This slow cooker beef stew with onion soup mix is the perfect way to feed a crowd. It’s hearty, savory and incredibly easy to make – all you have to do is throw the ingredients in your slow cooker and let it go! Adding onion soup mix boosts the flavor and makes the recipe super easy to whip up. It’s a total time-saver! Serve over mashed potatoes or egg noodles for a delicious dinner that everyone will love.
Easy Stew Recipe with Onion Soup Mix
Beef stew is a comfort food classic, and this version adds a modern twist. With the aid of onion soup mix, your beef stew becomes an effortless masterpiece. You don’t have to worry about gathering a ton of spices; the onion soup mix does the work for you, infusing the beef with rich, layered flavors that go beyond your standard beef stew.
- Perfect for busy days. Using a slow cooker means you can set it and forget it. Simply load up the slow cooker and let it do the work for you.
- Depth of flavor: The onion soup mix acts as an all-in-one seasoning, working in tandem with the Worcestershire sauce, dried herbs, and optionally, red wine, to infuse the beef with rich flavors.
- Versatility: The base recipe is delicious on its own, but it’s also super customizable. You can add additional root vegetables or green peas, it’s easy to make this beef stew your own.
- Thickening Agent: The tapioca serves as an excellent thickening agent, and it won’t leave a floury taste to the sauce. It also keeps the beef stew gluten free so everyone can enjoy it.
We added some extra herbs to kick up the flavor but if you don’t have the herbs on hand, you can make this beef stew with just the onion soup mix for the seaso
Ingredients for Our Beef Stew Recipe
Here is a list of the ingredients you will need for this slow cooker recipe. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the details.
- Meat: Inexpensive beef works well for this recipe.
- Pantry: Onion soup mix, Worcestershire sauce, tapioca, tomato paste, and broth
- Veggies: onion, carrots, potatoes
- Herbs: garlic, fresh thyme, fresh rosemary, bay leaves, dried rosemary, dried thyme
- Extras: red wine
You can make your own onion soup mix or purchase a mix at the store. Any brand will work, even packets that are labeled French onion soup or packets that have the word dip on the label. Just don’t substitute onion powder for the onion soup mix- it’s not the same.
Best Cuts of Beef for Stew
For a hearty and flavorful beef stew, you’d want to use beef that can stand up to slow cooking. Inexpensive cuts actually work well in this recipe because they break down and get tender during the long slow cook.
Here are some suggestions for cuts of beef:
- Pre-Cut Meat: Many stores offer pre-cut “stew meat,” which is often a mix of various cuts. Just ensure it has some good marbling.
- Chuck Roast: This cut of beef has plenty of marbled fat, making it tender and flavorful after slow cooking.
- Beef Round Roast: This cut of beef is leaner but works well in stews.
- Short Ribs: These are richer and will bring a more intense beef flavor to your beef stew.
- Beef Shank: This cut is lean but becomes very tender when slow-cooked.
The key to recipes like this is slow cooking, which allows the collagen in these tougher cuts of beef to break down, rendering them tender and enriching the beef stew broth.
How to Make Slow Cooker Beef Stew
Here is a brief overview to get an idea of what to expect with this easy recipe. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the details.
- Place beef the in slow cooker along with the onion soup and add the rest of the seasonings and the onions and veggies.
- Sprinkle tapioca over the mix.
- Whisk tomato paste with some liquid and pour it over the veggies. Add the stock.
- Cover and cook.
We used a packet of onion soup mix here, but we also have a recipe for a healthier, homemade mix.
If you don’t want to use wine, just use more beef stock.
Mixing the thick tomato past with a bit of liquid will help it blend into the ingredients easier.
Add the lid and let the slow cooker do its thing.
Here are some ideas for fun and flavorful variations so you can put your own spin on this beef stew recipe.
- Veggie Boost: Add a medley of root vegetables like parsnips and turnips for an earthier flavor and more complex texture.
- Global Spices: Swap out thyme and rosemary for spices like smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, and cumin to give the recipe a smoky, slightly spicy kick.
- Guinness Infused: Replace the red wine with a bottle of Guinness for a hearty, deep-flavored stew.
- Mushroom Medley: Include a mix of mushrooms like shiitake, cremini, and portobello.
- Add sausage: Why stop at beef? You could also add some smoked beef sausage to the cooker for a different texture and a hint of smokiness.
Tips for Success
- If you have a few extra minutes, sear the beef in a skillet before adding it to the slow cooker. The caramelized exterior will add more flavor to the beef stew.
- While the beauty of a slow cooker is that it’s set-and-forget, an occasional stir ensures even cooking. But if you are not home to give it a mix, don’t worry.
- Ingredients that cook quickly, like green peas, don’t take long to cook so add them in the last 30 minutes.
- Don’t add frozen veggies to the slow cooker. If you want to use frozen veggies, let them thaw before adding them to the crock pot.
- If you find the stew isn’t as thick as you’d like, you can add a cornstarch slurry at the end of the cook time. See the notes in the recipe card.
A hearty stew like this opens up a world of possibilities for rounding out your meal. Here are some serving ideas:
- Freshly baked einkorn sourdough or a French baguette
- Flaky sour cream and onion biscuits.
- Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Brown rice
- Egg noodles
- Kale salad
- Dessert: Finish off with a simple dessert like a blackberry crumble or a scoop of chocolate marshmallow ice cream.
Storage and Reheating
In the fridge: Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
In the freezer: Stews like this freeze well, so if you’d like, you can portion and freeze it for up to 3 months. Let it thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
Reheating: Reheat on the stovetop over medium heat or zap it in the microwave in short bursts, stirring intermittently.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can use pork or chicken, but adjust the cooking time as these meats typically cook faster than beef.
No, the wine adds depth, but you can replace it with additional beef or chicken broth for a non-alcoholic version.
The tapioca serves as a thickener without making the stew have a floury flavor.
More Stew and Soup Recipes
Whether it’s the depths of winter or just a day that calls for something soul-soothing, a pot of stew can be a one-dish wonder that satisfies all your cravings. Here are some more stews that are brimming with flavor.
- Pumpkin and pork stew
- Dutch oven beef stew
- Seafood stew
- Moroccan chicken stew
- Spicy tomato soup
- Yellow pea soup
- Lamb soup
- 19 Favorite Family Crockpot Meals
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- 2 pounds beef stew meat
- 1 envelope onion soup mix
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- ½ cup dry red wine, optional
- 3 tablespoons minute tapioca
- 4 medium carrots, cut into 1-½-inch chunks
- 1 pound small yellow or red potatoes
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cups beef broth
- Add the beef to the bottom of the slow cooker and sprinkle with the onion soup mix and herbs. Add the onion, garlic, potatoes, carrots, Worcestershire sauce, and wine, if using.
- Sprinkle the tapioca over the vegetables.
- In a small dish or cup, whisk together the tomato paste with 1/2 cup of the beef broth and pour over the vegetables. Add the remaining beef broth.
- Cover the slow cooker and set it on low for 7-8 hours, stirring occasionally. You can also cook it on high for 3 to 4 hours.
- For a thicker sauce combine 1/4 cup of water with 3 tablespoons of cornstarch and stir into the sauce during the last 30 minutes of cooking time.
- For a deeper, richer sauce, dust the beef with flour and sear in 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet, then add to the slow cooker and proceed with the recipe.
- Additional vegetables can be added according to your taste. Some suggestions are sliced celery, parsnips, turnips and mushrooms.
- Frozen and thawed green peas can be added 20 minutes before the set time elapses.
- If not using the red wine, substitute with additional beef broth.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 435Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 150mgSodium: 589mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 53g
Nutrition information is a guideline only. It is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.