No Peek Stew Recipe {Freezer Meal}


No Peek Stew - This takes minutes to put together and then slow cooks in the oven or crockpot. Serve up with some crusty bread and a side salad for a homestyle dinner.

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Friends, making stew gets NO EASIER than this recipe. My mother-in-law taught me this one when I first got married, and I’ve been serving it up to big crowds ever since. I

It does include some canned items, which I normally avoid. But, in this instance, I just do my best to find organic, BPA-free options. Definitely read labels and find the canned items with the most recognizable and fewest ingredients. I also use grass-fed beef (here’s why), as it will get nice and tender during the long baking time. Throw all the ingredients in a casserole dish and in the oven around lunch time, DO NOT PEEK, and you’ve got a hearty and tasty dinner ready five hours later!

No Peek Stew - This takes minutes to put together and then slow cooks in the oven or crockpot. Serve up with some crusty bread and a side salad for a homestyle dinner.

What kind of containers do you store these type of freezer meals in?

You have several options here.

We highly recommend using a BPA-free container or dish. While it may be easier to buy the disposable Glad ovenware containers, it really makes sense to stock up on some quality, safe dishes that you can bake AND store in. After searching long and hard, I highly recommend using these containers from MightyNest:

Glass Baking Dish with Lid (6 cup)Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 8.26.21 PMGlass Baking Dish with Lid (3 Quart)

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 8.31.45 PMA few reasons I like these:

  1. Glass is a natural, non-porous material.
  2. Glass cookware doubles as food storageware.
  3. Glass is easy to clean and dishwasher safe.
  4. The clear lid allows easy visibility to your food.
  5. Because they are oven and microwave proof, you can cook, heat, and store your food all in one dish.
  6. Flat top allows for easy stacking.
  7. They are VERY affordable.

No Peek Stew - This takes minutes to put together and then slow cooks in the oven or crockpot. Serve up with some crusty bread and a side salad for a homestyle dinner.

3.5 from 2 reviews
No-Peek Stew Recipe
 
Making stew gets no easier than this recipe! Throw all the ingredients in the oven around lunch time, DO NOT PEEK, and you've got a hearty and tasty dinner for a crowd ready five hours later!
Author:
Serves: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs of stew meat (or arm roast, cut-up in about 1-inch chunks)
  • 2-3 potatoes, peeled and cut up into about 1-inch chunks
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and cut up into about 1-inch chunks
  • 1 large onion, cut up into about 1-inch chunks
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, or more to your preference
  • 1 (15 ounces) can of green beans
  • 1 (15 ounces) can of tomato soup
  • 1 15-oz can of cream of mushroom soup
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.
  2. Spray a 9x13 casserole dish with cooking spray. Add stew meat, potatoes, carrots, and onions. Season with a little pepper and toss together.
  3. Dump the can of green beans, liquid and all, over the top of meat and vegetables.
  4. Lastly, pour the tomato soup (or marinara) and cream of mushroom soup over the top. Gently combine with a spoon if you want but not necessary.
  5. Tightly cover with foil. Place casserole dish on a cookie sheet with sides, in case of overflow. Bake at 275 degrees for 5 hours. Don't peek!
Slow Cooker Instructions:
  1. Complete steps 2-4 in the slow cooker. Place the lid on and set to LOW for 8 hours. (Do not peek!)
Notes
Freezer Meal Instructions:

Fully cook and cool stew (do not leave out of refrigerator or freezer more than 2 hours!). Place in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container. Try to remove as much air as possible and seal and/or wrap it well before placing in the freezer.
To reheat, thaw for 24-48 hours in the refrigerator (preferred method) or in the microwave using the defrost setting. Then, warm over low to medium-low heat on the stove, gently stirring occasionally.


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Comments

  1. Michelle says

    Just curious if this would work in the crock pot? I might rather have that on all day instead of the oven…
    thanks!!

    • Rachel says

      I haven’t tried it in there but I have no doubt it would work just fine! My Pot Roast recipe is similar (not canned items though) and it turns out just right every time.

    • Kristi Stadler says

      I make a stew just like this in the crockpot all the time 🙂 8 or 9 hours in the crockpot on low . Mine also calls for a can of peas layered in there 🙂

      • Rachel says

        Wow, what a great idea if I’m not going to be home. Thanks for the suggestion!

  2. Amanda says

    Can one make this up, put in the freezer and cook at a later date??

    • Rachel says

      Amanda,

      I have tried freezing it before cooking and also after it’s been cooked. It works either way, but here are a few disclaimers from my experience. Don’t be surprised if your potatoes turn brownish if you freeze before cooking. To help avoid this oxidation, make sure the potatoes are coated in the sauce before freezing. If you freeze it after it’s been cooked, the potatoes get a little mushy when rewarmed. It’s definitely still edible (my family will still eat it) but either way it’s just not quite as good as fresh out of the oven.

  3. Tammy says

    Sounds real yummy, I to would use the crock pot and use deer meat, throw some corn and peas in it ….we love our veggies

    • Rachel says

      Oh, yes, corn and peas at the end would be delicious. I have never had deer meat but I hear it is very lean and nutritious!

  4. Tiffanie says

    I have looked through a lot of your recipes and tried 12 or 13 recipes which were wonderful. I would just like to point out that while this recipe looks good, it is not healthy. One can of green beans contains 20 percent sodium. Campbell cream soup is also 12-20 percent sodium. For those with blood pressure issues, this is not a healthy choice.

    • Rachel says

      Thanks for pointing this out and I agree, Tiffanie. For this one, I only buy no-salt added green beans and I buy the organic “cream of” soups which can fair a bit better. I’ll try to go back and make note of that in the post. We use very few canned items in our recipes, but sometimes it’s helpful when feeding a crowd.

    • Melissa says

      If you have sodium issues, read the labels & get no salt added green beans & lower sodium soup if available…or make your own.

  5. barbara says

    I use a recipe similiar to this. It was published years ago in Peg Bracken’s “I hate to cookbook”. Its fabulous! It calls for 1 envelope dry onion soup mix, can of tomato soup, can of cream of mushroom and a can of red wine. Add potatoes, onions beef and carrots with the soups in a dutch oven with tight lid. 5 hours, no peeking, at 250. The house smells devine. I add defrosted, mixed vegtables (precooked in microwave ) and drained at the end. YUMMY! I have also made this in the crockpot and it comes out perfectly!
    I believe she dubbed it “Stay in bed all day stew”.

  6. Nicole says

    What are the freezer directions for this meal? Do you suggest not using this as a freezer meal since the potatoes brown?

    • Rachel says

      I have made this two ways as a freezer meal. 1) You can freeze everything before cooking. The downside is that the potatoes do turn brown, especially if not covered well with sauce. 2) You can cook it and freeze it after it cools. This works, but the texture will not be exactly like when it’s fresh. The potatoes will be a bit mushier. You will probably need to add more broth to it after you warm it up, too. But, honestly, it wasn’t a big deal to our family since stew is stew. It still tasted good!

  7. Candace says

    Just curious, if you DO freeze before baking this; would you thaw completely in the fridge before baking at 275 for 5 hours? or can you bake directly from frozen (in an aluminum disposable pan) and how long would you have to increase the baking time to?

    • Rachel says

      I have not frozen this when raw, but from my previous experience with similar recipe, I would fully thaw it before cooking if you went this route. Cooking foods from a frozen state is often a tricky game, and can end in some of the food being overdone and some being underdone. Hope that helps!

  8. lori says

    I have made this many times. For extra flavor mix a package of beef stew seasoning in with the soups.

  9. Jo says

    Hi! Looks great! So this is like a soup you would serve in a bowl, right?

  10. Jo says

    Lol I see how stupid that sounded. You have it in a bowl at the top. At first I didn’t know if the liquid cooked down and it was something you served on rice or something.

  11. Casey Wood says

    I’ve got two batches of this in the oven now! I’m prepping as much food as I can before baby #2 arrives next week and it was one of the simplest recipes I came across. Anyhow, first question is, would you cook longer with two batches in at the same time? Second question is, am I the only one who just COULD NOT find 15oz cans of soup?! Veggies were 15oz but the soups were 10oz. I’m hoping it turns out anyway!

    • Rachel says

      I think this one is hard to mess up, Casey. You may have to cook just a smidgen longer, but just make sure the potatoes are done and meat is tender.

  12. Anne says

    can I sub frozen veggies for can ? Thanks Anne

    • Rachel says

      I haven’t tried them. My gut shot is it would be fine.

  13. Tamara says

    Thank you this has become a family favorite!!

    • Rachel says

      Cool! I’m glad we could add a good one to your repertoire.

      • Chrissy says

        This has become part of my rotation in the cooler months. I like to serve it over rice. My favorite tomato base is marinara, preferably a vodka sauce. Thanks for posting this!

        • Rachel says

          Yummy! Great idea to serve over rice.

  14. Mary says

    Hello! I am trying to find freezer meals that can be put into small, single-serve containers (like the Glad or Ziploc ones) and then heated up in the microwave at work. I have had too many bad experiences with the frozen boxed lunches; have you ever heated this up in a microwave?

    • Rachel says

      Hi Mary, I’ve definitely warmed up leftovers of this in the microwave. Keep in mind that from frozen it will do much better on the defrost setting, so you don’t overcook it. But, if you’ve thawed it over night in the fridge (which I would suggest), then you should be able to microwave it for a few minutes, stirring intermittently. I would NOT suggest microwaving in any kind of plastic, however, as they leach chemicals into your food. Check out the Mighty Nest glass containers we recommend on this Freezer Meal post: http://thrivinghomeblog.com/healthy-recipes-index/healthy-freezer-meals-recipes/ for a safe alternative. I hope that helps!

  15. Brook says

    If I were to half this recipe, would it still need the full 5 hours? I have a tiny oven and I’m only cooking for 2 adults.

    • Rachel says

      Probably not. Check it at 3 and see. The main thing is that you want the meat to become tender and low and slow cooking it is the key to that.

  16. Lisa says

    I have this in the oven right now,I stuck to the recipe but I have to be honest I feel like its gonna need lots extra spices …. we will see

  17. Melissa says

    So I needed to shorten the cooking time for this one. It came out great and was family approved. What I did was marinate the meat with apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, onion powder. I cut up smaller pieces of carrots and potatoes so they would cook faster. I chopped up some onions and sauteed and browned the meat. I threw in the browned meat with the juices into the rest of the mixture. Baked in the oven for 2 hours @ 350. It cut down cooking time and the meat was very tender.

    • Rachel says

      Yum, sounds great. Thanks for the ideas!

  18. I used coconut soup instead of mushroom soup so that it will be creamy flavoured with pepper and cardamom filled with it…Anyways this sounds good.

  19. Chrissy says

    Thanks for this recipe! It’s become a regular in our house 🙂 Smells great when cooking!!

    • Rachel says

      Awesome! It’s so easy, isn’t it? I’m glad it’s been a winner for your family.