Slow Cooker Beef Stew is a hearty and filling meal that will satisfy anyone who loves a good home-cooked meal. This recipe includes all of the ingredients for beef stew, but its slow cooking style makes it perfect for those chilly winter months when you want something warm and comforting!
While there are many ways to cook beef stew, we love making this dish in our slow cooker. There are many benefits to making beef stew in the crockpot. For one, slow cooker beef stew is a very easy way to cook this dish—simply add all of the ingredients to your slow cooker and let it do its thing!
Second, the slow cooking style results in a tender and juicy beef that is perfect for those who love a slow-simmered taste. The prep is easy and there is very little hands-on time making this a great meal for a weeknight that makes great leftovers.
Slow Cooker Beef Stew Ingredients
- Chuck Roast - Chuck roast is a slow-cooking cut of beef that's perfect for slow cooker beef stew. It has great flavor and, when cooked on low heat, it gets fork tender. You'll need to cut it into cubes.
- Salt & Pepper - Used to season the beef before searing and also inside the dish to enhance the taste.
- Canola Oil - Helps get a golden brown color on the beef cubes when they are seared in a pan.
- Stew Vegetables - A mix of carrots, potatoes, and mushrooms are used to add flavor, texture, and nutrients to this beef stew.
- Garlic & Onion -Infuses the beef stew with fresh garlic and onion flavor.
- Dry Spices - You'll need a mix of ground cumin, oregano, and paprika to add a fresh herb smoky flavor to the dish.
- Beef Broth - Adds flavor and moisture to the beef stew while infusing it with an even more hearty beef flavor.
- Red Wine - Optional, but adds depth of flavor to the beef stew.
- Tomato Sauce - Adds a tangy tomato flavor and acidity that pairs well with the rest of the dish. You can also use tomato paste.
- Worcestershire Sauce - A classic salty sauce that is made with anchovies, vinegar, and garlic. It adds a depth of flavor to the beef stew.
- Bay Leaves - Adds a subtle earthy flavor to the stew when slow-cooked.
- All-Purpose Flour - Helps to thicken the stew and give it a nice gravy-like consistency.
- Frozen Green Beans - Adds another layer of flavor and texture as a nutrient-dense green vegetable.
- Garnish - Use fresh parsley, oregano, green onions, and chives to add a pop of fresh flavor and green color to the finished dish.
How To Make Slow Cooker Beef Stew
- Sear the beef: Trim off any excess fat off of the chuck roast and cut the beef into 1.5-inch cubes and season with salt and pepper. Add the canola oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat until shiny and hot. Add the seasoned beef cubes and sear until browned for about 2-3 minutes. Set aside on a paper towel-lined plate.
- Fill the slow cooker: To the bottom of your slow cooker, add the seared beef. Then, add the chopped stew vegetables on top. Sprinkle on the dry seasonings.
- Mix the sauce: In a small bowl, whisk the beef broth, red wine, tomato sauce, and Worcestershire until fully combined. Pour it into the slow cooker and add the bay leaves.
- Cook the stew: Set the crockpot to cook on LOW for 8 hours (or HIGH for 4 hours). Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Thicken the stew: Remove 2 cups of the stew liquid and add to a bowl. Slowly whisk in the flour in batches to make a slurry. Pour the slurry back into the slow cooker and stir to combine.
- Cook the green beans: Add the frozen green beans to the stew and set your crockpot to cook on HIGH for 15 minutes.
- Adjust seasonings and serve: Once green beans are cooked through, taste and adjust seasonings. Ladle into bowls and garnish.
- Searing the beef is an important step. Not only does it add flavor to the dish, but it also helps keep the beef tender on the inside.
- For slow cooker beef stew and slow cooker pulled beef recipes, Chuck roast is the best option due to its deep marbling. The marbling ensures your beef will cook perfectly fall-apart tender. I’d recommend buying a whole piece of chuck roast from the market and trimming/cutting it yourself at home. This way you’ll know exactly what you are getting and cutting the beef yourself in similar sizes will help the beef cook evenly. Use as much as you need (as much as the recipe requires) and freeze the leftover meat for next time.
- Make sure to use plenty of salt and pepper when seasoning the beef as it will give the best flavor to meat in the end.
- Add any additional vegetables you want at the initial step, just note that root veggies will take longer to cook than green beans.
- If your slow cooker isn't large enough to fit everything, divide between two slow cookers so as not to stack the slow cooker.
- Chop the vegetables all roughly the same size to ensure they cook evenly.
- While you can cook this stew on HIGH, it is recommended to cook this slow cooker beef stew on LOW if you have the time as the beef will be more tender.
Variations for Slow Cooker Beef Stew
- If you don't have a slow cooker, you can also make this recipe in a Dutch oven on the stove. Follow step one to brown the beef cubes, then add everything to the Dutch oven and simmer for about 2-3 hours or until beef is tender.
- You can also use different types of beef in this recipe, such as a top round or flank steak.
- If you're looking for a gluten-free version, swap out the all-purpose flour for cornstarch, arrowroot starch, or a gluten-free flour blend that contains xanthan gum.
- This recipe is also dairy-free. However, you can add in some shredded cheese at the end if desired.
- Use other types of vegetables in the stew including parsnips, celery root, or turnip.
- Don't like slow cooker beef stew? Use this recipe with chicken breast or thighs instead. Reduce the cooking time to 6 hours on LOW.
Is it best to make slow cooker beef stew on LOW or HIGH?
It is recommended to slow cook beef stew on LOW for best results. The slow cooker beef will be more tender and the flavors of the dish won’t burn off.
Can you put raw beef in the slow cooker?
No, you should sear the beef cubes in a skillet before adding them to the slow cooker. This will add flavor and keep the beef tender on the inside.
Can you overcook beef stew in a slow cooker?
Yes, if you cook on HIGH there is a risk of overcooking beef stew as it may not be enough time to break down the protein and collagen in the beef. Cook slow cooker beef stew on LOW for best results.
Storing and Freezing
Storing: Cooled slow cooker beef stew stores well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Reheat the stew in a pot on the stovetop or in individual bowls in the microwave. Add some extra warm water or beef broth to thin the stew a bit before reheating.
Freezing: Allow the slow cooker beef stew to cool completely before freezing. Store in a freezer-safe bag or container for up to three months. To thaw, place in the fridge overnight or microwave on low power until heated through.
Recipe Card with Ingredient Amounts and Instructions
- 2 ½ -3 pound(s) chuck roast, trimmed, cut into 1 ½ inch cubes
- Salt and pepper, for seasoning beef
- 2-3 Tbsp. canola oil, for cooking the beef
- 3 russet potatoes, large in size, diced into ½ inch cubes
- 3 carrots, medium in size, cut into half moons
- 6 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced
- 1 yellow onion, large in size, diced
- 5 garlic cloves, large in size, minced
- ½ tsp. cumin
- ½ tsp. oregano, dried
- ½ tsp. sweet paprika
- 2 ½ cups beef broth
- ½ cup red wine, may substitute with beef broth
- 2 Tbsp. tomato sauce, may substitute with 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
- 1 ½ Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup green beans, fresh or frozen, trimmed and cut in half
- Garnish with fresh parsley, oregano, green onions or chives
- Prepare the chuck roast by trimming off any excess fat and cutting the beef into 1 ½ inch cubes. Season the meat with salt and pepper.2 ½ -3 pound(s) chuck roastSalt and pepper
- Heat the canola oil a tablespoon at a time in a large heavy bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Work in batches, and sear the beef chunks until browned on each side, about 2-3 minutes. Remove the beef to a paper towel lined plate.2-3 Tbsp. canola oil
- Transfer the seared beef to the bottom of a 4.5 quart slow cooker.
- Add the potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, onions, and garlic. Sprinkle the vegetables with cumin, oregano, and paprika.3 russet potatoes3 carrots6 ounces baby bella mushrooms1 yellow onion5 garlic cloves½ tsp. cumin½ tsp. oregano½ tsp. sweet paprika
- In a large bowl or measuring cup mix beef broth, red wine, tomato sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour in the slow cooker, and add 2 bay leaves.2 ½ cups beef broth½ cup red wine2 Tbsp. tomato sauce1 ½ Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce2 bay leaves
- Cook on LOW for 8 hours or HIGH 4 hours. After that taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if necessary.Salt and pepper
- Thicken the stew: Take out 2 cups of broth liquid from the slow cooker and add ½ cup of all purpose flour in batches, whisk well until combined before adding the flour each time. If any lumps occur, carefully remove them with a spoon. There should be no lumps in the end. Pour the flour slurry back into the slow cooker. Gently stir to combine.½ cup all-purpose flour
- Add the green beans and cook on HIGH for another 15 minutes or LOW for 30 minutes. Taste for seasoning again, and adjust if desired.½ cup green beans
- Serve as it is or with a slice of bread, or a side salad.
- See post for storage options.