Beef Stew (Crockpot Recipe)

5 from 10 votes

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A comforting, classic recipe for beef stew – crockpot version! Tender beef chunks with carrots and red potatoes all wrapped up in a buttery, velvety thick gravy. The longer it cooks, the tastier it gets. Like a big warm slow cooker beef stew hug straight from my kitchen to yours.

I love using my crockpot for this fail-proof beef stew recipe. So many of you have loved my Irish Beef Stew that I decided to transfer that recipe over to the slow cooker, with the addition of potatoes. Whether it’s the shorter, cold days of winter or longer, hot days of summer, this recipe can feed a crowd, fill bellies and make you never want to try another beef stew crockpot recipe again. This one has it all.

Beef stew

How to make Crock Pot Beef Stew

Only a few simple steps and basic ingredients needed to create this delicious slow cooker beef stew!

  1. Chop onions, carrots and red potatoes and place into a cold crockpot or slow cooker insert.
  2. Pat stew meat dry with paper towels sprinkle with salt, pepper and flour and brown on the stove in batches. Transfer browned (but not cooked) meat chunks to the crockpot.
  3. Deglaze pan with beef broth and pour into crockpot.
  4. Top off with more beef broth, bay leaves, thyme leaves, and Worcestershire sauce.
  5. Cover and cook 4-5 hours on high or until potatoes and carrots are fork tender and meat is very tender.
  6. Thicken stew by stirring butter, flour, and cornstarch together to create a paste. Add the butter-flour mixture into the hot broth in the stew and stir to melt.
  7. Cook another 20 minutes to fully thicken.
  8. Remove bay leaves and thyme sprigs, add chopped parsley and serve hot with crusty bread.

How to make a beef stew with more depth of flavor

These few simple tips will go a long way in creating the most flavorful and delicious slow cooker beef stew. You don’t have to use these tips, but I highly recommend them if you want to enhance your stew.

  • Add in 2 tablespoons of tomato paste to the broth while cooking.
  • Don’t skip the Worcestershire sauce.
  • Substitute a little red wine for the beef broth (see below).
  • Try using beef consume or beef stock in place of the beef broth. Makes a big difference!
  • Taste as you go and add salt as needed.
crock pot beef stew

How do you make a thick slow cooker beef stew?

A lot of recipes online only call for butter and flour to thicken the stew. While this butter-flour works slightly, if you can’t boil the broth, the flour won’t reach its full thickening potential.

That’s why I use butter, flour, and a little cornstarch to thicken any gravy while using a crockpot. The butter melts evenly, dispersing the flour and cornstarch evenly with no lumps. The cornstarch goes right to work, thickening the gravy almost immediately, with the flour adding an extra velvety texture after that final 20 minutes of cooking.

Can you substitute red wine for beef broth?

Absolutely you can. Instead of deglazing your pan with beef broth, use 1-2 cups of red wine. Once that has cooked down, pour into the crockpot with the remaining beef broth.

slow cooker beef stew recipe

Do I have to add potatoes to my stew?

No, you absolutely do not have to add in the potatoes. They are very typical and traditional for any beef stew recipe, but if you over cook them, they will start to fall apart and create a ‘grainy’ texture you just can’t get rid of. Still totally edible, but not quite the best conditions for creating that velvety gravy we all love.

Feel free to omit, add in extra carrots or other hearty veggies and serve over mashed potatoes. Truth be told, this is my favorite way to enjoy slow cooker beef stew.

Other vegetables that you can add to your beef stew:

  • Butternut or acorn squash
  • Turnip
  • Parsnips
  • Rutabaga
  • Hearty greens
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Frozen peas or corn (add in right at the end of cooking)
beef stew crockpot

Side Dishes

Beef stew is already a hearty comforting meal so side dishes might be a little overboard for you. But if you are looking for some things to serve with crock pot beef stew I got you covered.

To dip and to savor, some fresh and warm Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls.

Or if rolls aren’t your thing but you still want some carbs, try my Mashed Potatoes Recipe.

To lighten up your side dish you can eat some Roasted Brussels Sprouts or Fruit Salad Recipe for dessert.

More Soup Recipes to Try!

5 from 10 votes

Beef Stew (Crockpot Recipe)

A comforting, classic recipe for beef stew - crockpot version! Tender beef chunks with carrots and red potatoes all wrapped up in a buttery, velvety thick gravy.
servings 8 servings
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 20 mins

Ingredients

For the Beef Stew:

  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 4 large carrots peeled and sliced into large coins
  • 2 lbs red potatoes halved or quartered, so they are all the same size
  • 2 pounds stew meat
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 5 cups beef broth
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme

Beef Stew Thickener:

  • 6 tablespoons salted butter very soft, at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped, optional

Equipment

  • Crockpot

Instructions

Prepping the Beef Stew for the Crockpot:

  • Prep onions, carrots and potatoes and place into cold crockpot.
  • Dry stew meat as best as you can using paper towels. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and flour and toss to coat evenly. Brown meat in batches, using a large, heavy-bottomed skillet and olive oil. Cook over medium high heat to form brown crust, but not to cook thoroughly. As meat browns, transfer over to crockpot.
  • Once all meat has browned, de-glaze pan with about 2 cups of beef broth and pour into crockpot. Top with remaining broth, bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce, thyme and more salt and pepper.
  • Cover and turn crockpot to high. Cook 4-5 hours or until meat is very tender and carrots and potatoes are fork tender. Remove bay leaves and thyme sprigs.

How to thicken Beef Stew:

  • In a small bowl, stir butter with flour and cornstarch until a smooth paste is formed. Spoon the butter-flour paste into the crockpot and stir gently to melt and spread it evenly though the contents of the crockpot. Cover and cook another 20 minutes to thicken completely.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Stir in chopped parsley if desired. Serve hot.

Nutrition

Calories: 469kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 93mg | Sodium: 897mg | Potassium: 1196mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 6445IU | Vitamin C: 16.7mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 4.7mg
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: slow cooker
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Recipe Rating




24 Responses
  1. Julie Allyn Johnson

    Love Beef Stew! This looks delicious. My mom wasn’t the best when it came to cooking but I did love her beef stew, especially after a day or two in the fridge and heated up on the stove. Will definitely add this to my To Try recipe stash!

  2. Jill

    5 stars
    This was delicious! My husband is not a beef stew fan and was not excited about this dinner, and he LOVED it. He said it was the best beef stew he has ever had. I omitted the potatoes in the stew and served over mashed potatoes instead…so good!! This recipe is definitely a keeper. Thanks Lauren!

  3. Adriana

    Looks great – I don’t see what measurement constitutes a serving. In fact, I’m looking at a few of your recipes, and I don’t see this, Is it 1 cup? Can you please provide? Trying to watch calories! 🙂

    1. Christy

      Definitely want to try out this slow cooker beef stew now that cooler temperatures have arrived. Love the idea of coming home to this meal all ready for dinner!

  4. Shawna Burgess

    5 stars
    I’ve never made stew in my crockpot yet but I’m going to try this recipe on the weekend. I will probably add some turnip and peas in it as well. Thanks for sharing this recipe with us, I’m sure it tastes as good as it looks!

  5. Jaclyn Cowan

    This beef stew recipe looks delicious. I grew up eating watery thin beef stew and never liked the flavoring. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  6. Cassie Reynebeau

    5 stars
    I made this stew for the family and for the hubs. I have to be honest, I’m not much of a “beef stew” kind of girl. I ended up loving this recipe though. My 3 yr old picky eater gobbled it up as well. It has fantastic flavor, and the warm hearty feel is perfect on these cool fall days. Will definitely be making again!

    1. Shahidah Armstrong

      I love that you give alternatives! Crock Pot meals are about to be my go to because I have no time with my school schedule.

  7. Carol Speary

    I love this stew recipe. It is hard to find recipes without tomatoes or tomato sauce in them. This one is just what I was looking for. Thank you!

  8. Diana N Mauritz

    This stew looks amazing and I have been trying to find a good slow cooker recipe for beef stew. I cannot wait to try this 🙂 Yum

  9. Madison allen

    5 stars
    I am totally using this recipe!!! I’m 34 weeks pregnant and stew is all I want right now. I don’t have the perfect stew recipe so I’m hoping this one is it! Love your food blogs.

  10. Jamie Kimbler

    I love using my slow cooker since I work long shifts as a Registered nurse. I am excited to use this recipe soon! It looks delicious!!!

  11. Amy

    5 stars
    Made this tonight for dinner. It was amazing !! My 5 year old literally licked his bowl clean. Not sure if I should be embarrassed or proud of that moment!

  12. Brenda Simpson

    5 stars
    Thank-you Lauren for all the delicious recipes ,tips and hints,,…….Love hearing and seeing pics of your beautiful family. Generous people make the world a nicer place to be …. . Much Appreciation ! Cheers a fellow Can.

    1. Betty Godfrey

      5 stars
      I use my Power Cooker Machine, add a little oil to the bottom of the Roast. add potatoes, Carrots, chopped celery, chopped onion, Add spices, and in 45 minutes you beautiful tasty pot Roast. Enjoy, Betty Godfrey

  13. Steven J Kaiser

    What is the ratio of these three ingredients?

    How to thicken Beef Stew:
    In a small bowl, stir butter with flour and cornstarch until a smooth paste is formed. Spoon the butter-flour paste into the crockpot and stir gently to melt and spread it evenly though the contents of the crockpot. Cover and cook another 20 minutes to thicken completely.

  14. Patti Cuglietta

    5 stars
    Best stew I have ever made/ had. Crock pot cooking made it so easy. Awesome recipe- awesome supper. Thumbs up!