Slow Cooker Beef Stew with Root Vegetables (Easy and Healthy)

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By: The Real Food Dietitians Posted: 8/31/22

A hearty stew for your slow cooker (or Instant Pot)! One of the best feelings is coming home after a long day, knowing that you’ll soon be walking into your home to the aroma of an already prepared dinner. This Slow Cooker Beef Stew recipe featuring a trio of tender, root vegetables is perfect to enjoy on a cool and crisp day.

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Slow Cooker recipes are the best Kind of make-ahead meals

We’re guessing you probably agree. Not only is the chopping, dicing, and prepping completed beforehand, but clean up is a breeze and leftovers are always a win. You can’t go wrong with the heartiness and ease in this classic Slow Cooker Beef Stew recipe. It’s truly a one-dish wonder and one you’ll want to add to your menu! The variety of wintery, fiber-rich veggies, the perfectly cooked potatoes, and the hunks of tender beef will have your taste buds singing and your family happy. A generous portion will provide you with an adequate source of protein, fats, carbs and fiber making this a perfectly-balanced meal all in one bowl.

Ingredients to Make Slow Cooker Beef Stew

A few pantry staples, some fresh vegetables, and beef stew meat is what you need to make this beef stew recipe.

  • Beef stew meat – if you can’t find beef stew meat at your grocery store, you can purchase a chuck roast and cut it up into chunks
  • Avocado oil or olive oil
  • Root Vegetables – this recipe calls for potatoes, parsnips, and carrots but feel free to change up the root vegetables with what sounds good to you or what you have on hand. Other options include turnips, sweet potatoes, and winter squash
  • Yellow onion and garlic cloves – for delicious flavor
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Beef broth
  • Dried thyme – may substitute 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Dried rosemary – may substitute 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • Green beans – fresh or frozen
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Cornstarch starch – optional for thickening, see tip below on how to make this stew a thicker consistency. For grain-free and paleo use arrowroot or tapioca starch.

How to make Crockpot Beef Stew with Root Vegetables

  1. Sauté the beef cubes in a skillet. This helps to hold in the flavors.
  2. Add ingredients to the slow cooker. Along with the beef, add the onion, potatoes, parsnips, carrots, garlic, diced tomatoes, broth, thyme, and rosemary to a slow cooker. Stir and cook on LOW heat for 8 hours or HIGH heat for 4 hours. We like to stir the green beans in towards the end of the cooking time so that they don’t become too soft. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Thicken the stew. Optional step for thickening: Remove 1 cup broth from the slow cooker and add to a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk into the cornstarch to create a slurry and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and slowly drizzle the cornstarch slurry into the stew while stirring. Cover and allow to thicken for 15-20 minutes. 
  4. Serve and garnish with fresh herbs if you wish

Can this beef stew be made in the Instant Pot

You sure can. We’ve included a recipe in the directions below for Instant Pot Beef Stew or you can try our Instant Pot Vegetable Beef Soup recipe here.

Why do I need to sauté the beef cubes before adding to the slow cooker

While this step isn’t necessary, we both agree that the beef cubes hold-up better and the flavors are bolder when sautéed on medium heat in a bit of fat just until browned on all sides. However, we’re all about ease here so if time is not in your favor (we get it!), go ahead and throw the raw beef in the slow cooker, right along with the rest of the ingredients. Set the slow cooker on low and carry on with your day.

How to make Slow Cooker Beef Stew a Thicker consistency

Because this recipe is made in the slow cooker and in order to activate the cornstarch you must bring the liquid to a simmer, so if you’re wanting this stew to be extra thick, we recommend doing this step:

Remove 1 cup broth from the slow cooker and add to a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk into the cornstarch to create a slurry and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and slowly drizzle the hot cornstarch slurry into the stew while stirring. Cover and allow to thicken for 15-20 minutes. 

Overhead view rustic white bowl filled with slow cooker beef stew with root vegetables

How to store crockpot Beef Stew Leftovers and how to reheat

Store leftover stew in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You can also store in a freezer-safe container or bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat: place individual bowls of stew in the microwave or reheat an entire batch in a pot on the stove. To reheat from frozen, place frozen soup in the refrigerator overnight to thaw, then reheat the soup gently in a pot or Dutch oven on the stovetop.

Tip!

Freeze in Individual Portions

We like to portion them into individual servings, about 2 cup portions, and have them on hand for emergency meals. Meaning those days when you’ve just got nothin’ in the fridge and zero ambition to cook-up a meal. Click here for more freezer-friendly recipes.

Perfect for dunking in Stew!

Learn how to choose quality red meat in this post!

Favorite Slow Cooker Recipes

All Slow Cooker Recipes

Overhead view rustic white bowl filled with slow cooker beef stew with root vegetables

Recipe

Slow Cooker Beef Stew with Root Vegetables

A hearty and wholesome Slow Cooker Beef Stew recipe that’s perfect to enjoy on a crisp, cool day. Featuring hunks of tender beef and a trio of root vegetables. 

Prep: 10 minsCook: 8 hoursTotal: 8 hours 10 mins

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. beef stew meat 
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil or olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 12 ounces potatoes, scrubbed clean and cut into ½-inch pieces (about 2 ¼ cups)
  • 8 ounces parsnips, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with their liquid
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme (may substitute 1 tablespoon fresh thyme)
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary (or 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped)
  • 8 ounces green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups, may use frozen)
  • Fine salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch starch, optional for thickening (for grain-free or paleo use arrowroot or tapioca starch)

Instructions

Slow Cooker Directions:

  1. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add half of the beef and cook until browned, 2-3 minutes, then flip and repeat until browned on all sides. Transfer meat to the slow cooker and repeat with remaining oil and beef.
  2. To a slow cooker add the onion, potatoes, parsnips, carrots, garlic, diced tomatoes, broth, thyme, and rosemary. Stir, place lid on the slow cooker and cook on LOW heat for 8 hours or HIGH heat for 4 hours. Stir in green beans during the last 30-60 minutes of cooking time and cook until they are tender (fresh will take longer than frozen). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Optional step to thicken stew: Remove 1 cup broth from the slow cooker and add to a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk into the cornstarch to create a slurry and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and slowly drizzle the cornstarch slurry into the stew while stirring. Cover and allow to thicken for 15-20 minutes. 

Instant Pot Directions:

  1. Select ‘Saute’  on the Instant Pot. Add 2 teaspoons of oil the pot. Add half of the beef and cook until browned, 2-3 minutes, then flip and repeat until browned on all sides. Transfer meat to a plate and repeat with remaining oil and beef
  2. To the instant pot add the onion, potatoes, parsnips, carrots, garlic, diced tomatoes, broth, thyme, and rosemary. Stir, lock the lid into place, set vent valve to ‘sealing’ and select the ‘Meat/Stew’ setting (about 35 minutes, high pressure).
  3. Allow for 10 minutes of natural release before flipping the value to ‘venting’ to release any remaining pressure.
  4. Press ‘Cancel’ then select the ‘Saute’ setting. Add green beans and cook 5-6 minutes or until green beans are tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.
  5. Optional step to thicken stew: Combine the cornstarch starch with a few tablespoons of cold water and stir into the hot stew to thicken. Make sure the Instant Pot is till on the ‘Saute’ setting. Bring the stew to a simmer to thicken.

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Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: 1/8 of recipe
  • Calories: 234
  • Fat: 7g
  • Sodium: 200 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 13g
  • (Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 3 g)
  • Protein: 27g

Dietary

© The Real Food Dietitians

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Photo Credit: The photos in this blog post were taken by Rachel of Half Acre House

For ultimate success, we highly recommend reading the tips in the full blog post above. All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words. Link back to the source recipe here on The Real Food Dietitians. Thank you!

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