I think I’ve mentioned before how much I love my slow cooker, no matter what the season. It makes it so much easier to serve healthy meals even when life is busy. And slow cookers are ridiculously easy to use. Case in point: this slow cooker beef stew recipe. Follow the step-by-step instructions to make this delicious recipe for yourself! 

beef stew in a white bowl

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

This crockpot beef stew recipe:

  • is quick and easy to make
  • doesn’t contain complicated instructions or hard-to-find ingredients
  • can easily be adjusted to suit your individual taste

Slow Cooker Beef Stew Ingredients

  • Olive oil: keeps food from burning/sticking to the crockpot.
  • Stewing beef: juicy and tender stewing beef is what makes this dish oh-so-good. That being said, you don’t have to use stewing beef! (See Substitutions and Variations.)
  • Red wine: along with adding moisture, it adds a delicious flavor and aroma.
  • Dried rosemary: think woodsy: fresh pine, evergreen, lavender, and citrus rolled into one. There is no pairing quite like rosemary and beef!
  • Dried parsley: tasting fresh and earthy, parsley adds a wonderful dimension to many dishes.
  • Celery salt: is made from salt and ground celery seeds. This seasoning is well-known for the delicious flavor it adds to beef!
  • Red onion: though milder than white onions, red onions still add their own special flavor to this stew.
  • Potatoes: add an extra “comfort food” dimension to this recipe.
  • Carrots: though not quite as good as potatoes, carrots are a fantastic “comfort” vegetable!
  • Frozen green beans: you can also use fresh or canned green beans.
  • Frozen peas: as with green beans, you can use fresh or canned peas in this recipe.
  • Beef broth: the base of the delicious, thick broth.
  • Water: another key ingredient in the broth.
  • Tapioca starch and cold water: are used together to thicken the broth.

Substitutions and Variations

  • You can use frozen beef if you forget to thaw it beforehand, just use the longer cook time suggested!
  • The stewing beef in the recipe can actually be replaced with ground beef. If you choose extra lean ground beef you can put it in the crockpot like the stewing beef. If you have fattier ground beef, I suggest cooking it and draining off the fat/grease before adding it to the slow cooker.
  • You can substitute (or add to) the vegetables in this recipe with others such as mushrooms, turnips, cauliflower, kale, lentils, and more!
beef stew in a crockpot

How to Make Beef Stew In the Slow Cooker

  1. Spread the olive oil around the inside of the slow cooker. This should keep the food from burning or sticking to the crockpot. 
  2. Add beef chuck roast to the crockpot and pour your wine over top of it.
  3. Add the seasonings: dried rosemary, dried parsley, and celery salt.
  4. Add vegetables, layered in this order: onion, potatoes, carrots, green beans, and then peas.
  5. Pour broth and water over meat and vegetables.
  6. Cook in the slow cooker on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.
  7. Dissolve tapioca starch in cold water and stir into stew. Let simmer for 30-60 minutes longer, or until vegetables are soft and meat is cooked thoroughly.

What to Serve With Slow Cooker Beef Stew

This beef stew recipe is amazing on its own, but there are some things you can serve with it!

  • Salad: a fresh salad will complement this stew wonderfully and fill out the meal if you have a large family or guests!
  • Biscuits: warm biscuits with a nice thick layer of butter along with this stew will certainly satisfy your hunger.
  • Garlic bread: in my house, we frequently eat soup and stew with homemade garlic bread. And by homemade garlic bread, I mean bread with butter, garlic, and cheese on top, toasted in the oven. 

Tips for Making the Best Instant Pot Beef Stew

  • Mixing frozen beef with canned vegetables in the slow cooker is unadvisable because it will likely cause the veggies to be mushy by the time the meat is cooked!
  • If you have the time, cooking your stew on low for longer will ensure that your beef ends up nice and tender.
how to make stew in a crockpot

FAQs

How to thicken beef stew

After the stew has been cooking for a few hours, stir 2 teaspoons of tapioca starch dissolved in 2 teaspoons of cold water into the stew. Let that simmer for 30-60 minutes longer, or until vegetables are soft and meat is cooked thoroughly.

What are the best potatoes to use?

Sturdy potatoes like red and Yukon gold potatoes are the best for slow cooker stew because they are less likely than other potatoes to fall apart into a mushy mess.

What’s the best beef for stew?

The best beef cut for beef stew is chuck roast because it contains connective tissue, which makes the meat more tender. You can also use rump roasts or bottom rounds!

Can you put raw beef in the slow cooker?

You can absolutely put raw stewing beef in the slow cooker! 

Do I have to brown the beef before slow cooking?

You don’t have to brown the beef, but it can add a delicious flavor as well as ensure more tender and juicy beef.

Can you overcook stew in a slow cooker?

It is pretty difficult to overcook stew in a slow cooker! But cooking it for too long can cause dry beef and mushy vegetables.

Does beef stew get more tender the longer it cooks?

Yes, beef stew meat will become more tender the longer it cooks! The best way to achieve tender beef in your stew is to sear the beef before slow cooking and then cook it with the stew in the crockpot on low for 7-8 hours.

How to store crockpot beef stew leftovers and how to reheat

  • Storing: you can store beef stew leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days and in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Reheating: thaw the stew in the fridge overnight then reheat on medium-high heat in a pot or Dutch oven on the stove.

Can you freeze this beef stew?

Yes, you can store this beef stew in an airtight container for up to 3 months!

Dietary Considerations

  • This recipe is already dairy and gluten-free, so don’t worry about that!
  • Even though this is a beef stew recipe, you can omit the stewing beef cubes entirely and add more vegetables to make this stew vegetarian/vegan. I have done this before and it is still very delicious!
slow cooker beef stew

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Yield: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes

Filled with potatoes, several different vegetables and of course beef, this slow cooker beef stew is simple to make, delicious & smells great while cooking!

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 lbs cubed stewing beef, *see notes for substitution
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 6-8 large potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 4 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup frozen green beans
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp tapioca starch
  • 2 teaspoons cold water

Instructions

  1. Pour olive oil into slow cooker. Spread around all surfaces. This should help the food not burn or stick to the crock. 
  2. Add stewing beef and pour wine over top.
  3. Add herbs and spices.
  4. Add vegetables, layered in this order: onion, potatoes, carrots, green beans, peas.
  5. Pour broth and 1 cup of water over meat and vegetables.
  6. Cook in slow cooker on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours.
  7. Dissolve tapioca starch into 2 tsp of cold water and stir into stew. Let simmer for 30-60 minutes longer, or until vegetables are soft and meat is cooked thoroughly.

Serve hot!

Notes

  • The stewing beef in the recipe can actually be replaced with ground beef. If you choose extra lean ground beef you can put it in the crockpot like the stewing beef. If you have fattier ground beef, I suggest cooking it and draining off the fat/grease before adding it to the slow cooker.
  • You can also substitute fresh or frozen vegetables with frozen or canned ones. If using canned, adjust cooking time accordingly.
  • Mixing frozen beef with canned vegetables in the slow cooker is unadvisable as the veggies will likely be mush by the time the meat is cooked!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 497Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 591mgCarbohydrates: 95gFiber: 12gSugar: 9gProtein: 17g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily via Nutrifox.

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Do you like beef stew? Have you made it in a slow cooker?

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4 Comments

  1. Mmmmm beef stew is a family favourite around here! Why I have never made it in the slow cooker is beyond me…what a better way to do it! Your recipe looks delicious!