Slow Cooker Beef Stew


Is there a dish more comforting than hearty beef stew?? This Slow Cooker Beef Stew is perfect for cold fall and winter days and if you’re really lucky you might have some left for lunch the next day!

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

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.

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 Cooker Beef Stew

As far as all the steps go in this recipe I’d highly recommend you don’t skip any of them. I’ve made beef stew without browned beef and with browned beef and the browned beef wins no question.

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.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

And if you aren’t a morning person like me, I recommend cutting up the beef, onions, carrots, celery and garlic the night before (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.

All SO worth it though! My family absolutely loves this rich beef stew, especially with some fresh crusty sourdough bread for dipping! Yum yum yummmmmm.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew


Slow Cooker Beef Stew

4.77 from 42 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!  

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours 15 minutes
Total Time: 8 hours 55 minutes
Servings: 7


  • 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


  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. 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.

  2. 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. 

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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


Slow Cooker Beef Stew - 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!  #beefstew #soup #recipe


  • glaucia: Sempre faço essa receita aqui, quer dizer é um pouco parecida, acredito que é tão gostosa quanto essa, mas ainda não consegui que fique com essa coloração, vou seguir a sua recita e prepara aqui acho que vai ficar esplendido. October 26, 2017 at 2:47pm Reply

  • Mindy Delano: This looks delicious so I’ll give it a go on Saturday! Thanks! BTW, your Creamy Tortellini Minestrone turned out super this week! Thank you for that one, too. October 26, 2017 at 8:02pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked the soup Mindy! I hope you love this too! October 27, 2017 at 12:25pm Reply

  • Roxana: One of my fav dish, but never added the peas, but next time I will give it a try:d October 27, 2017 at 3:40am Reply

  • Ileana Craft: Jaclyn:
    I’m such a fan, I have never had anything come out bad that I make from your blog 👍tonight I’m trying your beef stew recipe perfect for the first cold night of the year in Texas. I make one of your recipes at least once a week, You Rock! October 28, 2017 at 10:53am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad to hear you like my recipes and make them so often Ileana! Thanks for your review :)! October 29, 2017 at 7:48pm Reply

  • vivian: This was very well liked by my family, especially my husband. It is easy to put together, and then it just cooks itself. Served with sourdough bread, that was used to mop up the sauce. Thanks for a great recipe! October 29, 2017 at 5:43pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so happy to hear your family enjoyed this Beef Stew Vivian! And yes that sourdough is a must :). Thanks for your review! October 29, 2017 at 7:49pm Reply

  • Chels: This is the perfect Sunday dinner! October 29, 2017 at 6:24pm Reply

  • Leanne: Would red potatoes work in this? I already have a bag of red potatoes but don’t want to compromise the recipe October 30, 2017 at 7:38am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes definitely, I was going to mention that actually and then forgot sorry :). November 1, 2017 at 6:10pm Reply

  • Jeri Anderson: Just made this stew for dinner. It was so good! I used a venison lion roast. It was perfect! October 31, 2017 at 5:29pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you enjoyed this Beef Stew recipe Jeri! Thanks for your review! November 1, 2017 at 6:09pm Reply

  • Kendra L.: Made this yesterday and it was delicious! My husband immediately said, “this is bomb, babe! Put this in your rotation!”

    And it was done. :D

    Thank you! November 3, 2017 at 10:44am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Glad it’s worthy of your dinner rotation Kendra! Thanks for your review! November 3, 2017 at 11:14am Reply

  • JoAnn Swensen: This recipe is very similar to mine .. one I make often on a day off or the weekends .. I omit the thyme because of allergy to it .. and I always add rutabaga as my family loves them .. I also par boil my beggies, carrots and potatoes separately but in the same water and then add that water to my stew .. really adds a lot of flavor .. I let the meat cook for an hour or so on High while I prepare the vegetables .. beggies next .. then carrots and finally potatoes .. turn it down to Low and cook for 4 hours .. I’ve been making this stew for 22 years and it’s a family favorite ! Perfect for our cold winter nights served with warm buns or bread ! I will try adding the peas next time .. I so enjoy many of your recipes and am always happy when I see one so much like mine .. thank you for what you do ! November 4, 2017 at 9:16am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks JoAnn! Yours sounds like a must-try as well! November 6, 2017 at 12:05pm Reply

  • Wendy kelcey: Looks yummy! Waiting to eat it with family. It was cooked in 4 hrs on low. Hmm… not sure why it cooked so quickly! I didn’t want it to get mushy so I turned the slow cooker off and ladled it into a ceramic pot to be heated up before dinner. November 12, 2017 at 12:47pm Reply

  • AKPony: Jaclyn! I loved this! I’ve now made this twice, with caribou and venison instead of beef and it turned out phenomenal. Thanks for the great recipe. A new favorite with game meat! It is the perfect meal after a day of playing outside in the cold weather. Happy holidays from Alaska and thanks for the inspiration. November 27, 2017 at 10:22am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you loved it and were able to use up the meat you had! Thanks for your review! November 27, 2017 at 10:44am Reply

    • Nina: I’m making this with moose meat! From Alaska also :) February 17, 2018 at 11:28pm Reply

  • Mary L: It’s just after midnight but I couldn’t wait to taste this stew! I didn’t wait for the cornstarch though it’s since been added. I love this beef stew-strange as I don’t like beef stew. Lol! I used a chuck roast and that definitely made a difference. My elderly housemate wandered out as the delightful smells wafted into her room. She agrees that this will be made again. Thank you for the recipe. Night-night 😉 December 3, 2017 at 1:35am Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad it was enjoyed Mary! December 4, 2017 at 1:36pm Reply

  • Donna: Omg so delicious! Thank you so much for this amazing beef stew recipe in a crockpot! We loved it! 😗😚😙 December 6, 2017 at 8:30pm Reply

    • Donna: Oh and btw I didn’t add the cornstarch! December 6, 2017 at 8:31pm Reply

      • Joani: Love this beef stew. One of the best ones I’ve tried yet. I used the chicken broth option since I’m not wild about beef broth. Also, the beef is more tender when I reverse the order and put the beef on top. I pour a little of the sauce over the veggies at the bottom and the the rest over the beef. I also use stew beef. My hubby and I like how tender the meat gets. January 6, 2018 at 4:14pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you liked it! Thanks Donna! December 7, 2017 at 3:12pm Reply

  • Mary: Excellent! Thank you for this savory stew recipe. It was the perfect dinner for the first snowfall of the year. We loved it and will definitely make it again. December 9, 2017 at 3:21pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked this Beef Stew enough that you’d make it again Mary! Thanks so much for your review! December 9, 2017 at 5:10pm Reply

  • Michelle: This was fantastic! And I will now be permanently replacing my old beef stew recipe with this one! Was the first recipe of yours Ive tried, and I will certainly be checking back for more! December 14, 2017 at 7:38am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for your review Michelle! Glad to have you following along! :) December 14, 2017 at 5:08pm Reply

  • Isabel: When you put everything in the crock pot is the potatoes and carrots need to be in the juice? December 15, 2017 at 11:13am Reply

    • Jaclyn: No they don’t need to be fully immersed. They’ll start to cook and break down and eventually will get there just not from the start. December 15, 2017 at 4:19pm Reply

  • Jena: The best stew I’ve ever made!! My husband said please don’t forget how to make this … it’s really good!!!! Thanks for the recipe!! December 19, 2017 at 6:15pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: You’re welcome! Thanks for the positive review! December 21, 2017 at 3:16pm Reply

  • Dan: Do you peel the yellow potatoes? December 24, 2017 at 7:22am Reply

  • Caswell: Great recepie! The family loved it. December 30, 2017 at 6:55pm Reply

  • mzwills: I am going to try this recipe tomorrow! Looks so delicious and from the reviews I have no doubt it is
    Question: would the potatoes get mushy if putting in from the start? December 31, 2017 at 6:59am Reply

    • Jaclyn: The potatoes do get soft so if you’d prefer a firmer texture you can boil separately and add at the end. December 31, 2017 at 11:15am Reply

  • Nicolina: Hi! I just made this for our New Years dinner party tonight and I had to add ketchup instead of tomato paste because I didn’t have any paste! Is that the end of the world?? December 31, 2017 at 8:30am Reply

  • Eb: This was sooooo delicious. Mine was taking longer so just turned it up to high an voila it was done. My son ate his whole serving (not common for him). January 1, 2018 at 11:39pm Reply

  • COLEEN M ODONNELL: Thank you for this great recipe. I made it last night and it was delicious-perfect for this freezing weather!! Can’t wait for the leftovers tonight. January 5, 2018 at 8:12am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Hope it warmed you up! January 5, 2018 at 11:24am Reply

  • Lisa: This is by far the best beef stew recipe I have ever made! I will add a bit more broth and corn starch mixture to increase the gravy portion. Since I love sauces and gravies. I may also add mushrooms, just because. This will be my go to recipe for the future. January 5, 2018 at 3:51pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you liked it Lisa! Thanks for your feedback! January 5, 2018 at 8:00pm Reply

  • Eric: Yummmmmy, this beef stew recipe is awesome. Everyone in my family loved it. 5 stars definitely January 5, 2018 at 7:01pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the feedback Eric! January 8, 2018 at 11:38am Reply

  • Pam: What size slow cooker? January 6, 2018 at 12:23pm Reply

  • Justine: I’m not sure what I did wrong but the veggies all got tender while the meat got tough it still tastes amazing and my family liked it enough to have seconds though! January 6, 2018 at 6:43pm Reply

  • Anna: So you put the frozen peas in at the very end and they don’t have to cook at all? January 8, 2018 at 7:16pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: The stew is practically boiling so they should heat through in a minute or two. January 23, 2018 at 6:26pm Reply

  • Charlotte: Fantastic family recipe and great one pot meal! Very wholesome and tasty! January 10, 2018 at 5:57pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for your feedback Charlotte! January 17, 2018 at 12:02pm Reply

  • Greta: Best stew I’ve ever made. Full of flavor. January 11, 2018 at 7:50pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for letting me know – So glad you loved it! January 17, 2018 at 12:11pm Reply

  • Maria: Would I be able to cook this on high for 6 hours instead? I would like to make this tonight but I don’t have all that extra time! it sounds delicious and i can’t wait to try it! January 13, 2018 at 7:59am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Sorry for the late reply. This stew is definitely best cooked low and slow so I don’t recommend a high heat cooking. The beef is more tender cooked on low. January 23, 2018 at 6:25pm Reply

  • Jeanette: I have a question – do you cook for 7-8 hours and THEN add the corn starch mixture? And do you defrost the peas first? January 14, 2018 at 8:52am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes the cornstarch is added after the 7 – 8 hours. And no you don’t need to defrost the peas first, you can but I like how it helps cool down the steaming hot stew. January 23, 2018 at 6:24pm Reply

  • Diana Buckheit: Delicious as always! I absolutely love all your recipes and make many of them! Thanks! January 14, 2018 at 2:19pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for your feedback Diana! I’m so happy to have repeat readers like you. :) January 17, 2018 at 12:53pm Reply

  • Gorson: Not good. Followed it to the letter. Too much liquid. Need a bad of cement to thicken this stew. And 8 hrs. is too much time cooking. It wa good to go after about five. Wouldn’t make this again. January 14, 2018 at 4:16pm Reply

  • Lisa: I tried this recipe on the weekend. I thought it was good but I think I will add more beef. It didn’t have that full beef flavour I was hoping for but the rhyme really popped. Still very good. Any suggestions as how I can amp up the beef flavour? January 17, 2018 at 11:16am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Like you say – more beef. And be sure you are browning it well because that will really help bring out that rich flavor in the beef. And use good quality beef broth. Hope something there helps! January 23, 2018 at 6:23pm Reply

  • Mike: I just realized I have no cornstarch, could flour substitute? January 18, 2018 at 10:11am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I prefer the cornstarch because you won’t get a raw floury taste but if that’s all you have you could use about 1/4 cup flour instead (whisk with more liquid of course). January 23, 2018 at 6:29pm Reply

  • Laura: Not a fan. After 8 hours potatoes still not cooked through and it’s not thickening at all. Smells good though. January 18, 2018 at 4:21pm Reply

    • Mae: How on earth are your potatoes not cooked after 8 hours?! Did you forget to turn on the pot?? Hahah January 19, 2018 at 1:39pm Reply

  • Mae: It’s been cooking for only 2.5 hours so far and everything but the meat is done! Had to separate the vegetables entirely and put them in the fridge to stop them from turning to completely mush. It’s a wonderful recipe, though, and I will make it again, tomorrow why a few tweaks next time!
    Also I can’t understand how anyone is having trouble with thickening! Mine is thick already, even before the cornstarch! I don’t think I’ll be adding it because it simply doesn’t need to be any thicker! January 19, 2018 at 1:38pm Reply

  • Jes: I have this stew in my instant

    it smells just wonderful!

    Personally, i added bay leaf because I believe a bay leaf is essential.

    I cannot wait to try this stew. the smell is just divine! January 22, 2018 at 3:28pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I hope you love it, thanks Jes! January 22, 2018 at 6:45pm Reply

    • Ruby: Hi Jes, How long did you cook it in your insta pot and did you cook the meat first before adding veggies? Slow or manual release? Thanks! February 24, 2018 at 12:49am Reply

  • Lacey: Can you use more meat or will it throw everything off? I need roughly 4lbs so do i just double the recipe or will it me fine with ur amounts January 23, 2018 at 5:33pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: It depends on how beefy you’d like it I guess, for me that would be too much meat. I’d rather double the recipe in two slow cookers using 2 lbs in each. January 23, 2018 at 6:13pm Reply

  • TRACY FISHLEIGH: I would like to add dumplings, what would you recommend January 24, 2018 at 8:53am Reply

  • Michael E Preslow: I’m a bachelor without a dishwasher.
    Yet, I love the recipe
    I don’t get “prep time” unless you have an assistant.
    And then add cleanup time.
    Getting back to the recipe…. WONDERFUL!!
    I doubled the recepi, using 2 slow cookers. I pureed (not chopped) the onions, celery and garlic.
    Otherwise, followed the directions.
    Made enough to give half away, eat for 3 days and freeze for another 3 days.
    Back to the recepi…. OH YEA!!! January 25, 2018 at 3:27pm Reply

  • Karen: This was a hit with my family, although i checked the potatoes after 6 hours and they were still pretty hard so i raised the slow cooker to high towards the end.
    I would probably cut them smaller next time.
    Served with egg noodles, delish. January 25, 2018 at 3:59pm Reply

  • Micah: Can i use tomatoe sauce instead tomatoe paste? January 27, 2018 at 7:34pm Reply

  • Sara Van Norman: Could I add a bit of red wine to it?? I love the flavor of red wine in stew, but want to make sure it mixes well with the other flavors. January 28, 2018 at 1:02pm Reply

  • Nik: How long am I supposed to cook the peas are parsley for ? January 28, 2018 at 2:44pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Just until they are heated through, it’s almost instantly from the hot soup. January 28, 2018 at 9:24pm Reply

  • Nik: And * January 28, 2018 at 2:45pm Reply

  • Caroline: Hi! I’m planning on making this tomorrow. Do you think it will freeze well? It’s just 2 of us eating, but I would rather make the whole recipe than cut it in half. Thanks! January 29, 2018 at 9:03am Reply

  • Angela Harris: This is the best stew recipe I have ever made. Only change I made was adding sweet potato chunks. February 1, 2018 at 7:10am Reply

    • Jaclyn: The sweet potatoes sound like a delicious addition! Glad you liked it Angela! February 1, 2018 at 11:55pm Reply

  • Angelo: It was DELICIOUS!!! Perfect recipe. Thank you. February 1, 2018 at 3:15pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for your review Angelo! Glad you thought it was perfect :)! February 1, 2018 at 11:54pm Reply

  • Jim Cheseborough: This recipe is amazing.
    I actually left out the peas, carrots, and rosemary, and it still is absolutely to die for!
    I cut the potatoes in 1 1/2 inch chunks, and they were not too pulverized even after cooking for eight hours. They were perfect.

    Omg. That FLAVOR! February 3, 2018 at 12:58am Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad it was enjoyed Jim! February 5, 2018 at 12:35pm Reply

  • Jenny: Can you sub sweet potato for reg potato? February 3, 2018 at 10:59am Reply

  • CA: Absolutely wonderful. Then only thing I did differently was add some red wine. My friend who doesn’t cook even asked for your recipe! Thanks so much! February 17, 2018 at 1:44pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So happy to hear it, thanks for your feedback! February 21, 2018 at 10:36am Reply

  • Samantha: I’m definitely wanting to try this recipe tomorrow for Sunday dinner. Should I peel potatoes first or just leave skin on?? I’m using red potatoes February 18, 2018 at 12:13am Reply

  • Courtnie S: This recipe is amazing! Only subs I made was a little red wine & tomatoes sauce instead of paste while browning the meat. We can’t wait for dinner tonight!!! February 19, 2018 at 10:23am Reply

    • Courtnie S: Oh, I added a can of diced tomatoes as well. February 19, 2018 at 10:59am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Great subs. Thanks for your review Courtnie! February 19, 2018 at 11:58am Reply

  • Laura: Loved this recipe! I actually didn’t have enough time to cook it for 8 hours, so I did 4 hours on High and it came out great. Will definitely be making it again soon! February 20, 2018 at 12:30pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So happy to hear it! Thanks for the great feedback Laura! February 21, 2018 at 10:59am Reply

  • Donnell O’Brien: This was fantastic! I decided not to add the cornstarch and it was delicious anyway. Thanks for sharing this! It’s a keeper! February 27, 2018 at 7:48pm Reply

  • Donnell O’Brien: Five stars! February 27, 2018 at 7:49pm Reply

  • Ron: I just retired and after 35 years if having my wife make all the meals, I offered to cook once/week. This was the first meal I tried (baby steps…) and it turned out great. Our daughter whi normally doesn’t like stew ate her whole plate. And my wife also liked it (but of course not as good as hers). Thanks for the recipe and I will definitely try more! March 7, 2018 at 4:04pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Ron! So glad I could help! March 8, 2018 at 1:29pm Reply

  • Roman: Came out great. 15min in a pressure cooker. I browned the meat first then mixed it with flower. The beef melted in my mouth. I added 1 Spanish onion shiitake mushrooms to the recipe. March 7, 2018 at 4:59pm Reply

  • Niki: I have just put mine on and won’t have time for it on low the whole time. I am planning 3 hours on high and then switch to low for another 3 hours. I hope that will work? Also with the thyme, has anyone found it overpowering? It smelt pro dominantly of thyme and I am worried about it being too herby? Or do the other flavours take over once cooked ? Thank you anyone in advance for your feedback 😊 March 7, 2018 at 7:35pm Reply

  • Cobi: Have been trying different slow cooker stew recipes for years… this one wins hands down!! Did’t usually take the ime to sear meat and sauté onions/celery but so worth the effort!! Did all the chopping night before and stored in like batches, made for a quick assembly next morning before work. Tossed the meat in a little s&p flour to dry and did not need to add corn starch! Personally don’t love peas but when added at the end they are a great addition. Smelled awesome when arriving home (cooked on low for 7 hours and rested…) added 30 minutes and peas when I got home. Add a little fresh bread and you have a great supper!! March 8, 2018 at 10:03pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you liked it Cobi! March 12, 2018 at 10:20am Reply

  • Ashley: I am currently making this for the second time! It turned out so good!! I’ve even recommended this recipe to a coworker. March 11, 2018 at 9:13am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the great feedback Ashley! March 12, 2018 at 10:27am Reply

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