Crock Pot Beef Stew

Calling on all the warm fuzzies, cuddly blankets, and flannel! It’s time for a hug in dinner form: Crock Pot Beef Stew. Every bite of this old fashioned beef stew recipe soothes me from the inside out. Tender beef and vegetables nestled into rich, soulful gravy, this slow cooker beef stew will reward your patience with every bite.

bowl of comforting crock pot beef stew

Now that fall is officially here, I wanted to share the recipe for this Slow Cooker Beef Stew, one of the best crock pot recipes in my arsenal. It tastes like pure comfort in a bowl, you need to have it at the ready for the cool evenings ahead.

Crock Pot Beef Stew is the kind of thing I love to have simmering in the house all day. As the beef stew cooks, the smell fills my kitchen in a nostalgic way that reminds me of my Grandma Dorothy.

Browning the meat for this beef stew does take a bit of time, but it is worth every second. The stew leftovers taste even better the next day, so you can make this beef stew once, then enjoy it for cozy lunches and dinners all week long.

bowl of beef stew made in a slow cooker

Very Important Reasons to Make Crock Pot Beef Stew

  • Cool nights are coming and this recipe is the equivalent of your beloved childhood blanket.
  • The low and slow cook time makes the beef so fall-apart tender, you can cut it with a spoon.
  • FLAVOR OVERLOAD. The deep browning and caramelizing of the beef gives the stew a dark, golden, irresistible crust that enriches the broth and makes this one of the best slow cooker beef stew recipes ever.
  • The leftover red wine you’ll have after making the stew will be the perfect amount to enjoy with dinner.
  • The recipe is loaded with both veggies and protein, so it’s an ideal all-in-one meal.

Translation: Making this slow cooker beef stew recipe is WORTH EVERY MINUTE!

crock pot full of hearty beef stew

This time of year, when the first crisp nights arrive and the cool air begins to settle in, is the ideal moment for Crock Pot Beef Stew, or at least this particular recipe for it.

You’ll find the deep, rich flavors of well-browned beef and red wine that you want, right alongside the heap of fresh veggies like carrot, potato, and peas that you need.

About This Crock Pot Beef Stew Recipe

How Do I Make Crock Pot Beef Stew?

First things first: in every way but waiting for it to cook, this is an EASY beef stew recipe.

  • Browning the stew meat does take some time—work in small batches and resist the urge to crowd the pan. You want that beautiful brown crust, because that’s where the flavor is to be found.
  • Once the meat is browned, there’s one last round of focused activity while you chop the veggies, but that’s it. Add everything to the crock pot, then let the beef stew do its thang.

How long does Beef Stew Take to Cook in a Crock Pot?

  • Beef stew cooks in a crock pot in 6 to 8 hours on low or 3 to 5 hours on high.
  • The time can vary depending upon your slow cooker, so check early if your crock pot tends to run on the hotter side.

bite sized pieces of seared beef in a slow cooker

What Spices Do You Put in a Beef Stew?

  • Plenty of salt and pepper! This gives the beef and vegetables outstanding flavor.
  • Herb-wise, thyme is my absolute favorite in beef stew. It’s the ideal match with the root vegetables, and its earthy, savory flavor is a hallmark of comfort food.
  • I also have a suggested amount for dried thyme in the recipe, but if you can get your hands on fresh, it is 100% worth it.

How Do You Thicken Beef Stew in a Crock Pot?

  • I wrote this recipe to ensure the beef stew is plenty thick, so you won’t need to do anything extra to thicken it up <—this is why the recipe starts with so little broth in the slow cooker.
  • If you do want to thicken up the beef stew more, you could try whisking in a slurry of cornstarch at the end, but (and this is coming from someone who loves her soups and stews so thick that a spoon can practically stand up in the bowl on its own), it truly doesn’t need it. Take advantage of this beef stew recipe’s easy nature and skip it.

thick beef stew in a crock pot

The Best Meat For Beef Stew (It’s Not What You Think!)

  • As far as what kind of meat is best for beef stew, my answer is (ready for it?) NOT stew meat.
  • Stew meat is typically a mix of all different sizes and cuts, so the pieces may not cook evenly. You could have some bites with perfect, tender beef and others with tough, rubbery meat. There’s a reason this Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff (which uses sirloin) and this Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli (which calls for flank steak) have different cooking times: each uses a different type of beef.
  • For the best results when making Crock Pot Beef Stew, I recommend buying a single piece of chuck roast from the butcher, then cutting it into cubes yourself. You’ll know what cut you are getting, your pieces will be uniform in size so that they cook evenly, and chuck roast’s deep marbling ensures that every bite of the beef in the stew is fall-apart tender.

Healthy Crock Pot Beef Stew with peas and carrots

And now, a recipe guaranteed to warm you through the season ahead: Crock Pot Beef Stew. It’s easy, not too heavy, richly flavored, and fall-apart tender. Let it comfort you on a cool night soon!

Recommended Tools to Make Crock Pot Beef Stew:

The BEST Crock Pot Beef Stew recipe ever! An easy, healthy slow cooker beef stew with fresh veggies, fall-apart tender meat, in a rich and flavorful red wine sauce. Simple, freezer friendly, and perfect every time.
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Healthy Crock Pot Beef Stew

Yield: 6 –8 servings, about 14 cups
Prep Time:
10 mins
The BEST Crock Pot Beef Stew recipe ever! An easy slow cooker beef stew with fresh veggies and fall-apart tender meat, in a rich, flavorful red wine sauce.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless chuck roast
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt — divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper — divided
  • 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour — or all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil — divided
  • 1 1/2 cups dry red wine — such as Cabernet Sauvignon, dark beer (such as an amber, porter, or Guinness—do not use a bitter or hoppy beer such as an IPA as the hops will throw off the flavor), or additional beef broth
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 large carrots
  • 2 parsnips
  • 3/4 pound red potatoes — about 2 medium
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme — or 2 teaspoons dried thyme; if you like, tie the fresh thyme together with kitchen twine to make the stems easier to fish out at the end
  • 3 to 4 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen peas — no need to thaw
  • Fresh parsley — optional for serving

Instructions

  1. Cut the chuck roast into 1-inch cubes, removing any large, tough pieces of fat or gristle. I found it easiest to cut it into 1-inch-thick large, round slices, then strips, then cubes. Place the cubes in a large bowl and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Sprinkle on the flour, then toss lightly to coat.
  2. Place a large, deep Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil. Once the oil is hot and shimmering (a drop of water should sizzle if added to the surface), add one-third to one-half of the beef. The cubes should be in a single layer and not too crowded so that they brown nicely. Let the cubes of beef cook undisturbed for 4 to 5 minutes (resist the urge to peek!), until the bottom of the cubes develop a dark-brown crust and come away from the pan easily. Turn and continue searing until dark and golden all over, about 4 to 5 additional minutes. Transfer the seared meat to a clean bowl or plate. Add another 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pot, and once hot, sear the remaining beef, working in batches and ensuring that you do not overcrowd the pieces. It may take two or three batches total depending on the size your pan. If the pan gets too dry, add a bit more oil as needed.
  3. While the meat browns, dice the yellow onion and celery. Mince the garlic.
  4. At this point, the pan should have some nice sticky brown bits (a.k.a. FLAVOR). If it seems to be burning or smoking, add a bit of the wine or beer, scrape it up, then pour it over the beef you set aside.
  5. Reduce the pan heat to medium and add the final tablespoon olive oil. Add the onions and celery and cook until the onions are soft and translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds, until fragrant. Stir in the tomato paste, Worcestershire, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
  6. While the onions sauté, peel and dice the carrots and parsnips. Scrub the potatoes and cut into a rough dice. Set aside.
  7. Increase the pan heat to medium high and add the wine or beer (stand back, as it will sputter). Cook, letting the wine reduce and scraping up all of the brown bits from the pan. Continue to scrape and stir until the liquid is slightly reduced and thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.
  8. Transfer the sautéed vegetables and any sauce from the pan to a 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Add the beef, carrots, parsnips, potatoes, bay leaf, thyme, and 3 cups beef broth. Stir to roughly combine. Cover and cook on low for 6 1/2 to 8 hours or high for 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours, until the beef is cooked through and fall-apart tender and your kitchen smells so cozy you might not ever leave. Remove the bay leaf and thyme stems and stir in the peas. If you’d like the stew thinner, add additional broth until it reaches your desired consistency. Taste and add additional salt or pepper as desired. Serve hot, sprinkled with fresh parsley.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Crock Pot Dinner, Healthy Crock Pot Beef Stew, Healthy Crock Pot Recipe

Nutrition Information

Amount per serving (1(of 8), about 1 3/4 cups) — Calories: 321, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 81mg, Sodium: 359mg, Carbohydrates: 24g, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 4g, Protein: 30g

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

BEST Slow Cooker Beef Stew recipe ever! An easy, healthy crockpot beef stew with fresh veggies, fall-apart tender meat, in a rich and flavorful red wine sauce. Simple, freezer friendly, and perfect every time. #healthy #slowcooker#crockpot #beefstew

The BEST Crock Pot Beef Stew recipe ever! An easy, healthy slow cooker beef stew with fresh veggies, fall-apart tender meat, in a rich and flavorful red wine sauce. Simple, freezer friendly, and perfect every time. #slowcooker #beefstew #glutenfree #healthy

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About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

47 comments

  1. shawnna Griffin Reply

    hey girl- this looks so good! Have a great weekend!

  2. Brenda McClelland Reply

    Hello!  I’ve just finished putting it in the slow cooker and it smells great. I do think the 10 minutes of prep listed was a little off as it took me over an hour to get it all ready and in the slow cooker. 

    • Hi Brenda! I’m sorry for the confusion! I meant about 10 minutes to chop the veggies. The browning part I had factored in with the cook time. I’m trying to find a way to make that easier to understand on future recipes, so I appreciate the feedback. I hope the stew is worth it and you enjoy it very much!

    • Absolutely agree – took me an hour as well.  I think any time that you spend standing by the stove is prep time when you’re working with a slow cooker recipe.  :-)

  3. Mmmm sounds so good!!

  4. I don’t see peas mentioned on the ingredients list, but you call them out at the end of the directions. What quantity do you recommend? Thanks!

  5. thank you,i will make it

  6. I love my stew with dumplings or biscuits. I’ll continue browsing your site, but is there anything you can recommend off the top of your head? Thanks!

  7. I made this over the weekend and followed the recipe for the most part (skipped the bay leaf and parsnips, added mushrooms to the red wine vegetables, and completely spaced on adding the peas). I was skeptical about the amount of prep beforehand (I’m used to just throwing ingredients into the crockpot and letting it do its thing, but all of the steps paid off in flavor). The stew turned out AMAZING. I have leftovers and am so excited to get more of this scrumptious meal. I made it four people and everyone loved it—there was definitely enough for seconds and extra after that. I served this over seasoned rice. Definitely keeping this recipe, thank you for sharing!

  8. I’m trying this recipe for the first time. And so far so good although I did need a bigger crock pot mine was only 4 quarts so for the recipe you definitely need a 6 quart crock pot. one thing I like to do to my beef stew is to add two cans of condensed cream of mushroom soup with no milk just the condensed version and it makes it really creamy.

  9. Can I sub the flour for a gluten free option?  

    • Hi Lesley, I don’t have experience using a gluten-free sub, but I’ve seen arrowroot powder and sweet rice flour used. It might be worth it to do an online search and see what seems to work best for others!

  10. Planning ahead for big family dinner in a couple weeks, so wondered if I could prep a double batch od meat, the browning anyway, then freeze for now. Opinion? FYI, I made you crock pot chicken wing meatballs last weekend and my whole family has told EVERYONE THEY KNOW ABOUT THEM! 
    So enjoy your blog!

    • Hi Chris, I haven’t tried freezing part of the prep like that, so I can’t say for certain, but I’m guessing it would work. I’d love to hear how it goes if you give it a try. (And I’m so glad you enjoyed the meatballs too!)

  11. I added some frozen corn, yum yum…

  12. Just get to it, we don’t need three years of stories for a recipe and reading about you convincing yourself in how good it is.

    • Hi James! This is a personal blog, so story telling is a big piece of it (and the recipes are all free, so I don’t ask for anything from you in exchange). You are welcome to scroll right to them without reading. Or if you want, you can always use a true recipe site like allrecipes.com if you don’t want any stories at all.

  13. I’m a college student and your recipes never fail to be easy, affordable, and delicious. Thanks for another wonderful recipe :)

  14. Nicholas LaRoche Reply

    Can I freeze the leftovers or will the flour on the beef affect it??

  15. This was DELICIOUS and I even forgot to add the peas at the end and the soup was gone before I remembered! Hungry kids post chilly field hockey game. I will make again on Saturday (double batch for sure)with the peas!!! I’m so glad I found your site, finding all sorts of yummy things to make. Thank you!

  16. Prepped veggies and cut up chuck roast tonight. Starting the stew in the morning. Can’t find the red potatoes I bought for this. Have to use russet. Hope they will work! 🤞

  17. Erin! It’s cooking right now! The broth is really bitter! What did I do?!  And, how do I fix it! Followed recipe exactly! 

    • Hi Erin, it’s hard to know without being there in the kitchen with you, but it sounds like the garlic or onion (or something else) may have burned. I hope it still turned out okay in the end!

  18. CHRISTINE CONNER Reply

    Tried this for first time tonight. We LOVED it. I used ARROWROOT powder and it worked just fine. I chose to leave out bay leaf and parsnips. I used Cabernet Sauvignon by DeLoach that the man at the store suggested. I cut up all the veggies last night. I agree browning of meat is extra prep, however, it is worthwhile time spent. So flavorful!.
    I served cornbread with it. We are pleasantly stuffed. I will make it again for sure!
    It was nice to have something different and have some for later. We are in Florida so we pretend it is cold!

    Thank you for sharing .

  19. Delicious……I followed your recipe and added a few short ribs.  It is the best beef stew I have ever made!  Thank you…..

  20. Made this a couple of weeks ago. I burnt the hell out of my enameled CI Dutch oven. 30 minutes of scraping and scrubbing to get it clean! Ugh. I’m sure it was because of my sub par stove!  Burnt stuff made my stew really bitter! Contacted a friend who cooks. She helped me fix that with sugar and my leftover morning coffee! Yes! Coffee!  I would not call this a stew, more of a vegetable beef soup. But, it was so good, once I fixed it!!!! I ordered and induction burner afterwards and going to try it again tomorrow! I made French onion soup tonight! No burning!!!! Hoping it will be better this time! Still, it’s a great recipe! This is what I was looking for!!!! 

    • Erin, thanks for reporting back! I’m so glad you were able to enjoy this with the sugar and coffee additions.

      • Made this again yesterday using my new toy! The induction burner made all the difference in the world!!!! Got the brown bits! No burned bits or messy clean up! Red wine helped me deglaze with no problems!  This time, it turned out fabulous!!!! This is now my go to beef stew/vegetable beef soup! Thanks again for recipe,  Erin!!!! 

  21. I’m a cooking rookie, it definitely doesn’t come easy for me and I did struggle a bit with the instructions (I missed out on a couple steps and did without a couple ingredients that I couldn’t find at the store.) it also took me a good hour before I got to actually putting food in the crock pot.  this was the first stew I’ve ever made (or anything in a crock pot aside from a pot roast.) but the result was still absolutely delicious, so I’ll definitely try it again. I’ll make a few changes, biggest thing is there were no leftovers! That’s my own fault, next time I’ll know to fill up any extra space in the pot with potatoes and carrots probably. Even with my inexperience and mistakes, this was arguably the most delicious meal I’ve ever made. 

    • Brad, I’m thrilled to hear this was a success for you! Thank you so much for giving it a try and taking the time to leave this review too.

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