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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.

85 Comments

  1. I used this recipe for inspiration, with a couple of minor modifications. Wow, excellent! Rave reviews from the family too. (“You can make that again any time”, was the comment I think.) Added cubed new potatoes, as suggested, so that it was a whole-meal bowl (served with a home made bread). Also added about half cup diced turnip. Microwaved the carrots, potatoes and turnip, tossed in a little olive oil, for 5 min on 800 W setting. This ‘trick’ from Cook’s Illustrated ensures the root veg cook in the low temperature of the crockpot. Also added one stalk of cellery, chopped, just because it is a family favourite… :-), and added half a can of petit pois at the end, for variety … :-). I also doubled the broth/balsamic/dijon because of the extra veg (but not the rosemary, as I find this can be overpowering). I omitted the salt and pepper (but did add a tsp beef base to the broth for a little added oomph!).

    To Amber Kunz, subbing thickeners can be done, but you should know that root starches (potato, tapioca, arrowroot) thicken quickly at low tempertures and should be added at the end, grain thickeners (cornstarch, wheat flour) need to boil to thicken, and should be added to the crockpot at the beginning. Nut flours (almond, walnut, coconut, etc.) can (often) be substituted for flour in baking, but do not thicken sauces/gravys.

    Great post. Thanks.

  2. Love this recipe!!! Made it last night in my Instant Pot because I was pressed for time. I added potatoes and didn’t have fresh rosemary, so I substituted organic Italian seasoning, and I also added some onion powder. I cooked it for 40 mins on the stew setting. We will be adding this to our normal rotation. Super tasty! I may add a tablespoon of tomato paste next time to give it another layer of flavor. I’m used to having some sort of tomato in my stews bu this stew was nice & different and is also good without. Thank you for the awesome keeper!

    1. Perfect! I was scrolling down the comments to see if someone had tried this in an IP yet for timing purposes. Doing this tonight!

      1. For any future Instant Pot/pressure cooker users, highly recommend subbing in pearl onions! I diced an onion per the recipe and ended up with bits of pulverized onion throughout. It wasn’t bad–the mashed onions actually did a pretty good job of “thickening” the stew–but if you want your onions intact, I suggest pearl onions.

        Thanks for the recipe, this was delicious! Made it on my first day of Whole30 with thyme instead of rosemary since I just had some on hand and it’ll definitely reappear throughout and afterwards.

    1. Lisa – Sorry for the confusion! You shred after cooking if you’re using a beef roast. If you use diced stew meat, there’s no need to shred. I’ll update my recipe for clarity!

  3. I tried this last night, and loved it, but I have to say that I think the measurement on the bone broth is too much. It barely thickened at all. Seems that is a problem I have with all recipes lately that require some sort of liquid, so that may be my issue, but just in case anyone else has a similar occurrence….

    Also, I’m not sure of the serving portion on this, but wow, I could feed quite a few people with this recipe. Of course, I don’t have any teenagers in the house. Next time I think I can cut the recipe in half, as well as pare down the liquid in turn. Loved smelling this all day!!

  4. I’ve made this now many times and it always turns out lovely. We’ve substituted goat meat for the beef from time, and other mushrooms, and the results are always delicious. If you can save the liquid from a slow cooker roast and use it as the broth it is very flavorful. I don’t bother with the arrowroot flour since I didn’t think it made a lot of difference the times that I tried it. Thanks for the recipe!

  5. If you are adding potatoes, how far into the cooking (slow cooker) should you add them? Or right from the beginning?

    1. Emily – I wouldn’t add them till about 1-2 hours from the end. You CAN add them at the beginning, but they’ll more or less fall apart during the cook time. If you wait till the end, they’re MUCH better texture-wise.

  6. Followed this recipe, only change was Italian seasoning as I forgot the rosemary when I went to get the groceries. I also doubled the arrowroot when first attempt didn’t thicken. It came out wonderfully. A big hit with my husband and kids (young adult and teenager). Very pleased with myself – finally a recipe that worked as it was supposed to 🙂
    Delicious.
    Thanks so much Emily.
    xxxxx

  7. I don’t have mushrooms or rosemary but do have Italian seasoning and onion powder
    Could this still be ok? I have carrots and potatoes

    1. Sam – Sorry for the delayed response! Several readers have made this using Italian seasoning in the past and really enjoyed it!

  8. don’t think I’ve used mustard and balsamic in this type of stew before, sounds really good! Thank you for this love this and a perfect slow cooker recipe!

    1. Sabrina – I REALLY love the subtle flavor they add. My husband HATES mustard, and this is the dish he requests for his birthday every year. It’s just lovely! I hope you love it like we do!

  9. Super delicious recipe! Thank you! Every bit was devoured by the family and this portion was perfect size for a hungry family of 5.

  10. I was a skeptic, but this is SOOOOOO DELICIOUS! I didn’t have rosemary or mushrooms (which I don’t like) so I omitted them. I also added some potatoes so added some extra beef broth! The flavor that the balsamic vinegar and dijon mustard are fantastic…something I would have never considered! Thank you!

  11. I have tried several beef strew crockpot recipes and none of them were ever great….until now! This recipe is all the things!!!! It’s literally perfect in every way! The browning of the meat and the fresh rosemary sprigs on top give this recipe the added *umpf* other stews lack. Try it, you won’t be disappointed!

  12. I just tried this recipe for my family and it was a total hit. I loved it. I used tapioca starch instead of arrowroot (didn’t have arrowroot in my cabinet) and it was fine. The fresh rosemary was great and added a bit of bite to the end result. Thanks for the great recipe. My family enjoyed it on this cold January night.

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