(This post is sponsored by Whole Foods! Thank you so so much for reading and supporting the brands that I love!)
I can’t think of a cozier, more festive meal than this. Slow-cooked beef stew filled with potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, tender beef, and pumpkin purée. Served inside roasted mini pumpkins! Just for the cuteness factor, I want to make these ALL autumn and winter long!
Beef stew is so nostalgic to me. My mom made it all the time growing up, and it just tastes like my childhood. So many good memories of fall and winter, and coming home to the smell of her beef stew or pot roast. There’s nothing quite like the taste of tender beef that’s been slow cooking allllll day.
Thanks to Whole Foods, you can get their amazingly delicious and incredible quality boneless chuck roast and stew beef on sale starting today! It’s regularly $5.99 per pound, but you can buy it starting today for $4.99 per pound through Tuesday, October 24th! I love how they hold such high standards for their meats, and I can honestly taste the difference. They never add any hormones or antibiotics to their meats, and they keep strong relationships with the farmers and ranchers to ensure the treatment of animals is held to a very high standard. Pretty awesome, right? I always love knowing where my produce and meat come from.
I created this recipe with the flavors of my mom’s pot roast in mind, but I decided to put an autumn spin on it with pumpkin! I added pumpkin purée to the beef stew itself, and I of course served it in the little sugar pumpkins!
This time of year, it’s really easy to find the sugar pumpkins or pie pumpkins. I got them at Whole Foods as well! They were right next to all the winter squash. It seems like a time consuming touch to this meal, but it’s actually really simple. You just cut the tops off of the pumpkins, scoop out the seeds, rub them with a little olive oil, and roast them for about an hour! Then you have the cutest, perfect vessel to serve your stew in! These are always such a hit when I make them for parties. Who wouldn’t want to eat their stew out of a pumpkin?!
I love that the pumpkin purée in this stew makes it so you don’t have to add any flour or thickeners. The pumpkin helps to add that thickness, and the fact that you slow cook it for a long time, makes the stew extra concentrated and rich. So delicious.
The pumpkins are of course optional, but I highly recommend doing it. It’s so fun for fall, and it’s a nice way to make the meal even more special.
I added red wine to this stew which I feel is always a must with beef stews. It adds a depth of flavor that really can’t be replicated with anything else! If you don’t drink wine though, you could certainly sub it with more beef broth.
The coziest meal ever!
Slow Cooker Pumpkin Beef Stew
This easy slow cooker beef stew is made extra special and festive with the addition of pumpkin purée, and then it's served inside of roasted sugar pumpkins!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil + extra for the pumpkins
- 2 pounds boneless chuck roast or stew beef (cut into 1'' cubes if it isn't already)
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 4 cups cubed red potatoes (mine were the mini red potatoes so I just halved and quartered them depending on size)
- 4 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large sweet onion, chopped
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, quartered
- 3 cups beef broth
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3/4 cup pumpkin purée
- 3/4 cup red wine
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme + extra for serving
- chopped flat leaf parsley for serving
- 4 sugar pumpkins
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil. Season the beef with paprika, salt, and, pepper. Add to the skillet and sear on all sides until browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer the beef to your slow cooker.
Add the red potatoes, carrots, garlic, onion, mushrooms, beef broth, tomato paste, pumpkin purée, red wine, dried thyme, and bay leaves to the slow cooker and stir to combine. Cook on low for 8-9 hours or on high for 5-6 hours. Once finished cooking, stir in the fresh thyme. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
When the stew has a 1-2 hours left, roast the pumpkins. Preheat oven to 350℉. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Very carefully carve the tops off of the pumpkins using a very sharp knife or pumpkin carving tools. Scoop out the seeds and "guts" and discard. Rub the outside and inside of the pumpkins, as well as the tops with olive oil and season the inside with a couple pinches of salt and pepper. Place pumpkins on baking sheet, cut side up, as well as their tops, and roast for 30 minutes. Flip the pumpkins and roast for an additional 30 minutes or until pumpkins are slightly tender and golden. You still want them to keep their shape!
Serve stew inside of pumpkins and garnish with extra fresh thyme and chopped parsley!
I would like to make this in a soup pot instead of slow cooker. Would there be any differences?
Spices in My DNA
You could definitely make it in a soup pot!! The cook time would be less, but it would work! I can’t say the exact timing, because I haven’t tested it that way, but you can make it on the stove for sure!
I want to make these as the main dish for a progressive dinner. Can I bake the pumpkins in advance and reheat before I fill them with the stew?
Spices in My DNA
Hi Gail, yes I think that would work just fine!