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

4.99 from 58 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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

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

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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.

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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.

Categories:

Beef Recipes Dinner Recipes Holiday Recipes Meat & Seafood Recipe Slow Cooker Recipes

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Comments

  1. Sooooo abundant in flavor! I accidentally bought tough meat with way too much fat and gristle, but 10 hours in the crock pot and it was super tender. The potatoes just absorbed all that flavor and my dinner guests were all blown away and went back for seconds.

  2. I made the recipe almost exactly but used grass fed chuck (I thought it would be better) . The meat was too tough and chewy. Very disappointed. The vegetables were OK but not fabulous. I left the potatoes with the peel on and they were fine but not delicious. And the sauce was thinner than I expected. I didn’t thicken it with more flour or starch, but probably should have tried that.

  3. Overall, was an easy recipe to make. But it was way too soupy to be a stew. As mentioned above, there was too much thyme as well, even though I cut back on it. The carrots were not soft enough even after cooking for 8 hours. Don’t think I will make this again.

  4. Hello,
    So I followed the recipe for the most part lol, only difference is that I pretty much cooked the beef Entirely while browning it in the skillet.. and I used a whole can of diced Tomatoes instead of 1/4 cup of paste. Not to mention, I mixed in the butter and flour right away with all the other ingredients. Will the ruin the outcome??

  5. Hi Sabrina, I just made this recipe yesterday following the recipe almost exactly i just used one full 6oz can of tomato paste and it came out nice and thick without having to add the butter and flour. I brought it for my lunch today and I LOVED and so did my husband! i was just wondering how do you measure the serving size? is it a cup or a ladle? I’m trying to keep my calories in check and i’d really appreciate the information, thank you!

  6. Followed the recipe to the letter. It was absolutely the BEST stew my wife and I have ever had the pleasure to eat. Most stew recipes look promising, but end up tasting a little flat and bland. Not this one. Full of flavor. It will become a staple recipe in our kitchen. Thank you VERY much!

  7. I’m going to make this beef stew, and was wondering, do I chop up the bay leaf and the tyme? I’m assuming I do but I’ve never cooked with these herbs before

    1. Hi Katrina, the bay leaves are not meant to be consumed. It just adds to the flavor of the stew. The thyme should be small already, in the jar.

  8. I am going to make this on Saturday. You suggest using better than bouillon. Should I use it for all 4 cups? Or should I use some broth and some better than bouillon? I have never cooked with BTB before. Thank you!

      1. I’m excited to make this receipe but I’m confused bout the btb. Am I using it in place of the broth or in addition to the broth ,adding a scoop ?

  9. Just finished a bowl of this stew and it turned out great! I used the Better than Bullion and a small amount of wine. Very flavorful! My family always enjoys the recipes we get from you site.

  10. I am a total non-cook and as I love all your recipes, this is the first of many questions. In making the stew, do I peel the Yukon potatoes?

  11. I made this tonight and I loved it! I used canned Kroger beef broth cause it’s what I had on hand and it turned out wonderful. I also cooked it on high for 3 hours, then added butter/flour. My toddler loved it! I appreciate the earlier comment about how to mix the butter and flour! I didn’t know what to do until I read that!
    This will become a keeper.

    Bonus: A roast is cheaper than stew meat at our grocery store, so that’s a positive!

  12. Loved the tip to add the beef better than along with the beef broth. I’ve made it both ways and it’s SO good this way. Also generously salting and peppering the beef beforehand deep browning is very helpful. This has been in regular rotation as a treat since the first time we tried it!

  13. If I’m going to be gone all day at work, can I leave this recipe in the crock pot on simmer or low for 10 hours or would that dry it out?

    1. I would suggest getting a slow cooker that automatically turns to a warm setting once the programmed cook time is complete. I would be afraid it would dry out on low for that long, sorry.

  14. Made this tonight for dinner. It was delicious and very flavorful!!! It will definitely be my go to stew recipe. Thanks for sharing!

    1. So sorry to hear it wasn’t to your taste! Definitely feel free to add more spice if you make it again. Personally I add an extra spoon of Better than Bouillon but I love that beef taste 🙂

    1. As long as your crockpot is big enough, yes. You can adjust the servings size by hovering over the serving amount a slider will appear.

    1. If you are using BTB, you want to add 4 tbsp to 4 cups of warm water to equal the broth amount. If you add wine, I would substitute some of the broth for it so it doesn’t get too liquidy.

  15. Hi Sabrina, can I add some frozen green beans to this? I’ve done this before to this amazing stew but can’t recall if I added them in the last hour or not. Thank you!

    1. Certainly. I would add in during the last hour so they don’t get to mushy. You can also defrost and drain beforehand and put them in long enough to heat up so they don’t make the stew too watery.

  16. I am making this for dinner tonight however i don’t have any paste or beef bouillion on hand but i have a beef stew seasoning packet so I’m going to use that with the scraping the brown pan drippings & hope for the best. Whats your opinion on this??

    1. Sounds like it will be a great sub in a pinch. It won’t bring all the flavor but it should be great with the pan drippings added. Let me know how it turned out!

  17. I made this stew for our weekly Sunday dinner yesterday. It was a HUGE HIT! My husband even had 3 bowls of it! I served it with toasted sourdough bread. I will definitely be making it again soon! Thank you for sharing your delicious recipe with us! ????

  18. I love this recipe so much! We’ve had it 3 times in the last 2 weeks it’s so good! I normally cook it for the 7-8 hours on low, but today I didn’t have the time to wait that long. Trying 3-4 hours on high and praying it goes well

    1. Wow! It sounds like you like it as much as our family does! I hope it turned out well in that cooking time. I would do closer to 5 hours next time to make sure it’s super tender but let me know if it worked!

          1. I tried this recipe this evening on high for 5 hours and unfortunately the veggies were underdone and the meat was super tough – such a bummer! I can tell that the flavor is there and it would’ve been great if I did it on low as instructed. Warning others not to try the quick way!

    1. Sorry to hear it wasn’t to your taste! You can always go heavier handed on the spices or add a heaping spoon of Better than Bouillon (my personal fave) if you change your mind and try it again.

  19. This stew is insane! This is the best beef stew recipe! I made this for my wife and mother-in-law and they both loved it too. My wife literally had to take it away from me, because I couldn’t stop eating it. I made the recipe exactly as written and included a spoonful of Better-Than-Bullion as recommended. Will definitely make it again.