Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe with Vegetables and Rice

Easy slow cooker beef stew contains hardy root vegetables, celery, and peas and served on brown rice.

This delicious crock-pot beef stew is gluten free without sacrificing taste.

A white bowl of Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe with Vegetables and Rice with spoon.

Why a slow cooker beef stew recipe?

The Hunger Games Trilogy books and movies inspired this easy crock-pot beef stew recipe.

I was tasked to create a recipe as part of this online blogger event. Called Cook the Books and Food 'n Flix, Heather from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen hosted it.

Rereading The Hunger Games Trilogy for this cooking project, I realized how fixated Katniss Everdeen was on food.

People who wonder where their next meal will come from – if it comes at all – usually are.

However, in The Hunger Games movie, it never seemed that Katniss or the kids from the poorer districts were starving. They all looked too healthy!

When deciding on this stew recipe, I took notes on the various dishes and foods mentioned in the book.

One dish described as “hot grain smothered in beef" or just hot grain and stew caught my eye.

So I decided to make a recipe for homemade beef stew.

What kind of beef should I use?

I used 4 pounds bottom round, trimmed of any excess fat, and cut into 2-inch chunks. (You can also cut the chunks of beef into smaller 1-inch cubes.)

However, you can make the beef cubes with other cuts of beef such as beef chuck roast, or beef chuck.

You can also buy stew meat already cut up at the store. (Time saver!)

Any type of beef used in stews will work in this slow cooker stew recipe.

A bowl of slow cooker beef stew with vegetables and rice and The Hunger Games book and pin.

What kind of vegetables can I use in a slow cooker stew?

I chose root veggies like carrots, parsnips, and onions as well as veggies like celery.

To save time I used baby carrots and frozen peas.

However, you have the option of adding veggies like:

  • red or yellow onions
  • medium carrots (if you don't mind the extra step of peeling and chopping)
  • frozen green beans
  • mushrooms
  • russet potatoes 
  • sweet potatoes
  • butternut squash
  • gold potatoes

Make sure to dice the potatoes into bite-sized pieces.

Can I add different seasonings?

Sure! You can add:

  • garlic cloves (minced or crushed)
  • chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • bay leaves
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

White bowls of Slow Cooker Beef Stew with peas, carrots and potatoes with spoons shown with The Hunger Games book and pin.

An easy way to thicken up beef stew

Usually, beef stew recipes call for dredging the beef chunks in all-purpose flour.

To make this recipe gluten free, I substituted a gluten free all-purpose flour. My favorite gluten free flour is Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour, which cooks up just like regular flour.

Check out my Best Gluten Free Products List to find more of my favorite gluten free baking products!

While the gluten free flour thickens the homemade crockpot beef stew, it does add calories. Fine if you're Katniss and need some fattening up.

Pro tip: If you're watching your calorie intake, here's a healthier, gluten free way to thicken the stew.

1. Omit the flour. Instead, take the beef and season with salt and pepper to taste.

2. In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high heat.

3. Brown the pieces of beef as directed. (Get a nice sear.)

4. Follow the rest of the recipe.

5. About 30 minutes before serving, mix 3 tablespoons of corn or rice starch with 3 tablespoons of liquid from the slow cooker.

6. Add the mixture to the stew and stir.

7. Put the lid back on the crockpot and turn up the heat to the High setting.

8. After 30 minutes, stir and serve the stew over rice.

Rice starch thickener:

If you need to avoid corn products and can't use a cornstarch slurry, I recommend using rice starch.

I love using it as it works just as well as corn starch in thickening stews and soups.

You can find rice starch at Asian markets or purchase it online.

Can I prepare this the night before?

Yes, you can brown the beef stew ingredients and cook the onion the night before.

Make the cooked beef stew meat and onions per the recipe.

Line your crockpot (or spray with cooking spray). Place the cooked beef stew meat, onions, potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and celery in the crock.

Pour in the beef broth and add the seasonings. Cover the crock and place in the refrigerator overnight.

In the morning, get your slow cooker going on low heat for 6-7 hours or on high for 4 hours. Cook as directed.

Do I need to brown the beef?

Don't skip browning the beef chunks. Why? Because it adds amazing flavors to the stew.

Same with cooking up the onions and celery and deglazing the pan. (Adding the wine and removing the browned bits.)

It's worth the extra time to add those amazing flavor to your dish.

A closeup of a bowl of beef stew with peas, carrots, potatoes and rice.

More tips for making easy slow cooker beef stew

Quick clean up:

For easy crockpot cleanup, use slow cooker liners. They're WONDERFUL. I like using them better than spraying the crock with cooking spray.

Now that I use them, I no longer have to soak my crockpot overnight and scrub it.

Food choppers save time:

To save time, dice onions using a hand food chopper.

I have a food chopper and LOVE IT. Not only does it save time, but my eyes don't water when chopping onions.

Use baby carrots and frozen veggies:

Make it easy on yourself and use baby carrots since they're already cleaned, peeled, and the perfect size.

For the same reason, use frozen veggies like peas in crockpot dishes.

You don't even have to defrost them. Just add them with plenty of time to heat up.

Check for gluten:

If you're gluten free, make sure you choose a gluten free beef broth or stock. (Either broth or stock is fine.) Check the label closely.

You can also use vegetable broth in a pinch, but beef broth is tastier.

Alcohol-free:

If you don't drink wine, use more broth.

Use other grains:

While I've served this with brown rice, you can use white rice, quinoa, or wild rice.

Can I freeze leftover stew?

Sure! Freeze any leftover stew in freezer-safe containers.

The beef stew should keep for three to four months in the freezer.

Defrost the container overnight in the fridge and reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.

More hardy slow cooker recipes

If you’re looking filling stews, chilis and casseroles made in the crock-pot, check these out:

This Crock-Pot Baked Ziti recipe is gluten free and easily made with jarred pasta sauce.

Slow Cooker Sauerkraut and Sausage Recipe with Apples and Potatoes can be quickly made with precooked chicken sausage and jarred sauerkraut.

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili – this this spicy chili is made with pumpkin, lean ground turkey, beans, and frozen vegetables.

Got venison? Try The Best Slow Cooker Venison Stew Recipe or this Easy Slow Cooker Venison Stew Recipe.

Yield: 8 SERVINGS

Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe with Vegetables and Rice

Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe with Vegetables and Rice

A slow cooker beef stew recipe made with root vegetables, rice, and peas. Based on a delicious beef stew recipe mentioned in The Hunger Games book.

Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 7 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 8 hours 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds bottom round, trimmed and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 cup gluten free all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced (2 cups)
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups dry red wine
  • 1 pound baby potatoes, washed (not peeled)
  • 1/2 pound baby carrots
  • 4 parsnips, roughly diced
  • 2 stalks celery, roughly diced
  • 2 cups beef broth (gluten free)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 16 ounce package frozen peas
  • cooked brown rice

Instructions

  1. Coat the beef in the flour. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Brown the meat, a few pieces at a time, adding more oil as necessary. Throw out any unused flour.
  3. Transfer browned beef to a 6-quart slow cooker.
  4. Add the diced onions to the skillet. Cook over medium heat until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and coat the onions.
  5. Transfer the onion and tomato mixture to the slow cooker.
  6. Pour the wine into the skillet and scrape up any browned bits.
  7. Pour the liquid into the slow cooker.
  8. Stir in the potatoes, carrots, parsnips, celery, beef broth, salt, black pepper, thyme, and bay leaf.
  9. Cover and cook on low heat for 6-7 hours or on high for 4 hours.
  10. About 15 minutes before serving, add the peas and cook until heated through.
  11. Serve on top of brown rice.
  12. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. 

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 359Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1113mgCarbohydrates: 53gFiber: 8gSugar: 11gProtein: 9g

Nutritional information is automatically calculated per the ingredients list. Serving size may not be accurate. Please double-check with your preferred nutritional app for the most accurate information.

Originally published on January 24, 2013 and October 10, 2016. Updated with new pictures and information.

24 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe with Vegetables and Rice

  1. Laurie Emerson

    I just bought a slow cooker and am going to give this recipe a try this weekend. Thank you so much for posting it!

    Reply
  2. Alicia

    This sounds wonderful! I’m thinking of cooking it in a Dutch oven though as my slow cooker is much too small… thoughts?

    Reply
    1. Anne-Marie Nichols Post author

      Alicia, maybe 4 hours at 350? I’d check after 3 hours and keep an eye out to make sure there’s always plenty of broth in your Dutch oven. You can always add more or some water if it starts drying out.

      Reply
  3. Deb in Hawaii

    Hi Anne-Marie,
    I am a very delinquent c-host of CTB–who had a crazy couple of months and is just getting around to view all of the entries now. ;-( I am so happy you joined us! Your pictures are gorgeous and that stew is a perfect comfort dish for Katniss and the citizens of District 12.

    Reply
  4. Sarah

    Looks yummy! I love that you did a healthier take. I am switching up my diet to eliminate white starches, so I will have to keep an eye on your blog!

    Reply
  5. Danielle

    Congrats on your first post – I hope you love the club like I do! This is a GORGEOUS stew and I am hoping to recreate it. It looks just mouthwatering…and we’re going to Charleston in a few weeks! We will have to look at Tristan 🙂

    Reply
    1. Anne-Marie Nichols Post author

      Having a great time and can’t wait for next month! I just ordered the book on Amazon and have the Food N Flix book in my Netflix queue. Yes, look into making a reservation at Tristan. It’s worth every penny and the food and service are marvelous!

      Reply
  6. Rachel @ The Crispy Cook

    A perfect dish for Cook the Books and the Hunger Games. Your comments about the book were very apt.

    Reply
  7. Tina

    Perfect meal for this wintery weather and a great pairing with the book and movie. I’m glad you found Cook the Books!

    Reply
    1. Anne-Marie Nichols Post author

      I certainly will be staying with both blogging events! I think Katniss found this stew very comforting, too!

      Reply

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Recipe rating: 5 4 3 2 1