Beef Stew with Cranberries

Swedish Kalops

This is such a quick and easy winter stew recipe, just chunks of beef slow-cooked with onions and cranberry, creating melt-in-your-mouth tender bites of meat, simple enough for a weeknight supper but special enough for company too. Beef Stew with Cranberries is based on an old-fashioned recipe for Swedish Kalops, no wonder it's perfect for cold winter nights!

Beef Stew with Cranberries ♥, an old Swedish recipe and easy weeknight stew, just beef slow-cooked with onion and cranberry.

Homestyle Whole Food, Simply Prepared. Just Seven Ingredients. Beef Stew Made from Scratch. Use Up That Leftover Cranberry Sauce! A Long-Time Family Favorite. Hearty & Filling. High Protein. So Good!

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An Old-Fashioned Scandinavian Recipe for Winter.

As the holiday season winds down, aren't we all, you know, just ready to turn to simple foods that can be prepared in a few minutes and then forgotten until hunger strikes at serving time?

If that's you, well, here's dinner for tonight or tomorrow or maybe the weekend. Whether cooked ahead for a weeknight supper or simmered stovetop for Sunday dinner, Beef Stew with Cranberries fits the bill for easy, filling winter fare.

Swedish cookbooks offer dozens of traditional recipes for Kalops, sometimes anglicized to Callops. Centuries ago, the meat and gravy mixture was served on Nordic sailing ships so most recipes call for a generous quantity of allspice or cloves to mask the taste of (ewwww .... sorry) spoiled meat on long voyages.

My delicious variation creates morsels of tender meat in a fruit-sweetened gravy that to my taste is decidedly addictive.

Beef Stew with Cranberries ♥, an old Swedish recipe and easy weeknight stew, just beef slow-cooked with onion and cranberry.

About This Recipe: Beef Stew with Cranberries (Swedish Kalops)

  • This beefy stew is my rendition of an old-old Swedish recipe, just chunks of tender beef slow-cooked with onion and cranberry sauce. It's definitely savory but the cranberry sauce makes it slightly sweet and slightly sour, a magical combination with beef. The stew starts off on the stove, then finishes slow cooking either right there on the stove or in the oven.
  • Distinctive Ingredients = Beef Stew Meat + Cranberry
  • Short Ingredient List = all the above + oil + flour + onion + salt & pepper
  • For Garnish = fresh dill
  • Kitchen Tools = a large, heavy stew pot such as a Dutch oven
  • It takes about 15 minutes hands-on time to start the stew, it's done in about 2 hours.
  • Like many beef stews, the stew wins no beauty contests, its appearance is plain and brown. The bright green of dill helps (and adds to the flavor) but for a pretty plate, consider the sides.
  • You can make the stew with store-bought cranberry sauce (maybe there's a can leftover in the pantry) but I usually make it with homemade cranberry sauce from the holidays.
  • This is pantry-friendly recipe, especially for someone who buys or makes cranberry sauce.
  • As written, the recipe yields about 6 cups of stew. I usually allow 1 cup for smaller appetites (hers, say) and 1-1/2 or 2 cups for bigger appetites (his, maybe).
  • So good! I hope you love it!

  • My master recipe for stew, the go-to Winter Stew, has more ingredients but also has a beguiling fruitiness that comes from dried fruit.
  • Not quite what you're looking for? Check out my other recipes for beef stew, just scroll down a bit with my other beef recipes.
Beef Stew with Cranberries ♥, an old Swedish recipe and easy weeknight stew, just beef slow-cooked with onion and cranberry.

Hungry Yet?
A Traditional Swedish or Finnish Menu

Beef Stew with Cranberries
(recipe below)
with Boiled Potatoes
(skins on, either plain or tossed with butter & fresh dill)
Pickled Beets
Green Salad

Beef Stew with Cranberries ♥, an old Swedish recipe and easy weeknight stew, just beef slow-cooked with onion and cranberry.

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Beef Stew with Cranberries (Swedish Kalops) ♥, an old-fashioned recipe for Swedish Kalops, chunks of beef slow-cooked with onions and cranberry.

~ PIN This ~


Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 2 hours
Makes 6 cups
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 pounds (900g) beef stew meat, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 cups chopped onion, about 2 medium onions
  • 16 ounces (450g) canned whole-cranberry sauce (or leftover homemade cranberry sauce)
  • 1/2 - 1 cup water, depending on how much gravy is wanted
  • Fresh dill, for garnish, optional but really nice

START ON THE STOVE Heat the oil in a large, heavy Dutch oven until shimmery. Meanwhile, mix the flour, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the meat pieces and dredge with the flour mixture until lightly coated. Add the meat to the hot oil and cook the meat until is brown on all sides. Top with the remaining ingredients and stir.

FINISH on the STOVE Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for at least 90 minutes until meat becomes tender.

~ or ~

FINISH in the OVEN Cover and cook at 200F/100C for 2 hours or until the meat becomes tender.

SERVE hot with boiled potatoes tossed in butter and fresh dill; pickled beets and a green salad.

ALANNA's TIPS Beef Stew with Cranberries easily converts to gluten-free. Instead of using flour to thicken the gravy, use yellow cornmeal. Works like a charm! Not into canned cranberry? Use Homemade Whole Cranberry Sauce for the Slow Cooker.
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Cup: 429 Calories; 14g Tot Fat; 5g Sat Fat; 98mg Cholesterol; 490mg Sodium; 39g Carb; 2g Fiber; 31g Sugar; 33g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 9 & PointsPlus 11 & SmartPoints 15 & Freestyle 15 & myWW green 15 & blue 15 & purple 15 & future WW points

Beef Stew from Around the World

~ beef recipes ~
Spanish Stew with Roasted Pepper (Chilindron) ♥, a wine-enriched stew, dark and somehow mysterious with roasted red peppers.

Beef Bourguignon (French Beef Stew) ♥ Three days of preparation, one magnificant feast.

Irish Beef Stew ♥, a hearty, beer-rich stew, chunks of sirloin, carrots and potatoes seasoned with caraway.

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Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail, you'll find my current address in the FAQs. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. I love beef stew recipes. To shift it to gluten free is easy with using a gluten free flour. I don't have a can of cranberries but fresh ones. I wonder if I put them into the blender and added it to the mix, if that would work. I might need a little agave. What do you think?

  2. Diane ~ Fresh cranberries, for sure, but I'd be inclined to cook the cranberries with sugar or, as you say, agave, and a splash of water until the berries popped. Glad you like the recipe, it's just so simple, my favorite!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna