Slow Cooker Creole Beef Stew is a hearty, affordable, and delicious crockpot recipe that is perfect for busy weeknights and a great comfort food!
Beef stew has always been one of my most favorite comfort foods. There’s just something about that rich, savory gravy that tastes like home.
I remember mom making beef stew often. Stew meat was relatively cheap and that, combined with the other inexpensive ingredients, made it an affordable way to feed the family. But, it never tasted like the frugal meal it was. It always seemed like so much more.
Mom always pulled out the slow cooker for this dish. Slow cooking is the perfect method to get that fall-apart tender beef and decadent gravy. So grab the slow cooker and get ready to whip up some of my Hot Water Cornbread to go on the side! Y’all enjoy!
What is Slow Cooker Creole Beef Stew?
Slow Cooker Creole Beef Stew is a hearty and flavorful dish that makes for the perfect warm, comfort food. This stew combines tender beef, lots of vegetables, and several spices. Most beef stew, including this recipe, can be prepared in a slow cooker, or as some call a crockpot. Cooking stew this easy, hands-off way allows all the flavors to marry resulting in a rich and savory dish.
The main ingredient in Creole beef stew is beef, usually a tougher cut such as chuck roast or stewing beef, which becomes tender and flavorful as it cooks slowly. The beef is typically browned before being added to the slow cooker to enhance its flavor. Growing up my mom used pre-cut stew meat from the grocery store and whatever veggies were on sale and in season. However, if you aren’t one for stew meat, then you can buy a chuck roast and cut it into chunks.
Slow Cooker Creole Beef Stew is also filled with yummy vegetables, spices, and seasonings. The most common in this stew include but are not limited to potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, and celery. The creole seasoning adds a hearty boost of flavor without adding a ton of heat. It’s also great because it takes the place of the salt, pepper, and other seasonings you’d have to use in this recipe.
This stew is commonly served alone, over rice, or with a bread side, like cornbread. This is a tried-and-true comfort food no one will turn down.
What thickens stew in the slow cooker?
The one disadvantage to using a slow cooker, or a crock pot, is that often the gravy doesn’t turn out as thick as you’d like. It’s because the slow cooker traps all the moisture inside. That’s great for the meat and veggies, but not great for the gravy. Fortunately, there’s a relatively easy fix for that.
If at the end of the cooking time, you find the gravy to be too thin, simply mix together 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cool water in a small bowl. Whisk the mixture (it’s called a slurry) into the stew. Cover and turn the heat on high until the gravy has thickened.
It works great in this case and in most cases where your gravy is a bit on the thin side when slow cooking. You can find this suggestion in the “Notes” section of the recipe below.
- Beef Stew Meat – You could use stew meat here or a chuck roast. I just prefer beef stew meat because it’s already cut up.
- Creole Seasoning – I use Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning, but really any Creole seasoning will do.
- All-Purpose Flour – Nothing much to add here except, you want to be sure you are using all-purpose flour and not self-rising flour.
- Vegetable Oil – Any brand of vegetable oil will work for this recipe. If you only have another type of oil on hand, that should be fine but keep in mind it may affect the overall flavor a tiny bit.
- Potatoes – You want 4 medium-sized potatoes for this recipe. And, you definitely want to peel and cut them. I’m sure leaving the peel on is perfectly fine, but I don’t really want a random peel floating in my stew. And, if you have picky eaters, you most definitely want to peel them.
- Carrots – Same sentiment as I mentioned above about the potatoes… Peel and cut those bad boys. It helps the carrots get tender and absorb the flavors.
- Celery – Some people skip this ingredient, but I urge you not to. Celery, although bland on its own, truly adds a hint of earthy flavor that nudges the deliciousness of this beef stew up a notch.
- Onion – You will want one medium onion. I prefer a yellow or a sweet onion for this recipe.
- Bell Pepper – I recommend using a green bell pepper in your beef stew over the other color varieties.
- Garlic Cloves – There’s just something about fresh minced garlic that can’t be replicated from one of those squeeze tubes or with the powder. If you are in a bind, you can absolutely use those. But, if you can help it… fresh minced is truly supreme.
- Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilis – If you want the full experience of Creole flavors, make sure you get the diced tomatoes with green chilis. However, if you want to make this stew a bit milder, you can easily swap this out with regular, canned diced tomatoes sans chilis.
- Beef Broth – I recommend unsalted beef broth because you get enough of that salty flavor from other ingredients in this beef stew recipe.
- Brown Gravy Mix – I love to use Tony Chachere’s Brown Gravy Mix, but any old brown gravy mix will work just fine.
Slow Cooker Creole Beef Stew
- 2 pounds beef stew meat
- 1 tablespoon Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chilis, undrained
- 4 cups unsalted beef broth
- 4 tablespoons Tony Chachere's Brown Gravy Mix (or 2 0.87-ounce packets)
- Place the beef in a medium bowl and sprinkle with the creole seasoning. Toss to coat. Sprinkle the flour over the meat and toss to coat.
- Heat the oil over medium high heat in a large skillet or dutch oven. Once hot, add about half the beef and brown. Once brown, remove to a plate and brown the other half of the beef. Set aside.
- Lightly spray the crock of a slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Add the potatoes to the bottom of the slow cooker. Top with the beef. Then add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, and bell pepper. Pour the tomatoes over the top. In a medium bowl, whisk together the beef broth and gravy mix. Pour over the vegetables. Place the lid on and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours.
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.