When you’re craving a hearty but healthy dinner this Persian inspired Herb and Beef Stew with rice is the perfect thing to make. Make it quick in the Instant Pot, or go low and slow in the slow cooker or oven (pick your method!). Using healthy ingredients like turmeric, lemon, spinach, and plenty of fresh herbs, this dish is hearty and full of flavor. Finish each bowl off with steamed rice and a sprinkle of goat cheese for a truly cozy winter dinner that’s vibrant, fresh, and delicious!
Some of you may remember, but last year I shared a vegetarian version of this stew. I was so nervous to share that recipe. I wasn’t sure how everyone would feel about an herb stew, or about stew in general. However, over the last year, I’ve quickly learned that you all love a good stew recipe. Almost vegan, or more traditional, either way, you guys seemed to have really enjoyed the two stew recipes I shared.
Today’s recipe was made with one person in mind, my oldest brother, Creighton. The truth is that Creighton loves any kind of beef recipe, but stew and meatloaf are probably his two favorites. I’ve hesitated for years to make a beef stew, but finally caved in this past fall. The meatloaf? I’m still not ready for that, simply because the thought of photographing a loaf of meat scares the heck out of me. Stupid reason, I know, but I have the hardest time sharing recipes when I don’t also enjoy the photos. So for right now, I’m still avoiding the meatloaf…
Anyway, stew on the other hand? Stew I can create and not only make look decent, but taste even better. Enter this Persian inspired (inspired being the keyword) herb and beef stew. It’s made using Persian herbs and spices, it’s warming, hearty, and the perfect wintery meal.
Here are the details.
Start with the beef. The amazing thing about beef stew is that you can use a cheaper cut of meat, but still make it taste incredible. Cooking the beef low and slow helps to tenderize it and rid the beef of any toughness. If you don’t have time to cook low and slow, I also tested this recipe out in the instant pot and was surprised by just how good the beef turned out. It’s tender and not at all chewy. So while I prefer the slow cooker or oven, using the Instant Pot in a time crunch works wonderfully as well!
Here’s the key, I like to brown the beef before adding any kind of liquid. I know it’s an additional step, but I find it makes for a more flavorful stew. Brown the beef, then simply add in the liquids. Cover and cook until the beef is super tender. Pretty simple, nothing fancy, just the way any stew recipe should be.
Now, let’s talk about the herbs.
The herbs are what set this stew apart and make it especially delicious. Traditionally, a Persian herb stew has cilantro, parsley, and chives. Saffron is also typical, but it’s a more pricy ingredient and I didn’t have any in my pantry, so I left that out. I’m sure it would be delicious though. If you have some around, go ahead and add a pinch!
Since these are tender herbs, stir them in towards the end of cooking, along with white beans and baby spinach for even more nutrients and color. Hey, it’s Healthy January…the more proteins and greens the better!
And that’s it, just add the herbs and the stew will be complete and ready to enjoy!
Here is how you should serve this stew.
Most stews are served with potatoes or noodles, but this stew is different and is best served with rice. I like steamed basmati best, but any rice will do! You could even use quinoa for a healthier option. Spoon the rice into your bowls, spoon the stew over top, and finish with fresh herbs and crumbled goat cheese. The cheese, while not traditional, is a must, it adds a creamy, tangy touch with every bite.
Additionally, I would also serve this stew with fresh Naan. But that’s just me, I tend to pair most foods with Naan. It’s such a favorite over here. I usually find a reason to pair it with as many dishes as possible.
When I made this originally, it was cold and snowy, so perfect stew weather. We have snow in the forecast for this weekend, so I have a very good feeling this will be our Sunday night dinner. Already very much looking forward to it!
If you make this Persian herb and beef stew, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Persian Inspired Herb and Beef Stew with Rice
Calories Per Serving: 581 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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- 3 pounds beef chuck, trimmed and cubed
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3-4 cups low sodium beef broth
- 1 14 ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 14 ounce can white beans, drained
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh dill, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives
- 2 cups cooked basmati rice
- crumbled feta or goat cheese, for serving
- fresh mint, for serving
- 1. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, sear the beef on both sides. Remove the beef and transfer to the slow cooker. 2. To the slow cooker, add the onion, garlic, turmeric, crushed red pepper, lemon zest, lemon juice, 3 cups broth, the tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. During the last hour of cooking, add the beans, spinach, cilantro, parsley, dill, and chives. If you would like a thinner consistency, add the remaining 1 cup broth.3. To serve, divide the rice among bowls and ladle the stew over top. Top with cheese and herbs.
- 1. Switch the instant pot to sauté. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Sear the beef on both sides until browned. Turn the instant pot off.2. To the instant pot, add the onion, garlic, turmeric, crushed red pepper, lemon zest, lemon juice, 3 cups broth, the tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper. Seal the instant pot and cook on high pressure for 35 minutes.3. Switch the instant pot to sauté. Add the beans, spinach, cilantro, parsley, dill, and chives. Boil 8-10 minutes until the the sauce thickens slightly. If you would like a thinner consistency, add the remaining 1 cup broth.4. To serve, divide the rice among bowls and ladle the stew over top. Top with cheese and herbs.
- 1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large oven-safe braiser, sear the beef on both sides. Remove the beef to a plate. Add the onion and cook 5 minutes until soft. Stir in the garlic, turmeric, crushed red pepper, and lemon zest, cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. 2. Add back the beef. Pour in the 3 cups broth, the tomatoes, lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and transfer to the oven. Cook for 2 ½ to 3 hours or until the beef is tender.3. Remove from the oven and place over low heat. Stir in the beans, spinach, cilantro, parsley, dill, and chives, and simmer 10-15 minutes, until the spinach is wilted and the stew is very fragrant. If you would like a thinner consistency, add the remaining 1 cup broth.4. To serve, divide the rice among bowls and ladle the stew over top. Top with cheese and herbs.