Slow Cooker Beef Stew

10.25.2017

Is there a dish more comforting than this Slow Cooker Beef Stew? It’s 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!

slow cooker Beef Stew with wooden spoon

The Best 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.

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.

Want to see how easy this beef stew recipe is? Watch the video!

Why Slow Cook This 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.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew Ingredients

  • 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 in a Slow Cooker

  • 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.

slow cooker 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 as 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.

How to Serve Beef Stew

This slow cooker stew 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 be another great option.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew in a white bowl with bread on the side

Make Ahead Tips for the Best Slow Cooker 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 Soup Recipes You’ll Love:

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Print

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

4.81 from 61 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!  

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

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.

Recipe Notes

To prep this stew in advance: 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.

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.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: beef stew, slow cooker stew
Calories: 482 kcal
Author: Jaclyn

161 comments

  • Jennifer John: Thank you for this beautiful and easy recipe. The stew was simply heart-warming and delicious. July 1, 2019 at 8:01am Reply

  • Leanne: Sounds amazing. Do I need to pre boil potatoes? I have tried 2 other recipes before and followed it as per recipe and the potatoes always turn out hard and uneatable? May 29, 2019 at 5:28pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: You shouldn’t have to, the most common issue seems to be that potatoes are too tender so I may suggest looking into buying another slow cooker. I love my Crockpot cook and carry which you can get for around $30 – $40. I really don’t like the all clad and hamilton beach I also own, things never come out tender they cook way too low. May 30, 2019 at 11:42am Reply

  • Jessica: How long does this recipe take if you cook it on high May 14, 2019 at 5:52am Reply

  • Percy: Thank you for the recipe! It was a lot easier to prepare than I’d thought. It’s in the slow-cooker now, and I’m looking forward to tasting it! :P

    But there is something missing from the instructions. After adding the thyme and rosemary, how long should I cook the broth mixture in the skillet? And, at what temperature? Thanks! February 5, 2019 at 4:13pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: You only need to cook very briefly just to help remove those browned bits from the bottom of the pot (maybe 15 seconds) and it should be cooked at the same temp it was previously – medium-high. Hope you enjoy! February 5, 2019 at 4:44pm Reply

  • DEBBIE SEEGERTS: So delicious!! My go to recipe for the best beef stew!! Thank you!! January 16, 2019 at 2:41pm Reply

  • MariA: I made this recipe over the weekend and everyone loved it. This will definitely be a go to meal during these cold winter months. January 15, 2019 at 12:01pm Reply

  • Cindi Moore: This sound amazing! Can I cook it in the oven? If so, what temperature and for how long? I thought my husband was going to put it in the crock pot this morning…….that did not happen. I am craving this for tonight!! January 11, 2019 at 12:45pm Reply

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