This comforting homemade crockpot beef stew is the perfect dinner for a cozy evening inside, and it takes very little prep! This hearty stew combines tender beef, potatoes, carrots, and onions with a delicious broth that's cooked low and slow in your slow cooker!
A savory crockpot beef stew you can prep in minutes and have ready to eat when you get home from work!
My mom always made the best soups and stews, and to this day, it makes me happy to smell it cooking. Beef stew was one of her specialties, and this tasty slow cooker recipe is just like Mom's!
Slow-cooked beef with onions, carrots, celery, tomatoes, and a bit of garlic start making magic when they hit hour 5 of cooking. All the flavors meld together to create something impossible to resist.
Plus, at the end of the day, when it is finally ready to eat, everyone will be ready to dive in. It’s incredibly family-friendly, and you don’t need to make much to complete the meal!
❤️ Why You'll Love This Recipe!
Amazing Flavor! The hearty beef tastes incredibly delicious after cooking for over 5 hours!
Quick Prep! You can throw this in the crockpot before work and come home to an amazing meal ready to serve!
It's Flexible! As with most soups and stews, you can get creative with what you add!
Almost all of these ingredients are what you would expect for a stew. Don’t stress if you don’t have cornstarch; it’s just a thickener.
- ¼ cup All-Purpose Flour - Flour acts as a thickener for the broth.
- ½ teaspoon each, Garlic, Salt, & Pepper - Start with this and add more at the end of cooking depending on your taste.
- 2 tablespoons Butter - Butter really helps get that beautiful brown color on the meat.
- 2 pounds Beef Chuck Roast - Beef stew meat is another great option!
- 4 cups Beef Broth - If you are not using low sodium, mind your salt!
- 4 medium Carrots - This equates to about 2 cups when sliced.
- 3 ribs Celery - Use around 1 cup sliced.
- 1 cup Yellow Onion - Chop up about 1 medium yellow or white onion.
- 1 Tomato - Chop it up. In a pinch, you could substitute canned tomatoes.
- 1 Russet Potato - Quartered and sliced. Russets have a lot of starch and assist in thickening the stew.
- 2 tablespoons Cornstarch - This is another good thickening agent for soups and stews.
- 2 tablespoons Water - Always mix cornstarch with a liquid first before adding to a soup.
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for ingredients, amounts & instructions!*
🧂 Substitutions & Additions
As previously mentioned, this stew is super flexible. If you want to switch it up, try some of these easy options!
Other vegetables - There are no hard and fast rules with soups and stews. Throw in any of your favorite vegetables! Just remember that some will hold up better than others when it comes to reheating leftovers. Mushrooms, for example, will get a bit soft.
Dried Basil - To add a bit of sweetness to your stew, basil should be at the top of your list!
Beans - If you’d like more variety than vegetables, beans are the way to go! There are many different kinds that would be great, including red kidneys, garbanzos, and pinto. Mix these in pre-cooked towards the end of cooking.
Grains - Lentils, quinoa, or farro are all great ways to thicken your soup without the help of cornstarch. They will also add some protein. Any color will work, but for best results, forget the cornstarch, and add extra broth as needed throughout cooking.
🔪 Step-By-Step Instructions
This recipe may take a long time to cook, but there are only 15 minutes of prep time! You’ll need a crockpot, a large bowl, a silicone spatula set, and a frying pan.
- Coat the meat. First, in a large bowl, mix ¼ cup all-purpose flour, and ½ teaspoon each of salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Then, cut 2 pounds of beef chuck roast into cubes and toss them in the mixture until coated.
- Brown. In a large frying pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Brown the coated beef and 1 cup chopped yellow onion, then dump everything into the crockpot.
- Deglaze your pan. Using ½ cup beef broth, deglaze your pan. A spatula will help get all the brown bits off the bottom. When you’re finished, pour the broth into the crockpot.
- Add broth and vegetables. Next, pour the remaining 3 ½ cups beef broth into the crockpot. Follow it up with 4 medium carrots, 3 ribs celery, 1 tomato, and 1 russet potato. Put the lid on tight and cook. To finish in 4 to 5 hours, cook on high. To finish in 8 to 9 hours, cook on low. Work your way backward from when you would like to eat.
- Thicken. In a small bowl, make a slurry by mixing 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 2 tablespoons cold water until thoroughly combined. Then, whisk the mixture into the stew to thicken it. You can always add more to thicken to the consistency you prefer.
- Finish and enjoy. Put the lid back on and cook for another 10 minutes. This will eliminate any starchy taste. Then, season with salt and pepper to taste. Let your finished stew cool a bit before serving to prevent burned tongues.
💭 Angela's Tips & Recipe Notes
- Add wine to the broth! If you want to increase the flavor complexity, swap out 1 cup of the beef broth for 1 cup of dry red wine. I like a cabernet or merlot. Use the mixture to deglaze your pan and prepare to be wowed!
- Don’t overcook. Oftentimes, we assume that with slow-cooking, it’s impossible to overcook your food. After all, isn’t “low and slow” the motto? Yes. And it’s hard to overcook the beef. The vegetables, however, are another story. Overcooked vegetables get soft and start disintegrating if you’re not careful. So unless you want a puree, be aware of the cooking times recommended.
- Timing is everything. If you’ve decided to add extra vegetables, be conscious of the point in the cooking process in which you add them. As mentioned above, veggies like mushrooms and zucchini will get mushy by the time the stew is done if added at the same time as the potatoes.
🥡 Storing & Reheating
Keep leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days in the fridge.
Using the same airtight container, the stew will keep for up to 4 months in the freezer. Make sure to leave some space for when it expands.
Reheating Beef Stew
Thaw any frozen leftovers in the fridge overnight. Then, add to a pot over low heat. Cook until heated through. *Potatoes may disintegrate after freezing so slightly pre-cook a couple more and add when reheating, if desired.
🥣 More Delicious Soups and Stews!
Broth is derived from cooking bones, typically with meat on them, with water while stock is usually made using bones that are stripped of meat. In both, other herbs, spices, or vegetables are added for flavor.
Personally, I like to brown it first, because it puts some nice color on the meat. That said, it is totally OK to put raw meat in your slow cooker as long as you cook it thoroughly. It’s safe.
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Crockpot Beef Stew
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon each, salt & pepper (to taste - add more as needed at the end of cooking time)
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 1 pound beef for stew (we used chuck roast, cubed into 1-inch chunks)
- 4 cups beef broth
- 4 medium carrots (sliced, about 2 cups)
- 3 ribs celery (sliced, about 1 cup)
- 1 cup yellow onion (chopped, about 1medium yellow or white onion)
- 1 tomato (chopped)
- 1 russet potato (quartered and sliced)
- 2 tablespoon corn starch
- 2 tablespoon water
- Start out with combining the flour, garlic powder, salt & pepper then toss the cubed beef in the flour mixture until generously coated.¼ cup all-purpose flour, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon each, salt & pepper, 1 pound beef for stew
- Melt the butter in a large skillet or frying pan over medium heat, then brown the beef stew meat and saute the onions together. Then, transfer the beef and onions to the crockpot.2 tablespoon butter, 1 cup yellow onion, 1 pound beef for stew
- Next, use ½ a cup of beef broth to deglaze your pan, making sure to use your spatula to scrape the fond (all the brown bits) from the bottom. Pour the broth back into the crockpot.4 cups beef broth
- Add all remaining beef broth and vegetables to the crockpot (carrots, celery, tomato, and potato). Cover with the lid and cook on high for 4-5 hours, or low for 8-9 hours.4 medium carrots, 3 ribs celery, 1 tomato, 1 russet potato
- Before serving, make a slurry with 2 tablespoons of corn starch and 2 tablespoons of cold water and whisk it into the soup to thicken it. You may add more as needed to reach your desired consistency.2 tablespoon corn starch, 2 tablespoon water
- Cover the stew and let it cook for 10 more minutes to get rid of any starchy taste, then season with salt and pepper. Allow your beef stew to cool slightly before serving.½ teaspoon each, salt & pepper
- For a more complex flavor, substitute a dry red wine, like a cabernet or merlot, for 1 cup of beef broth and use it to deglaze your pan.
- Leftovers keep 4 days in the fridge or 4 months in the freezer.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!