Everyone loves a dish that will warm your belly in the winter, and this is it. This super easy and tasty Slow Cooker Beef Stew With Onion Soup Mix Recipe is incredibly easy to put together, and you can leave it to cook all day!
It is a hearty and straightforward dish that never fails to hit the spot, and you only need about 15 minutes to prep everything.
If you are a fan of tasty slow cooker meals that you don’t need to spend too much time thinking about, this will be a great recipe. Anyone can make it, and you can speed up the prep process even more if you want to!
We will cover everything you need to know in this article so you can get to work making this delicious stew. It’s a recipe you won’t regret; you can try different variations by adding more of your favorite ingredients.
To make this easy recipe, you will need beef stock, carrots, potatoes, beef stew meat, diced onions, and a handful of other ingredients.
All you need to do is chop and prep your ingredients and throw everything in the slow cooker – it’s that easy! Allow everything to cook on low for around eight hours, and serve.
What Is Slow Cooker Beef Stew With Onion Soup Mix?
Slow Cooker Beef Stew with Onion Soup Mix is a mouthwatering dish that combines tender chunks of beef with hearty vegetables, all simmered in a rich, savory broth. The secret ingredient—onion soup mix—elevates the flavors, adding depth and complexity.
Ideal for busy schedules, this recipe requires minimal hands-on time. Add the ingredients to your slow cooker, set it, and let the magic unfold.
The result is a comforting, flavorful stew that captures the essence of home-cooked goodness, perfect for any dinner table.
History Of Slow Cooker Beef Stew With Onion Soup Mix
The tradition of beef stew dates back centuries and is often seen as a staple comfort food across various cultures. The introduction of slow cookers in the 1970s revolutionized this classic dish, making it more accessible for busy households.
Onion soup mix, a popular pantry item, became a quick and easy way to add rich flavor to beef stews. The combination of slow-cooked beef stew with onion soup mix is relatively recent. Still, it has gained traction for its simplicity and taste, merging convenience with culinary tradition to create a beloved, hearty meal.
Interesting Facts About The Slow Cooker Beef Stew With Onion Soup Mix
- Time-Saver: A slow cooker allows for a “set it and forget it” approach, freeing up valuable time for other activities.
- Depth of Flavor: The onion soup mix adds an extra layer of complexity, enriching the broth with a blend of spices and seasonings.
- Nutrient-Rich: The slow cooking process helps retain the nutrients in vegetables, making the dish delicious and healthy.
- Versatility: This stew is highly customizable; add ingredients like mushrooms, potatoes, or wine to suit your preferences.
- Global Influence: While beef stew has its roots in various cuisines, the onion soup mix is a distinctly American contribution, making this dish a fusion of culinary traditions.
- Leftovers: The flavors of this stew improve with time, making it a perfect option for meal prepping or enjoying as leftovers.
- Crowd-Pleaser: Its warm, hearty nature makes it an ideal dish for family gatherings, potlucks, and festive occasions.
What Makes The Slow Cooker Beef Stew With Onion Soup Mix Special?
- Effortless Cooking: The slow cooker eliminates the need for constant monitoring, making the cooking process virtually hands-free.
- Flavor Infusion: The onion soup mix adds a uniquely delicious twist, enhancing the dish’s overall taste and richness.
- Nutritional Value: Packed with protein-rich beef and a medley of vegetables, it’s a balanced meal in a single pot.
- Aroma: The slow cooking process fills your home with an inviting scent, heightening the anticipation for mealtime.
- Versatility: The recipe is easily adaptable, accommodating additional ingredients or dietary restrictions.
- Consistency: Slow cooking ensures tender beef and perfectly cooked vegetables, creating a balanced texture in every bite.
- Meal Prepping: The stew’s flavor profile matures over time, making it an excellent choice for meal planning.
|Beef Stock||4 cups|
|Worcestershire Sauce||2 tablespoons|
|Beefy Onion Soup Mix||1 packet (1 oz)|
|Black Pepper||To taste|
|Diced Onions||1 cup|
|Beef Stew Meat||2 lbs|
|Minced Garlic||2 cloves|
What Optional Ingredients Can You Add?
There are a handful of great ingredients that you can add to this dish if you want it to have even more flavor. These can be game-changing, so consider the following options:
- Yukon gold potatoes
- Red wine
- Red potatoes
- Onion flakes
- Lots of garlic
- Tomato paste
Try out a few of these and see how they amplify the stew’s flavor. You won’t regret it.
- Beef Quality: Opt for high-quality, lean beef cuts like chuck or round for tender and flavorful results.
- Stock Options: A homemade beef stock can elevate the dish further, although store-bought low-sodium versions work well too.
- Worcestershire Sauce: This sauce contains anchovies, so for a vegetarian version, seek out a plant-based alternative.
- Soup Mix: Beefy Onion Soup Mix can be high in sodium, so adjust the additional salt accordingly.
- Fresh Produce: Using freshly diced onions and minced garlic enhances the flavor profile compared to pre-packaged options.
- Potato Choice: Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes hold their shape well during the slow-cooking process.
- Carrot Prep: Slicing carrots uniformly ensures even cooking; baby carrots are a convenient alternative.
Can You Vary The Recipe With Other Ingredients?
- Keto: Use a keto-friendly thickener like xanthan gum instead of the soup mix, and focus on high-fat, low-carb vegetables like zucchini.
- Paleo: Replace the regular beef stock with a bone broth, skip Worcestershire sauce, or find a Paleo-friendly version. Also, use fresh onions and spices instead of onion soup mix.
- Gluten-Free: Opt for a gluten-free beefy onion soup mix and Worcestershire sauce, and ensure your beef stock is gluten-free, too.
- Whole30: Use compliant beef broth and season with Whole30-compliant spices, avoiding processed soup mix.
- Vegetarian/Vegan: Substitute the beef with hearty vegetables like mushrooms or a meat alternative. Use vegetable stock and a vegan Worcestershire sauce. For a vegan onion soup mix, choose a brand without animal-derived ingredients.
- Prep Slow Cooker: Spray the inside with non-stick cooking spray and turn it on.
- Meat Prep: Cube your beef and add to the slow cooker.
- Veggie Prep: Peel and cube onions, garlic, carrots, and potatoes.
- Combine: Add beef stock, meat, vegetables, minced garlic, onion soup mix, and Worcestershire sauce to the slow cooker. Mix well.
- Cook: Cover and cook for 8 hours on low.
- Season: Add herbs like rosemary or thyme, either initially or 20 minutes before completion.
- Serve: Dish out and savor your delicious stew.
Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings
- Spices: Experiment with additional spices like paprika or cayenne for a spicy kick.
- Vegetables: Add seasonal vegetables like mushrooms, green beans, or peas for extra texture and nutrients.
- Protein: Incorporate alternative proteins like lamb or chicken for a different flavor profile.
- Wine: A splash of red or white wine can add complexity and depth.
- Herbs: Freshly chopped parsley, cilantro, or chives can add color and aroma.
- Cheese: A grated Parmesan or sharp cheddar sprinkle can add a savory touch.
- Croutons: Top your stew with homemade or store-bought croutons for a crunch.
Scaling The Recipe
Scaling the Slow Cooker Beef Stew with Onion Soup Mix is straightforward. Still, there are some guidelines to keep in mind for optimal results.
- Ingredients: Multiply the quantities by the number of servings you want to make. However, be cautious not to exceed the maximum capacity of your slow cooker.
- Cooking Time: Surprisingly, the cooking time may not need significant adjustment, but checking for doneness earlier than the recipe indicates good.
- Ingredients: Halve or reduce the quantities to fit your needs.
- Equipment: If scaling down significantly, consider using a smaller slow cooker for even cooking.
- Cooking Time: While the 8-hour baseline generally holds, check periodically to prevent overcooking.
What Is Used For Garnishing?
- Fresh Herbs: Sprigs of fresh rosemary, thyme, or chopped parsley add vibrant color and infuse the dish with subtle aromatic notes.
- Cheese: A light sprinkle of grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano adds a rich, salty contrast to the hearty stew.
- Citrus Zest: A dash of lemon or orange zest can brighten the flavors and add a delightful aroma.
- Cracked Pepper: A freshly cracked black pepper sprinkle adds a finishing touch, giving the dish some heat and complexity.
Can I Make Slow Cooker Beef Stew With Onion Soup Mix In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot?
You can prepare Slow Cooker Beef Stew with Onion Soup Mix in a traditional slow cooker and an Instant Pot, each offering unique advantages.
- This appliance is excellent for a ‘set and forget’ approach. Combine all your ingredients and let them simmer for about 8 hours.
- The slow, steady heat brings out the flavors in a marvelous way.
- The Instant Pot can be a lifesaver if you’re short on time. Use the “Sauté” function for initial browning if desired, then switch to the “Slow Cook” or “Pressure Cook” settings.
- Pressure cooking will significantly reduce the cooking time to 35-40 minutes.
Can I Use Store Bought Broth, Or Should I Make My Own?
Both store-bought and homemade broths can work well in your Slow Cooker Beef Stew with Onion Soup Mix. Still, each has its own set of advantages and considerations.
- This option is convenient and time-saving. Opt for a low-sodium, organic version to better control the salt and flavor.
- Some high-quality store brands offer complex flavors that can enhance your stew.
- Making your broth allows you to customize the flavors exactly to your liking.
- It’s often more nutritious and lacks the preservatives found in store-bought versions. However, it does require additional time and planning.
Can I Use Different Types Of Meat/Fish/Pasta/Vegetables For The Soup?
- Meat: Beyond beef, you can try lamb, pork, or chicken for a different flavor profile.
- Fish: While less traditional for a stew, hearty fish like salmon or cod could offer a unique twist.
- Pasta: Adding pasta like orzo or small shells is a quick way to fill the dish. Just be cautious about cooking times to avoid mushy pasta.
- Vegetables: Feel free to add or substitute with veggies like zucchini, green beans, or mushrooms for extra nutrients and flavors.
Success Tips – Tips And Tricks For Making The Soup
It’s easy to run into some issues while cooking, so here are a few tips and tricks that might come in handy if you want to make this dish. These tips will make the dish more straightforward!
Make Sure It Cooks For Long Enough
- Ensure you give this dish plenty of time to cook on low heat. We would not recommend using a high heat, as this will impact the finished result and will not be as enjoyable.
- The long cooking time on low heat ensures the meat is wonderfully tender and nothing burns.
- Aim to get everything in the slow cooker in the morning if you have dinner early or near noon if you enjoy dinner later in the day.
- You could also prep everything early and leave it to cook for over eight hours! This will make everything juicy and flavorsome, but check on it occasionally.
Skip The Salt If You Want To Watch Your Sodium Intake
- You should skip the extra salt if you need to watch your sodium intake. The onion mix is already high in sodium, so you might not need to add more.
- Opt for a low-sodium beef broth when shopping for ingredients to take this further. If you make your broth (which is a lot easier than you think), remember not to add additional salt to the product.
Any Onion Mix Will Do!
- You do not need to use a specific type of onion mix to make this recipe work. While many people enjoy the Lipton onion soup mix, you can use any generic brand.
- Just ensure it has all the right flavors, and you will not run into an issue.
Get Ready-Prepped Ingredients To Save Time
- If you want to save more time when preparing this dinner, there are ways to do that.
- Get pre-cut ingredients from the grocery store where you can, or use small ingredients like baby carrots rather than large ones.
- Alternatively, prepare as much as you can ahead of time. Some ingredients like carrots and beef can be chopped the day before.
- However, this does not work for everything. Things like onions and potatoes should not be prepped in advance, as they are also unlikely to keep. It is better to dice up on the day when you are making the dish.
This Slow Cooker Beef Stew is a balanced meal in a bowl packed with protein and essential nutrients. Each serving offers a reasonable calorie count, moderate fats, and beneficial vitamins like A and C. Enjoy heartiness without guilt!
What Are The Total Calories In The Soup?
Calculating the calories in your Slow Cooker Beef Stew with Onion Soup Mix will depend on various factors such as the cuts of meat used, the brand of beef stock or broth, the type of vegetables, and any additional ingredients or toppings you add.
A general ballpark figure for a traditional beef stew with these core ingredients could range from 250 to 400 calories per serving. For precise caloric information, it’s best to use a nutritional calculator where you can input the exact quantities and brands of ingredients you’re using.
Dietary Restrictions Of The Slow Cooker Beef Stew With Onion Soup Mix
- Gluten: Many beef stocks and onion soup mixes contain gluten, making the recipe unsuitable for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.
- Sodium: Commercial stocks and soup mixes often have high sodium levels, which may not be ideal for those on a low-sodium diet.
- Red Meat: Using beef makes it unsuitable for vegetarians and may not align with specific religious or dietary restrictions.
- Allergens: Ingredients like Worcestershire sauce may contain allergens like soy and fish.
Health Benefits Of Slow Cooker Beef Stew With Onion Soup Mix
- Protein-Rich: Beef provides a high-quality source of protein, essential for muscle repair and overall bodily function.
- Nutrient-Dense Vegetables: Carrots, potatoes, and onions supply fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
- Bone Health: Beef stock can be rich in collagen, gelatin, and minerals like calcium and magnesium, which are suitable for bone health.
- Low-Fat Option: The stew can be a lower-fat alternative when prepared with lean cuts of meat and low-fat stock.
- Herbs and Spices: Adding herbs like rosemary and thyme can provide additional antioxidants.
How Can I Make Slow Cooker Beef Stew With Onion Soup Mix Lower In Sodium?
- Low-Sodium Broth: Opt for a low-sodium beef stock or make your broth to control the salt content.
- Soup Mix: Some brands offer low-sodium versions of onion soup mix, or you could make a homemade blend using dried onion flakes, onion powder, and other spices.
- Worcestershire Sauce: Look for a reduced-sodium variety or use it sparingly.
- Seasoning: Skip added table salt and rely on herbs and spices like rosemary, thyme, and black pepper for flavor.
- Vegetables: Use fresh vegetables instead of canned, often containing added salt.
How Can I Make Slow Cooker Beef Stew With Onion Soup Mix Lower In Sugar?
- Broth: Opt for a stock or broth that doesn’t contain added sugars, and check the ingredient list for hidden sources of sugar.
- Onion Soup Mix: Many commercial soup mixes contain sugar. Mix using dried flakes, onion powder, and other herbs, omitting sugar.
- Worcestershire Sauce: Some versions have sugar, so look for an alternative without it or reduce the amount used.
- Vegetables: Stick to low-sugar vegetables like bell peppers, cauliflower, or zucchini if adding more to the mix.
How To Serve The Slow Cooker Beef Stew With Onion Soup Mix At Its Best?
- Temperature: Ensure the stew is served hot. If made in advance, reheat slowly to retain flavor and texture.
- Bowl Selection: Opt for deep bowls to comfortably hold the stew, allowing for a generous mix of meat and vegetables.
- Garnish: A sprinkle of fresh herbs like parsley or thyme can add color and enhance flavor. A freshly ground pepper or a sprinkle of grated Parmesan can also elevate the dish.
- Sides: Serve with a side of crusty bread or a simple green salad to complement the hearty flavors.
- Accompanying Beverage: A glass of red wine or a robust ale pairs wonderfully with the rich, meaty stew.
Perfect Side Dishes To Complement Slow Cooker Beef Stew With Onion Soup Mix
- Crusty Bread: A loaf of freshly baked sourdough or French bread can soak the delicious stew juices.
- Green Salad: A light, lemony arugula or mixed greens salad can provide a fresh counterpoint to the richness of the stew.
- Rice or Quinoa: These grains can serve as an additional carbohydrate that pairs well with meaty, flavorful stews.
- Roasted Vegetables: For added variety, consider a side of roasted Brussels sprouts or asparagus, which can stand up to the robust flavors of the stew.
- Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes can also work beautifully, adding extra comfort to the meal.
How Long Can We Store The Soup?
If you end up with leftovers, you can easily store them to enjoy later on. You could refrigerate or freeze the food if you know you will not eat it within a few days.
- To refrigerate the leftovers, store them in an airtight container and keep them sealed. There, it should be suitable for up to five days. Ideally, you should enjoy your food within three days of refrigerating.
- To freeze, you can use a freezer-safe container or store the leftovers in bags. Make sure it has cooled down completely, then find a spot.
- Frozen food is indefinitely safe to eat as bacteria cannot multiply, but aim to eat it within three months. After that point, the quality will degrade and might not have the same texture or appearance.
- If you freeze your leftovers, let them fully thaw out overnight in the refrigerator. Once thawed, you can reheat it in a saucepan on the stove on low heat. Allow 10–15 minutes (depending on the size of the portion).
- For the best results, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the food.
- You could also use a microwave to reheat your leftovers. Use a microwave-safe bowl and reheat the stew at 45-second intervals. Stir everything after every interval, and continue until the food is piping hot.
Can I Make The Soup In Advance?
Slow Cooker Beef Stew with Onion Soup Mix is an excellent candidate for make-ahead meals. The flavors often meld and improve when allowed to sit, making it even more delicious the next day.
Prepare the stew as directed and let it cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container. Store it in the refrigerator if you plan to consume it within 3-4 days or in the freezer for more extended storage, up to 2-3 months. Thaw and reheat thoroughly before serving.
What Can We Do With Leftovers?
- Shepherd’s Pie: Use the stew as a filling, topping it with mashed potatoes and baking until golden.
- Stew Tacos: Shred the leftover beef and use it as a taco filling, some stew veggies, and your favorite toppings.
- Rice Bowl: Serve the stew over a bed of cooked rice, perhaps with some added steamed vegetables or a drizzle of teriyaki sauce.
- Beef Pot Pie: Encase the stew in a pie crust or puff pastry and bake for a hearty pie.
- Stuffed Peppers: Hollow out bell peppers, stuff them with the stew mixture, then bake until tender.
- Pasta Sauce: Reduce the stew over medium heat until thickened, and serve it over pasta.
- Frittata: Combine with beaten eggs and bake until set for a beef stew frittata.
- Stew Sandwich: Layer the beef and vegetables between slices of crusty bread for a hearty sandwich.
Special Tools/Equipment Needed
- Slow Cooker: The key equipment, a 6-quart slow cooker, is typically sufficient for most family-sized recipes.
- Cutting Board & Knife: For chopping vegetables and cubing beef.
- Measuring Cups & Spoons: Accurate measurements of broth, Worcestershire sauce, and other ingredients are crucial.
- Mixing Bowls: Helpful for pre-mixing onion soup mix with broth or for holding prepped ingredients.
- Peeler: For peeling potatoes and carrots.
- Spatula or Wooden Spoon: To stir the ingredients well, ensure they are evenly distributed.
- Ladle: For serving the stew conveniently and without mess.
- Airtight Containers: For storing leftovers or prepped ingredients.
- Freezer Bags: If you plan to freeze portions for later use.
This simple slow cooker beef stew with onion mix is perfect for long days when you don’t feel like cooking.
All you need to do is prepare the ingredients and throw everything in a slow cooker to cook on low.
The effort it requires is minimal, and the flavors are fantastic. You won’t be able to get enough of this stew when winter hits and you want to warm your belly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Use Chicken Or Pork Instead Of Beef In This Stew?
Yes, you can easily swap out the beef for chicken or pork. Adjust the cooking time accordingly, as chicken and pork may require less time to become tender than beef.
What Can I Use As A Substitute For Worcestershire Sauce?
If you don’t have Worcestershire sauce, you can use soy sauce or a mixture of soy sauce and vinegar. Another alternative is a blend of equal parts of vinegar and molasses with a dash of fish sauce or anchovy paste.
Can I Add Other Vegetables To The Stew?
Absolutely! For variety, add vegetables like mushrooms, peas, or green beans. Be mindful of the cooking times; softer vegetables may become mushy if added too early.
How Do I Thicken The Stew?
If you find the stew too thin, you can thicken it by mixing a couple of tablespoons of cornstarch with cold water and adding the mixture to the stew. Stir well and let it cook for an additional 20 minutes.
Can I Cook This Stew On The Stovetop Instead Of A Slow Cooker?
Yes, you can make this stew on the stovetop. Bring the ingredients to a boil in a large pot, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the meat is tender. This usually takes around 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on the cut of the meat.
- Portuguese Bean Soup Recipe With Delicious Ingredients Of Warm Flavors - September 29, 2023
- Tasty And Easy-To-Make 22 Soup And Broth Recipes For Weight Loss - September 25, 2023
- 52 Seasonal Soups To Perfectly Elevate Your Creations Through The Year - September 22, 2023