Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Published October 25, 2017. Updated October 16, 2020

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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 thyme and rosemary
  • 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.

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Slow Cooker Beef Stew
4.88 from 95 votes

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!  
Servings: 7 servings
Prep40 minutes
Cook8 hours 15 minutes
Ready in: 8 hours 55 minutes



  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • 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.
  • 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.


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*
Fat 24g37%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Cholesterol 111mg37%
Sodium 566mg25%
Potassium 1634mg47%
Carbohydrates 30g10%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 32g64%
Vitamin A 11545IU231%
Vitamin C 36.6mg44%
Calcium 118mg12%
Iron 8.2mg46%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.

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  • Charice Carrasco

    This is my go to beef stew recipe! I deglaze the pan with some red wine instead of broth, and it adds even more depth!

  • terra thompson

    Love this recipe! It’s not that much to prep and then all day long the house smells amazing. Really good flavor and filling.

  • Eve

    I made it several time using a pressure cooker! It’s amazing!! Now I bought an oven Dutch and was wondering if I can just put it on low and cook for 8hrs or it will be different? Thank you!

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      Over the stovetop you wouldn’t need to cook quite as long and you’ll need to add more liquid. I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed it!

  • Lucinda

    Hi what can I do if I accidentally got regular beef broth instead of low sodium?

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      Just don’t add additional salt in the beginning, wait to season with salt until the end when it’s done cooking if it needs some.

  • Diane B.

    This is a definite remake! My husband loved it and said it was the best stew he has ever had in his life! (He’s 67). Would recommend this recipe to anyone. Tip: Give yourself about 45 minutes of prep time, not included in the cooking time. I also shook the meat in flour before searing and it kept the meat quite moist.

  • Jonathan Eckman

    It’s a very flavorful stew, really makes the house smell great while it’s cooking. Just be aware that it will take some time to prepare – that’s a lot of cutting, chopping, etc., that you have to do. Really liked how it came out and will make this again.

  • Kg

    Hello, I’ve made this stew once before I added a half c. Of a Pinot noir.. and I use the fingerlings potatoes.
    I’d like to incorporate fresh string beans on this next batch.. about what time in cooking would you suggest adding them to the slow cooker?
    Kindest regards,

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      Hi Kg

      The Pinot noir is a delicious addition!

      I would add the green beans probably during the last 2 hours.