Slow Cooker Beef Stew


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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Slow Cooker Beef Stew

4.8 from 59 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


  • 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. 

  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


  • Courtney: This recipe is delicious! Husband approved too :D
    Only modification was I substituted 1/2 cup of red wine when it calls for 2 cups of water. Will definitely be making this again! September 12, 2018 at 1:08pm Reply

  • Angela: Fantastic!
    This is the recipe I have been waiting for! Can safely say it has been added to the family favourites in my kitchen! Absolutely delicious! Thank you for sharing! September 8, 2018 at 9:03pm Reply

  • Jeffrey Howard: I made a few modifications, which worked out really well for me. First, I replaced some of the water with red wine. 1 or 2 cups really give extra boldness to the flavor. Second, I added a few rib bones in with the meat (though it helps to take them out afterward and separate the meat from the fat and throw the fat away). Lastly, I added a couple of bay leaves, which complemented the thyme and rosemary. Overall, I was very happy with how it turned out. Highly recommend! August 26, 2018 at 8:05pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Glad you liked it Jeffery! Thanks for your feedback! August 26, 2018 at 8:48pm Reply

  • Hal: Today I am making 6 quarts of this delicious recipe. Using 5 lbs of Sam’s Club stew meat (steak trimmings) I will freeze the bulk of it in quart freezer bags. Typically a quart is four servings. If you follow the directions fairly closely, you will have the best beef stew you probably will ever taste. I can hardly wait to try some more recipes. YUM! August 7, 2018 at 4:51pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the great review Hal! August 7, 2018 at 5:24pm Reply

  • Jo: Cooking this as I type this can’t wait for dinner tonight August 1, 2018 at 9:22pm Reply

  • Clare Quinn: Love this recipe – the flavours and textures are fantastic. And you are right – it is worth browning the beef! Perfect for an Australian winter meal. Thanks! June 9, 2018 at 4:45am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Glad you thought the step was worth it too Clare! Thanks for the 5 star review! June 9, 2018 at 12:06pm Reply

  • Sherice: Can the left overs be frozen? May 24, 2018 at 6:34pm Reply

  • Becky: This has become a family favorite. It’s the perfect meal for a snow day when everyone is stuck in the house watching the snow fall and smelling the wonderful flavors. That being said, my kids love it so much they ask for it in the summer months too. I have at different times omitted the peas, parsley, and corn starch. None of that negatively impacted the final product. I do agree that browning the meat is worth the extra step and sautéing the onion, celery, tomato paste, etc mixture is divine. May 15, 2018 at 8:20pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes to all of this! May 17, 2018 at 11:08am Reply

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