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Close up of a bowl of poor man's stew with a spoon.
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Slow Cooker Poor Man's Stew

A budget friendly meal that costs less than $2 per serving! This recipe is Whole30 and Paleo compatible, and you can make it in the Slow Cooker, Instant Pot, OR Dutch Oven!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword budget friendly, Slow Cooker Dinner, Whole30 Dinner
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 474kcal
Author Laura
Cost $1.85/serving

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 15 ounces Italian seasoned diced tomatoes or substitute unseasoned diced tomatoes plus 1/4 teaspoon oregano, 1/4 teaspoon basil, and 1/4 teaspoon thyme.
  • 3.5 cups water or beef broth
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 3-4 carrots
  • 4-5 potatoes Choose yukon or red potatoes if possible.
  • 10 ounces frozen peas optional

Instructions

Slow Cooker Instructions

  • Heat a medium sized skillet over medium heat. Add the beef to the skillet, using a spatula to turn the meat and break it apart as it cooks. Transfer the cooked meat to the slow cooker.
  • Dice the carrots, onion, and potatoes. Mince the garlic.
  • Add all the recipe ingredients (except peas, if using) to your slow cooker and use a large spoon to mix everything together. Cover and cook on low heat for 4-5 hours or high heat for 2-3 hours.
    If using frozen peas, add them in the last 30-45 minutes so that they cook through but aren't mushy.
    Test to make sure the vegetables are cooked through and tender, then season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker) Instructions

  • Set your Instant Pot to Sauté mode. Add the beef and cook for about 5 minutes, breaking it apart and turning with a spatula as it cooks.
  • Dice the carrots, onion, and potatoes. Mince the garlic.
  • Add all the recipe ingredients (except peas, if using) to your Instant Pot. Cover and turn to High Pressure for 15 minutes. Allow for a Natural Pressure Release (do nothing and allow the pressure to naturally dissipate) for at least 10 minutes, then turn the steam release valve. Carefully open the Instant Pot.
  • If using frozen peas, stir them into the stew now. Set the Instant Pot back to Saute mode and cook together, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Stovetop (Dutch Oven) Instructions

  • Place your dutch oven on the stovestop and turn the heat on the burner to medium. Add the ground beef. Cook for about 5-6 minutes, using a spatula to turn the meat and break the pieces apart as it cooks.
  • Dice the carrots, onion, and potatoes. Mince the garlic.
  • Add all the recipe ingredients (except peas, if using) to your dutch oven. Stir together. Bring to boil, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer for about 45 minutes, opening and stirring occasionally.
  • If using frozen peas, stir them into the stew the last 10-15 minutes.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 474kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 261mg | Potassium: 1735mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 7877IU | Vitamin C: 57mg | Calcium: 103mg | Iron: 6mg