Honey Balsamic Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 8 hours 10 minutes
Servings 5 servings

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Comfort food doesn’t get any better than Honey Balsamic Slow Cooker Beef Stew! This stick to your ribs beef stew is hearty, flavorful as can be and loaded with beef and veggies. You’re gonna love this set it and forget it crockpot recipe!

Stay warm this winter with more stew recipes like Classic Beef Stew, One Pot Chicken Stew and Slow Cooker Garlic Parmesan Chicken Stew.

speckled bowl filled with beef stew with biscuits and parsley behind it.

My Crockpot stays pretty active year round, but especially during the chillier fall and winter months. I love staying warm with cozy crockpot recipes like this Honey Balsamic Slow Cooker Beef Stew!

The flavor in this stew is downright mouthwatering. Tangy flavor from the balsamic vinegar and natural sweetness from the honey come together perfectly with other flavorful additions like Worcestershire sauce, garlic and more.

Oh, and have I mentioned just how easy this Crockpot beef stew recipe is?! You basically just have to toss everything into the slow cooker and let it work its magic for you.

What people are saying

“This was absolutely delicious just as it’s written. Made this with no modifications and came out perfectly. Everyone went back for seconds. A sweeter take on beef stew that I will definitely be making again! Thanks!” Michele

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Why we love this Honey Balsamic Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe:

  • Flavorful: The sweet and tangy sauce is pretty addictive. It’s so good that I often find myself thinking about it long after the last dish gets washed!
  • Easy: This is the definition of a set it and forget it recipe. After 10 minutes of prep time, the Crockpot slowly cooks the beef and veggies to tender perfection.
  • Filling: You won’t be left hungry after a hearty serving of this beef stew! It’s packed with the perfect amount of beef and veggies to satisfy even the hungriest bellies at the dinner table.

Honey Balsamic Beef Stew Ingredients:

ingredients needed for honey balsamic slow cooker beef stew in bowls.
  • Beef: You can buy beef stew meat, but I find it more economical to buy an inexpensive round steak and cut it myself. The steaks are often fresher as well! Since we are cooking it low and slow, we do not need a tender cut of beef.
  • Veggies: I use a medley of classic stew veggies – celery, carrots and onions.
  • Cornstarch: This is what thickens the sauce.
  • Beef Broth: I like to use unsalted or low sodium broth when I cook. That way, I can sprinkle in salt as needed and better control the amount of sodium in the dish.
  • Honey: You can add more or less to adjust the amount of sweetness in the sauce.
  • Potatoes: You can half or quarter the potatoes. They’ll cook all the way through either way.
  • Balsamic Vinegar: I don’t recommend swapping this key ingredient with anything else! You need both the tangy and sweet flavors of it to compliment everything else.
  • Tomato Paste: A little goes a long way with this.
  • Seasonings: Seasoning salt and pepper are all I use, but you can feel free to sprinkle in whatever others spices sound good to you. Herbs like thyme or bay leaves would also be nice.
  • Garlic: You can measure this one with your heart!

How to make Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Here’s a quick sneak peak of how to make the BEST slow cooker beef stew recipe! For more detailed info, scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of the page.

  • Add the beef and veggies to your slow cooker.
  • Whisk together all of the ingredients for the sauce. Pour the sauce over the meat and veggies, cover, and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Recipe Tip

With most slow cooker recipes, I find that the flavors become muted after cooking for such a long time. With this stew though, I didn’t find that at all! It was still so good and didn’t need any adjustments after cooking, other than a bit of extra corn starch if you want a thicker sauce.

Variations and Substitutions

  • Add more veggies: Feel free to improvise and use what you have on hand. Some frozen peas added at the end of the cook time add a great pop of color!
  • Make it vegetarian: If you wanted to make this a vegetarian meal, you could simply swap the beef for mushrooms and add in extra veggies.
speckled bowl filled with beef stew and a biscuit being dipped in at the edge.

How to store leftover Beef Stew

Store your leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat individual portions in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring each time it stops, until warmed all the way through.

If a lot of the liquid has been absorbed, add a splash of water or broth before reheating.

Can I freeze Honey Balsamic Slow Cooker Beef Stew?

Sure thing! Let everything fully cool to room temperature before freezing in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Take the stew out of the freezer and let it thaw in the fridge prior to reheating.

Keep in mind that the texture of the potatoes can change after being frozen. If this is something you don’t enjoy, I recommend storing it in the fridge.

Can I brown the beef first?

You can absolutely brown the beef in a skillet before adding to the slow cooker. This will build flavor and prevent some of the liquids of the beef from escaping into the gravy. For my purposes, I wanted to keep this recipe super simple so we skipped it!

white slow cooker filled with beef stew and a steel scoop.

Serving suggestions:

You can always serve this stew with some Homemade Dinner Rolls or a loaf of crusty Artisan bread if you feel like showing off! I’m also pretty fond of Homemade Garlic Herb Dinner Rolls too. Rolls are always great with stew because they help soak up all of that delicious sauce!

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Honey Balsamic Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe

4.81 from 114 votes
Comfort food doesn't get any better than Honey Balsamic Slow Cooker Beef Stew! This stick to your ribs beef stew is hearty, flavorful as can be and loaded with beef and veggies. You're gonna love this set it and forget it recipe!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 10 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Main Course
Servings 5 servings
Calories 304cal

Ingredients

  • 1 lb baby potatoes (halved or quartered)
  • 1 lb round steak (cut into 1" pieces)
  • 3 large carrots (cut into ¾-1" pieces)
  • 1 rib celery (chopped)
  • ½ medium onion (cut into ½" pieces)
  • 1 cup low sodium beef broth*
  • cup balsamic vinegar
  • cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch

Instructions

  • Add potatoes, beef, carrots, celery, and onion to a 3-4 quart slow cooker.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together broth, vinegar, honey, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, seasoning salt, pepper and corn starch with a whisk until combined. Add to slow cooker.
  • Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours until potatoes and carrots are tender. If desired, strain out sauce and thicken further on the stove top with a corn starch/water slurry.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings as desired before serving.

Notes

Ingredients and Substitutions:

Beef broth: I have increased the beef broth in this recipe from ¼ cup to 1 cup for a saucier stew. If you prefer, you can reduce the broth or increase the vinegar and honey as you prefer. 
Potatoes: any variety of potatoes cut into 1/2-1″ cubes will work just fine!
Beef: you can buy stewing beef, but I find it more economical to buy an inexpensive round steak and cut it myself. The steaks are often fresher as well! Since we are cooking it low and slow, we do not need a tender cut of beef.
Vegetables: feel free to improvise and use what you have on hand. Some frozen peas added at the end of the cook time add a great pop of color!
Honey and balsamic vinegar: I know these seem like strange additions, but trust me on this one! If you love a slightly sweet and tangy sauce, you’ll love this version. It’s a little unexpected but packed with flavor!

Browning beef before adding:

You can absolutely brown the beef in a skillet before adding to the slow cooker. This will build flavor and prevent some of the juices of the beef from escaping into the gravy. For my purposes, I wanted to keep this recipe super simple so we skipped it!
 
 

Nutrition Information

Serving: 284grams | Calories: 304cal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 682mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 25g
Keywords slow cooker beef stew

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Meet Ashley

My name is Ashley Fehr and I love creating easy meals my family loves. I also like to do things my way, which means improvising and breaking the rules when necessary. Here you will find creative twists on old favorites and some of my favorite family recipes, passed down from generations!

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Comments

  1. Haley says

    I love this! But have you recently changed the recipe for the sauce? For some reason it tasted different than when I made it a few months ago? The amount of beef broth perhaps?

    • Ashley Fehr says

      Hi Haley! Thanks for asking and I apologize for the confusion. I did add additional broth based on the reviews who wanted things a little more saucy — I’ll add a note to the recipe so there is no more confusion.

  2. Bethany says

    I absolutely LOVED this recipe! So good! I tripled the recipe, used russet potatoes (cut into chunks), baby carrots, and elk meat instead of beef, otherwise followed the recipe 😆 it turned out great!

  3. Michele P says

    This was absolutely delicious just as it’s written. Made this with no modifications and came out perfectly. Everyone went back for seconds. A sweeter take on beef stew that I will definitely be making again! Thanks!

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