Indulge in the comforting flavours of this Beef Celery Orzo Stew – a delicious dish that brings warmth and satisfaction to your table. With its rich and savoury goodness, this stew is the perfect choice for any day of the week.
Beef Orzo Stew
Many of the recipes you find here on the blog are spontaneous creations born out of ingredients that need to be used up, just like this Beef Celery Orzo Stew.
I had some discounted stewing beef and a surplus of celery, so I decided to whip up a hearty, filling stew with the addition of orzo pasta from my pantry.
It's funny how our tastes change over time. As a child, I despised celery in any form, but now I enjoy it in salads, as a dip companion, and especially as an addition to stews, soups, or casseroles
Calories in Beef Celery Orzo Stew
These hearty Beef Celery Orzo Stew serves four people and has 416 calories per serving (no sides).
If you're looking for more recipes within the same calorie range, you'll find an abundance of options in my dedicated collection of 400+ calorie recipes.
If you're following a calorie-controlled diet or a healthy eating plan, it's important to calculate your daily calorie intake using a reliable calorie calculator. Please note that the calorie counts provided are estimates and can vary based on specific ingredients and serving sizes. Personalizing your calculations is essential to meet your individual needs. By using a calorie calculator, you can make informed choices and stay on track with your dietary goals.
Ingredients in Beef Celery Orzo Stew
To prepare this Beef Orzo Stew, here are some notes on the ingredients used:
- Stewing Beef : or diced beef opt for lean cuts, or trim any visible fat
- Onion: I use a red onion in this recipe, but any onion is fine.
- Celery: adds a delicious flavour to the broth and bulks it out the stew
- Butternut Squash: fresh butternut squash, peeled and diced. You can use frozen cubes if you prefer but for best taste I find fresh yields a better flavour.
- Garlic: fresh garlic, crushed in a press, but lazy or jarred mince garlic is fine also.
- Tomato Paste/Puree: A concentrated paste that imparts depth and flavour to the broth.
- Seasonings/Herbs: For flavour dried thyme, basil, crushed fennel seeds and paprika (not smoked) are used.
- Stock: It's crucial to use the right ratio of beef stock cubes for the required amount of stock. Not all stock cubes are the same, and using the wrong amount can result in either a bland and watery broth or an overly salty stock.
- Orzo: This rice-shaped pasta is the ideal addition to enhance the heartiness of soups and stews.
- Low Calorie Spray: Use your preferred brand. I personally prefer options without emulsifiers, such as avocado or olive oil spray.
- Salt and Pepper: These essential flavour enhancers play a crucial role in elevating the taste of your dishes. We use them to season the steak bites and recommend using them to season the final dish to taste as well. They ensure your food is never bland when used appropriately.
- Fresh Parsley: Added at the end of cooking to garnish and enhance the visual appeal of the dish while infusing it with additional flavour.
Once you've gathered all the ingredients and prepared them accordingly, you're all set to create this easy and delightful recipe.
See the recipe card for specific quantities and instructions.
Choosing the Best Pan for Stews and Casseroles
When preparing hearty dishes like soups, casseroles, or stews, my go-to cookware is my collection of Le Creuset or Staub Dutch Ovens, which come in various sizes and colours and have become my absolute favourites.
For cooking stews and casseroles efficiently, I recommend opting for a deep, lidded pot that can seamlessly transition from the stovetop to the oven, eliminating the need to transfer ingredients to another dish during the cooking process. If cast iron feels too heavy, there are plenty of lighter oven-safe casserole dish options available. A minimum size of 4 liters is ideal for stews and casseroles, providing ample space for your creations.
Variations/Substitutes on the Recipe
Other proteins: You can swap the diced beef for diced lamb or trimmed stewing lamb to keep the calories low. It's worth noting that while chicken thighs may also be an option, they won't impart the same richness and depth of flavor to this rich and hearty stew due to their milder taste.
Vegetables: Some of the vegetables in this recipe can be substituted, but it's important to choose items that are suitable for longer cooking in stews or casseroles, such as root vegetables and peppers. For instance, if you don't have butternut squash, carrots can make a good alternative. While celery plays a significant role in the recipe's flavor profile, if you have an aversion to it, you might consider replacing it with a similar vegetable that you prefer, such as fennel or leeks
Add some spice: Looking to spice up your dish? You can introduce some heat by adding a pinch of red chili flakes, a dash of cayenne, or even a splash of hot sauce or Tabasco to the broth.
Orzo: Orzo is an excellent addition to stews and casseroles because it adds volume without overwhelming the dish due to its small size. It can be effectively substituted for any pasta shape you prefer, but smaller soup-shaped pasta works particularly well.
More Low Calorie Stews and Casserole Recipes
Are you in search of more low calorie stews or casserooles? Look no further! Here are some great choices below:
- Rich Beef and Prune Stew (Instant Pot or Slow Cooker)
- Beef and Barley Stew
- Beef and Sweet Potato Stew
- Oxtail Stew (Instant Pot and Slow Cooker)
- One Pot Campfire Stew
- Tuscan Beef Casserole (Stove Top or Instant Pot)
- Balsamic Braised Beef (Stove Top, Slow Cooker and Instant Pot)
- Smoked Paprika Chicken Casserole (Instant Pot, Slow Cooker or Stove Top)
or if you would like more recipe ideas or sides to make with this recipe - head on over to the FULL RECIPE INDEX where you will find over 900 delicious recipes with calories and you can search by meal type, ingredients, course, diet and more.
All recipes on Slimming Eats have estimated nutritional information for your convenience.
FAQ For Beef Orzo Stew
The recipe has been tested using the method provided in the recipe box. Adapting it for a slow cooker would require adjustments because the liquid may not reduce as expected, and there's a risk of overcooking the orzo.
While all the ingredients can be frozen without issues, it's important to note that pasta may not retain its ideal texture after being frozen, defrosted, and reheated. Therefore, consider this factor if you intend to freeze the dish.
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- 600g (21oz) of lean stewing beef (diced beef), raw
- 1 large red onion, diced
- 4 stalks of celery, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- ½ teaspoon of dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon of fennel seeds, crushed
- ½ teaspoon of dried basil
- 200g (7oz) of butternut squash, diced
- 3 tablespoons of tomato paste (puree)
- 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
- 5 cups (1.2 litres) of beef stock
- 100g (3.5oz) of uncooked orzo pasta
- low calorie spray
- salt and black pepper
- handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
- Season the beef with salt and black pepper.
- Heat a large Dutch oven or casserole pot over medium-high heat and spray with low calorie spray
- Add the beef to the pot in batches and lightly brown it. Remove each batch and set it aside. Respray the pot with more low calorie spray after each batch.
- Add the onion and celery to the pot and Fry for a couple of minutes until the onion is slightly translucent. Use a little stock to deglaze the pan and prevent sticking.
- Add the garlic and with the dried thyme, basil and fennel and Sauté for another minute.
- Return the beef to the pot abd Add the butternut squash, smoked paprika, and tomato paste. Stir to coat.
- Pour in the stock and Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 1 hour or until the meat is tender.
- About 10 minutes before stew is finished cooked, add in the orzo pasta. Continue cooking until the orzo is done.
- Season with salt and black pepper to taste and Stir in the chopped parsley.
- Serve and Enjoy!
Please see below for details about recipe:
- Calories - scroll down to nutritional info box
- Slimming, Diet or Weight Loss programs:: due to plans regularly changing and updating, we recommend calculating with the official tools you get as a member to those plans to ensure accuracy of values
- Dairy Free Friendly
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Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 416Total Fat 9gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 19mgSodium 814mgCarbohydrates 33gFiber 4gSugar 6gProtein 56g
Nutritional information and values etc are an estimate and is to be used for informational purposes only. Ingredients can vary greatly from brand to brand and therefore it would be impossible to give accurate information. It is always advised that you calculate by the ingredients you use.