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This slow cooker Apple Cider Beef Stew is a set it & forget it meal. A creamy, thick brown gravy base with beef broth and apple cider, chunky vegetables and fall-apart beef that cooks in the slow cooker all day. The apple cider adds some sweetness and is a nice twist to traditional beef stew. 

For a more classic stew recipe be sure and try my crock pot beef stew and this inexpensive, easy to make ground beef stew.

A scoop of apple cider beef stew with the slow cooker in the background.

Apple Cider Beef Stew Recipe

This hearty and delicious apple cider beef stew is like classic beef stew but with a slightly sweet apple cider base. The rich, creamy brown gravy base with beef broth and tomato sauce makes this beef stew stand out from the rest. 

I also love that you can prepare this in the morning and have dinner all ready in the evening. The longer stew cooks in the crock pot, the better! The beef gets fall apart tender and the chunky vegetables soften up.

Slow cooker full of beef stew with a black ladle in it.

What You’ll Need

You will need a slow cooker, some convenient ingredients like a gravy packet, fresh vegetables, and of course beef stew meat. Easy to prepare with some prep work chopping the vegetables. 

  • Beef Stew Meat – You will need 1.5 pounds of beef stew meat. I like to get the lean beef stew meat for this recipe. 
  • Carrots – One cup of peeled and sliced carrots. You can half some baby carrots or thick slice some carrots.
  • Celery 
  • Frozen Peas 
  • Yukon Gold Potatoes – Leave these pretty chunky so they don’t soften to mush in the slow cooker. You can peel the potatoes or leave the peel on. 
  • Onion Soup Seasoning Packet
  • Brown Gravy Mix Packet
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Beef Broth – It’s best to use regular beef broth and not reduced-sodium.
  • Apple Cider 
  • Cornstarch + Water – To help thicken the stew to a rich, thick broth. 

How to make stew in the slow cooker with ingredient picture and ingredients inside a slow cooker.

How to make beef stew with apple cider.

How to Make Apple Cider Beef Stew

This stew takes some prep work chopping the veggies, and then it cooks in the slow cooker all day. It’s a set it & forget it crock pot recipe.

Cut Veggies : Chop the celery, carrots, and potatoes.

Slow Cooker : Add the stew meat, chopped vegetables, onion seasoning, gravy mix, tomato sauce, beef broth, and apple cider into the slow cooker. 

Cook : Cook on LOW heat for 8 hours. 

Serve : Combine the cornstarch and water and stir until dissolved. Stir into the stew to help thicken it before serving.

A bowl of stew inside a white bowl.

Tips For Success

A few of my tips to make this recipe a success for your family!

  • Low Heat : For any stew recipe, it’s best to cook it on LOW heat for several hours (8 hours). Low and slow is the way you cook stew. Minimum of 8 hours for the cook time, any sooner and the beef may not be fall apart tender. 
  • Beef Broth : Because of the longer cook time you need the full salt, regular beef broth in this recipe. Of course you can use the reduced sodium beef broth but you may want to check the stew before serving for taste and add salt if needed. 
  • Chunky Vegetables : You want to keep the potatoes and carrots pretty chunky, like in large bite-sized chunks, so they don’t turn to mush while cooking. 
  • Apple Cider : If you cannot find apple cider then use apple juice. For best taste use apple cider in this recipe. During the Fall you can easily find it and usually year-round you can find it in the juice aisle of the grocery store. 

Picture of beef stew inside a white bowl.

Serving Suggestions For Beef Stew

Stew is always best served with some bread. I always make my one hour soft & buttery rolls

You can also make some homemade French bread, buy some rolls or bread, or buy some frozen rolls that are cook n’ serve. 

Can I Freeze Apple Cider Beef Stew?

Yes you can! Cook the stew according to the recipe and let leftovers cool to room temperature. Store the stew in a freezer-safe Ziploc bag or container and freeze for up to 3 months. 

When you’re ready to eat the frozen stew, let it thaw in the fridge overnight and cook it on the stove top. You may have to add some additional beef broth and/or apple cider when reheating.

Close up shot of beef stew. 

More Slow Cooker Recipes You’ll Love

Crockpot Chili : A hearty chili with some surprise ingredients like cocoa powder (best chili ingredient!) and three different kinds of beans. 

Easy Swedish Meatballs : With some easy ingredients like cream of mushroom soup, a gravy packet, and frozen meatballs these Swedish meatballs are so easy to throw together and loved by all. 

Creamy Chicken Stew : A chicken version of a classic stew recipe. So creamy and delicious with chunks of chicken, potato, and vegetables. 

A scoop of apple cider beef stew with the slow cooker in the background.
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Slow Cooker Apple Cider Beef Stew

Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 20 minutes
Servings 8
This slow cooker Apple Cider Beef Stew is a set it & forget it meal. A creamy, thick brown gravy base with beef broth and apple cider, chunky vegetables and fall-apart beef that cooks in the slow cooker all day. The apple cider adds some sweetness and is a nice twist to traditional beef stew. 


  • lbs beef stew meat
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • cups yukon gold potatoes (cut into large bite-sized chunks)
  • 1 packet onion soup seasoning mix
  • 1 packet brown gravy mix
  • 1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) beef broth
  • cups apple cider
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup cold water


  • Combine the beef stew meat, carrots, celery, peas, potatoes, onion soup seasoning mix, brown gravy mix, tomato sauce, beef broth, and apple cider into the slow cooker.
  • Cover and cook on LOW heat for 8 hours.
  • In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and cold water. Pour into stew and stir to combine. Cook on high for 15 minutes to thicken the stew.
  • Add additional salt & pepper as desired. Serve & enjoy!


Potatoes : Be sure and leave your potatoes and carrots in bigger chunks. Large, bite-sized chunks. You can peel the potato or not. I peel the bad parts, so my potatoes are half peeled.
Beef Broth : I prefer to use the full salt beef broth. You need the salt to hold up to the longer cook time, and to season the bland meat & vegetables. They beg for salt!


Calories: 224kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 53mg | Sodium: 225mg | Potassium: 788mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 3053IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 101mg | Iron: 4mg

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Recipe Rating


  1. Hey Jessica! I made this stew last night! It was perfect for a chilly fall evening. I had lots of apple cider to use up. We ate corn bread & french bread with it?Thanks for such a yummy recipe!!

    1. Together As Family says:

      Hey Morgan. This stew does make the perfect chilly day dinner, huh?!? Now you have me wanting to make this again with french bread and cornbread served on the side. Yum! Glad you all enjoyed it 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    It was delicious! Thank you!

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  5. Would this soup be worse if left on low for ~20 hrs instead of 8?

    1. Together As Family says:

      I would just have the slow cooker go to the warm setting when it’s done cooking. It does really well on the warm setting after it’s had the cook time. You could try leaving it on low for that long, but I am pretty sure everything would be way overcooked.

  6. I haven’t made this yet but wondered if you recommend browning the beef before putting it in the slow cooker . . .

    1. Together as Family says:

      I just throw all the ingredients in together without browning the meat. You could brown it first if you wanted to though.