This Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff recipe is easy, affordable, and filled with comfort food flavor. The crockpot does all the work for you!
This post was originally published on February 15, 2011 and was updated on September 21, 2023.
I’m not sure what it is about some good ol’ comfort food that makes us feel so warm inside, but it does. But most comfort food takes hours to prepare. But not this one. And it sure is nice, after a long day at work, to come home to something easy, filling, and comforting. This is one of my go-to recipes when it comes to easy comfort food.
Dump it all into a slow cooker, crank that baby up, and by the time you get home your house will be filled with the delicious aroma of a meal that sure doesn’t smell or taste like it took such little effort.
What is Beef Stroganoff?
Beef stroganoff is like a warm, comforting hug for your taste buds. This dish has Russian origins but has found its way into the hearts (and stomachs) of folks all over the world, including the good ol’ Southern supper table.
At its core, beef stroganoff is a hearty and creamy dish made with tender chunks of beef cooked up in a rich and velvety sauce. The sauce is typically a blend of sour cream, beef broth, and seasonings, all simmered together to create a creamy masterpiece.
Now, here’s the fun part – you can serve it up over a bed of buttery egg noodles, fluffy rice, or even mashed taters if you fancy. It’s versatile like that!
Why don’t you sear the meat first?
Well, the reason we often skip searing the meat when making this crockpot version of beef stroganoff is all about keepin’ it simple and quick. You see, searing can add a lovely depth of flavor, but it also takes a bit more time and effort. And if I’m using the slow cooker, I’m usually looking for quick and easy. And my goal here at SouthernBite.com is to get families back to the supper table without fussin’ too much in the kitchen.
Now, that doesn’t mean your stroganoff will be lacking in flavor. You can still achieve a delicious, fall-apart tender dish by slow-cooking your meat directly in the sauce. The creamy goodness of the sauce, along with the seasonings, will infuse the beef with plenty of taste. Plus, it’s a more straightforward approach that suits our easy-peasy, budget-friendly style.
So, it’s all about choosin’ the path that works best for you. Whether you decide to sear or not, you’ll still end up with a hearty, mouthwatering meal.
What is stew meat?
Also called stew beef, beef for stew, or diced beef, stew meat is not the prettiest cut of beef, but it sure does make some mighty fine comfort food. Stew meat typically comes from tougher cuts of beef, like chuck or round, which have a bit more connective tissue.
Now, the beauty of stew meat is that it’s perfect for slow-cooking dishes like stews (no surprise there, huh?), soups, and even beef stroganoff. I call for stew meat in my recipes for Slow Cooker Beef Tips and Rice and Slow Cooker Beef and Noodles, among others. Because it’s got a bit of that connective tissue, it can become incredibly tender when simmered low and slow.
It’s usually comprised of leftover pieces of larger cuts of beef that the butcher has broken down. As a result, it’s typically a lot more affordable, but it can also be a little inconsistent.
If you want to avoid that and have a little extra to spend, you can buy 2 pounds of chuck roast and cut it into 1 to 1.5-inch chunks and use that instead of the stew meat. Some butchers will even do that for you, if you ask.
Tips for Recipe Success
- Get the right mixes. For consistency and flavor, I prefer using the McCormick brand of gravy and au jus mix. If you are concerned about sodium, many brands offer a low or lower sodium version. I also find that the seasonings in these mixes are more than enough to give this dish tons of umami flavor, so there’s no need to add additional salt or black pepper.
- Make sure that your beef is covered in liquid. This will help to ensure that the meat gets fall-apart tender.
- Temper your sour cream. Often, when adding cold dairy, like sour cream, to hot liquid or sauce, like gravy, the sauce can curdle or break. Tempering the sour cream a bit by mixing it with a little bit of the gravy from the crockpot will help to keep this from happening.
- Serve it how you like it! While the classic way to serve this crock pot beef stroganoff recipe is to ladle it over the noodles, I actually prefer to cook the noodles and toss them into the slow cooker and mix it all together. The noodles absorb some of that flavor, it helps to thicken the gravy, and I just like it better overall.
- Add mushrooms! While I didn’t include them in this recipe, you can certainly add some sliced button, baby bella, or cremini mushrooms over the top of the meat when placing it all in the slow cooker for added flavor.
If you’re looking for some of the same great flavor but with ground beef, you should try my Ground Beef Stroganoff!
I updated this recipe a bit from the original to include more flavor, but if you’re looking for the original, you can find the PDF here.
Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff
- 2 lbs beef stew meat
- 1 (0.87-ounce) packet brown gravy mix*
- 1 (1-ounce) packet au jus mix*
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 (8-ounce) package egg noodles
- Spray a 4 to 6-quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Add the brown gravy mix, au jus mix, and water to the slow cooker and whisk to combine. Add the meat and stir to combine. Try to get all the meat covered with liquid as much as possible. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 or on high for about 5 hours or until the beef is tender.
- About 30 minutes before serving, ladle about 1/2 cup of the gravy from the slow cooker into a small bowl. Add the sour cream and stir to combine. Add the sour cream mixture back to the slow cooker and stir to combine. Cook covered on high for about 20 minutes.
- Cook the egg noodles according to the package instructions. Serve the beef and gravy over the hot noodles. You can also add the noodles to the slow cooker and stir together.
If nutritional values are provided, they are an estimate and will vary depending on the brands used. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, I recommend grabbing your favorite brands and plugging those ingredients into an online nutritional calculator.