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 44 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. 5 stars
    Made it today for Sunday dinner. I added about half a cup of red wine just because I had some. This was absolutely delicious. Definitely make it again.

      1. 5 stars
        I never ever coom in the 16 years I’m with my husband…he asked me if I could start lol …I said hun you better get a good life insurance policy Haha jk…well someone gave me a crock pot years ago I never opened the box 7ntil this morning…and I made your recipe…omg its delicious it came out perfect everything is so soft ..cant wait for him to get home and try it

  2. 5 stars
    Oh yum! I haven’t made beef stew in a while, so thank you for the reminder! Now I have something to add to our next week’s menu plan! I will assign this for Monday. The closer it is to today, the better. πŸ™‚

  3. 5 stars
    We always make beef stew in the slow cooker. It just turns out more delicious because the meat is cooked in its own juices in slow, steady heat. I make mine a little different but I will surely try your recipe too.

  4. We make beef stew often at my house. My family loves it and it’s a great hearty meal when it’s cold out!

  5. 5 stars
    Wow, your beef stew looks amazing! It is like picture perfect and I almost swear I could smell it when I saw your picture. With the colder January we have had I am always looking for easy comfort meals for my family. Thank you Sara!

  6. The beef looks so tender! I am definitely going to have to dust off my crock pot and give this recipe a whirl soon. Looks sooo tasty!

  7. You had me at beef stew πŸ™‚ What a great way to use our slow cooker for these busy days I am dealing with. A good, hearty beef stew can always warm us up on these cold winter days. I may have to try your slow cooker beef stew recipe next week!

  8. We make beef stew about once a week here. I use my mom’s recipe and lucky for me, even my picky eater will eat it πŸ™‚

  9. This looks fantastic Sara! Love that rich broth πŸ™‚ and so great it can be made in the slow cooker!