Ultimate Slow Cooker Beef Stew

8 Servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 20 minutes

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.

Like our Classic Beef Stew this slow cooker version is an easy, comfort food Soup Recipe you can make any day of the week.

Ultimate Slow Cooker Beef Stew in bowl with parsley garnish

Slow cooker meals are so popular and with good reason. There is less time with school and holidays and the weather is so cold everyone wants food that is hearty and comforting. This Ultimate Slow Cooker Beef Stew is the best of all worlds.

Serving suggestion? Just like Slow Cooker Vegetable Beef Soup, you can enjoy this meal with Crusty French Bread Rolls or Garlic Bread and a side salad (a nice lemon/olive oil dressing would be great to cut through all the hearty flavors here). The Beef Stew is great for bread dipping.

How to Make Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Meal prepping this recipe is easy and makes the perfect weeknight meal. To prepare, simply:

  • Brown the beef in cubes.
  • While beef is browning cut the carrots and potatoes.
  • Add in the remaining ingredients.
  • Cook on low for 8 hours.

It will cook all day while you’re gone, and when you get home you have the most amazing smell going through your kitchen.

Ultimate Slow Cooker Beef Stew Collage

More Beef Stew Recipes

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to brown the beef?

Brown your beef! This recipe uses a chuck roast, seared it well on both sides, then trimmed and cut it into 2-3 inch chunks.

What kind of potatoes should I use?

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. You also don’t need to peel these potatoes which will cut down significantly on the work you have to do before cooking.

Can this be a one pot meal?

This recipe browns the beef in a cast iron skillet to get a GOOD crust on both sides with plenty of kosher salt and black pepper. If you have a slow cooker with an aluminum insert, brown the beef in this make this a one pot meal. It also saves all the browned flavor that stays in the pan for your stew.

Can I use beef base instead of stock?

If not using a base use beef stock instead of broth, and it’s 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.

Why use tomato paste instead of crushed or diced tomatoes?

Instead of crushed or diced tomatoes we use tomato paste, the concentration of flavors without adding additional liquid makes for a more flavorful stew.

Can I used diced tomatoes if I want to?

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.

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.

Can I make this 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.

Ultimate Slow Cooker Beef Stew Collage

Best Meat for Beef Stew

Chuck Roast: This is the most old-fashioned and classic cut of meat for most pot roasts or beef stews. Use this as a replacement for most recipes that actually call for stew meat because chuck roasts are typically well-marbled, just be sure when buying the meat you look for more even fat distribution.

Stew Meat: This is the easiest way to go, not expensive cut of meat because it is pre-cut. This is generally not high quality though and is usually extra cuts left over that the butcher is looking to sell off. Avoid this cut in the grocery store if possible.

Ribeye: If you want to impress your guests and you are cooking this during the holidays, you may find a ribeye roast is on sale. During the holiday season it usually sells for a VERY low price (comparable sometimes to chuck). When it does, get a 4 inch thick cut and use it to make the best roasts and stews with it, because it will be a luxurious treat with the most tender beef you’ve ever eaten.

More Slow Cooker Recipes

Ultimate Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Tools Used to Make Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Food Flipper: This tool flips the chuck roast easily. You can use this tool EVERY time you cook something that requires flipping, it is amazing.
Slow Cooker: This recipe was made in this slow cooker. This slow cooker is great for how programmable it is. Plus the locking lid makes it a breeze for making a dish that needs to travel.
Aluminum Insert Slow Cooker: You 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 the most used pan in our kitchen, heavy, keeps heat well and gives the BEST sear ever.
Beef Base: You’ll never buy boxes of broth because if you keep the beef, chicken and vegetable version of this Better Than Bouillon on hand.

How to Store Slow Cooker Beef Stew

  • Serve: You should never leave meat out for more than 2 hours after cooking it.
  • Store: Once the soup has cooled down to room temperature, put it in an airtight container to store it in the fridge. It will keep well for 2-3 days.
  • Freeze: You can also freeze Slow Cooker Beef Stew Soup for up to 3 months. Keep it in a freezer bag or other airtight container, and let it thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating it in a dutch oven on the stovetop.
Ultimate Slow Cooker Beef Stew in bowl with parsley garnish

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Ultimate Slow Cooker Beef Stew

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.
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


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


  • Preheat a large skillet or aluminum slow cooker insert on high heat.
  • Season the beef with half the salt and all the pepper.
  • Add to the skillet and brown on each side for 4-6 minutes or until deeply browned on each side.
  • Remove the beef from the pan and add in the onions.
  • Cut the beef into 2-3 inch chunks and add it to the slow cooker.
  • Cook the onions for 3 minutes, stir then cook another 3 minutes.
  • Into the slow cooker add the onions, carrots, potatoes, broth, second half of the salt, tomato paste, bay leaf, thyme, garlic and Worcestershire sauce.
  • Stir all the ingredients until well mixed and cook on low for 7 hours.
  • In a small bowl mix the butter and flour and add it to the slow cooker and stir.
  • Cook an additional hour or until thickened.



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


Serving: 1g | Calories: 425kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 124mg | Sodium: 963mg | Potassium: 1204mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 5340IU | Vitamin C: 15.4mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 7.1mg
Ultimate Slow Cooker Beef Stew Collage

Photos used in a previous version of this post.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew in White Slow cooker insert

Crock Pot Beef Stew up close photo with potatoes and carrots

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.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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 am not a slow cooker lady however i really like Dinner the Dessert site.
    loved the flavour and ease of this recipe, so I will dertainly be coming back to the site to explore more slow cooker meals.

    1. So glad to hear you are enjoying the recipes! We have a lot of recipes that do not use slow cookers as well for you to try! Thank you Jacqui for the five star review!

  2. OMGosh!
    This is the mother load of stew recipes! I’ve made this twice now. The broth is the most flavorful. It reminds me of beef veggie soup, the old fashioned kind! I’ve added celery to this both times, a few stocks and it’s yummy.
    Thank you so much for sharing this!

  3. It was awesome! Def a fav! I used what I had on hand, small can tomato sauce rather than the tomato paste and beef broth. Cooked on high 5 hrs, turned to low and added butter/flour, cooked another hour or so. Don’t think itbthickened much, but tasted awesome!

  4. We love this recipe! I have made it several times in the crockpot and it has always come out so delicious!

    I want to try making this in an enamel dutch oven. Would this recipe work with that? How long and what temp would you suggest?

  5. This is a great recipe. I made this the other night. I also made a loaf of artisan bread to go with it. I added some barley an hour before stew was done.

    With just the two of us, I froze some for later. You cannot go wrong with this recipe. Just delicious!

    I love using your recipes!

  6. Just made this today cause it was raining and needed some comfort. When the wife tried it her response was, “Get rid of all those other stew recipes. This one is a keeper!” Next time, and I’m sure there will be many more, I’m gonna add a touch of wine!

  7. Made this today and it is definitely something I will make again. It’s so easy to make and bursting with flavor!

  8. Fantastic stew. One question, if I want to do the slow cooker on high, how long would that take? Also, this stew is a regular occurrence.

    1. Slow Cookers vary as you probably know. Generally around 1 hour less or so. Keep a close eye on the beef, checking for the thickest pieces temperature to be at 165 degrees. Let us know how it turns out!

  9. I followed the instructions to the letter, except for the “Beef Better Than Bouillon”, I substituted “Orrington Farms Broth Base & seasoning”, which is gluten free. Other than that our untraditional Christmas dinner was a great hit with my ex-tended family that visited for the Holiday’s. It was fantastic, it turned out great! Thank you so much for the recipe….I printed out several others that I will be trying in the future. Great web site.

  10. Just wanted to say, I made this on a time crunch last night because I forgot about it in the morning– 4 hours on high, then added the butter/flour and then another 1 hour on high. The meat was just as tender as the 8 hours on low! So so good, a staple for winter.

  11. I have made this twice, really like it, the second time I cut the beef into cubes before searing and seared all sides of the cubes and I felt the meat tasted better with better texture.

  12. For the fourth time I am making this casserole. Some of the vegetables have had to be substituted eg potatoes, onions, by using Aussie vegetables. However, the casserole turned out beautifully. Flavour, texture and aroma is excellent. It has taken me years to find a decent beef casserole and now I have stopped looking. This time around I added red capsicum and brown sugar, just as an experiment and it tested great. The brown sugar helped as I accidentally added a little too much salt. It didn’t detract from the flavour. Thank you for this beautiful recipe. I have now stopped looking for good beef casseroles. We look forward to dinner tonight after the casserole is ready to eat.

  13. Excellent recipe. I add a little red wine for flavor. Also, I cube the meat then brown it as I find it falls apart otherwise.

  14. 9am Sunday morning, found recipe & was excited. So it’s on, family have come through saying that looks nice’ so can hardly wait to try it when it’s done. As I’m sure my 97 yr father in law will also.thanks ?

  15. Hi Sabrina. Very excited to make this today! Quick question: After browning the beef in the skillet, it should not be cooked all the way through. Is that correct? Thanks!

  16. I was surprised at the suggestion of 2” chopped carrots and potatoes. Those are pretty big pieces. I’m slow cooking it now – but, worry the veggies won’t be cooked.

  17. I followed the recipe to a “T” and flavor wise it was very good, but after 8 hours in my slow cooker it needed more cooking time and I even turned mine up to High for the last hour after adding the butter/flour combo

    1. I used to have cooking failures too until a bit of research showed it was my fault.

      I found that a crock pot or slow cooker needs to be 2/3 to 3/4 full.

      Food takes longer to cook if larger amounts are used and trying to make up a too small amount by adding extra liquid not only gives a bland taste but the meat and veg. do not cook properly.

      You could try buying a different sized slow cooker or adjust the ingredients to fit your sized cooker. In my case, I make enough of this delicious stew for 10 serves and just freeze the excess in meal sized lots.

  18. This turned out great. The only thing I did differently, is that I mixed the beef broth, tomato paste, garlic, thyme, and Worcestershire sauce together, and then added it to the crock. This is great with some crusty bread!

  19. I use a cabernet sauvignon whenever I cook this recipe and started wondering if I could make it even better with a different wine, has anyone else experimented to find a better choice? Me and my wife love this recipe so much, thanks guy sharing it, I’ve been making it for almost 2 years now!

  20. I have to cook often for my 90year old father and these recipes are very helpful .Nutritious and easy for me as I have two slow cookers and its getting very cold now so I am sure he will enjoy them

  21. Great recipe— my cattle raising friend gave me a 3 lb 7 bone roast from one of his steers which is basically a chuck roast. Made it exactly to the recipe and it came out great. Made some homemade bread to go with it. I highly recommend the recipe

  22. Yikes! I think I just ruined our dinner.. I used red wine vinegar because I misread. I thought it sounded weird but figured I’d try it.. I didn’t use a whole cup, maybe a quarter cup but still?????

    1. If it was just a quarter cup or so of the vinegar, it probably still tasted great! Especially if you consider that the secret behind dishes such as Italian Beef (also on this site) is the vinegar brine (“juice”) that most pepperoncinis are packaged in, or if you take a look at the German Sauerbraten recipe on this site… you might have come up with your own special recipe. 🙂

  23. This turned out great. I was a bit confused on how to mix cold butter with flour but used room temp butter and it seemed to work ok. I also used a whole 6oz can of tomato paste. Putting this in my “keep” folder! Can’t wait to try the leftover’s tomorrow!

  24. I made this for dinner today for my husband and grandkids. My husband said i outdid myself! He ate two big bowls of it! I personally did not eat it as i am a vegetarian. So i made portobello pot roast in my instant pot. It was like a restaurant in my house with two main dishes being cooked lol!! I will definitely make this again and again! It smelled really good in my house! Thank you for a recipe my husband loved! Do you have any vegetarian recipes? Thanks again!!

  25. This is maybe a dumb question, but after adding my beef broth and all ingredients, is the liquid supposed to cover the solids (potatoes, meat, etc.) or is it not important if everything is covered in liquid?

    1. No, it won’t be covered completely but the beef will cook down and release more liquid. I find that recipes that cover it, the meal comes out soupy.

  26. Hi Sabrina! I was wondering if beef round cubes would work for this recipe? I have 2 lbs. in my freezer that needs used up. Thanks

  27. I made this dish exactly as the recipe said, and it turned out amazing. The next time I made it I put my own little twist on it, instead of beef broth/bullion I used vegetable broth. And instead of regular salt and pepper, I used Mrs. Dash no salt Lemon Pepper. The lower sodium content made this already delicious dish even yummier.

  28. Am I able to cut the cooking time down in anyway, I didn’t realize the cooking time until after I bought all the ingredients and started putting it together and now if I do 7 hours it will be a really late dinner.

  29. My husband is a diabetic, so I did a little bit of a change to this recipe. I used vegetable broth instead, and Mrs. Dash no salt lemon pepper. Let me tell you, the lower sodium content made this stew taste even better.

      1. I’m happy to add my input anytime. I love your recipes to begin with, so why not try a different twist to it once in a while? It may, or may not, turn out just as good or a little better. It’s all a matter of trial and error.

  30. I added parsnip, cabbage, broccoli, turnip and a strong ale. Wonderful! Had to finish 5 minutes high pressure.

    1. You’ll want to have this in the slow cooker on low for 7 hours. Add the butter and flour mixture and then cook it an additional hour. Hope this helps clear things up. Enjoy!

  31. Hi! Should I halve the rest of the ingredients for 1.5lbs of chuck beef, or keep the original and perhaps mash some extra potatoes to thicken up the stew?

    1. Either will work, just make sure that your chuck roast doesn’t dry out from overcooking due to it being a smaller size. Good luck!

      1. Greetings! This looks delicious!
        I’d like to add some mushrooms to this recipe. I’m assuming I can add the raw? At what point do you recommend I put them the slow cooker?
        Thanks so much for your help!

        1. I would add them in for the last 2 hours if you can, and yes add them in raw (halved), stir to mix them in.