Slow Cooker Lamb Stew is a one-pot, set it and forget it dinner made with simple and wholesome ingredients.
My slow cooker lamb stew recipe is a dump and go one-pot dinner made with wholesome ingredients only. It's packed with flavorful spices and herbs and is dairy-free, gluten-free and low in fat and calories. Make it as an easy dinner on a busy night, a lazy weekend or a holiday gathering.
In the crock pot, flavorful lamb turns out tender and juicy. It's a comfort food perfect for holidays, the cold evenings of winter and families who love simple one-pot dinners. You can make it in the Instant Pot too and it turns out just as delicious.
This is not a typical Irish lamb stew, as it's inspired by the flavors of Middle Eastern lamb stew. This recipe is made with just a few wholesome and healthy ingredients, herbs and spices but it's big on flavor and heartiness. My lamb stew recipe is a variation of my Syrian family's timeless recipe and I hope you'll enjoy it!
- Lamb: boneless leg of lamb or boneless lamb shoulder cut into small pieces, or pre-cut lamb stew meat. Beef can be substituted but it has a much difference flavor than lamb and will significantly change the overall taste of the recipe.
- Potatoes: large golden or russet potatoes cut into pieces
- Carrots: large cut carrots
- Beef broth or beef stock
- Rosemary: dried or fresh
- Thyme: dried or fresh
How To Make It
STEP 1: (OPTIONAL) This is an optional step that sears the lamb prior to adding to the slow cooker. Doing this locks in some tenderness and flavor. You can skip this part for a true dump and go dinner.
In a large skillet over medium heat, toss the lamb cubes with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cook for 3 minutes, until the outside of the lamb is browned. Drain any excessive fat and oil.
STEP 2: Add the lamb cubes to the slow cooker. Sprinkle with dried rosemary, dried thyme, allspice, salt and pepper. Pour in all 4 cups beef broth and stir. Push the lamb to one side of the slow cooker and add the sliced garlic cloves on top. To the other side, add the potatoes and carrots. If using fresh herbs, add them doing the last 1 hour of cooking.
STEP 3: Cover and set to HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours.
STEP 4: Carefully transfer to a serving dish when finished, reserving the extra broth for serving.
- Brown the lamb to lock in extra flavor from searing. This also allows some of the fat to cook off so it doesn't get cooked into the entire meal during slow cooking.
- Finding lamb already cut into pieces will save you preparation time. These aren't that easy to find at popular grocery stores but many international food stores have them.
- Cut potatoes and carrots cook quickly. If you'd like them a little less soft add them with 2 hours of cook time left. The potatoes can also be left whole and added at the beginning.
- This recipe is meant to have a thin broth but if you'd prefer a thicker broth that's more sauce or gravy like, add cornstarch or flour to it (see below for how). You can also add an extra potato and mash it into the broth at the end.
- While I love using fresh herbs, they aren't always readily available. If you use fresh herbs, don't add them to the pot at the beginning with the other ingredients (they will break down too much and lose flavor). Add them with one hour of cook time left. Dried herbs and spices can be added at the beginning.
For this recipe you should use a boneless leg of lamb or boneless lamb shoulder cut into small pieces. If you can find lamb cubes made specifically for a stew, that is the easiest option but these aren't always available in traditional grocery stores.
Yes you can use frozen lamb when making this stew, as long as it's already been cut into cubes. There is no need to change the cook time, as frozen lamb cubes thaw out quickly in the slow cooker.
Lamb stew can easily be thickened with flour or cornstarch. Add 2 tablespoons of flour or cornstarch mixed with cold water to the broth with 1 of cooking time left.
While not required, searing the lamb (or any meat) prior to slow cooking will lock in a little more flavor and moisture. It also allows you to drain off some fat from the meat after it's been seared.
My preference is to slow cook lamb stew on LOW. This is also my preference when slow cooking any meat in the crock pot. The meat has more time to tenderize when cooked for a longer time and at a lower temperature. But there is nothing wrong with using the HIGH setting, especially if you don't have a lot of time.
Yes you can, but you'd have to leave it in your slow cooker for a very long time. I don't recommend slow cooking lamb stew for longer than 8 hours.
Need ideas for what to serve with your lamb stew? These recipes make good side dishes:
How To Store
Slow cooker lamb stew can be kept in the fridge for up to 7 days when stored in an airtight container. To freeze, place in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 6 months. Extra sauce can be stored separately and used for other purposes too.
Slow Cooker Lamb Stew
- OPTIONAL: In a large skillet over medium heat, toss the lamb cubes with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cook for 3 minutes, until the outside of the lamb is browned. Drain any excessive fat and oil.
- Add the lamb cubes to the slow cooker. Sprinkle with dried rosemary, dried thyme, allspice, salt and pepper. Pour in the broth and stir. Push the lamb to one side of the slow cooker and add the sliced garlic cloves on top. To the other side, add the potatoes and carrots.
- Cover and set to HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours. *See notes for cook time tips.
- Transfer to a serving dish when finished, reserving extra broth for serving.