Slow Cooker Beef Stew: A Hearty Comfort Food Classic

There’s something undeniably comforting about a simmering pot of stew on a chilly day. The aroma of savory herbs and tender beef mingling with vegetables fills the kitchen, creating a sense of warmth and anticipation. And when it comes to convenience, slow cooker beef stew reigns supreme.

This recipe is a classic for a reason: it’s simple to prepare, packed with flavor, and endlessly customizable. With just a few basic ingredients and a slow cooker, you can create a satisfying and delicious meal that’s perfect for busy weeknights or cozy weekend gatherings.


  • 2 pounds stew beef, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1 onion, chopped 
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste 
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary 
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: potatoes, chopped (about 3-4 medium potatoes)
  • Optional: frozen peas, added in the last 30 minutes of cooking


  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season beef with salt and pepper. Brown the beef in batches, avoiding overcrowding the pan. This step adds depth of flavor.
  2. Transfer browned beef to the slow cooker. Add onion, carrots, celery, and garlic to the skillet and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  3. Add the cooked vegetables, beef broth, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf to the slow cooker. Stir to combine.
  4. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours, or on high for 4-6 hours, or until the beef is very tender and falling apart.
  5. If using, add potatoes to the slow cooker in the last hour of cooking. 
  6. In the last 30 minutes of cooking, stir in frozen peas (if using). Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve hot with crusty bread, rice, or mashed potatoes. 


  • For a richer flavor, use bone-in stew meat. Remove the bones before serving.
  • You can substitute other vegetables for the carrots, celery, and potatoes, such as parsnips, turnips, or green beans
  • Add a splash of red wine or beer for a deeper flavor profile.
  • If the stew is too thin, you can thicken it with a cornstarch slurry (1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons cold water) in the last 15 minutes of cooking.
  • Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for longer storage.

Additional notes:

  • Cooking times may vary depending on your slow cooker model and the size of the beef chunks.
  • It is important to use a food thermometer to ensure that the internal temperature of the beef reaches 160°F (71°C) for safety.
  • Be sure to follow the safety guidelines for using your slow cooke