beef stew crock pot recipes

18 Crockpot Beef Stew Recipes for Satisfying Comfort Food

In summary: The easy and delicious crockpot beef stew recipes include traditional beef stew, ranch crockpot beef stew, red wine beef stew, balsamic stew, etc. Each recipe offers unique flavors and ingredients, making them suitable for various occasions and seasons.

There are recipes and dishes for every season of the year but who has the time to think of new dishes every 4 months let alone remember which season it is other than getting a chill and reaching for a jumper, well now you don’t have to.

These quick and easy beef stew recipes for easy meals all year round make preparing and cooking dinner or lunch (or brunch if the occasion calls for it) that much easier and they are kid-friendly. Do you need anything else?

Finding the right meal every time can be challenging for even the most organized of us, so a great collection of slow cooker and crockpot stew meals at the ready is a must.

 #1. Traditional Beef Stew

A classic will always remain as such, something we don’t touch, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make our version, and this dish is so versatile it is easy to add components you have on hand.

Swapping out certain veggies in the recipe for others that you have lying around in the fridge that needs to be used up makes this dish perfect any day of the week.

You may have had a huge gathering at the weekend and had crudité veg sticks that were a success but still have plenty left (the over preparer in you now showing), so using them in another dish is a bonus and is cost-effective.

Try this recipe as is, substituting elements if you like, or changing it completely, but be sure to share it with your family. They will love you for it.

Finding crock pot beef stew recipes that are quick and easy, at the same time, are keepers.

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#2. Ranch Crockpot Beef Stew

When the day is going to be full with meetings and running errands, then you need beef stew slow cooker recipes to take the stress out of wondering what to do for supper.

This is a one-pot sensation that takes all the hard work out of cooking and takes only a few minutes to prepare. Pop all the ingredients into the slow cooker, allow it to bubble gently throughout the day, and when you come home you have a ready meal to dish with meat that is falling apart.

A home-cooked meal packed with vegetables and a flavorful sauce, perfect to go with chunky bread for soaking up those stew juices as you eat.

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#3. Red Wine Beef Stew

I love a dish that has red wine in the title.

It means that the flavor profile is going to be rich and that you ideally need a good quality wine because it can make or break a meal (the cooking wine is so tart and horrible), but a smooth merlot can elevate the dish to another level.

And if you are worried that the recipe contains alcohol and you plan to serve the meal to kids then fear not. The alcohol quickly cooks away but not before the intense flavor is absorbed into the meat and liquid to bring a balance to the overall meal.

If all slow cooker beef stew recipes tasted this good it may well just be your signature dish for this upcoming winter season.

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#4. Balsamic Stew

You may not have thought to ever use balsamic vinegar in the mix when making a hearty stew but there is something magical about balsamic.

It is far from sour like your traditional white vinegar or even apple cider vinegar, but more whole and velvety, and it coats the meat to a delicate elegance that is unmistakable.

Usually, beef stew crock pot recipes state to use baby potatoes or red potatoes cut into generous quarters, but if you feel like spicing things up we have successfully tried and tested this dish with both butternut squash and sweet potato.

For those times when the spuds have run out or you want to try something different.

That’s the great appeal factor about stew is that for the most part, anything goes.

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#5. Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon

Looking for something a little fancier for when the in-laws come over then this dish in all its simplicity is the one for you.

The name alone is impressive, but when they taste the rich and intense flavors of the meal they will be blown away. It tastes like you have spent hours slaving away in the kitchen, but takes only a few moments to put together and then essentially cooks itself (but that’s a secret we don’t need to be sharing so freely anytime soon, right?).

We like to have extra bacon slices grilled to a crisp and chopped up in a bowl on the side to sprinkle on top for an added texture element, and as we all know, you can never go wrong with more bacon, it makes everything taste so much better. The saltiness of the bacon brings out the flavors of the other ingredients making it the perfect addition.

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#6. Slow cooker Italian Stew

Oh yes, those brilliant Italians are not just great at all things pasta and pizza but have their take on a wintery dish that doesn’t disappoint.

So what makes this different from other stews you ask, well, the rainbow nation of vegetables and colors that I am pretty sure you would never have thought to put in a stew let alone choose for a dinner meal, but they work perfectly?

A harmonious blend of artichokes (you heard me), olives (any color is great, or a mix of both to keep things interesting), and beans not only bulk up the overall dish but are a great source of protein.

Serve all this meaty goodness on creamy mashed potato, some homemade focaccia on the side – my family loves bread with every meal irrespective even if the main meal was bread – and even a side salad to keep everything light.

Quick and easy and tastes even better than it smells.

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#7. Crock-Pot Sweet Potato Beef Stew Recipe

There is no better way to get a potato version of some sort into my kids than by using sweet potato, the name has potato in it which is why I struggle to understand why they haven’t been put off like they are with normal potatoes, but it works. So, I’m sticking with it.

And it brings a nice sweetness to the recipe without being overbearing and dessert-like.

Not many people may know this but if you are considering making beef stew crock pot recipes for the family, be sure to leave the skin on the sweet potato. It is packed full of vitamins and minerals which are great for growing kids, and it keeps the potato chunks together as much as possible and prevents them from turning to mush during the slow cooking process.

An easy meal to throw together in the morning, set to low, and left to its own devices while you get on with your day. The perfect meal for the autumn when the leaves are turning all sorts of golden amber colors and you know it will soon be time to dig out those chunky knit jumpers.

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#8. Slow Cooker Irish Beef 

Guinness has long been a great addition to meat dishes and thick-sauced winter meals, and this recipe is no different.

If you have ever seen a Guinness draft then you will know it is pitch black which can be daunting if it is your first time to use it in a dish for the family, but then it is topped with a velvet cream cap that makes you think it will all be ok. And it will be.

The brew is a deep, rich flavor that soaks into the meat for fork-tender pieces that are heaven to eat.

These slow cooker beef stew recipes are a breeze to make and this one in particular works well not only for St. Patrick’s Day (although it is the perfect occasion and you would do well to make a double portion) but the whole year, it is filling but light enough to enjoy even in the summer.

If the hubby has the lads coming over for game day then this is a perfect meal to serve, add some homemade cornbread or chunky sourdough so they can mop up the juices as they scream and shout at the TV.

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#9. Crock-Pot beef and cabbage

As I am married to a Balkan I am all too familiar with cabbage, they use it in everything, for everything, and if my mother-in-law can have her say, to treat every ailment under the sun.

Now, I don’t have anything against cabbage as this recipe is so delicious we have it frequently throughout the year and even more so when it is particularly chilly outside, but there is a limit (a story for another day).

These beef stew slow cooker recipes however deliver on what they say and then some. You may not know it but slow cooking cabbage is the best method to break down the thick rinds and veins that run up and down the leaves, and it is the perfect bulking agent without needing stodgy starches and roux.

Chopped into the stew with the rest of the ingredients, the cabbage will help bring it all together for a delicious family meal, and the kids love it too.

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#10. Crockpot Steak and potato stew recipe

This is one of those dump and leave dishes where the hardest part is cutting the beef stewing meat into chunks you think the kids can fit into their mouths.

Other than that, you layer the ingredients one on top of the other, sprinkle with your collection of herbs and spices of choice, pop the lid on, and set it to low. And voila.

Several hours later you see the dewy drops of goodness covering the cooker lid and if you dare to open it (because once the smell hits you it will be very difficult to resist) you will find the perfect ready meal you put together hours ago.

Only now, the meat is sacrificing itself for you to eat, the potatoes are tender and have absorbed all the meaty goodness, and the sauce is packed with flavor for dipping broken pieces of bread into.

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#11. Beef stew for two

It is one of those rare occasions when all the children seem to have sleepover playdates, the house is calm and quiet (eerily so to be honest when all you know is constant madness) and you have the whole weekend for just the two of you to enjoy and relax.

So, to make the most of it you are going to want options for meals that will tide you over the whole weekend so you don’t need to be in the kitchen at all when you could be lazing together outside in the sun with fruity ciders and great music.

These slow-cooking, easy crock pot beef stew recipes are going to take the fuss out of dinner prep and let you enjoy your kid-free weekend with the hubby. Simply pop the ingredients into the crockpot on the Friday morning as you head to work and drop the kids around at all their friends’ houses, and when you come home all you have to do is kick off your shoes, pour 2 glasses of wine and relax.

Dinner is taken care of and life is good.

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#12. Mexican Crock-Pot Stew

We all know and love a good spicy meal and this recipe ticks all the boxes.

You have tomatoes and chilies as you would expect, but then bay leaves and fresh cilantro take it to another level, this is a must-try dinner meal for the family.

If you have friends and family coming over for lunch on Sunday after church then pop this on low in the morning and the aroma will hit everyone as they walk in the door, one of my favorite feelings.

Thankfully, the meal essentially cooks itself and all you need to do is get everyone to wash their hands and sit down so you can serve. An effortless dish to feed the nation as it were.

Spicy but not unbearable and you can always have a small bowl of fresh chopped (or dried) chili on the side for the brave hearts of the family.

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#13. Gluten-free Spanish beef stew

Too often we see recipes saying that to make the sauce thicker at the end you need to use flour or cornstarch and make a slurry, but where does that leave those of us who are gluten-free or who even simply choose to not include flour-based products into our diets?

Well, now you have a healthy beef stew crockpot recipe to eliminate all of those nagging thoughts because trust me, my family loves a good, homemade stew.

The vibrant colors in this dish are so appealing to children that they won’t realize it is packed with great vegetables too, peppers, onions, and potatoes, what more could you want?

I do have to say, however, that swapping out the traditional paprika for a smoked version took this dish to the next level, it gave it an elevation that was perfection (feel free to try it if you happen to have it to hand, otherwise continue with the original paprika which is just as beautiful).

A quick and easy meal to prepare and will have you out of the kitchen in no time as it works its magic throughout the day without supervision (my favorite kind of dinner recipe).

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#14. Drunken Slow Cooker Beef Carbonnade Stew

Well, that title is certainly a mouthful, and for good reason too.

This Belgian stew has been a success for centuries, and while over time it has had its edits and tweaks, a classic is always going to stay.

The most difficult part of this recipe is to brown the meat, but if you have had a meal where the meat was not browned then you will know there is a difference. Sure the meal will still taste as good, but sealing in those juices ad locking in that burnt caramel flavor just gives it something special which makes the whole dish brilliant.

Using dark, robust ale and Dijon mustard is what makes this dish stand apart from the crowd.

And unlike the generic creamy mashed potatoes we see with every stew dish known to man, this plot twist offers a noodle version that I would not have considered but have been pleasantly surprised to come to like. The kids of course love slurping up noodles so for them this is a winning dish.

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#15. Slow-Cooker Poor Man’s Stew

We all know that time of the month when payday is just out of reach, the bills have already started to roll in, and you need to make a supper that will feed an army but not break the bank.

These crock pot beef stew recipes are the answer you have been looking for and if everything is done in one crockpot and is fuss-free I am all in.

You may not think it but a good, hearty stew packed with cheap cuts of meat is perfect for slow cooking. Top that with simple vegetables and beans to bulk up the contents and you are good to go. With some spare change, buy a basic loaf at the supermarket, top the chunks with a thick layer of butter and serve on the side.

A basic meal that fills the gap just how you need it to, effortlessly and most importantly, cost-effectively.

It may be called the poor man’s stew because back in the day these cheaper meals were all anyone could afford, but if you have family and great friends enjoying it with you, then you are richer than you could ever be.

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#16. Beef Stew with Dumplings

Who doesn’t love a dish where the bread element is part of the main meal and in some cases is the star of the show.

We know stew in general is quite a filling hearty meal and perfect when the weather outside is blowing a blizzard, so adding dumplings into the equation will surely fill the gap for those hungry tummies as the kids come storming into the house after sports practices and a long day at school.

The dumplings take a little more effort but knowing how good they taste you won’t mind putting in the time. And they are made with cheesy goodness so you know they will go down a treat with the kids (and in my case the hubby too).

One great feature about this dish is that it freezes really well (minus the dumplings –  and we always prefer fresh dumplings do we not?) so you could double the portion yield and save some for later in the month when you are running around trying to 100 hundred things and supper is the last thing on the agenda. The meal reheats well so you have that covered too, a winning dish all around in my book.

One or two per child is plenty especially if you want them to finish their bowls. Sprinkle some fresh coriander or cilantro for a lighter finish and to add a nice pop of color to the final dish.

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#17. Slow-Cooker Beef Stew with Mushrooms

If you have been looking for cozy, comfort foods, then these slow cooker beef stew recipes are a must-have in your culinary repertoire. And this is one of my favorites although I may be biased because I adore mushrooms.

This recipe calls for button mushrooms because they hold their shape and texture nicely during the slow cooking process, but I like to add a few others near the end of the cooking time for added flavor, texture, and color because some of the darker mushrooms have that rich flavor to them that tastes so fantastic.

Comfort food is all about feeling good when you eat it and this supper option gives you that.

When all you want to do is bunch up on the couch and watch movies, get everyone under the blankets and hand them a bowl of this super tender beef stew to warm their soul and fill their tummies.

There is nothing better than being with family and enjoying great-tasting food.

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#18. Ground Beef Stew

A tomato-based stew that is filled to the top with vegetables and even then the kids will still dig into it like it’s a birthday cake, and that’s because it tastes brilliant.

The vegetables bring their full flavors and nutritional value to the table but are sneakily disguised under the rich, thick tomato and meat sauce that they don’t even realize they are eating a healthy beef stew recipe. So you can be sure this has been a frequent visitor to the dining table until they truly get sick of it.

I love this dish because you can use meat that you have available at the time and are not set to only use one type of meat cut, in this case, I only had ground beef, and it turned out exceptional.

You can also opt to add frozen vegetables if you have that in the freezer and it saves heading to the greengrocers, but add them towards the end so they don’t turn to mush. There are so many options when using the slow cooker or making a stew that it is still amazing how too many people are yet to give it a go.

A highly successful cooking method, and recipe in our home.

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This refined and edited collection of the top beef stew crock pot recipes for easy meals all year round has been a joy to find and create and will save you time and money no matter the time of the year or season.

There are light dishes for summer or rich, hearty meals for comfort meals when you sit in front of the fire, truly something for everyone, and there are plenty more on our blog so be sure to have a browse.

Good food and good company are all you ever need to feel happy and content.


Why is my beef stew tough in slow cooker?

Beef stew can become tough in a slow cooker if it’s cooked for too long at too high a temperature, causing the collagen in the meat to overcook and become chewy. To achieve tender results, it’s important to follow recommended cooking times and use cuts of meat suitable for slow cooking.

Is it better to cook beef stew on low or high?

It’s generally better to cook beef stew on low in a slow cooker, as this allows the flavors to develop and the meat to tenderize slowly, resulting in a more flavorful and tender dish compared to cooking on high heat.

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*image by HeartDriven/depositphotos

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