Slow Cooker Beef Stew

10.25.2017

Beef Stew is there a dish more comforting than this?? Its absolutely perfect for cold fall and winter days. It’s incredibly hearty and perfectly flavorful. This is a stew you’ll want to make again and again!

This has quickly become a reader favorite, try it and you’ll see why!

Beef Stew

My Favorite Beef Stew Recipe

I’m thinking this is just the thing you need to make this coming Tuesday. I always love to have stew or chili on Halloween, I don’t know what it is but it’s becoming tradition.

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It must have something to do with the fact that it’s always cold here when we take our kids out trick-or-treating (sometimes snowing!) so I love to have some warm comforting stew before we head out, then I like to have hot cocoa when we get home. I get cold easy.

Slow Cooking is The Best Method for Beef Stew

This slow cooker method is my favorite way to make beef stew because it just allows all that time for the beef to become melt-in-your-mouth tender and also it allows plenty of time for those flavors to meld and marry into utter bliss.

Beef Stew shown here in a white slow cooker with wooden spoon for ladling.

Ingredients Needed for This Recipe

  • Chuck roast
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh vegetables including yellow onion, celery, garlic, yellow potatoes and carrots
  • Tomato paste
  • Low-sodium beef broth or chicken broth
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Low-sodium soy sauce
  • Fresh herbs including thyme, rosemary and sage
  • Cornstarch
  • Frozen peas

Scroll below for full printable recipe.

How to Make Beef Stew

  • Dab beef dry season with salt and pepper then brown beef in a skillet with olive oil. Transfer to slow cooker.
  • Saute onions and celery, followed by garlic then tomato paste.
  • Pour in 1 cup of beef broth (to deglaze the pan) along with Worcestershire, soy sauce, thyme and rosemary.
  • Add potatoes and carrots to slow cooker then pour in beef broth mixture. Pour in remaining broth, season with salt and pepper.
  • Cook on low heat 7 – 8 hours.
  • Whisk cornstarch with water, stir into stew and cook on high heat an additional 20 minutes to help thicken slightly. Stir in peas and half of the parsley.
  • Serve warm garnished with remaining parsley.

Beef Stew shown in a single serving in a white bowl with bread as a side.

Do I Need to Brown the Beef First?

I highly recommend that you don’t skip browning the beef it adds key flavor to this stew. It’s worth the extra 10 minutes hassle, trust me. Same goes with those onions/celery, if you don’t saute them first they have a different flavor and texture.

Are There Optional Ingredients?

I know it seems like a long list of ingredients but I don’t recommend omitting any of them. The herbs add freshness and things like soy sauce and Worcestershire add layers of flavor.

Do I Have to Use Fresh Herbs?

If needed dry herbs can be used in place of fresh but fresh is best. You can look for a roasting herb blend which should include thyme, rosemary and parsley. That way you don’t need to purchase 3 separately.

Can I Cook It on High Heat?

For best results I recommend cooking on low heat. It makes the beef extra tender.

What Should I Serve with This?

This is basically a meal in one with the beef and veggies but for a simple side you can’t go wrong with fresh bread for dipping. A spinach salad with some fresh apples or pears would another great option.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Make Ahead Tips for Beef Stew

  • Cut up beef, onions, carrots, celery and garlic the night before cooking (and store separately in the fridge. Wait to chop potatoes so they don’t brown). This will give you a huge head start the following morning because this recipe does have a lot of prep work.
  • You could also measure out and whisk together the beef broth mixture then just have it ready to pour into the skillet the next day.

More Slow Cooker Soups to You Might Like

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Print

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

4.79 from 57 votes

This beef stew is the definition of comfort food! It is packed with flavor and that low and slow cooking yields the most tender beef. A staple recipe!  

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: beef stew, slow cooker stew
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours 15 minutes
Total Time: 8 hours 55 minutes
Servings: 7 servings
Calories: 482 kcal
Author: Jaclyn

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 lbs chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat and diced into 1-1/2 inch cubes (you should have about 2 lbs once trimmed)
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 medium celery stalks, chopped (1 1/4 cups)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (1 1/2 Tbsp)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 3 cups low-sodium beef broth or chicken broth, divided
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 1 (7-inch) single sprig rosemary (or 3/4 tsp dried)
  • 1 1/2 lbs yellow potatoes, diced into 1 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks (don't use thin carrots)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch (depending on how thick you like it)
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen petite peas
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

Instructions

  1. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Working with half of the beef at a time, dab both sides dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper to taste. 

  2. Sear in skillet until browned, turning once halfway through, about 4 - 5 minutes total. Transfer beef to slow cooker. Add an additional 1 Tbsp oil to skillet, repeat with remaining beef. Leave excess oil in skillet.
  3. Add remaining 1/2 Tbsp oil to oil in skillet (there should be about 1/2 tbsp left after searing beef), reduce burner to medium. Saute onions and celery 3 minutes, add garlic saute 30 seconds longer then add in tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. 

  4. Pour 1 cup beef broth into skillet along with Worcestershire, soy sauce,  thyme and rosemary. Add potatoes and carrots over beef layer in slow cooker, then pour broth mixture in skillet into slow cooker along with remaining 2 cups beef broth. Season lightly with salt and pepper (add more to taste at the end). Cover and cook on low heat for 7 - 8 hours.

  5. In a small bowl whisk together cornstarch with 1 1/2 Tbsp cold water until smooth. Pour into slow cooker and gently stir, cover and cook on high heat for 20 - 30 minutes until thickened slightly. Stir in peas and half of the parsley. Serve warm garnished with remaining parsley.

  6. Recipe source: inspired by Food NetworkMy Recipes and Cooks Illustrated

Nutrition Facts
Slow Cooker Beef Stew
Amount Per Serving
Calories 482 Calories from Fat 216
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 24g 37%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 111mg 37%
Sodium 566mg 24%
Potassium 1634mg 47%
Total Carbohydrates 30g 10%
Dietary Fiber 7g 28%
Sugars 7g
Protein 32g 64%
Vitamin A 230.9%
Vitamin C 44.4%
Calcium 11.8%
Iron 45.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

145 comments

  • Adele: Will prep veggies the nite before next time.
    I was in no Rich’s but it is time consuming.
    Delicious! October 25, 2018 at 6:16pm Reply

  • Tom Dubiellak: after adding pan items to cooker over top the potatoes meat and carrots do you then stir everything together or just leave it as is to cook the remaining time? October 16, 2018 at 9:52am Reply

    • Jaclyn: You don’t need to stir at that point. Hope you enjoy! October 25, 2018 at 2:29pm Reply

  • Dana: There is no water in the recipe, besides for mixing with the cornstarch right? just beef broth? October 13, 2018 at 1:02pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: That’s correct. Just enough water for the cornstarch slurry. October 14, 2018 at 7:55pm Reply

  • CS: I made this for my husband yesterday. He loved the flavor. I did all the prep work the evening before and seared the meat in the morning, then placed all in the crock pot on low at 6:10 am When I returned home from work at 4pm the consistency of the broth was perfect. I did not need to add any corn starch at all. Thank you for a wonderful go to recipe which my carnivor husband loved!! September 18, 2018 at 9:32am Reply

  • J.: I am reading these comments and people are saying to add wine in lieu of water. Where is the water written in this recipe. I don’t see anywhere where it calls for 2 cups of water September 13, 2018 at 10:13am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I think they mean in place of beef broth. And there is water here but just 1 1/2 Tbsp for mixing cornstarch. September 13, 2018 at 2:52pm Reply

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