Beef and squash stew in the slow cooker is just what you need for the winter weekend. This healthful, low-fat and veggie-packed dinner is also great for detoxing after the holidays.

I wanted a stew loaded with vegetables. I often feel like with just beef stew you have to make a separate salad or vegetable side to make a complete meal. This beautiful and tasty dish is basically a one pan meal! Also, did I just say a slow cooker recipe was beautiful?? HA! It totally is!
Beef And Squash Stew
I used thin slices of butternut squash for the top of the stew. To thinly slice the squash for the top use a mandolin or slicer. The slices don’t have to be perfect. Just arranged in an overlapping pattern they braise to be tender and act as a beautiful “crust”.
101652458The fennel and squash add a slight sweetness to this dish, but also makes it healthy and hearty. I added tomatoes for richness and a little tangy acidity with the tender beef and sweet veggies. This dinner is family friendly but also diet friendly!

Beef And Squash Stew

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 8 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: Serves 8 to 10

Calories per serving: 165

Fat per serving: 4 g

Beef And Squash Stew

Layers of healthy butternut squash on top make this dish extra good.


  • 2¼ tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • ¾ tsp ground black pepper
  • 5 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1½ lbs lean boneless beef chuck or round roast, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, cut into ½-inch wedges
  • ¾ lb Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 28-oz can whole tomatoes, drained and halved
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and sliced ⅛ inch thick
  • 1 tsp olive oil


  1. Combine thyme, salt and pepper; reserve 1 tsp of the mixture and stir cornstarch into the remainder. Toss the beef, fennel and potato in the cornstarch mixture and place in a 6-qt slow cooker, fitting the ingredients tightly; add tomatoes
  2. Toss squash with oil and 1 tsp of the thyme mixture. Arrange the smaller pieces of squash on top of stew in a circular patter, then repeat with the larger rounds to create a second layer; cover and cook 4½ hr on high or 8 hr on low.
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Recipe by Tara Bench and Khalil Hymore
Photographer: Peter Ardito
Food Stylist: Susan Ottaviano
Prop Stylist: Michelle Wong
Originally published in Ladies’ Home Journal February 2011

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Yummmm! That stew sounds amazing. And I get my recipes lots of different ways….. From blogs, from and, from cookbooks, and from friends. So I have hard copies, copies saved on my computer, and copies saved on the internet. 🙂

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