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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!

Course Main Course
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 9 hours
Total Time 9 hours 30 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. Serve stew inside of pumpkins and garnish with extra fresh thyme and chopped parsley!