This classic Beef Stew recipe requires minimal prep work before it’s cooked to savory tenderness in just 4 hours in your oven. It’s comfort food that’s full of flavorful meat and hearty vegetables that makes for a warming and satisfying meal.
This low-effort beef stew recipe is full of carrots, onion, beef, and seasonings that are cooked in a tomato base to infuse it with outrageous flavor. And best of all? It’s mostly a hands-off meal that roasts low and slow right in your oven. Just give it a stir every so often and enjoy the delectable aroma as it cooks.
This beef stew is also perfect for meal planning. Make a double batch and cook both, in separate baking dishes, at the same time. Cool and freeze the extra batch so you’ll have it ready to thaw and reheat when life gets too busy to cook.
The stew is awesome on its own, but it’s even better when you serve it over mashed potatoes, rice, or egg noodles. And of course, don’t forget the bread! Try my sourdough bread, my French bread, or my country bread recipe for the perfect side item to go with this beefy stew.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Minimal prep work
- Easy cleanup
- Uses pantry staple ingredients
- No fancy appliances needed
- Easily doubled and freezer-friendly
- It’s comfort food that’s always been a family favorite
- Beef Stew Meat – chuck roasts, rump roasts, and brisket are all good choices
- Vegetables – you’ll need carrots (peeled and chopped), onion (diced), celery (chopped), and peas (frozen)
- Tomato Soup – you’ll need classic cream of tomato soup
- Salt, Sugar, Bay Leaf, and Fresh Parsley– for seasoning and garnishing
- Side Item – serve this beef stew over mashed potatoes, rice, or egg noodles
How To Make 4-Hour Beef Stew
Note: This is a summary of the recipe steps. For complete instructions, see the recipe card down below.
- Preheat the oven to 300°F. Spray a 2.5-quart baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
- Prep and cut all your ingredients: cut the beef stew into chunks, peel and cut the carrots, and dice the onion and celery.
- Add the beef and cut vegetables to a large bowl along with the tomato soup, salt, and sugar. Mix well to combine.
- Add this mixture to the prepared baking dish and tuck the bay leaf inside the stew. Cover with foil and cook for 4 hours. Stir occasionally.
- Toward the end of cooking, add in the frozen peas. Keep covered and continue cooking for 5-10 minutes until the peas have thawed and become tender.
- Remove the bay leaf before serving. Garnish with parsley and serve over mashed potatoes, rice, or egg noodles.
Preparation And Cooking Tips
- Cut your beef into uniform pieces so that they will cook evenly and at the same rate.
- Be sure and use a 2.5 oval baking dish or a 9x9x3 baking dish. If the dish is too large the liquid will evaporate and the stew will be tough and dry. If you use too small of a dish where all the ingredients are crowded, the sauce won’t thicken properly.
- About halfway through cooking, check on the tenderness of the meat. If you’ve cut the chunks small, they’ll become tender more quickly and you may need to reduce cooking time so as not to dry them out with additional time in the oven.
Do I Need To Brown The Meat First?
No, you don’t need to brown the meat chunks. They’ll cook to perfection right in the oven, saving you time, effort and cleanup!
Can I Make This In A Slow Cooker?
I have not tried this specific recipe in the slow cooker since it’s so easy to throw it in a baking dish for the oven. If you’re looking for a slow cooker beef recipe, try my slow cooker pot roast recipe.
Refrigerator: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Freezer: If making a double batch for the freezer, cool completely before storing in a freezer-safe airtight container. The stew will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before reheating it on the stovetop, microwave, or oven.
How To Reheat Leftovers
Stovetop: reheat on the stovetop over medium heat in a large pot. You may need to add a dash of water so as not to burn while reheating.
Microwave: heat individual portions in a microwave-safe bowl on high for 2 minutes.
Oven: for a large batch, reheat in a baking dish in a 350-degree oven for about 30 minutes or until warmed through.
More Easy Beef Recipes
This classic Beef Stew recipe requires minimal prep work before it's cooked to savory tenderness in just 4 hours in your oven. It's comfort food that's full of flavorful meat and hearty vegetables that makes for a warming and satisfying meal.
- 2 pounds beef stew meat
- 4 carrots, peeled and 1/2 inch slice
- 1 small sweet onion, large diced
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 10.75 ounce can condensed tomato soup
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1 & 1/2 cups frozen peas
- mashed potatoes to serve
- Fresh chopped parsley to serve
- Gather all of the ingredients.
- Preheat the oven to 300°F. Spray a 2.5-quart baking dish with cooking spray, and set aside.
- If the stew meat is in large chunks, cut it into bite-sized pieces.
- Place the beef, carrots, onion, celery, tomato soup, salt, and sugar into a large bowl, stir to combine and everything is coated in the soup. Add this mixture to the prepared baking dish.
- Tuck the bay leaf into the stew. Cover with foil and cook for 4 hours or until the beef is tender and the liquid has slightly thickened. We like to stir it every hour or so to see how it is doing. You can start testing the meat at the 3-hour mark to see if it is tender. The smaller the chunks, the faster they will cook.
- Add the peas and mix them into the stew. Cover for 5 minutes so the peas thaw and warm. Serve over mashed potatoes with parsley garnish if using.
- We have always served this over mashed potatoes or over egg noodles.
- This is my Grandma's recipe which we still use today! It is so easy to throw together and is a hearty comforting meal. The secret ingredient is definitely tomato soup, it sounds a little weird but it adds so much flavor to the overall stew!
- We have never added potatoes directly to the stew itself so I can’t say if it would work or not.
- The size of your baking dish is very important, if it is too big all of the liquid will evaporate and the stew will be dry. Too small and it will not thicken up.
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DOWAN Soup Bowls - 22 Oz Porcelain Large Soup Bowl, Cereal Bowl, Dishwasher and Microwave Safe Bowl Set of 4, Multifunction Colorful Kitchen Bowls for Soup, Cereal, Salad, Pasta, Cool Assorted Color
Ifuerte 10-Piece Stainless Steel Measuring Cups and Spoons Set
STAUB Ceramics Oval Baking Dish, 11-inch, White
Amount Per Serving Calories 411Total Fat 12gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 150mgSodium 674mgCarbohydrates 24gFiber 4gSugar 10gProtein 52g