This old-fashioned Crockpot Beef Stew recipe is pure comfort food goodness! Tender beef, potatoes, peas, and carrots are nestled into a rich, soulful gravy flavored with red wine and garlic for a slow cooker beef stew that will reward your patience with every bite.
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Why You’ll Love This Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe
- A Warm Squeeze in Dinner Form. Now that each day seems to be cooler than the last, I wanted to share a recipe for a warm-you-up slow cooker beef stew. It’s, without a doubt, one of the best crockpot soups in my arsenal (this Crock Pot Beef and Vegetable Soup is another favorite). With every bite cozier than the last, this slow cooker stew recipe warms to your core (like this Beef Barley Soup).
- Perfect for Busy Weeknights. A low and slow cook time makes this crockpot beef stew recipe the perfect make-ahead meal during a busy work week. You’ll come home to beef so fall-apart tender, you can cut it with a spoon.
- Flavor Overload. With a rich red wine gravy and aromatic fresh herbs, everyone at your table will be begging for seconds! Even the pickiest eaters will devour this recipe.
- Hearty and Filling. Loaded with both veggies and hearty protein (like Crockpot Roast), crockpot beef stew is a healthy, filling, and satisfying all-in-one meal (although I always recommend serving it with this Rosemary Olive Oil Bread or Homemade Dinner Rolls for soaking up extra gravy).
5 Star Review
“I made this today, and it was truly a 5-star meal. Everyone absolutely loved it, including my children who can be fussy.”— Kelly —
How to Make Crockpot Beef Stew
- Chuck Roast. Boneless chuck roast is perfect for this recipe. It’s a more marbled cut (marbling = flavor) that becomes tender throughout the low and slow cooking. (This Italian Beef is another delicious chuck roast recipe.) You also could use a top or bottom round roast.
- Red Wine or Beer. Crockpot beef stew with red wine has so much depth of flavor! Beef stew with beer is also hard to beat. Try Cabernet Sauvignon for wine or a stout or porter for beer.
- Vegetables. The more, the merrier! I used onion, celery, carrots, parsnip, and peas for an array of flavors, textures, and nutritional benefits.
- Potatoes. The starch in the potatoes helps thicken the stew and adds some extra bulk to make every bowl filling and satisfying. For the thickest stew, a starchy potato like russet is the best, but if you’d like the potatoes to keep more of their texture (russets tend to break down), choose a waxy potato like red potatoes or Yukon golds.
- Tomato Paste. An easy way to build concentrated flavor (as in my favorite Braised Short Ribs).
- Worcestershire Sauce. A tangy, savory addition to your beef stew and another flavor building block. If in a pinch, substitute with balsamic vinegar.
- Beef Broth. To provide moisture and help the meat tenderize. I recommend low sodium so that your beef stew does not become overly salty.
- Flour. To help the meat brown and caramelize. It also helps the gravy thicken as well. No need to use cornstarch here.
- Thyme. Thyme is my absolute favorite herb in beef stew. It’s the ideal match with the root vegetables, and its earthy, savory flavor is a hallmark of comfort food (like in Shepherd’s Pie).
- Salt and Pepper. Don’t be skimpy. These give the crockpot beef stew outstanding flavor.
- Season the Beef. Cut your chuck roast, and place it in a large bowl. Sprinkle with spices and flour, tossing to coat.
- Brown the Beef. In a large skillet or Dutch oven, brown the meat in batches on the stove-top. When dark and golden all over, remove to a plate.
- Cook the Veggies. Sauté the vegetables, then add the tomato paste and spices.
- Add the Wine. Deglaze with the red wine and let reduce.
- Add to Crockpot. Transfer everything to your slow cooker.
- Stir in Broth. Pour in the beef broth and stir to combine.
- Cook. Slow cook beef stew 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.
- Finish. Stir in the peas (or other frozen vegetables if using), cook until tender. ENJOY!
- Gluten-Free Slow Cooker Beef Stew. Omit the flour when you brown the stew meat, and use red wine instead of beer. If needed, you can thicken the stew with a cornstarch slurry.
- Crockpot Beef Stew Without Potatoes. You can omit the potatoes or swap them for a side of steamed rice, quinoa, or cooked noodles. You also could play around with adding the dumplings from these Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings to make this into a crockpot beef stew and dumpling recipe.
- Crockpot Beef Stew with Mushrooms. This is perhaps the most popular suggestion among readers and similar to Beef Bourguinon! Add a cup of button, white, or cremini mushrooms while sautéing the other veggies.
- Slow Cooker Beef with Frozen Vegetables. For ease, you can swap part of the vegetables (including the carrots and parsnips) for a bag of frozen mixed veggies. No need to sauté the frozen veggies; simply stir them into the slow cooker towards the end of the stew’s cooking time.
- Crockpot Beef Stew Without Wine. If you prefer to not use alcohol, you can simply add additional beef broth.
Alternative Cooking Methods
- To Store. Place cooked and cooled stew in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- To Reheat. Gently reheat leftovers in a Dutch oven or similar large pot/skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat, adding splashes of broth as needed. You can also rewarm this stew in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave until hot.
- To Freeze. Store cooked and cooled leftovers in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Meal Prep Tip
Crockpot beef stew leftovers taste even better the next day, so you can make this stew once, then enjoy it for cozy lunches and dinners all week long. Snag some meal-prep containers so you can divvy up leftovers into preportioned amounts for an easy grab-and-go lunch.
What to Serve with Crockpot Beef Stew
- Bread. This Beer Bread Recipe is fabulous with the flavors in the stew, or use Roasted Garlic Potato Rolls to soak up the gravy left at the bottom of the bowl.
- Salad. Round out your dinner with a Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad or a light Arugula Salad.
- Grains. Serve crockpot beef stew over Farro or Wheat Berries to work some hearty whole grains into your dinner.
Any full-bodied, dry Cabernet Sauvignon will pair nicely with its hearty, flavorful crockpot beef stew.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Programmable Slow Cooker. A helpful tool to deter overcooking.
- Dutch Oven. For browning the meat. I also love this one, and this is another good brand.
- Chef’s Knife. For chopping and prepping all of the colorful vegetables in this hearty crockpot beef stew recipe.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Don’t Skip the Browning. Browning the meat for this crockpot beef stew does add a bit of time, but it is worth every second. Just like when making pot roast or Braised Short Ribs the deep browning and caramelizing of the beef give it a dark, golden, irresistible crust that enriches the gravy and makes this one of the best slow cooker beef stew recipes ever.
- Skip the Stew Meat. Stew meat is typically a mix of all different sizes and cuts, so the pieces may not cook evenly. There’s a reason this Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff and this Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli have different cooking times: each uses a different type of beef. 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 they cook evenly, and chuck roast’s deep marbling ensures that every bite of the beef in the stew is fall-apart tender.
- Thaw Frozen Beef. Frozen beef is not safe to place in a crockpot for this beef stew. During cooking, the meat may spend too long at room temperature and become unsafe to eat. To thaw beef quickly and safely: Place your meat in a zip-top bag, squeeze out excess air, and seal. Then, place it in a large bowl, and fill the bowl with cold water. Let it sit for about 30 minutes. If it’s not thawed after this time, empty the water, and refill it with fresh water.
Crockpot Beef Stew
- 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
- Cut the beef 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.
- 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 of your pan. If the pan gets too dry, add a bit more oil as needed.
- While the meat browns, dice the yellow onion and celery. Mince the garlic.
- When the last batch of beef has been seared, transfer it to a plate and reduce the heat to medium.
- Add the final tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. 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.
- While the onions sauté, peel and dice the carrots and parsnips. Scrub the potatoes and cut into a rough dice. Set aside.
- Stir in the tomato paste, Worcestershire, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
- Increase the pan heat to medium-high heat 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.
- 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, and thyme.
- Slowly pour in 3 cups of 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.
- 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, garnish with fresh parsley.
- TO STORE: Place cooked and cooled stew in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- TO REHEAT: Gently reheat leftovers in a Dutch oven or similar large pot on the stovetop over medium-low heat, adding splashes of broth as needed. You can also rewarm this stew in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave until hot.
- TO FREEZE: Store cooked and cooled leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
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