Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

10 Great Casseroles on a Budget

Microwave Beef Casserole Stew

Yield: 8 servings

If you're a fan of beef, you may already know that stew meat is one of the less expensive cuts, and provides a nice textural change from ground beef.

If you're a fan of quick and easy meals, you may already love your microwave more than life itself.

This microwave casserole mixes stew meat with potatoes and carrots to create a casserole that doubles as a stew. Pair it with homemade (cheap!) corn bread to stretch the servings while still filling up.

Get cooking!


  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • 1 pound beef stew meat, cut into bite size pieces*
  • 11/2 cups baby red or Yukon gold potatoes, quartered (about 6)
  • 1 package (8 ounces) ready-to-use sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup baby carrots
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) fat-free reduced-sodium beef broth

*Supermarkets carry packages of cut-up beef for stewing. However, it's worth it to ask the butcher to cut up his or her best quality beef for stewing.


  1. Lightly coat 8-by-8-inch square glass microwavable baking dish with cooking spray. Place beef in baking dish. Add potatoes, mushrooms and carrots; distribute evenly.
  2. Stir together salt, pepper, thyme and flour in small bowl. Sprinkle evenly over stew mixture. Pour broth over meat and vegetables. Cover with 9-inch square of waxed paper, and microwave on HIGH for 30 minutes. (If microwave has no turntable, turn baking dish 3 times.)
  3. Remove dish from microwave and let rest, covered, 5 minutes before serving.

(For nutritional information, see TLC Cooking.)

Next, a super-low-fat, vegetable side or main dish ...