Ultimate Slow Cooker Beef Stew

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Ultimate Slow Cooker Beef Stew made with chuck roast, Yukon potatoes and carrots for a rich beef stew that is perfect for the cold weather.

Ultimate Slow Cooker Beef Stew  Ultimate Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Slow cooker meals are so popular right now with good reason. We have less time with school and holidays and the weather is so cold we all want food that is hearty and comforting. This Ultimate Slow Cooker Beef Stew is the best of all worlds.

You can brown the beef and toss it in with the vegetables in 15 minutes in the morning. Then it cooks while you’re gone all day and when you get home you have the most amazing smell going through your kitchen.

Serving suggestion? Just like in my Slow Cooker Vegetable Beef Soup I highly suggest you enjoy this meal with crusty French bread and a side salad (a nice lemon/olive oil dressing would be great to cut through all the hearty flavors here).

Slow Cooker Beef Stew in White Slow cooker insert

Tips for making this Ultimate Slow Cooker Beef Stew:

  • Brown your beef! I used a chuck roast, seared it well on both sides, then trimmed and cut it into 2-3 inch chunks.
  • One of the easiest and most delicious ingredients in this stew: Yukon Potatoes! They’re buttery and rich and won’t fall apart after a long day of cooking. Definitely use these potatoes.
  • I browned the beef in my cast iron skillet and got a GOOD crust on both sides with plenty of kosher salt and black pepper. If you have a slow cooker with an aluminum insert I highly suggest browning it in the insert and saving all the browned flavor that stays in the pan for your stew.
  • If not using a base use beef stock instead of broth and its even more important to get a good sear on the meat, then deglaze the pan with the stock to make sure all the beef flavor comes with it.
  • Instead of crushed or diced tomatoes I use tomato paste, the concentration of flavors adds so much more.
  • In a stew you aren’t looking for the consistency to be that of a soup, so minimizing added liquids is helpful. If using canned tomatoes instead of paste drain the can.
  • Serve this with crusty french bread, the Beef Stew is great for bread dipping.

Crock Pot Beef Stew up close photo with potatoes and carrots

How do you thicken up beef stew? To thicken beef stew you can either mix equal parts of flour/butter together and add it to the last hour of cooking or you can simply mash 3 or 4 chunks of the potatoes well and mix it into the stew for a natural thickener.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew with Red Wine?  Instead of four cups of beef broth add in 3 cups of broth and one cup of red wine and follow the rest of the recipe as written.

Looking for more Slow Cooker Recipes?

Tools Used in making this Ultimate Slow Cooker Beef Stew:
Slow Cooker:This recipe was made in this slow cooker.  Love this slow cooker and how programmable it is. Plus the locking lid makes it a breeze for making a dish that needs to travel
Aluminum Insert Slow Cooker: I brown the meat in the insert without losing a bunch of the flavor by transferring the meat and leaving the browned bits behind. If you’re thinking of a new slow cooker, consider it if your budget is open.
Cast Iron Skillet: If you don’t have a slow cooker with a stovetop friendly insert, this is my most used pan in my kitchen, heavy, keeps heat well and gives the BEST sear ever.
Pig Tail Flipper: I use this to flip the chuck roast easily. I use this tool EVERY time I cook something that requires flipping, it is amazing.
Beef Base: I almost never buy boxes of broth because I keep the beef, chicken and vegetable version of this Better Than Bouillon.

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Ultimate Slow Cooker Beef Stew

5 from 44 votes
  • Yield: 8 Servings
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Total Time: 8 hours 20 minutes
  • Course: Main Course
  • Cuisine: American
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder
Ultimate Slow Cooker Beef Stew made with chuck roast, Yukon potatoes and carrots for a rich beef stew that is perfect for the cold weather.


  • 3 pound chuck roast
  • 1 teaspoon  Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 4 carrots cut into 2 inch chunks
  • 4 Yukon potatoes chopped
  • 4 cups beef broth *
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons butter unsalted
  • 2 tablespoons flour


Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Preheat an aluminum slow cooker insert or cast iron skillet on high heat.
  2. Season the beef with half the salt and all the pepper.
  3. Add to the skillet and brown on each side for 4-6 minutes or until deeply browned on each side.

  4. Remove the beef from the pan and add in the onions.
  5. Cook the onions for 3 minutes, stir then cook another 3 minutes.

  6. Into the slow cooker add the onions, carrots, potatoes, broth, second half of the salt, tomato paste, bay leaf, thyme, garlic and Worcestershire sauce.
  7. Cut the beef into 2-3 inch chunks and add it to the slow cooker.
  8. Stir all the ingredients until well mixed and cook on low for 7 hours.

  9. In a small bowl mix the butter and flour and add it to the slow cooker and stir.
  10. Cook an additional hour or until thickened.

Recipe Notes

*Alternately use a big scoop of Beef Better than Bouillon like I did in addition to water/stock. The extra beef flavor is fantastic.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 8 Servings, Amount per serving: 425 calories, Serving Size: 1 , Calories: 425g, Carbohydrates: 18g, Protein: 37g, Fat: 22g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 124mg, Sodium: 963mg, Potassium: 1204mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 5340g, Vitamin C: 15.4g, Calcium: 83g, Iron: 7.1g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

Keywords: crock pot beef stew, slow cooker beef stew
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Slow Cooker Beef Stew Collage

About the Author

Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

See more posts by Sabrina

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. I have this cooking now. Smells delightful! I declined adding the Devil’s Root (onions) and compensated with more golden Yukon potatoes and a bit more bullion.

  2. Hi I am looking for a good stew that works in my 5.5L Crockpot. I have tried a couple of them and it.lloks I do not get a good stew. I have tried this one and cooking for 7 hr in low, has not really work. All the veggies and need are not tender. I am going to give it 4 he more, as I have a o leave the house and try to have it ready for when I am back. Hope it works, because it smells and look good

  3. My daughter helped me cook this, she said it smelled delicious ! ? going to bed now , yummy good awaits us tomorrow! ?

  4. This is very good in the crockpot and I did fry up the roast first but I will not fry up the onions again because they fell apart. I added extra garlic cloves, rosemary, a bayleaf, fresh green beans, spinach & Saracha sauce. I thickened it up by using its own broth and mixing it with cornstarch. My favorite beef stew! Thank you!

    1. I would err of the side of caution and check it around the 5-6 hour mark but make sure you’re using a smaller slow cooker so the heat distributes properly. Make sure the slow cooker is half to three quarters full. Hope this helps.

  5. Made this stew the other day…it was delicious! The meat was super tender, the broth/gravy was so flavorful, and the vegetables were cooked perfectly…not too mushy from cooking for hours. This will be my go-to recipe from now on. Thank you, Sabrina, for all your wonderful recipes!

  6. This recipe is DELISH! The flavors were wonderful. I added an extra scoop of beef flavor like the suggestion. Only modification I used was I bought beef cubes and coated them with flour and fried them on each side. I was so excited to try this because it smelled so great in the slow cooker all day. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  7. i usually make beef stew on top of the stove. i looked for some crockpot recipes last week, and yours looked the best. i made it today, eating it now. SO FREAKING DELICIOUS ????. ty!

    ps, i added some frozen peas the last half hour of cooking ?

  8. Loved it! I didn’t add tomato paste, just 1/4 cup of red wine simmered and reduced in the original seared pan.

  9. I have made beef stew multiple times and this has to be hands down the very best recipe I have ever tasted!!!

  10. I tried this and on low for 4 hours, the potatoes and carrots were not cooked. I suggest on high for most of the time instead. Needless to say, dinner wasn’t ready at 6:30 when I got home.

    1. If I read correctly, the directions said cook for 8 hours on low. Actually, it was 7 hours on low, then add the butter and the flour and cook maybe another hour more or until thickened. Maybe try it again with that and see how it does. I don’t like eating a late dinner either!

  11. This is just the best beef stew EVER!! My husband tells our friends ‘no one makes better beef stew than my wife’. No kidding.

  12. Found this recipe this morning and plan on making this coming weekend. Seems like cutting the meat in 2-3inch pieces seems awfully large. If I cut into small bit size pieces should I shorten the cooking time?

  13. So I cooked this last night on low for atleast 7 hours. This morning my potatoes and beef just seemed under cooked…What else can I do??

    1. Oh no, it sounds like maybe your slow cooker doesn’t run as hot as it should. I would just give it more time, maybe another hour or so.

  14. I cant cook to save my life …I just made this and it came out amazing….so easy and delicious…thanks for sharing …added the red wine… ?

  15. I made this recipe last night and it was delicious. I added a few parsnips and some frozen corn at the end -needed no thickening which was a plus. This is my new favorite stew recipe, beautiful and delicious!

  16. Hi Sabrina,
    I will be honest I make a great beef stew already with red wine blah, blah, blah but I just happened to see your recipe and decided to try it. It came out amazing!!!!! Thank you for such a simple but delicious Sunday Dinner.

  17. I was really excited to try this recipe and followed it exactly to a T but the beef tasted totally overcooked and chewy, even though I made sure each side had a crust but wasn’t cooked all the way through. Also the flavor didn’t taste quite right. This may be a fault of my own but I really don’t understand how. Disappointed

    1. Oh no, I’m so sorry that happened. If you followed it to a t, I’m not sure why the taste would be off. If it was overcooked, it sounds like maybe your slow cooker might run hot. If you decide to try again, check it sooner to ensure that doesn’t happen again. Hope this helps!

  18. Hi!

    Do I just add a scoop or two of the better than beef boullion to the beef broth? Or is this totally in place of the broth?


  19. Thanks for sharing your awesome recipe I made it to today it was very great
    I made a full crockpot full the wife said it was awesome thanks again

  20. Made this last night for dinner. I’ve made more than many over the years.. DING DING—WINNER— this one is by far the best flavorful one ever!! Followed all your **sidenotes** and added celery …. excellent ???

  21. I’m sorry for my bad review earlier!! For some reason it was really chewy within the first few hours but after letting it took for a while longer it became extremely tender and delicious! I will make this again 🙂

  22. Made this today. Followed recipe exactly ( except i bought stew meet already cut and didnt sear first)and was delicious. My whole family agrees……this recipe is a keeper!!!

  23. I have this currently in my crockpot (smells amaaaazing) and its been nearly 6 hours. I’m getting hungry lol
    i feel stupid for asking, but should i melt the butter then add the flour or add the flour to room temp butter or does it matter?
    i’m probably gonna melt it i guess for ease. kinda like a rue i suppose.
    i think i’m gonna add the butter/flour mix and let it go another hour for a collective 7 hours instead of 8. i was planning a late dinner but that was before my stomach started growling lol

  24. I made this today and even though supper isn’t for a few hours, I tried some….it is absolutely delicious! The only thing I didn’t have was Worcestershire sauce, but I don’t think it made any difference! It has great flavor and the meat is for tender!! I can’t wait to serve up a bowl of this stew for myself!!

  25. This is one of the best beef stew recipes I have tried. I used 2 pounds of beef stew meat, just because it saves me time to buy it that way, and 8 small red potatoes, cooked for 10 hours on low, then added the butter/flour mixture and cooked another hour. Served over biscuits for an awesome dinner!

  26. Making this right now, it’s been cooking all day just waiting for it to thicken up a bit (the last step). My house smells AMAZING and we can’t wait to eat! PS, I did taste a spoonful before I put the thickner in. So Good!

  27. I followed this recipe exactly and it was amazing! I loved it and so did my family. I will definitely be checking out your other recipes (especially the slow cooker ones). Thanks!