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Easy Slow Cooker Beef Stew

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Easy slow cooker beef stew is thick and hearty and the definition of comfort food. Made in the crockpot, this stew is filled with tender beef, carrots, and peas and is a family favorite.

closeup of spoon scooping out slow cooker beef stew from a crockpot

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Some foods are warm and cozy like a hug. This beef stew is one of those meals. It is filled with tender beef, flavorful veggies, and a thick and delicious gravy.

Pile it into a bowl, serve it with some crusty onion dill bread or beer bread, and fill your belly with warmth.

Knowing my meal is cooking while I’m at work is one of my very favorite things. Prepping this slow cooker stew in the morning only takes a few minutes, then you come home to your house smelling amazing and dinner ready to serve.

overhead shot of beef stew in crockpot bowl

SLOW COOKER BEEF STEW INGREDIENTS

Below is a list of the major ingredients & some useful tidbits to help you plan out your cooking, but you can also skip it and scroll down for the full recipe.

FLOUR – Before you add your beef to the slow cooker, you’ll want to coat it with flour and sear it. The flour helps the meat brown better, thickens the sauce, and creates a great texture of the meat.
BEEF – You don’t want a lean cut of beef when you’re making stew. You’ll end up with tough meat. Opt for a cut with lots of connective tissue, like chuck and round. When you simmer the beef in liquid, the connective tissue breaks down and becomes super tender.
ONION, CELERY, & CARROTS – The holy trinity for flavor.
POTATOES – I usually use russets, but red skin or yukon gold will work as well.
WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE – Adds great flavor and depth to the stew.
BEEF BROTH – I use low sodium beef broth. Alternatively, you can use 3 cups water + 2 beef bouillon cubes or 1-2 tsp beef bouillon granules.
ONION SOUP MIX – I typically have Lipton Onion Soup Mix on hand for recipes but if you don’t, you have make your own.
ROSEMARY & THYME – Herbs add a ton of flavor to stew. I use dried because I always have them on hand, but fresh is even better.
BAY LEAF – Bay leaves are great in soups and stews to give a bitterness that balances the dish making it not so heavy.
PEAS – Frozen peas get stirred in about 15 minutes before you’re ready to serve the stew.

ingredients laid out to make slow cooker beef stew

TOOLS FOUND ON AMAZON TO HELP YOU

  • Slow Cooker – You will need a slow cooker. I have had this 6qt slow cooker for many years and highly recommend it. I love that it switches over to WARM after the designated cook time. That is very helpful for long workdays.
  • Kitchen Knife – A good santoku knife will make cutting the beef and veggies super easy.
  • Veggie Chopper – This is my new favorite gadget. It is great for chopping onions, carrots, celery, and many other things.
  • Ladle – You’ll need a ladle to spoon up all this goodness.

HOW TO SLOW COOK BEEF STEW

STEP ONE: Season your flour with salt and pepper in a zip top plastic bag. Add in the chopped beef, seal, and shake to evenly coat.

STEP TWO: Add the olive oil to a skillet over medium-high heat and pour in the meat and flour mixture. Brown the beef then add in the chopped onion and garlic, cooking until soft.

collage of process shots of searing beef in a skillet

STEP THREE: Pour the seared beef mixture into the bottom of the slow cooker. Add in the rosemary, thyme, and bay leaf.

STEP FOUR: Top the meat with the chopped potatoes, celery, carrots, broth, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir to combine and then cover.

STEP FIVE: Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or HIGH for 4-6 hours. Stir in the frozen peas 15-30 minutes before serving.

collage of making beef stew in slow cooker

DO I HAVE TO BROWN THE MEAT FIRST?

You don’t have to brown the meat before adding it to the crockpot, but I highly recommend it. Lightly cooking the outside of the meat caramelizes the beef which makes for bold, rich flavors.

CAN I PUT RAW BEEF IN THE SLOW COOKER

You can absolutely put raw beef in the slow cooker. I choose to brown the meat first, but you can skip that step if you’re in a hurry.

HOW DO I MAKE MY BEEF STEW MORE FLAVORFUL?

You shouldn’t have any issues with this beef stew lacking flavor – the combo of carrots, celery, and onion, along with the onion soup mix, beef broth, and Worcestershire sauce leads to great flavor. However, if you want to up the flavors even more, use fresh rosemary and thyme instead of dried. Fresh herbs always have the most flavor.

slow up of beef stew in a white bowl

HOW TO STORE LEFTOVERS

Leftover beef stew will last in the fridge, covered in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. Reheat it in the microwave or throw it in a saucepan to warm through.

CAN YOU FREEZE IT

Luckily, beef stew freezes really well, which makes prepping for busy weeknights really easy. I like to store leftover portions in my Souper Cubes but any plastic container will do. Don’t overfill the containers, the stew will expand as it freezes. It will keep for up to 4 months in the freezer.

NEED MORE SLOW COOKER RECIPES? TRY THESE:

Sweet & Spicy Slow Cooker Meatballs
Crock Pot Honey Bourbon Chicken
Crock Pot Mississippi Pot Roast
Slow Cooker Pot Roast
Slow Cooker Corned Beef
Crockpot Hot Dog Chili

Click here for my entire collection of slow cooker recipes.

wooden spoon scooping out beef stew

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bowl of beef stew with title text overlay
closeup of spoon scooping out slow cooker beef stew from a crockpot

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Melissa Williams | Persnickety Plates
Easy slow cooker beef stew is thick and hearty and the definition of comfort food. Made in the crockpot, this stew is filled with tender beef, carrots, and peas and is a family favorite.
4.49 from 29 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 365 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • cup all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 lb stewing beef cut into 1" chunks. I recommend chuck.
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 large garlic clove chopped
  • 4 medium russet potatoes peeled & cubed
  • 3 medium carrots chopped
  • 3 medium celery stalks chopped
  • 3 cups low sodium beef broth or 3 cups water + 2 beef bouillon cubes/1-2 tsp beef bouillon granules
  • 40 gram dry onion soup mix packet
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 medium bay leaf
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Instructions
 

  • To a large ziploc bag, add the flour, salt and pepper and shake to mix.
  • Cut stewing beef into 1" cubes and then toss into flour mixture bag. Shake to coat.
  • Add olive oil to a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat and then add beef and flour mixture (including any excess flour).
  • Brown the beef then add the chopped onion and garlic. Cook until onion is soft.
  • Pour the beef, garlic and onion mixture into the bottom of a slow cooker with the rosemary, thyme, and bay leaf.
  • Top with the potatoes, carrots, celery, broth, onion soup mix, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir to combine.
  • Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or HIGH for 4-6 hours. Stir in frozen peas 15-30 minutes before serving.

Notes

Use a marbled cut of beef for the most tender stew, like chuck. Cut into 1″ cubes. 
If you don’t have beef broth, use 3 cups water + 2 beef bouillon cubes or 1-2 tsp beef bouillon granules.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Stew will freeze really well. Add to plastic containers, leaving room at the top to allow for expansion, and freeze for up to 4 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 365kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 23gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 1062mgPotassium: 1352mgFiber: 5gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 5322IUVitamin C: 22mgCalcium: 74mgIron: 4mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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  1. Meghann says

    Directions do not say when to add the onion mix.

  2. Taylor says

    4 stars
    I loved this recipe, it was super easy to follow, although I did add a bit more meat than the initial recipe called for. I made it for my family of 4, and while they did remark it was a little “plain” i found it to be to my liking. Will definitely be making this dish again!

    • Melissa Williams says

      Thanks, Taylor! I know how hard it is to please all four lol

  3. Rachael says

    5 stars
    My family loved this recipe! My husband, whose mother is an amazing cook, said it was better than his mom’s beef stew! Will definitely be adding this to our recipes! Thanks!

    • Melissa Williams says

      Oh man, that’s quite the compliment! Thanks so much for reporting back!

  4. Laurel says

    Do you add frozen peas? I don’t see them on the ingredients or in the steps. I like the idea and I imagine they are frozen but don’t see it. Thanks.

    • Melissa Williams says

      Hi Laurel, yes they’re the last ingredient in the recipe card & are addressed in step #7 🙂

  5. Jessica says

    4 stars
    A tbsp of rosemary was a little much for our taste; it overpowered all the other flavors. Still very goos though. 🙂

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