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Simple Comforting Slow Cooker Vegetable Stew

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Loaded with hearty vegetables and warm spices, warm up to this Slow Cooker Vegetable Stew on chilly days! Set it and forget it in the slow cooker, this one-pot recipe is perfect for getting cozy on colder days. Sprinkle with Air Fryer Pumpkin Seeds for an extra crunch!

close up of vegan stew recipe, stew in a grey bowl on dark wooden table, garnished with air fryer pumpkin seeds

❤️ Why you will love this Vegetable Stew Recipe

  • Best comfort food: Rich, tomatoey, warm, and spicy, this hearty stew recipe is comfort in a bowl after a long day.
  • It’s healthy! It’s made with simple ingredients like butternut squash and pumpkin, plus fruits like jackfruit and tomatoes which are a great source of vitamin C. This Slow Cooker Vegetable Stew Recipe is just veggies, fruit, spices, and broth. It’s one of my favorite healthy fall recipes!
  • You can make it for meal prep: This simple recipe makes a whole 6qt slow cooker – perfect to set and forget on a Monday morning for a couple of dinners and easy meal preps throughout the week.
  • We use the whole pumpkin and butternut squash! Yes, I even used the seeds to make Air Fryer Pumpkin and Butternut Squash Seeds, they make such a tasty gluten-free crouton substitute.
  • It’s low calorie: A *huge* portion of this hearty vegetable stew comes to less than 250 calories. Volume eating, yes, please!

🗝️ Key ingredients for this Vegan Stew Recipe

  • Squash: I used two types of squash: pumpkin and sweet butternut squash. They are both easily available in late October/early November, however, substitute another squash like acorn squash, extra sweet potato, or regular potato if you can find either of the squash varieties.
  • Sweet potatoes: The sweetness is essential to this vegan stew recipe, and sweet potatoes are one of my favorite colorful veggies. Feel free to toss in some root vegetables or bell peppers if you have them on hand as well! Check out my list below for other additions.
  • Onion and garlic: The onion and garlic clove enhance all of the other flavors. I like red onion best but white or yellow onion would be great as well. You could use garlic powder or onion powder in a pinch.
  • Fruit: Adding jackfruit to this recipe gives it a meatier texture, kind of like a vegan beef stew. Diced tomatoes are the other fruit in this slow cooker stew recipe, adding flavor, volume, and heartiness.
  • Spice: I added some nutmeg, cinnamon, and chili powder for mild heat. Keeping it very simple, I wanted to highlight these spices, especially nutmeg which can be overlooked at times. I add a pinch of salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Broth: Vegetable broth, either homemade or store-bought. If using storebought, hold off on the salt until you can taste everything together at the end. You could also add chicken broth if you’re not vegetarian or vegan.

🥣 How to make Slow Cooker Vegan Stew

1. Heat and add oil: Turn the slow cooker on to the high setting and add olive oil.

Oil in a slow cooker.

2. Prep all of the vegetables.

3. Sauté: Add onion to the crock pot and sauté for 5 minutes.

Onion in a slow cooker.

4. Add spice: Add garlic, nutmeg, cinnamon, and chili powder and heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Spice and onion in a slow cooker.

5. Add the rest of the ingredients: pumpkin, butternut squash, sweet potato, canned tomatoes, and canned jackfruit. Fill the slow cooker with up to 500 ml vegetable stock (or less) and close the lid.

Jackfruit and vegetables in a slow cooker.

6. Cook! Cook on low for 5 hours.

7. Season: Taste, and add salt and pepper as desired.

8. Garnish and eat! Garnish this veggie stew with Air Fryer Pumpkin Seeds.

🫙 Storage Instructions

  • Fridge: Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove until piping hot.
  • Freezer: Freeze in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 6 months. That completely before reheating on the stove or in the microwave.

🍽️ What can I serve with this delicious stew?

Serve this vegan jackfruit stew on its own, over basmati rice, dairy-free mashed potatoes, mashed swede, or parsnip puree! It’s also delicious with a slice of crusty bread on the side.

↔️ What can I substitute for beef stew meat?

There are a few vegetarian or vegan options that will work well instead of beef, and you can substitute them for each other in this recipe as well:

  • Jackfruit: My beef substitute of choice, it has a meaty shredded beef-like texture and absorbs the other stew flavors so well.
  • Mushrooms: Another meaty vegan option, mushrooms have a chewier texture which can replicate beef well.
  • Lentils: Lentils are vegan, hearty, and perfect in stews! They take on the texture and can help to thicken stews up as well.
  • Beans: Many kinds: chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, navy beans, they all are great in stews instead of meat.

❓ What other vegetables can I add to this vegan recipe?

This vegetable stew recipe is a great way to clean out the fridge. Keep the spices the same and add in other vegetables. You can even mix in some coconut milk when it’s finished cooking to make it even richer!

  • Root Vegetables like parsnips, and carrots.
  • Red Potatoes
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Zucchini
  • Bell Peppers
  • White beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Butter Beans

🌱 Is beef stew vegan?

Well, traditionally beef stew has beef in it, however, this vegan beef stew recipe is meatless so it is indeed vegan! Adding jackfruit gives this vegan stew recipe a beefy texture without actually adding meat.

🤔 How can I thicken my vegetarian stew?

My vegan jackfruit stew thickened up well on its own, but if you need some extra help there are a few options. I tend to thicken sauces (and stews) with either tapioca starch or xanthan gum. Just add a teaspoon or two into a small bowl and mix it with some of the liquid from the stew. Add more and more liquid until it is pourable, pour it back into the stew, and mix well. Cornstarch is also a great thickener for stews and sauces. As I added sweet potato, it helps to thicken the stew up as it cooks down.

overhead shot of vegan stew recipe, stew in a grey bowl on dark wooden table garnished with air fryer pumpkin seeds

😋 More slow cooker recipes you will love:

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Vegan Beef Stew

Vegan Beef Stew

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 15 minutes

Loaded with winter vegetables and warm spices, this Vegan Stew Recipe is extremely comforting! Set it and forget it in the slow cooker or instant pot, this one-pot recipe is perfect for getting cosy on colder days. Sprinkle with Air Fryer Pumpkin Seeds for an extra crunch!

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 small pumpkin, diced (880g), see notes for substitutions*
  • 1 large butternut squash, diced (550g)
  • 1 large sweet potato, diced (180g)
  • 400g can of diced tomatoes
  • Up to 500 ml vegetable stock
  • 400g can of jackfruit, drained
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Turn the slow cooker on to the high setting and add olive oil.
  2. Prep all of the vegetables.
  3. Add onion to the slow cooker and sauté for 5 minutes.
  4. Add garlic, nutmeg, cinnamon, and chili powder and heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients: pumpkin, butternut squash, sweet potato, canned tomatoes, and canned jackfruit. Fill the slow cooker with up to 500 ml vegetable stock (or less) and close the lid.
  6. Cook on low for 5 hours.
  7. Taste, and add salt and pepper as desired.
  8. Garnish with Air Fryer Pumpkin Seeds (see notes for recipe).

Notes

*You can substitute the pumpkin for another variety of squash like acorn squash, more sweet potato or regular potato if you're making this after pumpkin season.

Air Fryer Pumpkin Seeds Recipe: https://www.gallaxygastronomy.com/air-fryer-pumpkin-seeds/

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 244Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 573mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 8gSugar: 29gProtein: 5g

Nutrition information and calculations will vary with the use of different brands or ingredients. These figures are estimates. Please get in touch if you have questions!

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