How to Make Miniature Slow Cooker Beef Stew for Delicious Portions

A bubbling crockpot filled with beef stew is the ultimate comfort food. But when cooking for just one or two people, a full batch can mean lots of leftovers. Mini slow cooker recipes are the perfect solution for petite portions of classic dishes like beef stew. With a few easy tweaks, you can scale down ingredients to create individualized stews cooked right in cute mini crockpots.

Benefits of Mini Crockpot Beef Stew

Making mini crockpot beef stew offers several advantages:

  • Perfect single servings – No more giant pots of leftovers when cooking for yourself or one other person. Mini crocks allow for properly portioned meals.

  • Customizable – Each mini crock can feature unique add-ins tailored to each person’s tastes. Add different veggies, seasonings, etc.

  • Fun presentation – Individual stews in mini crocks look adorable and feel special served right at the table.

  • Portable – Mini crocks keep stews hot for potlucks, parties, workplace lunches and other transporting.

  • ** cook evenly** – With smaller crocks, the contents heat through properly without edges overcooking.

  • Minimal clean-up – Only one or two small crocks to wash instead of a large stew pot.

Tips for Making Mini Beef Stews

Here are some tips for achieving delicious results when adapting standard beef stew for mini slow cookers:

  • Cut ingredients small – For even cooking, chop veggies and meat into petite pieces that will cook through fully in less time.

  • Reduce cook time – Most mini crockpots only take 2-4 hours on high vs. 6-8 hours for full size. Check manufacturer guidance.

  • Decrease liquids slightly – Limit added broth or water since less evaporation occurs. Flavor concentrates in less time.

  • Use small lean cuts – Opt for stew meat, beef tips or shredded beef rather than large chunks of meat.

  • Season assertively – Bold spices and herbs prevent blandness. Go a touch heavier handed than with full batches.

  • Finish with a slurry – Adding a cornstarch slurry at the end helps thicken smaller amounts of liquid.

Mini Beef Stew Recipe for Slow Cookers

This recipe makes two individual ~1 cup servings. Feel free to double for two mini crocks.


  • 3⁄4 pound beef stew meat, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 small potatoes, chopped
  • 1⁄2 cup beef broth
  • 1⁄4 cup red wine (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1⁄2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Toss beef cubes with flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  2. Heat oil in skillet over medium high heat and brown beef on all sides.
  3. Place onions in crockpot. Top with browned beef.
  4. Add carrots, potatoes, broth, wine, bay leaf, Worcestershire and thyme to crockpot.
  5. Cook on high for 3-4 hours until beef and veggies are tender.
  6. Remove bay leaf. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
  7. If needed, mix cornstarch with a tablespoon of water. Stir into stew to thicken and cook 5 more minutes.

The small crocks concentrate flavor well in the reduced cook time. For variety, try swapping different herbs, adding mushrooms, using red or sweet potatoes, or top with biscuit dough the last 30 minutes.

More Mini Stew Recipe Ideas

The mini crockpot method works wonderfully with all kinds of stews beyond just beef. Consider these flavorful combinations:

  • Chicken Stew – Diced chicken, peas, carrots, celery, pearl onions, thyme

  • Pork Stew – Pork shoulder, parsnips, tomato, kale, oregano

  • Lamb Stew – Lamb pieces, sweet potato, red onion, rosemary

  • Vegetable Stew – Mushrooms, zucchini, tomatoes, chickpeas, smoked paprika

Get creative with ingredients and seasonings. The mini crockpot makes whipping up personalized stews for one or two so fast and easy.

Tips for Cooking in Mini Crockpots

To get the most out of mini slow cookers for individual soups, stews, dips and more, keep these general guidelines in mind:

  • Cut all ingredients into small, uniform pieces for even cooking.

  • Limit added liquid to prevent spilling or boiling over.

  • Cook on high heat for best results in 2-4 hours.

  • Stir occasionally to distribute ingredients and prevent scorching on edges.

  • Use metal utensils to cause less damage if scratching occurs.

  • Allow proper ventilation and leave uncovered during cooking.

  • Clean thoroughly after each use to prevent buildup.

Making diminutive dishes in mini crockpots allows you to enjoy short prep, hands-off cooking and perfect portions. Follow this mini beef stew recipe to enjoy this cozy classic without a week of leftovers. Your own personal hearty stew awaits!

How to Make Miniature Slow-Cooker Beef Stew | Simple Beef Stew | Tiny Cooking


Can I put raw beef straight into a slow cooker?

Yes, you most certainly can cook raw meat in the slow cooker! You put it in “cold”, with whatever liquid your recipe calls for, turn it on either “low” or “high” depending on your recipe (I usually start it on “high” for a couple hours, then turn it to “low”), and in 6–7–8 hours, it’s now COOKED meat!

Do you have to brown stew meat before slow cooking?

Slow cooking without a preliminary sear results in grey meat with greatly reduced flavor. Other ingredients like onions also benefit from browning. If you want a rich, highly flavored stew take the time to sear your meat, onions and other veggies first.

Do you need to put liquid in a slow cooker with beef?

If your slow cooker is 3/4 full, no extra liquid is required. However, if you’re cooking a smaller amount of food, add 1-2cm of liquid in the bottom of the slow cooker bowl to ensure there’s enough liquid for cooking. Don’t add too much liquid, because as the food cooks, it produces its own liquid.

Should stew be covered with liquid in slow cooker?

Reduce liquid when using a slow cooker Because your slow cooker will have a tightly sealed lid, the liquid won’t evaporate so if you’re adapting a standard recipe, it’s best to reduce the liquid by roughly a third. It should just cover the meat and vegetables.

Leave a Comment