French Onion Beef Stew {No-Fuss Gluten Free}

Slow Cooker French Onion Beef Stew (GF) The secret ingredient is V8 juice!

I grew up eating the best slow cooker beef stew ever.  No question.  Unfortunately, it’s not gluten free.  I tried to adapt it, but it just wasn’t the same.  My mom (sharing my dilemma) sent me this yummy recipe.  (It’s still not as good as Mom’s, but I’ll keep trying!)  This is one of those yummy recipes that just happens to also be gluten free.  You don’t need any fancy flours or ingredients. Now that I am loving my Instant Pot, I’ve added instructions for a pressure cooker as well.

French Oven Beef Stew

  • 2 lbs stew meat or chuck roast, cubed
  • 2 onions *1 onion, chopped (Last time I made this, we cut the onion in half — to one onion — , and we liked it even better!)
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 6 carrots  (I used a large bag of mini carrots–in my opinion, a stew needs tons of carrots!)
  • 5 or 6 potatoes, halved, then quartered
  • 2 cups V-8 juice (Picky eaters can pick out all the veggies they want, but they will still get tons of veggies in the sauce!)
  • 1 cup beef broth (I used 1 cup boiling water and two tsp Better than Bouillon–Beef Flavor)
  • 1 small can of mushrooms–chopped (optional–I add the liquid from the mushrooms as well.)
  • 3 T quick cooking tapioca
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Dash Worcetershire sauce (Make sure to choose a GF brand)
  • 2-3 T corn starch for extra thickening after the stew is finished cooking.

Layer meat and vegetables in slow cooker.  Combine spices, juice, broth and tapioca.  Let stand 10 minutes.  Pour over meat and vegetables.  Cover and cook 4-6 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.    If your sauce is too thin, add 2-3 T corn starch to 1/4 c cold water.  Mix completely, and add to the boiling stew.  Sauce should thicken in five minutes.  Enjoy!  Yum!  (I could eat slow cooker beef stew for breakfast.  Sometimes I have been known to do just that with the leftovers!)

French Onion Beef Stew in the Instant Pot

This delicious meal can easily be cooked in your instant pot with a few minor adjustments. Place the meat and vegetables in the instant pot. Mix all liquid ingredients and spices (except the tapioca and corn starch) together and pour the mixture over the top.

Close the lid on your Instant Pot and make sure the pressure valve is set to sealing. There is nothing more frustrating than waiting and waiting for your dinner before realizing that you forgot to close the valve! Press the Meat/Stew button and walk away! When the time is up, release the pressure manually or wait — depends on how hungry you are!

As soon as you open the cover, immediately add the tapioca and stir it in. Close the lid again and let it thicken for a few a few minutes. You can also thicken with corn starch if you prefer. (First dissolve the corn starch in cold water, then add it to the boiling stew.) When using an instant pot, it is very important that you wait until the end to add the thickening. If you try to cook the meal with the thickening included, the pot will go to BRN mode and you will have to transfer your meal to the oven. I know this from experience!

I love being able to cook stew quickly!

Thanks for stopping by today. Enjoy these yummy recipes, too by clicking on the images below.

Too busy to cook? Try this Quick and Easy Busy Day Chicken Fajita Soup. So yummy! {} Gluten Free Soup Recipe perfect for Fall

Skinny Sweet Potato Toscana Soup -- If you like Zuppa Toscana, check out this lighter version with a sweet potato twist. Tasty with Kale, Swiss Chard, or Spinach {} Gluten Free Soup Recipe

Easily Gluten-Free Beef Stroganoff from {The dijon mustard in the sauce makes this soooo yummy!}



  1. Heidi, this looks really tasty! I’m a fan of onion soup, and just made some last week actually ( a veggie version). Thanks for sharing it!

  2. Wow this looks really good! What is the Tapioca for? I think i’ll try that this week! Thanks! :)

  3. Pinning this to make for the hubster!

Comments make me happy!