Slow Cooker Summer Beef Stew

This summer beef stew is made in the slow cooker so the house stays cool. Enjoy this classic dish with a summer vegetable twist!

It feels weird posting a recipe for beef stew smack in the middle of summer. But, when you get a box that weighs approximately 100 pounds full of beef from the cow you had butchered and split with friends and your second freezer is packed to the brim barely able to close, these are the kinds of things you do.

This summer beef stew is made in the slow cooker so the house stays cool. Enjoy this classic dish with a summer vegetable twist!

Seriously though, I have so much beef in every cut you can imagine (even liver which I tried feeding Ginger because…gross and she literally spit out the pieces onto the floor and ate around it, so that was fail) that I’ve forbidden myself from buying any beef whatsoever from the store. This package of stew meat was right on top of the box in the freezer and instead of pushing it aside and ignoring it until colder weather, I figured why not make a summer beef stew using the abundance of seasonal produce we have going on right now? And of course, in the slow cooker because there ain’t no way I’m keeping my oven on for 3+ hours to braise stew right now.

Classic beef stew is given a summer twist with lots of seasonal vegetables in this slow cooker summer beef stew.

There’s really nothing fancy to this dish, it’s just good old comfort food made seasonally appropriate. If I had an open bottle of red wine on hand, I would’ve subbed that in for half the beef broth so feel free to do that, it can only lead to even more flavor. The trick to keeping this stew fresh and summer-like is adding the vegetables during the last 30 minutes of cooking time otherwise you’re going to end up with zucchini and pepper mush and that’s no way to treat these summer gems right now. Plus, they retain their vibrant color and a bit of bite when thrown in at the end.

Get the comfort of stew without heating up the house in this Slow Cooker Summer Beef Stew recipe.

Any grain will do for serving, from traditional rice and mashed potatoes to more exotic choices like couscous, farro or barley. I went with a cheesy grits/semolina mixture just because I had two almost empty canisters of both in the pantry that I wanted to get rid of. In retrospect, adding some fresh corn kernels into that would’ve been even better!

This comforting Slow Cooker Summer Beef Stew is the perfect way to enjoy the classic winter dish in the summer.

So wait for a rainy day, ignore the temps and humidity outside and get this slow cooker summer beef stew going, no reason to wait for fall to enjoy some comfort food!

Serves 4     adjust servings

Slow Cooker Summer Beef Stew

Cook Time 6 hr Prep Time
Preparation 15 min Cook Time
Total Time 6 hrs 15 mins Total Time

This summer beef stew is made in the slow cooker so the house stays cool. Enjoy this classic dish with a summer vegetable twist!

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/4-1/2 pounds stew beef, cut into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 small zucchini, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • chopped fresh basil for garnish
  • grated parmesan cheese for garnish

Instructions

  1. Place olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat on the stove-top.
  2. Toss beef with flour, salt and pepper in a small bowl until all the pieces all equally coated.
  3. Add beef to the hot pot and brown on all sides, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Transfer beef and all it's juices to the slow cooker.
  5. Add garlic, bay leaf, shallots, tomato paste and broth to the slow cooker. Stir to combine and set for 6 hours on low heat.
  6. Add zucchini and peppers 30 minutes before timer is up (after 5.5 hours of cooking), stir gently to combine and continue cooking with lid on for remaining 30 minutes. (*see note)
  7. Serve with grain of choice (shown with creamy cheese grits).

Recipe Notes

If you want a thicker sauce, add a cornstarch slurry (1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water) to the slow cooker when you add the vegetables.

16 Comments

  1. Danae @ Recipe Runner

    So jealous that you were able to split a cow with friends. I need to find people to split a pig with. As long as I can make comfort food in the slow cooker, I’m down for eating it any time of year, because the hell I’m turning on the oven for half the day! This stew looks awesome and the beef is perfectly tender looking!

    Reply
  2. Jessica

    I am in love with this recipe! It is the perfect slow cooker transition into fall. It’s a cross between fresh ingredients of summer and the hardy goodness of the colder months. Excellent idea!

    Reply
  3. Kate

    Hi Gina,
    This recipe looks great.
    Would love to try it out.
    What temp do you cook this in the oven?
    (I sadly don’t have a slow cooker).
    Thank you,
    Kate

    Reply
    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      I haven’t tried this in the oven but I’d probably do 275-300 and start checking it around 3 hours.

      Reply
    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      Yes, I’m sure that would work fine. Like noted in the slow cooker directions, I wouldn’t add the vegetables until closer to the end though so they don’t get mushy.

      Reply

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