Sweet & Spicy Slow Cooker Stew

We had our favorite house guest with us last week, who also happens to be a fellow Paleo-er, so I had to make a handful of hearty meals to keep my crew full and happy.  A piece of advice: when life gives you a group of hungry men, break out your slow cooker.

Now, you could call this chili, but I’m not.  It is a hearty stew loaded with two kinds of beef, veggies that veer to the sweet side, all offset by spicy chipotle.  My favorite part though is topping it with fresh tomatoes and avocados! I really dig the contrast of the rich cooked tomato base against the fresh diced tomato. Yum!

Sweet & Spicy Slow Cooker Stew on www.PopularPaleo.com


1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
2 cups chopped sweet bell peppers (a mixture of yellow, red and orange–no green)
1 large onion, diced (yields about 2 cups)
5-6 cloves garlic, chopped or sliced
1 pound ground beef
1 pound beef, cubed (use steak, roast, stew meat, etc)
3-4 chipotles in adobo, chopped
1 – 28oz can organic crushed tomatoes
2 – 14.5 cans organic diced tomatoes
1 cup of beef stock (or use water if you have to)
1 tsp Celtic sea salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp cumin
Paleo-friendly fat of choice
Optional: fresh diced tomatoes, avocados and cilantro to top the stew with.

It’s gonna take a good 30-40 of prep time to get this in the slow cooker, so plan accordingly.   The meat needs to be par-cooked before it joins the raw veggies.

Get your largest sauté pan out and heat it up to medium-high. While that’s coming to temp, mix the spices together in a small bowl.  Add your Paleo-friendly fat of choice to the sauté pan and drop in the pound of ground beef (you’re using the highest quality beef you can find, right? Ok. Just checking…)  Sprinkle half of the spice blend over the ground beef and cook until nearly done.  Dump it in the slow cooker.  Keep the pan hot, add some more fat and then also the other pound of beef, which has been cubed. Pour the last of the spices over the cubed beef and cook until nearly done as well.

Sweet & Spicy Slow Cooker Stew on www.PopularPaleo.com Sweet & Spicy Slow Cooker Stew on www.PopularPaleo.com

While the cubed beef cooks up, prep the veggies. Peel the carrots, chop them up along with the peppers, onions, garlic and chipotles.  Add the veggies and chipotles directly to the slow cooker to join the ground beef.  Do the same with the cubed beef.  Next add all three cans of tomatoes and the stock.  Mix together in the pot. It almost looks good enough to eat right now… But good things come to those who wait, so pop a lid on this, set the slow cooker to low and let it go for 5-6 hours.  My slow cooker is an over-achiever and tends to cook faster than most recipes call for, so bear that in mind as you determine how long to set your timer.

When it comes time to eat, this stew is fantastic with fresh diced tomatoes and avocados and even a little cilantro on top. Go for it!
Sweet & Spicy Slow Cooker Stew on www.PopularPaleo.com

Grab a cool programmable slow cooker to avoid overcooking recipes while you’re out of the house all day. Also! Have you seen these cute portable slow cookers that are available in smaller sizes? Perfect for keeping to-go lunches warm or when traveling and needing to prep whole foods sans kitchen.


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    • says

      Hey Becky – you nailed it: it’s a taste thing. Red, orange and yellow peppers are sweeter, which is what I’m going for in this recipe. Using green peppers would still create a yummy stew :-)

  1. Rena says

    Have you ever tried making it without the broth for a more chili thickness? Would that work?

    I want to make this but have it be a little less stew, and a bit more chili.

    • says

      I haven’t tried that route yet, but I’m sure it would work. It’s totally fine to do a crock pot recipe that starts a little on the dry side since the slow cooking process naturally draws out juices to make its own broth.

    • popularpaleo says

      Let’s see… I think my Crock Pot is the 6 quart size and near full, if that gives you an idea of volume. It’s a lot of food. I’ve never actually portioned it out enough to count serving sizes though. Sorry about that.

  2. Collene says

    I like EVERYTHING about this. Well except the “favorite house guest” comment. I’m sure you didn’t really MEAN that. If you did, I’m more than willing to fight him for it. Anywhooo, you are AMAZING! Keep ’em coming Missy…


  1. […] Click here for the recipe. Ingredients: carrots, sweet bell peppers (a mixture of yellow, red and orange–no green), onion, garlic, ground beef, beef (use steak, roast, stew meat, etc), chipotles in adobo, canned crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, beef stock, Celtic sea salt, garlic powder, onion powder, ground coriander, cumin, Paleo-friendly fat of choice, avocados, cilantro. […]

  2. […] 12. Sweet & Spicy Slow Cooker Stew Even though the author of this recipe doesn’t want to call it chili, if it looks liike chli and tastes like chili, we think it’s chili. The combination of sweet and spicy is always a winner, and bringing it to a chili recipe is super smart. Sweet bell peppers help with the sweetness, and the chipotle peppers will give it the spice it needs. The spices and seasonings are going to make this taste like chili, so it’s not going to be like you’re eating a random soup or stew. All of the ingredients are very natural and Paleo-OK. […]

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