Put your crockpot to work for you and make this mouth-watering Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe! This easy recipe is comforting, hearty, and a great way to warm up on a chilly day. Every bite is filled with juicy stew meat, onions, garlic, potatoes, carrots, and seasonings. Dig in, and you’ll be so glad you did.
How To Make Slow Cooker Beef Stew
Making beef stew is simple and doesn’t take a lot of time to prepare. You can easily throw it together in no time and have a delightful stew that the entire family will enjoy.
First Step: Brown the beef stew meat in a large skillet in batches. This adds some extra flavor and locks in the moisture to keep the meat nice and juicy.
Second Step: When the beef is browned, place it in the bottom of the crockpot. Then add the onions, garlic, potatoes, and carrots. Pour in the beef broth, tomato paste, and seasonings. Sprinkle with a little bit of salt and pepper to taste.
Third Step: Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for four hours or low for seven hours.
Fourth Step: After the stew has cooked, remove ⅓ cup of liquid. Put it in a bowl and whisk with flour until it’s smooth. Add the flour mixture back to the stew and give it a stir. Continue cooking for 30 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
Meal Prep Instructions/Freezer Friendly Instructions
You will be so happy you decided to meal prep this homemade beef stew. There are a couple of ways you can accomplish this and end up with a fantastic dinner or lunch idea. Let’s get started:
Option 1: Cook the beef stew as directed and allow it to cool all the way down. Then place the stew in a freezer-safe bag or container. You can save it all together or make individual servings depending on your preference. Then refrigerate or freeze depending on how soon you want to use it. It lasts in the fridge for up to four days or in the freezer for four months. Thaw in the refrigerator before warming up in the microwave or in a saucepan. Then serve.
Option 2: To make this a freezer meal, brown the beef in a skillet and let cool all the way down. Place the rest of the beef stew ingredients in a heavy-duty freezer bag or airtight container. Then let it defrost and dump it into the crockpot when ready to cook.
Both methods are fantastic for meal prepping and planning. You’ll appreciate having food that you can easily warm up or drop in the crockpot without any effort at all.
Beef Stew Substitutions
You are welcome to make substitutions and additions if you want to. Here are a few ideas for you to consider.
- Cornstarch – If you don’t want to use flour or simply don’t have any on hand, use cornstarch instead. The secret to working with cornstarch is using really cold water. Mix the equal amounts of cornstarch with the water until it’s well incorporated. Add to the beef stew and let it cook until it has thickened. In this case, I would use ⅓ cup of cold water and ¼ cup cornstarch. You can add more as needed, but you don’t want to add too much, or it will dull the flavors.
- Arrowroot – If you’re eating gluten-free or just looking for another alternative to the flour, arrowroot to the rescue. Use it in place of the flour, and it will help thicken the stew perfectly.
- Sweet Potatoes – If you want to add some extra color and sweetness, trade the yellow potatoes for sweet potatoes. It’s a lovely addition to the stew. You can also just substitute half of the yellow potatoes if you want to keep them in the stew as well. It helps to cut some of the carbs from the recipe.
Beef Stew Crockpot Recipe Variations
There are many things you can do to adjust the flavors of this beef stew recipe. Change the ingredients to meet your preferences, and you can’t go wrong. Try some of these delicious ideas:
- Celery – Chop up 2-3 celery stalks and toss them into the beef stew. They add a nice flavor and cook down enough that they don’t affect the texture.
- Bay Leaf – Kick up the flavors a notch or two by adding in a couple of bay leaves to the stew. It’s a great addition!
- Worcestershire Sauce – By adding Worcestershire sauce to the beef stew recipe, you are making it a little bit saltier, and it will have an even deeper taste. I would start with one or two tablespoons and add more later as desired.
- Peas – If you remember grandma’s beef stew recipe, she probably added peas. Not only does it make the soup stretch farther, it adds some lovely color too.
- Mushrooms – While this stew is already really hearty, adding some mushrooms will make it even heartier. Add 4 – 8 ounces of fresh or canned mushrooms to the beef stew mixture. The earthy flavors are incredible.
Check out these additional soups and stew recipes:
Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup – Making soup in your crockpot is amazing, but you can also make it in the Instant Pot. This butternut squash soup is rich and easy to make. It’s great for any occasion, but I especially enjoy it in the fall.
Minestrone Soup Recipe – This incredible soup is vegan, hearty, and has lots of nutrient-rich ingredients. It has a tomato sauce base and is full of onions, celery, beans, pasta, spinach, and lots of seasonings.
Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup – Another great soup to make in your pressure cooker. This traditional chicken soup is full of the flavors you are used to, and it also happens to be gluten-free too.
CrockPot Black Bean Soup – The creamy texture of this black bean soup is the star of the show. It’s something you won’t forget, and you’ll crave it as soon as the weather starts to chill each year.
Slow Cooker Beef Stew
- Slow Cooker
- 2 ½ lbs beef stew meat
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup pearl onions
- 1 lb small yellow potatoes halved
- 1/2 cup carrots sliced into 1 inch chunks
- 3 cups beef broth
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp parsley
- 1 tsp rosemary
- 1/4 cup flour
- In a large pan, brown the beef stew meat. You may need to cook in batches.
- Place the meat in a crockpot along with the pearl onion, garlic, potatoes, carrots, beef broth, tomato paste, thyme, rosemary and parsley. 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 crockpot and pour into a bowl. Add the flour and whisk until smooth.
- Pour the flour mixture back into the stew; stir to combine. Cover the slow cooker & cook on HIGH for an additional 30 minutes or until stew thickens.
- Serve & enjoy!!