Make-Ahead Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe -
Make-Ahead Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe
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Make-Ahead Slow Cooker Beef Stew
See how to make a flavorful beef stew with vegetables in a slow-cooker. See more
  • READY IN 4+ hrs

Make-Ahead Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Recipe by  

"Served with fresh bread and a salad, this hearty beef stew is a family favorite. It can be made fresh, browning the meat then tossing all the ingredients together in the slow cooker, or it can be prepared ahead of time for freezing and quick assembly for a quick crock pot meal when you need it! I like to make fresh stew, but double the ingredients and freeze the second portion for a quick dose of comfort food mid-week."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 6 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    30 mins
  • COOK

    4 hrs

    4 hrs 30 mins


  1. Combine the flour, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, seasoned salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper in a large, resealable plastic bag. Add the beef, and seal the bag. Shake the bag thoroughly to coat the beef with seasoned flour.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Shake the excess seasoning off the beef, then stir the beef into the hot skillet with the onion and mushrooms. Cook and stir until the beef is evenly browned and no longer pink. Drain and discard any excess grease.
  3. Place the beef mixture into a slow cooker. Place the potatoes, carrots, celery, garlic, Marsala wine, and Worcestershire sauce into the cooker with the beef mixture. Pour the beef broth and tomatoes into the cooker, and stir in the onion soup mix and 1 more teaspoon of smoked paprika. Cook on High for 4 to 6 hours, or on Low for 10 to 12 hours. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  4. For a thicker stew, combine cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Gradually stir the mixture into the stew until thickened.
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  • Cook's Note
  • To freeze and make stew later, place the beef mixture into a freezer bag after Step 2, and freeze. Place potatoes, carrots, and celery into a separate freezer bag, and freeze. Mix together the garlic, Marsala wine, and Worcestershire sauce into a third small bag, and freeze. The day before you want to cook the stew, allow the three bags to thaw out in the refrigerator overnight, and place the contents of the 3 bags into the slow cooker. Then pour the beef broth and tomatoes into the cooker, and stir in the onion soup mix and smoked paprika as directed in Step 3. Finish cooking as directed in the instructions.
  • Easy Cleanup
  • Try using a liner in your slow cooker for easier cleanup.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Nov 11, 2010

This was so good! My search for a great beef stew is finally over. My husband raved about it while he was eating it, mentioned it again later that night, and then raved again when we had leftovers the next night. I cooked the beef stew on low overnight and had my husband shut it off when he got up so it would cool enough for me to put it in the refrigerator before I left for work. It was so good I couldn't stop taking bites. That night, I let it simmer on the stove for about an hour while I made some corn bread to go with it and I had all I could do not to take a bowl. But I convinced myself to wait until I thickened it and it was so worth it. I made no changes to the recipe other than not putting in the mushrooms (my husband hates them) and I used regular paprika and diced tomatoes since that is what I had. I had never put tomatoes in a beef stew but I really think it added something. Thanks for sharing.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Nov 23, 2010

This was OK. Even after adding the flour the gravy was too thin for us. And there just wasn't much taste. Won't be making this one again I am afraid.

Nov 29, 2010

Outstanding! I made minor changes: omitted the wine since I didn't have any and the mushrooms because I don't like them in stew, increased carrots, celery, potatoes by about 50%. This is now THE stew recipe at my house!

Sep 21, 2010

I really liked this. I changed a little bit but overall was the same recipe. I didn't have marsala so i used dry white wine and i used regular paprika. The flavor is great, i will make that again.

Sep 21, 2010

This is a very nice change from the bay leaf recipies I normally use. I used a Sweet Marsala and it added a really nice hint of sweetness to it. I did thicken the gravy a bit more at the end by spooning the juice into another pan and thickening it separately then mixing it back in to the slowcooker... turned out wonderfully delicious! Highly recommend this recipe!

Nov 09, 2010

I really wanted this recipe to blow me away with the marsala wine and tomatoes. It was definatly really good but I would haave liked more.......... something. I read the reviews about most of the seasoning getting lost in the excess flour so instead of a resealable bag I seasoned the beef in a container w/ a lid and shook untill the meat was seasoned evenly. Then I added 2 tbsp of flour and shook again. The meat was coated prefectly w/ out loosing any flavor. Other than that I made everything else as written. This was very good, but very classic, nothing extrodinary. I will not be making this again.

Oct 04, 2010

Yum yum...this was so great. I used regular paprika instead of spanish and it was still awesome. Thanks for submitting!

Oct 11, 2010

My husband & I really enjoyed this stew! We love crock pot cooking since it's easy & typically yields enough for left overs. I left out the wine since we don't care for that flavor, used 2.5 pounds of chuck and low sodium broth since organic wasn't available. Still delicious with the slight changes. We paired it with homemade biscuits.


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  • Calories
  • 467 kcal
  • 23%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 43.8 g
  • 14%
  • Cholesterol
  • 69 mg
  • 23%
  • Fat
  • 20.6 g
  • 32%
  • Fiber
  • 6.2 g
  • 25%
  • Protein
  • 25.3 g
  • 51%
  • Sodium
  • 1110 mg
  • 44%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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