Gimme Some Oven

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

Description

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


Ingredients

Scale
  • 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)

Instructions

  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.

Notes

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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Recipe rating

70 comments on “Slow Cooker Root Vegetable Stew”

  1. I imagine how lovely this soup would be! It’s nice to see a vegetarian recipe, thanks :)

  2. I am so, so obsessed with the Crock Pot. It is just pure awesomeness. This stew looks so hearty and wonderful – perfect for the busy, chilly days ahead. I’m especially digging the parsnips. I am so ready for parsnips!

  3. Root vegetables are one of my favorite things about fall and winter. I seriously cannot get enough of them! Your pictures are beautiful, and I will have to give this stew a try!

  4. Gosh, would I’d do for a big bowl of this right now! Looks beautiful and so soul-warming!

  5. There is nothing like a big bowl of homemade stew! This looks so beautiful!

  6. Umm hello there fall comfort food! This looks delish… i’m SUCH a fan of root veggies! :)

  7. Perfect! I love, love the sage & kale additions!

  8. What a gorgeous soup! I love that it’s chockfull of veggies and that it can be made in the slow cooker! I’ve finally dusted it off and started to use it again!

  9. I’m a huge fan of root veggies – perfect stew and I love the garnish of sage leaves!

  10. lol, looks like we posted a super similar recipe today! Cannot wait to try the stew version!

  11. what a great, colorful, and easy dish! not to mention how healthy it is!! love the colors on this and i seriously am obsessed with my crockpot!

  12. Made this for my household tonight and there are no leftovers! Perfect meal for a cool fall evening. It makes this vegan happy to make something for a bunch of non-vegans and not have them seem to notice that there’s no milk or meat involved.

  13. Made this yesterday with a few substitutions. Since we are not sage fans I added 2 tablespoons of dijon mustard and some apple cider along with the broth. I also did not put the kale in since one of us can’t have it. It made a great side. I rarely make something everyone eats but everyone loved it.

  14. This soup was delicious! I ended up adding a little more broth than was called for and cooked it on high for 3-4 hours instead of 6 hours on low. It makes great leftovers too! I featured your stew in my latest weekly meal plan on my blog, thank you!

  15. Just made this today, so easy once vegetables are cut and comes out so delicious! Thank you!

  16. Hi can you puree this?? Thanks

  17. I made this today and my crock pot was not big enough for everything, had to use two. Also if you still cut up everything with a knife you better have a sharp one. This has a wonderful flavor but I should have cut the vegetables in bigger chunks because I cooked them for 6 hours and they tried to mush on me. Love root veggies, so healthy!

  18. love vegan recipes, souns almost like the one I make, will try crock pot version, keep up good recipes.

  19. This looks wonderful and delightfully nourishing! My husband isn’t as big a fan of soups/stews as I am, so I have to add meat for him to enjoy them at all.
    If I wanted to add chicken, would I have to just throw in cooked chicken at the end with the kale, or could I cook it with everything else somehow? If you could advise this new cook, it would be so helpful to know when to put it in & for how long, etc.

    Thanks so much for your time and help!

  20. This soup sounds absolutely perfect!  Just wondering however…the 3 cups broth seems very little for all those wonderful veggies.  Can you add more, or will it over sofen everything?

  21. love love love the soup ,,,served on the side a delicious piece of fish …..
    do you do recipes in the crock
    with lamb shank ? would enjoy one if you do ….
    thanks for the inspirations..

    • Thanks Gloria, we’re happy you enjoy the stew! We haven’t tried lamb shank in the crockpot, but we think that sounds delicious!

  22. This soup is incredibly bland, literally vegetables and broth, not good. If you do make please add your own spices or you’ll end up disappointed.

    • Thanks for your honest feedback Brittany. We’re sorry you didn’t care for this recipe, and we hope you can find another recipe that you do like.

  23. Thinking that my latest discovery would work well in this…CHOYOTE SQUASH! Gonna try that and some JICAMA too!

    Just hope I can remember where to send my “snapped pic” once I do that! Yum – looks so so good too!

    • Oooh that sounds interesting, we haven’t tried that kind of squash before! We hope you enjoy this! :)

  24. This dish is very versatile – I added pork and rutabagas (some of us love those!) and as a sweet touch, a few frozen dark sweet cherries right at the end. . Could also choose apple chunks and change up the liquid with apple cider for half of it or even beer. Lots of options!

    • Thanks for sharing Donni, we’re happy you enjoyed this, and those are delicious sounding additions/swaps!

  25. This sounds great. Is there a good way to freeze the ingredients to make later? Has anyone tried this?

    • Thanks Becky, we hope you enjoy this! And hmmm, we wouldn’t recommend using frozen ingredients for this (though you can always freeze some ingredients and thaw before putting in the slow cooker). But yes, we think you could freeze the already chopped veggies, and just thaw a day before you want to make the soup.

  26. i added beets.. It’ll be done in about an hour..and I’m scared it’ll be completely ruined and taste like dirt because of those damn beets. Notorious mention the bright purple broth! I added THREE BEETS! Ugh..hoping it’s not ruined and is salvageable. May have to make a vegetable mash or puréed soup if it’s too beety..anyone else do this? Or have suggestions?

    • Oh no, we’re sorry! We definitely think it could be salvageable though if it tastes too beet-heavy to eat as a stew. We think you’re on the right track with a vegetable mash, or a puréed soup. Please let us know how it turns out!

  27. Sorry, but I also found this to be very bland. I added some Italian seasoning, a can of tomatoes, and I happened to have some confit oil I could add, and that improved the flavor. I also had beef in my soup. Also 6 hours may have been too long to leave mine on the slow cooker, as I wound up with the same uniform mushy texture of canned soup in the end.

    • Hi Kim! We’re sorry to hear you didn’t care for this recipe. :( We hope you can find another recipe you like!

  28. I love the flavor, but I found that the vegetables cooked at different rates. The potatoes and carrots were perfectly done, tender but still firm, while the squash and yams had dissolved into mush. I think I’ll try adding them at different times next time.

  29. This is totally one of my go to meals now! Love it!

  30. I made this and loved it.  I omitted the white potato though. The second day I added some shredded chicken to it as well. Yum

  31. Wonderful recipe, I included it on my spanish website. https://www.multirecetas.com
    Thanks

  32. 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.

  33. 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!

  34. 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! :)

  35. 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! 

  36. 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.

  37. Can you freeze this? :) 

  38. 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.

  39. 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!!!

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

  41. 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.

  42. 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.

  43. 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.

  44. 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.

  45. 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

  46. 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!

  47. 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’.

  48. 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.