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Recipe for Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Kathy is a busy mom of two teens who loves to cook tasty and simple food for her family and friends.

It's Easy to Make Beef Stew in Your Slow Cooker

Beef stew is a wonderful meal to have on a cold fall or winter day. It is very easy to make in your slow cooker, and the long cooking time will ensure that the beef is nice and tender.

The recipe below is easily adapted to suit your family's tastes and is a great way to get everyone to eat their veggies. Experimenting with different vegetables is definitely encouraged!

Crockpot Beef Stew

Crockpot Beef Stew

Ingredients for Slow Cooker Beef Stew

  • 1 pound stewing beef
  • 2 cups tomato juice or V8 juice or Garden Cocktail
  • 4-5 potatoes, cubed
  • 1 cup carrots, cut into chunks
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1-2 cups optional vegetables: see list below
  • 2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca, also known as minute tapioca
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf, optional


  1. Put meat and vegetables in the slow cooker.
  2. Season with pepper.
  3. Sprinkle quick-cooking tapioca over meat and vegetables.
  4. Pour tomato or vegetable juice of your choice over the meat and vegetables.
  5. Add Worcestershire sauce and (optional) bay leaf.
  6. Give everything a quick stir and put the lid on the crock pot.
  7. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. Cooking on low heat is recommended for best results.
  8. Remove bay leaf before serving. Enjoy!
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Read More From Delishably

Serve with fresh bread or rolls.

Go ahead—experiment with this recipe!

The recipe above is the basic recipe to get you started. Experimenting with different vegetables according to your preferences is highly encouraged!

I often use sweet potatoes instead of the regular potatoes in my stew, and have tried lots of different vegetables in this recipe. Try adding any of the following:

  • a cup of your favourite frozen mixed vegetables
  • corn or peas
  • a handful of spinach or kale (fresh or frozen)
  • yellow or green beans
  • chopped celery or sweet peppers
  • mushrooms
  • any other vegetables that your family enjoys

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Notes and Tips

  • The most time-consuming part of this recipe is chopping the vegetables. You can chop the vegetables the night before and keep in the fridge overnight to save yourself time in the morning.
  • You can brown the meat before adding it to the slow cooker, but it is not necessary. I generally skip this and have not noticed a big difference in the final outcome.
  • The tapioca serves to thicken the stew as it cooks, so you should not need to add flour or anything else to thicken it. You can adjust the quantity of the tapioca if you prefer a thicker or thinner consistency to your stew.
  • Try to keep the lid of the crockpot on during cooking—no peeking! Crockpots lose heat quickly when the lid is removed, and this will increase the overall cooking time.
  • Save yourself time and increase the nutritional value of the stew by leaving the skin on the potatoes or sweet potatoes.
  • Fresh or frozen vegetables are interchangeable in this recipe. Use whatever is readily available, depending on the season.
  • Any leftovers are great to take for lunch the next day, or can also be frozen for a future meal.

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© 2012 Kathy Sima

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