This one-pot ground beef stew with pasta is inspired by Paraguayan Guiso. Ground beef and vegetables are stewed in a tomato broth, with pasta added at the end.
What is Paraguayan Guiso?
Paraguyan Guiso is a common South American stew category. Many variations exist. This dish usually contains a protein (ground or beef chunks, chicken), tomato puree, chopped vegetables, and a carbohydrate (pasta or rice).
This ground beef stew is based on a Guiso my mother-in-law, who was born and grew up in Paraguay, made for us recently. It includes ground beef, onion, garlic, cumin, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, and pasta, which results in a hearty, flavourful, and warming stew.
How to Make Ground Beef Stew with Pasta
This stew is incredibly easy to make and is even wonderful for a weeknight when things are quite busy. It also is made in just one pot on the stove top which means there is no need to separately cook and drain the pasta. And you will be able to cut down on cleaning up after cooking. It is also very nutritious with a combination of vegetables for quality nutrition and fiber.
Cooking the Aromatics
1. To begin making this ground beef stew, you heat a large Dutch oven on the stove over medium-high heat with some olive oil and cook the beef until it is crumbled and browned. Pictured here is my Marquette Castings Dutch oven which I use interchangeably with my Uno Casa Dutch oven. You could also use any other large pot that you have if you don't have a Dutch oven.
Next, you add the flavouring ingredients such as onion, garlic, 2 teaspoons salt, cumin, and ½ teaspoon pepper, and allow it to cook until the onion is soft and translucent, and the garlic is fragrant.
Adding the Broth
The next step is to stir the broth into the pot to deglaze the pan, which will help lift up caramelized bits from the bottom of the pot and build flavour. You can use either beef broth or chicken broth for this step, which is great for you to use up bone broth you may have on hand, either store-bought or some that you might have made previously to store in the freezer.
Adding the Vegetables
2. At this point, add the diced carrots and potatoes to the pot along with the tomatoes. In the case of the potatoes, you could use whatever you had such as russet potatoes, red potatoes, or white potatoes. For the tomatoes, you can either use two chopped fresh tomatoes from the farmer's market or your garden, or a can of diced tomatoes. In the off-season, canned tomatoes is a wonderful option to achieve a depth of flavour in this stew. Then, allow the mixture to simmer, covered, until the vegetables are tender, about 5 to 10 minutes.
Cooking the Pasta
3. To cook the pasta, you add tomato puree or crushed tomatoes to the stew along with boiling water and short pasta. Then boil until the pasta is cooked through and most of the water has been absorbed. The total time for this should be about 8 to 13 minutes.
4. Then stir everything up to combine and sprinkle with some fresh, chopped herbs.
Serving the Ground Beef Stew
Like all one pot pasta dishes, this stew is best served straight away as the pasta will continue to soften as it sits in the stew and will absorb all of the liquid. For that reason, it is ideal to eat the stew right away rather than saving it for leftovers the next day. However, if you do have some leftover, you could store it in an airtight container. Then, when you reheat it, you can add more broth to the stew to return it to the consistency of when you first made it.
To serve the stew, simply divide between bowls and garnish with your choice of chopped fresh parsley, cilantro, or basil for some colour and flavour.
How to Serve Ground Beef Stew
Similar to other stew recipes, you can enjoy the stew as it is in bowls with your favourite herbs on top. However, you could serve it in other ways too. If you like, have it with a fresh green salad, pickled or fermented vegetables, or even some fresh bread with butter to round out the meal.
While the ingredients in this stew are highly accessible to most and may be ingredients you have on hand already, there are a few variations that will result in a delicious stew. Here are some options for you to vary the recipe if you like.
- Rather than using ground beef, feel free to replace it with small chunks of stewing beef. Using smaller chunks will ensure they cook quickly and are tender. In a pinch, you could replace it with other types of ground meat as well.
- If you don't have carrots at the time you make this dish, consider trying other bright orange vegetables such as cubes of sweet potato or butternut squash instead.
- This stew would be a great place to use up vegetables that are past their prime such as celery, bell peppers, parsnips, cabbage, green beans, and more.
Other One-Pot Recipes You'll Love:
- Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Chili
- Butternut Squash Chicken Stew
- Greek Spinach Rice
- Instant Pot Spaghetti & Meat Sauce
- Chicken Fajita Pasta
Ground Beef Stew with Pasta - Paraguayan Guiso
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb ground beef or small chunks stewing beef
- 1 large onion chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 cups broth beef/chicken
- 1 large carrot peeled & diced
- 1 large potato peeled & diced
- 2 large tomatoes diced (or 15oz can diced tomatoes)
- 1 can tomato puree/crushed tomatoes 15 oz
- 3 cups boiling water
- 1 lb short pasta
- Heat a large pot or Dutch oven on medium high. Add the oil and ground beef and sear until browned.
- Then add in the onion, garlic, salt, cumin, and pepper and sauté while stirring until onion turns translucent.
- Deglaze the pot with the broth. Stir in the diced carrots, potatoes, and tomatoes. Cover and simmer until the vegetables start to soften (5-10 mins)
- In the meantime bring 3 cups of water to a boil.
- Then stir in the tomato puree, hot water and pasta. Cook on medium heat until most of the water is absorbed and the pasta is al dente (8-13 minutes).
- Serve right away with chopped herbs of your choice, like cilantro, parsley, basil.
- One pot pasta dishes are always best served right away. Any leftover pasta stew is still delicious but the pasta will continue to absorb liquid and soften further.