Family-friendly classics don’t have to start with a can of condensed soup. This easy beef stroganoff is just as comforting as the one you grew up with, but is made with fresh mushrooms and a simple gravy that comes together as the ingredients braise in the slow cooker. It requires minimal upfront prep (no stovetop browning!), meaning you can toss in all the ingredients in the morning and then return to a warm dinner in the evening.
In this beef stroganoff, hearty pieces of inexpensive beef cook alongside mushrooms, onion, and broth in the slow cooker. Just before serving, you’ll stir in sour cream to thicken the sauce, giving it a rich and creamy texture. Serve this hearty stew over buttered egg noodles, mashed potatoes, or polenta for a cozy end to a cold winter’s day.
Choose Your Ingredients Wisely
When beef stroganoff is on the menu, leave the lean steaks and expensive cuts on the shelf and reach for inexpensive stew meat instead. Tough cuts like chuck or bottom round beef are the best choices for braised meat stews like this stroganoff because they contain collagen. The collagen breaks down into gelatin over long periods of moist heat cooking. The result? Meltingly tender beef.
The coziest part of beef stroganoff is the creamy gravy coating the pieces of beef and mushroom. The sauce starts when you coat the stew meat in flour, which thickens the savory sauce during the braise. For a silky-rich finishing touch, stir or whisk in sour cream. Choose full-fat sour cream — reduced-fat or fat-free sour cream or even Greek yogurt are more likely to curdle. To further prevent curdling, you can temper the sauce by whisking the sour cream with a few spoonfuls of the sauce to warm the cream before adding it to the final dish.
Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff
Yield: Serves 4, Makes 4 cups stroganoff and 4 cups noodles
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours to 8 hours
- Cooking spray
- 2 pounds chuck or bottom round beef stew meat, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 1 small yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/4 cups low-sodium beef broth
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 8 ounces dried egg noodles
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup full-fat sour cream (8 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley leaves (optional)
Coat a 5-quart or larger slow cooker with cooking spray. Place the beef, flour, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and toss until the beef is evenly coated. Transfer the beef and any flour left in the bowl to the slow cooker. Add the mushrooms, onion, garlic, beef broth, and Worcestershire sauce, and stir to combine. Cover and cook until the beef is tender, 6 to 8 hours on the LOW setting, or 3 to 4 hours on the HIGH setting.
30 minutes before you are ready to eat, cook egg noodles according to package directions. Drain, toss with the butter, and set aside.
Gradually and slowly stir the sour cream into the stroganoff. Serve over buttered noodles and sprinkle with the parsley if desired.
Make ahead: The stroganoff can be made up to 2 days in advance. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove over low heat.
Storage: Refrigerate stroganoff and pasta in separate airtight containers for up to 2 days.
Patty Catalano is a freelance recipe developer who worked as Alton Brown’s Research Coordinator & Podcast Producer and in the Oxmoor House test kitchen.