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Grandma’s Beef and Noodles

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This Midwestern-style beef and noodles recipe is easy to make with a small list of ingredients and always so flavorful and comforting.

Now that we’re back living in the Midwest again, I’ve found myself revisiting many of the comfort food classics I grew up with here. And when it comes to comfort food, it doesn’t get more nostalgic for me than my grandma’s homemade beef and noodles. ♡

This simple, flavorful, no-frills dish was a staple at her farmhouse during all of our huge family gatherings growing up. And even though I was her picky-eating granddaughter who avoided just about anything with veggies growing up, my grandma always knew that I would be the first one darting back into the kitchen to scoop up seconds and thirds whenever it was beef and noodles day. I absolutely loved her beef and noodles. And now that our toddler is equally as noodle-obsessed as I am, this winter seemed like the perfect time to introduce him to the family tradition.

Sadly, I missed the opportunity to get my grandma’s exact recipe from her before she passed. But after some tinkering around with ingredients over the years, I’ve landed on a recipe that tastes as close to the original that I remember. It’s intentionally very simple — basically just a tender cut of beef browned and simmered with onion, garlic, bay leaf and thyme until ultra-tender, then cooked with egg noodles to saucy, delicious, cozy perfection. You can either slow cook the beef on the stovetop or in a Crock-Pot, or speed things up with an Instant Pot if you’d like. And if you feel like tossing in some extra veggies or greens, you’re more than welcome to add some in too.

So for any of you fellow Midwesterners out there who might also be craving this throw-back dish, or any of you who could just use a cozy bowl of noodles, round up these simple ingredients and let’s make some beef and noodles together.

Beef and Noodles Ingredients

Here are a few quick notes about the ingredients you will need to make homemade beef and noodles:

  • Beef roast: I recommend using either beef chuck roast or sirloin, both of which are marbled with fat and become extra-tender when slow-cooked. We’ll first cut the beef into 2-inch chunks, season generously with salt and pepper, toss with flour, and briefly brown in olive oil until the edges are caramelized.
  • Egg noodles: My grandma always made this dish with homemade egg noodles (similar to this recipe), but I recommend store-bought wide egg noodles if you’re looking for an easy shortcut.
  • Onion and garlic: Fresh onion and garlic serve as the base aromatics for this recipe, enhancing the flavor of the beef stock.
  • Beef stock: I recommend picking up a good-quality beef stock (beef bone broth) for this recipe, as it will be used for the base of our sauce to cook the beef and noodles.
  • Fresh thyme and bay leaf: Finally, we’ll use fresh thyme and a bay leaf as the simple seasonings for this dish.

How To Make Beef And Noodles

Full instructions for how to make beef and noodles are in the recipe below. (Stovetop/oven, pressure cooker, and slow cooker options are all included.) But here are a few additional quick tips to help make this recipe a success!

  1. Choose the proper cut of beef: It’s important to choose a good cut for stewing, such as chuck roast or sirloin, which will become extra tender when slow-cooked.
  2. Brown the beef: This step is optional if you’re in a hurry, but that extra browning and caramelization of the beef adds so much rich flavor to the dish.
  3. Use good-quality beef stock: Since this dish calls for so few ingredients, the beef stock that you choose here can really make a difference. I used Kitchen Basics Organic Beef Broth in my batch, which was delicious.
  4. Don’t rush the beef. It’s important for the beef to have ample time to slow cook so that it’s perfectly tender. (Unless you choose the Instant Pot method, of course, which will dramatically speed up the process!) The beef should be cooked until it can be easily shredded with two forks.
  5. Season well. Once the noodles have cooked, give the dish a taste and season generously with salt, pepper and/or extra thyme and Worcestershire as needed. The saltiness will vary here according to what type of beef stock that you use.
  6. Adjust the broth as needed. If the dish is too brothy/watery once the noodles have cooked, you’re welcome to stir in a few teaspoons of cornstarch slurry (equal parts cornstarch and cold water whisked together until smooth) to thicken up the broth. Or if the noodles seem too try, you’re welcome to add in some extra beef stock.

Recipe Variations

Here are a few more variations that you’re welcome to try with this homemade beef and noodles recipe:

  • Add cream: Stir a splash of heavy cream into this dish to make the sauce nice and creamy.
  • Add extra veggies: Sauté extra veggies along with the onion, such as mushrooms, carrots or celery.
  • Add greens: Wilt some fresh baby spinach or chopped kale into the dish just before serving.
  • Add different herbs: Add some finely-chopped fresh rosemary, sage, oregano or tarragon in with the thyme, to taste.
  • Add cheese: Stir some freshly-grated Parmesan cheese into the dish just before serving and/or use it as a garnish.

More Nostalgic Noodle Recipes

Looking for more homestyle noodle recipes to try? Here are a few of our throw-back favorites:

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Grandma’s Beef and Noodles

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 8 reviews
  • Author: Ali
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours 15 mins
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings 1x


This Midwestern-style beef and noodles recipe is easy to make with a small list of ingredients and always so flavorful and comforting. See notes below for Crock-Pot or Instant Pot options!


  • 2 pounds beef chuck roast, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • fine sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups beef stock, divided
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 12 ounces wide egg noodles


  1. Brown the beef. Add the beef to a large mixing bowl and season generously with salt and pepper. Add the flour and toss until evenly combined. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add half of the beef and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides. Transfer the beef to a clean plate. Repeat the process with an additional 1 tablespoon oil and the remaining beef, then transfer the beef to a clean plate.
  2. Sauté the veggies. Add the remaining oil and onion to the stockpot. Sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Add 6 cups of the beef stock, the cooked beef, thyme and bay leaf and stir to combine.
  3. Simmer. Continue cooking until the broth reaches a low simmer. Reduce heat to low (or whatever temperature is needed to maintain a low simmer), cover, and simmer for 2.5 hours or until the beef shreds easily with a fork.
  4. Shred the beef. Carefully transfer the beef to a clean plate and use two forks to shred it into bite-sized pieces. Remove and discard the bay leaf and thyme sprigs.
  5. Cook the noodles. Add the remaining 2 cups of beef stock to the pot and increase heat to high. Once the stock begins to boil, add the egg noodles and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente.
  6. Season. Remove the pan from the heat and stir the shredded beef back in. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
  7. Serve. Serve immediately, garnished with a few extra twists of black pepper, and enjoy!


Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Instructions: Use the “Sauté” function to brown the beef and sauté the veggies in the Instant Pot as described in steps 1 and 2 above. Once you have returned the beef stock and cooked beef to the pot, cover with a lid and seal. Pressure cook on high for 60 minutes, followed by a quick release. Continue on with steps 4 through 7 in the Instant Pot.

Crock-Pot (Slow Cooker) Instructions: Complete steps 1 and 2 as described above in a separate sauté pan, then transfer all of the ingredients (minus noodles) to a large Crock-Pot. (Or you can skip steps 1 and 2 and just dump everything into a Crock-Pot.) Cover and slow-cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 7-8 hours until the beef is tender and shreds easily with a fork. Continue on with steps 4 through 7 in the Crock-Pot.

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22 comments on “Grandma’s Beef and Noodles”

  1. A list of recipes on my fridge that I want to make. This is going on my list! This looks divine.

  2. Your grandma used FIVE cloves of garlic? Go, Grannie, Go! I grew up in southern MN, home of tuna casserol-, er, hot dish and never met a clove of garlic until I was in my twenties. Now I cannot get enogh.

  3. This sounds wonderful. I have already printed out the recipe. I use a lot of your recipes. Sooo good.

  4. Excellent hardy fall/winer meal. I followed the recipe to a T and it came out perfect, no need to tweak anything. I call truly say, I and my family, have enjoyed every recipe I have tried from Ali’s GIMMESOMEOVEN ! The focaccia bread is a solid winner, which I have made many times and got me hooked on her recipes and website. I appreciate you and appreciate your yummy, easy to follow recipes. 💖

    • This sounds amazing and can’t wait to make it! When I make it in the crock pot, when do I add in the noodles? Or do I make the poodles separate? Thank you

  5. Would the stew beef that they sell already cut at the grocer work for this?

    • Thanks so much for taking the time to reply. Can’t wait to try it!

    • Just a sprig or two of rosemary is all I’d add. I appreciate this recipe because (against my husband’s opinion) I don’t just randomly invent these foods. They’re classic American home cooking. I mean, he seriously thought creamed chipped beef was a figment of my imagination.

  6. We made tonight for a hearty meal on a cold night. Delicious! You are one of the few food bloggers where I trust every recipe you post! Also, maybe I missed it, but did you mistakenly leave out where to add the bay leaf and thyme in? Or did I just miss it? I added them when the broth was added after the onion and garlic.

  7. This is the best! Wow! Only thing I did differently was to throw in a little red vino during the simmering. It is divine. Thank you!

  8. I made this tonight, adding mushrooms. Love it. Can I portion out and freeze?

  9. When I served this to my five-year-old, he threw himself on the floor and wept because he wanted pizza. 10 minutes later he declared this the best thing he’s ever eaten.

  10. I made this in the crockpot yesterday so we’d have something delicious to eat when our oldest son arrived home from college for the break. I had two 1-lb pieces of roast in the freezer and I stuck them in the fridge the night before and then threw them whole in the crockpot with the other ingredients at noon the next day. They were still partially frozen. I realized after I started the crockpot one of the pieces was actually a pork roast, so our “beef and noodles” was half beef and half pork! It was fantastic anyway! It took just over 6 hours on high like this. I did sauté the garlic and onions prior to putting them in the crockpot. Everyone was thrilled with the meal!!

  11. How can you call this homemade or what grandma made? My grandma would be rolling in her grave if she saw I was using shelf noodles. Noodles are not that hard to make, if homemade noodles are too hard for you to make then why not use frozen (I wouldn’t)? This was so misleading.
    We also used 1 or 2 tablespoons of tomato paste.

  12. I have recently moved back to the Midwest after living away nearly 20 years, and noodle dishes are nice to see again. I’ve been able to count on seeing them at every church or family occasion. My late grandmother also made wonderful beef and noodles, and I don’t have her recipe either. It looks like if I add a few carrots and potatoes, this will be ringer for hers. I am looking forward to trying this and any other midwestern staples you include here!

  13. Love this. Beef and noodles is my ultimate nostalgic comfort meal, too. I use the thicker Reames frozen noodles and put it over mashed potatoes. Carbs on carbs. YES! :)

  14. My whole family ate the same meal for dinner. It’s a miracle! My four year old thought it was delicious and my husband gave it two thumbs up. This is the perfect comfort food meal for a chilly winter night.

    I made this in the instapot per the directions. The meat fell apart before I even had a chance to shred it. So tender and great flavors.

    When was I supposed to add the bay leaf? I missed that step. 🫣

  15. I added asiago cheese and dill at the end(I didn’t have Parmesan) and also a dollop of sour cream and it was heavenly!!! Everyone in my family loved it. Definitely a recipe that will make into the regular rotation of meals every month.

  16. I made this in a slow cooker last night. My husband and I loved it. After he finished a big bowl of it he said, I NEED more. Thank you for another awesome recipe.