I spent a while looking up slow cooker recipes for beef stew recipes and kept running across Tuscan beef stew. After reading a few, I got the gist of what goes into the Italian version of stew and decided to go to the kitchen without a specific recipe and see if I could make my own version.

I was pleased to find I had created a delicious, savory stew that we enjoyed last night with crusty bread and mashed potatoes.


  • 1 pound all-natural, grass fed beef cubes
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can of Cannellini beans – drained
  • 4 ounces caramelized onions (or one medium onion, chopped)
  • 8 ounces frozen green beans
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • 3 carrots, sliced thinly
  • 1 (28-ounce) can of peeled plum tomatoes, drained, tomatoes chopped
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 1/2 cup water (or beef stock)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon beef bouillon (omit if using beef stock)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan
  2. Dredge beef cubes in flour and sprinkle with a little salt & pepper
  3. Brown the beef cubes in the olive oil in the pan, then add to a 6-quart slower cooker.
  4. To the slow cooker add the beans, onion, green beans, carrots, chopped tomatoes, garlic, red wine, water and bouillon (or stock), bay leaf, and Italian seasoning.
  5. Cook on high for 4 – 5 hours; low for 7 – 8 hours (Cooking times on slow cookers vary – when the beef is cooked through and the carrots are fork tender, the stew is done).
  6. When done cooking, remove the bay leaf and taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper as needed.

My notes

  • I used caramelized onions that I had in the freezer from when I did a batch in the slow cooker. Caramelizing onions can take some time, so if you don’t have any already made and you don’t have the time to cook them up, add raw onion.
  • If you’re really pressed for time, you don’t have to brown the beef cubes, but it always looks better if it’s been browned first.
  • I used a Shiraz for the wine, but any big, flavorful, red wine would work.

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Tuscan Beef and Bean Stew
A comforting, warm stew for a cold night.