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Top view of slow cooker beef stew in a crockpot

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

This Slow Cooker Beef stew is a delicious, old fashioned beef stew recipe simmered in the slow cooker with tender meat, carrots, potatoes and celery. It's easy to make and so perfectly comforting and cozy for chilly days! Includes gluten-free, Whole30, paleo, low carb and keto options.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword classic beef stew recipe, delicious beef stew, easy slow cooker beef recipe
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 359 kcal
Author Kelly


For the Beef:

  • 2 pounds beef chuck roast , trimmed and cut into 1 - 2 inch chunks (beef chuck roast gives the best flavor and texture but you may sub with beef stew meat if you can't find beef chuck roast)
  • 1/3 cup flour , use gluten free flour, arrowroot starch for paleo, or 1/4 cup almond flour for low carb, keto
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt more or less, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper more or less, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning

For the Stew:

  • cooking oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion , cut into large chunks
  • 4 cloves garlic , minced
  • 6 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar , compliant brand
  • 4 medium Russet potatoes , peeled and chopped into 1 inch chunks (or can use about 10 small baby potatoes with skin on - cut in half) - sub with turnip for paleo / low carb / keto
  • 1 large sweet potato , peeled and chopped into 1 inch chunks (leave out if desired) - sub with pumpkin for low carb / keto
  • 3 medium carrots , peeled and cut into slices - omit for low carb / keto if desired
  • 2 ribs celery , chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce , use homemade or compliant brand for Whole30
  • 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning , or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 1/2 cups beef broth , homemade or low sodium
  • 1 star anise , optional but adds SO much depth and flavor
  • water , as needed, to cover the vegetables
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley , for garnish
  • more salt and pepper to taste

Optional Thickener:

  • 2 tablespoons gluten free flour , or sub with 2 tsps arrowroot powder for paleo OR 1-2 tsps xanthan gum for keto
  • 3 tablespoons cold water


  1. For the beef In a large zip-top bag, combine flour, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning. Add beef and shake until well coated.
  2. Browning the meat:

    (feel free to skip to step 5 and add all the ingredients to the slow cooker instead)

  3. In a large skillet on medium high heat, add cooking oil and brown the meat on all sides. Meat will not be cooked through. (Be sure not to crowd the skillet - you may have to work in batches). Transfer browned meat into a large 6 quart slow cooker.
  4. Put the uncleaned skillet back on the stove and add onions and garlic. Saute for a minute or two then add the balsamic vinegar and tomato paste until just hot enough to deglaze the pan, about 1 minute. Pour into slow cooker over the beef.
  5. Add the potatoes, sweet potato, carrots, celery, Worcestershire sauce, Italian seasoning, bay leaf, beef broth, (star anise if using) and stir to combine. If there is not enough liquid to cover the vegetables, add water - only as much as needed.
    Top view of uncooked crockpot beef stew in a crockpot
  6. Cook on low for 5 to 7 hours or high for 3 to 4 hours (stir about half way through), until potatoes are tender and meat is cooked through. (Times may vary depending on how hot your slow cooker runs - check and cook longer or shorter if necessary)
    Top view of slow cooker beef stew in a crockpot
  7. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper if necessary (discard star anise if used). Serve hot with fresh parsley.
    Top view of the best beef stew in a white bowl with a spoon
  8. Optional:

    To thicken stew:

    Make a slurry by whisking 2 tablespoons of flour (all purpose, cornstarch, gluten free flour, 2 tsps arrowroot powder or 1-2 tsps xanthan gum) with 3 tablespoons of cool water. 20-30 minutes before serving, stir the slurry into the slow cooker, set to HIGH. Stew should thicken within 20-30 minutes.

    If it does not thicken, your slow cooker may not be hot enough so you will have to transfer to a large pot and heat on the stove if you want to thicken the stew. However, the stew will thicken up on its own overnight in the fridge even without the cornstarch slurry - the slurry is just a solution for immediate results.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Let cool, then store in refrigerator overnight or until ready to serve. This stew improves in flavor if made at least 1 day ahead.

Nutrition Facts
Slow Cooker Beef Stew
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 359 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Carbohydrates 32g11%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 27g54%
* Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy using the WPRM recipe calculator. It is best to make your own calculations to ensure accuracy. We expressly disclaim any and all liability of any kind with respect to any act or omission wholly or in part in reliance on anything contained in this website. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.