Tuscan Beef Stew & Italian Polenta

Tuscan Beef Stew & Italian Polenta

Tuscan Beef Stew & Italian Polenta

roasted beef & vegetables in a burgundy wine bone broth with creamy parmesan polenta

Our Tuscan inspired beef stew is loaded with lean, grass-fed roast beef and a medley of garden veggies: sweet carrots, whole kernel corn, red ripe tomatoes, diced potatoes, green beans simmered in a beef stock, basil and red wine broth.  We pair it, Italian countryside-style, with a dollop of creamy parmesan polenta.

The result is a delicious, filling, nutrient-rich stew sure to please any backcountry diner!

4.22 fork rating
(from 396 fork ratings)


  • 1 Serving Meal
  • Dietary Considerations:  meat dish (roasted beef)
    • all-natural ingredients
    • 560 calories
    • 41 g protein
  • Meal Net Weight:  5.0 oz | 145 g    
  • Meal Includes: seasoned beef stew mix;  seasoned polenta; broth stick
  • Required:  boiling water
  • Recommended:  long handled spoon; Cook-in-Cozy



Cooking method
just add water
Water required
14 ounces
boiling water
Cook time
15 minutes
16 ounces

Cooking instructions

all interior packets and natural desiccants (2 total) from main meal pouch and polenta pouch.

broth concentrate and 1-1/4 cups (10 oz / 296 ml) of boiling water to the main meal pouch and stir. Now add 1/2 cup (4 oz / 118 ml) of boiling water to the polenta pouch and stir.

air from both pouches; seal and shake

15 minutes.

Cook-in-Cozy™ recommended but not required.

occasionally to blend.

your Beef Stew with dollops of Parmesan Polenta.
to your Tuscan Beef Stew & Italian Polenta!

Ingredients & Nutrition

Polenta (corn meal), Roasted Beef (cooked beef, salt), Whole Milk, Beef Broth (beef stock, maltodextrin, natural flavor, sugar, beef fat, salt, yeast extract, xanthan gum), Organic Whole Kernel Yellow Corn, Potatoes, Organic Chopped Carrots, Beef Stock, Spices, Red and Green Bell Peppers, Potato Starch, Diced Red Tomatoes (tomatoes, citric acid, calcium chloride), Sweet Basil, Organic Carrot Granules, Parmesan Cheese (partially skim milk, cultures, salt, enzymes, disodium phosphate), Sweet Corn Puree, Green Beans, Organic Tomato Flakes, Sea Salt, Diced Sweet Onion, Zucchini Squash, Celery, Butter (sweet cream, salt, annatto, nonfat milk solids, sodium caseinate, disodium phosphate), Tomato Pepper (garlic salt, organic tomato (organic tomatoes, silicon dioxide), annatto, garlic granules, cilantro), Beef Au Jus (salt, sugar, hydrolyzed soy protein, rendered beef fat, dextrose maltodextrin [from corn], natural flavor, yeast extract, onion, monosodium glutamate, caramel color, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate), Beet Puree, Mushrooms, Lemon Juice (corn syrup, lemon juice, lemon oil), Red Burgundy Wine (maltodextrin, corn starch, wine, corn syrup, malic acid, natural flavor, sorbic acid, sulfites, potassium sorbate), Minced Shallots, Organic Chives, Green Onions
Special Notes:



Customer Reviews

4.22 fork rating
(from 396 fork ratings)

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by Amanda Byrd
The combo of the stew and polenta is out of this world! Can't believe this is an option in the wilderness. Thank you creators!

by Michael M
Absolutely delicious, but too many steps for my fast and lite backpacking style. Better suited for the rare instances I am doing short hikes or car camping. Polenta is by far my favorite part!!!

by Lori Jacobs
I love the texture and flavor of this meal, and the polenta topped it off beautifully! after reading multiple reviews talking about how it was more 'soup like', I purchased a bag of potato cubes and a bag of mushrooms to add to the mix. These additions filled out the meal and absorbed the extra water making it perfect!

by Brad Lindstrom
Truly outstanding!! This is the best backpacking meal you can find. Just absolutely delicious!! Highly recommended!!

by Sarah B
Really good. Definitely going on the menu for our float trip.

by RockTreeWater
REALLY enjoyed this meal! Great blend of spices & textures. A real step above what I've come to expect after over 40 years of eating freeze dried meals in the backcountry.

by Amanda Friedrich
Polenta can be a tricky thing even to make at home, so I had my reservations about how it would turn out. It was so good I wish I had purchased an additional side of it to go with. The stew was great, but for me the polenta was the star of the meal.

by Anton P.
Great and tasty food. Thank you for the excellent products.

by Scoutmaster Shawn Cleary - Troop 1363
Out of the 5 meals that I purchased to test out for future backpacking trips, I can say that this is the one that I am disappointed in.

I will say that I have never had polenta in my life before, and that may have ruined the initial tastes. The texture of the polenta, combined with the taste if the polenta, started me off wrong with the meal.

The stew, alone, was pretty good, but, for me, I would have liked this more with mashed taters, then polenta. 3.5 Sporks...

by Trevor Banner
4 Stars
Mightily tasty and hearty with the addition of the polenta. Generous portions.
As with all backpacking food, allow it to rehydrate for a minimum of 20 minutes (longer if you can stand it) in a cozy so it stays HOT and it'll turn out just right.

by Elizabeth McRae
I bought this for our trip into BWCA last summer, but we ended up not using it. I cooked it at home afterwards since the expiration date was coming up. The stew was very tasty, beef texture was good, corn had good chew texture, polenta had nice garlic flavor, but the stew and polenta are way, way too salty for my taste and health. 74% of sodium daily requirement is too much for one meal. Cut it by at least a third and I'll be sure to include it in this coming year's BWCA trip.

by James Boschma
This was simply excellent -- tried it at home, and it was great by any standard, not just trail food. Prep was pretty painless, and I liked the combination of stew and polenta.

by Mike Y
This didn't taste like a freeze dried meal. It was like a home cooked meal. The only difference was it was like a soup. Otherwise, this is so much better than the run of the mill FD meals.

by Hitech
Just had the Tuscan beef stew for dinner. It was excellent! Not excellent for backpacking food, but simply excellent.

by jr
This was a great dinner. It tasted better than almost anything I have ever had. Buy this meal it is worth it.

by Robert P
Was excited to try the Tuscan beef stew. The polenta was excellent. The (stew) even though I simmered it for twice the time suggested was still more like soup. Added the correct amount of water per instructions. It never boiled down to what I consider stew. Possibly needs a thickening agent?? Although the flavor was impressive. I will continue to try different products from Packit gourmet.

by Mike
Served this to two friends on a cold, wet night in the Wallowas after a 15 mile day. They LOVED it, as did I. I made two of these for the three of us and that was plenty. Will get this one again for sure.

by Jack G.
I took this on a BWCA trip. I have never had polenta with beef stew before (and it is optional) but I thought the combination was excellent. The serving size was perfect for one person. I will be choosing this meal for the next trip.

by Chad W.
Flavor of this meal was great. I may have been a little hungry and rushed the rehydration of it a little being that the green beans were a little under hydrated. Overall though, the meal was pretty good. I will second one of the reviews above, mine did turn out a little soup. I will have to remember to reduce the amount of water the next time.

by Suzie m
Pack it gourmet has done it again. This dinner was outstanding. The polenta was a perfect pair for the stew. I may pack some dried rosemary and thyme to add a little more flavor but this may be my new favorite backpacking meal.

by Matt
Outstanding. Mine turned out a little soupy as I added the specified amount of water, but was still delicious. The parmesan polenta was an excellent addition and when paired with the stew it makes it seem much less like backpacking food. I rehydrated in the cozy for the specified amount of time and a few of the veggies were still a little crunchy. I'd suggest that you keep it in there for at least 5 min longer.

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Press articles

The polenta is so much more satisfying than the typical mashed potatoes one would expect with stew. It is hardy, filling and doesn’t upset the stomach when hiking. It’s simply comfort food, but with spices and lots of flavor. A solid 2 thumbs up and we highly recommend it.

— Trail Cooking, April 2019

"The best meal I've ever had on the trail," says one tester. "If I was served this at a restaurant, I would have complimented the chef." Unlike so many camp stews, this one actually looks good - full of colorful vegetables like corn and carrots and tomatoes - and it's served atop creamy polenta. With the protein punch of the beef, it's also satisfyingly hearty after a long trail day.

— Backpacker Magazine Editors' Choice/Gear Guide, Spring 2011

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is a Cook–in–Cozy™ recommended?

We recommend that all of our hot meals spend time "steep-cooking" while snuggled in a Cook-in-Cozy. We find this method promotes a more consistent temperature and steady cook time for Cook-in-Bag preparation; and results in a better serving temperature for your meal. When not in use, our Cook-in-Cozy folds away nicely in your pack for storage and weighs in at only 1.4oz.

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