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Vegetable Beef Stew ⋆ Crockpot or Instant Pot

A favorite comfort food during cold weather is Vegetable Beef Stew!

Do you cherish a recipe your mom used to prepare, the kind that transports you right back home whenever you savor it? This beef stew is exactly that for me. I can vividly recall returning home from church on Sunday afternoons, smelling the Crockpot simmering with the smell of my Mom’s yummy Vegetable Beef Stew. This stew was a labor of love for my mom, and my family relished every spoonful. We always enjoyed it alongside Jiffy cornbread topped with a pat of butter. A true delight!

Vegetable Beef Stew in a green bowl with cornbread.

Vegetable Beef Stew is one of the top comfort foods for me.  This is an heirloom recipe straight from my childhood that I am sharing with you today. 

Beef stew with vegetables and cornbread.

We love serving this soup alongside a pan of sweet cornbread. You can use any kind of cornbread or rolls that you want.  This beef stew would also pair perfectly with a grilled cheese sandwich!

Whenever we eat this stew our bellies are full and our body temperatures go up.  It can be the dead of winter, but if we eat this stew we will be opening up the windows! 

Vegetable Beef Stew is the perfect cold weather meal to warm you up.  My mom always made this stew in the crockpot, but I am also including a version for the Instant Pot too since I’ve been using that to make this stew a lot lately. sure to check out this recipe for Winter Squash Stew with hearty beef also.  A nice vegetable stew that also uses beef.

It’s a recipe that is also warming and comforting.  I made it with an asian squash called Kobocha, but it can be made with acorn or butternut squash as well.

Tips for cooking beef stew in the crockpot:

  1. Choose the right cut of meat.  For beef that usually means a tougher cut of meat.  My mom used chuck roast or any meat labeled “stew meat” on it.  She would often get the stew meat because it was already cut up in the perfect size for stew.  Also make sure to trim the fat beforehand.  This will ensure the soup isn’t too greasy.
  2. Keep the temperature of the stew in the “safe zone”.  It is best to use thawed items in the stew.  So meats and veggies should be thawed prior to putting them into the crockpot because it might take too long for the stew to heat up otherwise.
  3. Buy a crockpot with a lid holder like this one for ease of use.  Lying a hot lid on the counter may cause the lid to shatter from the temperature change.
  4. Take your stew to the next level by browning the meat beforehand.  Just get a skillet hot with a little oil and brown the meat on at least 2 sides.  This gives the stew an added dimension.
  5.  Adding wine?  Add a little less than you normally would because there is no evaporation when cooking in the crockpot.
  6. Leave some room in the crockpot at the top.  The juices from the meat and veggies will increase the volume a little more than when you first put everything in so try not to overfill it.  1/2 to 2/3 full is optimal.
  7. Does the recipe call for dairy?  Put dairy in last and only for the last 15 minutes or so.  Dairy can easily cook too long in the crockpot.
  8. Keep the crockpot cords out of the way.  Make sure the cord of the crockpot is out of the way so no one accidentally could pull on it .  If the cord is pulled it could pull down the crockpot with it.
  9. Make enough stew for leftovers.  I am picky about my leftovers, but crockpot beef stew somehow tastes even better the next day.
  10. Adjust for high altitude.  High altitudes may need at least 30 minutes of extra cooking time per 1 hour of cooking.
Vegetable Beef Stew

This is also a great recipe made in an Instant Pot.  See the suggestions below:

Tips for Cooking Beef Stew in an Instant Pot:

  1. Brown your meat right inside the instant pot!  Just set the Instant pot first to the saute setting and add just a little oil to the bottom (around 2 tsp.) and once it is heated add the meat to brown.  You can also add the onions to while you sauté to give them a little more flavor.
  2. Brown the meat with a thickener like flour.  Just sprinkle a little flour on top of the meat before browning.  This will make the stew thicker and it will seem like you cooked it all day.
  3. Cut veggies and meat consistently.  Foods cooked in the instant pot can be cooked unevenly if they are not cut around the same size.
  4. Don’t add as much wine if you are using a recipe that has wine in it.  Very little gets evaporated and will taste too strong if you use the full amount as the stovetop recipe.
  5. Trim your meat of as much fat as you can.  This is why a leaner cut of beef is best!
  6. Remember to always put in the inner pot of the instant pot before cooking.  It’s easier than you think to forget to put it in… so this is your friendly reminder!
  7. Keep the setting to warm.  This way you can enjoy the stew hot for the second helping (and yes you will want seconds of this Vegetable Beef Stew!)
Yield: 6

Vegetable Beef Stew for Crockpot & Instant Pot

Vegetable Beef Stew for Crockpot & Instant Pot

This recipe is specific to a 7 quart crockpot so adjust to your own.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 2 15 oz . cans of petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 8 oz . can tomato sauce
  • 1 can of corn drained
  • 1 can of cut green beans drained and green beans cut it half
  • 3 carrots cut in small pieces
  • 6 small potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 Lawry's beef stew season packets
  • 1.5 stew meat cubed, beef
  • Water around 8 cups, put enough water to fill a large 7 quart crockpot


Crockpot Directions

  1. Brown the meat first by adding it to a hot skillet with a little oil.  
  2. Brown at least 2 sides of the meat and then set the meat aside.
  3. Add water and Lawry's beef stew season packets to the Crockpot/ Slow Cooker inner pot and stir to combine.
  4. Add the meat and any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet from cooking to the pot.
  5. Next, add onions, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, and green beans in the crockpot.
  6. Place the lid on the crockpot (slow cooker) and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
  7. ***Another option is to cook on high for 1 hour and then turn to low for another 6 to7 hours, but this is optional.


Serving suggestion: Serve with Jiffy cornbread.

Instant Pot Directions

  • First , use the saute setting of the instant pot and add a little oil to the bottom of the pot.  (2 tsp. is fine). 
  • Add your meat when the pot is hot. 
  • Brown at least 2 sides of the beef.
  • Once they are browned add water and Lawry's beef stew season packets and stir to combine.
  • Next, add onions, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, and green beans to the Instant Pot and place on the "soup or stew" setting. Remember to only fill the pot to the line on the inner pot! Do not overfill. 
  • Follow the directions that came with your pot. Be careful when you go to open it up because there is even more steam produced with stews/ soups.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size

1 grams

Amount Per Serving Unsaturated Fat 0g

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