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Easiest Ever Beef Stew Recipe

I call this the easiest ever beef stew recipe because it is exactly that – just plain easy.

Someone gave me this recipe many, many years ago. I have made it more times than I can count.

It may sound like the oddest recipe, but it is absolutely delicious.

Don’t be tempted to brown the beef or add water. It will look quite dry before cooking, but makes perfect gravy, all by itself!

I have made this recipe, literally over 100 times. It comes out perfectly each time and people not only love it, they ask for it again and again. This one is an easy dinner recipe keeper for sure.

Beef stew is one of those old time comfort foods that never really gets stale. We all love it and it is the perfect easy dinner recipe for cooler days.

I have made this recipe many many times over the years and everyone loves it. It is one of those delicious Campbell soup recipes that is timeless.

Beef Stew Recipe

Easiest Ever Beef Stew Recipe

I call this the easiest ever beef stew recipe because it is exactly that - just plain easy. It may sound like the oddest recipe, but it is absolutely delicious.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 10 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, North American
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 396 kcal


  • 2 pounds stewing beef, well trimmed
  • 1 pound potatoes, peeled and cut into medium chunks
  • 1 onion, large, chopped
  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 can tomato soup, undiluted
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted (or cream of anything you want really. I have tried many cream soups and they work quite well)
  • 8 bay leaves
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, optional


  • Preheat the oven to 250°.
  • Add the raw beef and and all of the vegetables (except the mushrooms and peas) to a large stew pot. Add the undiluted soups and mix everything together well. Place the bay leaves on top of the mixture. The mixture will look quite dry at this point.
  • Bake the stew with lid on for 5 hours. If you are using mushrooms and peas, add them at the beginning of the last hour.
  • This amazing beef stew really does make its own just perfect gravy with no work on your part.


Calories: 396kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 42gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 96mgSodium: 667mgPotassium: 1532mgFiber: 6gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 7289IUVitamin C: 41mgCalcium: 76mgIron: 5mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


  • Remember to take out the bay leaves before serving, as dried bay leaves are not edible.

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Beef Stew Recipe

15 thoughts on “Easiest Ever Beef Stew Recipe”

    • You can try it Anita. I haven’t cooked it in a crock pot. It cooks at such a slow tempurature that your crock pot may be able to come to the same temp. If your crock pot cooks at 250 degrees Farenheit it should work.

  1. I love this easy recipe. Followed recipe but did add a little beef boulion and a half can of water. No.mushrooms. Best ever. Thank you.

  2. 5 stars
    This is my recipe also except we brown the meat and bake at 350 for 2 hours. Your cooking method is so much better! The meat is so tender and the gravy is perfect! Love it …

  3. 5 stars
    I made this recipe for dinner tonight with a little improvisation/ instead of tomato paste I used a 1/4c of Prego tomato sauce. I used Campbell mushroom garlic and cream of celery. It was the best stew I’ve ever tasted! Any it was very easy to make. Now I need a loaf of fresh French bread to go with it for tomorrow’s dinner.

  4. I was skeptical. After 5 hours it was too liquid but I was tired and just refrigerated it overnight. The next morning to my surprise it had formed a great gravy. I will get rid of all my other stew recipes. So easy! Thanks

    • The too liquid after 5 hours is puzzling Agnes. It should have been perfect. Next time I would suggest setting your oven just a bit higher (maybe 260 degrees instead of250). Your oven may be a bit slow. OR just leave it in for another 20 to 30 minutes. It should turn out perfectly each time.

      • I know why it came out too liquidy, because I made the same mistake once. You have to use Campbell’s CONDENSED soups, and not the newer ready-to-use soup and don’t add water.

    • Yes Agnes. Stewing beef is always cut into bite size or slightly larger pieces. This is the easiest stew ever and very good. If you think that there are too many bay leaves, cut the amount down a bit. I usually use 5 or 6.

  5. Have made this recipe many times, and love it! it’s so great to cook up in the fall for supper after a day of outdoor activities! I put in corn instead of peas, however you can put whatever you like…

  6. My mom always made this exact recipe! It’s delicious and EASY!
    My mom called it ‘Funeral Beef Stew’, as she often took it to the family of someone that had recently passed. It also reheats well, so the family could enjoy it whenever it was needed.
    Be certain to have oven at only 250°, I believe that is the key.

  7. These comments were made on the older version of the site and carried forward here:

    Wow! Thanks!

    by Richard

    Hello! Your quick stew recipe just saved my butt.




    by Cathy
    (Newmarket, Ont.)

    …it was a great hit with the whole family…BUT, is did not take 5 hours…more like 3

    From Karen:
    Baked on low, if you leave it for the 5 hours the gravy is perfect. A bit runny I find after 3 hours, but suit your own taste.


    I give it a 3.5

    I tried this stew today and though it tasty very nice the gravy was thin and it did not cook in 5 hours at 250. I actually ended up turning it up to 350 after 5 hours and cooking it for another 2 hours. I give it a 3.5 for taste but well not be cooking it again.


    Hi Suzie,
    Not sure what happened for you. I have made this recipe dozens of times at 250 degrees for 5 hours. It’s perfect. Maybe your oven is slow?


    3 out of 5

    I did too by turned up the heat to 300 and reduced to 4 hours instead; also added 1/2 package of dry onion soup mixed with 1/2 cup of water made it more graviable

    Originally posted by Lyn from Melbourne Australia.

    I had a terrible disaster with this recipe.
    I followed the instructions to the letter, but stew was burned to a crisp and inedible after 3 hours cooking.
    I should have followed my gut feelings and turned the heat right down and cut back the cooking time.
    What a waste of time and ingredients!
    My family had soup and pizza for lunch!
    Very disappointed.
    From Karen:
    Lyn, the stew works out perfectly at 250 degrees Fahrenheit. The only thing I can think of is that the difference in appliances between North America and Australia may have made a difference. I have made the stew literally a hundred times and it has NEVER burned.


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