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This Slow Cooker Short Rib Stew is comforting, hearty, and healthy. This flavorful beef stew recipe is loaded with tender bites of beef, tons of veggies, and the best combination of herbs and seasonings.

side view of a bowl of short rib stew next to another bowl and a dish of salt.

Easy Beef Short Rib Stew

This crock pot beef stew is one of my favorite Sunday slow cooker meals. It’s so filling and hearty, loaded up with flavor, and packed with good-for-you ingredients.

It also makes a ton and the leftovers are delicious. Make a big batch at the beginning of the week and enjoy it for lunch or dinner all week long!

Ingredients Needed

This beef stew recipe is made with the heartiest, most flavorful combination of ingredients! Here’s what you’ll need:

overhead of crock pot beef stew ingredients.
  • Short Ribs: You’ll need two pounds of boneless short ribs, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes.
  • Oil or Butter: You can use either extra-virgin olive oil or grass-fed butter to brown your beef.
  • Aromatics and Veggies: We’re creating a flavor base and giving our stew the perfect texture with minced garlic, diced onion, potato, carrot, and diced tomatoes.
  • Broth: I use beef broth, but you can use whatever broth you have on hand.
  • Arrowroot Flour: Arrowroot flour helps thicken the soup slightly.
  • Herbs and Seasonings: We’re rounding out the flavors of our crock pot beef stew with the perfect blend of fine sea salt, black pepper, paprika, fresh thyme, bay leaf, and red pepper flakes.
  • Optional Add-Ins: I like to add a little extra texture and flavor with cremini mushrooms and parsnips. These are totally optional. If you do decide to add them, make sure you add them at the same time as the rest of the veggies.

How to Make Slow Cooker Short Rib Stew

  1. Prep the ribs: Trim the excess fat off of the short ribs, cut them into bite size cubes, then season with salt and pepper.
  2. Brown the meat: Heat oil or butter in a skillet, then add in the beef and cook until browned on all sides.
  3. Combine: Add the garlic, onion, potatoes, carrots, and optional parsnips and mushrooms to the slow cooker. Set the meat on top, then add in tomatoes, beef broth, flour, and seasonings.
  4. Cook: Cook the stew on low for 8 hours. Once done, remove the

Can You Put Raw Beef in the Slow Cooker?

Yes. But I recommend browning it first! Sautéing the beef in a skillet before slow cooking it gives it the most delicious caramelized, crispy exterior and makes the flavor even richer.

So, while the extra step isn’t totally necessary, I definitely recommend it.

Do Short Ribs Get Tender the Longer You Cook Them?

Yes! Short ribs are a notoriously tougher cut of beef. Which means they are meant to be cooked in the crock pot! The long, slow cooking time makes them so juicy and fall-apart tender.

Can You Overcook Ribs in a Slow Cooker?

Technically, yes. Anything can become overcooked in the slow cooker if it goes for too long. Fortunately, since there’s plenty of liquid in a stew, there’s very little risk of that happening in this recipe.

Still, I don’t recommend cooking longer than the 8 hours listed!

overhead of three bowls filled with crock pot beef stew.

Tips and Notes

  • Can’t find short ribs? While I really recommend it here, you likely could substitute it for a beef chuck roast cut into small 1-1/2 inch pieces.
  • Cube the beef. Before cooking, make sure you cut the beef into bite-sized cubes of about 1 1/2 inches. This ensures they cook all the way through and allows them to incorporate nicely with the rest of the beef stew ingredients.
  • Brown the beef. The deep, rich flavor and the slightly crispy edge is so worth the extra step.
  • Cook on low. While you can cook on high for 4-6 hours, the faster cooking time won’t make the beef nearly as tender.
  • Remove the herbs after cooking. The fresh thyme sprigs and bay leaf are there to add flavor, but you don’t want to eat them.
  • If you want a creamy stew, try adding a splash of heavy cream or half-and-half after cooking.

Serving Suggestions

You can serve this slow cooker beef stew on its own or with a side of gluten-free garlic bread, your favorite dinner rolls, or a simple salad.

It’s also delicious ladled over a pile of mashed potatoes, rice or cauliflower rice, or egg noodles.

a hand touching a bowl of beef stew.

How to Store

Leftover crock pot beef stew will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

To reheat, thaw overnight in the fridge if frozen, then warm on low on the stove until heated all the way through.

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overhead of three bowls filled with crock pot beef stew.


This Slow Cooker Short Rib Stew is comforting, hearty, and healthy. This flavorful beef stew recipe is loaded with tender bites of beef, tons of veggies, and the best combination of herbs and seasonings.
Servings 5
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 15 minutes


  • 2 pounds boneless short ribs
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or grass-fed butter
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 onion diced
  • 4 potatoes cubed
  • 4 large carrots diced
  • 2 cups Tuttorosso Diced Tomatoes
  • 5 cups beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot flour
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper more to taste
  • Pinch of paprika
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Optional: 1 cup cremini mushrooms
  • Optional: 2 parsnips diced


  • Trim excess fat off of the short ribs and cut them into small 1 1/2 inch bite-size cubes. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  • In a skillet, heat oil or butter and brown short ribs on all sides.
  • Place garlic, onion, potatoes carrots, and the parsnips and mushrooms if adding, in the bottom of your slow cooker.
  • Place meat on top, then add in the diced tomatoes, beef broth, arrowroot flour, teaspoon of salt, pepper, thyme, bay leaf, and red pepper flakes.
  • Set slow cooker to low for 8 hours. Once done, remove thyme sprigs and bay leaf, and add additional salt, pepper, paprika, and red pepper flakes as desired.


Calories: 711kcalCarbohydrates: 48.7gProtein: 71.3gFat: 24.3gSaturated Fat: 8.2gCholesterol: 188mgSodium: 1615mgFiber: 8.6gSugar: 10.4g
Course: Dinner
Author: Lexi

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  1. What size slow cooker would we need to use for the Short rib stew? Our slow Cooker would not hold the recipe amount of ingredients. We think our Slow Cooker is 5 Quarts. We also used Russet potatoes and they were very large… could that have been the issue?

    We’ll taste it in a couple of hours and let you know what we think!