Healthy Guinness Beef Stew

Healthy Guinness Beef Stew

Perfect for St. Patrick’s Day or any cold winter night, this healthy Guinness Beef Stew is a hearty meal sure to warm you up from the inside out.

This healthy Guinness Beef Stew is my go-to St. Patrick’s Day meal.

I’m not a huge beer drinker, but when it comes to stew, I love the taste of beer along with the veggies and meat (or lentils).

This recipe came about as I’ve tried a few Guinness stews in the past and have always been disappointed in how faint the Guinness flavor was. And since making it for the first time about four years ago, my husband always requests it when St. Patrick’s Day comes along.

Just keep in mind, that this recipe was designed to let the Guinness shine. So, if you don’t like the taste of beer, you may not like this stew. 

However, if you’re a fan of Guinness, then keep on reading! 

Healthy Guinness Beef Stew

Why you’ll love this healthy Irish stew

  • Healthier twist on traditional Irish beef stew.
  • High in protein to keep you nice and full. 
  • Cauliflower instead of potatoes to keep it lower in carbs.
  • Packed with a rich, Guinness flavor. 
  • Tastes even better as leftovers.

What kind of beer is best for beef stew?

I recommend making this healthy Irish beef stew using Guinness Draught. Guinness just has a deep, malty flavor that just goes so well with beef and root vegetables. 

But it’s not your only option. Porters are usually my next go-to as they’re also known for their complex, malted flavor. 

Ingredients Used to Make Healthy Guinness Beef Stew

  • Boneless chuck roast: My go-to meat for stews is a boneless chuck roast. When I can’t find chuck roast, a good back-up is a bone-in short-rib.  
  • Butter or avocado oil: I prefer butter for the flavor in this stew, but to make it slightly healthier, you can also use avocado or olive oil. 
  • Flour: Regular all-purpose, whole wheat, or a gluten-free all-purpose mix should all work.
  • Shallot: Shallots are slightly sweeter and more garlicky than regular onions, which is why I prefer them. However, you can also use a small yellow onion instead. 
  • Garlic: I cheated and used pre-minced, but fresh will have the best flavor. You can also use dried garlic instead (about ¼ tsp for every 1 clove of fresh garlic). 
  • Tomato paste: I like buying my paste in a tube since you won’t use a whole jar. But leftover tomato paste can also be stored in the fridge or freezer. 
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder: This is the first secret ingredient in this healthy beef stew. It may sound odd, but the cocoa really brings out the flavor of the Guinness and beef. Just make sure to use unsweetened, not sweetened!
  • Low-sodium chicken stock: I used to use beef broth, but I’ve found that unless you make your own beef stock, store-bought chicken stock tends to taste better and still works just as well. My go-to is Pacific Foods Organic Chicken Stock
  • Strong-brewed coffee:This is my second secret ingredient to making a stew with a depth of flavor. I’ll usually just make an extra cup of coffee in the morning and set it in the fridge for when I’m ready to cook the stew later in the day.
  • Guinness: You’ll need 1 ½ cans (about 22.4 ounces) of Guinness. I’ve only tried this recipe with Guinness Draught.
  • Worcestershire sauce: This will help add a little umami flavor to the stew. 
  • Dried thyme, black pepper, and salt: Add to taste.
  • Peeled carrots: I love using fresh carrots in beef stew, but frozen will work too. 
  • Cauliflower florets: To make this a lower carb Guinness Beef Stew, I swapped out traditional potatoes for cauliflower. However, if that sounds blasphemous to you, feel free to add in some sliced red potatoes. 
Healthy Guinness Beef Stew

How to Make Healthy Guinness Beef Stew

  1. Brown the beef.
  2. Saute shallot and garlic in butter before adding tomato paste and cocoa powder. Let it get all bubbly.
  3. Add beef, broth, coffee, and worcestershire sauce.
  4. Boil, cover, and let simmer for 1 hour. This gives the flavors ample time to meld together.
  5. Add carrots then cook for another 50 minutes or so uncovered. The goal is to soften the carrots and evaporate some of the liquid.
  6. Finally, add in cauliflower and simmer on low for 30 minutes. If still too liquidy, you may need to cook another 10 minutes uncovered. 

I know it’s a lot of time, but for the best flavor, the longer it can cook the better. 

Tip for decreasing the cooking time

To take an hour off of the cooking time, you can throw the carrots in at the same time as the broth. 

Still bring to a boil and cover, but then simmer for just 30 minutes. 

Remove lid, bring back to a boil, and allow to boil for 30 minutes to evaporate some of the liquid. Continue with instructions as written. 

This should save you an hour of cook time, but note that the stew liquid will be a bit thinner than if you follow the recipe as originally written.

Can you make this stew in the slow cooker?


I still recommend browning the beef first and sauteeing the shallot in butter. 

But after that you just throw everything in your slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8. 

How do you thicken Guinness Beef Stew?

The best way to thicken beef stew is a long cooking time so that it naturally reduces. 

While you can add more cornstarch or flour, doing so will muddy the flavor a bit. This is why my recipe only uses flour for browning the beef and calls for periods of simmering with the lid off. 

Tips for making this healthy Irish stew 

  • Don’t leave out the coffee and cocoa powder. It may sound odd, but the two together really bring out the Guinness flavor. 
  • Use a chicken stock rather than beef broth. Store-bought chicken stock is always better than store-bought beef stock (in my opinion). Of course, you can also make your own beef stock for the best flavor.
  • Brown the beef before adding it to the stew. This will make the flavor of the beef so much better! 

More healthy Irish-inspired recipes to try 

If you tried this Healthy Beef Stew or any other recipe on the blog let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment/rating below! Be sure to follow along on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook for even more deliciousness!

Sláinte mhaith!

Healthy Guinness Beef Stew

Healthy Guinness Beef Stew

Perfect for St. Patrick's Day or any cold winter night, this healthy Guinness Beef Stew is a hearty meal sure to warm you up from the inside out.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time2 hrs 35 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American, Irish
Keyword: Beef, Healthier, Stew
Servings: 8
Calories: 264kcal
Author: Kelli


  • 2 lb boneless chuck roast cut into 1-in cubes
  • 2 Tbs unsalted butter or cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour will not use all of it
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 3 cloves Garlic minced
  • 2 Tbs Tomato Paste
  • 2 Tbs Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 3 Cups Low-sodium chicken stock (or homemade beef stock)
  • 1 Cup Coffee strong-brewed
  • 1 1/2 cans Guinness (total of 22.35 ounces)
  • 1 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp dried Thyme
  • Black Pepper and salt to taste
  • 1 lb Carrots peeled and sliced
  • 1 head Cauliflower cut into individual florets


  • Place 1/2 Tbs butter or cooking oil in a cast iron or regular skillet and melt on medium heat.
  • Dredge 1/2 of the beef in flour and brown in prepared skillet. Remove and add another 1/2 Tbs of butter or oil and repeat with remaining beef. Remove and set aside.
  • In a large soup pot, place last tablespoon of butter or oil and add in shallot and garlic. Saute until shallot is translucent. Add in tomato paste and cocoa powder. Let bubble for 1 minute.
  • Slowly stir in broth, beer, coffee, and worcestershire sauce. Carefully add in beef.
  • Add in thyme and pepper, then bring stew to a boil. Once boiling, cover pot and reduce heat. Let stew simmer for 1 hour.
  • Uncover and add in carrots. Bring stew back to a boil, and leave boiling for 50 minutes (this will help to evaporate some of the liquid).
  • Next, add in cauliflower, cover, and let simmer on low for 30 minutes.
  • Finally, uncover stew and bring to a boil for 10 minutes.
  • You can serve the stew now, or let it cool down a bit by placing it on low for another 10-15 minutes.


For a shorter cooking time, see notes in post above. Nutrition for 1/8 of recipe: 264 calories, 12 g fat, 18 g carbohydrate, 7 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 25 g protein

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light

Add a comment


  • Aly AvatarAly10 months ago

    Sounds amazing! About how much is considered one serving?

  • Amira AvatarAmira7 years ago

    This looks so delicious!

  • About Kelli McGrane Headshot

    I’m Kelli MS, RD, and my mission is to prove that eating healthier doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. Follow along to learn more about food and cooking, with an emphasis on breakfast and sweet treats!

    About Kelli McGrane Headshot

    Welcome to The Healthy Toast!

    Here you’ll find realistic healthy recipes designed by a registered dietitian with your busy lifestyle in mind.

    Whether you’re a busy professional or new mom, the goal of The Healthy Toast is to provide you with the recipes and nutrition info you need to live your healthiest life, even when life gets crazy. As I’m a firm believer in a whole-foods, non-diet approach, I hope my website shows that good nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated or restrictive. 

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