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Slow Cooker Beef Stew

November 29, 2023

Nothing beats the rich warmth of a bowl of beef stew, and this slow-cooker beef stew recipe has been tested and tried and the results are pure perfection.


a bowl of slow cooker beef stew made with potatoes, green beans, carrots, onions and celery
Photography by Gayle McLeod

The Best Slow Cooker Beef Stew, A Match Made in Dinnertime Heaven

Beef stew is a dish that just begs for an hours-long simmer. There may be nothing more comforting and homey than the deeply meaty flavors that a low and slow cook draws out of beef stew ingredients. And making hearty, chunky beef stew in a slow-cooker? Well, that’s not a shortcut or a “hack” so much as a genius move, a natural fit for a recipe that demands time. With a serious hankering for old-fashioned beef stew in our hearts, and ease in the kitchen in our minds, we’ve tested our way into what we can say is the best ever slow cooker beef stew recipe!

ingredients for slow cooker beef stew in prep bowls: beef, potatoes, vegetables, spices, beef stock and red wine
beef being browned in a cast iron skillet
celery, diced carrots, and onion being cooked in a cast iron skillet
browned beef, cook vegetables, beef stock and red wine in a slow cooker

Ingredients For Making The Ultimate Slow-Cooker Beef Stew

For this super easy homemade beef stew recipe, we’re breaking out the trusty old Crock-Pot and that, friends, is the only thing that’s non-traditional about our recipe. Aside from that, this beef stew is classic classic classic. Our beef stew in slow cooker ingredients are a study in tradition–beef and tasty vegetables in a red wine broth.

  • Chuck roast

  • Salt

  • Celery, carrots & onion

  • Garlic

  • Red wine & beef Stock

  • Bay leaf & black Pepper

  • Italian seasoning & beef bouillon

  • Mushrooms, green beans & russet potatoes

corn starch slurry, green beans and carrots being added to slow cooker beef stew.
beef stew in a slow cooker made with potatoes, green beans, carrots, onions and celery

How to Make Beef Stew in a Slow-Cooker

When testing this recipe in the slow-cooker, the hardest flavor to achieve was the richness that develops in a slow cooked red wine beef stew. The red wine reduces to a sticky glaze, leaving extremely tender meat that is so soaked with flavor it melts in your mouth. This flavor is key to a good beef stew and we figured out how to recreate it in the slow cooker! Our Classic Beef Stew has a more pared down ingredient list. How to thicken slow cooker beef stew? We reduced the wine with the meat drippings along with onions, celery, and carrots. Once the sauce thickened we stirred it into the broth giving the whole dish that heady, wine-braised flavor. That little extra step at the start of this recipe is the key to its gorgeous, classic taste. Pretty smart right?

  1. Brown the chuck roast cubes in a skillet. Pop it into your slow-cooker.

  2. Time for that red wine trick! Sauté the chopped onions, celery and carrots in the fat left in the pan from browning the beef, then glug the red wine into the pan and let the whole lovely thing reduce by about half.

  3. Pour all of that saucy goodness into the slow-cooker along with the broth and get cooking! Can you cook beef stew on high in slow cooker? Sure can! This slow cooker beef stew takes 4 hours on high, or 8 hours on low.

  4. Add the larger vegetables—the carrots, potatoes and green beans—when the stew has about an hour and twenty left to go.

  5. Dig in!

a crock pot full of slow cooker beef stew made with potatoes, green beans, carrots, onions and celery

A Few More Notes For Making The Best Beef Stew In A Slow Cooker

Slow cookers generally take a lot of guesswork out of cooking, but there’s a few questions that might come up. Like:

  • Can you overcook beef stew in a slow cooker? Yes, you can overcook the beef. You’re looking for fork-tender meat, not dry and tough. You can always use the machine's warming setting if needed to avoid overcooking the meat.

  • Can you put frozen stewing beef in a slow cooker? Generally this is not recommended, because the meat won’t thaw quickly enough. Your safest bet is to properly thaw the meat from frozen before starting this recipe.

  • Can you reheat beef stew in a slow cooker? This is also another place where best practices advise reheating the stew on the stovetop or in the microwave and then using the slow cooker's warming setting to hold it at temperature.

  • Do you add water to beef stew in a slow cooker? Our recipe calls for 4 cups of beef stock. If you need to thin your stew, and we don’t think that you will, start with a half cup of water, adding more if needed.

  • What to serve with slow cooker beef stew? Classic bread and butter is our nostalgic answer, but Homemade Cornbread, Garlic Bread, or Spoon Bread would be great too. Looking for the ultimate in comfort? Make a side of Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes or Green Bean Casserole, we don’t think you’ll disappoint anyone with these alongside a hearty bowl of cozy beef stew.

Tools You’ll Need:

More Slow-Cooker Recipes To Try

Do you ever go through a phase where you sort of forget about Crock-Pots? And then you remember them and they feel like magic all over again? Here are four of our favorite magical slow-cooker recipes:

a bowl of slow cooker beef stew made with potatoes, green beans, carrots, onions and celery

Homemade Beef Stew In Every Bowl!

We’re pretty excited about this one. Well, we’re always excited to share our recipes, but we’re just a little extra proud of how we made this work. Try this super easy slow-cooker beef stew recipe, and let us know how you like it, OK? Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!

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Slow Cooker Beef Stew

  • Serves: 8
  • Prep Time:  35 min
  • Cook Time:  4 hrs 25 min
  • Calories: 399


  • 5 large carrots
  • 1 (3 to 3½ pounds) chuck roast, cut into 1½-inch cubes
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 celery ribs, finely diced
  • 1 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¾ cup light red wine (such as Pinot Noir)
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 2 teaspoons beef bouillon
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ pound cremini mushrooms, halved
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ pound green beans, trimmed and halved
  • 3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1½ -inch pieces, about 2 pounds
  • Minced fresh flat-leaf parsley, for serving


  1. Finely dice two of the carrots, then cut the remaining three carrots into 2 ½-inch pieces. Season the beef all over with 1 teaspoon of the salt.

  2. Heat the olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is glistening, working in batches, brown the beef on all sides, about 15 minutes. Transfer the beef to the slow cooker.

  3. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the celery, diced carrots, and onion to the skillet and cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes more. Add the wine and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook until reduced and slightly thickened, about 5 to 7 minutes.

  4. Add the wine mixture to the slow cooker along with the beef stock, bouillon, remaining 2 teaspoons of salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and mushrooms. Cook 4 hours on HIGH or 8 hours on LOW.

  5. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with ¼ cup cold water. If cooking on high, when the stew has 1½ hours remaining, stir in the cornstarch slurry along with the carrot pieces, green beans, and potatoes. If cooking on low, when the stew has 3 hours remaining, stir in the cornstarch slurry along with the carrot pieces, green beans, and potatoes.

  6. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with parsley to serve.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories399
  • Protein40 g
  • Carbohydrates25 g
  • Total Fat17 g
  • Dietary Fiber3 g
  • Cholesterol121 mg
  • sodium260 mg
  • Total Sugars6 g

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Janet

    How many people does this recipe serve?

    It serves 8. Hope you enjoy Janet!

  • Carolyn

    Is it possible to make this recipe in a dutch oven instead of a crock pot?

    Thank you.

    Definitely but we haven't tested it in a dutch oven to give you exact timings.

  • Heather

    Hey I no this is weird so I'm making this for like a family dinner and older people do not have teeth so I'm worried about the green beans sometime fresh or frozen green beans still crispy r they still crispy or should I used canned

    They should be fine, you can always throw them in earlier so they cook longer or you can use canned if you are worried about it. Hope everyone enjoys Heather!

  • Catherine

    When you call for beef bouillon, do you mean powdered, or liquid (i.e. the powder mixed with hot water)?

    You can use either!

  • Maria

    I don't like mushrooms, can I substitute it for something else or can I not add it? I'm concern it will change the flavor of the recipe.
    Thank you.

    Totally fine to leave them out. Hope you enjoy Maria!

  • Patti

    This was a huge hit!!! My family devoured it…..will absolutely be making it again!

    Thanks Patti, we are so happy your family loved it!

  • Pam

    Delicious rich flavor! Plus, i'm always on board with anything made in a slow cooker!

    Thanks Pam, we are so glad you enjoyed it!

  • Jenn

    So flavorful and so easy! Will definitely be making this again!

    Thanks Jenn, so happy to hear it!