A hearty bowl of slow cooker beef stew recipe for one is perfect for those chilly nights. Fork tender delicious beef stew slow-cooked in a crockpot or slow cooker melds with the flavors of carrot, onions, and potatoes. My Dad made this for us often, I adapted his recipe for the crockpot and scaled it down. A delicious beef stew and the perfect make-ahead meal for those busy weekends.
Looking for more slow cooker recipe ideas? These other comfort food slow cooker meals include the popular small batch chicken vegetable soup, an old-fashioned stuffed bell pepper for one, and this easy small crockpot sausage and peppers.
This beef stew recipe can be doubled if you want more leftovers or more servings, however, you will need to use a larger crock pot or slow cooker.
Main Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 dashes of garlic salt
1/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 pound beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/4 onion, diced
2 baby red potatoes, halved
1/2 carrot, sliced thick
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup low-sodium beef broth
3/4 cup chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons frozen peas
- Beef Chuck makes a great stew of meat that slowly cooks up fork-tender. The secret to a tender beef stew meat is to pick a cut with nice marbling or those white flecks or fat running through the meat. This recipe uses about 3/4 pound of Chuck roast, if you can’t get a small enough amount then freeze the remaining portion of beef.
- Vegetables – onions, fresh or frozen carrots, and peas. When I’m in the mood for more veggie than meat I’ll also add green beans and Brussels sprouts. Sometimes I’ll add Broccoli florets during the last 45 minutes of cooking.
- Potatoes – I use unpeeled baby red potatoes or Yukon Gold. If using a Russet potato, peel it before cutting and adding it to the stew.
- Seasoning – pepper, garlic, and garlic salt are used. You can also add thyme or other herbs for an additional flavor note. Dredging the meat in flour and seasoning makes a nice beef stew gravy. If you want to lessen the sodium then use garlic powder instead of the garlic salt
- Low-sodium beef broth keeps the sodium level lower. If you are serving wine with the stew you can pour a little bit into the sauce.
- Tomato sauce and Worcestershire are used as a base for the beef stew gravy. I use don’t have tomato sauce and use water-diluted tomato paste. Taste the sauce and add more seasoning if needed.
Dice the beef into bite-size cubes and season the beef with pepper and garlic salt. In a shallow dish add the flour and dredge the beef stew cubes into the flour and coat all sides.
Heat oil in a 10-inch skillet. Brown the beef. It’s not critical, but browning the beef first will add a nice flavor note and help to thicken the sauce.
Add the diced onion, minced garlic, potatoes, sliced carrots to a 3 quart slow cooker.
Pour in the beef broth, tomatoes, Worcestershire.
Add the browned beef stew meat on top of the sauce.
Cover and cook on low for 4 1/2 hours, add the peas, and continue cooking for another 30 minutes for 5 hours total.
Serve with warm crusty bread and a glass of nice red wine.
If you are looking for a smaller programmable slow cooker the 3.5-quart slow cooker is a nice option.
Store the leftover beef stew in a covered bowl and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Beef stew is the perfect make-ahead meal because it tastes even better the next day.
Beef Stew Tips
- Dredging the beef in flour before browning will help to thicken the sauce however if you want to save some time and clean up just season the meat with pepper and garlic powder and place it directly in the slow cooker.
- If you want a thicker sauce mix a tablespoon of cornstarch with enough water to make a paste and stir in when you add the peas.
- Cook low and slow for tender stew meat.
- You want a cut of beef that is well marbleized. In my opinion, a Chuck beef cut is best, it’s a tougher cut of beef and will need to cook low and slow to become tender which is what makes it the perfect stew meat full of flavor.
- If cooking on the stovetop you need to cook for about 2 hours at a low temperature. If using a slow cooker for 5-6 hours on the low setting
What to Serve with Beef Stew
- Crusty French bread.
- Serve the stew over egg noodles.
- A green salad or sliced tomato salad.
Yes, you will use extra liquid and slowly simmer the meat and sauce for about an hour before adding in the vegetables. Add the frozen peas when the potatoes are almost done. It usually takes about 2 or 2.5 hours to slow cook on the stovetop. Remember slow and low for fork-tender beef.
Slow Cooker Beef Stew
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- 2 dashes of garlic salt
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- ½ pound beef chuck cut into 1-inch cubes
- ¼ onion diced
- 2 baby red potatoes halved
- ½ carrot sliced thick
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup low sodium beef broth
- ¾ cup chopped tomatoes
- 1 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons frozen peas
- Season the beef with the garlic salt and pepper. In a shallow dish coat the stew meat with the flour coating well on all sides
- Over a medium-high heat, heat oil in a 10-inch skillet. Brown the beef on all side, about 2 minutes
- Add the onion, potatoes, garlic and carrots to a 2-quart slow cooker.
- Pour in the beef broth, tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, and Worcestershire.
- Add the browned beef.
- Cover and cook on low for 5 hours. After 4 1/2 hours add the peas and continue cooking.
- Serve with warm crusty bread.
- Recipe can be doubles, however you will need to use a larger slow cooker or crockpot.
- Use a well marbled cut of beef.
Slow Cooker Food safety
See safe food handling guidelines. and slow cooker safety at USDA.gov