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Slow Cooker Poor Man’s Stew Recipe

There’s nothing poor about this cowboy stew recipe. In my opinion, this ground beef crock pot recipe is a great way to elevate a simple ingredient’s flavor. Ground beef can be used in so many recipes, and slow cooker poor man’s stew is one of my favorites. It is full of flavor, low in fat, and you get to eat veggies all in one dish!

Poor Man's Stew Recipe

What Makes This Meal Budget-Friendly?

Ground beef is a low-cost, good-quality protein if you buy the lean version. Most of the ingredients for this recipe are sure to be in your pantry already, so no need to go to the store to buy any fancy stuff.

Potatoes, carrots, and frozen peas are also very budget-friendly but make for a very nutritious meal when combined with lean ground beef.

Tomato paste is also a low-cost ingredient. However, don’t underestimate this recipe! Its flavor is rich and it is very a very satisfying meal!

Ingredients You’ll Need:

  • Ground beef: if you can, buy lean ground beef for a healthier recipe
  • Onion and garlic: to flavor the beef when browned
  • Potatoes: you can use any type of potato. I used red potatoes that I already had on hand
  • Carrots: three sliced carrots are all you need
  • Frozen peas: one cup of peas for flavor and color
  • Tomato paste: one 6 oz can
  • Spices: onion powder, garlic powder, and ground mustard (optional) to flavor the sauce
  • Herbs: dried oregano is added to the sauce and fresh parsley for presentation
  • Water: 2 cups of water are added to make the sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce: this ingredient is optional, but a little bit adds tons of flavor!

Poor Man's Stew Recipe

How To Make a Poor Man’s Stew Recipe?

This cowboy stew recipe is so easy, it practically makes itself!

  1. Start by browning the ground beef along with the onions and garlic in a medium-sized skillet until there is no pink left in the meat. Season with salt and pepper to taste
  2. In the pot of your slow cooker, whisk together the water, tomato paste, garlic powder, onion powder, ground mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper
  3. Add the diced potatoes, sliced carrots, and frozen peas
  4. Stir in the cooked ground beef, give everything a good stir, and cook on low for 6 hours, or on high for 3. Serve as is or over white rice

What To Serve With Slow Cooker Poor Man’s Stew?

In my opinion, this recipe is a complete meal in itself, but my kids love to eat it over my Garlic Butter Rice Recipe, or with a slice of toasted Italian Bread Recipe to sop up all the glorious sauce.

If you feel the need for something fresh to complement the meal, a Tomato Cucumber Onion Salad will surely do the trick. To end this simple but delicious meal, a Nove Scotia Blueberry Cream Cake hits all the right spots!

Poor Man's Stew Recipe

Make it Ahead:

This is a perfect make-ahead meal. It keeps very well in the fridge or the freezer. You can store it in individual portions for easier handling, or cook it overnight and have a perfectly delicious meal that you can refrigerate for the next day’s dinner.

Storing Leftovers:

Wait for the stew to come to room temperature, and store it in an airtight container and in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can also use freezer bags and lay them flat in the freezer to save space. This recipe freezes well for up to 4 months.

Poor Man's Stew Recipe

Slow Cooker Poor Man's Stew Recipe

Poor Man’s Stew, or cowboy stew, is a delicious and simple recipe to upgrade ground beef!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6 SERVINGS
Calories 289 kcal


  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • cp onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1- 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 2 cp water
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • 1 ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 2 cp potatoes, cubed
  • 3 carrots (about one cup), sliced
  • 1 cp frozen peas
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Freshly chopped parsley for garnish (optional)


  • In a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat, brown the beef along with the onions and garlic until there is no pink left in the meat. Season with salt and pepper to taste
  • In the pot of your slow cooker, whisk together the water, tomato paste, onion powder, garlic powder, ground mustard, oregano, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper
  • Add the diced potatoes, sliced carrots, and frozen peas
  • Mix in the cooked ground beef and cook on low for 6 hours, or on high for 3


Calories: 289kcalCarbohydrates: 16.8gProtein: 19.2gFat: 8.1g
Recipe Rating

Denise McCall

Wednesday 3rd of January 2024

Too much ground yellow mustard. It was over powering. Very disappointing.