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Slow cooker beef stew recipe

Slow cooker beef stew recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Beef
  • Cuts of beef
  • Steak
  • Stewing steak

A hearty, savoury slow cooker beef stew with potatoes, carrots and celery. You won't be slow to say 'yum'!

3953 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 900g diced stewing steak
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 350ml beef stock
  • 3 potatoes, diced
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 1 stick celery, sliced

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:6hr ›Ready in:6hr20min

  1. Place beef pieces in slow cooker. In a small bowl mix together the flour, salt and pepper; pour over meat and stir to coat beef with flour mixture. Stir in the garlic, bay leaf, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, onion, beef stock, potatoes carrots, and celery.
  2. Cover and cook on High setting for 4 to 6 hours or on Low setting for 10 hours.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(4916)

Reviews in English (3498)

Made this twice. A huge hit with friends and family. Really easy. I took the lid off the slow cooker for the last hour to thicken the gravy. Recipe is for 6, but lovely the next day or freezable for smaller families. Highly recommend!-04 Oct 2016

He came back for seconds. I added a tspn of horseradish to mine-30 Oct 2016

This was my first ever slow cooker recipe and I was worried about not browning the meat first. I need not have worried - the result was great-12 Nov 2016

Old-Fashioned Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe

This is an old-fashioned beef stew for the slow cooker. The stew is flavored with a variety of basic pantry herbs and seasonings, along with garlic, onion, and vegetables.

The liquid is low-sodium beef broth, but feel free to replace part of the broth or stock with a good quality red wine. See below for the variations for more ingredient substitutions and add-ins.

The seasoned beef will add more flavor to the stew if it is first seared, but if you are pressed for time you can skip that step.

Click Play to See This Old-Fashioned Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe Come Together

Slow-Cooker Red Wine Beef Stew

If you need an excuse to get your slow cooker out, this is it! Let everything cook together for hours for the deepest, most satisfying beef stew you'll try. Don't skip searing the beef &mdash it creates more deeply flavored meat that develops the flavor of the stew even further. Dish up a bowl, curl up on the couch with a spoon and a hunk of crusty bread, and you're absolutely SET. The tender, rich meat paired with the unctuous sauce and dotted with fresh veggies is truly ideal comfort food. The rosemary and sun-dried tomatoes aren't classically used in beef stew, but they brighten up the flavor and add a real punch.

Do I need to use red wine?

It's your kitchen do as you please! We love the depth that red wine brings, but if it's not your thing, feel free to just substitute for additional beef stock.

Can I reheat?

Tbh? This is even better the day after. and the day after that. Just be sure to let the stew cool completely before packing it up. Also - if you're so inclined - it freezes SO well.

Since your slow cooker is already out, we have plenty of slow-cooker soup recipes for you to try next.

How to make Slow Cooker Beef Stew:

This particular Slow Cooker Beef Stew recipe is a wonderful one because of the method used for making it. The beef and onions and tomato-based sauce are all poured into the slow cooker insert, but the vegetables (potatoes, carrots and parsnips) are wrapped in foil and stacked on top of the beef mixture. This helps to prevent the vegetables from turning into absolute mush during the slow-cooking process.

It actually works out very well in the end. The veggies stay clean, bright and beautiful. They’re not mush. And when they’re mixed in with all of the juices from the stew, all is right with the world.

Now wouldn’t you just love a bowl of that for dinner? My Mom happened to be over for dinner the night I made this stew, and it was very easy to adapt this recipe to make it gluten-free. The only ingredients you need to attend to are the beef broth and the soy sauce, and using gluten-free versions of those is simple. It’s a delicious, warm-you-up kind of meal for a chilly, not-enough-time-to-make-dinner kind of day!

Here are a few more stew recipes on the blogs that you may enjoy:


  • CHUCK ROAST: Tender chunks of chuck roast simmered on low until rich and juicy. Skip the prepackaged stew meat and cut your own. For extra flavor, sear the meat in oil until golden brown. Deglaze the pan drippings with stock and add it to the slow cooker.
  • HEARTY VEGETABLES: Fresh produce with classic stew vegetables and includes yellow potatoes, carrots, and celery.
  • FLAVORFUL BEEF FLAVOR: For a huge flavor base boost, stir in Better Than Bouillon Beef Base. This thick roux like liquid ingredient is packed with a robust beef flavor. If you’ve ever had homemade beef stew and it was missing a key flavor then you’ll love this big flavor addition. Find it in a glass jar near the bouillon cubes. In addition, beef stock adds liquid volume to the stew to ensure there is plenty of that classic gravy broth flavor with each bite.
  • AROMATIC HERBS: Onions, garlic, bay leaves. Essential culinary herbs that add incredible flavor and a diffusing aroma to the stew.
  • CLASSIC STEW SEASONING: Salt, pepper, dried parsley, beefy onion powder mix.
  • THICKER STEW GRAVY: Cornstarch and water thicken the gravy nicely. Alternatively, all-purpose flour may be substituted.


  1. Cut beef into medium size chunks. Sear in oil and add to the slow cooker.
  2. Pour in beef stock, beef bouillon roux, and soy sauce.
  3. Slice carrots, onions, and potatoes. Mince garlic. Add to pot.
  4. Add bay leaves, salt, pepper, and parsley.
  5. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 8-9 hours.
  6. Chop celery and add to the stew.
  7. Thicken broth with a cornstarch slurry. Stir in Lipton powder.
  8. Turn to high and cook 30 minutes.


8 HOURS ON LOW: HIGHLY RECOMMEND: Chuck is a tougher cut of meat. While it may be convenient to have supper on the table in 4 hours, your meat will not have enough time to break down, leaving it dry from seizing up and pushing the juices out. Cooking chuck stew “meat” on low makes all the difference!

4 HOURS ON HIGH: A convenient option for a last minute crockpot meal using a higher temperature for a shorter duration.


What cut of beef is in beef stew? The front shoulder, also called the chuck, is my preferred cut of meat to use. It has a nice portion of fat marbling that results in more juice and moisture. It requires a low, slow cooking temperature for a longer period of time to break down the collagen and fat. This method will produce juicy fork tender meat. Another inexpensive yet good option, when cooked slow and low, is the round ( top rear muscle) and a rump (bottom rear muscle).

When do I add the potatoes to the slow cooker? The potatoes are added at the start. Because potatoes are dense, they will need time to soften and will hold up while slow cooking. On the other hand, celery should be added towards the end.

Can I use beef stew meat? I prefer to cut my own stew meat using a chuck roast. Not only will you save money by cutting your own stew meat, but you’ll also control how much fat and connective tissue vs meat you’re using. Cooked just right, the collagen-rich portions will add a richness to each bite of tender slow cooked beef, without a mouthful of unwanted textures. However, crockpots vary greatly. I have three myself and they pretty much all cook differently.

What can I serve with stew? A crusty loaf of french bread or baguette with a little butter is my favorite addition. Bread is perfect for soaking up the extra stew gravy. For more slow cooker recipes, try this Brown Sugar Crock Pot Spiral Ham, Mississippi Pot Roast recipe, or this Easy Slow Cooker Turkey Breast.

This stew freezes very well. If you’re freezing leftovers of the completed dish, just keep in mind that the potatoes will get softer in the process of freezing and thawing. If you plan to freeze the stew right away, do so before the step of adding the carrots and the potatoes. When you’re ready to enjoy the soup, thaw it and resume the cooking process at step 5.

Homemade Crock-Pot Beef Stew Recipe

Beef Stroganoff

You know that anything that involving the words “slow cooked” and “beef” is going to be a winner. And this one is a ripper!

It’s the slow cooked version of classic Beef Stroganoff. Besides the fact that it takes 8 hours in a slow cooker instead of 15 minutes on the stove, this stew version of Stroganoff differs from the traditional version in a few ways:

Fall apart tender chunks of beef rather than thin strips that are just cooked so they’re juicy inside

Made with economical stewing beef rather than good to high quality well marbled steak (essential for a really great traditional Beef Stroganoff) and

Deeper flavour in the sauce – owing to the long cook time. You can’t shortcut this kind of flavour!

This slow cooked beef melts in your mouth and the depth of flavour in the sauce is magnificent!

Slow Cooker Homemade Beef Stew Freezer Meal Recipe

Homemade Freezer Beef Stew Recipe

I love beef stew, and homemade beef stew is so much better than the canned stuff! This slow cooker beef stew is full of flavor. The potatoes, carrots, and beef are cooked to perfection and tender too.

This freezer beef stew recipe is so easy because once you’ve browned the meat, it is simply adding the ingredients to the Crock-Pot and letting it slow cook.

Beef Stew Ingredient Prep Tips

When I have leftover tomato paste, I freeze it by the tablespoon in an ice cube tray. Then transfer the tomato paste cubes to a labeled freezer bag and store it in the freezer. Next time a recipe calls for a few tablespoons of tomato paste, I have it ready to go and avoid waste.

Keep the potatoes and carrots in bigger chunks, as instructed in the recipe, to help ensure that they won’t be overcooked by the end of the slow cooking time.

I read recently that using store-bought beef broth can give an off-flavor to homemade beef stew and that it can be better to use part reduced-sodium chicken broth in there too. So that’s what I do and it works great!

I like to add a little reduced-sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos for some nice umami flavor too. If you prefer to omit that ingredient, no problem!

Finishing the Freezer Stew

The only other steps after the slow cooker are stirring in frozen peas, thickening the stew, and garnishing with fresh parsley.

There are a few options for thickening the stew, so I wanted to include them both in case one works better for you than the other:

  • Keep it gluten-free with the cornstarch slurry thickening option. Mix the cornstarch and water in a small bowl, until smooth, then stir it into the stew in the slow cooker for the last 30 minutes of cooking time.
  • Alternately, remove 1/3 cup of stew liquid from the slow cooker and pour it into a small bowl. Whisk in 3 tablespoons of flour, until smooth, then stir the mixture back into the stew in the slow cooker. Turn slow cooker to high and cook for an additional 30 minutes.

Kitchen Recommendation!

I love this cutting board set! It’s perfect for chopping on, then funneling into your bag or pot!

  • Crockpot: To reheat your Slow Cooker Beef Stew from the refrigerator, place your ceramic crockpot insert back into your crockpot and heat on low for 1-2 hours.
  • Stove: Alternatively, you can reheat large batches on the stove over medium low heat, stirring occasionally until the beef is heated through to 165 degrees F. This may take 20-30 minutes, so plan accordingly.
  • Microwave: For smaller batches or individual servings, you can use the microwave. Transfer stew to a microwave-safe dish, cover with a microwave-safe lid or paper towel. Microwave for 2 minutes, stir, then continue to microwave for 30-second intervals, if needed.

I would not advocate freezing your cooked Slow Cooker Beef Stew because potatoes do not freeze-and-reheat well. They turn into a bizarre, mushy texture. If you still want to freeze your Crockpot Beef Stew, I suggest removing the potatoes.

  1. Cool: Allow Crockpot Beef Stew to cool completely before freezing to preserve the integrity of the ingredients.
  2. Package: Transfer soup to an airtight freezer safe container or freezer bag. You can even use sandwich size plastic bags for individual stew portions. Squeeze out any excess air to prevent freezer burn and label
  3. Freeze. Freeze for up to 3 months.
  4. Defrost/Reheat. When ready to use, thaw overnight in the refrigerator then reheat in the microwave, crockpot or stove according to aforementioned instructions.

It&rsquos easier than you&rsquod think to make classic beef stew in a slow cooker! Just place all the ingredients into a slow cooker, then add the lid. Cook on high for 6 to 7 hours or on low for 8 to 9 hours. Seriously, that&rsquos it!

I love serving this hearty beef stew with fresh bread or rolls, a side salad, or cornbread. Here are a few ideas to get you started: