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Full of fresh, summery flavors, our Slow Cooker Vegetable Beef Stew is as easy as adding your ingredients to the slow cooker, setting the time, and letting it cook. This brightly flavorful beef stew with vegetables is more than juist juicy and shred-with-a-fork tender: it's also gluten-free and keto!
There is nothing better than having dinner waiting for you at the end of a long day. That's what makes this vegetable beef stew slow cooker recipe one of my favorites to make for my family - you can set it in the morning, give it a stir now and then, and it's ready by dinnertime with hardly any effort!
After cooking all day, the beef stew meat is so tender and the broth develops so much flavor. It will make your whole house smell incredible while it's cooking! This is one of my favorite slow cooker beef recipes to make ahead of time. It's even easy to freeze!
Beef Stew Vegetables
- summer squash
- yellow bell pepper
- red bell pepper
This combination gives our summer stew its bright flavors! Paired with a rich base including garlic, bay leaf, shallots, tomato paste, and beef broth, our beef stew without wine is robustly flavorful. It's similar to a Mediterranean stew.
It's a lighter stew than traditional beef stew recipes. Summer recipes with beef stew are perfect for cooking up a lighter beef recipe. It's comfort food that isn't heavy!
We add the vegetables in the last 30 minutes of cooking so they are fresh and crisp and not mushy!
What cut of beef is beef stew?
Beef stew meat is often chuck roast beef. You can buy a chuck roast and cube it, or look for beef labeled as stew meat that's cut into chunks already. It's so easy, just let your butcher do the work for you by cutting the beef into chunks.
How to Make Beef Stew Meat Tender
The key to making beef stew meat tender is using beef cut for stew and cooking it low and slow in the crockpot. Cooking the beef for hours in the slow cooker makes it tender like you wouldn't believe! It soaks up all of the delicious flavors from the broth and becomes so juicy.
How to Make Beef Stew
- Whisk together stew base ingredients. This is a beef stew recipe without wine, so you will need: beef broth, tomato paste, shallot, garlic, and salt and pepper. Pour half into the slow cooker, then add your stew meat.
- Pour the other half of the broth over the meat, then add a bay leaf.
- How long to cook beef stew in a crockpot: Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, occasionally stirring. Cooking for the full 8 hours will give you the most tender beef.
- While it cooks, prep your summer squash, zucchini, and red and yellow bell peppers by cubing them into even pieces. In the last 30 minutes of cook time, add the vegetables. Serve, and enjoy!
How to Make Beef Stew Thicker
If you want to thicken the beef stew gravy and are not worried about making the recipe gluten-free or keto, you can thicken it:
- Whisk 1 tsp. flour in a little cold water to make a slurry.
- Stir the slurry into the stew as it's cooking. After adding the slurry, allow the stew to come to a boil.
Recipe Tip: Don't add dry flour directly to the stew as it might clump.
Can I freeze beef stew?
Yes! Our crockpot homemade beef stew is perfect for making ahead of time and freezing. Here's how:
- Allow summer stew to cool, then store in a heavy air-tight container. Leave about half an inch of space at the top to allow for expansion so the container doesn't burst.
- Label with the freezing date and store for up to 3 months. No thickener is used in this stew, so it's perfect for freezing without any issues of it separating!
- When ready to eat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat on the stovetop over low heat, in your crockpot, or in the microwave.
Try our Pressure Cooker Beef Stew!
Is this easy beef stew recipe keto?
Yes! This is a perfect keto beef stew. It's low in carbs and light with plenty of protein.
Is this recipe gluten-free?
Yes! This is a delicious gluten-free beef stew. So long as you don't add flour to thicken it, every ingredient suits a gluten-free diet.
What to Serve with Beef Stew
Serve vegetable beef stew with a light side like roasted or grilled corn or something starchy, like rice, mashed potatoes, and crusty bread to sop up the broth.
- White rice
- Crusty bread
- Shaved corn
- Mashed potatoes
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Slow Cooker Vegetable Beef Stew
- 1 lbs. stew beef
- 2 cloves garlic or 2 teaspoons of garlic paste minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 shallot or 2 green onions sliced thinly
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 zucchini cubed to bite size
- 1 summer squash cubed to bite size
- 1 yellow bell pepper cubed to bite size
- 1 red bell pepper cubed to bite size
- salt and pepper to taste
- Parmesan cheese and fresh basil (optional) for garnish
- Whisk together beef broth, tomato paste, garlic, shallot, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour half of the broth mixture into the bottom of the slow cooker, then add your stew meat.
- Pour the remaining half of the broth mixture over the meat and add the bay leaves.
- Cook on low for 6-8 hours, stirring occasionally. Add diced vegetables in the last 30 minutes of cooking time. Remove the bay leaves before serving. Garnish, serve, and enjoy!