Slow Cooker Root Vegetable Stew

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Last week when I asked our GSO Facebook followers what recipes you all would like to see on the blog this fall, two top requests quickly emerged: vegetarian recipes and slow cooker recipes.

So your wish is my command — I made you some Slow Cooker Root Vegetable Stew!

I prepped everything this morning, and could hardly wait for the slow cooker to do its work for dinner tonight. This stew turned out to be absolutely delicious, and is a fantastic way to use up some of those seasonal root veggies. You can substitute in whatever your favorite root veggies may be, but I used some butternut squash, sweet potatoes, Yukon potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and onions from my farmers’ market. Then seasoned the stew with some bay leaf, lots of garlic and sage, and finished it off by wilting in some fresh kale. Spectacular! It was all of the goodness of sweet and savory together, and wonderfully hearty and filling without any meat or grains. And if you make it with vegetable stock, this stew is vegetarian and vegan. And the best part is that it was totally simple to throw together. The main work is just chopping up all of your veggies, then your slow cooker will take over and do the rest of the work.

Definitely a simple, comforting and delicious stew that your friends and family will love.

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Slow Cooker Root Vegetable Stew

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 360 minutes
  • Total Time: 390 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x


This hearty vegetable (and vegan) stew is a breeze to prepare, and is packed with wonderfully comforting flavors.


  • 1 large white onion OR 2 leeks (white portion only), chopped
  • 1 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 lb. carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 lb. parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 1 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, stems removed and chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. freshly-cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 cups chopped fresh kale
  • optional: fried sage leaves for garnish (see note below)


  1. Add first eleven ingredients to a slow-cooker, and carefully stir to combine. Cook on low heat for 6-8 hours, or until the vegetables are tender. Remove bay leaf, and carefully stir in the kale. Let the stew continue cooking for 10 minutes or so until the kale is wilted. Season with additional salt and pepper if need be.
  2. Serve immediately, with the option to garnish with fried sage leaves or Parmesan cheese.


To make the fried sage leaves, heat 1/4 cup of vegetable or canola oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat until a drop of water sizzles on the surface.  Add your sage leaves and let them cook for about 10 seconds, then remove with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain.  Sprinkle with a pinch of salt if desired.

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163 comments on “Slow Cooker Root Vegetable Stew”

  1. Why peel and seed the squash?

    • Hi Elicia! We don’t care for the skin (as it’s a bit tough) and you typically don’t want to eat the stringy, seedy middle.

  2. I just realized I had no idea what butternut squash was. I had used just… regular squash? Anyway, it was really, REALLY good! Thanks for the recipe!

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  5. Hey there,

    I’m really looking forward to trying this out throughout the week as a lovely heart warmer. I just got my slow cooker yesterday and I had no clue what to make (until I found this)… This may be a very silly question but do I add water or vegetable stock whilst it’s cooking?

    Thank you :’)

    • Whoops, so sorry! That recipe had a big typo. You should add in the veggie stock right at the beginning with the first eleven ingredients. Sorry for the confusion, and hope you have a blast with your new slow cooker! :)

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  8. I’ve made this twice now and it has a really really amazing flavor. Thanks for the recipe. I added Italian sausage to it the 2nd time which was really good too! 

  9. I am really sorry to report that this was very bland for us as well. I am such a fan and have great success with your recipes usually. Not this one. Very bland and disappointing. Even I, a big fan of root veggies, didn’t care for it.

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  11. Can you freeze this? :) 

  12. I’m really not sure what I did wrong, but I’m so disappointed.  I have the big costco crockpot and I could not fit all of these veggies.  It is packed full and I didn’t even put in the sweet potatoes. :(

    • Oh no, we’re sorry to hear that, Melissa! What size is your slow cooker? We used a 6-qt for this.

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  14. 5 stars
    Hi there I am just making this for the 1st time and it is my very 1st attempt at using my new Crockpot 3.5l slow cooker. I am rubbish at cooking and live on my own so I don’t tend to make a lot of effort around my meals. I decided I need to lose some weight and wanted to start eating a little better. Ive just had a sneak taste test of the root vegetables after 5 hrs of cooking and it is absolutely amazing!!!! I normally end up throwing a lot of veggies out each week as I can never eat the amount in the bag sizes and I can see already this recipe is going to stop me being so wasteful and help my bank balance along the way. Thank you. It is incredibly tasty!!! I am very impressed!!!

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  17. 5 stars
    I have a question? Can you cook this on high heat for half the time? Thanks!

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  22. 4 stars
    My husband and I really enjoyed this. A great soup for a cold day. Most of the veggies are on the sweet side, so the soup is fairly sweet. I would also say is that this is a LOT of soup, more like 6-8 servings. For our family of three, half a recipe would have been ample. I made it on the stove as it would not fit in my crockpot and I needed 8 cups of broth to cover the veggies. And there is no way I can chop and peel that many veggies in 1/2 an hour (especially the butternut squash). I added portobella mushrooms and that made a nice addition. I didn’t have kale, but that would’ve been good.

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  24. Is this something that can be prepped ahead and frozen? I’m not the world’s greatest cook, (or even the best cook in my house, but I am THE cook) and I don’t know what things are okay to freeze ahead and what is a bad idea to freeze.

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  31. 4 stars
    I must have a very small capacity slow cooker because I had to use another pot to cook some of the vegetables. The slow cooker was overflowing, even before I added the potatoes.

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  40. I love this. My new favorite cold-weather recipe. So easy to prep. I used leftover (already cooked) butternut squash and added it towards the end. The flavors are wonderful. I didnt try the sage garnish or parmesan cheese.

  41. I’m about to attempt cooking this on high in the slow cooker instead of on low – if anyone has tried this please let me know! Chef – will this work? Fingers crossed

  42. This is an excellent base recipe for a slow cooker root veg stew. This person is giving a general guideline, but it is ready for personalizing based on the size of your slow cooker and what vegetables you have around. I once thought of parsnips as “for day 7 of the apocalypse,” but now in December 2020 I am having difficulty finding them. But, as this is a sweet soup, I do need the parsnips to temper that.

    It’s hard to go wrong with a slow cooker, so there is a lot of flexibility. But the sage and garlic are wonderful smelling up your home on a cold day, and creating that “essence of meat” many crave when cutting back. I save my herb stems in a bag in the freezer, then add them to a bouquet garni with the bay leaves. That’s just a chefy way of saying I tie them up in a piece of cooking grade cotton so I can fish them out later. You can also freeze your parm rinds and add them to stews (remember to fish it out before serving).

    I sometimes don’t want tomato and that is what I like about this recipe. If I could find vegetable stock without tomato I would be a happy camper, but since it’s slow cooking it’s fine. I like to add 1/8 – 1/4 tsp cayenne (also to temper the sweetness) and my family seems to agree. I go on the heavier side of black pepper too because it’s cooking for 8 hours and can handle it. Finally, I add a little cornstarch slurry at the end because this is very brothy and we like a stew. (That and a little butter if I’m feeling decadent, but that is optional lol ;-) This feeds three of us for a couple days, and is best with fresh crusty bread. Good luck all!

  43. A nice easy recipe to use and very tasty, but a couple of comments to improve things for other people. First, it takes a LOT longer than 30 minutes to peel/slice/chop all the vegetables. Allow at least an hour. Second I think it will help to add some cornflour to give the liquid some body as it’s very thin otherwise.
    Definitely ‘a have-again’.

  44. I’ve added a bit more of sweet potato, and in the end put 1 and 1/2 pints in a food processor, added some heavy cream and it was a dream.

  45. Can this be cooked on high heat? If so, how long would it take?