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!
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Seriously though, I have so much beef in every cut you can imagine that I’ve forbidden myself from buying any beef whatsoever from the store.

I even tried feeding the liver to Ginger because…gross but she literally spit out the pieces onto the floor and ate around it, so that was fail.

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.

Reading this in the winter? Try this Instant Pot Beef and Mushroom Stew instead. There’s options for slow cooker and stove-top in that recipe as well.

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 will 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 the stew 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.

There’s no reason to wait for fall to enjoy some comfort food!

And if you need a vegetarian version of summer comfort food, this ciambotta recipe (Italian vegetable stew) is just that!

Love this slow cooker summer beef stew recipe?

Then you will love this Summer BLTC Sandwich, Summer Harvest Cheddar Quesadilla, and Summer Slow Cooker Frittata.

4.44 from 170 votes

Slow Cooker Summer Beef Stew

Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 6 hours
Total: 6 hours 15 minutes
This summer beef stew is made in the slow cooker so the house stays cool. Enjoy this classic dish with a summer vegetable twist!


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/4-1/2 pounds stew beef, cut into chunks
  • 2 tablespoons flour, *see note
  • 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


  • Place olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat on the stove-top.
  • Toss beef with flour, salt and pepper in a small bowl until all the pieces all equally coated.
  • Add beef to the hot pot and brown on all sides, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Transfer beef and all it’s juices to the slow cooker.
  • Add garlic, bay leaf, shallots, tomato paste and broth to the slow cooker. Stir to combine and set for 6 hours on low heat.
  • 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)
  • Serve with grain of choice (shown with creamy cheese grits).


*Use GF flour if necessary.
**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.


Serving: 1SERVINGCalories: 487kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 69gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 198mgSodium: 687mgFiber: 3gSugar: 6g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Soups + Stews
Cuisine: American
Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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Recipe Rating


  1. This was a decent base recipe but really a bit bland. I added a couple of Thai chiles from the garden at the end and some salt. Also it needed more broth. I added another cup with the veggies at the end.

  2. Does the calorie count include the grits? I found a very similar recipe (almost the exact same ingredients) and it is only 305 calories.

    1. It does not include the grits as they’re not in the ingredient list. That being said, any recipe nutrition info you see online is an estimate. If you need to be that specific about calories, you should plug exactly what you’re using into an online calculator yourself. For example, the stew beef in this recipe can vary widely in fat content which would affect the calories very easily.

  3. Love this recipe! I’ve added it to my list of things to make when we are buried in summer squash coming out of the garden and a great way to use up extra stew meat that’s still lingering in the freezer from last winter. Second summer in a row that we’ve made it and just as good as I remember from last year.

  4. What a delicious and healthy slow-cooker recipe! Perfect for busy weekdays. A great addition to the meal plan rotation.

  5. I love your recipe and want to share it with our customers. We are a family grass-fed beef company and I was hoping to share this with our customers so they knew they could use stew meat in the summer as well! Thanks :)

    1. Grits are a comforting cornmeal dish. It can simply be cornmeal cooked in water until it thickens. A quick Google search will tell you all you need to know about them but it’s just a serving suggestion. You can serve the stew with whatever you like or normally like to eat with stew – rice, mashed potatoes, etc.

    2. Same thing as Polenta, grits are just ground corn. The type of corn (white or yellow, hominy or other) doesn’t really make much difference in terms of taste. Some are ground finer than others, but any form of ground corn will do.