Beef and Kabocha Squash Stew (Slow Cooker or Instant Pot)

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On a cold rainy night, there’s nothing like warming up to a bowl of hearty beef stew made with winter squash, Marsala wine and fresh herbs.

On a cold rainy night, there's nothing like warming up to a bowl of hearty beef stew made with winter squash, Marsala wine and fresh herbs. Make this in the slow cooker or pressure cooker, serve it with crusty bread and you have yourself a meal.Beef and Kabocha Squash Stew

Make this in the slow cooker or pressure cooker, serve it with crusty bread and you have yourself a meal. More stew recipes you might enjoy are Pressure Cooker Stewed Chicken with Corn, Jamaican Coconut Shrimp Stew and Carne Guisada ( Latin Beef Stew).

On a cold rainy night, there's nothing like warming up to a bowl of hearty beef stew made with winter squash, Marsala wine and fresh herbs. Make this in the slow cooker or pressure cooker, serve it with crusty bread and you have yourself a meal.

My kids and I love beef stew, but my husband doesn’t so I don’t make it as often as I would like. But I got my hands on Giada’s new cookbook Happy Cooking (affil link) and can’t ever resist a slow cooker recipe, especially one with winter squash. Although this does require a little prepping, it’s worth the extra steps. If you work, you could always get the first step ready the night before. I adapted this slightly from her book just cutting down on the olive oil and thought it was wonderful, and so did my kids.

Variations and Tips

 

I have and love my Instant Pot, but I still love my slow cooker and prefer to use it for slow cooker dishes. I have the 6 Quart Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker (affil link). I love it because you can adjust the time you want it to cook, and it automatically turns to warm when it’s done. It also has a probe for meat that automatically shuts off when done. I hated my old crock pot, it burnt everything and my food had a weird taste. This slow cooker is so great, I actually own several!

On a cold rainy night, there's nothing like warming up to a bowl of hearty beef stew made with winter squash, Marsala wine and fresh herbs.
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4.82 from 11 votes
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Beef and Kabocha Squash Stew (Slow Cooker or Instant Pot)

6
6
6
SP
347 Cals 35 Protein 17 Carbs 14 Fats
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
Yield: 6 Servings
COURSE: Dinner
CUISINE: American
On a cold rainy night, there's nothing like warming up to a bowl of hearty beef stew made with winter squash, Marsala wine and fresh herbs.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour, gluten free would work
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • fresh black pepper, to taste
  • 2 lbs stew beef, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup Marsala wine
  • 1 pound Kobacha squash, peeled seeded and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • crusty bread, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  • Slow Cooker: In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the oil, onion, garlic, rosemary and thyme and cook 4 minutes, or until the onion is tender.
  • Place the flour, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the beef and toss gently to coat. Add the beef to the pan in batches and cook, turning occasionally until browned on all side and golden on the edges, about 5 minutes. Add the Marsala and scrape up the browned bits from the pan.
  • Transfer everything to the slow cooker, add the squash, sun-dried tomatoes and broth and stir. Cover and cook 4 to 5 hours on high or 8 hours on low. Serve with crusty bread and sprinkle with parsley.
  • Instant Pot: Press saute on the Instant Pot. When hot add the oil, onion, garlic, rosemary and thyme and cook 4 minutes, or until the onion is tender.
  • Place the flour, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the beef and toss gently to coat. Add the beef to the pot in batches and cook, turning occasionally until browned on all side and golden on the edges, about 5 minutes. Add the Marsala and scrape up the browned bits from the pan. Press cancel.
  • Add the squash, sun-dried tomatoes and broth and stir. Cover and cook high pressure 35 minutes, natural release. Serve with crusty bread and sprinkle with parsley.

Nutrition

Serving: 11/3 cups, Calories: 347kcal, Carbohydrates: 17g, Protein: 35g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 100mg, Sodium: 510mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 4g
Blue Smart Points: 6
Green Smart Points: 6
Purple Smart Points: 6
Points +: 9
Keywords: Beef and Kabocha Squash Stew, beef stew crockpot, beef stew recipe, instant pot beef stew recipe, slow cooker beef stew

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97 comments

  1. This is bomb! However I replace the squash with a mixture of red garnet sweet potato, red and gold potatoes. Tip-ALWAYS use fresh herbs! 

  2. Wow! Another great recipe. I was short on time so I placed everything in the crock pot without sauteing meat, onions or garlic. I used frozen squash! and tomato pesto as I didn’t have sundried. When everything was cooked, I made a roux, added the stock from the pot and then combined it again. A real winner. Love this website!

  3. Absolutely delicious! I didn’t have sun-dried tomatoes so I subbed some sweet mini peppers and cherry tomatoes and it came out wonderfully. I will definitely make this again!

  4. If you microwave the kobocha squash for 4 minutes before cutting it is much easier to handle. Mine is in the crockpot at this time but seems like its gonna be a keeper.

  5. I buy pre-cut butternut squash and double the recipe in my large Instantpot IP Duo. I double it bc I’m able to find 2 lbs. of pre-cut butternut squash at the grocery store and 4lbs. of pre-cut stew beef at Costco. I either freeze the extra or give it away to family and friends. Time saver! This stew is so flavorful and I use whatever red wine I have open at the time. Then if you like red wine, I might suggest having a glass of the same as you enjoy your yummy stew. 😉

  6. how many does this serve

  7. Can you use Pinot noir?

  8. It was so delicious!

  9. My husband LOVED  THIS ! It was delish ! Didn’t change  a thing !  Gina you are awesome ! Thank you for such great recipes ! 

  10. I made this a few nights ago. It is a bit sweet but otherwise I enjoyed it! Very good.

  11. Made this in a crock pot on 10.30.18, cooked on high for 4 hours.

    Changes Made (some ingredients I didn’t have):
    1. Instead of the squash recommended I used sweet potato (as I could not locate the listed squash in stores)
    2. I did not have marsala wine so I googled a substitute. I am trying out a mixture of red wine vinegar, agave and water (I eyeballed it).
    3. Used dry herbs in the ratio of 1/2 tsp to 1 TBSP fresh herbs
    4. Beef Chunks may have been a bit larger than 2 inches, can’t be certain but should taste fine just the same.
    5. Per a recommendation online I added a spoonful of oyster sauce (they said fish sauce but oyster was close enough and I know sounds weird but go with me on this one)

    Outcome:

    At first taste once finished cooking it was a bit sour from the red wine vinegar substitute mixture. However, upon adding a spoonful of oyster sauce it tasted great! The beef was extremely tender and the broth very tasty. Will make again on a cold fall or winter day to warm up!

    Note that this is not a thick stew, to the contrary it is very brothy which is completely fine. If you like a hardier stew I would advise to add additional vegetables as well.

  12. This recipe was the first ever beef stew I ever made. It is so incredibly flavorful and so easy to make! I generally eat it over brown rice and a heart vegetable like broccoli or cauliflower. Absolutely one of my faves and regular in my meal-prep line-up!

  13. Used my instant pot for the first time last night using this recipe.  Never used Kobacha squash before either.  It was a real trial to cut for sure.   I didn’t have sun dried tomatoes and used a quarter cup of homemade zucchini salsa in it instead.  The stew was awesome!    I will make this again real soon.  

  14. Can I use Sherry wine instead of marsala?

  15. I don’t eat red meat. Any chance I can substitute chicken breast for the beef ?

  16. This was excellent! Thank you.

  17. Pingback: 18 Healthy Slow Cooker Stew Recipes | Savory Nothings

  18. Gina, I just made this. I cannot stop eating. The stew is excellent. Thanks for another great dish.

  19. This was terrific and I love using an instant pot. The squash is so good. This is my favorite time of year as I have a love affair with all squash. The beef in this recipe turned out great and tender. It is a dish that is even better the next day. I added some smoked bourbon sea salt that was good in this recipe. Thank you!

  20. Pingback: Slow-Cooker Beef and Kabocha Squash Stew - Powerful Handmade site

  21. Made this tonight for dinner because the unseasonably cold weather has me thinking about stew!  Kabocha squash is nowhere to be found where I live, but butternut was a great substitute.  I found this to be quite bland until I added a generous amount of Worcestershire, salt and peper.  Then it tasted much better!   I also thickened it a bit with some corn starch and water near the end.  It was fantastic served over Carbo Nada noodles (my new favorite low-carb find!).  Definitely a keeper, and I’m thinking it will freeze well.

  22. I made this last night, and the family liked it a lot.  The marsala is a nice touch.  It was my first time to use kabocha squash, and cutting it up is a project.  I used my big chef’s knife and wished at times I had an ax.  

    This makes a lot of very flavorful gravy, so it would be good with potatoes, either in the stew or on the side.

    As always, thank you for the lovely recipes.  I have used quite a few, and they are always good and often extremely good.

  23. This was absolutely delicious! I think it even tasted better the next day. Thank you for another fantastic recipe! 

  24. Pingback: December Meal Plan #1: Freezer Frump | Kate Diamond, Author

  25. Hi there. This looks amazing. Any idea how to adapt it to an electric pressure cooker? Thanks!

  26. Any substitutes for the wine here? And any recommends to add more veggies into this stew? Let me know! 

  27. I’m ot sure what happened. I put the slow cooker on high for 5 hours and our Kabocha fell apart. I will try cooking it on low next time.  It was sweet.

  28. Pingback: 18 Healthy Slow Cooker Stew Recipes For Busy Fall Nights

  29. Made this today and it was wonderful. I substituted butternut squash, used dried herbs, and instead of Marsala wine used a dry white and brandy mixed. Easy enough to to make and will definitely make again!

  30. Hi,  I just put this in the smart points calculator and it says its 8 pts.  is that correct?  you have 6 down. 

  31. Can you use almond flour in place of regular (for gluten free) or would coconut be better?   Only  Have almond flour on hand. 

  32. I want to make this for dinner but i was hoping to add another veggie into the stew – what do you think would go well ? 

  33. Hi hi!  Could I not utilize the sun dried tomatoes and add carrots instead – make it more like a traditional beef stew or should I try something new and just follow the recipe:). Thx Brooke

  34. I made this for dinner last night and it was great! Had it for lunch today and it was AMAZING!!  I will definitely make this again.

  35. I love it …..it is soo good

  36. I love it …..it is soo good

  37. LOVE this recipe (and I'm NOT a beef fan) – have made three times in the past month or so. I will say it is BEST at 4 hrs; 8 hrs caused it to taste burnt, practically inedible. The first two times I used Acorn Squash because I couldn't find kabocha but this past time (actually eating leftovers right now for lunch) I used kabocha and is DELICIOUS!!! Also, I've used PINOT NOIR rather than Masala since I use this more often cooking . Amazing recipe as always – seriously have not had ONE bad thing off your site. Actually have quite a few GO TO dishes the whole family ADORES. Thank you for providing consistent, trust worthy recipes that both LOOK and TASTE delicious. TRUE FOOD PORN! ;D

  38. So I made this again with deer meat but used oat flour and I added mushrooms and broccoli added broccoli at the last 20 mins or so .. YUMMY white flour is no good for you so coconut or make your own oat flour from your oatmeal oh yes !

    • I'm making this as I type and was thinking about adding mushrooms! Did you saute them or just add uncooked? Thanks!

    • omg, I never thought about using venison! Definitely going to have to try that now! — you've used coconut flour? I always use whole wheat, but have a TON of coconut flour to use.

  39. I have this stewing as we speak. I used precut butternut squash and added rainbow carrots. Prepped in 20 minutes! Using a Dutch oven simmering on low on the stovetop. Smells delicious and carrots add beautiful color.

  40. For the sundries tomatoes, can i use the ones that are packed in oil and drain it?

  41. This recipe turned out great! I used precut butternut squash to save time (used about 1 lb) and it was delicious!

  42. I want to make this this week! Hopefully WW SP's will be updated for this one…pretty please?!

  43. I bought a top round roast yesterday for stew to use up the extra root vegetables that didn't get roasted for Thanksgiving. This morning, catching up on emails, I found this. I'd say perfect timing!

  44. Hi! If we were to save time as you suggested above and use precut butternut squash, what amount of precut butternut squash would the recipe call for? Thanks for your help! Can't wait to make it.

  45. Made this today and just now finished devouring a bowl. So delicious! I'll be making this again for sure.

  46. Just finished a dish of this for dinner! Thank you for another winner!

  47. what kind of meat cut will work well? fatty chuck will do?

  48. Is there something else to use in place of the sundried tomatoes?

  49. Gina, do you think it would be ok to substitute with fresh or frozen butternut squash?

  50. Thanks for the great recipe…Looking forward to making it…:)

  51. I can't wait for your new cookbook! I love your last one and the pictures are beautiful. I often give it as gifts and everyone loves it. This recipe looks delicious.

  52. This sounds like such a nice Fall dish!

    Katie

    www.lamiabellavita.com

  53. I have an electric pressure cooker – it is so easy to saute everything in one place, then add the wet ingredients and cook. I wonder if I can pressure cook the meat and liquid/ingredients, THEN add the squash, and let that simmer until cooked.

  54. I wonder if sweet potato would be okay to replace the squash with? I have tons of sp 🙂

  55. Do you think it would severely compromise the final product if you didn't saute the onion/garlic and brown the meat? I thought the purpose of a slow cooker is to save you time and dirty less pots.

  56. This looks so good! I need to sub out the flour to stay Paleo compliant. Any advice on using Almond, Coconut, or Tapioca flour on which one would work best?

  57. Can you use acorn squash or sugar pumpkins?

  58. Do you think it would be OK to add small unpeeled potatoes to the recipe? We love potatoes in our stew.

  59. Yumm! Kabocha squash is my favorite! I have made Giada's Beef and Butternut Stew before & I think this might be the same except for the kabocha. The flavors are delicious!!

  60. Hi Gina – This looks delicious! I love having stew in the fridge in the winter. Quick question though. I noticed you mentioned fresh spices. Do you think dried rosemary and thyme would be okay for the flavor?

  61. Would frozen squash work? We had too much leftover when we made the Slow Cooker Blissful Butternut Squash Soup (which was a huge hit with my whole family BTW) and instead of being put in the fridge it was put in the freezer 🙁

  62. Yumm!! Can't wait to try this. What can I substitute the wine with? 🙂

  63. Is there a reason you peel your kabocha? Kabocha skin gets tender when you boil, steam, or fry. I only peel if I'm going to be roasting it.