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

4.94 from 33 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!
Time
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time8 hours
Total Time8 hours 20 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Serves 6

Ingredients 

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

  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.

Nutrition

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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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I don’t like stew but my husband does so I figured I’d make it and just let him have it. Goodness I am the one that ate the leftovers! I made exactly as recipe noted, no substitutes and it was yummy! I actually thought it got better each day I had it for lunch so making again this week! My picky two year old also loved!

  2. Hi Sara,

    Thank you so much for this yummy sounding recipe. I’m making this as we speak and I can’t wait to have a taste. Really hoping my daughter will like it as well… picky eater!

    I’m using my Instant Pot as slow cooker. I will program my Instant Pot for SLOW COOKING (“venting”) in SLOW mode and for 7 HOURS. Will this work? I saw that you are using the Instant Pot in other recipes and was hoping you could advice. I love to cook but this is a first for me in terms of slow cooking ;).

    Thank you!

  3. Hey Sara,

    My family and I really enjoyed this recipe.
    As a person who is currently counting calories, I was wondering if there was a specific measure of stew that equaled the 426 calories.

    Since you said it made 6 servings is it just 1/6 serving for that calorie amount?

    Again, great recipe!
    Thanks for sharing!

    -Michael

  4. I am making this right now. I also added 1/2 cup of red wine. I sounds delicious. Also, when I have leftover tomato paste (I buy large cans), I freeze it in regular sized ice cube trays. One cube is about 3 tablespoons. After it’s frozen, I pop them into a freezer bag and I always have the right amount.

    1. I do this, too. I got tired of using only 1 or 2 tablespoons of tomato paste and throwing the rest away! Wasteful!

  5. 5 stars
    So glad I found this recipe, I purchased a slow cooker last week and this was the first thing I’ve tried so far. It was such a hit, tasted so good. Will definitely be making again 🙂

  6. I making this recipe today. I read that people used 1 cup of red wine. Is that red wine vinegar or just red wine?

  7. 5 stars
    It was a hit. I followed the recipe except for substituting (as some others did) a half cup of red wine for some of the broth. Will make this again.

  8. Holy smokes! I have never cared for stew, but I needed something that could come together quickly and cook while at work. I didn’t have tomato paste, beef stock, or dry thyme, so I used pureed fresh tomato, veggie bouillon, and a couple sprigs of fresh tarragon. So good I had seconds!

  9. 5 stars
    Excellent, i’ll Be making this stew again. I made only two small changes. One was in adding I cup of red wine in place of one cup of beef broth as my husband likes that flavor and aroma as its cooking. I also substituted Parsnips for the potatoes.

  10. 5 stars
    The recipe was amazing. Added a bit more carrots and broth. Also, used the Better than Bouillon Beef Base – Reduced Sodium. Beef came out so tender which was amazing considering the beef can become to tough in a crockpot. Thanks so much for posting!

  11. 5 stars
    This was very good! I made this in my Ninja Foodi using the slow cooker option and this came out excellent. The vegetables were not mushy and the meat was very tender. We will be making this again. Thank you for sharing.

  12. 5 stars
    You mentioned doubling for freezing. I would like to increase quantity of beef to 4 lbs as I have to feed a family Christmas dinner. I ‘d probably not double potatoes as only my husband likes them. Should it come out well in 6 qt cooker? Thank you for great recipe.

    1. If you’re using 4 lbs of beef, I’d recommend changing the number of servings in the recipe card from 6 to 9, it’ll automatically calculate the correct amount of ingredients to scale the recipe up. You may want to use a bit less broth if you’re not using more potatoes. I hope this helps!

  13. 4 stars
    I made this the other night. It was delicious! The beef wasn’t as tender as I wanted but I bought shitty meat at the
    grocery store. It took longer than 4 hours on high. More like 5.
    Thanks for the great recipe.