This slow cooker beef stew is a classic stick-to-your-ribs recipe that’s loaded with vegetables and made in the crockpot. It’s perfect for chilly days and company!

This recipe costs $22.60 to make 8 servings, which is $2.83 per serving. For more hearty slow cooker recipes, check out this Crockpot While Chicken, Crockpot Pot Roast with Mushrooms, and this Crockpot Chili

The finished beef stew inside of a slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

The recipe I am sharing with you today has been shared on social media thousands of times so far; it is quickly becoming a popular recipe. You will definitely want to check this one out to see what the buzz is about. One of my readers said about this recipe, “That’s a perfect dish to try in winter! Thanks for sharing!” My sentiments exactly! 

There’s something about pulling out the slow cooker and making this beef stew recipe that screams fall and winter comfort food to me. It has something to do with how the beef, tomato, onion, carrots, parsnips, potatoes, peas, and herbs blend so beautifully together.

I like beef stew best when made in the slow cooker because it’s thick and barely saucy. When I make this recipe, I serve it over a bed of polenta or simply with some nice crusty bread.

A close up picture of the finished slow cooker stew.

Can you put raw beef in a slow cooker?

The beauty of a slow cooker is that you do not have to brown the meat first before throwing it in the crockpot (unless you are using ground beef). However, browning it beforehand does add a beautiful flavor to the final product that if you have the time to do it, I would definitely recommend it!

Can you overcook beef stew?

Yes, you can overcook beef stew even though you leave it alone in the slow cooker for multiple hours. If you leave it too long in the crockpot, the outcome will be dry meat and mushy veggies. 

Do I need to brown beef before slow cooking?

Technically, meat does not need to be browned before placing it in the slow cooker. However, for this recipe, the extra step is worth it. Browning the beef first creates a caramelized outer layer and add to the flavor of the beef. 

How to make the best slow cooker beef stew recipe ever:

  1. First, start by browning the meat and then pat dry before seasoning the meat with salt and pepper. Next, in a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil until just smoking. Next, cook half of the beef until it is browned all over. Then, transfer it to a slow-cooker insert and repeat with 1 more tablespoon oil and remaining beef.  
  2. Next, brown the onions by adding 1 tablespoon of oil, onions, and 4 teaspoon salt and cook until browned. Then, add the tomato paste and cook until the paste begins to darken. Next, stir in the broth, soy sauce, Worcestershire Sauce, and bay leaves, bringing it to a boil before transferring it to the slow cooker. 
  3. Next, wrap the vegetables. Take a large bowl and toss together the carrots, parsnips, potatoes, remaining oil, some thyme, salt, and pepper. Then place the vegetables on one side of the foil and fold the foil over the vegetables to form a packet that will fit in a slow cooker. Next, crimp edges to seal the packet. 
  4. Then, stir in tapioca into the slow cooker and set the vegetable packet on top of the beef. 
  5. Finish off by covering the slow cooker for 6-7 hours. When the stew is done cooking, remove bay leaves and place vegetable packet into a large bowl. Next, open the veggie packets and return the vegetables and any juices to the slow cooker. Finally, stir in the remaining ingredients. 

A picture collage of how to make slow cooker beef stew

How do I make my beef stew more flavorful?

I like to add the following items to create a rich flavor within the stew: 

  • yellow onions 
  • tomato paste
  • low-sodium beef broth
  • soy sauce
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • bay leaves
  • carrots 
  • parsnips 
  • red potatoes

How much will this Slow Cooker Beef Stew recipe cost to make: 



NOTE: The recipe prices are calculated by using grocery store websites. The actual cost of the recipe will vary depending on what ingredients you already have.

  • 4 pounds boneless beef chuck-eye roast –  $11.88
  • ½ cup vegetable oil – $0.12
  • 4 medium yellow onions – $2.48
  • 6 ounce can tomato paste – $0.72
  • 3 cups low-sodium beef broth – $1.44
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce – $0.08
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce – $0.06
  • 2 bay leaves – $0.06
  • 1 pound carrots – $0.82
  • 1 pound parsnips – $2.69
  • 2 Tablespoons minute tapioca – $0.50
  • 1 pound red potatoes – $0.89
  • 1 ½ teaspoon fresh thyme – $0.04
  • 2 cups frozen peas – $0.82

Cook’s Tools:

  • large skillet
  • slow cooker
  • large bowl
  • heavy-duty foil

Grabbing a fork full of stew.

More Slow Cooker Recipes: 

Beef stew in a white serving bowl.
5 from 5 votes

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Author Slightly adapted from Cook's Country
Recipe Cost $ 22.60
Serving Cost $ 2.83
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 7 hours
Total Time 7 hours 30 minutes
8 people
Classic stick-to-your-ribs beef stew that’s loaded with vegetables, and made in the slow cooker. It’s perfect for chilly days and for company!


  • slow cooker
  • mixing bowl
  • heavy-duty foil
  • cutting board
  • chef's knife


  • 4 pounds boneless beef chuck-eye roast cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 medium yellow onions chopped fine
  • 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 3 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 pound carrots peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 pound parsnips peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 pound red potatoes scrubbed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 ½ teaspoons minced fresh thyme
  • 2 Tablespoons Minute tapioca
  • 2 cups frozen peas thawed



  • Pat meat dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper on all sides. In large skillet heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat until just smoking. Cook half of beef until well browned all over, about 8 minutes. Transfer to slow-cooker insert and repeat with additional 1 tablespoon oil and remaining beef.
    Brown the beed before putting it in the slow cooker.


  • Add 1 tablespoon oil, onions, and ¼ teaspoon salt to now-empty skillet and cook until browned, 6-8 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring often, until paste begins to darken, about 2 minutes.
    Sauté the onions and add in tomato paste.
  • Stir in broth, soy sauce, Worcestershire Sauce, and bay leaves and bring to boil. Transfer to slow cooker.
    Stir in the red wine.


  • In large bowl toss together carrots, parsnips, potatoes, remaining oil, ½ teaspoon thyme, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper.
    Place the chopped potatoes, carrots, and parsnips in a bowl.
  • Place vegetables on one side of large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Fold foil over vegetables to form packet that will fit in slow cooker; crimp edges to seal. Stir tapioca into slow cooker; set vegetable packet on top of beef.
    Place the veggies in a foil packet and place them on top of the beef inside of the slow cooker.


  • Cover and cook on high until beef is tender, 6-7 hours (or cook on low 10-11 hours). Remove bay leaves and place vegetable packet into large bowl. Carefully open packet and return vegetables and any accumulated juices to slow cooker.
    Remove the foil packet and open.
  • Stir in remaining thyme and peas, cover, and let stand until heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
    Stir in the cooked veggies and green peas.


  • For a saucy beef stew, cook for 6 hours in the slow cooker.
  • For a barely-saucy beef stew, cook for 7 hours in the slow cooker.
  • If you're storing leftovers, you will need to add 1/4-1/2 cup of broth to loosen the beef stew up while you reheat it.


Serving: 1.5cup | Calories: 662kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 51g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 156mg | Sodium: 848mg | Potassium: 1996mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 10121IU | Vitamin C: 42mg | Calcium: 117mg | Iron: 7mg

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