10 Essential Slow Cooker Beef Recipes

10 Essential Slow Cooker Beef Recipes

Kelli Foster
Dec 5, 2017
(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

While cooking on a screaming-hot skillet or under the broiler are my go-to cooking methods for all sorts of steaks, the slow cooker is the first thing I reach for anytime I make brisket, pot roast, stew, or even meatballs. The low-and-slow cooking results in otherwise tough cuts of beef becoming unbelievably juicy and tender. Here are 10 essential beef recipes to make in your slow cooker.

1. How To Cook Classic Beef Brisket in the Slow Cooker

Slow-cooked brisket is one of my favorite comfort foods. Hours in the slow cooker transforms this tough cut into a piece of tender beef in a rich gravy with melting potatoes and carrots.

(Image credit: Christine Han)

2. German Slow Cooker Pot Roast (Sauerbraten)

Sauerbraten is a German twist on pot roast that's marinated and cooked in a tangy mix of red wine, vinegar, and warm spices.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

3. Slow-Cooked Bolognese Sauce

Swap your skillet for the slow cooker and you will be rewarded with a deeply flavored bolognese with a big, beefy taste and silky texture. This is a great recipe to double so you can stash the extras in the freezer for dinner during busy weeks.

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

4. Slow-Cooked Brisket and Onions

This classic preparation of brisket cooks quietly in the slow cooker all day with just a handful of ingredients and a mess of caramelized onions. It creates a rich broth and meat that melts in your mouth.

(Image credit: Melissa Ryan)

5. Slow Cooker Beef and Barley Stew

This classic stew takes a little bit of prep work, but once everything is in the slow cooker, you can sit back and relax while it cooks away. The next-day leftovers are a blessing for a tired cook.

(Image credit: Christine Han)

6. How To Make Meatballs in the Slow Cooker

Make meatballs in the slow cooker once and you'll never look back. This version is tender, well-seasoned, and utterly delicious. While beef meatballs are a classic, this technique will work with nearly any meatball recipe.

(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

7. Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef

Whether you're cooking for a crowd or simply craving some full-flavored beef to stuff in your tacos or burritos, or pile on top of nachos, barbacoa beef never disappoints. Cook it in the slow cooker and it's nearly effortless to bring to the table.

(Image credit: Nealey Dozier)

8. Slow Cooker Maple & Dijon Pot Roast

Add maple, Dijon mustard, and a splash of balsamic vinegar to the equation and your slow cooker pot roast will be packed with a sweet-tangy flavor.

(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

9. How To Make Sloppy Joes in the Slow Cooker

While beefy sloppy Joes are easy enough to make on the stovetop, I love this hands-off slow cooker option when there's lots to get done around the house and I don't quite have extra time to cook.

(Image credit: Christine Han)

10. How To Make Slow-Cooker French Dip Sandwiches

If you love a good French dip sandwich, you must try this slow cooker version. It's a slight twist on the classic that leaves you with juicy, tender meat that practically melts in your mouth plus a rich and decadent jus.

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