Slow Cooker Beef Stew with Autumn Vegetables

Update: This recipe was updated with new images and a few recipe tweaks on 11/9/2018 to make it better than ever! I’ve been slowly updating images on old recipes because I’ve learned so much about photography in recent years!

Slow Cooker Beef Stew with Autumn Vegetables


After searching for over a year, we finally moved to a new home! My emotions are a mix of excited for the months ahead and--if I am being honest- exhausted. It's true the move was tiring: packing up and hauling everything to a new place is always an ordeal, but we had great help from friends (thanks!!) which made it feel more like an adventure. The truth is, it was looking for a home that was the ultimate exercise in patience, convincing myself that even after a year of visiting at least a hundred properties, something would come up. Not only would something come up, but somehow, someway, we'd be lucky enough to move there. (No one tells you quite how exhausting it will be). 

Slow Cooker Beef Stew with Autumn Vegetables
Slow Cooker Beef Stew with Autumn Vegetables

Now that it is done it is almost unreal, as if none of it ever happened and we've been here all along. We made a lot of compromises over the last year, decided what we really want. Coming to peace with hard decisions is never easy, but I'm not one to dwell. Personally I've always thought that worrying about the un-changeable is a painful waste of energy. Instead, I prefer to see my mark and make the most of it, determining my next play. 

What helps is cooking up a storm, and filling the air with home scents like pumpkin pie and autumn stew. 

This autumn stew is like a traditional beef stew — simmered slowly with broth and wine, bay leaves and thyme - but also calls for winter squash (I used butternut, but kabocha or red kuri would work, too!) which gives it a fall touch. Especially in late fall, when the weather is brisk (the high today was 41°F!).

I find that more beef stews go well with Pinot Nior and this one is no exception! Plus, made in your slow cooker, it’s easy-going.

I do all my chopping in the morning before heading to work, and put everything in the removed stainless steel pot of an Instant Pot. Then, when I get home I take the pot out of the fridge and put the pot back in the Instant Pot, place the lid on, and set the timer for 4 hours. We head to gym, run errands, all that jazz, and get home to a flavorful meal. (P.S., you can cut the cooking time a bit short (30-45 minutes) if you get home before the 4 hours is up. Just check to make sure the beef is cooked through! The last hour does let the flavors mingle and does really soften up the beef, but some evenings you just run out of time. Obviously if you’re able to start the pot at 1 or 2, it’s a mute point because it’ll be done cooking before the sun goes down.)

Serving with warm mash potatoes or a piece of crusty bread is spot on.

Slow Cooker Beef Stew with Autumn Vegetables
Slow Cooker Beef Stew with Autumn Vegetables

Slow Cooker Beef Stew with Autumn Vegetables

Published October 17, 2016 by
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Serves: 4   |    Active Time: 4 hours


  • 2 pounds beef chuck, cubed (ask your butcher to dice it for you if it is not already diced)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, minced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup wine
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup beef or chicken broth
  • 3 large carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 small winter squash, peeled and seeded (butternut, kabocha, kuri, etc)
  • 1 tablespoon Italian herbs (or, a mix of dried thyme, rosemary, oregano)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 pinch fennel seeds
  • Several dashes salt & pepper
  • Optional, to serve: minced parsley

  • Directions:

    1. Heat coconut oil in the bottom of your Instant Pot (affiliate link!) or slow cooker on the Sauté setting. When the oil is hot, add diced onion, minced garlic, and celery and sauté until onion is translucent.
    2. Add cubed beef to the pot, allowing it to brown on the edges. Stir every 2-3 minutes to brown each side.
    3. Pour in the wine, diced tomatoes, and broth, and add the chopped carrots and squash. Add herbs, spices, salt and pepper and stir.
    4. Place lid on Instant Pot and set to “Slow Cooker” setting. Adjust to “high” and set timer for 4 hours with the vent in the sealed position.
    5. When timer goes off, open pot and laddle into bowls. Top with minced parsley and serve hot.

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