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This easy slow cooker beef stew with onion soup mix is made for the cold weather! Tender beef and veggies are cooked low and slow in a deeply flavorful sauce.

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slow cooker beef stew recipe with onion soup mix

This slow cooker beef stew with onion soup mix has everything that makes a food a comfort food. 

It’s a warm and deeply flavorful dish loaded with hearty ingredients like beef, potatoes, and carrots. I want a serving on top of hot rice ASAP, please! 🍚

Stew made in the slow cooker is just better.

But don’t worry; besides reminding yourself that good things take time, you don’t need to do much for this recipe. 

Let the crockpot do the work. This is one of the meals that you can leave unattended.

What Is Slow Cooker Beef Stew?

Slow cooker beef stew is a beef stew cooked low and slow in the crockpot. But for this particular recipe, we’ll add a packet of onion soup mix for maximum umami goodness. 

The dish also starts with seared beef.

And those little brown bits that remain at the bottom of the pan? That’ll give the stew a deep, rich flavor. 😋

What Is Slow Cooker Beef Stew

You’ll learn how to use fond in your stew later; I promise it’s a game-changer!

This slow cooker beef stew recipe with onion soup mix is best done with 8 hours of low and slow cooking. But because you don’t need to intervene as the crockpot does its thing, you can use this time to do other things.

Go on about your day or prepare other dishes to serve alongside the best-ever beef stew.

Why You’ll Love This Slow Cooker Beef Stew with Onion Soup Mix Recipe

  • Set It and Forget It: This slow cooker stew with onion soup mix basically cooks itself. Other than browning the meat, you’ll just dump everything in the crockpot and come back after 8 hours to a soul-healing meal. 
  • Great For Dinners and Parties: Savory, chunky, and best served warm, this beef stew with onion soup mix is perfect for any occasion. Include the dish in your family’s dinner rotation, or serve the stew as an appetizer at your next gathering. 
  • Make It Your Own: Spoil your taste buds and customize this onion soup mix beef stew with various add-ins and toppings! Add greens, top it with shredded cheese, or try the recipe with a different stew meat.

What Does Slow Cooker Stew with Onion Soup Mix Taste Like?

This slow cooker beef stew with onion soup mix tastes rich and savory and is undoubtedly the best meal to enjoy this cold season. 

It’s a very nourishing dish with plenty of fall-apart tender beef chunks and perfectly cooked potatoes and carrots (because who seriously enjoys mushy vegetables in their stew?!)

I think I’ll also keep some packs of onion soup mix in my pantry because of how it boosted the deliciousness of this crockpot beef stew.

What Does Slow Cooker Stew with Onion Soup Mix Taste Like

The soup mix teams up with broth, spices, tomato paste, and Worcestershire sauce to create the best-tasting sauce for the 8-hour cook time. 

This slow cooker beef stew recipe with onion soup mix also uses fond for an extra layer of umami. 

After searing the beef, we’ll add a bit of stock to the pan, release those umami boosters by scraping them out, and then add that stock into the slow cooker. 

If you’re fond of “fond,” try it in these Instant Pot garlic butter steak bites!

Ingredients For Beef Stew with Onion Soup Mix

  • Salt – We’ll season the cubed beef with some salt before searing them. We’ll also incorporate salt in the stew itself. 
  • All-purpose flour – Coating the beef cubes before browning them will provide extra flavor. The bits left behind will also help thicken the hearty dish. 
  • Beef stew meat – We’ll make this slow cooker beef stew with already cut-up stew meat. I’ve also shared other delicious options for meat cuts below. 
  • Vegetable oil – For searing the beef.
  • White onions – We’ll cook them before adding them to the crockpot for a more mellow, sweet flavor.
  • Beef broth – Our base for this slow cooker beef stew recipe with onion soup mix. 
  • Potatoes – Soaks up the rich and delicious stew beautifully, plus they add to the heartiness of the dish. 
  • Carrots – Incorporate veggies into your dinner using this delicious onion soup mix beef stew! Even kids will enjoy nourishing vegetables like carrots once they try them in this dish. 
  • Ground black pepper – Feel free to season your slow cooker beef stew however you like. I like to keep things classic with salt, pepper, and garlic powder since this recipe is made with an onion soup mix.
  • Garlic powder – Another ingredient we can thank for making this crockpot beef stew delightfully savory. 
  • Dried thyme – Easily completes any beef dish. 
  • Onion soup mix – The secret to this umami-rich slow cooker beef stew recipe.
  • Worcestershire sauce – Works perfectly with tomato paste, onion soup mix, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to create a stew that doesn’t taste one-dimensional.
  • Tomato paste – Adds color, thickens the beef stew, and provides a sweet-tangy flavor. 
  • Non-stick cooking spray – For preparing the slow cooker. 

Tools Needed To Prepare Onion Soup Mix Beef Stew

Ingredient Additions & Substitutions For Beef Stew in Slow Cooker

Stew meat alternative

You’re not limited to using stew meat for this slow cooker beef stew with onion soup mix. Another delicious cut of beef for stew is chuck roast because of its marbling. 

Balsamic vinegar

Want to add dimension (as if this dish doesn’t have layers of flavor already!) to your onion soup mix beef stew? Brighten it up with balsamic vinegar or red wine.

Thickener

Do you like your stews thick? Combine two cups of vegetable juice and 1/3 cup of tapioca granules, and add that to the stew before the final hour of cooking. 

How to Make Beef Stew in Slow Cooker

Ingredients:

Tools you need:

Instructions:

STEP 1: Gather the ingredients for your slow cooker beef stew with onion soup mix.

slow cooker beef stew with onion soup mix ingredients

STEP 2: Spray the slow cooker with cooking spray.

STEP 3: Combine a teaspoon of salt and flour in a bowl. Add the beef stew meat and stir until evenly coated.

step 3a slow cooker beef stew with onion soup mix
step 3b slow cooker beef stew with onion soup mix

STEP 4: Add oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the beef cubes on all sides, then put them in the slow cooker.

step 4a slow cooker beef stew with onion soup mix
step 4b slow cooker beef stew with onion soup mix

STEP 5: Cook the onions in the skillet where you cooked the beef, stirring frequently to keep them from burning. Once they’re soft, transfer the onions to the slow cooker.

step 5a slow cooker beef stew with onion soup mix
step 5b slow cooker beef stew with onion soup mix

STEP 6: Pour a cup of beef broth into the skillet, scraping to remove the fond or the bits at the bottom. Add this flavorful broth from the skillet into the slow cooker.

STEP 7: Top the meat in the slow cooker with potatoes and carrots.

step 7 slow cooker beef stew with onion soup mix

STEP 8: In a bowl, mix the remaining broth, salt, pepper, garlic powder, dried thyme, onion soup mix, Worcestershire sauce, and tomato paste. Add this mixture to the slow cooker.

step 8 slow cooker beef stew with onion soup mix

STEP 9: Cover and cook the beef stew on low for 8 hours until the meat is tender enough when you pierce it with a fork.

step 9a slow cooker beef stew with onion soup mix
step 9b slow cooker beef stew with onion soup mix

What To Serve With Crockpot Beef Stew

Serve your slow cooker beef stew with rice, mashed potatoes, or over a bed of egg noodles for a complete meal. 😋

You can also pair this nourishing beef stew with green salad, cornbread muffins, or cheddar biscuits.

What To Serve With Crockpot Beef Stew

But if you ask me, the best partner for this slow cooker beef stew with onion soup mix is bread. Imagine It with me:

Take a piece of crusty baguette to mop up the rich and savory sauce. Yum!

And if you want something sweet after the hearty feast, try something decadent but light as a mousse. Check out this no-bake pumpkin cheesecake!

Tips About Making Slow Cooker Beef Stew with Onion Soup Mix

  • To get the perfect sear on your beef, do not overcrowd the pan and brown them in batches. You can also use tongs to flip the beef cubes much easier.
  • The fond at the bottom of the pan will boost the flavor of our crockpot beef stew. However, don’t use burnt fond because it’ll taste bitter. 
  • The cooking time for this slow cooker beef stew recipe with onion soup mix varies from 6 to 8 hours, depending on the cut of meat. Some also swear that the recipe can be made on high, so it’ll be ready in just 3 hours. But for the best fork-tender beef? Just do the stew on low for 7 to 8 hours. 

How To Store Slow Cooker Beef Stew

  • Fridge: For leftover beef stew, transfer it to an airtight container, and it should keep well in the fridge for up to 4 days. 
  • Freezer: This crockpot beef stew can be frozen in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Before reheating, just thaw it in the fridge overnight. 
  • Reheating: You can reheat the slow cooker stew in the microwave for a few minutes, but I prefer to do it on the stovetop on medium heat. It gives me better control over the consistency since I can easily add broth or slurry. 
How To Store Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Do You Add Water to Slow Cooker Beef Stew?

You can add water to your slow cooker beef stew with onion soup mix, but for more flavor, use beef broth as the recipe’s main liquid. I also sometimes opt for low sodium broth to not go overboard with the dish’s saltiness.

And if the sauce is too thin, thicken the stew with a tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup of cold water.

Stir this cornstarch slurry into the beef stew and cook for 30 minutes on high.

slow cooker stew with onion soup mix

Why Is My Beef Stew Tough in Slow Cooker?

My beef stew is tough and not fork-tender. Where did I go wrong?!

Go for cuts of meat with marbling and cook the stew long and slow. It should be cooked long enough for the collagen-rich connective tissue to break down, giving you the coveted tender stew meat.  🤤

Oh, and don’t cook your meat at a high temperature!

You’ll risk overcooking the pieces of beef and end up with dry, tough chunks in your stew. 

beef stew with onion soup mix

What Are Some of the Mistakes People Make Using a Slow Cooker?

Mistake number one is treating the whole slow cooker beef stew recipe as a set-and-forget recipe.

Yes, it’s mostly a hands-free dish, but you initially want to brown and sear the meat to build flavor. 

Can you guess the second mistake?

It’s not being patient enough! This should be easy to remember since you’re using a SLOW cooker. 

The secret to getting meltingly tender beef stew with deep, rich flavors is cooking it low and slow. By doing so, the fats in the meat will break down, and you won’t get tough and chewy beef. 

And since we’re talking about slow cooker recipes, have you ever made chili in your crockpot before?

Here’s a healthy crockpot white chicken chili recipe for something lighter than a stew.

FAQ About Beef Slow Cooker Stew

When to add mushrooms to slow cooker beef stew?

Mushrooms like Baby Bella will be delicious in this slow cooker beef stew. You can fry them first and then add them at the last hour so they won’t turn spongy. 

How long do you cook beef stew in slow cooker?

It depends on the beef cut, but expect it’ll take 6 to 8 hours to cook beef stew in the slow cooker.

Can you overcook beef stew in a slow cooker?

Yes, you can overcook slow cooker beef stew, leading to mushy vegetables and rubbery meat. 

Is it better to cook stew on low or high?

It’s better to cook stew on low to give the meat enough time to tenderize and allow all the flavors in the sauce to develop and blend together.

What beef for slow cooker stew?

You can just ask for beef stew meat, so you don’t need to slice the meat yourself. Another delicious cut for stew is beef chuck roast because of its fat content, but you can also use the lean beef shank since it’ll be slow-cooked (the bone marrow will also be sinfully delicious!)

Slow Cooker Beef Stew with Onion Soup Mix

Slow Cooker Beef Stew with Onion Soup Mix

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 15 minutes

This easy slow cooker beef stew with onion soup mix is made for the cold weather! Tender beef and veggies are cooked low and slow in a deeply flavorful sauce.

Instructions

  1. Gather the ingredients for your slow cooker beef stew with onion soup mix. 
  2. Spray the slow cooker with cooking spray. 
  3. Combine a teaspoon of salt and flour in a bowl. Add the beef stew meat and stir until evenly coated. 
  4. Add oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the beef cubes on all sides, then put them in the slow cooker.
  5. Cook the onions in the skillet where you cooked the beef, stirring frequently to keep them from burning. Once they're soft, transfer the onions to the slow cooker.  
  6. Pour a cup of beef broth into the skillet, scraping to remove the fond or the bits at the bottom. Add this flavorful broth from the skillet into the slow cooker. 
  7. Top the meat in the slow cooker with potatoes and carrots.
  8. In a bowl, mix the remaining broth, salt, pepper, garlic powder, dried thyme, onion soup mix, Worcestershire sauce, and tomato paste. Add this mixture to the slow cooker.
  9. Cover and cook the beef stew on low for 8 hours until the meat is tender enough when you pierce it with a fork. 

Notes

  • Brown the stew meat in batches to give them enough room in the pan and get the perfect sear. Browning all the sides of the meat can get tricky, so experiment with tongs to turn and flip them.
  • The delicious brown, crispy bits at the bottom of the pan after searing meat are the fond. To release them, we'll add a bit of broth to the pan and scrape with a wooden spatula. Just make sure the bits are not black and burnt because they'll taste bitter. 
  • Depending on the meat you're using for this slow cooker beef stew recipe, it can get tender enough at 6 to 7 hours. And while some might swear that the recipe can be made on high so it's ready in just 3 hours, I suggest doing this stew on low for at least 7 hours for the perfect fork-tender beef. 

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 224Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 462mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 6gSugar: 5gProtein: 17g

* Please note that all nutrition information are just estimates. Values will vary among brands, so we encourage you to calculate these on your own for the most accurate results.

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Conclusion

This slow cooker beef stew with onion soup mix will make those gloomy, cold days more bearable. 

crockpot beef stew

It’s a recipe that’s mostly hands-off after you seared the meat. (I promise this extra step for the fond is worth it, and your taste buds will thank you!)

After 8 hours, you’ll be rewarded with a nourishing and deeply flavorful stew with fork-tender beef and veggies. I’m sure your housemates wouldn’t mind the mouthwatering aroma as your slow cooker beef stew with onion soup mix cooks. 

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Want more comforting meals like this crock pot beef stew? Dig into any of these and boost your mood one spoon at a time.  

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