Grandma's Crockpot Ground Beef Stew

Jan 6, 2014

Also known as hamburger stew, hobo stew, mulligan stew, and beggar's stew, this delicious Crockpot Ground Beef Stew is great for fall and winter days. It's the ultimate wintertime comfort food!

Need more comforting dishes for a cold night? Try one of these Beefy Slow Cooker Recipes or this Hearty Chili.

A bowl of stew with cornbread sitting on table

This Ground Beef Stew is my absolute favorite dish for fall and winter. Just like my Perfect Hearty Chili, it offers the warmth and comfort you crave during colder seasons.

I was raised by my grandma, and she used to make this hamburger stew on Sunday's while I was at church. I loved coming in the door from the crisp, cool day to a warm home filled with the smell of this Ground Beef Stew!

Pure comfort, Y'all!

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bowl of beef stew

As flavorful, hearty, and delicious as this stew is, it's also super easy to make. You can make it in no time at all on the stove top. Or you can toss everything into the crockpot in the morning, and it's ready at lunch time. That's my kind of meal!

The one difference between my grandma's recipe and mine is that hers would have required several cups of broth. In my own recipe, I've cut the broth down to 1.5 cups, and substituted spicy vegetable juice.

close up view of bowl of stew

How to make Crockpot Ground Beef Stew - Step by Step

In a skillet, brown the ground beef until done. 

Add meat, potatoes, and veggies to the crock pot. Add the spices, vegetable or tomato juice, and broth. Cook on high for 4 hours or until veggies are tender.

Can you freeze ground beef stew?

Yes, you can freeze ground beef stew. Be aware, though, freezing changes the texture of potatoes, making them soft and grainy. Also, stews thickened with flour or cornstarch may separate after freezing. So if you're planning to freeze the stew, wait until reheating to thicken it. At that time, you can also add cooked potatoes.
  • Store stew in heavy plastic, airtight containers, leaving ½- inch of space to allow for expansion in the freezer.
  • Stew can be kept frozen for up to 3 months.

How to thaw ground beef stew:

Cooked stew that has been thawed in the refrigerator can be kept for an additional 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator before reheating. Stew that was thawed in the microwave or in cold water should be eaten immediately.

Once reheated, any remaining should be thrown away.

Spoonful of stew held over bowl

What to serve with Ground Beef Stew

Loaded with veggies and meat, stew is pretty much a stand-alone meal. I usually serve with cornbread or saltines, but you could serve with French baguettes, a simple salad, or rice.

Also known as hamburger stew, hobo stew, mulligan stew, and beggar's stew, this delicious recipe is great for fall and winter days. It's the ultimate wintertime comfort food!

Vegetarian Stew Option:

There are several options for making this a vegetarian stew. First, replace the beef broth with vegetable broth. Then replace the beef with one of the following options, or come up with your own replacement.
  • Replace the meat with seasoned jackfruit
  • Replace the beef with meatless version of beef.
  • Use portobello mushrooms in place of beef.

bowl of hamburger stew served with cornbread

If you're looking for more recipes perfect for fall or winter:
Tex Mex Cheesy Beef and Bean Skillet

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