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 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!

4.2 fork rating
(from 386 fork ratings)


  • 1 Serving Meal
  • Dietary Considerations:  meat dish (roasted beef)
    • 570 calories
    • 41 g protein
  • Meal Net Weight:  5.1 oz | 148 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 clay desiccants (2 total) from main meal pouch and polenta pouch.

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


air from both pouches; seal, shake and place in Cook-in-Cozy™.


in Cook-in-Cozy™ for 15 minutes.

occasionally to blend.

your Beef Stew with dollops of Parmesan Polenta.

Ingredients & Nutrition

Polenta (corn meal), Beef (cooked beef, salt), Whole Milk, Corn, Beef Broth (beef stock, maltodextrin, natural flavor, sugar, beef fat, salt, yeast extract, xanthan gum), Carrots, Potatoes, Beef Stock, Red Bell Pepper, Potato Starch, Basil, Diced Tomatoes (tomatoes, citric acid, calcium chloride), Parmesan Cheese (partially skim milk, cultures, salt, enzymes, disodium phosphate), Garlic, Sea Salt, Green Beans, Tomato Flakes, White Onion, Zucchini, Celery, Butter (sweet cream, salt, annatto seed, nonfat milk solids, sodium caseinate, disodium phosphate), Beef Base (salt, sugar, hydrolyzed soy protein, beef fat, hydrogenated soybean, cottonseed oil, dextrose, corn maltodextrin, natural flavor, yeast extract, onion, monosodium glutamate, caramel color, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate), Beets, Mushrooms, Black Pepper, Paprika, Garlic Salt, Lemon Juice (corn syrup, lemon juice, lemon oil), Red Wine (maltodextrin, corn starch, wine, corn syrup, malic acid, natural flavor, sorbic acid, sulfites, potassium sorbate), Minced Shallots, Tomato Powder (tomato, silicon dioxide), Parsley, Chives, Red Chile Pepper, Green Onions, Annatto Seed, Cilantro
Special Notes:



Customer Reviews

4.2 fork rating
(from 386 fork ratings)

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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 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 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.

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

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

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

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Press articles

"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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