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Greek Beef Stew with Pasta, gluten-free (Kreas Kokkinisto)

Greek Beef Stew is tender pieces of beef, slowly stewed, in a rich, thick, and flavourful tomato sauce served over a bowl of pasta and topped with grated halloumi or mizithra cheese.

I am so excited to share this recipe as it comes from my mum's kitchen, it is a recipe that is close to my heart and it reminds me of my childhood. It's a hearty and warming dish that is uncomplicated and may just end up being one of your favourite recipes as well. Let's begin!

Greek Beef Stew with Pasta, gluten-free
Greek Beef Stew with Pasta, gluten-free

What is Kreas Kokkinisto

The word KOKKINISTO means 'red stew'. The process of cooking any dish that is 'Kokkinisto' is to brown the meat first, in order to seal in the juices, and then, add the ingredients needed for the rich tomato sauce. Kokkinisto may be prepared with beef, lamb, veal, or chicken and can be served with pasta, rice, mashed potatoes, or thick-cut fried potato chips.

Childhood Memory: As a child, my mother would often serve, the next day, leftover Kreas Kokkinisto with homemade thick-cut fried potato chips and we would use the chips to mop us the rich tasty sauce, as you would use bread. It is, to this day, one of my favourite meals.

Watch How to Make It

How do you make Kreas Kokkinisto?
  1. Sear and brown the diced pieces of beef in hot extra virgin olive oil and then add the onions and garlic to sauté.

  2. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until it begins to caramelize. This changes the aroma and taste of the tomato paste as it sweetens it.

  3. Add the spices and pour in the boiling water, enough to cover the meat.

  4. Stew the meat over low heat for 1.5 - 2 hours or until the meat is tender and the sauce thickens.

Greek Beef Stew with Pasta, gluten-free
Greek Beef Stew with Pasta, gluten-free

Helpful Tips


Any Gluten Free Pasta suits this recipe, however, my personal favourites are large spirals or tubular spaghetti. Cook the pasta once the beef has cooked. This will give the beef resting time.


The only cuts I would suggest are chuck steak or gravy beef. They are meant for stews.

Searing the Beef

It is essential that the beef is seared. Searing the beef keeps in its juices and scraping the caramelised bits in the pot from the searing gives the stew a much deeper and rich flavour.

Thickening the Sauce

The easiest way to thicken the sauce is by bringing the sauce to a full boil, uncovered, and boiling for 5-7 minutes in the end, once the beef has cooked. Often corn flour/starch is added, however, this turns the stew sauce into a gravy-like consistency.

Cheese! (or a dairy-free alternative)

Traditionally, a cheese called MIZITHRA is used to top the beef and pasta. It is the equivalent of parmesan cheese - but Greek. This is the MIZITHRA I like to use, however, grated HALLOUMI works just as well or even crumbled feta cheese (In saying this, parmesan cheese is perfectly fine to use as well).

What can I serve this Kreas Kokkinisto with?
  • over a bowl of pasta,

  • on a bed of rice,

  • over mashed potatoes or

  • alongside thick-cut fried potato chips.

This recipe can also be served with:

Greek Beef Stew with Pasta, gluten-free
Greek Beef Stew with Pasta, gluten-free

Other Beef Dinner Ideas

Zucchini Cannelloni Bake

And there we have it.

The best Greek Beef Stew you'll ever make (especially because it's my mum's recipe 😉)

Happy Creating!


Greek Beef Stew with Pasta, gluten-free
Greek Beef Stew with Pasta, gluten-free

Greek Beef Stew with Pasta, gluten-free (Kreas Kokkinisto)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Serves: 4-6

Cooking Pot: 24cm in diameter


1.2 kg boneless beef 3cm cubed (gravy beef or chuck steak)

60ml (¼ cup) extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, diced

4 large cloves garlic, minced

2 heaped tablespoons of tomato paste

1 teaspoon ground pimento spice or allspice

1 cinnamon stick

2 -3 teaspoons sea salt flakes

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1.2 litres boiling water (may need extra)

Gluten-Free Pasta of choice


1. Heat oil in a cooking pot and once the oil is heated, only then, add the beef. Over high heat, cook the beef until any liquid that has been released is evaporated and the beef is golden and browning. This could take up to 10 minutes.

2. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes until softened, and stirring occasionally. Season well with sea salt and pepper.

3. Add the tomato paste and stir through the beef until it is coated. Sauté for a further minute.

4. Add the ground allspice, cinnamon stick and enough boiling water to cover the meat. Allow boiling for 1 minute.

5. Reduce the heat, cover with the pot lid, and simmer for 1 hour, checking every 20 minutes, and gently stirring. Over the hour, the sauce should become rich and thick. However, if the sauce has reduced too much (halfway down the meat) add more boiling water to prevent the meat from burning. You will be able to see, if more water is needed, after the first 30 minutes of cooking time.

6. Once cooked, remove from heat, keep a lid on to keep warm, and prepare pasta according to packet instructions.

7. Drain pasta and divide between bowls and top with beef stew and plenty of sauce. Serve with finely grated parmesan cheese or for a more traditional flavour, use grated mizithra cheese or halloumi cheese.

Have you tried this recipe?

Share it with me at @createcookshare on

Greek Beef Stew with Pasta, gluten-free
Greek Beef Stew with Pasta, gluten-free

Recipe and Photography Margaret Pahos for @CreateCookShare

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