Recipe for Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Updated on January 9, 2020
savingkathy profile image

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 | Source

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!

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

Rate this Recipe!

3.5 stars from 18 ratings of Slow Cooker Beef Stew

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

Comments on Recipe for Slow Cooker Beef Stew

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    • savingkathy profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathy Sima 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I don't see why you couldn't use turkey or chicken instead of the beef. It would be a bit different, but I think it would taste great.

      Let me know if you try it!

    • cloverleaffarm profile image

      Healing Herbalist 

      8 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham

      I should not be reading these at dinner time. It is making me crazy hungry.

      Do you think I could use turkey? We don't eat red meat.


      Up and all.

    • savingkathy profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathy Sima 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, moonlake. The tapioca may sound unusual, but it does a great job of thickening the stew, and you can't taste it. I learned this tip from my mom :)

    • moonlake profile image


      8 years ago from America

      This sounds really good. I was surprised at Quick Cooking Tapioca used in the recipe. Voted UP

    • savingkathy profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathy Sima 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks for your comments missolive. I hope you give this stew recipe a try. If you do, please let me know how you like it :)

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      8 years ago from Texas

      YUMMY! I love stews and this looks and sounds wonderful! I am going to bookmark this with my recipe hubs. I do use my crock pot, but I also like to speed things up and cook in a pressure cooker. I just bought some stew meat this week and I think I'll give your recipe a try this weekend - sounds perfect!

      Thank you for sharing - voted YUM, up and across :)

    • savingkathy profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathy Sima 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting Brett. I agree, it's hard to go wrong with the slow cooker!

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett C 

      8 years ago from Asia

      Bookmarked this, I love cooking with the slow cooker, food almost always tastes good!

      Thanks for SHARING.

    • savingkathy profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathy Sima 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks for reading and commenting. This is an easy recipe. I hope you will try it. I have been using my crockpot a lot lately, and find it saves a lot of stress trying to get dinner ready on hectic days. Plus, it makes the house smell good :)

    • truthfornow profile image

      Marie Hurt 

      8 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      Nice recipe. I have a crackpot but hardly ever use it. This seems like an easy recipe especially being able to add the fresh veggies in with the frozen veggies.

    • savingkathy profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathy Sima 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      It's great to hear that this recipe appeals to you, oceansnsunsets. It does have a lot of vegetables in it, but my family doesn't seem to notice that - they love this stew. ;)

      Please let me know what you think of it once you try it!

    • oceansnsunsets profile image


      8 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Kathy, this slow cooker beef stew sounds wonderful! I love V-8 and all the varieties, and all the vegetables would be so healthy. Perfect for this winter weather we are having. So glad you shared it! Can't wait to try it. :) Voted up, awesome and useful.

    • savingkathy profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathy Sima 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Oh, I hope you do try it. Please be sure to let me know what you think of the stew if you make it.

    • Duffee profile image


      8 years ago

      Okay I love to make beef stew in the crockpot...I am eager to try your recipe!!

    • savingkathy profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathy Sima 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks RedElf. We had this for dinner last night, and it was perfect on such a cold night. I only have one slow cooker, but having two sounds like a great idea! I love using mine.

    • RedElf profile image


      8 years ago from Canada

      What a yummy sounding recipe. We have two slow cookers and they are well-used.


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