Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe

In need of a warm, comforting dinner?  This is it:  Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

I’m craving a COLD winter with LOTS of snow.  I know you people in the Eastern part of the USA are probably wanting to throw snowballs at me for saying that, but out here on the West coast… we didn’t have much of a winter last year.  Our region needs a large snowpack (to melt into our beautiful Lake Tahoe next summer), and I personally need it so I can ski every day!  We live 12 minutes from the nearest ski resort, so it’s loads of fun for our family in the winter if we have snow to play with!  I’m gearing up for the cold weather with easy dinners like this Beef Stew.  I can put it in the slow cooker in the morning and then come home later to dinner already done.  That’s a great plan, isn’t it?

Slow Cooker Beef Stew Prep

This particular Slow Cooker Beef Stew recipe is a wonderful one because of the method used for making it.  The beef and onions and tomato-based sauce are all poured into the slow cooker insert, but the vegetables (potatoes, carrots and parsnips) are wrapped in foil and stacked on top of the beef mixture.  This helps to prevent the vegetables from turning into absolute mush during the slow-cooking process.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe

It actually works out very well in the end.  The veggies stay clean, bright and beautiful.  They’re not mush.  And when they’re mixed in with all of the juices from the stew, all is right with the world.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe -

Now wouldn’t you just love a bowl of that for dinner?  My {gluten-free} Mom happened to be over for dinner the night I made this stew, and it was very easy to adapt this recipe to make it gluten-free.  The only ingredients you need to attend to are the beef broth and the soy sauce, and using gluten-free versions of those is simple.  It’s a delicious, warm-you-up kind of meal for a chilly, not-enough-time-to-make-dinner kind of day!

Hearty Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Yield: 8 servings

Prep Time:30 min

Cook Time:7 hrs


5 pounds boneless beef chuck-eye roast, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
4 medium onions, chopped finely
One 6-ounce can tomato paste
2 cups low-sodium beef broth
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 pound red potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme, divided
2 whole bay leaves
2 tablespoons Minute Tapioca
2 cups frozen peas, thawed


1. Pat the beef dry with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 Tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add half of beef and brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker insert and repeat with remaining beef (you shouldn't need more oil).

2. Add 1 Tablespoon oil, onions, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to empty skillet and cook until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring well, for 2 minutes. Add broth and soy sauce, bring to simmer, and transfer to slow-cooker insert.

3. Toss carrots, parsnips, potatoes, 1 teaspoon thyme, and remaining 1 Tablespoon oil in bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Wrap vegetables in foil packet that will fit in slow cooker. Stir bay leaves and tapioca into slow-cooker insert; set vegetable packet on top of beef.

4. Set slow cooker to high, cover, and cook for 6 to 7 hours. (Or cook on low for 10 to 11 hours.)

5. Carefully open the foil-wrapped vegetable packet (watch for steam) and scrape the vegetables and juices into the stew. Discard the foil. Add remaining 1 teaspoon thyme and peas and let stand until heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.


*If you are preparing this recipe as gluten-free, just be sure to use brands of broth and soy sauce that are known to be GF
*If you choose to cook on low for 10 to 11 hours, cut the meat into larger, 1 1/2 to 2 inch pieces to help them retain their texture.
*The tapioca thickens the stew without giving it a starchy texture.
*To make a foil packet, place the vegetables on one side of a large piece of heavy-duty foil. Fold the foil over, shaping it into a packet that will fit into your slow cooker, then crimp to seal the edges.

SOURCE: (Adapted barely from Cook's Country)

Here are a few more beef stew recipes on the blogs that you may enjoy:
Beef Stew with Beer and Paprika by The Pioneer Woman
Spicy Vietnamese Beef Stew (Bo Kho) by Nom Nom Paleo
Guinness Beef Stew by Brown-Eyed Baker
Slow Cooker Apple Cider Beef Stew by Baked by Rachel

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  • Ashley wrote:

    Do I use the tapioca pudding jello mix?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      No, you’ll look for tapioca starch. It will come in a box or bag.

  • Jackie wrote:

    I made this yesterday (10/24/16) and it was a huge success! Very tasty. I will make it again for certain. The foil worked perfectly in my slow cooker.

  • Mohojo wrote:

    I’m going to roast my veggies in the oven and toss them into the crockpot 15 minutes before dinner. I hope it works.

  • Barbara wrote:

    I’m weary about using the foil also, so I’m going to put the veggies on the top three hours in, I know some of you wont be able to do that because of working but some can and to those of you that can’t, still put them on the top they’ll cook slower.

  • Mark Marziale wrote:

    Looks like a terrific recipe, but I’m very wary of cooking with aluminum foil in this way. The aluminum will likely leach into the food it rests on. The acid in the tomato paste is especially likely to encourage leaching.

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I don’t know enough about how that works, so I can’t comment. But I’ve used foil in my cooking and baking forever…

  • Heather Linteo wrote:

    Ok, well after all that the stew tasted GREAT!!! So I guess it was worth all the work.

  • Heather Linteo wrote:

    This was the most frustrating recipe I have ever made! I used 1/2 lb less meat and less vegetable then asked for because it sounded like a lot. I could not get the foil pack to fit in the crock pot with the lid snug. I had to remove more vegetables (that I guess I will steam seperately) and my lid barely fits. I hope it cooks properly and tastes good. I will never make my stew this way again. 🙁

  • wrote:

    I’m getting hungry-I’m going to start peeling my veggies now!

  • Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom wrote:

    LOVE beef stew in the slow cooker. . this is one of my go-to’s for fall and winter!! LOVE this, Lori!! Looks delicious!!

  • Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. wrote:

    Living in Arizona, I also am craving a nice cold winter! This is the perfect dish for us to pretend with! 🙂

  • marcie wrote:

    I certainly hope we get a better winter this year, and this would be the perfect meal to come home to after a cold day in the snow! Or just a cold day period. Pinned. 🙂

  • Jennifer @ Show Me the Yummy wrote:

    This looks so hearty and delicious! I grew up eating pot roast and potatoes, because really, what’s better than beef and potatoes?!

  • maria in nj wrote:

    oooooo were supposed to get a nasty winter this year…this looks like a great recipe Lori and i love the idea of the veggies in foil packet!

  • Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet wrote:

    This is such a comforting dish! It will be perfect for snowy days, for sure! I love your tip about wrapping the veggies in foil – will have to try it next time!

  • Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness wrote:

    I am actually craving snow too! I lived in FL last winter….and it just never felt like winter. However, I am also on the west coast…so it’ll probably just rain.
    BUT, rainy weather is still great weather for stews, so I am all about this one! Pinned!

  • Maureen | Orgasmic Chef wrote:

    I love this idea of cooking the veggies in foil. I hate mashed potatoes in a stew. Gosh this looks good!

  • Rachel Cooks wrote:

    This looks perfect, Lori! What a perfect idea to wrap the vegetables in foil! I’m definitely going to try that — crock pot vegetables (when cooked with meat) are so nasty otherwise!