There's nothing quite like a classic beef stew on a cold winter day. This easy Slow Cooker Beef Stew recipe is the best way to make this hearty meal, and it's sure to become a family favorite! The beef is cooked in a savory stock with carrots, potatoes, and onions, making it the perfect comfort food!
When the weather gets colder, the crock pot gets a lot more attention in our house! We use it to make all sorts of recipes, from soups and stews to main dishes and even desserts. This slow-cooker beef stew is one of our favorites because it's so easy to make, and the beef turns out so tender and flavorful!
Chuck roast is used as the main protein in this recipe. This tough cut of meat is perfect for slow cooking because it becomes incredibly tender when cooked low and slow. The beef is simmered in a savory stock seasoned with spices along with vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and celery to make it even more healthy and hearty!
Make this meal on a busy weeknight or for a slower Sunday dinner. Either way, it will be a hit with the whole family!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- This recipe has got protein, nutrients, and a hearty starch, making it a well-rounded meal!
- Chuck roast is a relatively inexpensive cut of beef that's perfect for the slow cooker.
- This beef stew tastes even better the next day when heated up for leftovers.
- You can customize the type of beef and which vegetables you add to make it your own!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Chuck Roast - Also known as pot roast, this beef gets nice and tender when slow-cooked, especially when cut into chunks.
- Butter - Used to sear the meat to give it a nice crust along with a rich buttery flavor.
- Vegetables - A mix of onion, garlic, carrots, Yukon gold potatoes, and celery give this dish texture and aromatic flavor and packs it with nutrients and fiber.
- Beef Broth - Adds even more beef flavor for all of the ingredients to slow cook in.
- Worchestershire Sauce - Gives the dish a hint of deep salty umami flavor.
- Tomato Paste - Adds an acidic tomato flavor to the broth that pairs well with the natural flavors of beef.
- Seasonings - To properly season the base of the dish, you'll need ground black pepper, salt, dried rosemary, dried thyme, and two bay leaves.
- Cornstarch Slurry - Mix a bit of cornstarch and cold water together to create a slurry that helps thicken the broth, so it coats all of the meat and vegetables.
How To Make Beef Stew In The Crock Pot
Brown the chuck roast: Add the butter in batches to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the prepared chuck roast and sear for 45 seconds on each side. Once seared, place the meat in the slow cooker and sear the remaining batches of meat.
Cook the onion and garlic: Using the leftover butter and fat in the skillet, add the onion and saute for 3-4 minutes or until it softens. Then, add the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add both to the slow cooker along with the beef.
Assemble the beef stew: To the crock pot, add the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, carrots, potatoes, tomato paste, celery, black pepper, salt, rosemary, and thyme. Stir until well combined. Then, place bay leaves on top so you don't lose them.
Add the lid: Cover and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours or high for 4 to 5 hours. The beef should be tender and fall apart with a fork.
Thicken the broth: Make a slurry by whisking the cold water and cornstarch together until there are no lumps. Pour into the stew and mix. Continue to cook for 10 minutes or until the sauce begins to thicken. Serve while hot, and enjoy!
- When preparing the chuck roast, be sure to remove any excess fat.
- You can skip this step if you don't have time to sear the beef. However, searing does help to lock in flavor and makes the dish taste much better.
- We prefer Yukon gold potatoes in this recipe because they hold their shape well and have a buttery texture. However, you can use any potato that you like!
- Cut all the vegetables into bite-sized pieces to ensure they cook evenly.
- If your stew is too thick, thin it out with additional beef broth. If it's too thin, mix together more cornstarch and water to make a slurry and add it to the stew.
- Beef stew is best served hot with some fresh parsley sprinkled on top for garnish.
- Use other cuts of beef: We love using chuck roast to make beef stew, but you can also use stew meat, rump roast, or even ground beef.
- Make it vegetarian: Omit the beef and double the vegetables for a hearty vegetarian stew. You can also add in some cannellini beans or lentils for protein.
- Use other vegetables: Feel free to mix up the vegetables you use in this recipe. We love adding in frozen peas or green beans in the last 30 minutes of cooking.
- Use different seasonings: If you don't have rosemary and thyme on hand, you can use any dried herbs that you like. Some other great options include oregano, basil, or even Italian seasoning.
- Spice it up: Add a kick of heat to this dish by stirring in some red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, or even diced jalapenos.
Storing & Freezing
Storing: Once cooled, beef stew made in the crock pot can be ladled into individual airtight containers and stored in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Freezing: This crock pot beef stew freezes well! Allow it to cool completely, then ladle into freezer bags or airtight containers. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Reheating: To reheat, thaw overnight in the fridge, then heat on the stove over medium heat until warmed through. You can also reheat individual portions in the microwave.
While you can do both, low is recommended if you have the time, as it allows the flavors to really meld together.
Yes! To make, follow the same steps as above but cook on high pressure for 60 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then quickly release any remaining pressure.
We love serving the beef stew with some crusty bread or dinner rolls to soak up all the delicious sauce. It's also great over some rice, quinoa, or even pasta.
More Hearty Slow Cooker Beef Recipes
- Crock Pot Pepper Steak
- Slow Cooker Teriyaki Beef
- Crock Pot Philly Cheesesteak
- Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff
- Crock Pot Beef and Broccoli
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Best Slow Cooker Beef Stew
- 2½ lbs chuck roast (cut into 1-inch chunks and large portions of fat removed)
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1½ cup yellow onion (diced)
- 4 tsp garlic (minced)
- 4 cups beef broth
- 1½ tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 5 carrots (cut into bite size pieces
- 1 lb baby Yukon gold potatoes (washed and quartered)
- 6 oz tomato paste
- 3 sticks celery (chopped)
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp dried rosemary
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ cup cold water
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- Heat 3 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat—Brown the beef in 3 separate batches for 45 seconds on each side. Remove the meat and place it in the slow cooker.
- Add the onion to the skillet and cook until softened. It takes about 3-4 minutes. Then, add garlic and continue to cook for 30 seconds. Add onions and garlic to the slow cooker.
- Next, add beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, carrots, potatoes, tomato paste, celery, black pepper, salt, rosemary, and thyme. Stir until well combined. Then, place bay leaves on top.
- Cover and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours or high for 4 to 5 hours.
- Whisk the cold water and cornstarch together until there are no lumps. Pour into the stew and mix. Continue to cook for 10 minutes or until the sauce begins to thicken.
- If you don't want to use chuck roast. Rump roasts and Bottom rounds are good options. I recommend adding 1 hour to the cooking time for the most tender beef.
- I suggest cooking this on low for the most tender beef. It will give the beef a chance to tenderize in the Crock-Pot.
*Nutrition information is an estimate. It may vary based on ingredients, brands, and changes in cooking methods listed in the recipe. If you need exact ingredient numbers, I recommend calculating them with your preferred nutrition calculator.