Make-Ahead Slow Cooker Beef Stew


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.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
4 hrs
Total Time:
4 hrs 30 mins
6 servings


  • cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika

  • ½ teaspoon seasoned salt

  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 1 (8 ounce) package mushrooms, chopped

  • 3 potatoes, diced

  • 5 carrots, sliced

  • 2 stalks celery, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • ¼ cup Marsala wine

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 3 (10.5 ounce) cans organic beef broth

  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

  • 1 (1 ounce) package dry onion soup mix

  • 1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika, or to taste

  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch (Optional)

  • 2 tablespoons water (Optional)


  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.

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.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

467 Calories
21g Fat
44g Carbs
25g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 467
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 21g 26%
Saturated Fat 7g 37%
Cholesterol 69mg 23%
Sodium 1110mg 48%
Total Carbohydrate 44g 16%
Dietary Fiber 6g 22%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 25g
Vitamin C 35mg 175%
Calcium 97mg 7%
Iron 5mg 28%
Potassium 1245mg 26%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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