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Slow Cooker Beef Stew (Paleo + Whole30!)

Slow Cooker Paleo Beef Stew – This Whole30 beef stew recipe couldn’t be easier! Let the slow cooker do the work and enjoy a cozy Whole30 dinner tonight! (Paleo & Whole30 Friendly)

Whole30 + Paleo Slow Cooker Beef Stew from One Lovely Life

I’m on a cold-weather mission to enjoy All The Cozy Things. I want to sip hot cocoa, lose myself in novels and movies, light candles in the evenings, and maybe stay in my comfies on the weekend. And, when I can’t (because life, yo!), I can fill my house with the comfort of stew.

This is the BEST beef stew recipe. It’s savory, hearty, filling, rich-but-not-too-heavy, and the flavor has that little subtle something that makes you say “yum! What’s IN this!?”

Oh, and did I mention that it’s gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo AND Whole30? Because it is! And it’s about to be your new cold weather best friend.

Here’s what you’ll need to get started on this classic beef stew recipe…

Whole30 + Paleo Slow Cooker Beef Stew from One Lovely Life

Here’s What Goes Into My Slow Cooker Paleo Beef Stew Recipe:

  • BEEF ROAST. A beef roast is the base of our hearty beef stew recipe. You can use whatever beef roast is your favorite. I like use Chuck roast because it makes such super tender beef stew!
  • ONIONS + CARROTS + MUSHROOMS. The vegetables in beef stew are always my favorite part! I love this veggie trifecta here in this slow cooker beef stew. It’s flavorful and hearty. SO GOOD!
  • MY SECRET “SAUCE.” The magic here is the combination of broth, balsamic vinegar, and a hint of dijon mustard, along with sea salt and black pepper. That mixture, paired with the classic flavors of beef, carrots, onions, and rosemary makes this sauce just incredible. (*and* keeps this a Whole30 beef stew!)
  • ROSEMARY. Lastly, we round things out with a bit of fresh rosemary. I LOVE how it plays up the flavors in the mushrooms and beef without overwhelming the dish. It’s *just* enough!
  • A LITTLE THICKENER (if you want!). Lastly, if you like a thicker beef stew (I do!), you can thicken it up with a little arrowroot (sometimes labeled arrowroot flour) + water slurry. It only takes a few minutes, but gives this slow cooker beef stew an amazing texture.

What’s The Best Cut Of Beef For Beef Stew? I recommend chuck roast. It’s perfect for slow-cooking, since it has enough fat to keep the beef from drying out, and the meat gets perfectly tender as it cooks. That said, if other cuts are on sale, feel free to go with those!

Whole30 + Paleo Slow Cooker Beef Stew from One Lovely Life

Here’s How To Make Slow Cooker Beef Stew, Step-By-Step:

  • Brown The Beef by heating a drizzle of oil in a large sauté pan. Working in batches, add a few pieces of beef to the pan and brown on all sides. When browned, transfer to the crock of a slow cooker. Repeat with remaining beef.
  • Add Carrots & Mushrooms. Place carrots and mushrooms in with the beef (I just put them right on top of the browned beef).
  • Mix Up Your Secret Sauce. Add onion to the pan you browned the beef in. Stir to scrape up any browned bits. Add balsamic, Dijon, and broth to the pan and stir until well combined.
  • Pour The Sauce Over Everything. Then, pour the whole mixture into the slow cooker over the beef, carrots, and mushrooms. Place rosemary on top.
  • Cook The Paleo Beef Stew in slow cooker on HIGH for 3-4 hours, or LOW on 7-8 hours.
  • Shred beef into the broth mixture after cooking. Use two forks to pull the beef apart. It should be tender enough to come apart easily. If you prefer, you can remove the beef to a plate or cutting board to shred it if that makes it easier for you.
  • Whisk Up The Arrowroot. In a small bowl, whisk together arrowroot and 2 Tbsp water. Pour into the slow cooker and stir to combine. It should almost immediately thicken. Serve when you’re ready!
  • Garnish & Serve! Once the stew is thick and delicious, you can serve it in bowls, or spoon over mashed potatoes (we love these Instant Pot Whole30 Mashed Potatoes!) or mashed cauliflower.

Don’t Have A Slow Cooker/Crock Pot? Try It In a Dutch Oven or On The Stove!

I’ve got ingredients in the recipe card below for how to make this in the oven or on the stove instead!

Whole30 + Paleo Slow Cooker Beef Stew from One Lovely Life

FAQ + Tips And Tricks For The Best Slow Cooker Paleo Beef Stew:

USE A GOOD SLOW COOKER! A great slow cooker or crock pot makes a big difference, and doesn’t have to break your budget! We like this one. It’s less expensive than many, but gets the job done while looking super cute!

CAN I ADD MORE VEGGIES? Yes! The only real limit is the size of your slow cooker. As long as you don’t fill it more than 3/4 full, you can add whatever veggies you like. Over the years, people have added celery, diced potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, and more! If you’re making Whole30 beef stew, just be sure you’re keeping the veggies compliant.

CAN I USE DICED STEW BEEF FOR THIS RECIPE? Yes. It’s a bit trickier to brown (you’ll need to work in batches), and the smaller cubes tend to cook a touch more quickly than the larger pieces of beef, but I’ve definitely used stew meat with success!

CAN I MAKE THIS IN AN INSTANT POT? Yes! You can totally make this as Instant Pot Beef Stew. Use the SAUTE function to brown the beef, then remove to a plate, while you add the onion and use a spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Press CANCEL, then add the carrots and mushrooms. Return the browned beef to the Instant Pot and arrange on top of the veggies. Stir together the broth, dijon, balsamic, salt, and pepper, then pour over the whole mixture. Add rosemary and select PRESSURE COOK (manual) for 40 minutes. Slow release or quick release the steam, and shred the beef. Mix up the arrowroot + water slurry and pour into the stew. Stir and let thicken a few minutes, then serve!

WHAT TO SERVE WITH BEEF STEW. I love serving beef stew in bowls as soup or over mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower. Then, on the side, a light salad is great to offset the richness of the stew. Try this Pear & Pomegranate Salad for the holidays!

More Paleo Slow Cooker Recipes To Love:

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Whole30 + Paleo Slow Cooker Beef Stew from One Lovely Life

Slow Cooker Beef Stew


  • Author: One Lovely Life
  • Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x

Description

Feel free to assemble this the night before and refrigerate the crock. You can then just pop the crock into the slow cooker and set it to cook. Also, you can make this skipping the browning step. I just love the flavor it imparts.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 23 lbs beef chuck, cut into 68 large pieces
  • 1 lb carrots, cut into 1” pieces
  • 810oz button mushrooms, halved
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced (or 1 lb. pearl onions, peeled)
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 cups beef broth (I prefer bone broth, or you can use water + 46 tsp Beef Base)
  • 23 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • olive or avocado oil
  • To thicken: 2 Tbsp arrowroot powder

Instructions

To Make This Stew In A Slow Cooker:

  1. Brown The Beef by heating a drizzle of oil in a large sauté pan. Working in batches, add a few pieces of beef to the pan and brown on all sides. When browned, transfer to the crock of a slow cooker. Repeat with remaining beef.
  2. Add Carrots & Mushrooms. Place carrots and mushrooms in with the beef (I just put them right on top of the browned beef).
  3. Mix Up Your Secret Sauce. Add onion to the pan you browned the beef in. Stir to scrape up any browned bits. Add balsamic, Dijon, and broth to the pan and stir until well combined.
  4. Pour The Sauce Over Everything. Then, pour the whole mixture into the slow cooker over the beef, carrots, and mushrooms. Place rosemary on top.
  5. Cook The Paleo Beef Stew in slow cooker on HIGH for 3-4 hours, or LOW on 7-8 hours.
  6. Shred beef into the broth mixture after cooking. Use two forks to pull the beef apart. It should be tender enough to come apart easily. If you prefer, you can remove the beef to a plate or cutting board to shred it if that makes it easier for you.
  7. Whisk Up The Arrowroot. In a small bowl, whisk together arrowroot and 2 Tbsp water. Pour into the slow cooker and stir to combine. It should almost immediately thicken. Serve when you’re ready!
  8. Garnish & Serve! Once the stew is thick and delicious, you can serve it in bowls, or spoon over mashed potatoes (we love these Instant Pot Whole30 Mashed Potatoes!) or mashed cauliflower.

If you prefer not to make this in a slow cooker:

  1. You can make it in a Dutch oven using the same method–cook everything in the Dutch oven, not a sauté pan. Bake it at 300 degrees for about 3 hours, or simmer it on the stove top for 2-3 hours.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Category: Main Dish, Soup, Stew
  • Method: Slow Cooker
  • Cuisine: American, Homestyle

Keywords: beef stew, paleo, slow cooker beef stew, gluten free

Originally posted November 2014. Post completely updated December 2019.

83 Comments

  1. Hi, I’m going to make this on Monday and it’s my first time making a slow cooker stew with meat! I actually just began eating meat again after many years, so I’m still learning what to even do with it; hence my next few questions

    Do you brown the beef first with any arrowroot flour?
    If I’m leaving the crockpot on low unattended while at work for close to 10 hours, should I add extra broth be safe?
    If there isn’t beef chuck available, any suggestions on different cuts?

    Thanks SO much!

    1. Haley – These are great questions!

      Browning the beef is an optional additional step you can take before cooking it in the slow cooker. IF I’m in a hurry, I skip the browning step, but if I have time, I like to brown it first (my husband loves the crispy bits!). In the recipe card, you’ll see the instructions for browning–brown the beef by heating a drizzle of oil in a large sauté pan. Working in batches, add a few pieces of beef to the pan and brown on all sides. When browned, transfer to the crock of a slow cooker. Repeat with remaining beef. Then, you’ll proceed from there. I don’t use any arrowroot–just the beef and some olive oil (maybe some salt and pepper).

      You shouldn’t need to add any additional broth to the stew throughout the cook time, since slow cookers don’t permit much evaporation and as the meat and veggies break down, they’ll add their own liquid to the stew.

      Basically any kind of beef roast will work for this recipe–use whatever you can find or what’s on sale. Feel free to ask your grocer or someone at the meat counter for suggestions if you’re nervous!

      I hope that helps! I’m cheering for you and hoping this recipe works beautifully for you!

  2. This looks yummy but I’d really like to see the nutrition info. I’m eating keto and need to track stuff. Did I miss it somewhere?

    1. Karen – I’m working my way through all my old content updating with nutrition info but haven’t gotten to this one yet. In the meantime, you can use a free calculator, like MyFitnessPal (app or website). I’ve found that one is really reliable! 🙂

  3. Is it possible to do this in the instant pot? I was hoping to make this today but I waited to late to get started. I’m tempted to try it, otherwise I have to wait until tomorrow.

    1. Regina – So sorry not to have gotten back to you sooner. We just got back into town after some travel! I’m sure you’ve already solved this by now, but for future reference, you can make it in the Instant Pot.

      I’m hoping to have full IP directions up soon, but I usually quarter the beef roast and do the searing right in the Instant Pot on SAUTE mode, then remove the beef. I add the onion to the IP on SAUTE mode, and add the balsamic, Dijon, and broth to scrape up any browned bits. Then I return the beef to the pan and add the other ingredients.

      I cook on MANUAL/HIGH PRESSURE for about 35 minutes, then let it naturally release. (The smaller you cut the beef, the faster it cooks).

      1. No worries. I kind of went with it and it turned out pretty good. I did read in some conversions that some of the veggies are better off doing separate or adding in toward the end which is easier said than done with the IP but might be worth it. In this case the meat was perfect but veggies (I added in Jersey sweet potatoes) were mush. I’m interested to see how it goes today, we had some “stew meat” from the butcher and it was already pretty small so I just did it all together and reduced the time.

  4. Hi. I’m planning to make this stew soon but we don’t like rosemary. Do you have any other recommendations for fresh herbs? I see that some have used Italian seasoning but we like fresh herbs best. Thanks.

    1. Rosemary is my favorite for this stew–the flavor is pretty subtle and doesn’t overwhelm the dish in my opinion, but if that’s not your jam, you may like a few sprigs of fresh thyme or oregano instead (I wouldn’t do both). Hope that helps!

  5. I made this with a lot of modifications.

    I thought I had Dijon Mustard but I didn’t, so I used a tablespoon of mustard powder and a splash of white vinegar in it’s place.

    I couldn’t find fresh rosemary so I used 2 tsp of dried rosemary instead plus lot’s of black pepper and a bay leaf.

    I used a 16 oz bag of baby carrots, 10oz of white mushrooms, a few diced stalks of celery, and 10 oz of halved pearl onions, and a bag of quartered little potato company blushing belle potatoes.

    Because of all the additional vegetables, I used 3 cups of broth.

    I didn’t sear the meat or anything else, because I made this at midnight and just wanted to dump and sleep. I combined everything together at the same time with the exception of the arrowroot and set my slow cooker to low for 10 hours.

    The stew made an excellent work desk meal.

    Even with all these adjustments I thought the stew was great! I like this base a lot, and want to try it again with actual Dijon Mustard.

    1. Janel – Your modifications sound really tasty! I’m glad that it worked out for you, even with the changes! (That veggie combo sounds delicious—I’ll have to try it myself!)

  6. I tried this recipe last night and wow! It was delicious. I followed the recipe and the only change I made was to add celery. I can’t wait to make it again and check out your other recipes. Thank you!

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