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Classic Beef and Dumplings

When chicken and dumplings meet hearty beef stew you get beef and dumplings!
A bowl of beef and dumplings with a napkin in the background.

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Love my recipe for Easy Chicken and Dumplings? Love hearty Beef Stew? Then you’re going to LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe for Beef and Dumplings! It’s like a mashup of both of them minus the vegetables and chicken and with soft fluffy dumplings.

Beef and dumplings in two bowls with red napkins and spoons.

Easy Homemade Dumplings!

You don’t need to buy Bisquick OR chop up canned biscuits to make dumplings. My recipe is SO easy to make that anyone can make them. And they’ll turn out using these handy tips!

Homemade fluffy dumplings in beef broth.

Tips for Best Homemade Fluffy Dumplings

  • don’t overmix the dumpling dough
  • when the dough comes together it’s mixed enough
  • have your broth just simmering, a hard boil will break apart your dumplings
  • never roll or squeeze the dough to make the dumplings, simply break off a piece of dumpling dough about the size of a golf ball and drop it in simmering broth
  • drop the dough into the simmering broth, cover immediately, and set the timer
  • keep the lid on the pot until the timer goes off, the dumplings need the steam and heat to cook up light and fluffy
Dumpling dough coming together in a ball.

If you roll the dumpling dough into the golf balls sized balls you’ll have hard and heavy dumplings. They won’t cook correctly and they may sink to the bottom of the pot.

Beef and dumplings in two bowls with red napkins and spoons.

A rolling boil for the entire cooking time can overcook the dumplings. And they may just crumble in the boiling broth. A little boil, while they’re cooking, won’t hurt the dumplings. But don’t keep it at a hard boil for too long it will probably boil over.

Ingredients for beef and dumplings.

What do I need to make Dumplings with beef?

  • stewing beef or stew meat chunks
  • all-purpose flour
  • salt
  • garlic powder
  • cold coffee or espresso powder
  • better than beef bouillon OR beef stock or beef broth (your preferred beef broth product)
  • water
  • baking powder
  • salt and pepper (to top the dumplings)
  • light olive oil or vegetable oil
A spoon with beef and dumpling in it.

Tools Needed

  • Dutch Oven
  • tongs
  • wooden spoon
  • knife
  • cutting board
  • medium bowl

We love our long-cooking recipes!

I love quick dinners but there is just something about dinners that take a while to make and cook for a long time. This beautiful Pork Tamales recipe is something we love to spend time making. And Old Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings starts with a whole chicken, and cooks all day! Love a good pot roast?? Try this tangy zest Mississippi Pot Roast!

A bowl of beef and dumplings with a napkin in the background.

Beef and Dumplings

5 from 41 votes
When chicken and dumplings meet hearty beef stew you get beef and dumplings!
Course: Dinner Recipes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 8 Servings
Calories: 418kcal
Author: Laura
Print Recipe


  • 2 pounds beef stew meat
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 quarts water OR beef stock plus more water later
  • beef bouillon if not using liquid stock
  • 2 tsp espresso powder or 1/4 cup coffee

Fluffy Homemade Dumplings

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup light olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • salt and pepper to top dumplings


  • if meat isn't cut into bite-size chunks do that now
  • over medium heat preheat the oil in a heavy bottom dutch oven
  • mix the flour, garlic, salt, and pepper together in a medium bowl
  • toss the beef with the flour until well coated

    Beef chunks about to be dredged in seasoned flour.
  • Beef dredged in flour ready to brown up.
  • when the oil is shimmering add some of the beef, turning with tongs to get the sides browned
    Browning beef in hot oil for beef and dumplings.
  • remove to a plate lined with paper towels and let it drain
  • repeat with the remaining beef
  • when the beef is all cooked deglaze the pan with the beef stock OR water
  • scrape up all the browned bits on the bottom of the pan once they're up add your bouillon or better than bouillon paste to make the broth
  • add the coffee and stir to combine
  • add the beef and bring it up to a quick boil
  • then reduce heat, cover, and let it cook until the beef is tender, about 90-minutes to 2 hours, keep an eye on the broth and make sure it's not cooking away, add more water as needed
  • once the beef is tender adjust your broth-if it needs water add some, you don't need more bouillon or stock just water to thin out the thick very well-flavored broth that has reduced down during cooking
  • taste the broth as well and add more salt, coffee, or garlic as needed, add pepper too at this stage
  • get the broth to just a simmer and then add the dumplings
  • to make the dumplings whisk the flour and baking powder together with a pinch of salt
  • mix the milk and oil together and pour them into the flour mixture
  • stir with a fork until the dough comes together in a ball
  • when the broth is simmering use your fingers to divide the dough into 12 golf ball-sized pieces
  • drop them in the simmering broth, they may sink but will soon pop right up
  • sprinkle the dumplings with salt and pepper, cover and cook for 12 minutes
  • do not open the lid for 12 minutes the dumplings need steam and heat to cook
  • if your pan tries to boil over slide it part of the way off the heat OR reduce the heat further if you can
  • after 12 minutes take out a dumpling and check it for doneness, the dumplings will be soft and covered in gravy on the outside and cooked through and fluffy on the inside when they're done
  • if you don't think they're done cover and cook them another minute or two
  • serve hot
  • whoever gets the bay leaf has good luck for the next week!


Serving: 1g | Calories: 418kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 115mg | Sodium: 879mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g
Beef and dumplings in two bowls for facebook graphic.
laura sampson

About Laura

Laura is on a mission to teach modern family oriented women how to make old-fashioned foods new again. A wife and mom of 3 boys, Laura understands the struggles of trying to serve a home-cooked meal each night. She provides recipes and cooking hacks for busy moms to create dishes they may think take more time or skill than they have to make. Read more...

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