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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 Black Eyed Peas
- Crockpot Ham Bone Soup
- Slow Cooker Chicken Tortellini Soup
- Crockpot Turkey Chili
- Slow Cooker Salisbury Steak
Slow Cooker Beef Stew Video
Slow Cooker Beef Stew
- 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.
- Got leftover tomato paste? Place it in a plastic bag and freeze to use later in another recipe!
- Cubed beef chuck roast also works instead of stew meat.
This post was originally published on January 28, 2018 and was updated on January 31, 2020 with new content.