How to Make Beef Stew in the Slow Cooker

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Learn how to make beef stew in the slow cooker with this easy beef stew recipe. Loaded with vegetables and flavorful seasonings, this ground beef stew is the perfect hearty and filling comfort food dish.

Slow cooker easy beef stew.

I’m a big fan of slow cooker stews when the weather gets cooler and this easy beef stew is one of my favorites. It’s so easy to make, as it uses frozen vegetables, packets of seasoning, and tender beef. All you need to do is add all of the ingredients to the crockpot and go about your day. You will come home to an easy but delicious gourmet meal. How good does that sound? 

Each spoonful of this flavorful goodness warms my belly and my soul. The combination of crushed tomatoes, beef broth, ranch dressing mix, and Italian dressing mix takes the stew’s flavor over the top – trust me. I just know your family will love this slow cooker beef stew as much as mine. It’s hearty, filling, scrumptious, and such an easy comfort food main dish to serve for supper when you’re busy during the week.

Alright, let’s learn how to make beef stew in the slow cooker.

Ingredients for how to make beef stew in the slow cooker.

Recipe Ingredients

  • Lean ground beef 
  • Frozen stew mix (veggie mix) or gumbo mix
  • Frozen butter beans or baby lima beans
  • Small onion
  • Chopped crushed tomatoes
  • Beef broth
  • Ranch dressing mix
  • Italian dressing mix

How to Make Beef Stew in the Slow Cooker

Add all ingredients to the slow cooker.

Dump everything except the meat into the slow cooker/crock pot.

Take your meat and pinch off bits at a time to add to the crock pot, until it is all added. As discussed below, if I am using ground beef I add it raw. But if I am using larger chunks of meat I will sear it first in garlic and then add the browned beef to the crock pot.

Give this a little stir and turn it on. You’ll want to cook your beef stew on low for 7 to 8 hours or high for 3 to 4 hours.

Go about your day and get ready for a delicious supper!

Bowl of beef stew cooked in the crockpot.

Oh my. This crockpot beef stew is such a soothing bowl of deliciousness with flavors that hit all the right notes!

Bowl of easy crockpot beef stew.

Enjoy! And hey, if there are any leftovers, it’s even better the next day. 


  • Store stew leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.
  • Beef stew also freezes beautifully, so I usually make extra and freeze it in single servings for my family to heat up or to take to friends who just need a little act of kindness for the day. Thaw in the fridge before reheating as above.

Recipe Notes

  • You can use any type of beef you like to make this flavorful dish. If you use ground beef, you are going to add this ground beef uncooked. This adds more flavor to your stew. If you use larger chunks of cubed stew meat (opt for beef chuck roast), I like to sear the beef cubes in a little garlic butter before adding them to the stew. Searing the stew beef adds a whole bunch to the flavor.
  • I buy the boxes of ranch and Italian dressing mix that has three or four envelopes in them and use one envelope per recipe. It’s cheaper to buy it this way.
  • For the beef stock, you can also use two cups of water and two beef bullion cubes.
  • Substitute the frozen butter beans for baby lima beans or the vegetable of your choice. Carrot, potato, celery, and frozen peas are stew favorites.
  • Many old-fashioned beef stew recipes use tomato paste to add flavor, but I like the combination of the crushed tomatoes with the packets of beef stew seasoning mix in this instance.

Recipe FAQs

What is frozen stew mix?  

A couple of people asked what this is so I came back to clarify. Frozen stew mix is just a mix of frozen veggies in a bag that you buy in the freezer section. Usually, it’s green beans or okra, corn, chopped onions, and sometimes tomatoes and such. It can be any blend of frozen veggies you like, though. I love the type that has okra in it for this stew.

What do you serve with this slow cooker beef stew recipe?

Serve your stew with crusty slices of bread, cornbread, crackers, or homemade buttermilk biscuits to soak up the juicy broth. You may also want to serve it with cauliflower rice, quinoa, brown rice, mashed potato, or mashed sweet potato.

Can you put raw beef in the slow cooker?

Yes, you absolutely can! I break up my uncooked ground beef and add it to the slow cooker as is. You can do the same if using beef chuck pieces. However, searing it just adds to the depth and flavor of the stew, so I highly recommend it if you have time.

How to make instant pot beef stew?

If you want to cook this classic beef stew recipe in the instant pot, first place it on saute to sear the beef with the onion and garlic. Then add the remaining ingredients, seal the instant pot, and high-pressure cook the stew for 35 minutes. After, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes and then your stew will be done.

Check out these other sensational stews:

Ground Beef Stew (With a Secret Ingredient)

Beef and Smoked Sausage Stew in the Crockpot

Our Family’s Southern Chicken Stew Recipe

Famous Alabama Camp Stew

Lentil Stew (Budget Friendly & Delicious)

Easy Beef Stew in the Slow Cooker

Learn how to make beef stew in the slow cooker with this easy beef stew recipe, which is loaded with vegetables and flavorful seasonings.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 7 hours
Total Time: 7 hours 5 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: beef, crockpot, slowcooker, stew
Servings: 4
Calories: 539kcal


  • 1 pound lean ground beef uncooked (or seared beef chunks)
  • 1 bag frozen stew mix or gumbo mix 12-ounce
  • 1 bag frozen butter beans 12-ounce, can substitute for baby lima beans or veggie of your choice
  • 1 chopped small onion
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes 29-ounce
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 package ranch dressing mix 1-ounce
  • 1 package Italian dressing mix .7-ounce


  • Place all ingredients in a 6-quart slow cooker except the beef. Using your hands, pinch off bite-size pieces of beef and drop them into the slow cooker. Beef doesn’t have to be uniform or done a certain way, it just needs to be in smaller pieces.
    1 pound lean ground beef, 1 bag frozen stew mix or gumbo mix, 1 bag frozen butter beans, 1 chopped small onion, 1 can crushed tomatoes, 2 cups beef broth, 2 cups water, 1 package ranch dressing mix, 1 package Italian dressing mix
  • Stir ingredients together. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.


I buy the boxes of ranch and Italian dressing mix that has three or four envelopes in them and use one envelope per recipe. It’s cheaper to buy it this way.


Calories: 539kcal
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  1. 5 stars
    This soup is so delicious Christy! Served it with a big pan of cornbread and everyone devoured it. I think I forgot to add the water but it wasn’t noticed. It was plenty “soupy” and so tasty. Thank you! Going in the recipe binder. 🙂

  2. recipe does not have nutritional facts !!! I gotta know before I cook it……Also , how many servings???

    1. Hey Vicki, None of my recipes have nutritional facts because, especially with recipes like this there are so many substitutions that folks make and I can’t determine what your serving size is so it is difficult to know how many servings a batch will yield. I always tell folks that the amount of servings depends on how hungry you are :). There are a lot of apps that allow you to figure macros for yourself if that is something you need to do. I always recommend

  3. This stew looks wonderful! I’ll definitely give it a try.

    I love reading about your family and everyone else’s experiences. My mom passed away when my daughters were little, and I’m sad that they didn’t have the opportunity to get to know her better. Now we live between our two adult daughters and their families (about a mile from each), and we all get together every chance we have. I host “Camp Nana” one day a week during the summer for our granddaughters. We cook, do crafts, draw, and watch The Food Network. They love cooking shows!

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