Canned Beef Stew, Ranked From Worst To Best, According To Customers

Mmm, beef stew. It's not exactly something you'd expect to come canned, but it sure does make for a convenient meal when you're craving deeply comforting beefy flavors but don't want to invest the time, effort, and energy getting a proper stew cooked at home. We feel you. It's for that reason that we have set out to inspect the canned beef stews already available to find out which are the best (and worst) varieties out there.

We'll issue a fair warning here and say that some of our picks are truly stews, and some are technically "soups" though they may function the same with stew-based ingredients. Our product picks for ranking, as well as the levels by which we ranked each canned beef stew, were determined by our personal experience, careful examination of customer reviews, and attention to specific details, like pricing and ingredients, when necessary. Ready to slurp up the savory details of today's post? Join us as we dish out our list of canned beef stew, ranked from worst to best.

12. Armour Star Classic Homestyle Beef Stew

When you think of beef stew, you likely envision chunky cuts of meat surrounded by yummy veggies like carrots, potatoes, and celery, all drowning in a rich brown broth. Unfortunately, though Armour Star Classic Homestyle Beef Stew seems to advertise all of this and more, the truth is that the stew actually falls flat — especially when it comes to the meat.

As mentioned before, the meat is often the star of the show in beef stew, and usually resembles chunky cuts of heart steak-like meat. When it comes to Armour Star Classic Homestyle Beef Stew, however, customers malign the fact that it seemingly comes with what appears to be ground beef rather than the chunky steak cuts they were expecting. The unexpected shock of mostly meat "gristle" in the stew has caused customers to reel back in disbelief while simultaneously stepping away from the brand's stew for good. After all, nobody really expects their beef stew to be chock full of ground beef granules, so we can't say that we blame customers for reacting so strongly to this one.

11. Campbell's Chunky Steak and Potato Soup

We're a bit shocked by customer reactions to this one, but, as always, we're here to dish the deets. Despite the delicious images of hearty beef and potatoes with savory mushrooms (yes, we're mushroom fans over here), we were instead met with reviews that featured vomiting emojis in the midst of harsh statements. So, what were these critics so upset about? Many customers believe that this particular Campbell's flavor tastes almost identical to dog food. And there weren't only one or two comments like this either — there were many patrons who joined in chorus to proclaim the same thing.

In addition to the disgusting dog food taste and smell comes the fact that customers attest there is little to no meat and potatoes in this grab. Instead, customers complain that it's primarily liquid leaving much to be desired, especially when compared to the enticing picture on the can. Oh, well. We suppose this just shows you can't judge a book by its cover; despite its savory imagery, this is one stew-like soup you'll want to leave on the shelf.

10. Campbell's Chunky Sirloin Steak With Hearty Vegetables Soup

This is another promising yet disappointing stew-like offer from Campbell's soups. Though so many people grew up with Campbell's stashed somewhere in their family's kitchen cabinet, Campbell's chunky soups seem to have changed — and not for the better.

According to customer reviews, Campbell's "Chunky" Sirloin Steak With Hearty Vegetables soup disappoints on multiple levels. Not only do multiple patrons complain about the amount of meat offered in the soup (some claim there are often only 1-2 pieces in the entire can), but also that the stew-like concoction features mostly potatoes — thus making it a potato stew more than anything else. On top of that, Campbell's Sirloin Steak With Hearty Vegetables soup is swimming in liquid, and not the thicker gravy-ish prototype either; the broth is thin, watery, and nothing like your mom's Sunday pot of goodness. Look, we know it's canned soup, and no, we aren't expecting perfection here. But because of the minimal amount of meat, excess amount of potatoes, and liquidy broth drowning each morsel, we'll have to pass on this one.

9. Southgate Beef Stew

On a super tight budget but simultaneously craving a large bowl of beef stew? If so, you're in luck. Southgate Beef Stew can be purchased at Dollar Tree and online, but be warned, this product isn't loved by most. Now, granted, we understand that a beef stew that comes from the dollar store shouldn't be held to very high standards. At the same time, we at least think you should be informed about what to expect — even if your expectations aren't very high. With that said, many customers insist that the meat is rubbery and the flavor quite plain. Several people have recommended you "doctor" this one up a bit, either with spices like salt, pepper, and onion powder, or by simply serving it alongside other items like buttered bread to make things more interesting.

Despite these somewhat negative reviews, we're also pleased to inform you that there are some people out there who believe this stew is incredibly tasty. Dollar Tree patrons in particular seem impressed with it, with several hailing it as very tasty or even their favorite canned beef stew. At this point, we'd say how you'll interpret this one will likely depend on your expectations and what you think constitutes a good beef stew; but at only a little over a dollar per can, you might as well try it and draw your own conclusions.

8. Dinty Moore Beef Stew

Even if you've never tried Dinty Moore Beef Stew, you likely know the can from memory. As for those of you familiar with the product, Dinty Moore Beef Stew may conjure up childhood memories, thoughts of cold winter nights, or a quick snack for lunch. Either way, things have changed over the years, and we're sad to have to inform you that more people dislike the current Dinty Moore Beef Stew than love it at the moment.

From what we can tell, the biggest qualm from customers about canned Dinty Moore Beef Stew is the fact that the company has now gone skimpy on the ingredients. Though the image on the can indicates the stew will be full of carrots, potatoes, and hearty chunks of beef, taste testers concur that there are virtually no carrots and only a few chunks of beef, leaving you with more or less a "potato" stew than anything. Is it tasty? Well, customers seem split on that one as well. While some claim it tastes as good as they remember from childhood, others go as far as calling it dog food. With all things considered, we think this purchase isn't likely worth your buy. Try with caution!

7. Campbell's Chunky Beef With Country Vegetables Soup

Campbell's Chunky Beef Soup With Country Vegetables may not technically be beef stew, but many customers agree that with the vegetables, thicker broth, and overall heartiness of the soup, it functions similarly. With that said, though we notice that this Campbell's rendition of beef stew definitely has its fans, it also has left quite a few disappointed. Some think the soup tastes wonderful, just like a good old-fashioned traditional bowl of stew, while others think it is virtually tasteless and wouldn't consider purchasing it again. It likely depends on your taste buds and expectations, but this is one of those soups that definitely garners split reviews depending on who you ask.

Also, because this soup is so polarizing, we thought taking a glance at the ingredients might help us come to a better decision about whether or not this soup was worthy of a higher or lower rank. Sadly, we find many of the ingredients included in the soup disappointing, with caramel coloring, modified cornstarch, and other additives lurking in the can. With all things considered, we think this Campbell's soup deserves a middle-of-the-road ranking — it isn't terrible, but it isn't the best either.

6. Castleberry's Beef Stew

Castleberry's Beef Stew is decent, but then again, this is one of those picks where people vary when it comes to their overall opinion of the product. According to some customers, Castleberry Beef Stew is the real deal. It has an exquisite taste and may be better than some of the other lesser-quality brands out there. Still, we aren't so sure how much we believe that since other reviewers berate the stew, saying it's more of a runny soup with virtually no meat or veggies. The meat that is contained within the "stew" can sometimes contain unappetizing congealed fat, making for a poor excuse for a good hearty beef entrée any day.

Hey, if you love this canned beef stew, don't shoot the messenger, but according to the majority of reviews we've found, we're not so sure Castleberry's Beef Stew quite measures up. Try it and see what you think — since reviews vary so much, there's still a chance you may like it better than some others do.

5. Great Value Beef With Vegetable Soup

We were surprised at the customer opinion on this one, especially given that this is one of the lowest-priced beef vegetable stew soups we've seen on the market. And while we know we shouldn't always equate inexpensive with lower quality, it is often the case that you get what you pay for. In this case, Great Value has outdone itself by offering what customers consider great-tasting flavor with plenty of meat chunks and veggies to indulge in.

Now, we will say that we have found a few comments that seem to conflict with the opinion of the majority, with a few calling the stew-like soup tasteless with not enough meat. Confused yet? We get it — as you'll soon learn, many soups and stews have a share of fans and haters, often with conflicting opinions. If it helps any, one customer explains that though this Great Value beef soup isn't exactly awesome, it's at least close to Campbell's soup quality but for a lower price. No matter the reason behind these discrepancies in opinion, we're going to rank this one a little higher on the list than we may have otherwise. The majority seems to adore this soup, and for that, we're willing to give props where props are due.

4. Thick-It Beef Stew Puree

Okay, we're aware that this might not be everyone's "thing," but stick with us here. There are some people in life who, due to one reason or another, may need to eat purée-style foods to accommodate a specific health or medical issue plaguing them at the time. Because of this, we thought it might be good to include this purée-style beef stew in our lineup of best and worst beef stew offerings in case you're curious about this distinct brand and how it tastes.

Formulated by a registered dietician, this puréed blend of yummy stew veggies with meat tastes pretty good — at least, according to the few reviews we are able to find. A few had qualms about the price point, which tends to vary online, but as far as the overall taste and use for which it is intended, most people had good things to say about it. Just keep in mind that, like most stews on this list, the sodium content in this one is high. If anyone consuming this has a medical condition that may be exacerbated by excess sodium, please consider this before investing in this puréed canned beef stew pick.

3. Progresso Beef Pot Roast With Country Vegetables Soup

Progresso Beef Pot Roast With Country Vegetables is a pick that's better than most. This is one we've tried before, and can personally attest that the meat in the soup is quite heartier than other brands you may come across. Other reviewers agree that this one tastes delicious and is easy to serve with other items for a hearty meal. One customer states that she buys two cans of it, places it in a casserole dish, and tops it with biscuits before baking it up for a comforting evening meal.

Other facets of this canned beef stew we'd like to point out include the price point and the fact that it is gluten-free. You pay about $2 bucks per 18.5-ounce can (at the time of publication), which is actually a little cheaper than some of the poorer canned beef stew brands we've reviewed. In addition, for those of you avoiding gluten, you can safely eat this particular Progresso flavor without needing to worry about getting sick. Just be sure to look for the "gluten-free" stamp on the label before eating. With all things considered, we definitely think this is one of the better canned beef stew grabs out there.

2. Vanee Deluxe Beef Stew

Well, well, what do we have here? A canned beef stew that virtually everyone loves? Unheard of, right? When it comes to Vanee brand beef stew, you get a major bang for your buck. Vanee Deluxe beef Stew seems to be every beef stew lover's dream. Customers confirm that it has a good amount of meat, lots of veggies, and a tasty gravy that is full of flavor.

Some of the people who have purchased this stew have taken pictures, and honestly, we can see where all the hype comes from. It looks chunky and hearty, and judging by the comments from patrons, the flavor doesn't disappoint. Still, although this stew is given the thumbs up by virtually everyone who tastes it, one major downfall is that the stew does contain certain additives. And while this isn't the end of the world for most, when stacked against our No.1 pick, it pales in comparison as far as ingredient integrity goes. All in all, Vanee Deluxe Beef Stew is a very solid and affordable pick, especially for anyone who doesn't get too hung up on additives and ingredients.

1. Mountain House Beef Stew

An emergency meal that actually tastes good? Almost sounds too good to be true, doesn't it? We thought so, too — that is until we ran across Mountain House Beef Stew. We haven't yet seen this brand touted in stores yet, but boy, are we glad we found them online. What's impressive about this brand of canned beef stew is that not only do customers think it tastes delicious, but it also has a superstar lineup of ingredients with virtually no additives found anywhere in sight.

In addition, Mountain House Beef Stew can be reconstituted using only water and is backed by a 30-year taste guarantee. As if that isn't enough, customers seem to adore this canned beef stew variety, saying that there are plenty of veggies in it and that it looks and tastes just like beef stew made at home. Still, we're open and honest enough to acknowledge complaints, many of which point to a lack of meat in the stew and the runnier consistency compared to "real" beef stew options. When coupled with its price point and stellar ingredients, this nourishing gluten-free beef stew is deserving of the No.1 spot.


The article "Canned Beef Stew Ranked Worst to Best" was written using information gleaned from personal experience, customer reviews, and other factors, such as pricing and nutrition, when needed. The products were then ranked according to where we felt each stew or stew-like product fit best, based on the parameters given.