This Mexican Beef Stew Slow Cooker Recipe is infused with warm spices and sweet potato for a wholesome gluten free, dairy free dinner that couldn’t be easier to make. Serve it on its own or with your favorite sides for the ultimate comfort food meal!
The Best Beef Stew Slow Cooker Recipe …with a Spicy Twist!
If you’re like us, you grew up eating slow cooker beef stew containing large chunks of beef, potatoes, carrots, frozen peas, and a thick gravy, but that’s not what you’ll find with this version! Sticking with tradition, we utilized the slow cooker method of preparation. However, instead of incorporating hearty winter veggies and savory seasonings, we swapped them out for Mexican–inspired ingredients like salsa and tomatoes along with warm spices such as chili powder and cumin. Not to mention seasonal veggies including sweet potato.
The end result is a warm, flavorful beef stew slow cooker recipe that’s super quick to make, loaded with vitamins and nutrients, and guaranteed to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. Even better, it’s a great meal prep option that can be enjoyed all week!
Is Stew Beef Healthy?
Of course, what is deemed healthy looks different for everyone, and the information in this article is not meant to be taken as nutrition advice. However, in general, stew beef is a fairly nutritious option! It is a rich source of iron and protein meaning it is extremely satiating and helps provide our bodies with essential nutrients.
Nutrition Note: Pairing beef with sources of vitamin C such as sweet potatoes and peppers like we did in this recipe, allows for easier absorption of iron. (Source)
What’s the Best Beef Cut for Stew?
The key to picking good beef stew beef is to find cuts of meat that are laced with collagen and fat that break down when cooked slowly, making the meat extra tender to chew. This yields the savory flavor and tender texture we’re looking to achieve.
The most common cut of meat used for slow cooker beef stew recipes is chuck roast which is also known as gravy beef or braising steak. Other good cuts of beef include bone-in short rib, fatty brisket, and cross-cut shanks.
Note: Unlike traditional stew recipes that use fattier cuts of meat, we used extra lean chuck to keep the flavors light and vibrant.
Mexican-Inspired Ingredients You’ll Need
Below are the key ingredients needed to make this Mexican sweet potato beef stew. However, we also utilize pantry staples. So, be sure to scroll down to the recipe card below to ensure you have everything you’ll need to create this recipe!
- Beef – We find that lean or extra lean chuck meat works best.
- Veggies – Onion, bell peppers, and sweet potatoes add vitamins, nutrients, fiber, and complex carbs to keep you fueled and satisfied.
- Seasonings – Garlic cloves, chili powder, oregano, cumin, and cilantro add a hint of Mexican flair.
- Salsa and Crushed or Fire Roasted Tomatoes – Used to enhance the broth.
- Broth or Stock – Beef, chicken, or vegetable will work!
Pro-Tip: For an extra kick of spice, add 1-2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.
Can I Incorporate Different Veggies?
Sure! Feel free to use whatever you have on hand, but keep in mind that different vegetables may require different cooking times. So, adjust the recipe as needed.
How to Make Slow Cooker Mexican Beef Stew
Is there anything easier than a good slow cooker recipe?! Follow the steps below, and your slow cooker beef stew recipe will be ready in no time.
- Brown the meat. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large cast iron pan, Dutch oven, or a large skillet. Add the beef and a pinch of salt, and cook until it has browned. Then, remove the beef, and transfer it to a slow cooker.
- Sauté. Leave a small amount of grease in the pan, and add the garlic, onion, and bell pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until the veggies are soft and fragrant. Then, transfer them to the slow cooker with the beef.
- Cook. Add the remaining ingredients except for the lime juice and cilantro to the slow cooker. Stir to combine, cover, and cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4 hours.
- Garnish and serve. Stir in the lime and cilantro, cover the slow cooker again, and warm for an additional 10 minutes. Divide into bowls, top with avocado and jalapeño, and enjoy!
No slow cooker? No problem! We’ve got you covered with a simple stovetop option, too.
Follow the instructions as listed, browning the meat in a large pot. Then, remove it with a slotted spoon and wipe off any excess oil before adding the garlic, onion, and bell pepper. Cook until the veggies are soft and the garlic is fragrant.
Then, place the meat back into the pot along with the salsa and broth. Bring the ingredients to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Add in the remaining ingredients, stirring to combine. Heat until warm, and enjoy!
Should My Slow Cooker Beef Stew Recipe Be Thick?
Yes, this recipe will be thicker than your average soup. However, the broth will be slightly thinner than standard beef stew recipes. Feel free to experiment and adjust the ingredients as needed until your desired consistency has been reached. Slow cooking (cook long and slow) allows the ingredients enough time to thicken.
Storage and Freezing
When properly stored in an airtight container, leftover slow cooker beef stew will stay fresh in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Then, when you’re ready to eat, let it thaw in the fridge overnight, and warm it in the microwave or slow cooker until heated through.
More Comforting Gluten Free Slow Cooker Recipes
Love your slow cooker as much as we do? Don’t miss out on these allergy friendly recipes!
- Gluten Free Slow Cooker Spaghetti – Tender noodles combine with a hearty sauce secretly full of veggies for a healthy weeknight comfort food meal.
- Fire Roasted Tomato Shrimp Tacos – An easy, flavorful dinner that’s high in protein and full of nutrients.
- Sweet Potato Chipotle Chili – A beanless chili recipe that’s healthy, hearty, and made with a kick of spice.
- Red Lentil Chili – A BBQ lentil chili recipe that’s gluten free, vegan, and full of protein and fiber!
Mexican Sweet Potato Beef Stew (Slow Cooker Recipe)
- Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
- Yield: 5 servings 1x
- Diet: Gluten Free
This Mexican Sweet Potato Beef Stew (Slow Cooker Recipe) is a hearty, gluten-free meal full of warm flavor and nutrients perfect for busy weeknights, game day, and everything in between!
- 1 Tablespoon refined avocado oil or olive oil
- 1 pound lean stew beef
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup chopped onion or 1 medium white onion
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic or 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 cup chopped sweet bell pepper or 1 sweet bell pepper
- 2 cups (~300 grams) peeled and chopped sweet potato
- 1 teaspoon chili powder or 2 Tablespoons canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 14 ounces (~1 cup each) red salsa and/or crushed tomatoes
- 1 ½ – 2 cups broth (beef or chicken)
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- ⅓ cup chopped cilantro
- Kosher salt to taste
- Ground black pepper to taste
- Optional Toppings: Diced avocado, sliced jalapeños
- Heat a large cast iron pan or Dutch oven over high heat. When oil is hot, add stew beef, and sprinkle with salt. Cook beef 4-5 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently. With a slotted spoon, remove meat, and place it in the slow cooker.
- Wipe the pan of excess grease, leaving a thin layer in the bottom. Place onion, garlic, and bell pepper in the pan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until onion and garlic are fragrant and peppers are tender or about 5 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to the slow cooker.
- Add the sweet potato, chili powder (chipotle sauce), oregano, cumin, broth, and salsa (crushed tomatoes). Mix thoroughly. Cover and cook on HIGH for 2 hours or LOW for 4 hours.
- Finally, stir in the lime juice, cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover, and keep warm for 10 minutes or until heated through. If desired, serve with diced avocado and sliced jalapeños.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- Heat a large cast iron pan or Dutch oven over high heat. When oil is hot, add stew beef and sprinkle with salt. Stir beef until browned or 4 to 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove meat, and transfer it to a plate. Set aside.
- Wipe the pan of excess grease, if needed. Place onion, garlic, and bell pepper in the pan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until onion and garlic are fragrant and peppers are tender or about 5 minutes.
- Add the meat back into the pot along with the sweet potato, chili powder (chipotle sauce), oregano, cumin, broth, and salsa (crushed tomatoes). Mix thoroughly. Bring to a boil. Then, cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until sweet potatoes are fork-tender.
- Finally, stir in lime juice, cilantro, salt, and pepper to taste. Allow to heat through over low heat, about 3 to 5 minutes. If desired, serve with diced avocado and sliced jalapeños.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Nutrition information below does not include toppings
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 hours
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Slow Cooker
- Cuisine: American, Mexican
- Serving Size: 1 bowl
- Calories: 237
- Sugar: 10.3 g
- Sodium: 757.4 mg
- Fat: 5.8 g
- Saturated Fat: 1.8 g
- Carbohydrates: 23 g
- Fiber: 4.2 g
- Protein: 24.1 g
- Cholesterol: 54.2 mg
Keywords: beef stew slow cooker recipe, slow cooker beef stew recipe, beef stew, gluten free, dairy free, meal prep
Do you have questions, feedback, or tips about this recipe? Leave a comment below with any questions or feedback you’d like to share!
I am going to try this recipe. Reading the stovetop directions you don’t say when to add the meat back in. I’m assuming when you add the sweet potatoes. Please confirm.
Sammi (Cotter Crunch Test Kitchen)
Good catch, Susan! THANK YOU! We have updated the recipe. You are correct, add the meat back in with the sweet potatoes and salsa. Let us know how it goes!
Also, did you use dehydrated garlic or fresh?
I used fresh! Do you have that?