In the realm of comforting, budget-friendly meals, the Slow Cooker Poor Man’s Stew stands as an enduring symbol of simplicity, heartiness, and thrift. Emerging from humble beginnings, this dish has transcended its origins to become a beloved classic, appreciated for its warm, comforting flavors and cost-effective ingredients. This comprehensive blog post celebrates the timelessness of the Slow Cooker Poor Man’s Stew by guiding you through its preparation, offering valuable cook notes, inventive variations, and adaptations for both keto and low-carb diets. Prepare to embark on a culinary journey that celebrates the heartiness and affordability of this beloved stew.


To create a satisfying pot of Slow Cooker Poor Man’s Stew, gather the following ingredients:

  • 1 pound of ground beef or ground turkey
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 can (15 oz) of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) of corn, drained
  • 1 can (15 oz) of green beans, drained
  • 1 can (15 oz) of diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups of beef or vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste


1. Sauté the Ground Meat:

  • Start by cooking the ground beef or turkey in a skillet over medium heat until it’s browned and crumbled. Ensure to drain any excess fat, and then set the cooked meat aside.

2. Layer the Slow Cooker:

  • In your slow cooker, begin by layering the ingredients. Start with a layer of diced potatoes, followed by sliced carrots and finely chopped onion.

3. Add the Canned Ingredients:

  • Open the cans of kidney beans, corn, green beans, and diced tomatoes. Drain and rinse the kidney beans, and drain the corn and green beans. Add them to the slow cooker.

4. Incorporate the Ground Meat:

  • Place the cooked ground meat on top of the canned ingredients in the slow cooker.

5. Season and Pour Broth:

  • Sprinkle garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper over the meat and vegetables. Proceed to pour the beef or vegetable broth over everything.

6. Cook Slow and Low:

  • Cover the slow cooker and set it to cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or until the vegetables are tender, and the flavors have melded together.

Cooking Notes

  • For enhanced flavor, consider adding a bay leaf or fresh thyme sprigs during the cooking process.
  • Customization is key; feel free to experiment with your preferred vegetables and seasonings to make the stew truly your own.


  • Elevate your Poor Man’s Stew by exploring exciting variations:
  1. Protein Play: Experiment with different proteins such as sausage, ground chicken, or meat alternatives for a vegetarian version.
  2. Extra Veggies: Add ingredients like chopped cabbage, green peppers, or celery for added layers of flavor and nutrition.

Keto Version

  • For those following a keto lifestyle, here’s how to enjoy a keto-friendly rendition:
  1. Lean Protein: Opt for ground turkey instead of beef for a leaner choice.
  2. Low-Carb Veggies: Limit high-carb vegetables like potatoes and carrots, and focus on low-carb options such as cauliflower and bell peppers.
  3. Carb-Conscious Broth: Ensure that your chosen broth is low in carbohydrates.
  4. Season with Care: Adjust the seasonings according to your keto preferences.

Low-Carb Version 

  • If you’re looking for a low-carb twist, consider the following adjustments:
  1. Veggie Swap: Replace potatoes and carrots with cauliflower florets and zucchini, which are low in carbs.
  2. Broth Selection: Opt for a low-carb vegetable broth and avoid canned vegetables in sauces with added sugars.
  3. Tailor the Ingredients: Customize the stew to suit your low-carb dietary goals by making smart ingredient choices.

The Slow Cooker Poor Man’s Stew is more than a testament to thrift; it’s a celebration of simplicity and flavor. Whether you choose to follow the classic recipe or venture into keto or low-carb adaptations, this stew brings warmth and satisfaction to your table. It’s a dish meant to be shared with loved ones, and it promises comfort in every bite. As you explore your own variations and experiment with different ingredients, you’ll discover that the magic of this stew lies not solely in its affordability but in its timeless appeal as a hearty, nourishing dish for all seasons. Embrace its heartiness and cost-effectiveness and make it your own.

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