dried parsley though, try using half as much as what would be called for in fresh parsley because dried herbs tend to be stronger than fresh ones when they’re added into dishes like stews.
Chives are a great addition to just about anything, but they especially shine in beef stew because of their vibrant color and fresh onion-like taste.
You’ll really wow your dinner guests with this one!
10. Caraway seeds
Caraway seeds are rich in antioxidants and also can help with digestion.
When added to a beef stew, they give it a little bit more oomph and help cut through some of its fat content (which can be great if you’re looking for something lighter).
How to Choose Herbs for Beef Stew
Herbs are an important part of beef stew.
They add flavor, texture, and color to the stew and make it even more delicious.
But if you’re going to use herbs, it’s important to use them correctly so they don’t overpower your finished dish.
Here are 4 tips for choosing herbs for beef stew:
1. Do You Want a Subtle or Overpowering Flavor?
If you’re hoping for something with a little bit of kick, try adding some thyme or parsley.
If you’re hoping for something more subtle, consider adding oregano or basil.
2. Consider the Herbs that Pair with Beef Best
Thyme, oregano, and rosemary are all herbs that pair well with beef, so these are great options for your stew.
If you’re looking for something extra delicious, try adding some bay leaves and basil along with your thyme and rosemary.
3. The Way You Want It to Taste
If you want your stew to have a fresh or light feel, opt for thyme or oregano.
If you’re looking for something more earthy, rosemary or basil are great choices.
Bay leaves add a slightly nutty flavor that’s perfect in any stew recipe!
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment
The fun part of cooking is getting creative and trying new things—and that includes new ingredients!
4 Reasons You Should Use Herbs In Your Beef Stew
If you’re not already using herbs in your beef stew, it’s time to start. These leafy greens can do a lot to take your regular beef stew recipe from basic to extraordinary.
But don’t take our word for it!
These are five reasons why you should use herbs in your beef stew:
1. They’ll Make the Stew Taste Better
You may think you can’t improve on your grandmother’s recipe, but we’re here to tell you that you can.
Herbs are an easy way to add a layer of complexity to your beef stew that will keep people coming back for more.
2. They’re Colorful, Which Can Make the Dish Look More Appetizing
Herbs aren’t just for artfully garnishing plates of artisanal food at high-end restaurants.
In fact, they’re often the secret to making a dish look more appetizing and be more flavorful.
Adding herbs to beef stew, for example, can do both of those things!
Herbs are bright and colorful, which makes them a great way to add color to a dish that might otherwise be all one color or shades of brown.
3. You’ve Probably Got Some Lying Around Anyway
You’ve probably got some lying around anyway—so why not use them up?
If your cabinet is anything like ours, it’s full of all kinds of herbs, from fresh to dried.
And if you’re anything like us, you’re probably wondering what to do with the half-empty packets of dried ones that you forgot about until they started growing mold.
While we don’t recommend using a packet that’s past its prime, we do recommend using any herbs you have at home that are in good shape to liven up and add flavor to the beef stew you make this weekend.
There are so many options for how to use them! You could pick one out and use it as a rub for your meat, or throw in several types before cooking the stew.
Or put a few sprigs on top when you serve it—it’ll look like something that came straight out of a fine dining cookbook!
The options are endless!
4. They Add a Lot of Flavor for Very Little Money
Want to know how to make beef stew even more delicious? Herbs!
Whether you’re on a budget, looking for a way to make your meal stand out, or want an easy way to make your beef stew healthier, herbs are the answer.
Most herbs are incredibly affordable, with the exception of fresh thyme and oregano (which can go for about $3 per ounce).
But if you get dried versions of these herbs, you’ll only be paying about $1 per ounce.
And since you don’t need much in each recipe (think 1/4 teaspoon), that adds up to very little money.
Plus, dry herbs have an extremely long shelf life—up to four years, depending on the herb.
So you can buy in bulk and save even more money!
Now go out there and make some unforgettable beef stews!
What Herbs Go with Beef Stew? 10 Best Herbs
- Bay leaves
- Caraway seeds
- Pick one or more of these herbs to put in your beef stew.
- Prepare the rest of your meal.
- Be ready to serve in no time!