We’re kicking it old school with Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff from scratch. This recipe is notable both for what it does offer—all the creamy, cozy flavor of the classic recipe, lightened up with a few healthy ingredient swaps and made easier in the crock pot—as well as for what it doesn’t. This crock pot beef stroganoff is made without canned soup, please and thank you!
I grew up eating my Grandma Dorothy’s classic beef stroganoff recipe, so this homey dish has a special place in my heart.
She often made comfort food for my sisters and me when we went over to visit her after church, so cooking and eating this dish reminds me of her in a special way.
If you’ve never had beef stroganoff, it’s a rich, creamy beef and mushroom sauce served over noodles.
It’s the sort of no-frills family recipe that warms and reassures in that special way that I remember only grandma could—simply, unconditionally, and where food is involved, deliciously.
How Do I Make Beef Stroganoff?
This is an easy beef stroganoff recipe, especially since the slow cooker does the cooking. Here’s everything you need to know to make creamy, tender traditional beef stroganoff, crockpot-style!
What is the Best Cut of Meat for Beef Stroganoff?
There are a few ways to make Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff. The biggest differentiator is the type of meat you choose. When you make it, you can use:
- sliced beef (typically sirloin)
- ground beef
My grandma always used sliced beef in her stroganoff, so that’s what you’ll find here, but if you prefer to make slow cooker ground beef stroganoff, I have a few suggestions for you in the recipe notes.
Speed It Up
If you are looking for a stove top stroganoff recipe (or are just in a hurry and don’t have time to wait on the slow cooker), you can check out this 30-minute Chicken Stroganoff. The same recipe also works well with ground beef.
Or, check out my recipe for Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff. It’s adapted from this slow cooker version but is ready in a fraction of the time.
What is Stroganoff Sauce Made Of?
- In the version of the recipe that appears in the classic Russian cookbook A Gift to Young Housewives, the beef stroganoff sauce is made with lightly floured beef cubes, bouillon, and mustard, then finished with a sour cream sauce. No cremini mushrooms, no onions.
- In the versions of beef stroganoff you’ll find most often in the United States (and on my Grandma’s table), the beef stroganoff sauce also includes onion powder and mushrooms.
- Some recipes call for white wine (this one does not, though you can add it if you like) and others even use cream cheese.
Another branch on the beef stroganoff family tree is beef stroganoff with cream of mushroom soup.
Do not go here. Beef stroganoff from scratch is easy to make; no need to rely on processed ingredients.
What Herbs are Used in Beef Stroganoff?
Let’s be real: beef stroganoff is not a looker. That said, you can certainly add a pop of color and an extra layer of deliciousness by finishing it with fresh herbs.
- Thyme is my favorite herb to add to beef stroganoff and what you see pictured here.
- Parsley is another tasty choice.
- Dill, while not traditional, is another herb I really enjoy with beef stroganoff. While I don’t always have fresh dill on hand, I do have dried dill weed in my pantry, which is super yummy added to the beef stroganoff sauce. This is a matter of taste, so feel free to leave it out if you prefer.
How to Make a Healthy Beef Stroganoff Recipe
For this Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff recipe, I stuck to my grandma’s recipe as inspiration, with a few departures to make it a healthier beef stroganoff.
- I opted for a lean cut of beef: sirloin. Sirloin can still stand up to the long cooking time in the crock pot (and crock pot beef stroganoff = easy beef stroganoff) but is relatively lean compared to other cuts.
When the slow cooker stroganoff is finished, the beef is fall-apart tender, without being heavy or greasy. (For another fall-apart tender beef recipe, see this amazing Crock Pot Beef Stew!)
- Instead of making the crockpot beef stroganoff with sour cream, I used plain Greek yogurt. It gives the stroganoff sauce the same richness I remember from my childhood, but Greek yogurt is higher in protein and lower in fat than sour cream.
- Finally, while I kept the classic egg noodle shape, I used whole wheat egg noodles instead of regular, as they offer more fiber and protein.
You really can serve this crock pot beef stroganoff with any shape of noodles you like, but egg noodles are classic.
I’m also biased, as those are the noodles my grandma used in her best beef stroganoff, and grandma knows best.
More Ways to Serve Beef Stroganoff
In addition to noodles, you can also serve beef stroganoff with rice, over mashed potatoes, or with cauliflower rice.
Speaking of grandma knowing best, here’s the most important tip about beef stroganoff she shared every single time we ate it:
Go back for seconds. ALWAYS.
Tools to Make Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff
- 5-quart or larger slow cooker (I have this programmable one, which switches to “keep warm” once the time is up)
- Small whisk (perfect for thickening the sauce)
Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless sirloin steak cut into thin (1/2-inch-thick) 2-inchx1-inch strips
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon dried dillweed
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 16 ounces cremini baby bella mushrooms, sliced
- 1 1/2 cups low-sodium beef broth divided
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt do not use nonfat or it will curdle
- 8 ounces whole wheat egg noodles penne, rotini, or similar noodles work well also
- Fresh parsley or thyme optional for serving
- Grease the bottom of a 6-quart or larger slow cooker with nonstick spray. Add the sirloin and sprinkle with salt, dill, black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Stir to coat the meat.
- Add the mushrooms, 1 cup beef broth, Worcestershire, and Dijon. Cover and cook on high for 2 to 3 hours or on low for 5 to 7 hours, until the beef is cooked through and tender. (If you prefer firmer mushrooms, wait to add them until about halfway through the cook time.)
- Stir the cornstarch together with the remaining 1/2 cup broth to create a slurry. Stir the mixture into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 20 minutes, and then stir in the Greek yogurt. Re-cover and cook on high for an additional 10 minutes.
- While the stroganoff finishes cooking, cook the noodles according to package instructions. Stir into the slow cooker or pile separately into bowls and ladle the stroganoff over the top. Serve immediately, topped with fresh thyme or parsley as desired.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. For longer storage (up to 4 days) store the stroganoff sauce and pasta separately.
- To make with ground beef instead of sirloin: In a large skillet over medium, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add the ground beef and sprinkle with the seasonings. Cook, breaking apart the ground beef and stirring to evenly incorporate the spices, until cooked through. Drain off any excess grease and discard. Transfer the ground beef to the crock pot and proceed with step 2.
- To make on the stovetop: Toss the steak strips and seasonings together in a large bowl. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the steak strips in a single layer and cook until brown on both sides. (Do this in multiple batches if all your steak strips can’t fit.) Remove to a plate and set aside. Add another tablespoon oil to the same skillet and add the mushrooms. Cook for a 3 to 5 minutes, or until browned. Add the steak back to the skillet along with 1 cup beef broth, Worcestershire, and Dijon. Cover, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. (Prepare your noodles while the stroganoff is cooking.) Stir together the cornstarch and remaining 1/2 cup broth to create a slurry and add to the skillet. Stir and let cook until thickened, and then stir in the Greek yogurt. Heat through and serve over prepared noodles.
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