Slow-Cooker Beef Stew With Potatoes Recipe

beef stew with potatoes
Jackson Vereen/Photolibrary/Getty Images
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 3 hrs
Total: 3 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
539 Calories
14g Fat
54g Carbs
52g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 539
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 4g 21%
Cholesterol 140mg 47%
Sodium 279mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 54g 20%
Dietary Fiber 6g 23%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 52g
Vitamin C 24mg 119%
Calcium 81mg 6%
Iron 7mg 37%
Potassium 1844mg 39%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This top-rated beef stew is a symphony of flavor and color, and it's surprisingly easy to throw together in the slow cooker. It's a classic combination of beef stew meat, potatoes, carrots, and tomato soup. Browning the beef in bacon drippings makes for a rich and flavorful gravy. The slow cooker is a real convenience, especially if you have other things to do. Just throw it all together in the crock and let it cook unattended while you go about your day. If you have the time, you might prefer to cook the stew in a more conventional way, on the stovetop. It's just as easy, and you'll have a rich and hearty stew in about 3 hours. 

Adapt the stew to suit your family's tastes with alternative vegetables and seasonings. Parsnips and rutabagas are excellent in beef stew. Or add about 1/4 cup of pearled barley if you like. The stew is simply seasoned with salt, pepper, and optional garlic powder. Feel free to change the seasoning up with a seasoned salt blend or Creole seasoning, or use a salt-free herb blend along with the salt and pepper. A 14.5-ounce can of diced tomatoes will add some extra chunkiness and flavor to the tomato-based liquids. For extra beef flavor, use unsalted beef stock instead of water.

Serve the stew with crusty bread or rolls and a salad.


  • 2 to 2 1/2 pounds beef chuck

  • 2 tablespoons bacon drippings, oil, or shortening

  • 2 cups chopped onions

  • 1/2 cup sliced celery

  • 5 large potatoes, cut into eighths

  • 4 to 5 large carrots, cut into 2-inch slices

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • Garlic powder, to taste

  • 1 (10.5-ounce) can condensed tomato soup

  • 1 1/4 cups water

Steps to Make It

Crock pot:

  1. Cut the beef into 1-inch pieces.

  2. Heat the bacon drippings in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook until browned, stirring frequently.  Add chopped onions and sliced celery and cook until tender.

  3. Transfer meat and onion mixture, remaining vegetables and seasonings, the soup, and a soup can of water to the crock.

  4. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 5 to 6 hours.

  5. Check the stew occasionally and add a little water if necessary.

Stove Top

  1. Cut the beef into 1-inch pieces.

  2. Heat the bacon drippings in a stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook for about 5 minutes, or until well browned, turning frequently. 

  3. Add chopped onions and sliced celery to the beef and continue to cook until tender.

  4. Add the remaining vegetables and seasonings.

  5. Add the tomato soup and a soup can of water (or unsalted stock).

  6. Simmer over lowest heat for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until meat and vegetables are tender.

  7. Add more water or stock as needed.