Finished easy beef stew cooked in a casserole dish

Easy No-Peek Beef Stew

By Rachel Tiemeyer
December 18, 2019

Friends, making beef 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. Make ahead and freeze to have on hand for busy nights or when hosting a big group.

What Ingredients are in an Easy Beef Stew?

We took some shortcuts in this recipe so you can get dinner on the table with very little effort. If you’d like to make a whole foods version, try our Instant Pot Beef Stew recipe that’s still pretty darn simple to put together.

Bowls of easy beef stew with potatoes, carrots, onions, green beans, and stew meat in it. On a wooden table.

For this version, you’ll start with some chopped onions, carrots, and potatoes. Then, throw in some beef stew meat. I use grass-fed beef (here’s a round-up of our favorite grass-fed beef recipes and where we get our meat from), as it will get nice and tender during the long baking time. The final three ingredients just require a can opener: a can of green beans, a can of organic tomato soup, and a can of organic cream of mushroom soup.

Easy beef stew with potatoes, carrots, onions, green beans, and stew meat

Now, you’ll notice this recipe does include some canned, pre-made items, which I normally avoid. But, sometimes it’s nice to take some help from the store. So, 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.

How Do You Make an Easy Beef Stew?

The beauty of this stew recipe is that you simply dump everything in the casserole dish that it bakes in, stir it up, and bake. You’ll end up with a tasty meal at the end of the day and only ONE dirty dish. Nice.

Uncooked Beef Stew in a casserole dish with stew meat, onions, carrots, green beans, and cream of mushroom soup

Throw all the ingredients in the oven around lunchtime (or in the slow cooker in the morning), DO NOT PEEK, and you’ve got a hearty and tasty dinner ready later in the day!

Finished easy beef stew cooked in a casserole dish

If you can chop vegetables and open cans, you can do this! This dump and go, one-dish-wonder meal really is a cinch to pull together. Watch our 1 minute tutorial here…

This recipe makes 6-8 servings easily, so it’s great for a large family or for serving a crowd. Be sure to pin this image for later, so you can make it for your family anytime.

Process shot of Easy Beef Stew recipe.

How to Make Ahead and Freeze Beef Stew

Easy beef stew in a casserole dish covered in foil and ready to be frozen.

Our easy No-Peek Stew can easily be made ahead of time and frozen for later. We’ve included freezer meal instructions for preparing it uncooked or fully cooked in the recipe below. Pro Tip: If you’re making one No-Peek Stew for tonight, go ahead and double the recipe and freeze one for later.

Bowls of easy beef stew with potatoes, carrots, onions, green beans, and stew meat in it. On a wooden table.

When it comes to packaging and storing any Beef Stew as a freezer meal, selecting the right container can make all the difference. Packaging and storing it the right way in the freezer means your make-ahead meal will taste fresh on the other end of its stay in the freezer! Yes, it’s true.

Read our article about the 5 Best Ways to Package and Store Freezer Meals here and stock up on some great freezer storage containers.

I think you’re going to love my mother-in-law’s No-Peek Stew recipe. It’s nearly impossible to mess up and makes your whole home smell amazing! Whether you’re serving a group or want dinner plus leftovers, this delicious dump-and-go meal is a winner dinner.

A bowl of easy beef stew with potatoes, carrots, onions, green beans, and stew meat in it. On a wooden table.


We’ve rounded up 15+ amazing dump and go slow cooker recipes. Bonus: You can make them ahead and freeze these meals for later, too. Freezing instructions included!

Finished easy beef stew cooked in a casserole dish

No-Peek Stew Recipe

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 hours
  • Total Time: 5 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 68 servings 1x
  • Category: Beef
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American


Making beef stew doesn’t get easier than this recipe! Throw all the ingredients in the slow cooker in the morning or in oven around lunch time, DO NOT PEEK, and you’ll end up with a hearty and tasty dinner for a crowd.


  • 2 lbs of beef stew meat (or chuck roast, trimmed and cut-up in about 1-inch chunks)
  • 23 baking 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
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or more to your preference
  • 1 (15 ounces) can of green beans, liquid and all
  • 1 (15 ounces) can of tomato soup (preferably organic)
  • 1 (15 ounces) can of cream of mushroom soup (preferably organic)


Make It Now:

Oven Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 275° F.
  2. Spray a 9×13 inch casserole dish with cooking spray. Add stew meat, potatoes, carrots, and onions to the casserole dish. Season with the pepper and gently stir together.
  3. Dump the can of green beans, liquid and all, over the top of meat and vegetables. Then, pour the tomato soup and cream of mushroom soup over the top. Gently combine with a spoon if you want, but not necessary. Tightly cover with foil.
  4. Place casserole dish on a cookie sheet with sides, in case of overflow. Bake for 5 hours. Don’t peek!

Slow Cooker Method: Stir together all the ingredients in a 6 quart slow cooker. Place the lid on and set to LOW for 8-10 hours. (Do not peek!)

Freeze For Later:

Option 1 (Uncooked): Follow Steps 2-3, except cover tightly with a few layers of plastic wrap and foil, squeezing out any excess air. Freeze.

Option 2 (Fully Cooked): Fully cook and cool the stew (do not leave outside 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.

Prepare From Frozen:

Option 1 (Uncooked): Thaw the casserole in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours. Remove the plastic wrap and cover tightly with one layer of foil. Bake as directed in Step 4 (or use the slow cooker method).

Option 2 (Fully Cooked): To reheat, thaw for 24-48 hours in the refrigerator (preferred method) or in the microwave using the defrost setting. Then, warm over low heat on the stove or in the slow cooker, gently stirring occasionally until warmed through.


Where We Get Our Beef: We get our beef from ButcherBox. The beef is grass-fed and curated from trusted farms. We highly recommend this service to source healthy meat–like uncured bacon, chicken, and wild salmon–and have used it for years ourselves.Woman holding a ButcherBox box

Try our Instant Pot Beef Stew for another quick meal the whole family will love.

bowl of stew in white bowl with napkin

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67 replies
  1. Shari says:

    This is the best beef stew recipe I’ve made! I have tried (and failed miserably) to make a good beef stew! I especially love the ease and the use of ingredients that most folks can find and not have to go to chef school to make! My hubby is thrilled too because he was the poor soul who had to pretend to enjoy my failed attempts. He had many bowls of tough meat, bland sauce and veggies that were sometimes hard sometimes overdone, etc. Thank you! I love all your recipes and it drives me nuts to read some of the negative comments people seem to just have to put out! If you don’t like something, hush up and move on. I admire the way you deal with the negative nells. My motto has always been if you can’t say something nice SHUT UP 🙂 ! I’m now on my way to my stove to get out hubby’s favorite dinner (your beef stew). God Bless!

    • Rachel Tiemeyer says:

      Hi Shari. So thankful to hear you and your husband enjoyed this stew that my MIL taught me so many years ago!! Appreciate the review, too. As for negative comments, as long as it’s constructive, I alway appreciate the feedback and we always want to improve our recipes/site/etc. We’ve been at this online business gig for a while. You develop tough skin and also learn a lot from others. 😉

  2. Denise G. says:

    This was super easy, smelled delicious as it was cooking, and even my three year old who doesn’t normally want to eat dinner ate two bowls! I used additional meat from what it called for because I need a lot of protien grams and it turned out nice and tender! It stayed good as a leftover too!

  3. April Horstman Reser says:

    I have made MANY beef stews and this recipe was HANDS DOWN my family’s favorite! And could not be easier!

  4. Kate says:

    I haven’t tried this recipe yet. I love soups and stews and make them regularly. I will definitely try this method with ingredients. I like the suggestions of additions like corn. Stews are great over mashed potatoes but not sure I would do that if there are potatoes in the dish. Can’t wait to try it.

  5. Jelena says:

    I have not tried the recipe as of yet but i will. I wanted to comment on some of the viewers comments. Why do people have to point out such negative comments about someone’s recipe, if you do not like and ingredient change it out for what you prefer, like salt add less buy soups with no salts etc. A beef stew is a thickened soup which contains potatoes and so I’m not understanding why you would put it over mashed potatoes or even rice. Too much carbohydrates..make no sense. Try the recipe and comment on its totality, you can’t change it and then comment on it because you didn’t like it , etc.

  6. Carolyn says:

    Very delicious. I have made this my cold weather go to many times. I have also tried this over regular mashed potatoes and mashed sweet potatoes. Also delish. Thanks for receipe

  7. D. Younts says:

    Very tender but I’ve got to be honest. Unless you love the flavor of canned tomato soup you will not like this recipe. It was just so overwhelming. Will try it again with a can of French Onion soup and see if that helps.

  8. Kristia says:

    Made this today as an easy meal in all of the Christmas business. It is a simple, filling, flavorful meal that will become an addition to my rotation.

  9. Carrie says:

    I put this on to cook at 1pm and it was ready to eat by 5:30. The meat was tender and potatoes and carrots were soft. I used can of corn in mine as well. So easy and good.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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: for a safe alternative. I hope that helps!

  14. 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!

  15. 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.

  16. 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!

    • 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!

  17. 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”.

  18. 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.

  19. 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:


      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.

  20. Michelle says:

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

    • 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 🙂