Slow Cooker Beef Barley Soup

This Slow Cooker Beef Barley Soup is so hearty! Packed with flavorful and tender cubed beef, barley and vegetables. Pure comfort food!

soup in a ladle over a black slow cooker.

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soup in a white bowl with a spoon scooping.

This recipe was photographed and updated 8/2023.

Beef soup like this always reminds me of my dad. We loved his Vegetable Beef Soup growing up and he always made it in the middle of winter when it was freezing cold outside. The only difference, is he used acini di pepe pasta instead of barley. 

Soup is a comfort food for me any time of the year, not just winter. Especially when you can make it in the slow cooker and not have to stand near a hot stove in the summertime.

This soup is salty, savory and the beef turns out so tender! The vegetables are perfectly cooked. I happen to LOVE barley, and feel like people don't use it enough. It's so underrated. The texture is amazing and it's high in fiber.

The only prep for this soup is browning the beef and chopping all the vegetables. You can skip cutting a chuck roast into pieces and just grab some beef stew meat instead. I'm all about time saving, and just happened to use a roast I already had on hand. Otherwise stew meat is my go-to for recipes like this.

Keep scrolling for tips, process photos and more slow cooker soup recipes! 

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Shopping list:

recipe ingredients displayed on a white background.

Scroll down to the printable recipe card for measurements and instructions!

Recipe tips:

  • Browning the beef isn't mandatory, however it adds great flavor and is highly recommended!
  • You can use regular pearled barley, but you'll want to add the barley with the other ingredients and cook for the entire time.
  • If you want more of a stew, mix some cornstarch and warm water, add to the slow cooker and stir. It should thicken within 5-10 minutes.

some recipe ingredients shown in a slow cooker before cooking.

More slow cooker soup recipes you might like:

You can add or substitute with these ingredients:

  • use beef stew meat instead of chuck roast
  • use canned diced tomatoes with juice instead of tomato paste
  • use ground beef instead of chuck roast
  • use dried basil instead of thyme
  • use balsamic vinegar instead of Worcestershire sauce
  • add sliced celery
  • add quartered fresh white mushrooms
  • add frozen peas

ingredients mixed in a black slow cooker before cooking.

Our favorite kitchen equipment and supplies used with this recipe:

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did!

Slow Cooker Beef Barley Soup in a white bowl.
Yield 8 servings
Author Hot Eats and Cool Reads
Prep time
20 Min
Cook time
5 Hour
Total time
5 H & 20 M

Slow Cooker Beef Barley Soup


  • 2 pounds beef chuck roast, trimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 cups reduced sodium beef broth, divided
  • 1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 carrots, peeled, halved and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ⅔ cup quick pearled barley


  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Place the beef cubes into the skillet, seasoning with salt and black pepper as desired. Brown the beef for 1 to 2 minutes for each side.
  2. Remove the beef and place in the slow cooker. Deglaze the skillet by adding 1 cup of beef broth and scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon to remove the cooked pieces.
  3. Add the broth to the slow cooker with the remaining ingredients except the quick pearled barley.
  4. Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours or until the beef is tender.
  5. About 30 minutes prior to serving, stir in the quick pearled barley and remove the bay leaves.


Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to three days.

Nutrition Facts




15.08 g

Sat. Fat

6.02 g


27.84 g


4.26 g

Net carbs

23.59 g


2.44 g


28.23 g


779.48 mg


78.25 mg

Hot Eats and Cool Reads is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe you try from this blog/website. You may not always have the same results due to variations in ingredients, humidity, altitude, cooking temperatures, typos, errors, omissions, or individual cooking abilities. 

You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful. I am not a certified nutritionist and make no claims to the contrary. Each individual's dietary needs and restrictions are unique to the individual.

soup in a ladle with a recipe title text overlay.

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  1. What a great giveaway! The soup looks hearty and healthy. Thanks Sheena.

  2. I use my slow cooker multiple times a week. They are such time savers!

  3. I love this healthy soup. I hope I win the slow cooker! :)

  4. Thanks for a great giveaway, entered! :)

  5. I am so ready for cooler weather - bring on the soups! This one sounds healthy and delicious, Sheena - and I love how easy it is with a slow cooker!

    1. Thanks, Jamie!! I love cooler weather recipes, especially soups!!

  6. That is one good looking soup. I used my slow-cooker pretty regular in the colder months. I love the looks of this slow cooker.

  7. The slow cooker looks fantastic and so does that soup! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Love the barley you added to your soup! Great giveaway! The programable setting is awesome!

  9. This is such a great giveaway! I don't know what I would do without mine.

  10. Great giveaway! I just love slow cooker meals!

  11. your soup looks so cozy yummy! ...and I LOVE that the cooker's lid clamps on. I have lost lids and ended up with broken glass several times

  12. I love barley in soup. I love how you did this in the slow cooker too!

  13. This is basically my model, and I LOVE it! I seriously could not live without this slow cooker. ;)

  14. that soup looks so good! I would really love to have a slow cooker but I have a very small kitchen and I'm nervous about storing one. I want to try this soup though ;o)

    1. Thanks Emily! It's so hard to store extra stuff in small kitchens! Totally been there! :)

  15. I'll need to buy a slow cooker when I get back to the US, this looks like a great choice. And that soup looks delish!

  16. Sounds delicious and I love that slow cooker!

  17. Your soup looks great and I have this slow cooker and LOVE it!

  18. Like you, the slow cooker is my jam in fall :) I am just across the border in WI, so I feel the same when it comes to fall time. Great soup recipe, will have to try it out!

  19. What a hearty looking stew/soup! And great slow cooker. I just entered. My crock recently broke on my slow cooker so crossing my fingers!

  20. Great recipe and great giveaway!! Crossing my slow cooker is ancient! And it is NOT programmable.

  21. What a great slow cooker! I love the programmable feature!! And the soup sounds delish!

  22. Thanks for the giveaway! I love the slow cooker and even have multiple sizes! Your soup looks great too!

  23. Great giveaway! Thanks! Great soup recipe, too. I am in the mood for soup!

  24. I haven't done much with barley. I really should. I should start with this recipe! Thank you for linking up with #FoodieFridays!


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