This slow cooker beef stew is loaded with chunks of tender beef, potatoes, carrots and peas. It’s a hearty and comforting one pot meal where the crock pot does all of the work!

Beef stew is a comfort food classic that is universally adored. My slow cooker version means you can start it in the morning and come home at the end of the day with dinner waiting for you! Love crock pot recipes as much as I do? Don’t miss my slow cooker beef stroganoff and apricot chicken!

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A bowl of slow cooker beef stew with meat, carrots, potatoes and peas.

Beef stew is one of my favorite dishes to make in the cold weather months, but let’s face it, sometimes it can be time consuming. In order for the beef to get fork tender, it needs a long and slow trip through the oven, which means you’re home all day waiting for it to cook. With this slow cooker beef stew, there’s no oven time required. You can set it in the morning, go about your day, then come home to a hot and savory meal.

How to make slow cooker beef stew

To make this dish, you’ll need beef stew meat, potatoes, carrots, onions, beef broth and seasonings. The beef is browned in a skillet, then goes into the slow cooker along with carrots, onions, potatoes, broth, tomato paste, herbs and spices. The stew simmers until the meat is tender, then a mixture of flour and stew liquid goes into the pot so that the stew can thicken. Add a sprinkle of parsley, then serve and enjoy.

Browned beef in a skillet.

Tips for the best crockpot beef stew

  • I do take the extra step of browning the beef before it goes into the crock pot, I think it adds SO much extra flavor. If you don’t have time in the morning to brown your meat, you can throw it into the slow cooker as is, and your stew will still be delicious.
  • I typically buy a package of beef stew meat, but you can also purchase a chuck roast and cut it into cubes.
  • You’ll want to cut your veggies on the larger side, that way they won’t get mushy from cooking all day long.
  • I add the peas at the very end of the cooking process. You can simply add the frozen peas right before serving and they’ll thaw in the hot stew and be perfect!

A crock pot filled with beef, vegetables, tomato paste, herbs and spices.

Beef stew variations

I love this recipe as-is, but feel free to add other ingredients to the mix to make your own creation!

  • Potatoes: Instead of small yellow potatoes, try red potatoes, diced Russet potatoes or even cubes of sweet potato.
  • Vegetables: You can add other veggies to the pot such as butternut squash, parsnips, mushrooms or spinach.
  • Bacon: Stir 1/2 cup cooked crumbled bacon into the stew at the end of the cook time for a smoky finish.
  • Meat: Instead of stew meat, try cooked and crumbled ground beef for a different flavor and texture.

Broth being poured into a slow cooker filled with beef and vegetables.

Can you freeze beef stew?

This slow cooker beef stew is a great candidate for a freezer meal. I often make a double batch, freeze half in a resealable bag, then thaw and heat on the stove. The stew stays fresh in the freezer for up to 3 months.

A slow cooker full of beef stew that contains meat, potatoes, carrots and peas, all in a savory broth.

I typically serve my stew with a side of bread, but between the meat, potatoes and veggies, it’s really filling enough to serve as-is for a complete meal. Your whole family will love this dinner, and you’ll love how easy it is to make!

More slow cooker recipes

Slow Cooker Beef Stew Video

4.96 from 50 votes

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

AuthorSara Welch
A bowl of slow cooker beef stew with meat, carrots, potatoes and peas.
This slow cooker beef stew is loaded with chunks of tender beef, potatoes, carrots and peas. It's a hearty and comforting one pot meal where the crock pot does all of the work!
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time8 hours
Total Time8 hours 20 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Serves 6


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 1/2 pounds beef stew meat
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 pound small yellow potatoes halved
  • 4 carrots halved and sliced into 1 inch chunks
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley


  • Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Season the stew meat generously with salt and pepper.
  • Cook the meat in a single layer for 4-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown. You may need to cook in batches.
  • Place the meat in a slow cooker along with the onion, garlic, potatoes, carrots, beef broth, tomato paste, thyme and bay leaf. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cover and cook on LOW for 7 hours or HIGH for 4 hours.
  • Remove 1/3 cup of stew liquid from the slow cooker. Add the flour and whisk until smooth.
  • Pour the flour mixture back into the stew; stir to combine. Cover and cook on HIGH for an additional 30 minutes or until stew is slightly thickened.
  • Uncover and stir in the frozen peas. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.


  1. Got leftover tomato paste? Place it in a plastic bag and freeze to use later in another recipe!
  2. Cubed beef chuck roast also works instead of stew meat.


Calories: 426kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 57g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 147mg | Sodium: 515mg | Potassium: 1093mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 7100IU | Vitamin C: 23.8mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 8.3mg

This post was originally published on January 28, 2018 and was updated on January 31, 2020 with new content.

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Recipe Rating


  1. What is the most tender best cut of meat for this stew? I found stew meat from round to be dry. Entertaining w/ this stew recipe. Want to be sure beef tender and juicy.

  2. love this recipe and making it for a large crowd.
    how would you recommend you cook it without a slow cooker?
    my friend is making it also and doesn’t have a slow cooker. is going to use oven
    please suggest about of time and temp for oven

  3. Hi! I have a gluten allergy have you used gluten free flour or oat flour? Or maybe leave out the flour all together?


  4. 5 stars
    Sara you’re killing it with good recipes. I’d better yet.. I’m a dinner star! Thanks for another winner in the ‘Ville.

    1. All you need to do is change the number of servings and the recipe card will automatically recalculate the ingredient amounts!

      1. Sara, can I add the flour to the pan after Browning the meat instead of later then deglaze the pan?
        Also, I love your Moo Goo Gai Pan recipe. We use it all the time. Thanks ✝

  5. 5 stars
    I absolutely love this recipe. My friend made this recipe for me once and it was so good I had to ask for the recipe. I do one cup of red wine and 2 cups of beef broth to it which adds a lovely finish to it. I make it very regularly cause I just can’t get enough of it.

  6. 5 stars
    I love a good stew recipe. Especially this time of year when it’s cold outside. This is a hearty meal.

  7. 5 stars
    Looks so hearty and comforting. I love slow cooker recipes and this is one I am going to make on a regular basis.

  8. 5 stars
    This was so simple to make and such a great recipe! Loved the flavors, especially the addition of carrots and peas to this beef stew!

  9. 5 stars
    I made this for a Christmas party last year and everyone loved it. Naturally, I will be making it again this year! Thank you so much for including a servings calculator—makes it so easy to scale the recipe to feed a big group.

  10. 5 stars
    Absolutely loved this stew! My husband gave tonight’s dinner an A+. It is a keeper.
    Thank you for sharing your delicious recipes.

  11. 5 stars
    Such a great recipe the whole family loves. I love that it doesn’t use canned soup and is super easy AND delicious! Thank you! So good on a cold night!

  12. LOVE your recipe card (how you can change the servings & it updates the whole recipe. Wish all online recipes had this!!