Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff
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Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff — A comfort food classic that everyone in the family LOVES! Hearty chunks of beef, rich and flavorful beef gravy, and served over a bed of warm noodles to soak up all that goodness! The EASIEST recipe for beef stroganoff ever because your Crock-Pot truly does all the work! Set it and forget it!
Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff Recipe
Let’s talk about what a comfort food classic recipe this easy beef stroganoff is!
There are just about as many ways to make beef stroganoff as there are ways to make chocolate chip cookies.
I am sharing my slow cooker version that’s so easy it’s practically effortless.
This is a case where your slow cooker does all the work! You don’t even have to sear or brown the beef beforehand.
Tender chunks of beef simmer all day in your slow cooker in a mixture of cream mushroom soup that’s seasoned with plenty of onions, garlic, beef broth, and Worcestershire sauce for fabulous depth of flavor.
That beautiful beef and flavorful sauce is served over a bed of tender egg noodles in classic beef stroganoff fashion.
Ingredients in Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff
For this slow cooker beef stroganoff, you’ll need only a handful of easy to find and very common fridge and pantry ingredients including the following:
- Beef stew meat or beef chuck
- White onion
- Beef bouillon
- Fresh or dried thyme
- Cream of mushroom soup
- Beef broth
- Dijon mustard, optional
- Worcestershire sauce
- Egg noodles
- Parsley, optional for garnishing
Yes, I made this beef stroganoff with cream of mushroom soup instead of making the whole recipe totally from scratch!
Sometimes store-bought shortcuts are the way to go, and I promise the canned soup doesn’t detract from the homemade flavor whatsoever.
How to Make Beef Stroganoff in a Slow Cooker
This Crock-Pot beef recipe is so simple yet delivers perfectly cooked beef stroganoff.
Just follow these very basic steps:
Step 1: Add the beef, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, beef bouillon, and thyme to a large slow cooker and stir to combine.
Step 2: Mix together the mushroom soup, broth, optional mustard, Worcestershire, pour it over the contents of the slow cooker and stir.
Step 3: Cover and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours OR on low for 7 to 8 hours.
Step 4: Serve over cooked egg noodles, optionally garnish with parsley, and dig in!
What Cut of Beef is Best for Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff?
I prefer making this easy beef stroganoff with stew meat, or beef chuck, since it’s an inexpensive cut of meat that is meant to be cooked for a long time to tenderize it.
If you were making your beef stroganoff in a skillet and weren’t going to cook the meat all day, then a more tender cut such as tenderloin or top sirloin would be recommended.
However, they’re more expensive and not necessary for slow cooker beef stroganoff.
Do I Have to Use Cream of Mushroom Soup?
I know that canned soups get a bad rap. However, sometimes they work really well and give you an excellent final result. This is one of those times and you need to use it.
I’m sure there are tons of recipes out there that don’t use cream of mushroom soup in slow cooker beef stroganoff but mine does.
And unfortunately I can’t make substitution guesses on what to use instead so just go with it is my advice.
Can I Make the Beef Stroganoff Sauce Creamier?
If you’re the type of person who likes a creamier stroganoff sauce, you can easily achieve this by adding 1/2 cup room temperature heavy cream after the beef is done slow cooking and you’ve waited until it’s stopped boiling or bubbling.
This is because overheating or over-simmering dairy can lead to sauces that separate, or “break”, and you definitely don’t want that after an eight-hour slow cook!
Isn’t Sour Cream Traditional in Beef Stroganoff?
Some recipes for beef stroganoff call for sour cream. However, I just use actual cream but you can experiment with sour cream and see how you like it.
Tips: If you use sour cream, be very careful not to add cold sour cream to hot beef gravy because it could curdle.
You should actually temper the sour cream a bit. Meaning add a bit of gravy to the sour cream, then adding a bit of that mixture into the whole amount of beef gravy, making sure there are no temperature extremes.
Do some research on tempering if you don’t know what it means specifically.
Should I Cook Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff on High or Low Heat?
You can slow cooker your beef stroganoff for either 4 to 5 hours on high OR 7 to 8 hours on low heat in your slow cooker.
All things being equal though, I would opt for the low and slow version since the beef will be that much more likely to be in that extra falling-apart-tender state.
But if you’re more pressed for time, then cooking on high is fine.
What Kind of Noodles Should I Use for Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff?
Classic beef stroganoff noodles are usually wide egg noodles.
However, you can use another pasta noodle, serve it over mashed potatoes, or even rice. Definitely something though that can soak up all that flavorful beef gravy that’s been simmering away for hours.
Should I Cook the Noodles Separately or In the Slow Cooker?
It is possible to cook your noodles in the slow cooker but not my first recommendation. If you do go this route, you’ll want to remove all the cooked beef first, then let the noodles simmer in the sauce that remains.
However, the pitfall here is that the noodles will soak up a lot of the liquid, so you may have to add more liquid. Either more beef broth or water.
And then, they are prone to overcooking in a hurry and thereby disintegrating.
Therefore, a much more tried-and-true and safer method is to cook the noodles in a pot of boiling water on the stove in the last 15 minutes of slow cooking your beef, according to the package directions.
Drain and get them ready for all that luscious beef and gravy they’re soon to be piled high with!
Storage Suggestions for Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff
This slow cooker beef stroganoff is incredible right out of the Crock-Pot and loaded on top of a bed of warm, al dente noodles.
If you have extra beef and gravy mixture, I recommend keeping it stored airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months.
Make sure to store the beef and gravy mixture separately from any noodles.
That’s because noodles, especially egg noodles are like little sponges, and they will continue to absorb lots of liquid from your beef gravy as time passes in the fridge or freezer, so keep them separate when storing.
Tips for the Best Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff
This slow cooker beef stroganoff is such a straightforward and simple recipe but here are some final tips to make sure yours turns out perfectly!
Don’t cut your beef chunks too small. I like a good 1 to 2-inch raw beef chunk. Remember, they will reduce dramatically in size in the 4 to 8 hours in the Crock-Pot.
Starting with too small chunks will cause them to overcook and just not give you the right mouthfeel you’re looking for in this delectable beef stroganoff recipe.
When it comes to beef bouillon, I like the Better Than Bouillon brand in beef flavor, but your favorite brand will be fine.
Either fresh or dried thyme are fine to use in your Crock-Pot beef stroganoff.
Low-sodium beef broth is advantageous because as the volume of liquid reduces as the beef stroganoff cooks for hours and hours, the finished gravy or sauce won’t be overly salty.
Whereas if you start with a more traditional type of beef broth, you may find the final stroganoff sauce too salty.
Dijon mustard is sometimes used in beef stroganoff recipes. If you’re a mustard person, use it. And if not, it’s okay to omit it.
Some recipes also call for actual mushrooms in addition to the mushroom soup I use.
If you’re wanting the chewy and hearty factor of actual mushrooms, I recommend sautéing about 2 cups of baby portobello mushrooms and stirring them into your slow cooker at the end of the slow cooking process.
- 2 pounds beef stew meat or beef chuck, diced into large bite-sized pieces or chunks
- 1/2 cup white onion, diced small
- 3 to 5 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon beef bouillon
- 2 to 3 sprig fresh thyme OR 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- two 10-ounce cans cream of mushroom soup
- 2 cups low sodium beef broth, plus more if desired
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, optional
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, optional for a creamier sauce; at room temperature
- 12 ounces wide egg noodles, cooked according to package directions (or your favorite pasta or mashed potatoes)
- Fresh parsley, finely minced; optional for garnishing
- To a large 7 to 8-quart slow cooker, add the beef, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, beef bouillon, thyme, and stir to combine; set aside.
- To a medium bowl, add the mushroom soup, beef broth, optional Dijon, Worcestershire sauce, and whisk to combine.
- Pour the liquid over the contents in the slow cooker, stir to combine, cover the the lid, and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours OR on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until done. Tip - At any time the beef is slow cooking and you feel like it needs a bit more beef broth, it's fine to add a bit more, to taste.
- In the last 15 minutes of slow cooking, cook the egg noodles in a pot of boiling water according to package directions; drain and set aside.* (See Notes about why I don't cook the noodles in the slow cooker and cook them separately.)
- Optionally, if you want a creamier sauce, after the beef stroganoff has cooked and has cooled a bit meaning it's not boiling nor bubbling, slowly you can add 1/2-cup heavy cream at room temperature while whisking vigorously as you add it. Tip - Do NOT add cold cream to hot beef liquid because the dairy proteins can separate, or break, and you will end up with a horribly ugly looking sauce after hours and hours slow cooking. So make sure the cream is at room temp and the beef stroganoff has cooled a bit if you are adding cream.
- Plate a bed of noodles, top with the beef and gravy mixture, and serve immediately. Extra beef stroganoff will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days and in the freezer for up to 4 months. Tip - Because the noodles will continue to absorb moisture, including any of the beef gravy or sauce, it's very important to store the beef mixture and the noodles separately in the fridge or freezer.
*It is possible to cook your noodles in the slow cooker but not my first recommendation.
If you do go this route, you’ll want to remove all the cooked beef first, then let the noodles simmer in the sauce that remains. However, the pitfall here is that the noodles will soak up a lot of the liquid, so you may have to add more liquid. Either more beef broth or water. And then, they are prone to overcooking in a hurry and thereby disintegrating.
Therefore, a much more tried-and-true and safer method is to cook the noodles in a pot of boiling water on the stove in the last 15 minutes of slow cooking your beef, according to the package directions. Drain and get them ready for all that luscious beef and gravy they’re soon to be piled high with!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 575Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 191mgSodium: 1288mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 2gSugar: 6gProtein: 62g
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