Easy Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe

by Easy Recipes

This Easy Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe requires no browning, and comes together in a snap!

I LOVE using a slow cooker to get dinner going early in the day before the chaos takes over. However, most beef recipes recommend browning the meat first, which when I was heading off to work wasn’t a step I had time for. Plus, I’m always looking to use fewer dishes. Over the last few years I’ve tweaked this one and made it this way multiple times both browning the meat and not, and honestly I don’t notice a difference in flavor.

So, if you’re a browning purest (or have a fancier slow cooker than mine where you can sear in the crock) and want to, go right ahead! I’m not going to appear in your kitchen and stop you, I’m just saying here that it’s really good without browning the meat.

Ingredients on kitchen counter for slow cooker beef stew

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Let’s get started! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 lb stew meat
  • 1 lb baby carrots
  • 1.5 lb potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 large (or 2 small) onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 cups broth
  • 1-2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, or to taste
  • 1 tbsp garlic, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp salt and pepper, or to taste

Since we’re not browning the meat, the only other kitchen tools you’ll need are a cutting board and knife (for the onions and potatoes), and a spoon or spatula to stir with.

Instructions

Cut up your onion (or onions) and potatoes into pieces that are small enough to fit on a spoon. They have plenty of time to cook so if you’re in a rush they can be a little larger, but you’ll get more bites with everything in it when the veggies are cut on the smaller side. I personally don’t cut the baby carrots any further, so I try to keep things around that size or smaller. You can see in the ingredients photo above that I had onions pre-cut and frozen into fajita strip size pieces- so I just cut them the opposite direction from there.

Add the tomato paste and liquids (broth, wine, and Worcestershire sauce) to the bottom of the crock pot first, and stir. If you have a crock that sears and want to brown your meat you can do that first, I just find it is easiest to dissolve the tomato paste into the liquids without extra stuff already in the slow cooker.

Once the tomato paste is dissolved, season your meat with salt and pepper to taste, and pile everything in the crock pot. Don’t forget the garlic!

All ingredients loaded into crock pot for easy slow cooker beef stew

Stir it up, and turn your slow cooker on low for 8-10 hours. 8 is enough, but longer is no problem if you like to get this done before getting the kids up or heading out the door to work.

Uncooked easy slow cooker beef stew ready to turn on- carrots, meat, potatoes, onions, and seasoning is all well mixed

That’s it! A dump and go beef stew, that turns into a delicious dinner.

Finished easy slow cooker beef stew in crock pot ready to serve

 

Yum!

Pinterest pin showing bowl of finished easy slow cooker beef stew

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I brown my meat first?

Most beef recipes call for browning beef before adding it to a slow cooker. This decidedly adds some nice color to the meat, and typically adds a bit more flavor to the meat. I’ve made this particular dish both ways and don’t find a noticeable difference in taste, which is why I omit the step.

How do you thicken slow cooker beef stew?

This is a thinner stew, to be sure. If you prefer it a bit thicker there are 3 ways to accomplish that. First, when seasoning the meat, you can coat it in either flour or corn starch. This will allow either the flour or corn starch to thicken the stew as it cooks. Secondly, you can add a slurry of corn starch or flour to the crock pot mid-cook, at least 30 minutes ahead of serving. Thirdly, at the end of cooking you can remove some of the potatoes and blend them in a blender or food processer, then stir them back in.

Can you overcook beef stew in a slow cooker?

It is possible, but not likely you’ll overcook the beef if you are away for a long day. I generally cook this beef stew up to 10 hours, and a few more would not affect the meat, however the vegetables may start to overcook. I highly recommend a slow cooker that switches from cook mode to warm after a set time to reduce the chances of overcooking any meal you make in it.

What’s a good side dish for easy slow cooker beef stew?

In case you didn’t already know this about me, I absolutely LOVE carbs. So my go to is always a nice crusty bread like a baguette. A simple side-salad would also be nice with it (and keep the meal gluten free).

I hope you enjoy this Easy Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe! Let me know in the comments how it turned out for you!

Yield: 6

Easy Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Image of finished easy slow cooker beef stew in a white bowl

This no-browning, dump and go crockpot beef stew is an easy and hearty dinner that's especially satisfying during cold weather.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb stew meat
  • 1 lb baby carrots
  • 1.5 lb potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 large (or 2 small) onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 cups broth
  • 1-2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, or to taste
  • 1 tbsp garlic, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp salt and pepper, or to taste

Instructions

  1. Cut onions and potatoes into bite sized pieces.
  2. To the slow cooker, add the broth, wine, worcestershire, and tomato paste and mix together with a fork or whisk.
  3. Season your meat with salt and pepper to taste, and add all remaining ingredients to the slow cooker.
  4. Set crockpot to low for 8-10 hours. Enjoy!

Notes

Recipe can be made on high setting in 4-5 hours if needed.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 333Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 77mgSodium: 344mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 5gSugar: 8gProtein: 30g

Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. It is recommended to use your preferred calculator with the actual ingredients you use for optimal accuracy.

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