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Make-Ahead Tex-Mex Beef Stew

Created by: Laura Franklin, Food Fun Family

I’ve fallen in love with batch cooking – preparing meals ahead of time so that dinner is smooth and easy and I’m still serving my family home cooked meals. Fast doesn’t have to mean fast food!

This make-ahead Tex-Mex beef stew can be prepped ahead of time and then frozen until it’s ready to be cooked, or it can be fully cooked before hand and simply heated up when you’re ready to serve. This flavorful stew couldn’t be easier or more delicious!

Ingredients:
  • 2-3 lbs. beef stew meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 2 stalks of celery, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • 1 jalapeño, diced
  • 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained
  • 1 can (15 oz.) sweet corn, drained
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz. each) stewed tomatoes
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • Fresh cilantro and tortilla chips, if desired
Directions:

Method one: freeze ingredients to cook later

  1. Add flour and stew meat to a gallon-sized freezer bag; toss to coat beef with the flour.
  2. Add all additional ingredients to bag except 2 cups of beef broth. Seal bag and add label with recipe title and cooking time. Freeze immediately.
  3. To cook stew, remove bag from the freezer and place in the refrigerator overnight to thaw. In the morning, transfer the contents of the bag plus 2 cups of beef broth to a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until vegetables are soft and beef has reached an internal temperature of at least 160°F. Serve with fresh cilantro and tortilla chips, if desired.

Method two: cook first and freeze, then heat later

  1. In a medium bowl or gallon-sized plastic bag, toss stew meat and flour, then place in slow cooker. Add all other ingredients to the slow cooker and stir. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until vegetables are soft and beef has reached an internal temperature of at least 160°F.
  2. Allow stew to cool slightly, then remove from slow cooker and continue to cool in the refrigerator until the stew has reached room temperature or cooler. Add stew to a gallon-sized freezer bag and place in the freezer until ready to eat.
  3. To serve, thaw stew in the refrigerator overnight. Add stew to a large stock pot and heat over medium heat until temperature has reached 160°F. Serve with fresh cilantro and tortilla chips, if desired.

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