Slow Cooker Homemade Beef Stew Freezer Meal Recipe
Homemade Freezer Beef Stew Recipe
I love beef stew, and homemade beef stew is so much better than the canned stuff! This slow cooker beef stew is full of flavor. The potatoes, carrots, and beef are cooked to perfection and tender too.
This freezer beef stew recipe is so easy because once you’ve browned the meat, it is simply adding the ingredients to the Crock-Pot and letting it slow cook.
Beef Stew Ingredient Prep Tips
When I have leftover tomato paste, I freeze it by the tablespoon in an ice cube tray. Then transfer the tomato paste cubes to a labeled freezer bag and store it in the freezer. Next time a recipe calls for a few tablespoons of tomato paste, I have it ready to go and avoid waste.
Keep the potatoes and carrots in bigger chunks, as instructed in the recipe, to help ensure that they won’t be overcooked by the end of the slow cooking time.
I read recently that using store-bought beef broth can give an off-flavor to homemade beef stew and that it can be better to use part reduced-sodium chicken broth in there too. So that’s what I do and it works great!
I like to add a little reduced-sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos for some nice umami flavor too. If you prefer to omit that ingredient, no problem!
Finishing the Freezer Stew
The only other steps after the slow cooker are stirring in frozen peas, thickening the stew, and garnishing with fresh parsley.
There are a few options for thickening the stew, so I wanted to include them both in case one works better for you than the other:
- Keep it gluten-free with the cornstarch slurry thickening option. Mix the cornstarch and water in a small bowl, until smooth, then stir it into the stew in the slow cooker for the last 30 minutes of cooking time.
- Alternately, remove 1/3 cup of stew liquid from the slow cooker and pour it into a small bowl. Whisk in 3 tablespoons of flour, until smooth, then stir the mixture back into the stew in the slow cooker. Turn slow cooker to high and cook for an additional 30 minutes.
Either way works!
When using this recipe as a freezer meal, it is a great thaw and dump-it-in-the-slow-cooker meal. The prep is the same whether you are serving it that day or freezing it for later. Just keep the thickener (cornstarch or flour), peas, and fresh parsley separate from the rest of the freezer meal.
Or you can freeze it after it has been cooked, then reheat on the stovetop when you are ready to serve.
I love this cutting board set! It’s perfect for chopping on, then funneling into your bag or pot!
More Freezer Meal Ideas:
- Overnight Coffee Cake Recipe with Sour Cream
- Best Slow Cooker BBQ Spare Ribs Recipe
- Simple Make-Ahead Biscuits Recipe
Slow Cooker Homemade Beef Stew Freezer Meal Recipe
- Large skillet
- Slow Cooker
- 1 to 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 2 ½ pounds beef stew meat or chuck roast cut into 1 to 1 1/2-inch chunks
- salt and pepper
- 1 onion diced
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 pound yellow or red potatoes washed and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
- 4 carrots peeled, halved, sliced into 1-inch chunks
- 1 ½ cups beef broth
- 1 ½ cups reduced sodium chicken broth
- ¼ cup reduced sodium soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch + 2 tablespoons water or 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Generously season the meat with salt and pepper.
- Add the meat to the skillet and cook in a single layer for 4-5 minutes each side. I do this in two separate batches to keep it in a single layer.
- Transfer meat and drippings to slow cooker. Add the onion, garlic, potatoes, carrots, broth, soy sauce, tomato paste, thyme, and bay leaf to slow cooker. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 3-4 hours. (Fills a 4-quart size slow cooker right to the top.)
- There are two options to thicken...30 minutes before end of cooking time, mix the cornstarch and water in a small bowl to make a slurry. Stir slurry into stew to allow it to thicken during last 30 minutes. Or transfer 1/3 cup of stew liquid to a small bowl and stir in 3 tablespoons flour, until smooth. Stir flour mixture into stew. Then cook on high for last 30 minutes of cooking time.
- Stir in the frozen peas. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and serve warm.
PREPARING FOR THE FREEZER:
- Split browned meat between two gallon size freezer bags, instead of adding it right to the slow cooker. Split remaining ingredients between the two bags, except for the peas, slurry, and parsley. Freeze the bags of stew ingredients and the keep the peas frozen, but separate.
PREPARE AFTER FREEZING:
- Thaw in refrigerator overnight. Cook in slow cooker on low for 7-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours. Choose a thickening option from above. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve warm.
Recipe Adapted From: Dinner at the Zoo
Comments & Reviews
Do you ever have any issues with the carrots and potatoes turning mushy from freezing? I have read this can happen, but have never froze them myself.
I also add a can of red beans.
The best freezer meal I have ever made. And I have made lots. Spices and saltiness is perfect. Texture is fabulous. Thank you. Will make this often. Meat is tender. Veggies are perfect.
just wanting to confirm you use both chicken and beef broth?
Yes, I use half beef broth and half chicken broth in this beef stew recipe. Just a flavor preference for me! Feel free to experiment or use whatever kind of broth you prefer or have on hand. 🙂