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Veal Stew with Wine, Zest and Thyme

Plump tender morsels of veal in a rich sauce of wine, tomatoes, thyme, garlic, carrots and onions, brightened with lemon zest and freshly chopped parsley.  That pretty much describes Veal Stew with Wine, Zest and Thyme.  Except for the deliciousness part.

veal stew in bowl with bread and salad

The method to cook this full bodied veal stew recipe is similar to most stews: brown the meat; saute your vegetables until tender; add the liquids and seasonings; simmer until the meat and vegetables are  tender and the broth thickens. This is the old fashioned way. The aromas, the flavors, the memories cannot be underestimated.

If you’re an instant pot convert, though, feel free to check out our Instant Pot veal stew version. Also yum and you can save yourself a half hour or so.

I’ve been making this veal stew for years and it always comes out great. I’ve also served it a couple of times at dinner parties and got several recipe requests (a good sign).  I don’t use exact measurements anymore, but instead, taste and adjust the flavors at the end. A pinch more salt, a bit more thyme, a pinch of sugar, etc.

I love how the lemon zest and capers give the stew a whole new flavor profile – a lift and zing – but you can always leave them and make a more traditional tasting stew

Keep it simple and serve the veal stew with some warm crusty bread (for dipping). It’s also delicious over mashed potatoes or polenta with a nice fig salad. For dessert, try an easy no-bake Berry Crumble or step it up with Orange Polenta Cake.

Tailor To Your Taste

  • Substitute rosemary for the thyme.
  • Add mushrooms or baby potatoes when you add the diced tomatoes.
  • Add a 1/2 cup heavy cream at the end for a creamier, less intense flavor.
  • Just before serving, add 2 cups of roughly chopped baby spinach for color and extra nutrition.

Make Ahead

  • The veal stew can be made several days ahead, stored in a sealed container and warmed up gently on the stove. The taste is just as good or better, making it a great potluck recipe.

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veal cubes lightly coated with flour in bowl
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sauteed veal, onions, carrots
Saute veal and chop veggies
vegetables sauteed in pot for veal stew
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broth, veggies and veal in pot
Add wine, broth, seasonings and meat. Simmer until tender. Stir in lemon zest and parsley. 

veal stew in a bowl with bread and salad on side

veal stew in a bowl with bread and salad on the side


veal stew in bowl with bread and salad
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4.67 from 69 votes

Veal Stew with Wine, Zest and Thyme

This veal stew, made with wine, lemon zest and thyme, is rich, flavourful and full-bodied. Perfect for a weeknight meal, company, potluck or leftovers.
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time1 hour 40 minutes
Course: Main Course, make ahead
Cuisine: American, Italian
Servings: 3


  • 1 1/2 pound veal stew meat, cut into cubes
  • 2 tablespoon flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 spanish onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • chicken broth, up to 1 cup as needed enough to cover veal and vegetables
  • 1 cup (rounded) diced canned tomatoes with little to no juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed (optional)
  • zest, grated from 1 lemon (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 3 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste (and pinch of sugar if needed)


  • SAUTE VEAL: Put flour, salt and pepper into a plastic bag. Add veal and shake to coat. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in saucepan to medium high. Add veal and brown on all sides, about 6-8 minutes. Remove veal to a plate.
  • SAUTE VEGETABLES: Add another tablespoon of oil to pan. Add onions and carrots. Saute until softened and fragrant, about 8-10 minutes. Add garlic. Saute for another 1-2 minutes.
  • COOK STEW: Add wine and boil until almost completely evaporated. Add diced canned tomatoes, veal, thyme and capers (if using). Make sure the liquid reaches just to the top of the meat and vegetables. (add a bit more tomatoes or chicken broth as needed). Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 1 hour and 15 minutes until veal is very tender.
  • FINISH STEW AND SERVE: Stir in lemon zest and parsley. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding salt, pepper and extra thyme as needed. Add a pinch of sugar if needed as well. Ladle into serving bowls and serve with crusty bread and a salad on the side. Or serve over noodles, rice, polenta or mashed potatoes.

Recipe Notes

Make Ahead: The stew can be made 4-5 days ahead, stored in a sealed container and warmed up gently on the stove.
Nutrition values are for 3 generous servings. They will be lower if you serve 4 people. 


Calories: 563kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 46g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 186mg | Sodium: 603mg | Potassium: 1101mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 7335IU | Vitamin C: 21mg | Calcium: 100mg | Iron: 4mg
Tried this recipe?We'd love you to rate it above under 'rate this recipe' or in the comment section below. Thanks!

This veal stew recipe, originally posted in Dec 2016, has been updated.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I made this veal stew on Easter Sunday ..2024…added a pkg of baby bella mushrooms…one can of fire roasted tomatoes…and a hand full of baby potatoes…….ended with heavy cream and tapioca beads to thicken….= DELICIOUS..!!

  2. 5 stars
    I love this recipe and make it frequently. For those out there that love bone-in meat, I sometimes add 4-6 pieces of Osso bucco ;veal shank) to the stew meat for a richer taste.

  3. Made many veal stews but the lemon zest in this one really amped up the flavor. Family enjoyed it and will be happy to make it again. Thanks

  4. 5 stars
    Hello Ladies! It’s cold. It’s snowing. I had veal in the freezer and we wanted soup. Hubby and I are so glad this recipe popped up when I searched Pinterest!. This soup is filling, yummy and easy to put together! Thank you so much for posting. I will definitely be fixing it again.

  5. Hello recipe looks really fab, but is it suitable for veal with the bone in? Maybe longer cooking time? Thanks, Simon

    1. Hi Simon, You should be fine with bone-in veal. I haven’t tried it, so I’m not sure about the cooking time. I expect it will be about the same, but I would just cook it to the tenderness you like (keep checking/testing). I’d love to know how it turns out 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    Defrosted a package of “mystery meat” and it turned out to be veal cubes so I needed to find an easy recipe made with ingredients I had on hand. This fit the bill and I was delighted to find that it was excellent!! And easy. I added extra garlic, used fresh tomato, and also added some agave and a little bit of sumac at the end to bring out that lemony flavor. Served it over ancient grain blend.
    Thanks to the twokooksinthekitchen! I’m a new fan.

    1. Hi Jay, Since you’re serving a big meat meal, I would suggest choosing a couple of these vegetarian appetizers. If you’re looking for something easy, try the “quick and easy” section which includes mini stuffed peppers with goat cheese, caprese appetizers (on toothpicks), dukkah, endive appetizers with ricotta and gems, and spiced popcorn. Enjoy your meal!

  7. Hi Erica, sorry to hear about the floury meat. That can happen if the meat is wet and too much flour clings to it. You can try removing excess moisture on the meat next time with a paper towel then dusting the meat lightly with flour (shake off the excess flour). Or you can try your strategies which I think will work well too. Glad you liked the flavours and hope your next try will be a big hit.

  8. 4 stars
    I thought the stew had delicious flavour, but the texture was unpleasant due to small clumps of flour that fell off the meat and never incorporated into the sauce. Next time, I would sauté the meat without coating it in flour, make a roux and thin with the added broth. When adding fresh thyme, I used a sprig rather than chopped fresh thyme for easier removal when the desired amount of flavour had been achieved.

  9. I am sorry at what point do I bring the meat back in the pot? It’s not mentioned in the instructions. I am assuming after the vegetables?

    1. Oops. Sorry Kam. You are right. Add the veal back to the pot along with the broth. After searing vegetables. I’ll make the correction. Thanks for picking it up! Hope you like it.

    1. Hi Gail, the chicken broth is mentioned in the instructions (to add as needed). But it’s not in the ingredient list so I’ll add that now for clarity. You want the liquids to just be covering your meat and vegetables in the pot. Hope that helps. Good luck!

      1. Gail is right. The chicken broth is noted in the instructions (to add as needed), but not in the ingredients list. I will make that correction. Thanks for catching it.

  10. i like it but added a twist after tasting to adjust seasonings< . at the end and along with the lemon zest I made a roux with 5 white mushrooms sliced very thing and a 1/4 cup of dry sherry. Added it with the lemon zest. Truly wonderful