This Paleo Ground Beef Stroganoff is a simple and easy recipe for a busy weeknight, coming together in just 20 minutes. It uses coconut cream to replace the sour cream, making it dairy free, and bonus, it’s gluten free and Whole30 compatible. Enjoy this clean eating twist on classic comfort food!
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Do you ever have those nights when you have no idea what the heck to get on the table?
If so, this paleo beef stroganoff is going to come in clutch for you.
This recipe was borne with three things in mind
- Gluten AND dairy free. My mom, being already gluten-free, also wanted to avoid dairy so it had to be both;
- Cheap eats. We were on a budget and I needed something that wouldn’t break the bank; and
- Quick to make. My kids are whiny and annoying when they’re hungry, so I needed something fast.
I also had to take into account my husband, who is neither gluten nor dairy free. I wanted to make sure it was tasty even for people who can eat whatever they want. Even he was a big fan of this dish.
Before we get to the recipe, if you find yourself in this situation often then you should also check out my other quick paleo ground beef recipes, like my paleo beef and broccoli, beef and cabbage stir fry, and this Mexican ground beef skillet.
Ingredients needed for paleo stroganoff
(Note: the full ingredients list, including measurements, is provided in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.)
- Ground beef – I use a leaner cut of ground beef in this recipe so you don’t have to drain off the fat. Something like a 95/5 or even a 90/10 would work.
- Mushrooms – the type of mushrooms you have will impact the flavor of this recipe. I love making this recipe with shiitake mushrooms. Baby bella mushrooms would also work. You can make it with white button mushrooms, but it won’t be quite as flavorful. If you’re really short on time, buy pre-sliced mushrooms.
- Coconut milk – use a full fat coconut milk for this recipe, as what you really want is the thick cream at the top. I often buy the Thai Kitchen brand and like it.
- Cassava flour – my preference is Otto’s cassava flour, but you can use any type you like. You could also use a gluten free flour blend if that’s what you have on hand – I’ve used Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 in this recipe before and it works well.
- Broth – this recipe uses beef broth, but if you don’t have any you can still use chicken broth. I have done this before and it doesn’t change the flavor of the recipe too much.
- Spices – garlic powder, ground black pepper, and Diamond Crystal kosher salt are what is used in this recipe. I use Diamond Crystal brand as it is less salty by weight than other brands. This gives you a little more control when salting your foods. If you have a different brand of kosher salt you may want to use slightly less than the recipe recommends.
- Cooking fat – any high temperature oil would work here, like avocado oil. You could also use an animal fat, like duck fat, or if you’re okay with eating ghee you could use that too.
*Dos and Don’ts for Coconut Milk*
- Do use full fat coconut milk. You want the fat in the coconut milk as that’s what makes it creamy.
- Don’t use lite coconut milk. Lite coconut milk doesn’t have the fat content necessary to produce the coconut cream and your stroganoff will be too runny.
- Do substitute coconut cream. If you want to skip the step of putting the coconut milk in the freezer for a short bit, you can substitute straight coconut cream for the coconut milk as that will already have the creamy texture necessary for this dish.
- Don’t shake the can. Often the coconut cream will be at the top of the can, and if you shake it the cream will start to kind of melt back into the liquid in the can. That’s not what we want for this recipe.
- Don’t use boxed or bottled coconut milk. Boxed or bottled coconut milk is pure liquid and typically does not contain the creamy coconut fat that’s needed for this recipe.
How to make ground beef stroganoff with coconut milk
(Note: please see the recipe card at the end of this post for the complete written instructions.)
- Start by placing an unshaken can of coconut milk in the freezer. This helps the coconut cream at the top firm up a bit.
- Next slice the mushrooms, if you haven’t bought them presliced.
- Place a large pan over medium heat on the stove and pour the cooking fat in to warm. Add in the mushrooms, sprinkle some kosher salt on them, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until they’re cooked through. Then remove the mushrooms and set aside in a bowl.
- Add the ground beef into the pan and start to cook it, breaking any lumps into smaller pieces. Sprinkle in the remaining kosher salt, the ground black pepper, and the garlic powder and stir to combine. Cook the beef until it’s no longer pink, roughly 5 to 7 minutes.
- While the ground beef cooks, remove the coconut milk from the freezer, open it, and measure out the coconut cream from the top. Set it aside until the beef finishes cooking.
- When the beef is done cooking, add in the cassava flour and stir to coat the beef.
- Measure out the beef broth and add it into the pan, stirring the beef around in it.
- Add in the mushrooms and coconut cream, stirring to incorporate. Let everything heat through then serve!
Tips for recipe success
Too thick? Too thin? If after stirring in the coconut cream you’re not happy with the consistency of the stroganoff, try one of these.
- If it’s too thick, add in more beef stock. I would start with a quarter of a cup, but wouldn’t add more than half a cup in.
- If it’s too thin, add in a little more cassava flour. Start with half a teaspoon and go up to a full teaspoon if necessary. You could also try draining off some of the liquid, though you risk some of the stroganoff falling out of the dish when you do this.
Sides for gluten free dairy free beef stroganoff
There are lots of different ways to serve this dish. Try scooping it on top of one of these!
- Roasted or riced vegetables, like cauliflower or broccoli;
- White or brown rice (if not paleo);
- Mashed potatoes, either sweet potatoes or white potatoes (if not paleo);
- Spiralized veggies, like zucchini or carrots; or
- Pasta, such as cassava flour pasta, hearts of palm pasta, or miracle noodles.
Looking for more healthy dinner recipes? Check out the following!
- Whole30 Meat Sauce
- Paleo Teriyaki Chicken
- Curry Zoodles with Chicken
- Paleo Ground Pork Tacos
- Paleo Broccoli Slaw with a Whole30 Coleslaw Dressing
If you make end up making this gluten free ground beef stroganoff, then don’t forget to leave a star rating and let me know how it went in the comments below!
20-Minute Paleo Ground Beef Stroganoff
- A large pan
- A can opener
- 1 tablespoon cooking fat avocado oil or another fat
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt divided
- 1 pound ground beef
- ⅛ teaspoon ground pepper
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons cassava flour
- 1 cup beef broth plus ¼ to ½ cups more to taste
- ¼ cup coconut creme from one can of regular coconut milk
- Place the can of coconut milk in the freezer just before you start prepping the recipe.
- Clean the mushrooms, then using a cutting board and sharp knife, cut them in half (down the middle, not top to bottom) and thinly slice them.
- Place a large pan over medium heat on the stove. Put the cooking fat into the pan and once it’s warmed, dump the mushrooms into the pan.
- Sprinkle ¼ teaspoon kosher salt over the mushrooms and cook them for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring them with a wooden spoon until they are cooked through. Scoop them into a small to medium bowl and set aside.
- Put the ground beef into the pan and add the remaining ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Break up the ground beef with a wooden spoon and cook until it is no longer pink.
- While the beef is cooking, take out the can of coconut milk and open it with a can opener. DO NOT SHAKE IT. Remove the top of the can and using a measuring cup, scoop out ¼ cup of the hardened cream on top. The remaining coconut milk can be saved for another recipe. Set the coconut cream aside for a moment.
- Once the beef is done cooking, measure out then add in the cassava flour and stir to coat the ground beef.
- Next measure out then add the beef broth and stir with the wooden spoon to incorporate. After a minute or two, add in the mushrooms and the coconut cream. Stir to melt everything together. If the sauce is too thick for your liking, add in more beef broth ¼ cup at a time, stirring to incorporate.
- Serve over a riced vegetable like cauliflower or broccoli, or eat it on its own.
- Use full fat canned coconut milk, not lite coconut milk or boxed or bottled coconut milk. You can substitute coconut cream if needed.
- To store the dish, wait until it cools then place in an airtight container and put it in the fridge. It will keep for 2 to 3 days this way. Freezing this recipe is not recommended.
- If the stroganoff is too thick, add in more beef stock. I would start with a quarter of a cup, but wouldn’t add more than half a cup in.
- If the stroganoff is too thin, add in a little more . Start with half a teaspoon and go up to a full teaspoon if necessary. You could also try draining off some of the liquid, though you risk some of the stroganoff falling out of the dish when you do this.