The world is full of comfort foods, but one of my favorites is beef and noodles. This from generations of cooking — every time I make it, I feel my grandmother’s love. That’s the best part of comfort food: that soul balm feeling from digging into a bowl of lovingly made noodles or broth.
Beef and noodles also dominate other pasta recipes by having only four — yes, four — steps! Each spoonful is bursting with fully-rounded beef while being so simple to make.
Tasty food, cozy feelings, and zero stress. Go get your fuzziest blanket and your thickest socks!
Every time I make beef and noodles recipe, I find something new to love. My list at this point is practically infinite!
- Cozy, belly-filling comfort food
- Simple to prep, make and clean up
- Versatile enough to tweak for picky eaters
- Stovetop or Crock-Pot options
- My recipe includes wine!
From rich, mouth-watering broth to soft noodles to tender, buttery beef, this beef and noodles recipe is the epitome of simple, flavorful food. Want to make sure you get every ounce of dynamic flavor out of your dish? Read on!
Noodles: Egg or Homemade? For years, I made beef and noodles using homemade pasta. I’m not gonna lie — making homemade pasta is difficult. They are otherworldly-levels of delicious, but they are very time consuming, and can definitely be a turn off for the time-crunched chef. But! Store-bought egg noodles are yummy and behave just as well in this recipe.
Isn’t this Beef Stroganoff? Beef and noodles — that’s just a description for Beef Stroganoff, right? Wrong! Stroganoff is a traditional Russian dish marked by its signature use of sour cream — which our beef and noodles recipe doesn’t have.
What our recipe DOES have are the down-home Amish-American country flavors that make it its own type of signature scrumptious!
Beef Prep: I haven’t met a grocery butcher yet who won’t cut meat for you if you ask — have your local butcher chop up your beef chuck, and your prep time shrinks that much! I’ve had others vary their beef and noodles recipe by marinating their chopped beef chuck in Worchestershire sauce, which adds a tender tang.
What’s in YOUR broth? Low-sodium beef broth from the store is the ideal broth to use in beef and noodles — but if you have a little time and some extra beef bones in your freezer, you can make your own broth!
The ratio is generally 4 cups of water per 1 lb of bones. You can add whatever extra flavorings you’d like: herbs, veggies, other types of meat bones, whatever! Pile it all into a Crock-Pot, where you’ll simmer it on low for about six hours, or a pressure cooker, where you’ll let it steep for about an hour.
Gotta have my veggies: As you can see, this dish isn’t super vegetable-heavy — but you can easily change that! Beef and noodles taste extra yummy with chopped carrots, potatoes, mushrooms, or peas. You can really zest things up with a can of crushed tomatoes!
International flair: Beef and noodles recipe are one of those rare global comfort foods where many cultures have their own variations. We already mentioned how similar it is to Russian Beef Stroganoff (just add sour cream!) — but try adding some freshly grated ginger and a splash of soy sauce to take a tastebud trip to Asia, or sprinkle on some cumin and finish with cilantro for a south-of-the-border twist!
Wine: I’ve seen some other recipes for this dish that don’t include wine. My family has always used wine in the sauce. It really deepens the flavor profile and enhances the beef flavor. Skip it if you must, but you may need to increase the Better than Bouillon to compensate.
Broth: The sauce in this recipe tends to be more like a slightly thickened broth than a gravy. The flour coating on the beef and the oil used to brown the beef provide a bit of a thickening agent.
If you would like your sauce to be thicker, I suggest making a cornstarch slurry and adding it to the sauce when you pull the beef out to shred. Just combine 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 3 tablespoons of cold water and whisk it together with a fork until there are no lumps. Add half of the slurry to the sauce and cook the sauce over medium heat until it begins to bubble.
If it’s not thickened to your liking you can repeat the process with the second half of the slurry.
Adding Other Ingredients: You might consider adding peppers – especially green peppers. I sometimes will also add a large can of drained plum tomatoes, crushing them in my hands before adding them to the pot.
Lots of people love putting their favorite gravy recipe over this dish. While beef and noodles with gravy aren’t my favorite thing, its popularity probably speaks for itself.
If you love spicy food, feel free to add a little dash of red chili flakes to the sauce. Be careful – a few flakes go a long way!
Try a dash of ginger in the recipe for a unique flavor that stays true to the longevity of beef and noodles. It’s a fresh twist on the recipe, without deviating too far from the recipe’s roots.
Could beef and noodles recipe properly call itself comfort food if it wasn’t friendly to your fridge? Leftovers taste just as delectable as fresh!
Can You Freeze This?
Indeed you can! Beef and noodles can hang out in your freezer for up to four months.
Make Ahead Tips
Since beef and noodles recipe takes up to two hours to simmer, you want to make sure your meal prep is as time-conscious as possible. Get your butcher to chop the meat for you, if you can. Have your veggies pre-chopped as well (most can sit in an airtight container in your fridge for up to a week).
You can even make the sauce ahead of time and refrigerate for up to four days (sans the meat!) — when you’re ready, brown the meat, bring your sauce to a simmer, and add the beef.
How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge?
The general rule for beef-touting dishes is that they can last for up to 3-4 days in the fridge.
If you’ve made beef and noodles as often as I have, you’re probably wondering what ways you can shake things up. Look no further!
Can I Pair Ground Beef and Noodles?
Beef and noodles recipe is a perfect blank canvas for side dishes. Its mellow, savory flavor sets the stage for bolder supporting stars. Try bitter arugula greens in a salad, or sauteed veggies with punchy flavors like asparagus or broccoli.
What Other Ways Can I Cook This Recipe?
I love my Instant Pot. I love my Crock-Pot. I’ve yet to find a dish I can’t adapt to them.
To make Instant Pot beef and noodles, use your Instant Pot in lieu of the saute pan. Follow the directions as listed, and set your pot’s timer according to its Beef setting.
To make crock pot beef and noodles, saute your meat on the stovetop, then follow the remainder of the steps in the Crock-Pot. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
In both cases, you can either include the noodles or wait and make them on the stovetop. I prefer to make my noodles separately, as they tend to get a little extra mushy in Crock-Pots and Instant Pots.
Can I This Be Turned Into A Chow Mein Dish?
Chow mein dishes are marked by their crispy, fried noodles. To make this into a Beef Chow Mein dish, swap your egg noodles for the chow mein noodles you can find at your grocer.
Can This Be Turned Into A Lo Mein Dish?
Beef and noodles is well on its way to being beef lo mein already! Swap out your curly egg noodles for Asian egg noodles (which are thinner and more like spaghetti). Add chopped cabbage and thinly sliced carrots for your veggies, and top off your sauce with freshly grated ginger, chopped garlic, soy sauce, and a dash of Chinese Five Spice powder.
You’ll have a bowl of delicious comfort food lo mein in no time!
Is Chicken A Good Substitute For This Recipe?
Oh yes! Especially if you’re going the Crock-Pot route. Crockpot Chicken and noodles is constantly flipping with beef and noodles as my favorite comfort food meal. If you want to take it a step farther into the comfort-food territory, try crockpot chicken noodle soup!
Beef and Noodles
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2-4 tablespoons vegetable oil divided
- 2 1/2 to 3 pounds boneless beef chuck roast trimmed and cut into 1 inch cubed
- 1 cup yellow onion chopped
- 4 large garlic clove minced
- 40 ounces low sodium beef broth
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 tablespoon Better than Bouillon - beef flavor
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried marjoram
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 12 ounces dried egg noodles
- Sprinkle beef cubes with all-purpose flour and toss to coat evenly, shaking off excess.
- In a large stockpot, add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and heat over medium heat. When the oil is hot, brown meat in batches without crowding it. Add more oil as needed. Transfer browned meat with a slotted spoon, to a plate, and set aside.
- In the same pot, saute onion and garlic over medium-low heat, until soft, about 8 minutes. Add beef back to the pot. Pour in beef broth and red wine. Add Better than Bouillon, marjoram, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat immediately and simmer gently, partially covered with a lid, for about 1 1/2-2 hours or until the beef is tender. Transfer beef chunks with a slotted spoon to a plate and shred into large pieces. Return to pot.
- Meanwhile, cook the egg noodle according to package directions in salted water, just until al dente. Drain well then stir them into the sauce and gently mix until well combined. Serve.
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If it is a noodle recipe, I know it’s bound to be a crowd-pleaser! Here are some more of my favorite noodle dishes:
- Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup – make an Asian-inspired soup!
- Chinese Beef Noodle Soup – make this soup with Chinese noodles
- Beef Noodle Soup – a one-pot comforting soup!
- Stir Fry Noodles – a quick and easy dinner for the whole family!
- Chicken Chow Mein – a savory and flavorful dish you have to try!
True, lasting comfort food is adaptable and delicious while still being easy and filling. It isn’t pretentious or complicated. Beef and noodles is all of that and more, giving you endless options for changes and versatility. One bowl of it, and you’ll feel your stress slide right away.